How Website Rank 2020 Rank in 30 day 100% Best way Follow
Some of these foundational SEO quick wins may seem obvious. However, don’t skip this section because that’d be like a jet pilot ignoring a pre-flight checklist.
This is the foundation that makes everything else possible.
Let’s start with keeping Google happy.
Day 1: Meet Google’s expectations for a quality website
There’s no doubt about the power Google wields in SEO.
The search engine’s major Penguin and Panda updates have been known to destroy the rankings, traffic and entire business model of some companies by penalizing low-quality sites.
- Create a website for humans, not computers. The goal is to create a great user experience, so that people enjoy visiting your site. Don’t focus on short-term gains like repeating keywords over and over again—publish content that people will want to read, not just to rank in search engines.
- Deliver what you promise. If a user clicks on a search result that promises marathon running tips and ends up on the product page for a running shoe instead, they’re not going to be happy—and they’ll probably go to your competitor instead.
- Use the “uncomfortable explanation” test. For every method you use to market and optimize your website, imagine you had to explain your methods to Google or to a competitor. If you’d be uncomfortable with that, don’t do it.
- Remove and prevent user-generated spam. Even if Google didn’t exist, this would be a good principle. You can use a tool like Akismet to detect and block spam comments on your blog. While every person has their own view on what makes a spam comment, at a minimum, I recommend blocking comments that are unrelated to your blog’s content and that are overly promotional.
For this step, follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to ensure your website is set up to meet basic expectations. At a minimum:
Day 2: Install Google Analytics
It’s tough to know if you’re making progress unless you have useful data. After your website is set up and passes Google’s guidelines, it’s time to install Google Analytics, which gathers all the necessary data about how visitors use your site.
Follow Google’s guide to getting started with Analytics. Depending on your SEO experience, you may need to request a developer or site administrator to help you with this step.
Day 3: Install the Facebook Pixel (even if you have no ad budget)
Install another analytics tool?
Yes, you should do it now.
You might protest that you’re an SEO professional and have no budget or interest in Facebook ads. But even in that case, installing the Facebook Pixel as soon as possible will enable you to start gathering data so you can target ads better in the future.
If your website takes off, you’ll be able to buy more cost-efficient Facebook ads that convert by already having the pixel installed.
Day 4: Get backlink ideas from 3 competitors
If you’re working in a new niche or category, pay particular attention to this step.
With few exceptions, there are probably successful websites online that are competing against you. This is good news because you can reverse-engineer their SEO for your own benefit. Specifically, you can get backlink ideas from your competitors.
This is easy to do with Monitor Backlinks. All you have to do is enter the competitor domains you want to track the backlinks of under the Competitors tab.
Here are two examples of backlink ideas you might get from competitors in different niches.
- Men’s Clothing: You have a new website that sells high-quality formal wear like business suits. You decide to investigate Brooks Brothers as a significant competitor. Right away, you can get a list of interesting backlink ideas. In this case, I found that Brooks Brothers gained a backlink from the Make-A-Wish organization by donating a percentage of their sales.
- CRM Software: In the CRM market, you can get backlink ideas from analyzing competitor Close.io in Monitor Backlinks. In the screenshot below, you can see a backlink from Entrepreneur, where they’ve been listed in a round-up post—that’s a fantastic backlink to gain if you’re in the business software industry.
Day 5: Improve site speed
Your website is smaller than Amazon, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore site speed. If pages take too long to load, frustrated users are unlikely to come back, and your search engine rankings may suffer for it.
Use these tools to find ways to improve site speed quickly:
- Google Tools. Use PageSpeed Insights to evaluate your website and find recommendations for improvement, and Make the Web Fasterfor additional tools and information. Note that many of these resources are built for developers so some technical skills may be needed to put the changes into effect.
- GTmetrix. For fun, I looked up CNN.com with this tool. They received an “F” PageSpeed Score, so don’t be surprised if your website has problems as well. The tool gives recommendations to help you decide what to fix first.
As your website evolves, make sure you carry out speed tests monthly. You may find that some additions—like adding a large number of images—will require a new approach to ensure users receive a fast experience.
Day 6: Publish a link-worthy content asset
Just one link-worthy asset can attract quality links and prospects for months or years to come. Ideally, you want to create an “evergreen” content asset. These types of assets are the bestsellers of the web—they continue to bring traffic to you well after they’re created.
As an example, I published an article on one of my websites in 2015. Several years later, the article continues to receive thousands of visitors per month. In fact, I even had a media interview request about it.
That’s the power of creating link-worthy assets that last.
To develop long-lasting evergreen resources:
1. Create the content. Focus on timeless forms of content that’ll be relevant for a long time to come, such as comprehensive how-to guides and content that answers common questions in depth.
2. Optimize the content from an SEO perspective. Once you have a draft resource, make sure it’ll perform well in the SERPs by optimizing it for SEO and usability. For example, adding a few links to relevant content from your site and links to external content are excellent best practices that I’ve used myself.
In the long term, you want to adopt the philosophy of creating long-term value.
Day 7: Find 3 easy keyword wins
You have a correctly configured website, an understanding of your competitor’s links and some high-quality content. What’s next?
Look for a few easy wins in keyword research, that you can rank for fairly quickly and easily.
Here’s how to do that:
1. Create a list of 3-5 articles found from your competitors’ websites. Use your judgment to select specific articles that are high quality and relate to your niche.
2. Put those URLs into SEMrush. From the left-hand dashboard, select Keyword Analytics and then “Related Keywords.” These are your longtail keywords—a longer keyword phrase rather than just a couple of words. As a rule of thumb, focus on searches with a monthly search volume of at least 500-1,000.
3. Search for those longtail keywords in your browser. Using the MozBar, you can see which of the top search results have a low Domain Authority. Search Engine Journal suggests (and I agree) that websites with a DA 40 or less will be easy to outrank for those keywords.
This research process does take some time and effort, but it’s worth it. If you fall victim to short-term thinking, you may end up with a painful SEO failure.
Week 2: More SEO Quick Wins for Your New Website
In your second week of SEO quick wins, everything you accomplished in the first week will work to supercharge your results.
Day 8: Get your Google backlinks
You probably think of Google as a single website—the Google.com search engine. In fact, Google owns and operates multiple online services, and you can get great backlinks from all of them.
Here’s a quick way to put this technique into action.
Let’s say you published an “ultimate guide”-style evergreen resource on Day 6 last week. Just make a video inspired by that post by highlighting two or three key ideas, upload it to YouTube and enter links back to your website in your YouTube channel and on the video page.
Boom! You’ve just earned a YouTube backlink for your new website.
What if you don’t like to appear directly on camera in videos? There’s an alternative—record your screen and describe what you’re doing (like what we did here), using one of these free screen recording tools.
Day 9: Join 3 relevant social media communities and share your asset
Now you’re going to jump into social media to get traffic. However, there’s a twist.
You need to transform yourself from a pest to a welcome guest so that you receive high-quality website visitors and backlinks.
To make that happen, follow these steps:
2. Search for and join three groups related to your niche. For example, if you sell running shoes, search for groups of marathoners and racers.
