Are you looking for an SEO strategy that will actually increase your traffic?
Are you new to SEO and want to rank #1 on google this upcoming year? Here are 3 SEO strategies that will boost your rankings!
#1: Focus on content
Google has this update called Hummingbird, and with Hummingbird, websites who just have content on everything won’t do as well as sites which focus on one single niche and are super thorough.
You want to be VERY thorough with your SEO content. Poke holes in your content and fill them all up, so then that way people are like, “This is the end all site “that you should end up reading “if you’re interested in dating online.”
#2: Optimize your title tag and your meta description
Have you ever done a Google search, and noticed that every time you do it, there is this link at the top, and then there’s this one sentence with a link at the top is called the title tag.
And the description below is called the meta description.
Now think of it this way, if you search for the phrase online dating, and you don’t see the word online dating in neither the title or the description, are you going to click on the result?
Well if you are, there’s something wrong, because why would you click on a result that isn’t related to what you’re looking for?
In addition to that, have you ever searched for a term like online dating? And have you ever noticed that the word isn’t in the title or description?
That’s because Google tracks who’s clicking on what listing, and they’ve learned that when a keyword is in the listing, that same keyword that you’re searching for, they know you’re way more likely to click through.
So in your title tag and your meta description, make sure you include the keyword. But you can’t just add the keyword, “online dating,” right?
The easiest way and what I would do and I wish it was this simple; I will just put “online dating, online dating, online dating, online dating.”
If I could put it 20 times so people would know that the article is on online dating, I wish I would get more clicks.
But it’s not that simple.
Yes you have to include the keyword in your title and your description, but it has to be appealing. If it doesn’t flow in a sentence, it’s not easy to read, and it’s not appealing or evoking curiosity, no one is gonna click through.
#3: Use Google Search Console
Did you know that Google gives you a tool that teaches you how to rank number one on Google?
Yes I know that sounds ridiculous but it is true, and it’s called Google Search Console.
If you’re not already a user of it, sign up.
It doesn’t cost a dollar. You’re missing out if you’re not using it.
I can’t emphasize that enough. So now that you’re using Google Search Console…give it a few days because it takes some time to populate data. You’ll see a screen that shows Search Analytics and this shows you all the pages on your website that are getting you traffic. But the cool thing about Google Search Console is they also show you which articles are getting impressions.
Take all the keywords you’re getting impressions for and start adding them to your copy.
Now we have an article on Instagram, and it teaches you how to get over 300 targeted Instagram followers per day.
The article is around 10,000 words. When I first wrote that article, it wasn’t 10,000 words, it was roughly 2,500.
I went to Google Search Console, I saw all the people that are searching for terms related to the article, I added them within that article. I made it more thorough and you know what?
My SEO traffic more than tripled to that article. Yes it is that simple. And when I made that change, it didn’t happen right away, but I noticed the results within 50 days. That’s not a long time.
Any time you do a Google search, roughly 30% of the time, you’re going to click on the ads. Seventy plus percent of the time, you’re going to click on the organic free listings, ads on top, organic free listings right underneath, so where would you want to be? Ads cost money and they only get roughly 30% of the traffic.
The organic listings get roughly 70% of the traffic and it doesn’t cost to be there but the problem is it’s not easy to rank organically. Well, you know what, today, I’m going to teach you how to do SEO in a competitive industry when you have no money. The first thing you want to do is start doing roundup posts.
With your website, make sure there’s a blog. If you don’t have a blog, just go to wordpress.com or .org and add a blog to your site. Once you have a blog, go and interview every single expert within your space. I’m in the marketing niche so I can Google things like top marketers, top marketing influencers, top SEOs.
I can create a list of them. It’s easy. There’s so many blogs out there.
Include their face, their image within that blog post and then once it’s released, e-mail them back and ask them to share the content. It’s a great way to get more social shares. When you get more social shares, you get more visitors. The more visitors you get to your website, a portion of them may even link to you. As they link to and you get more social shares, your rankings will climb.
That’s why a lot of people are doing roundup posts, not only because it’s great for the webmaster, the website owner, right, it’s also great for the influencers that you interviewed because it gets them more free press.
Of course, they’re willing to share on all their social profiles like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et cetera. The next thing you can do if you’re trying to get more search traffic is Google SEO book keyword density. They have a free tool. Just put in the URL of all your competitors who rank for a specific keyword that you want to rank for.
You got that keyword?
Let’s say that keyword is SEO. You look for all the websites that rank on page one for SEO, you put in that URL and what it does is it shows you all the key phrases that they’re using on their website and the density.
