Note from author: this isn’t one of those posts which you can just skim over and take away some superficial advice – to get the most out of this post, allocate 30-60 minutes, brew a double espresso and by the end of it you will up your SEO game a LOT.
Related blog posts and resources:
SEO is really tricky and frankly the more you learn the more you realise there is to learn.
Every marketer has their own methodology aka process which actually defines the degree of their success.
My model took years to develop and it absolutely works.
As much as I respect people like Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Zac Johnson and Pat Flynn I think they work too hard!
Getting traffic in the 100,000’s is really not easy and is frankly overrated if they are generated majorly by keywords without any business intent.
You are building email lists, constantly putting stuff out on social media, doing podcasts, making videos etc.
It’s a difficult and full time job!
As I mentioned in my post on high value keywords, it doesn’t have to be that hard.
I am certain, my earnings, in relation to the traffic I get are exponentially higher than many of the marketers out there.
Play smart, not hard.
Below is my secret sauce on how I approach any sites SEO from a macro level, i.e: how I set myself up to make decisions about what to pursue first, what to improve next etc.
It’s basically a MAP.
A couple of things to point out – I have never applied this to a ‘BLOG’ in a conventional sense, and even though this site is called ‘Blogging Tips’ I am sure we are all open minded enough to realise that a blog is basically is basically a site, and any serious blogger at some point will want to monetise.
Any blog aimed at monetisation should have a ‘money page’ or have posts which target ‘money keywords’ with some monetisation mechanism inbuilt into it – even if it’s just an affiliate banner relevant to that keyword.
Secondly, this is approach is aimed at sites that have been published already, at least for enough time to get indexed and have any sort of rankings.
Here are my principles when it comes to SEO (and life).
- 80/20 principal to the MAX.
- Repeat daily
Anyhow, enough chat, let’s go to the juice of the matter.
Case Study Introduction
If you have read any of my other posts (I have only two), I HATE being vague or ambiguous, so here is a real world site which I plan to shoot to prominence shortly.
Currently its a site that has totally been neglected and basically never been really worked on.
I plan to:
- Develop a ‘blueprint’ for that site
- Optimize CTR
- Understand what KW’s/Pages I should focus on
- Actually rebuild that site from scratch
- Create a fully automated check out funnel
Infact, I will publish a before and after – we can consider this post the ‘before’.
The project is ‘dubairelaxtours.com’ – a site focused on private and VIP tours in Dubai.
P.s: I live in Dubai and have different travel/tourism businesses and affiliations.
Here we go.
Step 1: Get the Data
This part is extremely important.
In my CTR optimisation guide I showed you a glimpse, but here is the real deal.
The first thing you want to do is head over to google webmaster tools > search traffic > search analytics.
- Queries (not pages)
- Click download (bottom of the page)
RESULT = you should have CSV/excel file downloaded.
Pat yourself on the back – you are about 10% done.
Step 2: Filter Out the Noise
The first thing that most people think when they see this file is that it’s just daunting.
Especially when you have a large site.
Here is what I like to do.
Filter 1: Sort by Average Position and delete everything above 20.
Honestly, anything that isn’t on first 2 pages of google is just too far off.
If you are so early into your site that you don’t have anything higher than you should probably start with Keyword Research and Building Links – Brian Dean from Backlinko is great for this.
2: Filter Out Low Volume Impressions
Once I have removed all KW’s with average position lower than 20, I look at my impressions column.
My average impression is 103/keyword, but just to be on the safe side – i’ll filter out based on half of that, remember – I am after low volume/high value keywords.
Something like ‘Ultra VIP Dubai Tour’ may only get a 60 searches, but bring in 10x revenue than another larger volume KW.
So I remove all KW’s with less than 50 impressions.
Now I’m already left with only a 198 KW’s – compared to the original couple of thousands.
3: Filter Out By Intent
Now at this point, it’s very conceivable to do another filter by clicks, however – I will not rush to do this.
For example remove all KW’s with less than 20 clicks. Nope.
There really could be a gem hiding in that rough, i.e: a KW for which I am already ranking, but not getting any clicks.
If I simply pick an arbitrary threshold for clicks, I could be throwing out the baby with the bath water.
This last step is a little bit tedious but by far the most important.
