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Pages on the internet don’t last forever.
Some disappear overnight without warning. Other times, servers go down, or maybe you’re simply curious what your website or someone else’s looked like ten years ago.
So how do you re-access this information?
You need a web cache viewer.
It’s a tool that helps you recover backups or snapshots of websites.
In this guide, we’ll go through some of the best web cache viewer tools to help you turn back time to find missing information or even spy on your competitors.
A web cache viewer lets you see the older version or snapshot of any website, called a cache page. A cached page is a snapshot of the raw HTML and content of a page.
For example, when Google indexes your website, it takes a screenshot of what it looks like at the time and indexes it.
There are several tools to view an archived page, such as Google’s cache feature on search results and websites like the Wayback Machine dedicated to saving the internet’s history.
A web cache viewer is a valuable tool to have in your back pocket. Here are a few times you might want to use this handy tool.
Need to get information from a page with a pesky 404 error? A web cache viewer can help you see the last archived version before it went offline.
If a website went through a major makeover, you could use the cached version to revert the site to what it used to look like. This is particularly helpful for doing competitor analysis. For example, if a competitor suddenly overtook your site in the search results, you can look at older versions of their site to see what they changed.
Not seeing the SEO results you want? Did you know page caching can improve your site speed by reducing server load time by up to 80 percent? Viewing the cached version shows you what Google sees when it crawls your page. If your website is not cached, it can increase your page load times and drastically affect your bounce rate.
If the web page is slow or unresponsive, you can use the cached version to see a snapshot of the site the last time Google indexed the page. Although a cached page won’t always have up-to-date information, it can help you save time.
It’s helpful to know when the last time Google bots successfully visited your page, especially if you’re making changes to your site.
By viewing the cached version, you can see if a page is unresponsive, how it is being cached, and if there is anything you need to un-do.
While viewing cached versions sounds like an admin nightmare, several tools make the process easy, simple, and fast.
Not using Chrome extensions? You’re missing out.
Google’s Chrome extensions are programs you can install to your browser to change its functionality.
For example, you can add extensions that:
The Web Cache Viewer Chrome extension makes it easy for you to view a snapshot of the page you’re visiting. This is useful if you come across a 404 error and want to revert to the older version to see the information.
The Web Cache Viewer extension will:
Which option should you use? The Wayback Machine or Google Cache?
It comes down to what result you want from the tool.
For example, if you want to check Google is caching your site, or you need to view the last cached page of a site, Google Cache is the best option for you.
However, if you want to turn back the wheels of time and dig through a website’s past, you’ll want to use the Wayback Machine.
Got five minutes? That’s all you need to set up the extension and start using its caching functionalities.
Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1: Install the Web Cache Viewer onto your Chrome and activate the extension.
Step 2: Go to the target URL of your choice, right-click on the page, and scroll down to “View Cached Version.”
Step 3: Select either the Google Cache or Wayback Machine option.
After choosing, the extension will show you the Wayback Machine URL for the page or show you the last Google cached version.
Each time Google crawls a web page, it creates a backup, which becomes part of Google’s cache.
Step 1: Do a Google search on your computer for the page you want to find.
Step 2: When the search results load, click on the down arrow next to the site’s URL and select “Cached.”
Step 3: The cached version of the page will load. You can view the “Full Version,” “Text-Only Version,” or “View Source.”
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to navigate to other pages on the site. If you do, it will take you to the live version. You can also access the live page by clicking on the “Current Page” link at the top of the page.
Struggling to find the page you want via search results? If you have the Chrome browser, you can use the address bar to get the cached version of any URL.
Step 1: Open the Chrome browser.
Step 2: Type “cache” in the address bar followed by the URL. For example, “cache:https://neilpatel.com”
Step 3: The cached version will load, and you’ll have the same three version formats to choose from with the Google search method.
Wish you could travel back in time? Well, you can with Archive.Today.
The website is a time capsule for the internet. It takes a snapshot of a page and stores it forever, even if the original disappears.
The site saves text and graphics and will give you a link to the unalterable record of the web page.
The only catch?
You need to manually submit web pages and can only view entries that have previously been saved.
Step 1: Go to Archive.Today and scroll down to “I want to search the archive for saved snapshots.”
Step 2: Enter the URL you want to search.
Step 3: A new page will load, and you’ll see snapshots listed from oldest to newest. Click on the one you want to view.
A secure, non-editable version of the page will load. You have the option to download the zip file, share the link, and view the webpage or screenshot.
The Internet Archives runs the Wayback Machine. It’s a non-profit building a digital library of the internet’s history.
You can explore more than 553 billion cached web pages, and the site hosts an archive of text, video, audio, software, and images.
Step 1: Go to Archive.org and enter the URL or keyword you want to view in the Wayback Machine search bar.
Step 2: A search results page will load. Click on the URL of the page you want to view.
Step 3: Use the calendar at the top of the page to see what the website looked like during a specific time period.
For example, if you search neilpatel.com, you can see what my blog was like in 2013!
Don’t want to log onto the Wayback Machine every time you want to view a cached page? Download the Chrome extension.
If your site is not on the Wayback Machine, you can manually submit your URL, and it will automatically create a snapshot for you. This is useful if you want to track how your site evolves through the years.
Cachedpage.co is a website that consolidates a few of the tools I’ve mentioned already.
Once you type the URL of the page you want to view, you have three options to choose from:
Select the one you want to use, and Cached Page will redirect you to those respective sites.
It doesn’t do any caching itself, so this site is only useful if you want to save time hopping between caching tools.
As you can see, a web cache viewer is an important SEO and marketing tool to have in your online arsenal.
It can quickly help you find information removed from the internet, see how your site has changed over the years, and tell you if Google isn’t indexing your site correctly.
While there are many tools available, remember to keep intent in mind. Do you only want to view the last cached version of a page, or do you need to go further back into time?
Your answer will help you find the right solution to your caching problem.
What’s your favorite web cache viewer tool, and how to use it?
It doesn’t matter if you run a tiny mom-and-pop shop or a mega-billion dollar corporation; content marketing works.
Just look at the way the content marketing industry has exploded in recent years.
In this article, I’m not just going to sing the praises of content marketing. Instead, I’m going to take a deep dive into something that most people don’t talk about: a tiny slice of content marketing called H1 tags.
Truth be told, most SEOs, content marketers, web developers, and marketers know a little bit about H1s. That can be a problem though; we’re so used to hearing about H1s, using H1s, and talking about H1s, that we don’t stop and think about how to write them in a way that appeals to users and search engines.
You’re different though. You’re reading this article, and are going to learn the exact method for producing great H1s that will take your content marketing to the next level.
The H1 is an HTML tag that indicates a heading on a website.
Let me unpack that.
If you were to create an H1 in HTML, it would look like this:
<h1> Hi, My Name is Header One! </h1>
You can take a look at this yourself. Open up any web page (preferably a good quality blog) and follow these instructions.
First, make sure you’re on a web page.
Next, view the source code.
To do this, I use a keyboard shortcut for Chrome (Mac): command + Option + u (do not press the plus sign, you just hold command, option, and u at the same time).
The commands you use to open source code will vary depending on the browser and processor you use.
You can also click View → Developer → View Source (in Chrome):
This is what you’ll see when you view the source code:
Next, search for the h1 tag.
Press CTRL + F to open the search feature on your browser. Again, I’m using Chrome, but most browsers use this function.
When I press CTRL + F, I see a small search bar in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
Then, press Enter.
Chrome highlights the h1 on this page.
There’s a bit of intervening code between the start tag and the end tag, but the tag is there.
The copy within the h1 tag is “How to Keep Your Facebook Group Active and Engaged.”
That’s it. It seems pretty simple, but the h1 has a big impact, as you’ll find out in the next section.
First, I’ll tell you a story. A little while back, business was humming along as usual. I was doing my thing, running my blog, and writing my articles.