3. Comment on 2-5 existing discussions and posts. After you join the group, start by reading a few of the recent posts. Write a comment with a question or comment on your favorite part. This practice helps to establish you in the community.
4. Share a link to your content assets. Now share a link to one of your content assets in the group. Hint: Avoid posting a link to a product page or a sales page. It’s best to share links to useful, targeted content like in-depth articles or videos.
5. Respond to comments. When other people comment on your post, respond to them. Once you become comfortable with this social media promotion process, repeat it on a weekly or monthly basis.
Does this work? Yes!
For over a year, I shared links to new articles I wrote for ProjectManagement.com and ProjectManagementHacks.com in five LinkedIn Groups focused on project management. As a result, the websites received a steady stream of visitors.
Day 10: Promote your website in person
In-person events are one of the best ways to drive highly-qualified visitors to your site. This technique takes more effort to implement, and it may not immediately apply today. But you can still get the ball rolling.
Here’s an example of how you can put this effort into effect:
1. Search for local events related to your niche. If you live in a large city, Meetup or Eventbrite are good places to start. You can also search for events on Google using a search phrase like “[niche] event [your city]” (e.g. “marketing tech event Toronto”).
2. Show up at the event with business cards that have your new URL. Your goal is to start conversations with others in the industry. If the event has a Twitter hashtag, you can write a few tweets promoting your website as long as you tie it back to the event.
3. Publish content about the event the next day. Write a short blog post or publish a video about the event. Once it’s released, email the event organizer to let them know about it. Event organizers love when people share the news about their events, so you have a good chance of earning a backlink and a lot of traffic.
What if you can’t find any niche-related events to attend this week? Either find an event to attend in the future, or move on to the next step and come back to it later.
Day 11: Get local business wins
Is your website a local business like a restaurant, yoga studio, retail store or clinic? Use local business SEO!
Here are some of the ways you can get backlinks and improve your SEO as a local business:
- Set up on Google My Business. Follow these steps to claim your free Google My Business listing.
- Set up on Yelp. It’s one of the web’s most popular destinations to find reviews of local businesses. Take 5-10 minutes to set up your business there. If there’s already a listing in place, make sure the contact information is correct. I’ve seen many businesses that have out-of-date addresses and phone numbers on Yelp—don’t be one of those.
- Look for backlink opportunities in local business directories.The exact options will depend on your area. You can find potential local directories by searching for “[your city] directory” or “[your city] business directory,” and looking for ones that allow you to create a free listing. For example, I found the following Chicago business directories: Chicago Business Directory and the Chicago Illinois Business List.
Day 12: Test your mobile performance
Did you know that 56% of traffic on the web’s most popular sites are mobile?
If your website performs poorly on mobile, you’re likely to have a higher bounce rate and poorer user experience. Those factors will lead to reduced SEO results.
Use Google Mobile-Friendly Test to detect problems and areas for improvement on your website. Among other features, this tool will give you a list of URLs that don’t load correctly so you can determine what to fix.
Day 13: Optimize your images for SEO
We haven’t covered technical SEO much so far, but this is an easy win.
Check your website’s images to see if they work from an SEO perspective. I’ve seen many websites where the images have nondescript file names like “Image1.jpg.” That approach does nothing to help your SEO.
So, let’s focus on the images on your homepage specifically. There are two areas to optimize:
- Image filename. Change the image filename to reflect your company name or product (e.g. instead of “shoes.jpg,” use something like “2018 best running shoes.jpg”). Just keep in mind Google’s recommendations to be helpful and to avoid misleading users.
- Image ALT tag. Repeat the same process on your image’s ALT tags. Assuming you have multiple images on your homepage, use a variety of ALT tags. To continue with the running shoe e-commerce example, you might have “red marathon shoes” and “marathon shoes infographic” as examples.
Day 14: Evaluate your SEO results to date
Congratulations, you’ve arrived at Day 14. You’ve done much work to build and market your website. This is an excellent time to pause and evaluate your results.
Since backlinks are a critical factor in driving SEO results, it makes sense to focus on this SEO measure.
Using Monitor Backlinks, pull up your real-time backlink profile under the Backlinks tab. You’ll see a list of all your backlinks, ordered by most recent.
What do you do with this backlink report?
First, you want to see which URLs on your website are attracting the most links. You’ll want to focus on those pages as you continue to promote your website.
Second, see which quick win efforts are bringing results. Some backlink efforts like Google backlinks should appear fast. Other backlinks—like local business directories—may take longer to appear.
If you want to get all this data for yourself, sign up for a 30-day free trial of Monitor Backlinks here.
There you go!
In just two weeks, you’ve made major progress in getting your new website ranked.
For the next step, depending on your resources and skills, I recommend starting to add more long-term marketing efforts like promoting yourself through networking and creating more valuable content.
Bruce Harpham provides content marketing for software companies so they can get high quality leads. He is also the author of “Project Managers At Work.” His work has appeared on CIO.com, InfoWorld and Profit Guide. His blog includes interviews with leading companies like ClickFunnels, Prosperworks CRM and Megaventory. Related posts:
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- 6 Under-tapped Tactics for Authoritative Legal Backlinks (with Guides and Case Studies) It’s official—your law firm is either online or not in…
How to Rank Your Brand New Website on Google: 23 Easy Tactics to Know
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Search engine optimization is an accumulation of strategies and techniques used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high ranking in search results. An important feature of SEO is making your website intelligible for both users and search engine robots.
SEO helps the engines figure out what a particular page is all about, and how it may be useful for users. In today’s high level of competition, it is imperative to be as high as possible in the search results, and that comes with an efficient SEO strategy. However, many aren’t sure of how to rank a new website on Google.
Let’s have a look at the two types of SEO: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual pages in order to obtain a higher ranking and earn more relevant organic traffic. In this piece, you will find different tips about On-page SEO:
1. Start title tags with your target keyword:
You company/product may be right up on the Google search results page with the appropriate keyword, channeling a huge amount of traffic to your website. On the contrary, a misadvised or inappropriate keyword can make your site’s chance towards prominence more remote than ever.
The title of the article defines its content, and as such, a keyword rich title holds greater weight with Google. In general, the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the more weight it has with search engines. You can see this in action by searching for the competitive keyword in Google.
As you can see, most pages that rank for competitive keywords strategically place them at the beginning of their title tags. Although not mandatory, it’s prudent to do so as it will make your website more relevant to what people search for.
2. Drop Keyword in first 100 words:
The ideal place to start putting keywords in an article is within the first 100 words. There are many to whom these come naturally, but a large number of bloggers prefer a long intro before bothering with a keyword. This is inadvisable because of the obvious reasons that Google wouldn’t find it very relevant in the search results. Here is an example from Positionly (Unamo SEO already):
A keyword “content marketing” was used at the very beginning of the article. Placing a keyword near the beginning of the article ensures that Google has an easier time in understanding the topic and relevance of the article.
3. Use Outbound Links:
Outbound links are the primary source of bringing more attention to your website. There are a lot of people who make the mistake of not including links to other websites/articles.