I will create a new column called ‘Intent’ and go through that entire list of 200 giving each KW a score.
- 0 = junk and to be deleted
- 1 = sort of relevant
- 2 = quite relevant
- 3 = the $ I need to put in my pocket
It took a total of just 4 minutes to go through the 198 KW’s.
I will get rid of the 0s and 1s and leave just the 2’s and 3’s.
Step 3: Match KW’s to Pages
A large part of the work is done, but the final step in creating a neat blue print is to correlate the KW’s to the pages.
Google is REALLY annoying by not providing this report right off the bat.
They currently either give you the metrics by Key Word OR by Landing Page and not by both.
This is so annoying that I am actually in the process of building a tool called iSeeOrganic which will basically do everything listed above and this step inclusively automatically using advanced API requests etc.
Until this is done, you will need to do this last part manually.
For that – add another column to the left of it called ‘Page’.
You will then need to figure out which pages rank for the KW in question.
Most of the time you will be able to quite easily tell, but when it doubt just run a google search and see the first page for your domain that you see in the results.
This should take you another 10-15 minutes if you are in the ~200-300 KW’s range.
Here’s what my sheet looks like:
This report outlines your overall blue-print and sets up to really wisely understand what you need to work on and what needs to be done.
Bonus/Advanced Section: Weighted CTR
I really like Zac Johnson’s blog so I’m going to give away a little trick which is a major secret sauce of my upcoming software tool – iSeeOrganic in the hopes that one of you won’t realize the pure money in this entire method and build it faster than me.
This is for those of you who REALLY care about their sites/blogs and don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty.
When it comes to CTR – you have to understand, its actually useless without an idea of whether it’s good/healthy or not RELATIVE to the position.
A CTR of 10% is great for a KW ranking on the 3rd position, but horrible for the same KW ranking on the 1st – thus the concept of “WEIGHTED” CTR.
Here is a what the average CTR based on a bunch of studies put together looks like.
How to apply this?
- Sort the results from Low to High
- Add a new column – call it ‘Slope’ (Column H)
- Add another column – call it “b’ (Column I)
- For results between 1 and 1.99 set the slope to: -14.4875 and b: 44.6125
- For results between 2 and 2.99 set the slope to: -5.45 and b: 26.5375
- For results between 3 and 3.99 set the slope to: -2.075 and b: 16.4125
- For results between 4 and 4.99 set the slope to: -1.6625 and b: 14.7625
- For results between 5 and 5.99 set the slope to: -2.05 and b: 16.7
- For results between 6 and 6.99 set the slope to: -0.5 and b: 7.4
- For results between 7 and 7.99 set the slope to: -0.3875 and b: 6.6125
- For results between 8 and 8.99 set the slope to: -0.45 and b: 7.1125
- For results between 9 and 9.99 set the slope to: -0.125 and b: 4.1875
- These are metrics that correspond to the CTR curve referenced above.
- Add another column – call it ‘Weighted CTR’ (Column J)
- The formula is = SLOPE x POSITION + B
- So its ==H2*F2+I2
- And your FINAL step is to create a CTR SCORE.
- It is basically a summary of all the work done and shows you a comparison of your actual CTR relative to the weighted CTR.
- You will need to make sure that your CTR is in the same format as the weighted CTR – this step is a little tricky. For that – create a new column to the right of your CTR column (in my case the original CTR column is E, so I will make column F and call it CTR 2). My formula for F2 is =E2*100
- The original format is a percentage – and I need it in just a plain text number, e.g 15.78% should become 15.78 – thats it.
- Like this:
- Once I have my CTR in number format (COLUMN F) and I have my weighted CTR (Column K) the last step is to create a new column L and call it CTR SCORE.
- The formula for CTR score is just CTR 2/WEIGHTED CTR
- In my case it’s =F2/K2
This is what your FINAL SEO Blueprint file looks like.
If you have followed along with everything correctly you have honestly drawn an actual map of your site with the most important data that you need.
Step 4: Actionable Insights
All this however is just a ‘diagnosis’ – but what is the cure?
How do you use this data?
Note: I personally really like colors so I tried to make everything with a color to make it insightul.
- Green = all good, nothing really requires attention
- Yellow = a more long term opportunity, or something that should be adressed once all red cells taken care off.