The more they use a specific phrase, the more it tells Google that that’s what the page is about but you probably already know about keyword density. I’m not telling you to shove your content with tons of keywords over and over again. Instead, what I’m telling you to do is be thorough. What Google likes doing, and you’ll notice this, is the more thorough the page, the more in-depth that they go on a topic, the higher that web page ranks even if they have less backlinks and less social shares than someone else because of course, Google wants to rank the page that provides the most value to the user.
If you look at all the key phrases that people are using who rank on page one and you include some of those keywords within your web page and you’re really thorough and you go more in-depth than everyone else, you’ll notice that over time, your rankings will climb higher.
Now, the last tip that I have for you, and this one’s really simple, is Google whatever key phrase that you want to rank for organically. Let’s say you’re in the hotel space and you want to rank for a term like cheap Las Vegas hotels.
Now, there’s a ton of people bidding on that term in that 30% right?
The top and the bottom are all the paid ads. The middle portion where the majority of the traffic is, those are all the free listings. What you want to do is look at all of their titles for their ads.
See, Google AdWords, which is the paid version, they base the rankings on where you are in the paid rankings based on how much you spend per click going to your website and how appealing your ad is.
The more appealing the ad copy, the more clicks it’ll receive. The same thing goes with organic. You don’t have to pay to be there but the more appealing your title tag, right, your copy that you show Google and your meta description, the more clicks you’re going to get and the more clicks you’re going to get, the higher they’re going to rank you because if you Google cheap Las Vegas hotels and Google notices, right, they rank ten listings on each page that are organic and if they notice that everyone’s clicking on the second listing instead of the first organic listing, what are they going to do?
Well, they’re going to be like, \’93Hey, everyone prefers the second listing. We should place it above the first one. That all comes down to ad copy, right, but with organic listings, there is no ad copy. It’s title tag and meta descriptions.
The more appealing that copy is, the more clicks you’re going to receive. Go into your HTML, ask your webmaster to help you out or just Google how to change your title tag or how to change your meta description and you can just go in there and then, make it more appealing so more people want to click on it.
Now, some quick tips to make your title tag more appealing, consider using the date like the year within your title tag. Update it in 2017 or update it in 2020, whatever the year is.
Also, use adjectives. Adjectives make people want to click. I’ve also learned that using words like now, fast, get, try, free also increased click-through so test some of those words and phrases within your title tag and meta description. You should see that you’re going to get more traffic, more clicks and your rankings will climb even if you’re in a competitive industry and you can’t spend the money that these big corporations are spending.
Best of all, these big companies move slow.
You can move fast. You can get results quicker.
Four pillar SEO strategy that works.
Alright so let’s start with pillar one of my SEO strategy framework. So the first pillar of this SEO strategy is to focus on pleasing your users.
So what does it mean to please your users? It means that users/searchers should have a seamless experience on your website. And just to illustrate how important user experience is for SEO performance here is a quote from John Mueller who is the head webmaster trans-analyst at Google. John said, I see lots and lots of SEO blogs talking about user experience, which I think is a great thing to focus on as well, because that essentially kind of focuses on what we are trying to look at as well.
We want to rank content that is useful for them (Google Search Users) and if your content is really useful for them, then we want to rank it. So the main takeaway here is that Google values user experience. So how do you go about actually improving user experience on your website? And improving your user experience all starts with technical SEO. And there are two parts to technical SEO that you need to understand.
There are high impact technical issues, and there are low impact technical issues. But before I jump in to all of the technical issues that you can fix to improve user experience, I want to tell you a quick story to help illustrate the importance of understanding how to do technical SEO. So back in 2016 a supplement company in St. Louis came to my company because they wanted help with their SEO performance and they were already doing really well, from many different perspectives.
They were doing well with social media, they were doing well off line. They were doing very, very well and the company was growing month to month. But they needed to improve their organic search performance. So as soon as we brought them on as a client, the first thing we did was we ran a complete SEO audit. And because they’re an e commerce website we wanted to make sure that the website was built on a strong foundation before we started building out new content and assets and trying to acquire backlinks.
So we focused purely on the technical side of their website and the user experience side of their website first. So in this audit we uncovered all kinds of stuff including their navigation not being set up correctly and their site architecture not being built well. And then we also found all kinds of issues having to deal with duplicate content.
Thin content and several other technical issues that you’re going to be learning about later on in this video. So then after going through the process of finding all these technical issues and user experience issues, and then fixing all of them, we were able to increase this client’s organic search traffic by 93%. And this was all achieved just by improving the technical performance and the user experience on their website. So now that you know the power of improving the technical performance of your website, we are going to show you the high impact actions you should focus on. So the first action you need to take to improve you website’s technical performance and user experience is to increase your website loading speed. So I don’t know about you but a slow loading website is one of the most painful experiences you can have online.