Outbound links show Google that the article is both valid and informative and both are vital requisites for ranking. Therefore, make sure that if you aren’t doing so, add outbound links to each of your articles. Just make sure that the links are relevant enough to your content and from authentic and high-quality sources.
4. Write click-worthy meta descriptions for each page:
Meta descriptions are one of the most important and visible elements – next to your title tag and URL- that convince people to click through.
If you want traffic on your latest article and efficiently on your website, make sure that the meta descriptions are attractive and informative. They should arouse the viewer’s curiosity within the 150-word limit.
Remember that YOU too click on a particular result after reading it’s meta description. The same mentality extends to your audience. Pay attention to the meta descriptions, and you will naturally see the results.
5. Put your target keyword in the URL:
As keywords are essentially the backbone of on-page SEO, you need to pay a lot of attention to them. There is no reason not to include them in your URLs. The inclusion has its benefits. When you assimilate the targeted keyword into the URL, you are ensuring that Google’s has another reason and way to consider your article as more relevant for a particular phrase.
6. Add keywords to your post strategically:
Strategical keyword placement is critical to a post’s success and net traffic on a website. As search engines continually become more refined, it is not enough just to randomly stuff articles with keywords and hope for relevance in the search results.
Please look how the Content Marketing Institute has optimized one of their blog posts with a relevant keyword – content marketing.
Strategic placement of said keywords is now paramount to your SEO success. Note: Don’t force keywords. Insert them where they make sense.
7. Post Long Content:
Studies have shown that longer content helps to improve ranking on Google. A target of around 2000 words should be set in every article with a minimum of 1000 words at least. This would inevitably result in long-tail traffic which would boost your site’s exposure.
Longer content not only helps in adding more keywords to it, but there is also a natural emphasis on information. The authenticity of a post increases with longer text, which means that Google would recognize it as something more relevant than a shorter and concise text. As search patterns are synonymous with long tail keywords nowadays, a longer text also improves the chances of your article/website to be on a higher ranking than others.
The authenticity of a post increases with longer text, which means that Google would recognize it as something more relevant than a shorter and concise text. As search patterns are synonymous with long tail keywords nowadays, a longer text also improves the chances of your article/website to be on a higher ranking than others.
While writing an article that you want to grasp people’s attention with, you must remember to research well before writing the first word. Make sure that all the relevant information is available to you before you start. Good research results in flair, which results in long and comprehensive writing.
Additionally, grammar should be impeccable. Articles riddled with errors indicate incompetence and carelessness.
The perfect piece is both elaborate and grammatically accurate.
8. Take Advantage of Internal Linking:
Internal linking is critical to decreasing a website’s bounce rate and optimization as it links to the different pages of a domain together. When link juice is spread, the users/viewers stay on the website longer and the site traffic also increases. It improves the navigational experience for the user.
Not to mention that it will also contribute to decreasing the bounce rate of your website.
Bounce rate is measured by how many users visit only one page and then leave the entrance page. Easy and accessible internal linking will naturally decrease this as users will be directed to other relevant articles.
Also, Google bots are designed to emulate user behavioral patterns and evaluate your website. A smart and efficient network of links on the pages help crawlers find regions which are not frequently visited by the users, thus boosting your site’s ranking.
Wikipedia is adept at using internal linking which is evident whenever you visit one of their pages.
They add keyword-rich internal links to every entry.
However, don’t overdo it. I recommend a simpler (and safer) approach; link to 2-4 older posts whenever you publish a new one.
9. Image Optimization:
Ensure that the pictures on your website have file names which include the target keyword. Also, your target keyword should be part of your image’s Alt Text. This will improve optimization for your article and also create a clearer picture for the search engines to the relevancy of your article/page. Images are an important component of any website as they make pages visually attractive as well as informative. Optimizing your images should naturally boost your ranking. Also, your image will get a high rank in Google image search.
10. Target less competitive – longtail keywords:
Long tail keywords are queries that are more specific (and usually longer) than more conventional “head” keywords.
Long tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they focus on a more specific product.
Long tail keywords are more targeted and less competitive than short term keywords. If you have just started your SEO campaign for a brand new website, then I would definitely recommend concentrating on long-tail keywords.
The truth is that you can’t have your new website ranked with a single word keyword. Trying to optimize your new blog to rank for “SEO” is hardly possible.
Take a look at the Google results for this keyword.
As you can see in the above image, Search Engine Land and Wikipedia are ranking for the keyword SEO. There are 51,70,00,000 search results for this single phrase. It’s a huge number.
Should you give up and quit?
Of course not! This is where the long-tail keywords and proper page optimization come into play.
Target long tail versions of the single word keyword “SEO.”
For example, You can target “basic SEO tips for beginners” in your new SEO campaign. This long tail keyword is less competitive than “SEO.”
Have a look:
Two things to remember are to make the keyword as long as possible and to use Google’s keyword planner to find a relevant keyword for future references.
The question of how to improve search engine ranking is very common, but many of us overlook the significance of keywords as a major contributor to traffic and ranking.
11. Use LSI keywords in your body content:
LSI keywords are the synonyms and variations of your main keywords which may be in the form of a phrase or word. Latent semantic indexing(LSI) keywords are part of Google’s algorithm to understand user search habits and give users the best quality content for their search queries.
The question is: How will you find those LSI keywords?
That’s really simple.
Say your main keyword is “on page SEO techniques.”Go to Google and search for your target keyword and scroll down to the “Searches Related to…” area at the bottom of the page:
LSI Graph and Google Trends are tools you may also use for this purpose.
A slow website is not only bad for the end-user, but also for search engine optimization.
Thus, a slow website can cause your site to rank lower in the search engine results. That translates to fewer page views and less ad revenue or customer conversions for you. There are a number of ways to optimize a site for better speed.
First of all, you should upgrade your hosting plan and rethink the plan you started with when you first launched your website.
VPS hosting is probably the option you want to go with. It’s “in the cloud,” meaning it is distributed over multiple computers, sometimes even hundreds. It’s less expensive and more flexible than Dedicated Servers.
Understanding HTTP requests is another way to boost site speed as too many requests invariably slow down a page.
Next, use Photoshop or Gimp to optimize pictures you wish to add to your web page as the larger the images, the slower the site speed. You may change the resolution without wholly sacrificing on picture quality, and this will keep your site interesting as well as smooth.
Plugin clutter significantly slows down site performance by creating too many extra files, thus increasing load time.
It’s best to avoid the use of plugins whenever possible, and though it’s not ideal to get rid of them altogether, there are ways to reduce the overall count.
Regularly review plugins and use alternatives like adding links to your footers whenever possible.
Aside from taking up space, outdated WordPress plugins are often responsible for security vulnerabilities as it’s a third party code package.
So try and minimize on plugins both for speed and security.
Finally, page caching, where web pages store data, allows visitors to access that page more quickly since the database does not have to retrieve each file again.
13. Your website must be mobile friendly:
Mobile-friendly websites should display on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets in a user-friendly way. This implies that when a user pulls the site up on their smartphone, he or she does not have to pinch and zoom in order to read the content and click on links.
This makes it easy to read and easy to use on a smartphone, eliminating any excess effort.