- Red = immediate opportunities or something that can bring quick results.
#1: Analyze Rankings
The first actionable insight is the page/kw combos that really need improvements from a SERP point of view.
Pages with rank 10 or above really require improvements in position since CTR optimization really plays a significant role only on page 1.
Those pages and keywords require a deep look at on page factors and definitely where you should focus your link builder efforts.
If a page is ranking for KW’s primarily on page 2, it’s most likely that the authority of that page AND the user behaviour metrics are poor.
Those pages are basically poor in every sense and need attention from square one basically.
What I will do is mark the positions column for all KW’s in the 10-20 range with YELLOW.
The second category is page/kw’s that are in the 5-10 range – I will mark them as red.
Those keywords for me are the biggest opportunity. Moving them up a few positions can literally be a matter of on page optimization as well as some tweaking of internal links.
The traffic to those pages will spike with every additional step up, as you can see on the CTR curve.
I will make are KW’s in the 5-10 range as RED.
Finally, the KW’s that are in the 1-4 range I will mark as green.
Those don’t really require an improvement in ranking from a link building point of view and probably even on page.
#2: Analyze Impressions
It’s easy to forget that the most important KW’s are actually those that get searched the most (after you have already picked out the ones that have business intent and are relevant to you).
The thing is everything is very relative and thus any recommendations must be relative too.
Here is my view – I focus on the KW’s that are responsible for 80% of my impressions.
Simply filter from largest to smallest and get your total of impressions.
In my case total number of searches is 38,379
I will simply mark in red the KW’s starting from the largest going downwards until I hit 80% of the total impressions (30,700).
Ironically enough, around ~80 out of the ~180 Keywords account for 80% of my impressions.
That is less than half!
Note: if you ran the same search on the unfiltered raw data – in most case you will find that around 10% of the data accounts for 80% of the searches.
Naturally those KW’s for me are the most important since they account for most of the impressions and I will mark those impressions as red.
#3: Analyze by Clicks
Next, I will do the same thing for clicks.
I want to highlight the most important KW’s that generate the ACTUAL most number of clicks.
Total number of clicks is 1593, so 80% is 1275 clicks.
So check this out – 32 out 178 keywords (18%) generate 80% of the clicks.
Excellent, those are marked red.
#4: Analyze by CTR Score
The CTR score is basically simple to interpret.
- 1.0 = perfect
- 0-1 = below perfect
- 1+ = above perfect
So naturally, the first thing I will do is filter where CTR score is 1 or above. Those will certainly be green.
For KW’s that are in the 0.8 – 1.0 range, I will mark them as yellow since they are quite good, and would probably need attention further down the road.
Those below 0.8 are the ones that really need attention.
#Step 6: Data Interpretation aka Picking Your Shots
After you have colorized your table, you should see something like this:
Now your map is really ready and all you have to do is decide where to go!
Let take an example of some rows/ kws: “Musandam Tour“
The keyword is important from an impressions point of view but the position is good and the CTR score is excellent.
Conclusion: I definitely don’t need to touch this KW OR optimize my page or meta tags further for this KW.
Here is another one: “Dhow Cruise Marina“
The KW is important from impressions point of view, but the CTR is low and the position is low.
Conculsion: I need to adjust the meta tags for that page to factor in this KW AND I need to work on improving the SERP for this KW.
Here’s a good one: “Musandam Tours“
CTR is really good, but rank is not so good.
Conclusion: It’s a bit tricky here. Definitely my meta tags are on point, but its really weird that ONE LETTER DIFFERENCE (!!!) – tourS vs tour has such a different rank with Google. Logically, when self describing a page, you will talk about it from a singular point of view – i.e: ‘Musandam Tour’, or ‘we offer a musandam tour’, this most likely the reason for this change is on page optimization since the rank for the page overall is healthy.
Here is great example: “Yacht Cruise Dubai“
Insanely high CTR score but low position. As a result, I’m only getting 10 clicks.
Conclusion: I need to increase the rank of this page by optimizing on page more for this KW AND building links to it. The business intent is there, and people clearly like my meta tag, I just need to move it into the 1-5 range and my sales will start dripping.
I think you are starting to get the idea by now.