My blog traffic had been pretty good overall, but I decided to get another set of eyeballs on it to help identify improvements. One of these improvements was to update an H1 on one of my articles. Within three days, the page had 85% more organic traffic. Plus, it had gone from page 3 of the SERPs to page 1, position eight!
All because I changed the H1.
I’m not the only one who’s experienced such a dramatic change. In fact, my bump in search traffic is nothing compared to a local car parts store in Houston, TX, who changed their page titles and H1s. The result?
I don’t want to sound like a snake-oil salesman with a bunch of anecdotes, so let me give you the cold, hard facts about h1s and SEO.
H1s have always been a major ranking factor.
There have been plenty of trends in SEO that have come and gone, but H1s have never lost their significance.
In Moz’s most recent search ranking factors survey, title tags are listed as the second most important ranking factor. Although it’s not always the case, many use the same title tag. and H1.
H1s are usually the most visually notable content on the page and are probably the most important SEO feature.
And at first, it might not seem like H1s are an “SEO” feature at all, because it’s more about the user than about the technical optimization of the page, right?
Right! That’s the direction that SEO has taken in recent years. SEO is more about user optimization than it is about search engine optimization.
Don’t skip over this idea of users noticing the H1. It matters.
H1s are one of the most potent on-page SEO and UX elements that you have in your arsenal.
Now, let’s figure out how to use them.
H1s aren’t a big secret. The fact is, just about anyone who knows anything about SEO or HTML uses them.
So why did I even write this article? It’s because most people use them incorrectly.
Until recently, even I didn’t realize just how wrong I had been when I was writing H1s. After turning the corner and making a discovery, my knowledge of H1s hit the roof, and my website traffic changed as a result.
Here are the rules of H1 creation.
Every page needs only one H1 tag. There is no reason to use more than a single H1 tag.
Why not? If one is good, wouldn’t two or sixteen be even better?
Search engines will crawl multiple H1s on a page, sure, but the logical priority of an H1 semantic tag means that you’re focusing your SEO efforts on one keyword phrase or sentence, as opposed to many.
The presence of more than one H1 won’t necessarily confuse the search engine, but it could dilute the SEO power of a single H1.
Google may also consider your page over-optimized if you use more than one H1, and may penalize you as a result.
At the most basic level, the H1 should describe what the content is all about.
If your H1 is too short, you’re wasting valuable space; if it’s too long, you’re diluting the power of the tag.
However, if you’re using the same H1 and title tag for a page, you should pay more attention. Best practices say titles should be between 40 to 60 characters so you can fit in the most keywords. However, when you start to reach the 50-60 keyword range, your click-through rate can start to decrease. As a result, try to stick to the 30-40 character range.
Your H1 should be the most important visual element on the page.
Why is this important?
Keep in mind that an H1 is a semantic element, not a visual element, and it’s important to keep this distinction. Web designers don’t need to add style elements by using semantic tags such as the H1, H2, etc.
However, in the real world, style and semantic elements do mix. Following design and development best practice mean the most significant semantic tags are also the most important visual elements.
Size matters in web design, and semantic tags matter in web development. Conjoining them in SEO makes sense.
For a good example of this formatting, check out the blog at Smart Passive Income. Pat Flynn’s H1 is definitely strong.
When I check out the source code, this is what I see:
Here’s another good example from Ramit Sethi.
Can you guess what his H1 is?
The H1 is “Do you know your earning potential.”
SEO changed massively over the past few years. The biggest change by far has been the influence of user experience (or UX) on SEO.
The best way to consider SEO and UX is with this Venn diagram (to access link, you must download a chrome extension).
That diagram was published in 2012.
Nearly a decade later, the SEO circle would be a smaller circle within an even bigger Design & Usability circle.
Part of the reason for this is search engines have evolved to such a high degree they can intuit what users want, even as users are searching and browsing.
Keep in mind that due to machine learning, search engines are constantly changing. There are no longer massive SERP upsets due to algorithm shifts.
Instead, there is the continual nuanced adjustment of search ranking factors based on the search and browsing habits of the search engine’s millions of users. In other words, how users interact with your page has a lot to do with how your page will rank; and the H1 is one of the most important elements on your page that influences their interaction.
This is because it’s noticeable. It sends a message. It communicates a sentiment. It makes a promise.
Your H1 should speak to the user in an overt way. It should be formatted and placed carefully so your user understands that it is the title of the page, and explains what the page is about.
Believe it or not, some SEOs used to not recommend using keywords in your H1s. They thought it could be considered keyword stuffing, which Google penalized a long time ago.
Luckily, there’s nothing keyword-stuffing at all about using a keyword in an H1. On the contrary, Google wants you to use a keyword in the H1. It helps their crawlers better understand what your page is all about.
If you don’t use a strong keyword in your H1 tag, then Google can still find out what the page is about, index it appropriately, and give you a nice rank. Why leave out the opportunity to give Google all of the information it needs and wants right in your website source code, though?
It’s better to use a keyword; sometimes a long-tail keyword specifically.
Let me show you a clear example of how this works using a simple keyword, “bandit testing.”
Even though this keyword is not technically long tail, it works well for our purposes, because it’s clear, concise, noticeable, and easy to use in an H1 tag.
This is a page from the Crazy Egg blog.
The article is about bandit testing.
The most noticeable visual element on the page is “Glossary: Bandit Testing.” That’s also the h1.
Here are the facts about this page:
Their rank at the time this page was originally published (it has subsequently been updated)? Google page 1, position five! That position was earned only two weeks after publishing the article.
This article takes a more long-tail approach. The keyword in this scenario is “Facebook Video Ad Hacks.”
That keyword is included in the blog title, and it is also the H1 tag.
Just two weeks after publishing, the article was on page one, position 5 of Google.
To summarize: yes, I’m recommending that you use a long-tail keyword in your H1 tag.
Follow a few simple rules though:
The phrase “user intent” seems to confuse some people, but it’s really quite simple.
Whenever you write a piece of content, you want to be asking questions like:
What does the user want when they open my article?
What’s their intent?
Your H1 should satisfy that intent.
If someone is googling “risky SEO tactics,” I can probably assume that they are looking for some quick search engine optimization techniques that will boost their rankings.
If I were to write an article on that topic (oh wait, I did!) then I want to answer their intent with my H1.
Here’s how the journey of intent works.
First, the user gets an idea. Then, they search Google for it.
They see this promising result in the SERP.
If they click it, they see my blog article on the topic.
My goal with that H1 tag is to promise them what they came looking for: some straightforward but risky SEO tactics that could boost their traffic.
This is how Marc Purtell explains it in SEJ:
In order to have some great, Hummingbird-optimized h1 tags, try to understand what a user may be asking when they are searching for a keyword the page is targeting and format that question on the page with h1 tags.
Let me summarize the rules for creating amazing h1s.
As a bonus, I want to give you an actionable way to put these lessons into practice. I’m going to give you a homework assignment that may boost your organic traffic by 50%. Most can carry out this task in a few days.
I see a lot of people waste a lot of time doing “content audits” on their websites. I’m not against content audits; but instead of doing a full-fledged content audit on your website, I suggest that you do an H1 tag audit first.
H1 audits are quick and easy and have the potential to produce successful results in record times.
Click “SEO Spider Tool.”
Then click “Download.”
You do not need to purchase a license to use the software. If your website is more than 500 pages, however, it’s a good idea to purchase a license.
When you’ve successfully downloaded Screaming Frog, go ahead and open it.
Depending on the size of your site, this could take a couple minutes or a few hours.
It usually takes less than a minute for Screaming Frog to crawl 500 pages.
Here, you’ll see a list of all the H1 tags on your website.
Click the filter menu.
First, search for H1s that are missing by simply selecting “Missing” in the filter field.
You’ll see a list of all the pages on your site that lack an h1 tag.
Your first task is to create an h1 for each of these pages.