The recommended Google setup is Fluid Responsive Design.
Responsive design describes a website that dynamically resizes to fit the width of the device or browser that it is being displayed on. Responsive design uses a single code base that works across hundreds of devices. Naturally, more mobile friendliness equates to more viewers which means more traffic on your site.
Use the Mobile-Friendly Test tool by Google to see if pages on your site are mobile-friendly or not.
Off-page SEO refers to the techniques that go beyond a website. People associate off-page SEO with link building, however, it is more than that. The different tips related to this are:
14. Build high-quality backlinks only:
Link building is the most important – and the most challenging – SEO strategy. The truth is, without any high-quality backlinks, your website won’t rank for competitive and high traffic keywords.
The websites with the most valuable and relevant backlinks will ultimately rank over the rest. But, the tricky part is how you will get those quality backlinks? Well, today I’m going to show you one of my favorite tactics to get the high-quality backlinks.
15. Broken link building:
Broken link-building tactic is about identifying broken links on websites from your business niche. The main aim is to get the broken link replaced with an active one pointing to your content.
This technique creates a significant opportunity for SEO link building because nobody wants to have broken links on their website.
If you find any broken links on topically related websites, you can immediately contact the website owner and inform him about it. Since you will do him a favor by pointing out a broken link, you can also kindly request a replacement with a link to your relevant resource. Of course, the replacement – your article – must be informative and useful for their audience.
Now, the question is, how to automate the process of finding broken links? You need a tool to do this. In my experience, the best free tool to use for broken link building is Check My Links.
It’s a simple Google Chrome extension. First, you have to install the extension in your Google Chrome browser. Once installed, it will appear as a little checkmark icon beside your address bar. When you click on it, it will immediately start scanning all the links on a particular web page. If a link is broken or dead, it will be highlighted in red, and the error will be shown right beside the text (e.g., “404”).
Let’s say you have a website on “virtual assistance.” Go to Google and search with one of the following search strings.
virtual assistant intitle:resources virtual assistant inurl:resources virtual assistant inurl:useful links virtual assistant + “useful links” virtual assistant + “resources”
You would get similar results like this:
To detect broken links, open all the results one by one and scan each page using Check My Links plugin. Once you find one, write an email to the website owner about the dead link and kindly request to replace it with your active page.
15. Skyscraper technique:
The skyscraper technique is a popular and effective method, introduced by Brian Dean, to improve search rankings and boost the relevance of your website.
It involves three steps:
Find a linkable asset that you can use again and again, an asset which is both informative and awesome. Authenticity is the ‘name of the game’ here.
Then improve on what exists by making the content longer with more relevant keywords.
Finally, reach out to the right people: those who work in your niche and have websites similar to yours. Rather than sending random cold emails, it’s better to reach out to those who actually have a reputation in the business. Linking to their pages will give you a big boost in traffic.
16. Guestographics method:
Another link building technique that uses infographics. With this method, instead of publishing an infographic and begging other people to share it, you’re pushing them to release it on their site in exchange for unique content.
The complete steps are:
Step 1: Post an infographic on your site
Step 2: Find sites that write about your infographic’s topic
Step 3: Show them your infographic
Step 4: Offer them unique content
Step 5: Get your contextual backlinks in return
17. Guest post on relevant blogs
The benefits of guest blogging are clear:
- You land backlinks from authority sites.
- People look up to you as an expert.
- Targeted referral traffic floods to your site.
a. Finding blogs to guest post via Google search strings:
Here are a few search strings:
– write us “your topic.”
– your keyword + “guest post by.”
Say your topic is the virtual assistant. Go to Google and search for “virtual assistant” + “guest post by“
Also, you can use Google reverse image search, utilize Twitter and Google to find more posts, and go to alltop.com which has a complete list of the best blogs on the net.
b. Researching your target bloggers is important when you have to separate the winners from the losers and cozy up to them by engaging them on Twitter/Facebook or via emails.
c. Find a great and appropriate topic to write a guest post about. For example, a meat-related post on a vegan blog site is going to get rejected so it’s important to know what you are dealing with.
d. Have a great pitch ready to persuade bloggers to allow you to write for the guest post for them.
e. The final step is to follow up on any and all comments promptly and comprehensively.
18. Answer on Quora:
Quora is a website where users generate the content entirely. They post questions via threads and other users answer them. It’s basically a yahoo answers type social network that works like an internet forum. Both threads and answers can receive “upvotes” which signify the answer was worthy and popular. The answers with the most upvotes are put at the thread’s top.
Quora is great for:
- Websites that rely on traffic for revenue (Ad publishers, affiliate sites, content publishers).
- Websites that sell information products.
- Websites that sell products (SEO tools, children’s sneakers, coffee grinders).
- Bloggers that want to establish themselves as an authority on their subject matter.
19. Blog commenting:
Commenting on blogs helps to create backlinks, which in turn create traffic for your blog. Most of these links are worthless and thus carry little value, but the process is still helpful. For new blogs, comments – user generated content – will help get a website indexed faster. Commenting helps drive referral traffic to your blog.
However, it is important to post a valuable comment. Regular commenting is the best way to connect with any blogger personally. While it can take the time to create these connections, you will be noticed by the site’s administrator and other co-bloggers which can be profitable in the long run.
20. Link roundups
Link roundups are selected and organized updates from bloggers that link out to their favorite content during a given period. Roundups are mutually beneficial relationships. It’s really hard to curate content as it involves a lot of work. The bloggers creating these roundups are actively seeking content to link to. You can land links in bunches. Over time, you will gain roundup coverage naturally. After you pitch the blogger who curates the roundup, you should connect on social media. That way, they’ll discover your future updates naturally. I’ve gained some backlinks from link roundups.
20. Be active on social media
Although Google doesn’t hold much stock in social media as far as ranking is concerned, you can actually improve your site’s popularity and traffic by being active on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. The more you post links to your blogs on social networks, the higher the chance people will visit your blog, thus increasing traffic.
21. Promote your new blog
Promoting your blogs is important to let people know of its existence and to improve traffic. The more you promote, the better your blog’s relevance is displayed and popularity soars. Before publishing your new piece of content, reach out to an influential blogger in your industry. Once your content is published, share it on social media and mention the people you’ve referenced. Anytime you mention someone, include a link to someone’s article and inform that person by sending an email.
With LinkedIn, you can get in an influential bloggers inbox even if you don’t have their email address. Contact people who have shared similar content to the item you just published and if possible, turn the content into a video to appeal to an entirely different audience.
22. Stay updated with Google’s algorithm
Google updates its search algorithm frequently. For example, on February 23rd, 2016, Google made significant changes to AdWords, removing right-column ads entirely and rolling out 4-ad top blocks on many commercial searches. While this was a paid search update, it had significant implications for CTR for both paid and organic results, especially on competitive keywords.
These kinds of changes must be understood to plan a strategy regarding site ranking.
23. Follow Google’s guidelines
These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative behavior, but Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed here.
It’s not safe to assume that just because a specific deceptive technique isn’t included on this page, Google approves of it.
Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee.