And the truth is a slow loading website won’t only hurt your organic search performance, but it can actually hurt your business as well. According to HubSpot, a one second delay in website loading speed, can reduce conversions by 7%. Now that’s the bad news, but the good news is that increasing your website loading speed can also have the opposite effect. According to Mozilla Firefox they were able to reduce their average website loading speed by 2.2 seconds which increased their downloads by 15.4% and when you think about it, that’s a massive increase for a website like Firefox that gets a ton of traffic already.
Now there are countless studies showing the importance of website loading speed and it’s effect not only on your organic search traffic performance but also on your business’s performance as well. But I’m not going to bore you with more statistics. If you want you can go and search for all these different studies because there are probably hundreds at this point. But I want to do now is I want to jump into the practical steps you can take to start increasing your website loading speed as soon as possible. So at the very minimum you should aim to get your website loading speed to three seconds or below and not to be captain obvious the lower is better.
And so the first thing you need to do to increase your website loading speed, is to benchmark your current speed. And my favorite tool for benchmarking website loading speed is Pingdom. Here is how you use it. Simply go to tools.pingdom.com and enter your URL. And when we working on a new website we will run the site through Pingdom five to 10 times from different locations, so I can get an average loading speed. This process will look a little bit like this. So as you can see here I have five tests all from different locations which all are showing different website loading speeds at that time and that location. And then what I do is just go ahead and average them all out so I can get a general idea of what the average loading speed is for this particular website.
Because now this will act as a benchmark, so that I know how I’m going to improve on that. It’s important to have benchmarks because it’s going allow you to track your progress as well. So after you get your average website loading speed you now need to start taking the steps to improve it so the question is where do you start? Well, there are countless resources online about how to improve your website loading speed, but there is one thing that is going to determine how fast your website actually loads.
The one thing that’s going to determine how quickly your website loads is your web hosting. Listen you can make all kinds of micro changes to try to improve your website loading speed but nothing is going to have a bigger impact than your actual web host. And so you have tried hundreds of web hosts throughout the years and the only one that You can truly recommend and the one that I personalize use is WP Engine. So now you know the importance of a fast loading website. But now I want to talk about the second big technical SEO action, you need to take. The second high impact technical SEO action you need to take is to make sure that your website is mobile friendly. So I honestly sound like a broken record at this point but it is so incredibly important that your website is mobile friendly. Because the majority of all traffic that is coming to your website at this point more than likely is going to be coming from mobile and there are some exceptions to the rule such as my website which is primarily B2B traffic.
We are going to be getting a lot more desktop traffic but it is not always going to be that way, and it is a safe action to take to make sure that your website is responsive and is friendly on a mobile device. But listen I don’t want you to just take my word for it because I want to give you some real data about this trend that is going on with mobile traffic.
According to Smart Insights mobile digital media time in the U.S. is now significantly higher at 51%, compared to desktop at 42%. So now the question is how do you go about actually making your website mobile friendly and responsive? Well the first step is to see if your website is currently mobile friendly. And so, the best way to accomplish this and to see if your website is currently mobile friendly is to use Google’s own tool for checking mobile friendliness. So you can just open up Google and search mobile friendly test in Google and you can use the embedded tool that they have in the search results, but I prefer using the actual tool that they have provided, and all you need to do is just enter your target URL click run tests to get started, and after the analysis is complete, Google will tell you whether or not your website is mobile friendly.
So what do you do if your website is not mobile friendly? Well, there are a few options. The first option is if you have the capital to invest you can reach out to web design and web development companies in your local area.
So we are not going to get to deep into how to develop a site architecture, because there are tons of great resources out there and I could create an entire video just on that topic alone, but there are three primary objectives that you need to achieve when you are structuring your site architecture. So you need to find a fine balance between structuring your architecture for number one, user experience which means how easy is it for users to go through your website and to flow through your website and is your website forcing them to think in anyway because a good website will feel seamless and the user won’t even have to think as they’re trying to go through the website.
The second thing you need to consider when structuring your architecture is how well it can be crawled by Google spiders because you want Google to be able to crawl your website efficiently so that it can index all the pages on your website, into the search engine. And the third and final objective that you need to achieve on structuring your architecture is building the actual authority, through your architecture. Because if you develop a really great site architecture you’ll be able to spread precious backlink authority through your entire website and even to your most important pages, so that your website will become more authoritative and as your website becomes more authoritative it becomes much easier to rank.
So at this point you understand the three high impact technical SEO and user experience optimization actions that you need to take. But now I want to show you some of the micro technical issues that aren’t going to have a huge impact on your performance, but they’re still very important to fix to make sure that you’ve built a very strong foundation for your SEO campaign.
