Let me ask you a simple question before talking about the most important SEO tips to follow in 2017.
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Why few sites like Backlinko, Moz, Smart Passive Income get a TON of traffic while the majority of the websites get embarrassingly little traffic?
The reason is this: all the high traffic sites are both search engine and user friendly. They all follow a strategic plan to impress both their audience and search engines.
If you’re struggling to increase your search traffic, I’ve 3 of the BEST SEO tips for you. Let’s talk about them without further ado.
#1. Find keywords that will make you rank higher
Do you want more people to visit your website or blog? Have you optimized your blog for search?
The one common mistake that most of the bloggers do is that they write and publish articles without targeting any keywords at all.
If you are trying to rank for a popular keyword, then you need to consider content marketing and SEO seriously. When your site is ranked in search engines for a keyword then it has a major impact on your web traffic, lead generation and conversions.
It takes very few minutes to know which keywords to use. You can find keywords in several ways. There are lot many tools available that makes your work easy to find.
#1. Google Keyword Planner: It is an official product from Google that gives you a traffic estimation of your target keywords and also help in finding more relevant and related keywords for your niche. You can find the keywords that are most relevant to your business. Start by searching words or phrases related to your products or services.
In order to use Google Keyword Planner tool, you need to have a Google Adwords account. And, it is free. Simply create an Adwords tool and start using it.
Here is how you can find keywords using Google’s Keyword Planner:
- Click on “Tools” and then click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.
- Enter your keyword. For example, “Marketing tactics”. Once you entered your keyword, go down and click “Get Ideas”. There, click on the “Keyword Ideas” tab.
- Scroll down and scan through the keyword ideas. Take those that are relevant to what your website is trying to achieve:
All you are trying to do right now is find ideas. List all ideas you come across in a spreadsheet.
#2. UberSuggest: It is one of the best free keyword tools for getting lots of keyword suggestions. It is also a perfect alternative to Google’s Keyword Planner if you don’t want to go through the trouble of creating an Adwords account.
- Go to UberSuggest and enter your keyword.
- Click on Suggest and it will list down Keyword suggestions.
- You can check out all your selected Keywords in the right sidebar of the Ubersuggest site and click on get to copy all the Keywords. Click “View as Text” to copy relevant keywords.
Now you can write posts based on keywords extracted using this keyword suggestion tool.
#3. SEMrush: Without a doubt, SEMrush is my favorite SEO tool. It is a SEO tool that lets you do keyword research, track keyword ranking, check backlinks, check competitor ranks and most importantly, performs a complete SEO audit of your blog. You can also know what keywords are performing well for your competitors with data from SEMrush.
- Go to SEMrush.com and enter competitor’s URL. Click on “Organic Research” and “Positions” and scroll down to “Organic Search Positions”.
- To find long tail keywords they are ranking well for, Sort by “Pos.”
- Next, search by “Volume” and see if there are keywords with very high volume that you are ranking on the first two or three pages of Google.
Make note of the pages or posts that you find. SEMrush makes it really easy to find what keyword your site (or any other site) is ranking for.
#4. Forums: If you want to find qualified content ideas then forums are the best place for it. You have real people asking real questions. Here is how you can find content ideas using forums:
- Go to Google and search “your niche forums”. You can check like this too. “keyword forum”, “keyword” + “forums”, “keyword” + “forum”, “keyword” + “board”. Click on any link and in their website, take note of the categories. Check how the forum is divided up into sections: Each of these sections is often a Niche Topic.
- Click into one of the categories and examine the threads. You can find some great content ideas.
#5. Google Search Console: Google Search Console is a neglected tool, but it is a treasure house of content ideas. You can monitor website performance in the Google search index. You can learn a great deal of information about your website and the people who visit it.
- Go to Google Search Console and click the “Search Traffic” section and then click on “Search Analytics”
- Checkmark “Position” and scroll down and click show 500 rows. Scroll back up and sort the list so that the lowest ranked keyword is at the top.
If you are new to Google Search Console, you will need to add and verify your site before you can do anything else. By adding and verifying your site in Search Console, Google thinks that you are either a site’s owner, webmaster, or other authorized user.
If you use the wrong keywords, then you likely won’t see ROI. So, finding keywords and using it in your content will make you rank higher.