Low CTR score on page 1? = Optimize meta tag on that page to factor in that KW and its search intent.
Low SERP? = Optimize on page and build relevant links.
Note: how to actually measure or A/B test your CTR optimization efforts?
Well – they are close to impossible now since it would require building a new sheet like this every month and manually/semi-manually measuring the improvements or declines.
This is why we are working on an awesome tool over that will do everything listed above with 3 clicks.
Hope you found this useful!
If you need help, hit me up in the comments below or over on twitter (@nolabelinc)
Remember – focus on 80% of the kick back, not the 20%.
Focus on high value key words with low search volumes versus low value keywords with high search volumes BUT, only target them if the perceived user intent is a 100% match to the service or product which you intend to rank it for.
Top 5 Best SEO Practices to Dominate Google Search Results In 2019
Who doesn’t want to dominate Google? We all love first page rankings, right?
Related blog posts and resources:
But there’s one thing about dominating Google search results: SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is almost a rocket science for most bloggers. The good thing is, you don’t have to be an expert at SEO to be able to generate first page rankings to your site.
Just learn and implement “few” most important SEO techniques and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors in search results. If you’re looking to improve your search traffic, here are a few of the best SEO practices you can implement in 2019.
5 Best SEO Practices for Bloggers To Dominate Google
1. Perform in-depth keyword research
If you don’t understand keyword research, you’re missing out on huge amount of traffic and sales from search engines.
Keyword research is all about finding “low competitive yet profitable keywords” so that you can create highly informative content (by keeping your target keywords in mind) to your audience.
Here’s the key to successful keyword research: “find low competitive keywords”.
It doesn’t matter what niche you are in, if you’re going after high competitive keywords, you’re not going to get any traffic from search (especially if you’ve a new website). So the key here is to find long tail keywords which have less monthly searches.
Quick note: Always have access to SEO tools like SEMrush if you want to find highly profitable yet low competitive keywords.
If you’ve a fairly new blog or website, I highly recommend you to go for those keywords which have less than 500 monthly searches. Why?
Low competitive keywords are easier to rank for. You can get first page rankings by creating informative content (you’ll get great results even without building too many backlinks).
That being said, here are a few helpful keyword research tools you can use in 2019.
While doing keyword research, target long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords usually contain 4 or more keywords and they are easier to rank in Google search.
For instance, you can get better rankings for long tail keyword phrases like “best fitness apps for Yoga teachers” instead of targeting short tail keywords like “best fitness apps”.
So that’s how you can perform long tail keyword research to dominate Google search in 2019 and beyond.
2. Content creation and optimization is essential
Content is really the king. No matter what niche you are in, if your content is mediocre, it will not perform well in the search engines. That said, here are few incredible tips to create exceptional content that performs well in search engines.
Understand your target audience: This is the first step to creating great content. The better you understand your audience, the easier it is for you to create “high converting content”. Make sure to find their wants and needs. Make a list of all the questions they might have by browsing through platforms like Quora or taking surveys.
Create in-depth content: If you want to dominate Google search results with your content, make it extremely detailed. According to many researches, it’s proven that in-depth content (which contains over 2000 words) performs really well in search results.
In fact, we’ve been creating long form of articles for more than 4 years now at Bloggers Passion and the results are amazing both in terms of search traffic and sales.
Use platforms like Quora: Q & A platforms like Quora help you find out what your target audience truly wants. You can follow all the topics that you blog about, find all the questions and start creating content around the topics that you’re interested in.
Last but not least, properly optimize your content for search engines which we’re going to discuss now.
When it comes to content optimization, the following factors play a crucial role.
- Page title
- Meta description
- Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, h4, etc.)
- Image optimization
- Internal links
If you’re using WordPress, I recommend you to check out the following 2 plugins (both are great) for content optimization.
WordPress SEO by Yoast: This is the most downloaded SEO plugin in WordPress history with over 20 million downloads worldwide. It helps you easily optimize all your contents (including posts and pages) for your primary keywords. From page titles to meta description to image optimization, you can do everything using this plugin.
SEO By Rank Math: This plugin is getting a lot of positive buzz and it’s considered as the best alternative to SEO by Yoast. In fact, it offers all the premium features of plugins like Yoast where you can optimize your posts for 5 focus keywords per post. Not only that, it also lets you track your keyword positions in Google and offers a wide range of other helpful features to optimize your contents like a pro.