So the first micro technical issue you need to handle are broken links and 404 errors. So to find broken links all you need to do is use a free tool like brokenlinkcheck.com and once you’re there, juts enter your URL and click find broken links. And lastly, export all of the broken links that this tool finds to whatever type of SEO campaign sheet you’re using so that you can then go through and start fixing all these broken links. And if you’re using WordPress, there is a plug in you can install called broken link checker, which will perform the same function as brokenlinkcheck.com except it’s going to just crawl your website and you’re going to be able to identify what those broken links are, probably at a higher rate than using brokenlinkcheck.com
So keep in mind that broken links and 404 errors do sometimes go hand in hand. But you should be auditing both of them separately because there are certain circumstances where you need to take different actions depending on what you have identified. So the process for when you find broken links is very straight forward. You just go through all of your broken links and you fix all those broken links and you make them not broken anymore. But when it comes to 404 errors, there is kind of a different approach and there is some strategy behind handling 404 errors that appear on your website.
So in most cases, you just want to let a 404 page be a 404 page because it is a signal to Google that you actually want that page to be removed from the index because it no longer exits. But there are sometimes where you do not want certain pages to continue to be 404’s and usually the one circumstance where you do not want a 404 to be pulled out of the index and to just be a 404 page is when that 404 page has backlinks. And when a 404 page has backlinks you have two options, number one, you can redirect that 404 page to a relevant page on your website, which should be your first option and if there isn’t a relevant page on your website, then you just want to take that 404 page and redirect it to the home page so that you can salvage that link equity.
So at this point, how do you actually go about finding 404’s errors? There are many different ways to go about finding them, but my favorite way to find 404 errors is to use Google search consul. So to find 404 errors in Google Search Consul, simply go to the crawl section, click on crawl errors, and then click on the not found tab, and then lastly go ahead and just export, all of these 404 errors. And after you export these results, you’ll want to see if any of these pages have backlinks.
So copy all of URL’s and then open up your favorite backlink analysis tool. For this example, I’ll be using ahrefs. So once you’re inside ahrefs, click on the more option in the navigation and then click on batch analysis. And then once you’re in this section go ahead and enter your URL’s and click start analysis. Then all you have to do is just take note of the URL’s that have backlinks and then decide where you’re going to 301 redirect them on your website. And as I mentioned before it is a good idea to try to find a relevant page on your website to redirect that 404 page before just sending it to the home page.
So the next micro technical issue that you want to tackle are going to be redirects. So there are two types of redirects that cause problems. Number one, 302 redirects. And number two, redirect chains. Let me start with 302 redirects. So the main reason why you want to fix 302 redirects is because of the small possibility that they do not pass link equity. The reason is because of what John Mueller said back in 2016 about 302 redirects. Back in 2016 John Mueller said it’s incorrect that 302 redirects wouldn’t pass page rank.
That’s a myth. So now although John Mueller is probably telling the truth it’s still a good idea to take the tried and tested approach which is to use a 301 redirect because you know for sure that a 301 redirect is going to pass link equity and it’s going to pass page rank to the site that you are redirecting to. So then the question is, how do you find 302 redirects? In my experience, the absolute best way to find 302 redirects is to use Screaming Frog SEO Spider So I’m inside Screaming Frog SEO Spider And all you need to do now to find 302 redirects is just enter your domain and then start the analysis and then you’re going to click on the response codes tab and then click the filter and then select redirection and then after that just go ahead and export the results.
So then all you need to do now if you have 302 redirect is you just need to go through the process of changing all of those 302 redirects to 301 redirects. And of course the one exception to this rule is if you are using the 302 redirect for its actual purpose which is as a temporary redirect but in most cases you’re probably not gonna be using three or two redirects on purpose. So now, I want to show you how to find redirects chains.
And so the question is what the heck is a redirect chain? So bear with me as I go through this explanation but a redirect chain occurs when you have a redirect redirecting to a redirect. And the reason why this needs to be fixed is because you could be missing out on precious link equity as a result of the unnecessary redirect. So the way to fix this issue is to simply redirect the other page to the live page. That way the link equity will now flow directly to the live page instead of through a buffer.
So now how do you actually go about finding redirect chains. Well, the best way to go about finding them is to use Screaming Frog SEO Spider once again. Alright so I’m back inside Screaming Frog SEO Spider, and all you need to do is enter your domain and start the analysis, and once the analysis is complete click on reports, and then click on redirect chains, and then you have access to all of the redirect chains that your website currently has.
So then all you have to do is just go through and start fixing all these existing redirect chains, that your website has so you can start recapturing that precious link equity directly to the page that is currently alive. So now that you understand how to and fix redirects I now want to show you the final two micro technical issues that you need to tackle. And these two issues are most common with e commerce websites.