Other useful questions to ask: “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?” Think about what makes your website unique, valuable or engaging. Make your site stand out from others in your field.”
These guidelines are absolute as Google is the most popular and efficient search engine out there. While you use its services, it’s only prudent to follow the guidelines to the letter.
To conclude, web pages may very well be critical to our businesses and recognition, but it’s the keywords and more importantly, the ranking which make us significant or otherwise.
To maintain a name in the industry, it’s important that your website is relevant to the user’s search criteria.
If you are wondering on how to get a brand new website ranked, remember the 23 methods mentioned in this article are essential to that end. To sum it up, what Google deems significant or reliable is what the public accepts.
Anything I missed? Please write it down in the comment section.
1) Implement Title Tags and Meta Tags
Title Tags are an important aspect of search engine optimization as they are the way to convey your marketing skills to your target audience. The wording should flow smoothly while containing important keywords. This is where the search engines and your target audience get a feel for what your website is about. You want to stress all the viral information in this limited area of space. This is your area for free advertising, so take full advantage of this. Put information like company name, and your targeted keywords that you have chosen for this page. Every page on your site should have unique title tags and meta tags.
2) Quality Content
Your content is very useful for the search engines in determining whether or not your website is relevant to your topic. You want quality, keyword rich content. You do not want to stuff your keywords, but place them sporadically throughout you site. Keyword stuffing is a black hat technique that will get you permanently banned from the search engines. Make sure that your content flows smoothly and rolls off the tongue easily. Remember humans, not search engines, have the ultimate decision to purchase your product or service. Write your content first for your audience and then add keywords where it makes sense.
3) Acquire Quality Links
Links are a valuable tool for gaining top search engine rankings. Links (back links) are viewed as a vote from one site to another, so the more links to your site; the more popular the search engines think your site is. Higher quality links from authority websites are weighed more heavily when ranking your site. So you want to acquire links from reputable websites that are popular. You want to get links that are related to your line of work to increase rankings. Make sure all your links are related in one way or another to your website. If not then your site will be penalized in the rankings, which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.
4) Number of Back Links
Recently, Google began to crack down on link farm sites (sites where you buy links) by penalizing them in the search engine rankings. Avoid link farms or buying links from non authority sites as they will only do more harm than good. Remember, it is not the quantity of links you have, but the quality of those links you do have. Make sure your links appear natural, not like they have been paid for. You must have something of quality to offer others so they will link to your site and increase your search engine rankings.
5) Keyword Relevant Domain Name
Before you purchase a domain name you should look for a URL that has relevant keywords to your company. You want to ensure that your domain name has some relevancy to your website. Your sub domains should not be long and full of strange characters and symbols. This will only confuse the search engines and your human visitors. The simple domain that has your keyword specific to your page is great for the search engines and human readers.
6) Use HTML
Search engine spiders have a hard time reading coding other than HTML. To avoid any confusion for the spider have your website written in HTML not Flash. If you are a large, well known company this does not play as big a role, but if you are a small company trying to make a name for yourself ensure that your programmer is using HTML.
7) Ease of Site Navigation
You want a website that is easy to navigate through. The more confusing and broken links to your site, the less likely it is that the spider will fully crawl and index all your pages. You want to submit a sitemap for Google so it can find and index all the pages in your website. Sitemaps are a necessity for websites getting all your pages indexed and included in the search engines.
8) Fresh, new content
Search engines do not want old, outdated content on their search results, so you must make sure to add new content to your site on a consistent basis. Both humans and spiders like to see new content on your website. Make sure to update your content to make sure it is up to date and relevant. You can make simple grammatical changes to your site or add pages, anything counts as new content. If you stop adding new content to your website then your rankings will start to slip and fall way below your desired results. If you see your rankings start to slip then make sure you add new content to your site.
9) Add a Blog to Your Site
A blog is a great tool for keeping visitors up to date to with your site. Blogs help promote your site and give your visitors another way to locate your website. Blogs and your blog posts get indexed in the search engines quite quickly as well. Start a blog about the industry you are in and you can quickly build up your rankings. Blogs are especially useful for adding fresh content to your site. Blog posts are seen as new content, so post in your blog at least once a week to keep your content new. Blog postings do not have to be relevant to your website, but it does help to keep the content somewhat relevant to build up and authority blog.
10) Make Your Website for Humans Not Spiders!
This is probably one of the biggest that is done by newcomers to internet marketing. They write and organize their website for the search engines to achieve high rankings, yet the traffic that comes in does not make a purchase. You want to have a website that is easy to read and comprehend, not a site that is made for the spiders to read. Ultimately, humans who hold the purchasing power view your site. Ensure that your website is easy to read and does not have any misspellings.
Most companies, whether they’re e-commerce or corporate sites, have valuable content that’s useful for users and for their customers. But if that information isn’t making it on the first few pages of Google, it’s likely it’ll go unnoticed.
And if it goes unseen, what’s the point in creating it in the first place? Therefore, you have to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to get your content onto Google’s search page.
If you follow these five steps, your blog content and landing pages will benefit from increased organic search engine rankings. I followed these steps with my website, and in just a few months I doubled my traffic.
These steps are fast and simple — they’re easy to implement and don’t require you to recode your entire website or build it from scratch.
You can’t afford to miss out on these opportunities. Higher rankings on Google will lead to increased traffic, conversions and ultimately, profits that are driven from your website and its design. All it takes is a little bit of dedicated work and elbow grease to get started.
1. Increase Your Site Speed
The most critical step to increase rankings on Google is to optimize site speed. Google takes site speed very seriously — if your page doesn’t load fast enough, more people will be exiting out of it.
And Google doesn’t let these actions slide.
Luckily, there are a number of helpful tools that can help check your website speed. Sites like GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights can give you a more thorough understanding of how fast or how slow your website is loading.
47 percent of users expect a website to load within two seconds. Along these lines, 40 percent of users will leave a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
The faster your site, the better it will rank. And these tools can certainly help get you there.
But why is site speed so important to Google? Because Google wants users to have a good experience. Google wants users to be happy to land on a website, not frustrated that it’s taking longer than a few seconds to load.
And people have no patience. They want instant loading and instant gratification. It’s your job to give that to them.
PageSpeed Insights by Google analyzes your site speed and loading times. It then offers suggestions for how to improve, and which areas need the most improvement. This tool analyzes the time it takes for your page to load above the fold, as well as how fast the entire page loads and uses these numbers to provide you with a score. This tool will help you take your score from average to great.
GTMetrix gives you complete insights into how fast your site loads and what bottlenecks are in place that are causing problems. This tool also analyzes the performance of your site and specific functions. It’s a great tool for getting a well-rounded look at your site and its overall performance.
But outside of these tools, there are some things you can check on your own.
It’s important to take a second to look at your own website and all of its moving parts. Images, for instance, might slow down your loading, so it’s important you take certain measures to fix it before it hurts you.
If you have a lot of images use a CDN network — we use CDN network at DesignRush to ensure that our visually-driven website doesn’t get slowed down.
If you can quick your page speed and loading times, you’ll be one step closer to ranking higher on Google organically.