(Unless, of course, you have a reason not to. My /blog page is a menu page to select the articles that I’m regularly adding and updating there, so I’ve chosen not to include an h1).
Find a good place to save the file.
It’s a CSV, so you can open it up in Excel.
Next, filter all the “duplicate” h1s. You can do this by clicking “duplicate” on the filter menu. Again, save this list in a CSV for future reference.
Finally, add a filter all the “multiple” h1s. Again, save the list
Now, go back to the filter menu, and select “All.” Export the list. At this point, you should have four CSV files.
Your task now is to create new h1 tags for each of the categories. Start with the missing ones, move on to duplicate, next multiple, and finally rework all h1s.
If your website is tens of thousands of pages, you may only be able to work on the highest-priority h1 tag project: the missing ones.
However, if you have the time, update all of your h1s to align with the rules that I provided above.
I think you’ll see a big difference in your traffic, your rankings, and your overall site performance.
If you’ve read this article, you know more about h1 tags than most people. More importantly, you know exactly how to use h1s for maximum SEO impact.
If you want help creating better H1s, title tags, content, or even SEO in general, reach out to our agency so we can help.
What are some of your h1 best practice tips?
While Google, Bing, and Yahoo control the West’s market share of search engine traffic, alternative search engine Baidu is the king of search in China.
If you want to make your content known on Baidu, you need a strong SEO strategy to guide you. What works on Google may not work on Baidu, however, so we’ve created this guide to teach you how to earn a position in Baidu’s search engine results for users that are in the U.S.
Baidu is an internet and AI company offering a range of services, including search, cloud computing, music, maps, translation, video, and even self-driving cars. One Baidu service, Baidu Baike, is even thought of as a Wikipedia clone. The online encyclopedia boats over 16 million articles and 6.9 million editors.
Yet, the biggest asset Baidu offers is its search engine. Originally launched in 2000, Baidu was an early player in Chinese search. In many ways, their early platform seemed to copy Google in approach and design, leading many to think of them as a Chinese Google copycat rather than a true competitor.
Fast-forward to the current day, and Baidu owns 68.5 percent of the search engine market share in China and boasts around 1.54 billion searches per day. They bring in an average of $16.4 billion per year and record around 202 million daily active users.
A large part of Baidu’s success can be attributed to its ability to index Chinese web pages better and more effectively than any other search engine. The user-face is only available in Simplified Chinese, and the search results give priority to Chinese language sites. Few non-Chinese language sites are ever included in the Baidu index or search engine results.
Baidu has always been critiqued as being a Google copycat, and the similarities are certainly present.
Both search engines offer a similar user-face: a simple logo, a search bar, and added features below.
In terms of product offerings, maps, music and video platforms, translation services, and travel sites are on both platforms.
Both Google and Baidu offer similar search features, though Google’s algorithm and indexing capabilities seem to be a bit more robust.
Baidu is also known for its liberal use of rich snippets early on, while Google has only increased its use of rich snippets in recent years. Many SEO experts have suggested Google copied Baidu in this way.
The main differences between Baidu and Google rest in their individual SERPs. Here are a few clear differentiators between the two platforms:
If you run a business with Chinese clientele or want to promote your products to a Chinese audience, optimizing your content for Baidu can help you open those doors.
Baidu has explained the way their spiders crawl and index websites. Many websites are not included on Baidu by default, due to their algorithm.
Additionally, due to strict internet censorship in China, aka the Great Firewall of China, many of the below tactics are requirements rather than suggestions. The ICPL licensing (discussed below) is one such example.
Here are some sites Baidu automatically filters out:
Below, we’ll outline ways to ensure your content is crawled and ranked by Baidu.
On the Baidu SERPs, .com sites are not favored, and having a .cn domain will help increase your chances of getting listed. That said, it may be difficult to acquire a .cn domain outside of China.
To attain a .cn domain, you need to either be a Chinese citizen or own a Chinese business. Additionally, all websites based in China must have a Bei’An license, and commercial websites must have an ICP license.
Due to heavy Chinese internet restrictions, attaining these licenses can be time-consuming and complicated. While this may seem off-putting, if you want your content to show up in the Baidu SERPs, it’s worth investing time to get a .cn domain to secure top rankings.
It’s also important to note the Great Firewall of China can add latency to sites loading from outside of China. For this reason, having a .cn domain is preferred not only for Baidu but for Chinese browsing experiences in general.
To legally host a website in China, you need to have an internet content publishing license (ICPL).
ICPL’s can be broken down into two license types:
While Baidu has never explicitly said ICPLs are required, to have your site verified by Baidu Trust, an ICPL number is required.
ICPL licensing can be difficult for foreign companies to acquire. Your best bet is usually to set up as a Chinese company before tackling Chinese hosting.
This means that although your site will be displayed, it won’t be crawled or ranked. Be sure to provide an HTML alternative the engine can read.
As a side note, flash players are also unusable on Baidu.
Baidu has always prioritized user experiences over ads. In 2013, they updated their algorithm to include a “pomegranate” update, which penalized sites that displayed user experience pitfalls with spammy ads and low-quality content. Sites with high-quality content are boosted over those with low-quality content.
Content that is penalized by Baidu’s pomegranate update:
To avoid getting penalized by the algorithm, avoid using pop-up advertisements on your website, and be sure to use clear, high-quality content across your site.
Link building is an important factor if you want to rank on Baidu. In the past, Baidu seemed to favor link quantity over quality, but with the pomegranate update, high-quality backlinks have taken priority.
When creating a link-building plan for Baidu, focus on high-authority Chinese sites over those listed in other countries.
Also, be sure to include internal and external anchor text in your copy. For internal links, ensure each page on your site links back to your home page, and the homepage only links to the main category pages. Any sub-category pages should only be linked within your main category pages.
Unlike some other search engines, Baidu also counts non-hyperlinked URLs, so including these within your text can contribute to your ranking.
Unlike Google, Baidu still includes meta descriptions and meta keywords in their ranking factors. This means you need to have unique and descriptive meta descriptions, metadata, and title tags that are keyword optimized in Simplified Chinese.
A good meta description provides a clear and succinct description of what a user can find on the page. It’s important to write tailored descriptions for each page of your website and use three to five meta keywords on each page to improve your Baidu ranking chances.
Baidu allows up to 80 characters in a title tag and 200 characters in a meta description. The character count for meta keywords is 100.
Alt tags and heading tags also play a part in your Baidu rankings, so be sure to optimize these in Chinese as well.
Pinyin is a romanized version of Chinese that uses English characters to spell Chinese characters based on Mandarin pronunciation.
Baidu prefers URLs that are written in Pinyin, while the rest of the site uses Simplified Chinese.
When using Pinyin, be careful of your word choice. Baidu censors anti-government speech, adult content, gambling, and anything they consider to be culturally insensitive. While you may think it is easy to avoid this language, it can be more difficult than you think. Some words seem innocent but aren’t. For instance, “toad” and “rubber duck” are banned due to their political connotations.
Be sure to conduct Chinese-specific market research before listing on Baidu to ensure you won’t violate censorship laws.
Baidu has 1.1 billion monthly active mobile users, which means most Baidu users will see your website on a mobile screen.
While Google’s mobile search platform uses the same URL as its desktop version, Baidu’s mobile search is run through m.baidu.com. Baidu will transcode sites that aren’t automatically mobile-friendly to make them load faster. This means your content will be automatically hosted on Baidu’s servers. No approval is necessary by the owner.
The downside of this automatic transcoding is it can affect the UX/UI of your website dramatically. This can lead to negative on-site experiences for your audience members and many users exiting your site too early.
To combat this, ensure your website is optimized for mobile from the start. This will help you deliver high-quality website experiences and keep your audience on your pages longer.
While Baidu may treat search engine rankings differently than Google or Bing, it’s worth investing your time in it if you want to attract Chinese business.