3. Make sure your website ticks all the boxes
Here are few things that your website must have for better performance in search.
- SSL integration
- Mobile-friendly design
- Faster website loading times
Now, let’s talk about the above most important things to make your website great for both search engines and users.
SSL integration: Google considers https as a ranking signal, which means, Google is giving weightage to websites on https version. To get https version, you need SSL integration. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer which makes your site go from http to https and it’s a secured protocol which is used to establish a secure connection between server and client.
If you’re using hosts like Bluehost, WPX hosting etc, you’ll get SSL integration at free of cost (all you need to do is to turn on SSL to make your site https). Otherwise, you can free SSL integrations from sites like Cloudflare.
Super fast page loading times: If your site takes more than 3 to 4 seconds to load, your website visitors will most probably abandon your site. Your website speed is so much important not only for your users but also for improving your search rankings.
Did you know that Google takes page loading times into consideration while ranking web pages? Yes, that’s true. Here are few quick tips to have a faster loading website.
- Move to a faster web host (at Bloggers Passion, we’re using WPX hosting and it’s really faster when compared to any other web hosting companies)
- Use less plugins
- Optimize your image size before you even upload them on to your dashboard
- Leverage browser caching
- Enable GZip compression (Gzip is a file format that essentially locates strings of similar code in your text files and then temporarily replaces them to make the files smaller which helps in faster loading times)
- Minimize your redirects
Mobile responsive design: Is your blog mobile-friendly? If not, you’re missing a lot of traffic and sales on the table which can be beneficial to your competitors. So why leave your traffic and sales to them?
If you’re on WordPress, you can simply install a plugin like WP Touch or buy a premium responsive WordPress theme. Problem solved!
4. Research your competitors
If you see your competition as an opportunity, you’ll thrive online but if you see it as a threat, you’ll fail in the long run.
Do you know who your competitors are? Do you know who you are competing against? By knowing and carefully analysing your competition, you can learn so much.
Here are a few things to analyse while researching your competitors.
- Find out their top performing blog posts (which are bringing them the most traffic)
- Find out their top “income generating” pages (so you’ll have a better idea about what type of products to promote)
- Analyse your competitors website traffic (along with their traffic sources)
- Research your competitors backlink sources (so you can find link building opportunities to improve your own site’s backlink profile)
In a nutshell, the fastest way to your website’s success is to make a list of 10 to 15 competitors, find all their top performing pages along with their backlink sources and try to get links from those sites using various link building strategies.
5. Link building is the key
It doesn’t matter how great your content is, if it’s not attracting any links or you’re not building back link to your content, it’s not going to rank in the first page.
The sooner you realise the importance of link building, the faster you’ll start generating better results from SEO. It’s as simple as that. That being said, there are various ways to build quality backlinks to your site but the following strategies work like a charm in every industry.
- Roundup links
- Guest posting
- Build relationships
Let’s briefly talk about each one of them now.
Guest posting: Guest posting is the evergreen strategy to build links from relevant blogs in your industry. You don’t always have to aim for authority sites for guest posting as publishing and high quality, relevant and small blogs can also work like a charm.
Just make sure to write high quality guest posts so you can improve your authority as a blogger apart from getting relevant links to your site.
Roundups links: One of the easiest ways to build quality and highly relevant links to your site is to find and participate in roundup posts. There are a ton of bloggers (especially new bloggers) from all kinds of niches publish roundups on a regular basis.
You just need to be active on social media or use search strings on Google like “expert roundups + [your topic]” to find such sites. Make friends with them by sharing their stuff, commenting on their posts. That’s how you can get into their radar to start participating in their roundup posts.
Link building by building relationships: Networking and building relationships with other bloggers is often the most underrated strategy to build links. Make sure to focus on helping people instead of solely focusing on getting links and that’s the secret to successful networking.
We’re currently building a Facebook group where we share mostly blogging and SEO related stuff. The whole purpose of the group is to help beginners to build a money making blog and to connect with other bloggers in our industry. The best part is that, there are so many bloggers who interviewed me (by linking to my posts) and they mostly came from the Facebook group.