2. Prioritize Content Quality, Not Content Quantity
Don’t serve up fluff. Period.
It’s better to have less content on your website that has a higher value than a lot of content that doesn’t have much — if any— value.
I overcame this obstacle with my website — DesignRush. At first, my team and I were aiming to do a lot of content. We wanted to push dozens of articles a week on a variety of different topics. The quality of writing was correct, but the content and the quantity just weren’t doing us any favors.
What we found was that by producing less, but more insightful content we were seeing more results, more traffic and more engagement.
So, we made that switch. We went from pumping out content with low word counts and little research, to less content that was more in-depth, well researched and rich.
Even Google Search Quality Senior Analyst Andrey Lipattsev said that content is a major determining factor for Google. So, Google really does care about the content you’re producing. They only want to promote the content that is the most valuable and the most interesting. Does your content qualify?
Help your customers help you. Seek them out and find the content that they want to see. This will ensure that they will seek you out as industry leaders.
If you need some inspiration, use articles like the ones we produce in our insights section. These are more than 3000 words, and they include tons of statistics and research. This kind of content is more engaging for users, and Google can see and evaluate its value much more clearly.
3. Properly Optimize Headers, Sub-headers And Your Overall Content
You’ve probably heard a lot about SEO — you maybe even feel like you’re constantly being hit over the head with this concept so much that if ceases to make any sense anymore. And considering 61 percent of marketers name improving organic SEO search and reach as their number one priority, you’ve likely read everything you can about SEO.
And I’m here to tell you that while SEO is important, and you should invest heavily in optimizing your content for keywords, there are things you can do on your own to improve your rankings without the help of a dedicated agency.
There are certain areas of your content and web pages where SEO consideration matters most. And these are in your headers, sub-headers and subtitles. Your H1s, H2s and subtitles are some of the biggest indicators Google takes into consideration when it comes SEO keywords.
It’s important that in these areas you front load the specific keywords you want to rank for. They should be right at the beginning of each section to ensure that Google is picking up this content and that it’s picking up this content throughout.
That’s also while it’s important that you include multiple H2s throughout your website and the content contained therein.
Just take a look at articles like these from our “Trends” section. In our site, we’ve made it a point to front-load keywords and include H2s throughout that include specific, SEO-driven keywords. This has helped us increase web traffic and rank higher on Google. And in these two examples, you can see a variety of H2s that keep the SEO keywords integrated throughout the piece.
You can switch up how you word your keyword and play with similar keywords — but you must include them throughout the piece to ensure Google is aware of your content and can rank it accordingly.
The best part about this is that it’s easy and free to do! There’s nothing stopping you from flooding your content with keyword-heavy H2s going forward.
You want your titles, headers and sub-headers to have value. SEO keywords give your content that value which Google uses to rank your content on its search page.
4. Make Sure Text Size Is Readable
Text size matters.
I can’t tell you how many sites there are out there that have text that’s too small or too dramatic to read. Whether on desktop or mobile — if your text isn’t easily readable, your audience will get aggravated — like me.
You’re producing content with a purpose. You want people to read it. So it’s important that your content not only acts the part, but it looks the part too.
If you want users to read the content on your website, don’t make it small. If there’s unnecessary content on your website that’s too small to read, just get rid of it. It’s as simple as that.
Small text sizes lead to higher bounce rates.
If users can’t read the blog of your website copy, they’ll just leave. They won’t search more or check other landing pages. They’ll just shut off and click out — what’s keeping them there otherwise?
You could create a visually stunning website design with beautiful motion graphics and gorgeous photography, but if the content alongside it doesn’t offer anything to your audience, there’s nothing keeping them interested.
Making sure you’re utilizing clear, readable text will increase the value of your website. It will lead to more traffic, fewer bounce rates and longer time spent on your site.
All of these factor into Google’s ranking, and can get you from page 10 to page one in no time flat.
5. Ensure Your Web Design Is Responsive
I said at the beginning of this piece that these five steps will get you higher organic rankings on Google quickly and easily. And for the most part, that is true. But this is the one exception to the fast and simple rule.
Because if your website isn’t responsive, that’s going to take some time for developers to fix.
But I repeat this over and over again — you must ensure that your site is responsive.
According to Google, this is what it means for your website to be responsive:
In English? A responsive website design is a website that can be viewed similarly and effectively across all devices — whether it’s being viewed on a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone or a table.
Responsive website designs are vital in a world where people are turning to their mobile devices more and more to check out websites, make purchases and get the information they need to complete a transaction.
If your website isn’t responsive, you’re going to miss out on a massive amount of possible leads and customers. People don’t always have access to a desktop or laptop device, but they will almost always have their cell phone.
A non-responsive website design just doesn’t look good. The content isn’t displayed correctly, images don’t show up and it likely doesn’t load as quickly as it needs to.
When users see this, they are immediately turned off. It makes your website look pathetic and silly. And it makes you as a brand look unprofessional and untrustworthy. And you’d be surprised to know that 17 percent of businesses that have websites don’t have mobile-friendly sites.
Google hates these sites.
In 2017, mobile traffic made up 52.64 percent of global online traffic. This further proves how much people are using their cell phones over their desktop devices. Furthermore, that mobile traffic is expected to rise to 79 percent by the end of 2018.
That means that your website needs to perform exceptionally on mobile devices, or else you’ll be left in the dust.
At DesignRush, we use a responsive website design because we understand the power of mobile and mobile visitors. This has helped us deliver our content to more people on more devices, offering a seamless and exciting user experience across mediums and platforms.
Ranking higher organically on Google doesn’t have to cost you thousands, and it doesn’t have to take you years. There are plenty of simple, quick and easy tasks that you can do to increase your rankings and improve your website.
Making sure your site speed is up to par, your content is rich and valuable, and your headers and sub-headers are optimized are a few quick and easy ways to make your content shine. Making sure images are high-quality and load well, as well as making sure your text is readable and effective are also important factors for Google rankings.
And the biggest and most timely step of all is making sure your website design is responsive. But this one is vital because we are entering an era of mobile-first everything. And if you don’t have a fluid and user-friendly mobile presence, you won’t ever see yourself on Google’s number one search page.
Follow these steps to rank higher on Google and create a more fluid and seamless user experience.
Entrepreneur and founder of DesignRush.com – a digital destination to inspire creativity and the discovery of design and technology trends. Former executive and founder of a global digital agency called Blue Fountain Media, a full-service digital agency focused on growing br
Make sense? Here’s the summary again, then we’ll go into detail.
- Find the phrases for which you almost rank high.
- Find the page in Google search results. Confirm the ranking.
- Next, improve the page by better indicating the relevance for the phrase.
- Check back and see if it worked.
It’s very fast. There is no need to research keyphrases since Analytics will give us the phrase. No need to check competition, because it’s already ranking in Google. That’s why this is the fastest way to increase Google rankings with the smallest possible effort.
The entire process will take you five to ten minutes. Sound good?
1. Take a look at the “Queries” report
First, let’s find the phrases that you’re almost ranking high for. It’s in Google Analytics in this report: Acquisition > Search Console > Queries.