That said, general search engine optimization techniques still apply here, so be sure to follow SEO best practices when creating Baidu content.
This, alongside the specialized requirements of the Baidu platform, could help you rank higher more often.
If the thought of SEO even in English sounds daunting, let our agency know and we can help.
How has Baidu search affected your business?
Are you interested in using SEO to build your brand? Or do you want to use SEO to get more leads and sales?
Most importantly do you want to avoid the common mistakes that hold back rankings?
Well today, I thought I would do something a bit different.
I wanted to break down how you can get a crash course in SEO.
Best of all I wanted to do so without you having to spend a dollar.
Today we are going to examine 10 guides and 5 courses that you can rely on to improve your SEO knowledge. Although some guides and courses have a similar title and focus, the information and advice provided in each one are both unique and valuable.
Let’s get started!
1. SEO Made Simple (A Step-by-Step Guide) – Are you new to the world of SEO? In this case, a beginner’s guide is exactly what you need (more of these to come).
This is why I wrote this guide:
2. SEO Periodic Table – This guide is a little bit different than most. It’s more in a visual format where it breaks down the elements of SEO.
It’s important to know each factor that can impact SEO because every little bit adds up.
Unlike other marketing channels, SEO is one where you have to do a lot of little things right to get traction.
3. Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide – If you could learn SEO from one person or company who would it be? Most people will overlook the obvious answer: Google.
Everybody wants to rank higher in Google. After all, it’s the search engine of choice for the majority of the world.
If you are new to SEO and you want to learn from the top dog, this starter guide will be your new best friend.
The primary benefit of this guide is that you don’t have to worry about whether or not the information is accurate. You know that every point of advice is spot on, being that it comes from the master of all search engines.
With 32 pages of advice, ranging from SEO basics to mobile optimization, there is a reason why so many new marketers keep this guide close by at all times.
Just because you are new to SEO does not mean that you can afford to make mistakes. Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide helps you get up and running in a fast, efficient, and effective manner, all while avoiding common mistakes that have plagued millions before you.
4. The Beginner’s Guide to SEO – Moz created one of the first guides ever on SEO. And they tend to update it every year as well.
There are 10 chapters that make up this in-depth guide, starting with “How Search Engines Operate” and leading to “Measuring and Tracking Success.”
In between, you will pick up advice on why search engine marketing is important to your business, how to build links without being penalized, and common myths and misconceptions about SEO.
You can read the guide online or download the PDF.
The Beginner’s Guide to SEO deserves to be read from start to finish. Even if you have some knowledge of SEO, this guide can help sharpen your skills.
5. The Blogger’s Guide to SEO – No two people share the exact same goals for their website. For example, a blogger may not take the same approach to SEO as an e-commerce store.
And with over a billion blogs on the Internet you should know SEO when it comes to blogging specifically.
SEOBook goes above and beyond in providing information solely for bloggers.
Make sure you also read the section on “Why Blogs Are Different Than Static Websites.”
You may already know the difference, but those who are new to this may be confused. Here is an excerpt from the section, showing the targeted yet simplified nature of the guide:
SEO for a blog is different than SEO for most other websites, largely because of the social elements baked into blogging technology. SEO for blogs is more focused on giving people something to talk about and creating something worthy of attention.
As a blogger interested in SEO, you want to rely on advice that most closely matches your wants, needs, and goals. This is why this guide from SEOBook is a must-read. It’s meant to give your blog’s SEO a shot in the arm.
6. Everything You Need to Know About SEO – You won’t be an SEO beginner forever. When you are ready for the next step, this advanced SEO guide is a good place to start.
Here is how I describe the guide:
The Most Extensive and Detailed Guide of Advanced SEO Techniques That Exists Today.
Every guide on this list is solid. Every guide should be read, when you have time because the information is presented in a unique manner.
But when it comes to the most in-depth and actionable information on advanced SEO techniques, I think this guide takes the cake.
It’s not so much about the length (nine chapters), as it’s about the depth and use of examples. Here is what I mean:
The guide doesn’t just tell you to create an SEO-friendly title. It doesn’t just tell you how long your title should be. It gives you actionable advice on how to make changes for the better. On top of that, the screenshots give you a “visual” on exactly how you can make this happen.
There is a lot to learn when you get into the advanced details of SEO. This guide makes sure that you don’t overlook something that could make or break your rankings.
7. The Complete List of Google’s 200 Ranking Factors – I mentioned above how in SEO you have to do every little thing to get rankings.
It isn’t enough to just build links.
It isn’t enough to just writing amazing content.
It isn’t enough to just optimize your meta tags.
See, everyone is doing the main aspects of SEO. But what most site’s aren’t doing is every little thing correctly.
Now just imagine if you did every little thing correctly? Your rankings would be much higher.
I recommend that you go through each of the 200 ranking factors.
8. The Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce SEO – ecommerce sites are very different than traditional sites.
The pages you want ranking high on Google typically are listing pages or product pages. Because these are the type of pages that will drive you sales.
What’s unique about this guide is it teaches you everything you need to know about SEO for ecommerce sites. Because link building, content creation, schema markup, and even optimizing for load time are all different on ecommerce sites.
Also it works for all platforms. It doesn’t matter if you use Shopify or Bigcommece or even Wix, it works for all of them.
9. 19 Advanced SEO Techniques to Double Your Search Traffic – As I’ve mentioned above a few times, every little thing adds up with SEO, especially because it is so competitive now.
Just doing the basics isn’t enough. You have to go well above and beyond your competition.
That’s why I would read this guide that breaks down 19 advanced tactics.
Each of those tactics are very effective in increase your SEO traffic, but before you implement them you’ll want to consider doing the basics.
Because without doing the basics, the advanced tactics won’t have much use.
For example, if your URLs aren’t SEO friendly, which is a beginner’s tactic, Google may not be able to crawl your site. So no matter what advance strategy you use, it wouldn’t have much of an effect.
10. Link Building Resources That Work – links are the cornerstone of SEO. Think of them as votes.
The more votes someone gets, the higher they will rank.
But not all votes (links) are equal. Ones from authoritative sites like CNN or Yahoo have more effect. And the more related a link is to your site, the better off you are.
So how do you get links when you have little to no resources or money to spend on a big SEO firm?
Well, this guide breaks it down. It goes over all the different ways you can build links.
From creating free tools, to writing guides, to even doing manual outreach… There are many possibilities and you’ll be able to learn them all from this guide.
1. SEO Unlocked – This is a 7-week course on SEO. But don’t be scared, by the 7-week number, each video is short and actionable.
You’ll find a total of 21 videos broken down over 7 weeks. Each video ranges in length from 5 to 15 minutes.
And accompanied with each video is cheatsheets, worksheets, and templates to make SEO easier to implement.
That way after you learn a specific SEO tactic or strategy, you’ll be given documentation on how you can use it and implement it.
2. Ecommerce SEO 101 Video Series – Here’s an SEO course from the largest ecommerce platform, Shopify.
This isn’t a course for just someone with a general interest in SEO. It’s a course for online store owners who want to improve rankings as a means of driving traffic to increase revenue and profit.
There are seven videos in the course, all of which are free to watch. Some of my favorites include:
The videos aren’t so long that you get bored, but they are long enough to provide an inside look at the subject matter.
Online store owners understand that the difference between success and failure can rest solely on their ability to generate organic traffic. If you want to improve this area of your e-commerce business, the Shopify video series is a good jumping-off point.
3. SEO Training Course by Moz – Moz once again finds itself on the list, this time with a training course offered through the Udemy platform.
This free training course teaches the tips and tricks that you need to implement a successful SEO strategy.
Think of this course as an extension of the company’s beginner’s guide to SEO. With five lectures and more than one hour of video content, you’ll leave the course feeling better about how to rank your website.
The titles of the lectures are as follows:
This course is designed for marketers of all levels, so take the time to sign up and dive in. It’s free, so you really have nothing to lose.