That’s the power of networking. So go and start networking with other bloggers using email, blogs and social media sites.Final thoughts on the best SEO practices to use in 2019
Practicing the best SEO strategies is the key to long term SEO success. Don’t look for shortcuts as increasing your organic traffic takes time.
Focus on learning and implementing just 2 to 3 evergreen SEO best practices and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors. Just be consistent and regularly create content that adds value to your target audience.
Let me know if you’ve any questions in the comments.
4 Strategies for Golden Long-Tail Keywords For Your Blog
Countless guides advise new bloggers about the benefits of SEO. However, far too few of them focus on the importance of proper keyword research. Many bloggers make the mistake of focusing all of their time and resources on short tail or high-volume keywords, such as “make money online”, “woodworking blog” or “pharmacy coupons.”
Related blog posts and resources:
Ranking for these broad keep words is going to take a lot of time. Many bloggers get very frustrated after not seeing any results and eventually give up.
You will see results a lot faster if you start your blog focusing on low hanging fruit. There is a massive number of longtail keywords in any given niche that you can rank for a relatively easily. Conversion rates also tend to be higher with long-tail keywords. The average conversion rate for long-tail keywords is 36%, which is 3.5 times as high as broad keywords. The trick is knowing how to find them.
Since there are so many longtail keywords, looking for them can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Don’t despair – there are a lot of great ways to find high converting longtail keywords. Here are some of the best approaches.
Use SEMRush to see what keywords other blogs are ranking for
SEMRush is an SEO analytics tool that monitors keyword rankings for various websites. Many bloggers use it to monitor rankings for their own websites. They also use it to gauge their rankings against major competitors. If they see that they are ranking for more keywords than a competing blog, then they know that their SEO strategy is on the right track.
Fewer bloggers and SEO professionals recognize the value of using SEMRush for keyword research. You can try using it to see what keywords other blogs are ranking for. If a competing blog is ranking for around 7,000 keywords, then you can dig through that list and see which ones you want to target yourself. It is best to use this tool with blogs that clearly have strong rankings. You aren’t going to build a very large list of keywords to target if you use it with a new blog that is only ranking for a handful of search queries.
You might want to find well ranking blogs by searching for relatively competitive keyboards in your niche. The websites that show up on the front page of Google for a competitive term are probably also going to be ranking for lots of less competitive, longtail keywords as well. Take the route URL and plug it into SEMRush.
You can see a list of the top 10 keywords for a blog for free. You will need to pay for a premium membership with SEMRush to see the rest of the list, but it can be worth it considering the value of finding so many great keywords to target.
Keyword Shitter is possibly the easiest to use keyword research tool available. To make things even better, it is totally free.
All you have to do is take a relatively broad keyboard and put it in the search box. Then you will need to click the button at the bottom of the form. The tool will start aggregating keywords that people search for.
If you use a relatively broad keyword, then you should be able to make a list of thousands of longtail keywords in as little as 1 to 4 hours. Although this is one of the easiest ways to perform keyword research, there are a couple of drawbacks to be aware of:
- You might get tunnel vision if you only start with a couple of base keywords for your lists. There might be a number of great converting longtail keywords that you would never think to add, because they don’t have common root words in them. For example, names of books, authors or products in your niche might be great keywords to focus on. They often don’t have common keywords in them, so they might not show up with this tool.
- A lot of the keywords are going to be loosely related to your niche. You will need to sort through the list carefully and remove any that don’t fit.
This is definitely a great keyword research tool to use, but you will need to take some time to get the hang of it.
Look at suggested keywords from Google
Google has become a lot better at recommending keywords for its users. Their suggested keywords are not just great for people trying to get better search results. They are also good for bloggers trying to find new keywords to target.
Keep in mind that Google recommends keywords based on your previous search queries, especially if you have not enabled privacy features in your Google account. You might want to try beginning searches in Google chrome incognito to find less biased suggestions for your search queries.
Look at product lists on Amazon and other sites
Most people use Google tools to conduct their keyword research. While they can be very helpful, it might be a good idea to branch out a bit and look for keyword ideas on other sites. If you are using your blog to promote products on Amazon, why not look at Amazon products? You can build keywords around them. For example, if you are writing blog posts on business cards, you might want to try searching for business cards on Amazon and see what products and books appear in your queries.