Note: if you aren’t able to access this report, you probably haven’t connected your Search Console account to Google Analytics. There’s a video here that shows how to set this up.
This report shows:
- all the phrases you rank for
- the number of times you’ve appeared in Google (impressions)
- the number of times your pages have been visited from these phrases (clicks)
- how high you rank for the phrase (average position).
The idea is that a page that ranks greater than 10 is high on page two. This assumes that there are 10 organic search listings on page one, which really isn’t the case, but it’s close enough for us to make this work.
In other words, this filtered report asks Google Analytics this question: “What phrases do I rank for on page two?”
Where’s the best place to hide a dead body? Page two of Google. (tweet this)
No one wants to rank on page two, but the good news is, high on page two is almost page one. You’re right below a tipping point. This is low hanging fruit!
3. Sort the report by rankings
Click the column header “Average Position” to sort the report. Actually, you’ll have to click it twice so you can see the 11s at the top.
ProTip! Make an Analytics “Shortcut”
Save your filtered, sorted Queries report as a shortcut. This will make it easier to get to next time. Just click the “Shortcut” link above the report, name it and click OK. Now the report will be available anytime in the left side navigation of Google Analytics.
4. Dig through this list, find phrases and confirm the rankings
You’ll quickly notice that this report shows some strange phrases. Things that seem irrelevant. Don’t worry about them. Every site ranks for unrelated phrases. Just ignore them and keep looking.
This report may also show phrases that include your brand name. Skip past those too. Search engine optimization is about ranking and getting traffic from non-branded phrases.
Ideally, you’ll find some buyer-related keyphrases. Remember, there are two kinds of keywords…
- Question Marks
Phrases entered by people who are researching a problem, without yet knowing how they want to solve it.
Example: “why does cold water hurt my teeth?”
- Dollar Signs
Phrases entered by people who know how they want to solve their problem and are looking for a presumed solution. They are often ready to spend money.
Example: “emergency dentist chicago”
The money (as in, the leads) are in the buyer-related phrases!
Find a few? Great. Let’s move on.
5. Confirm your rankings
Start searching for the phrases in Google to confirm your rankings. Now you’ll notice that the “average position” really isn’t the same as rankings. Sometimes, you’ll see yourself ranking higher than the report suggests. Other times, you won’t see your site at all.
There are a lot of reasons for the discrepancies.
- Your site may have more than one page that ranks for the phrase.
- Your site may rank in image search results.
- Your site may rank differently today than the average ranking across the date range in the report.
- Your search results may be personalized for you based on your location, browsing history, etc.
You can avoid that last issue by doing a few things before you search: logging out of Google, using “private” or “incognito” settings in your browser, using a browser you don’t usually use, using a proxy server to connect to Google or using Google’s Ad Preview tool.
Note: Really, there is no such thing as an entirely neutral search. That’s why A/B testing for Google rankings is impossible. There are actually many versions of Google out there! So don’t worry too much about trying to be anonymous.
Don’t expect the data to be accurate. You’re just looking for clues.
Find a page that ranks for a phrase, but not too high? Great. Let’s keep going!
6. Check to see how the phrase is used on the page
Now we want to see how well the page was optimized for the phrase. Does the phrase appear on the page in the right places? Was the page indicating relevance?
It’s possible that the phrase hardly appeared on the page at all. It’s possible the ranking was completely accidental.
If so, you now have an opportunity to indicate the relevance and improve the rankings with very little effort. Here’s how to check:
While viewing the page, search for the phrase (using control+F or command+F on a Mac) just like you would inside a Word document.
- Does the phrase appear on the page?
- Does it appear all together, or is it broken up?
- Where does it appear? In the title, header and body text?
- How many times is it used in each location?
If the phrase isn’t in the title, header and body text, then this page wasn’t really optimized. The Google rankings were accidental.
Find that the page isn’t well optimized? Great! But first…
Warning: Before you proceed, check to make sure that this page isn’t already ranking for other phrases. It’s possible to indicate the relevance for one phrase and hurt the relevance for another phrase.
To make sure you don’t de-optimize it, go back to your Queries report and look for other phrases the page might rank for. Search for these phrases in Google. Or just enter the page address into SEMrush. This will tell you all the phrases the page ranks for and how high. That’s great data!
If the page already ranks for another phrase, check the volume in the Google Keyword Planner. Is the phrase more popular? Is it a more relevant phrase that may bring more targeted traffic?
If either answer is yes, don’t hurt the relevance for this phrase. Go back to the beginning and start again, or proceed to the next step using the better phrase.
7. Improve the page and indicate the relevance for the phrase
Search engine optimization is all about indicating relevance. We indicate relevance using on-page SEO best practices, which we’ll summarize here.
- Use the keyphrase once in the page title
This is the <title> tag, which appears in the code, but not on the page itself. It does show up in the browser tab and it’s often the clickable link in Google search results. If your site is in WordPress, the titles may be managed within a plugin such as Yoast.Ideally, the target phrase appears at the beginning of the title and words of the phrase are kept together, with no words breaking it up.
- Use the keyphrase once in the header
This is the <h1> tag, which is generally the headline on the page.
- Use the phrase several times in the body text
There is no magic number for keyword frequency, but high ranking pages tend to be long, with 1500 – 2000 words. Remember, Google is a research tool built by library scientists. Google loves text!If your page is 1500 words, it’s likely that four to six instances of the phrase feels natural. If the page is short, don’t try too hard to fluff it up by adding length. But make sure the phrase appears at least once, all together as a “bonded” keyphrase.
ProTip: Use Semantic Keyword Research
Search engines are really more about topics, meaning, and intent, rather than words and phrases. As Google gets smarter, they pay more attention to “semantics” rather than a string of letters.
So smart search optimizers are paying attention to the broader meaning of their pages and indicating relevance by using other, semantic keyword phrases in their content.
To find which words and phrases are semantically linked to the phrase you’re targeting, look for clues at the bottom of a search results page.
Find anything? Ask yourself if it makes sense to work those phrases into your page. If so, work one or two of these into the body text.
8. Improve the quality!
Relevance is all within the context of quality. So here is the ultimate SEO trick…
If you want to increase your Google rankings, your goal is to make the best page on the internet for that topic. Don’t try to trick a robot. Do try to help people find the information they’re looking for.
Look for ways to make the page great. Add detail. Add examples. Add links to other great pages. Add graphics. Add a video. Don’t just add keywords. It’s all about the reader. Make it a better page in any way you can.
9. Wait a few days and check your rankings
How’d we do? Ranking a bit higher? If you don’t see a change within a week, you probably aren’t going to see a change at all.
In my experience, a few small changes can have a big impact on rankings, especially if the page wasn’t well optimized to begin with.
The total time to find a phrase and update the page usually takes less than 10 minutes. And the results are often visible within a few days. Here’s an example of an email I received a week after going through these steps with a client…
Step 1: Lay the Groundwork
This is really more of a pre-step than a first step. You’ll need to have some basics in place before you can hope to rank for any random keyword. These pre-requisites include:
- A strong website – The longer your website has been around, accruing authority and links, the better. It’s also key that your entire site follow SEO best practices – start with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines if you don’t know what that means.