4. Free Download: On-Page SEO Template – It’s hard to categorize this as a traditional course, but it definitely fits the mold in some ways.
The On-Page SEO Template is available for free from HubSpot. It was designed with the purpose of helping marketers track on-page SEO elements.
With the template, you will have an easier time:
As a free download, you should at least see if this template from HubSpot can provide you with any SEO value. You will probably find that it’s good to keep nearby as you make on-page changes.
5. Local SEO Unlocked – If you are a local business this course is perfect for you. It breaks down local SEO down into 2 weeks.
The course contains 6 videos as well as worksheets, cheatsheets and templates so you can implement what you have learned.
And similar to SEO Unlocked, each video is short and to the point.
Here’s an overview on what you’ll learn:
There are a lot of SEO tools out there that can help with improve your rankings.
I maybe a bit biased because I created it, but I would start off with Ubersuggest.
The reason I would recommend it over other SEO tools because you can get started for free.
From rank tracking, to site audits to link building, to keyword research… you can do all the aspects of SEO for free.
Here’s a preview of the Ubersuggest site audit report.
I recommend that you get started with Ubersuggest by first running a site audit. Just put in your URL here.
And after that I recommend that you create a project so you can track your SEO progress. This will allow you to track your rankings and be notified when something good or bad happens with your SEO or even when your competition does something new.
If you want to get the most out of Ubersuggest you should read this guide.
Even if you don’t have the time to go through everything, just pick one or two courses or guides to start off with.
Something is better than nothing. And you don’t have to do everything in a day as that would be unrealistic.
From there you can go over the other courses and guides in any order. But that is where I would start.
There are also a lot of paid options on the web, but I would start with the free options above as it will give you enough to start getting results.
What are your thoughts on these guides and courses?
Keywords play an integral role in search engine optimization.
That’s why, if you want your SEO strategy, particularly keyword research, to be successful, you must know where to find relevant keywords.
You must know how to find keywords everywhere—and not just any keywords, but high-intent, low competition keywords you can rank for.
Whenever keyword research is mentioned, the conversation is usually centered around finding the best keyword research tool.
However, to have a set of winning keywords for your SEO strategy, you need to look beyond the standard keyword research tools everyone else is using.
You can’t rely on one single SEO tool or strategy. That’s because no single SEO tool can provide you with all the information you need to create a robust SEO strategy. Besides, take a look at the results you get from different tools, and you’ll find that every SEO tool provides slightly different results for the same query.
That incomplete data puts you at a great disadvantage. That’s why, if you want to outperform your competition, you must put in the effort and look for keywords everywhere—not just using a single tool or platform.
So how do you find keywords everywhere?
That’s what I’ll share in this post.
When done right, SEO keywords can help you rank content, sell more products, and build your brand. That’s why investing the time and resources to find the right ones is so critical to business growth. Here are some tools and strategies to help you do just that.
What better place to look for relevant keywords than on the biggest search engines of our time? Yes, I’m talking about Google.
On your quest to find keywords everywhere, one of your first steps must be a manual Google search. Here are a few ways you can find relevant SEO keywords using this method:
Google’s Autocomplete function is the suggestions Google offers when a user is typing in a search query. While it was originally meant to help users reduce typing time, it has become a wealth of data for SEOs. That’s because the autocomplete suggestions are pulled from real-time, trending searches.
To find keywords using Google’s autocomplete, type in a keyword and note the suggestions Google offers. You’ll notice most of the suggestions are long-tail keywords. This makes this strategy excellent for finding long-tail keywords.
Another way to manually find keywords on Google is by searching for niche-related keywords and focus on the featured snippets.
Also known as “position zero,” a featured snippet is the first listing on the search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s different from other results in that it contains more information. Both factors make it more appealing to users than the other results on the page.
Featured snippets can also help you find keywords to use in your content—and the best featured snippets to use for your keyword research are your competitors’ featured snippets.
Of course, manually searching for these is laborious and time-consuming. To make it easier, use an SEO tool like SEMrush’s Featured Snippet Report to track your competitors’ featured snippets.
Once you’ve compiled your competitors’ featured snippets, find the keywords they are ranking for and add those to your keyword list.
The “people also ask” box is another great place to find SEO keywords. For some searches, Google will display related questions people ask in drop-down boxes like this:
Just like Google’s autocomplete feature, the “people also ask” box is a goldmine of long-tail keywords.
The related searches section at the bottom of the SERPs features related keywords users input into the search bar.
Sift through the related searches on as many pages as you can and look for relevant SEO keywords to add to your content strategy.
Want to find keywords everywhere?
Then you’ll want to use SEO tools like Ubersuggest.
Ubersuggest is a free tool specializing in generating keywords and serving up critical data on those keywords. The main features of the tool include:
The Domain Overview feature gives you insight into your competitors’ SEO, content marketing, and social media strategies. This allows you to see what’s working in your niche so you can adapt those strategies for your campaigns.
This feature helps you discover which competitors’ pages rank for particular organic keywords. It also shows which content performs well on social media.
This is one of my favorite features—and the most useful. All you have to do is type in a seed keyword, and the tool provides a list of head and long-tail keyword suggestions.
Ubersuggest will not only give you keyword suggestions, but will also give you important metrics about the keyword.
Of course, Ubersuggest isn’t the only keyword research tool on the market (but it is one of the best as far as free features go).
If you’ve got a bit of money to splurge and need to dive a bit deeper into data, you can also try tools like Moz, Semrush, and Mangool’s Keyword Finder.
If you want to find keywords on the fly, use Chrome extensions like Ubersuggest.
The Ubersuggest Chrome extension gives you the most actionable SEO metrics directly in, among others:
Every time you perform a search in Google, the extension gives you SEO data on your search query.
If you want to find keywords everywhere, one of the best sources for winning keywords is your competitors.
No, they won’t deliver those keywords to you on a silver platter. However, you can discover the keywords they are using by leveraging tools like TagCrowd.
All you have to do is input your competitor’s URL, and it will show you the keywords they’re using.
Other competitor research tools you can use to find the keywords your competitors are using include:
You can then use those keywords to create better content that outranks your competitors.
Need to outrank your competitors on Amazon? It’s a tall order, as there are over 1 million of them in America alone.
Then you must know how to find Amazon keywords everywhere. Like Google, Amazon is a search engine that uses its own algorithm to rank content. And because searchers on Amazon are usually looking for something specific (products), your keyword research must align with their search intent.
A few tools and strategies to help you do that include:
Using Amazon to conduct keyword research manually is one of the best ways to find keywords on Amazon. To do this, type in your product name in the search bar and note the autocomplete suggestions that come up.
The suggestions are aggregated from the most popular searches users make. You can find some amazing keywords here you won’t find using regular keyword research tools.
One way to stand apart on Amazon is to be very specific in your product descriptions.
To figure out what keywords to use:
However, don’t just blindly apply your competitor’s keywords. Consider similar variations and think about what features are likely to be important to searchers.
Amazon is a search engine that uses its own algorithm to rank content. That’s why when looking for keywords to help you rank on Amazon, you must use Amazon-specific keyword research tools. Tools like Sonar and KeywordTool.io use complex algorithms to collect data about the keywords Amazon shoppers use when looking for products.
These tools will help you find keywords that are more relevant to your Amazon SEO strategy.
Your website is also another great to check out as you look for Amazon keywords everywhere. Use a tool like SEMrush to analyze your product pages and see which keywords are ranking high.
If they are specific and can be targeted towards Amazon shoppers, you can use them in your Amazon SEO strategy.
Remember, the competition on Amazon gets hotter every day as more people join the e-commerce bandwagon. To stay ahead of competitors, you’ll need to pull all the stops when doing your keyword research.
What started as a site to share video content has become one of the most popular search engines.
Yes, I’m talking about YouTube.
With over 2 billion users globally, you can’t afford to ignore this platform.
