Let me ask you a simple question before talking about the most important SEO tips to follow in 2017.
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.
How to Create More Clickable Google Search Snippets
Google search results are becoming ridiculously competitive. Plus, Google’s search results are becoming incredibly engaging: Many search users prefer to use search results (open “People Also Ask” results, clicks image and video carousels, etc.) that getting a click from search results is getting harder and harder.
With the introduction of new and flashier ways to be seen, you still have to learn how to creatively and dynamically exploit those offered tools. Being seen with so many others attempting the same technique is just as hard as it was when visibility relied only on ranking.
How to get more people click your search listing in SERPs? Here are three really effective ways:
1. Monitor Your Click-Through
The first step to improving your search snippet visibility is to set up monitoring of how your pages are performing right now and get alerted if anything changes.
Finteza is an advanced analytics platform allowing you to keep a close eye on your site performance in search and all the various channels.
To monitor your click-through from organic search:
- Register an account at Finteza
- Add their tracking code to your site and give it some time to accumulate some data
- Click “Sources” and there choose “Search”
- Go to “Pages” to see how your top landing pages are performing in search:
This gives you bird’s eye view on your site organic performance in organic search. It’s a great way to analyze and evaluate your old content. Using Finteza, you can also set up a retargeting campaign to target those search referrals better if they choose to return to your site.
Repeat steps above at least weekly to see if any of those pages start losing clicks from search: These might need some work. Here’s exactly what you may want to do:
2. Use Semantic Analysis
Google uses a variety of analysis methods to identify high-quality content that meets their users’ needs. One of the key components of Google’s content evaluation process is semantic analysis.
Basically speaking, semantic analysis is about clustering your key topic into subtopics and concepts that constitute it. To give a quick example, if we were to apply semantic analysis to [hiking], we’d come up with a variety of underlying concepts including, National Parks, Mountains, picturesque trails, being outdoors, and even birdwatching.
All of those concepts relate to hiking in some way or another.
Broadly speaking, semantic analysis helps machines understand natural language – the way that humans communicate – including context, goals, etc.
When it comes to search optimization, semantic SEO helps:
- Create more indepth and richer content that meets Google’s expectations
- Optimize for intent (what’s the end goal behind each search)
- Give Google enough context for them to create a more clickable search snippet for your listing.
Another example of semantic analysis in action is Google’s results for [where it was filmed]. While the query is seemingly absolutely generic, Google is able to understand this question relates to the movie “It”.
Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis tool that goes right to the source, i.e. Google search snippets. For each query you type, it would collect Google’s search snippets and apply semantic analysis to them to come up with the list of underlying concepts:
[TextOptimizer’s results for [where it was filmed] – as you can see the tool got the actual context of the query and clustered it into related topics]
Including 20-25 of these concepts into your content will help Google better understand your text, and create richer more clickable search snippets. Here’s a more detailed review of the site I did previously.
3. Optimize for Rich Snippets
Rich snippets have become the new keywords. These little details are what causes your listing to “pop” in a search, catching the eye of the user no matter what place on the first page you occupy. Proper use of rich snippets are a requirement for being seen.
“Rich snippets” are search results providing the user with more answers right within SERPs. To qualify for rich snippets your web page should have rich markup:
Here are the supported types of rich snippets:
If you have reviewed a tool or a product, use Aggregate Rating structured data for your search snippet to look like this. This will populate stars in search that definitely draw an eye!
Recipes will have some nutritional and preparation information, like how long it takes to cook and how many calories are in each serving.
Events will show dates and times for each event for quick reference. Every event name is linked in search results giving you more clickable links in search.
There’s a number of structure data types that allow you to add more details to your brand knowledge graph (NOT for local businesses though).
These include: Official social media accounts, logo, and the corporate contact:
Movies and Books
Movies and books will also show off a ranking system, and some product pages have a star rating alongside price.
HowTo markup will help Google to locate more information from your tutorial, for example, number of steps, time to complete, etc.:
HowTo Schema shouldb’t be used for recipes though. Other than that there are no official restrictions to certain types of tutorials that can have it.