#2. Spy on your competitors SEO strategies
Unless you know your competitors, all your great content and products goes waste. There are so many tools available online that will help you to find your competitor’s strength and weaknesses. Spying will help you with your business goals and allow you to plan out your next move.
Here are the 7 tools that will reveal your competitors SEO strategies:
#1. SEMrush: Without discussing about SEMrush, any SEO tools list is incomplete. It shows you data about sites’ search engine traffic based on estimates of keyword traffic and rankings. It lets you track the keyword position of your competitor in any search engine based on their geographical location.
You can find all keywords your competitor is currently ranking for on any given page. You will also get ad keywords and traffic numbers of competitors.
#2. Open Site Explorer: It is an easy-to-use tool from Moz that helps to monitor backlinks. It allows you to follow your competitors’ link-building efforts. Moz analytics helps you to track your site’s link profile over time and compare it with your competitors.
You will find details on how to get data on page and domain authority, anchor text and boost your links. You can easily check out what links you competitors have, compared their link profiles with your links, and boost link building strategies.
#3. Similar Web: It allows you to get traffic insights for any website. Just type in a website and you will get global rank, country rank and category rank of that website. It shows the weekly number of visitors in the last 6 months.
#4. iSpionage: This tool makes it easy to see what your competitors are doing organic search. It has a set of tools that includes SEO competitive research, social monitoring and keyword tracking. If you are into different campaigns whether it’s PPC, social media, or organic traffic, this is one of the best sites to use.
You can see the best performing keywords for organic as well as for PPC and how much the competitor spends on both organic and paid search.
#5. SpyFu: This tool lets you know which keywords your competitors are targeting, both in organic search and in AdWords. You just need to add competitors’ keywords and get an overall view of their strategy. SpyFu can help you eliminate bad keywords from your website.
#6. Majestic SEO: With this tool, you can download the backlink profile of your competitors. It allows you to download the link profile for any of your competitors’ sites. If you are serious about building quality links for your website, then this tool will help you a lot. You can download the link profile of any competitor
#7. Marketing Grader: This tool gives each of your competitors an overall score based on social media activity, blogging success, SEO and lead generation. You can monitor social activity of competitors, blogging and SEO success of competitors and lead generation success of competitors.
#3. Create SEO optimized and in-depth articles
Well who doesn’t want to rank higher than their competitors on Google? However, writing content that is liked by people and search engine is the biggest challenges that bloggers and content marketers face.
Whatever the content you write, it should appeal to your readers and also solve a particular problem. Here are the 5 secrets that will help you to create SEO optimized in-depth articles:
#1. Perform keyword research: If you write article without doing enough keyword research, it takes a lot of time for Google to notice your effort. So, find out which keywords and phrases people are searching for and prepare a keyword spreadsheet. Keep track of how many times you used those keywords into your content.
#2. Start writing around those keywords: Include your target keyword throughout your article. Remember, never ever stuff keywords. Whatever the sentence you write, it should be meaningful. Include your keyword in the title, in the first 300 words, and in the first h1 or h2.
#3. Add value to your readers: Before you even start writing, analyze to whom you are writing? What do they gain through your content? How it helps them? What kind of knowledge you can share to them that can’t be found anywhere else?
You are writing for people. So, when you are writing, make sure that you provide value to your readers.
#4. Make it really long and worthy content: Search engines tend to give preference to longer blogs and articles. It also favours “in-depth” content which is of at least 2,000 words. The longer your content, the more value you are going to give your readers. Remember, 100 words of fresh content is better than no new content at all.
#5. Track your analytics: Just publishing content won’t fetch you any result. You need to monitor your content regularly using Google Analytics. If your site has a high bounce rate, that means that visitors to your site are not staying for long, because your page is not providing them with the information they are looking for.
If your bounce rate is high, that means your page is not optimized for the appropriate keywords. Pop-ups, slow loading times, unrelated ads or images, and any other ugly design element can push visitors away. SEO-based content is not just about the words on your screen but is about how your visitor sees them.
So, optimize for SEO and use good design, track your analytics to know where you can modify further.
Final thoughts about the most important SEO tips
SEO is not as easy as it sounds. SEO involves in a lot of factors like backlinks, competitor research, keyword research etc.
The key to winning at SEO game is to find what works best and do more of it. Don’t spend your time and energy on implementing all the new stuff that you learn on the go. Focus on one or two steps at a time, implement them and move on.