YouTube SEO is slightly different from other search engines because it’s a search engine for video content. Videos must follow YouTube SEO best practices to rank well there—and that includes using different keyword research strategies.
You must know how to find YouTube keywords everywhere possible to outrank your competition.
Here’s how to perform keyword research for YouTube.
As with other search engines, your first port of call is to do a manual YouTube keyword search. To do this, you can:
Input your keyword idea into YouTube’s search bar, and it will suggest similar or related keywords.
A major advantage of this strategy is the suggestions are collected from real YouTube. As a result, they are more likely to be relevant.
Another YouTube keyword strategy is to look for popular videos in your niche and check the video’s metadata. This includes title, description, and video tags. You’ll find top keywords you can use for your own videos.
Because YouTube SEO is unique to the platform, it’s essential to use YouTube-specific keyword tools to help you uncover unique keywords.
Tools like Kparser and VidIQ specifically generate keywords for YouTube. They are also designed to generate keywords for video titles, descriptions, and tags.
An important aspect of keyword research is to find the keywords people actually use in search queries.
And what better place to find those keywords than on platforms where people discuss topics related to your niche or industry. One such platform is Quora.
Search Quora for hot topics in your industry and think about relevant keywords and content you can create on YouTube along those same lines.
When doing keyword research for YouTube, think about the keywords you use to rank blog content. Use an SEO tool to analyze which keywords you’re ranking for, and then use these same keywords to develop content ideas for your YouTube channel.
When you create your YouTube content, embed those videos into the related blog posts—which is a great way to boost SEO on both Google and YouTube.
Keyword research is not just confined to keyword research tools. You can find keywords everywhere—if you know where to look.
Hopefully, this blog post has provided you with several fresh strategies to find keywords.
While looking for keywords everywhere can be time-consuming, it’s one of the first steps to gaining a competitive edge.
Which keyword research tool or strategy is the most effective for you?
There are few things Google likes more than updating its ranking signals. If you’ve heard about passage indexing, there’s a good chance you have questions.
What is passage indexing? Is it a significant update that will tank your website traffic? Or is it just another small change in Google’s ever-evolving algorithm and ranking factors?
Take a deep breath and ignore the doom and gloom.
There’s good news: Passage indexing is not a huge Google update. It’s a small tweak to help the search engine understand content better and deliver the best results to searchers.
There is no reason to stress about this update, go crazy trying to update your content, or spend thousands of dollars to get someone else to update it for you.
(If you noticed a considerable drop in traffic recently, I recommend using this guide to diagnose traffic drops using Google Analytics, but most likely, passage indexing was not the cause.)
However, this is not to say that this change doesn’t matter at all. There are SEO implications, which I’ll explain, and I’ll also share a few tips to help you make the most of passage indexing.
Google passage indexing is an automated feature that pulls sections from pages into search engine results, even if the page covers a slightly different topic from the main one.
What does that actually mean?
Let’s look at an example: Say you wrote a long-form post about affiliate marketing. Your goal was to cover the topic in its entirety, so you included sections on how to be a successful affiliate marketer, what affiliate marketing tools to use, what affiliate marketing networks are most popular, and how to get started in affiliate marketing.
That is a ton of useful content, but it also means your entire post probably won’t rank well for terms like “affiliate marketing networks” because only one section covers that topic.
With passage indexing, Google can pull out sections of your content and rank it independently of the rest of the page. For example, your section on “affiliate marketing tools” might rank for that keyword, even if the entire post isn’t optimized for it.
See? Not such a big deal.
Here’s an example of how passage indexing impacts search results:
Notice how Google bolds certain words it deems relevant to the search. It’s looking for keywords that show the content is likely to be useful for a specific query.
Google’s Martin Splitt said he would call the changes “Passage Ranking” because it’s actually a ranking change rather than an indexing change, so you might see those terms used interchangeably.
Featured snippets offer users an instant answer to short questions, which means users don’t have to click to get the answer to their question.
For example, if you search “what time is it in Paris,” Google provides the answer at the top of the search engine results without requiring you to click on a result.
Passage indexing is an entirely different system that looks at the content of a page, determines if parts of the page answer a search query, and delivers those results in the SERPs.
As with most things from Google, the search engine hasn’t been transparent about how, exactly, the feature works. It keeps things interesting, doesn’t it?
Here’s what we do know.
According to its blog, Google uses BERT and neural nets to understand content and rank passages better when appropriate. Google still indexes the entire page but looks for content and the meaning of passages while it crawls the full page. Each passage is annotated and can be ranked and scored independently.
Google also says the shift impacts only seven percent of search queries, so don’t expect huge changes. If your page already ranks well, passage indexing (or passage ranking, if you prefer) may not impact your site at all.
However, sites with useful long-form content that isn’t perfectly optimized may see a small boost in rankings and, therefore, traffic.
It seems passage indexing is the next step in using AI programs like RankBrain to better understand the context of content rather than looking at formulaic factors like keyword density.
Keep in mind passage indexing doesn’t impact what pages Google indexes, but rather, the ranking for specific passages.
RankBrain is a machine learning-based algorithm that helps Google process search results and provides users with the most relevant search results. Passage indexing is not an algorithm; it’s an automated system that annotates long passages of content.
How much do you need to be worried about passage indexing when it comes to SEO? For most websites, it will have little to no impact on your SEO. Sites that do notice a change will likely see a small uptick in traffic.
However, there are some minor changes worth paying attention to.
Long-form content will have a better shot at ranking for more keywords. That could mean sites with shorter content take a small hit in ranking as longer-form content gets a boost.
It is also more important than ever for sites to ensure on-page SEO strategies are in place, like using the right heading and optimizing anchor text. Pages with less optimization but better content could outrank you.
If you’ve been avoiding long-form content, now might be the time to give it a go. Google shows that it’s willing to help users find useful content even if the page’s SEO isn’t perfect.
However, sites with shorter content, such as e-commerce sites, are unlikely to see any change in their Google ranking.
The change will primarily help sites with long-form content that’s not optimized perfectly. Publishers with a well-established SEO strategy, ecommerce sites with shorter content, and sites without long-form content likely won’t see any changes.
Now that we’ve covered what passage indexing is, how it works, and what impact it could have on our SEO, let’s talk about why you should care. Are there benefits to this change, or is it just another small shift you can ignore?
There are a few benefits of passage indexing:
It’s also worth noting that this change won’t increase Google penalties or result in a huge drop in traffic for most sites.
This is a slight change intended to help users find sites with useful content that might not be completely optimized.
In an interview, Google’s Martin Splitt was quick to say site owners shouldn’t fall for tools or agencies that claim they can optimize for passage indexing, as it is a small change aimed at helping boost sites with long-form content.
While I don’t recommend revamping your entire website, there are a few small tweaks you can make, especially for long-form content:
Overall, don’t go crazy trying to optimize for passage indexing. You could swing too far the other way and end up over-optimizing your site, which can impact your rankings.
No, according to Martin Splitt, there will be no tool to see if your site is eligible for this change. Your best bet is to follow the suggestions above and focus on creating content that provides what users want.
Passage indexing is a small change in Google’s ranking system; however, it’s worth paying attention to.
Google has long said it puts users first, and this is one more push in that direction. SEO matters, but users should remain your core focus.
It also shows that Google is dedicated to using AI to understand the context of a page. RankBrain, DeepMind, machine learning, and natural language processing help Google get a deeper understanding of context. This is an extension of those efforts.
For digital marketers, this is good news! Google aims to keep its search results as relevant as possible for users. However, optimization is no longer enough to carry mediocre content.
I hope by now you have a solid understanding of what passage indexing is, why it matters for your site, and how it could help increase your Google rankings.
Keep in mind that most website owners won’t need to make any changes and won’t be penalized by Google. Sites with long-form content may see a small boost in rankings and traffic.