One word of caution here: Only use structured data when it absolutely makes sense. Google frowns upon using Schema just for the sake if rich snippets. If it is not an actual review, don’t use the ratings markup, as it could backfire. Google actually sends manual penalties for a structured abuse, so read the documentation properly to make sure you follow all the rules!
Optimizing for rich snippets relies heavily on whichever website builder and/or CMS you are using. For most of them there are lots of plugins and addons allowing to quickly integrate structured markup.
The above tips will hopefully help you generate more clicks from your current organic positions without having to invest in improving it. See it as a low-hanging fruit opportunity to improving your traffic!
Do you have a tip for optimizing search snippets? Let us know in the comments!
Top the Charts! 5 Must-Know SEO Solutions to Promote Your Managed IT Service
According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s 3.5 billion searches a day.
When someone searches for your managed IT service, you have the opportunity to attract them straight towards your website.
All you need is search engine optimization or SEO!
Here are five SEO solutions that can help drive traffic to your website. With these techniques, you can attract new customers and grow your business!
Let’s get optimizing.
1. Topics & Keywords
An effective SEO strategy starts with a list of keywords. These keywords reflect the content your customers are searching for online. Using these keywords, you can create content that matches their search intent.
To start, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. These tools will show you the popularity of each keyword.
Once you have this list, you can create pillars and clusters. Pillars give your website visitors the main page of collective content. Then, the clusters break this content into sub-topics with specified information.
This strategy can help boost your SEO plan and attract people to your Managed IT Services.
That way, you’re attracting new website visitors while providing them with an easy, efficient user experience, too.
2. On-Site SEO
Your website needs optimization as a whole as well as on a page-based level. To start, make sure your website’s content hierarchy is well-structured.
Then, there are a number of areas that require review to ensure these SEO solutions work.
Once you’ve studied your target audience to determine your keywords, you also need:
- Descriptive URLs
- Keyword-optimized page titles
- Compelling meta descriptions
- Content optimization (includes keyword placement in headers, body text, etc.)
- Good user experience
- Structured data markup
- Effective call-to-action language
As part of your overall SEO strategy, on-page SEO is an important component of attracting visitors.
3. Off-Site SEO
An off-site SEO strategy includes local SEO. This strategy helps you attract local customers to your website and business.
To start, make sure your listings are updated with the correct content information.
This includes your Google My Business listing as well.
4. Technical SEO
Technical SEO ensures search engines can find your content. These areas include:
- Website speed
Technical SEO solutions are essential for success. Otherwise, how will customers find your website?
According to Fit Small Business, search is the number one driver of traffic to content sites. In fact, it beats social media by over 300 percent.
Your content should consider customer search intent. That way, you’re giving visitors content that answers their questions. This can include service content, credibility content, and marketing content.
This content should also add value to your business.
Consider writing blog posts or white papers. You can also post videos or add testimonials to your website.
That way, your SEO content shows visitors you’re a valuable resource.
Bring It in: 5 Must-Have SEO Solutions
With these five must-have SEO solutions, you can attract new visitors to your website. The right techniques will then turn these visitors into leads, then leads into paying customers!
That way, your company grows, one SEO strategy at a time.
Check out our latest posts for more effective tips and tricks!
SEO 101: The Essential SEO FAQ for Bloggers
I don’t provide SEO services and I am self-taught – which hardly makes an expert. But I’ve been blogging for a lifetime and for all these years I’ve been reading about and implementing SEO practices – which means I know more than an average blogger.
With that said, I’ve decided to put together this SEO FAQ for those who want to quickly understand the concept without going too indepth:
What is SEO?
Simply put, SEO is about making a website easy for search engines to discover, go through and understand.
- creating content (based on search engine users’ needs),
- making your content “link-worthy” (i.e. attract backlinks),
- using HTML and structured data to make content easier to understand for the machine, etc.
SEO is NOT trying to “fake” any of positive signals search engines use to rank web pages. Search engine friendliness should be authentic and SEO professionals should work together with website owners to achieve that.