- A network to draw on – In order to rank quickly for a keyword, it’s very useful to have a built-in network to share new content with – a blog following, an audience on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, email contacts you can reach out to for occasional help with a link. If you don’t know what that means, it’s time to start thinking about link building as relationship building.
Don’t rush this stuff in your race for Internet gold. If you don’t do things right the first time, you’ll just have to do them again later.
Step 2: Do Your Initial Keyword Research
You may think you know what keyword you want to target, but fact-check your instincts. Use several keyword tools to get a sense of the search volume for the keyword as well as the competition before you finalize your keyword choice. Your main considerations will include:
- Choosing a keyword with good volume, but not too much volume – In general you don’t want to target a keyword that has low relative search volume if there’s an equivalent term that is much more popular. For example, there are usually over twice as many searches for “blah blah jobs” versus “blah blah careers.” However, don’t always automatically go for the keyword with the highest volume or difficulty; some keywords are simply too competitive and not worth your time. You’re not going to rank for “airline” unless you are, in fact, an airline.
- Choosing a keyword that’s relevant to your business model – You’re more likely to succeed in ranking for a keyword if the term is relevant to your site and your business. You’re also more likely to get some real return on your ranking – remember that rankings in and of themselves aren’t particularly valuable, unless they’re driving worthwhile traffic and leads. For example, a party planning business might target “how to cook for a party” – but “how to cook rice” isn’t really going to be relevant to them or their target audience.
At this stage of the process, you should also make a list of close variations on your primary keyword. These will be helpful in writing and optimizing your content later on.
Step 3: Check Out the Competition
Once you’ve settled on a keyword, do a search for it on Google and a few other search engines to see what your competition is already doing. Pay particular attention to:
- The domains and URLs – How many are exact match domains? Does every URL in the top 10 include the keyword?
- The titles – How do the title tags incorporate the keyword?
- The type of content that’s ranking – Product pages? Blog posts? Videos?
- The types of businesses that are ranking – Are they huge brands? Small businesses? News sites?
- How authoritative those sites are – You can use a plugin to check the age of the sites in the top 10, the size of their link profiles and so on.
You’re looking for ways that you can differentiate yourself. You’ll need to do at least as much as your competitors are doing to beat them. Ideally, you should be doing more, and doing it better.
Step 4: Consider Intent
The more specific the keyword (think long-tail keywords), the easier it is to gauge the searcher’s intent, and the easier it will be to serve up what those searchers are probably looking for. In search marketing, “intent” is our best guess at what the person using the search query really wants. Consider the following keywords and notice how much easier it is to guess the intent from the words alone as you go down the list:
- discount eyeglasses
- discount eyeglasses frames
- discount eyeglasses frames for kids
Ask yourself, what kind of content best serves the keyword? In this case, it would obviously be a selection of kid’s eyeglasses for sale. From the first term, you can’t even tell if the person is looking for eyeglasses or drinking glasses. And even for the second, the person might just be looking for pictures of eyeglasses; there is no clear intent to buy. An e-commerce business is mostly going to be trying to rank for commercial keywords.
Google’s founders have said that the perfect search engine would serve only one result. You want to be that one result that satisfies the searcher’s need so they don’t bounce back to the search results, looking for a better answer.
Step 5: Conceptualize the Content
Next, form a plan for the actual content you’re going to create that will – hopefully – rank for your chosen keyword. There are many paths to ranking for a keyword, including but not limited to:
- An article
- A blog post
- A product page
- An index or directory of links (to other pages on your site or around the web)
- An authoritative guide
- An infographic
- A video
How long will it take to create the content? Who should create it? Will you be doing everything in-house or outsourcing? Do you have all the resources and budget you need? Don’t get defeated: No matter your size or your budget, you have the ability to create a blog post. Content like infographics and videos will require more resources. Sometimes, the best way to answer a search query is with some sort of tool, like a mortgage calculator. If this is the case, you’ll need engineering resources.
Step 6: Execute
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Execute on your plan. Again, you shouldn’t rush any of these steps, but it’s especially important not to rush this one. More and more, search engines are looking for high-quality content that benefits the searcher, not keyword-stuffed spam or pages full of ads that only benefit you. If you’d rather buy traffic than put in the effort it requires to earn “free” organic search traffic, investigate PPC. “SEO isn’t easy” should be your mantra.
Step 7: Optimize for Your Keyword
In reality, steps 6 and 7 should be intertwined. Optimize your content while you’re creating it, rather than applying optimization after the fact. This is where the list of keywords you formulated in step 2 comes in. Leverage those keywords where you can in your content, but not to the point of sounding like a crazy robot. Remember that there are a lot of “invisible” places for keywords, and I’m not talking about using white text on a white background or anything else that violates Google guidelines. I mean stuff like image file names – users won’t see these if they’re not looking for them, but they can increase your keyword rankings.
For a full list of on-page optimization factors, check out SEOmoz’s guide to the “perfect” page. Another good tip is to copy Wikipedia, whose pages tend to have stellar on-page optimization.
Before you hit “publish,” it’s a good idea to quickly double-check your keyword research. It’s possible that your content has evolved during the development and creation phases, and you’ll need to make sure that there’s still alignment between keyword and content.
Step 8: Publish
It’s (finally) time to push your content out into the world. Depending on the type of content it is, you may need to be careful about scheduling this step. This isn’t usually a consideration for evergreen content, but it may be important for content that’s tied to something in the news, an event or a trend. You may also need to coordinate with PR or other interested parties at your company, for example when launching content related to a new product or service.
Step 9: Promote
This step is important and should come immediately after publishing – in fact, for big pieces of content, it’s great if you can do some media outreach before the piece goes live. Make sure you do what you can to get your content in front of as many eyeballs as possible before it even has a chance to rank for the keyword:
- Share your content through your business’s social accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn et al. If you can, do this through your personal accounts too.
- Use social buttons or widgets on your site to promote independent sharing – Make it easy for readers and viewers to keep the chain going. They’re more likely to tweet or share your article if all they have to do is click a button.
- Build links to your content – Whatever the future of PageRank, link building is still a huge part of SEO (even if it is the most annoying part). Check out our blog archive on the topic if you’re looking to learn about link building.
Accruing page views and social shares will help you accrue links, which will help you earn that ranking.
Step 10: Analyze
You’re not quite done yet! The web is a living medium, and it’s never too late to better optimize your content. Check your keyword ranking manually (be sure you’re signed out and not seeing overly personalized results) or with a rank checking tool. Also use your analytics to see what keywords your content is actually ranking for – they might not be the exact ones you initially targeted. If, after a couple of weeks or so, you’re not ranking for the right keywords, you have more work to do. Make sure that your content:
- Is truly optimized
- Is truly high-quality
- Is truly visible
It’s also possible that the keyword you chose is too competitive and you need to scale back your ambition. Try targeting less competitive keywords until you’ve built up more authority.
That’s it! This is the process we follow to rank for hundreds of keywords related to search marketing. Whatever your business niche, you can make the same process work for you. So GET STARTED!