This ranking change also provides some insight into where Google might go in the future. The search engine remains focused on providing users with the best possible user experience, which means marketers should focus their energies on users as well.
If you need help with SEO and providing a better user experience, let my team help you.
Are you planning to update your digital marketing strategy in response to passage indexing? What changes will you make?
The post What is Passage Indexing & What Does it Mean for SEO? appeared first on Neil Patel.
Are you ready to double your search traffic?
Understanding SEO is crucial to significantly increase your traffic and brand awareness.
Right now, thousands of people are looking for content just like yours. You can help them find it by becoming an SEO expert.
In fact, 40 percent of website traffic begins with a search query. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important.
Staying on top of SEO takes a lot of research and experimentation. Google’s algorithms are constantly updated, so it’s important to stay tuned into the latest news. With a bit of practice, you can become your own SEO expert.
That’s what I did!
Every day, people use Google to conduct over 3.5 billion searches. In the U.S., 78% of people use the web to research products and services before buying.
Once your website begins to rank on the first pages of Google’s search results, you’ll get more visibility. This means more traffic, more conversions, and eventually, increased revenue.
Getting to page one of the search results is vital. 75% of users don’t even click past the first page!
The first three organic search results get 60% of all traffic from a web search. Leads coming from a search have a 14.6% close rate, compared to just 1.7% from channels like print or direct mail advertising.
See why SEO is so important to your success?
Here are 19 advanced SEO techniques that you can implement right away to increase your search traffic. Getting more visitors should help you convert more people into customers too.
There’s more that goes into conversion optimization than just getting traffic, like making sure you have a clear lead capture form, a sales page, and descriptive product pages.
But you can’t sell to people who aren’t there, right?
So let’s get started!
Auditing your website helps you figure out why you’re not getting enough search traffic and sales. Many SEO companies offer this service, but you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself.
In general terms, an audit is a systematic examination of an event, a concept, or financial books that is done in order to figure out where you stand and how to make smarter decisions in the future.
In the SEO world, auditing is a growth hacking technique that will help you attract and retain customers.
An SEO audit closely examines your overall site performance, creates goals based on what you find, and implements tactics to reach those goals. This process helps increase profits by making the best use of the content you already have and fixing any SEO issues.
This may not sound like an advanced SEO strategy, but you’d be surprised how many websites are missing basic on-page SEO like page titles or descriptions. It’s easy to overlook when creating your website, but easy to fix with an audit.
Here’s what you should be looking for during an audit:
Check #1: Do all your website’s pages have SEO meta titles and descriptions?
Check #2: Is each page on your website optimized for SEO keywords?
Remember, optimize appropriately without keyword stuffing!
Check #3: Is your URL structure optimized for search engines?
Your URLs should be simple, short, and easy for a search engine to tell what the page is about. Here’s an example:
I bet you can guess that article is about 21 ways to improve your Bing ads!
But what if the URL looked like this instead?
Seems a bit complicated, right? A search engine would have a tough time determining the topic of that post since the keywords are broken up by folders and dates. It’s not very clear.
When it comes to URLs, simple is better.
Check #4. Is each page and blog post formatted properly?
By properly, I mean is each page:
43% of people skim blog posts instead of reading the whole thing. Make it easy for people to read!
Check #5: Do all your images have keywords in their ALT tags?
Check #6: Are you using links in your content?
This includes both internal links (to your own content) and external links (to other websites).
I cover linking in detail later in this article, but it’s very important for SEO as one of Google’s top three ranking factors.
Now if you want to save some time, there’s an easier way to do a site audit. Here’s how to use Ubersuggest to conduct a site audit and discover opportunities for improving your search traffic:
Go to Ubersuggest. Enter your website URL into the box, and press Search.
You’ll be taken to a results page. Click SEO Analyzer. It’ll take a few minutes to crawl your site, but the results are worth it, I promise.
This is your overall on-page SEO score for all pages scanned during the site audit. 0 is the lowest possible score and 100 is the highest. With a score of 84, my site is rated as “great.”
There are four sections to review:
This is the final section of the site audit, and it outlines the top on-page SEO issues. You can click on each line for more information.
For example, “21 pages with duplicate meta descriptions.” Unique and engaging meta descriptions are critical to boosting the click-through rate from the search results to your website.
When you perform a full website SEO audit, you’ll likely find at least a few errors or suggestions for improvement. No one’s perfect!
Google isn’t an advertising company. They’re a big data company.
Every tool, platform, and device that they design has one purpose: to get data from users and use it to build a stronger search engine.
Think of yourself as a big data company.
You need to focus on what your target customers want. When you understand what they want, you can develop content that draws them in.
When you listen to feedback from your target customer, it guides the content you create to attract more of them.
The opinions of your users count. The public determines whose idea, article, product, or concept gets shared or funded.
Think about Kickstarter. Most campaigns languish unnoticed for days until a few people donate some money. Then, other people follow.
So, how do you get relevant data about your users’ interests?
And how do you get feedback from your ideal customer if you’re just starting out and don’t have any real customers to ask?
There are several ways to find out:
Let’s cover the first one: social media platforms.
Ask yourself, “Where do the people I want to attract hang out online, and what topics do they talk about?”
I personally like to use Quora.
It gives me an idea of what my target audience is talking about and I can learn from experts in the process. If I wanted to write a book or course, the things people ask on Quora would be useful sources for content ideas.
Here’s how to find out what people want using Quora:
You’ll need to sign up for an account, or sign in with Google or Facebook to get in.
Once you’re logged in, type in your primary keyword (e.g. blog traffic) and hit enter.
If you know how to answer one of these questions, write a blog post about it.
You already know that people want to learn about that subject. If one person asked it on Quora, chances are there are hundreds of other people wondering the exact same thing.
Quora is a great place to learn new things. When it comes to advanced SEO, you can never know everything so I visit it frequently to learn from others.
Use these answers to form the outline for your next blog post.
You can also use Google Analytics to find out what your readers want.
Step #1: Login to Google Analytics. On the left-side menu, click on Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages.
Step #2: Look at what your most popular pages and posts are.
The total number of page views is important, but also take a look at the average time spent on the page (the higher the better!), the bounce rate, and the exit percentage.
Here are my top pages from May 14th to June 14th 2017:
The average time spent on the page tells you if people actually took the time to read your full post, or just skimmed it.
Anything under a minute should be a sign that people are quickly skimming and not reading your article?
So if I see an average time of thirty seconds, I’ll know that people didn’t find my post that interesting to stick around for long.
The bounce rate tells you the percentage of people who landed on this page, but then left without visiting any other pages. It’s not an indicator of success or failure by itself, but ideally you want people to stick around and check out at least 2-3 pages.
The exit percentage tells you that for this page specifically, x % of users left your site after visiting this page. Like the bounce rate, it’s not an indicator of a problem by itself, but if your exit rate is 99%, well, that probably means users aren’t finding what they want to know on that page and don’t want to explore any further.
Another great way to find out what people want is to see how many times your content gets shared on social media.
BuzzSumo is a great tool for this. Just enter your website URL and hit Go.
It will give you a list of your most popular content, sorted by the highest share counts.
This lets you know which articles people love enough to share. The most common reason people share content is when they think it will be useful to others.
With that being said, the total number of shares your post gets is a good way to tell if people find your content useful.
You want to know the easiest way to find out what your users think? Just read their comments on your posts.
A well-designed landing page can improve your lead generation and sales. The more landing pages you create, the more gateways you open up for incoming search traffic.
Unfortunately, not many B2B companies fully grasp the importance of using specific landing pages to capture new users.
According to the SEO research firm, MarketingSherpa, 44% of clicks for B2B companies go to a homepage, not a landing page. Sure, the homepage is important, but a landing page is where you can initiate a strong relationship.
Here’s an example.
Copyblogger creates high-quality landing pages on popular topics. They go the extra mile with professional graphics and a clean, modern layout.