The benefits of this are two-fold:
- Most other bloggers are going to be focusing on broad keywords in their niche. They won’t be as likely to consider keywords centered around specific products. This means that there won’t be as much competition for a lot of these terms.
- The conversion rates are going to be a lot higher if you are trying to get visitors with these terms and refer them to Amazon.
You can search through thousands of possible ideas in your niche. Make sure that you find ones that are most relevant and do your research accordingly.
What is Thin Content and How to Fix It
I don’t want to name any names, but I saw an awful website this morning. Granted, I was looking for examples of thin content because of this post and I figured I might be able to just wander around until I found something that could count towards the description. I didn’t expect to find something this relevant, much less to such a degree that I would leave the site cringing.
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Because of tactics they had used and length of time the site had been around, they maintain a decent Google ranking in spite of having some of the thinnest content I have ever seen. But the lack of engagement on the articles, the amount of spam littered among the occasional real comment, the lack of social media shares… it all showed that in spite of being prolific in their posting habits, their content was doing nothing to help them.
Someone should let them know about the benefits of high quality content versus thin content. Though given the sheer number of ads on their domain, quality probably isn’t their first priority.
Thin Content Risks
Why is this such a bad thing if the traffic is high enough to bring them within the first page of Google results? It is the same reason that keyword stuffing is a bad idea. Sure, it will bring people to your site for a time. But eventually Google’s algorithm is going to catch on and while they claim they don’t penalize, we all know that isn’t true. If you try and skirt around the system you are going to get flagged.
Not only that, but it is damaging to a brand.
What is the use of being on Google’s first page if people realize the moment they click onto your site that you have nothing worth viewing? They will be gone within seconds and over time your rank will go down along with the lack of interest or brand trust.
The Legend of Fred
Now there is a more direct threat to your business. But then Google came out with updates, all named under one collective term “Fred” which focused on battling thin content:
Basically, if you publish high quality content that is highly cited on the Internet – and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding, crap like that.
Fred caused quite a ruckus when it was first released in 2017. It came from the Black Hat sector, aimed specifically at spam links and suspected spam links.
Of course, we know from past statements and experiences that Google is also targeting backlinks and trying to discourage the practice which may be why so many sites that were well established and not at all spam saw a 90% decrease in traffic seemingly out of nowhere. It sparked panic across the web as site owners and brands scrambled to figure out what was happening and came back with rumors of “Fred”.
The good news is while a percentage of sites hit were valid ones that might not have deserved it, most did appear to be low rent content hosters using shady practices to boost traffic and so ad revenue. But that was little relief for those bigger sites who were impacted by the release of Fred.
Since then Google has got even smarter at identifying and fighting thin content, so in case you have some older lower-quality content on your blog, fixing it may cause your overall rankings increase.
How to Fix Thin Content on Your Blog
Step 1: Identify and Enhance Articles That Bring Traffic
- Go to Google Analytics Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages
- Enable it to show 5000 rows (this is the maximum)
- Export the whole report and check if any of those articles can be called “thin”, generally:
- Number of words is fewer than 500
- There are no structure (subheadings, images, etc.)
- There’s no “substance”, i.e. some unique tip, facts, etc. that a reader can take home.
TextOptimizer is a great tool for that: It will run your target query in Google, extract search snippets and then apply semantic analysis to identify related concepts and entities to implement in your content to expand it.
TextOptimizer will also generate popular questions on your topic for you to answer in your content and make it better:
While editing your old content, think if there are any content re-purposing opportunities, like creating a whitepaper or a blog series. Use the checklist to ensure higher quality for each of your content projects.
Step 2: Identify and Get Rid of Articles That Bring 0 Clicks
Now, go ahead and check all the articles that didn’t get into your above list. You may double-check again to make sure any of them are not really driving any clicks. Once you are sure, go ahead and:
- Use 301 redirect to redirect any of those articles to their updated or closely related versions
- If there’s no related content to redirect to, simply delete old thin articles
- Here are great plugins that will help you with both the steps above
For more information on this tactic, check out this case study on how this process increased one blog’s traffic by ~1000%
Have you been thinking about fixing low-quality thin content? Please share your tips!
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