Do Bloggers Need to Know SEO?
SEO aims at helping a page rank on top of organic search results, and search engines are known to bring the most qualified leads (people turn to Google when they know what they want).
No traffic source is as effective as search traffic. Unlike driving clicks with ads (PPC), organic search is NOT interrupting user’s surfing the web. Instead, it serves them content exactly when they ask
This makes SEO one of the most important digital marketing channels. It can drive highly targeted traffic and pre-qualified leads to your site on a continuous basis (no need to keep investing in ads)
How Has SEO changed over the years?
SEO is maturing fast and it has been exciting to watch. The biggest driving force behind this evolution is Google that has been working hard on their search algorithm to understand natural language and search intent, as well as penalizing any manipulating tactics.
The result: SEO has become more integrated into other marketing channels. Furthermore, SEO is more about focusing on long-term goals rather than quick traffic gains
If ten years ago SEO was all about creating fake signals (keyword stuffing, link buying, etc.), these days it’s all about creating linkable assets that rank and engage potential customers.
Can SEO Be Handled “At Home”?
WordPress bloggers generally don’t have to worry about getting SEO help. WordPress is pretty well set up and there’s a variety of free plugins to help.
Here’s a detailed guide to get yourself educated: Google SEO: Should it be your only priority?
What is The Most Important SEO Element?
Content… by far! Content is the foundation of any SEO strategy. Content ranks, attracts links, spreads, engages customers and turns them into believers.
Content is not just an article or a blog post. By content I mean any kind of text you put on your site, from a landing page copy to your “About us” page or a product description.
Many businesses jump into digital marketing without willing to invest in content, and this strategy is doomed to failure. Building on-site content should be everyone’s SEO priority.
Text Optimizer is a great tool that helps you create better content by providing you with the mindmap of associated concepts and questions. It uses semantic analysis to process Google’s search snippets and break any keyword into subtopics.
While it’s primarily search intent optimization tool, it’s also helpful for overall content research showing which topics to cover and how to structure your article.
You can read my own Text Optimizer case study here.
What Are the Most Dangerous SEO Myths?
- Keyword density… This is one of the most persistent SEO myths out there. Why I dislike it so much is because it fills the web with trash content. Keyword-density focused strategy spoils the brand image and creates lots of problems which take lots of time to fix.
- On-page SEO alone will get you to #1. There are so many SEO agencies there that are happy to keep “optimizing” your website but rankings won’t come. The reality, you still need outbound tactics to gain backlinks and external visibility (branding) to achieve higher rankings
- SEO is dying… SEO death has been predicted for years now. These days with Google’s new SERPs features that aim at keeping the user using Google, and the fast growth of voice search, SEO is predicted to die soon again
The truth is, SEO is full of ingenuous tools and people. It is evolving together with search engines and it will survive Google’s death one day.
What’s the Best SEO Advice You’ve Received?
There’s a real human being behind each query.
Really if you stop thinking of keywords as “word strings to optimize for” and start seeing them as a real person’s question, SEO becomes much clearer (and more fun).
This mindset helps build more helpful content, optimize for search intent better (why would anyone type this into the search box? What are they willing to do once they find the answer?)
On top of that, by looking at keyword research as something that helps you serve your customer will help you understand your audience better and come up with better products and offers, on a higher-level.
Answer The Public is a nice free tool that turns keyword research into question research helping you to clearer see your readers’ struggles behind their search queries.
On top of that, the tool also mind-maps the retrieved keywords / questions helping you in brainstorming.
Where Does a Blogger Start with SEO?
As stated above, there’s not much a blogger can do to start with SEO except for creating useful original content.
Here’s also a nice clutter-free introduction into SEO: SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization . Here’s a much easier guide but also one that lists the most essential step: 3 Basic Steps to Making Your New Blog SEO-Friendly. Here’s also a helpful writing checklist that will help you handle the basics:
As you may have noticed, I am not listing a ton of tools here as I don’t want this guide to overwhelm the reader. Those mentioned are a good start!
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