So what are your thoughts? Did you find the 3 SEO tips mentioned above useful? Share your views 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.”
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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!
5 Ways Blog Optimization Tips for Google Ranking Success in 2019
On-page SEO for your blog articles should be a top priority. You have most likely read plenty of articles on the subject. If you are a new blogger, you probably have a domain, WordPress hosting service, a long list of potential topics and categories to write about, but what about blog optimization? This is a common misstep for new bloggers.
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If you are still wondering what the true anatomy of an optimized blog is, we are here to help. Meta-tags, keywords, image Alt Text, and the list goes on. What is the real goal of on-page SEO? Better Google rankings! And better Google rankings means more eyes on your content, since you will be ranking high on Google SERPs.
Having exceptional on-page SEO is vital to the growth and success of your business. This means bending to the hand of the almighty Google. Why? Google handles two trillion searches per year.
Let’s take a deeper look at five ways to optimize your blog for Google ranking success in 2019!
- Start with Optimizing Keywords
Whether you write for your own blog, or have an editor, all your content should revolve around unique keywords. Normally, bloggers will be given a keyword to include in their highly authoritative, actionable content in various places. You can see a perfect example here, as the article is written in a way to not only focuses on the keywords and search phrases in the title, but the content within the article breaks down even further into each of these data points and subtitles as well.
Having that keyword allows you to begin formatting your title, subheadings and text. But keyword development doesn’t necessarily end there.
You should also identify two to three supporting keywords that will be used throughout the post, in subheadings, and even in your title. You can use tools like Infinite Suggest to maximize keyword research. You can also find other supporting keyword ideas using Moz, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMrush.
- Do Your Due Diligence During Keyword Research
There is a bit more that goes into choosing two or three supporting keywords. You don’t want to blindly pick one. The goal is to find keywords with a fair amount of search volume, low difficulty, and high opportunity.
From the keyword tool, make a list of supporting keywords, let’s say you choose “on page SEO tactics” as a supporting keyword, but the monthly search volume seems low. What to do? Check another platform like MOZ or SEMrush to get a second keyword opinion. Remember, you want to choose keywords that your audience is actually searching for.
- Make a List of LSI Keywords
You may be asking yourself, “What are LSI keywords?” LSI keywords, better known as “long-tail” keywords, are actually becoming more important for search engines like Google. They may also help you avoid Problematic Google penalties. How do you find LSI keywords? It’s actually simpler than you may think.
Open up Google and search for your main keyword, and then scroll to the bottom of the page where you’ll find a nice variety of LSI keywords waiting for you. After, check the long-tail keywords you want to use in a keyword tool. It is best practice to use two or three LSI Keywords in a blog article for max value.
- Always Put Keywords in Your Blog SEO Titles
Identifying and qualifying your keywords is quite often the most difficult part of on-page SEO for blog posts. However, once you have them, things begin to fall into place for SERP results you will be happy with. How do you use them though?
Placing keywords in your SEO title is also important. It essentially tells Google that you want to rank for this or that. If “Blogger Tips” is your keyword, you’ll want to include it in the title as close to the beginning of the title as possible.
It is important to note that you want your title to still sound natural, so don’t force it. Be natural, but always think Google page one. The closer your keyword is to the front, the more weight it carries with search engines.
- Put Your Keywords in Headings Correctly
This is a common mistake many bloggers make. Sure, crafting delightful content that is worthy of the New Yorker is dreamy. However, Google ranking algorithms don’t only look at content. You essentially want to tell search engines, and your audience, where the shifts in the story are, and what each section is about.
Using appropriate header tags can make this happen. Most content management systems will automatically place an h1 tag for your post’s SEO title. WordPress does this nicely! If you are writing for a client, you may only be formatting your blog article for on-page SEO via Google Docs or Word. In this is the case, you want to ensure each heading is tagged correctly, like:
- h1 tag for SEO titles
- h2 tag for subheadings
- h3 tags for supporting subheadings
In Conclusion . . .
There are certainly a ton of blog optimization tips out there for you to dig up and use for maximum rankings on Google. However, the above five tips are among the most important. From keywords to placing keywords strategically, grow your blog by getting the most out of each post. Do you have a blogging SEO tip? We want to hear from you.
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