Then they drive traffic to the landing page through press releases, email marketing, and SEO optimization.
Here’s one of their landing pages about, well, landing pages.
As you scroll down, you learn more about landing pages:
The key elements of a good landing page are:
On Copyblogger’s page, they have useful content with links to relevant articles:
And, a noticeable and clear call to action:
Do you think these landing pages have good SEO value?
Do people actually link to them and share them on social media?
Let’s find out.
Go to Ahrefs.com. Enter a landing page URL — let’s use http://www.copyblogger.com/copywriting-101/ — and click Search Links.
As you can see from the screenshot above, this landing page has 799 trusted inbound links, over 1,000 tweets and 446 Facebook likes. This landing page is clearly doing its job of converting visitors into leads.
Landing pages can generate a lot of income.
Conversion Rate Experts made $1 million for Moz, using a single optimized landing page and a few emails.
Businesses with 10-15 landing pages see 55% more conversions than those with less than 10 landing pages.
Businesses with over 40 landing pages have 500% more conversions!
Basecamp has a great landing page to sign up for a free trial of their product.
It draws you in with a big, bold headline. It highlights the key points in a list for easy skimming. It also features a noticeable sign up form.
But good landing pages don’t always need to be just one page. Check out this example from Bills.com:
It features an interactive way to draw visitors in. First, you select how much debt you have.
I’m going to pick $50,000.
The landing page then asks me a series of questions, which are the company’s pre-qualifying questions for new leads.
To see my results, I need to enter my contact information. Some visitors may not want to and abandon the landing page at this point, but those who really want to know if their debt relief program will help them will fill it out.
This is a very simple landing page that results in thousands of leads per month for Bills.com.
It’s a great example of how a simple design and interactive elements can easily come together to generate huge results.
Here’s how to make sure your landing page is SEO optimized.
Find a long-tail keyword and use it throughout your landing page. For example, Copyblogger targets the keyword “SEO copywriting” on one of their landing pages.
If you use Optimizepress or another landing page creator for WordPress, make sure that you add title tags, a meta tag description, and keywords.
Use the keywords naturally throughout your content to avoid getting penalized for keyword stuffing. Include your long-tail keyword in the headline, at least one subheading on the page, and a few times in your body content.
Your landing page content has to be useful.
Write to persuade people to take the next step. Every SEO expert will tell you that the #1 goal of all compelling copy is to get you to read the next sentence.
Remember that the anatomy of a successful landing page begins with the headline. Your body content is also important and should include a testimonial or review from a customer to add trust and credibility.
You also want to make sure your landing page looks modern with a professional design.
“Design is King,” says Derek Halpern. If your content is useful, but your design sucks, you’ll most likely fail.
Landing pages need strong copy, a persuasive video that’s emotionally appealing and testimonials from satisfied customers, which go a long way toward swaying new customers.
Finally, build links from your existing content to your new landing page.
Without quality links, your page will probably not rank very high in search, even if you have excellent copy or use every other SEO ranking factor out there. Since most users never look past the first page of search results, it’s important to rank as high as possible.
It’s more important than ever to make sure your website looks good and performs well on mobile devices. In fact, I’d say it needs to be more than mobile friendly — it needs to work really well on mobile.
Since Google went mobile first, they significantly boost organic search rankings for websites that work well on mobile devices.
When it comes to e-commerce, the numbers are even more surprising. Business Insider predicts that by 2020, 45% of all e-commerce (also called m-commerce) sales in the United States will be completed on a mobile device. That represents $284 billion in the US alone!
All these statistics are pointing to one thing: you simply cannot afford to not have a mobile-friendly website anymore.
Making your site look good on mobile is no longer a luxury, it’s a standard.
How can you tell if your website is mobile-friendly or not? Check out the example below from Google.
In the X example, the website looks just like it would on your desktop computer. The content doesn’t change size to fit a smaller screen better.
In the green checkmark example, see how the same content re-aligns itself to make better use of the small screen? It’s easier to read and scroll through. That’s what being mobile-friendly means.
If you use WordPress as a CMS for your website, you likely already have a mobile-friendly site. Pretty much all WordPress themes over the past few years are designed to be responsive, which is the design term for mobile-friendly.
According to Wikipedia, responsive design means:
Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at allowing desktop webpages to be viewed in response to the size of the screen or web browser one is viewing with. In addition it’s important to understand that Responsive Web Design tasks include offering the same support to a variety of devices for a single website.
Still not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Just check it out on your phone.
Here’s what my site looks like on desktop:
And what it looks like on mobile:
See the difference? The mobile site is optimized for my screen width and is easy to read.
If you want to be extra sure your website checks all the boxes for being mobile-friendly, use Google’s free Mobile Testing Tool.
Enter in your website URL and click Run Test.
You’ll get a results page that lets you know if your site is mobile-friendly or not.
If your site comes back being not mobile-friendly, it’s time to redesign!
You can likely make a few tweaks to your existing website design to improve its usability on mobile. But it may be faster and cheaper in the long run to get a totally new website. Think of it as a good opportunity to freshen up your brand at the same time.
Infographics are popular because they allow you to display complex information in an easy to understand way. Since 65% of people are visual learners, a graphic goes a lot further than just a text article.
Here’s a good infographic on infographics from NeoMam Studios:
I’ve been creating infographics for quite some time now and the results are impressive. At KISSmetrics, we generated 2,512,596 visitors and 41,000 backlinks within 2 years, using infographics.
Quality infographics can increase your website traffic by 193%. I did that in just one year.
Unfortunately, most people don’t pay attention to the “info” part. Instead, they focus on the graphics. Good design is important, but you need to have quality facts to back it up.
Why do search users and consumers prefer infographics?
It’s because the human brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than plain text. Also, 90% of information transmitted to the human brain is visual.
You could generate up to 60,000 search visitors to your website with infographics!
Find a trending topic or idea that people are searching for and put together some statistics on it.
For example, if you wanted to make an infographic about infographics, you could take the few stats we listed above:
Don’t want to create it yourself? You can hire a professional infographic designer on Dribbble. Just search for infographics at the top.
From there, pick a designer and read their profile.
If you do want to create it yourself, here’s how to do that with Canva.
Login to Canva and click Create a Design then choose infographic.
Canva gives you some great layouts to start with. Pick one on the left-hand side. Click anywhere on the infographic to start editing it.
You can change the text and images until you’re happy with the result. Canva also has a library of free stock icons, photos, shapes, and charts you can find under the Elements tab.
Once your infographic is ready, click Download at the top and save it as a PNG file. This will automatically download it to your computer.
Take the data from your infographic and turn it into an in-depth article to accompany the graphic.
People are more likely to share your infographic if it comes with a post that explains it.
For example, if your infographic is titled “10 ways to make your site load faster,” you can expand on each of the tips in your blog post.
If you can publish unique content of at least 2,000 words and couple it with your infographic, your search traffic will double over time.
Remember that Google doesn’t index the text on the infographic, that’s part of the image file. The only thing Google indexes is the image itself.
When you create a blog post to go with it, Google will index that content and make it more likely for your infographic to come up in image search results for that keyword.
Once you have your infographic, submit it to these top 20 infographic directories.
If you don’t want to take the time to do it yourself, you could find someone on a site like Fiverr to do it for you. Just search for “submit infographics.”
Click on the submission services and study them carefully. You should ask providers to show you the sites they intend to submit to. If you’re not comfortable with the sites they name, let them know. You’re hiring them which means you’re in control!
Search engines have evolved a lot since Google first launched in 1998.
If you want to keep thriving in search rankings, you need to be aware of all the latest Google algorithm updates and SEO best practices.
RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system that helps analyze search results. It learns what a page of content is about and how that relates to keywords people are searching for. Essentially, it helps connect a search with relevant results.
Let’s say you search for “remote work”.
That could mean a few different things:
How does Google know which one you want?
RankBrain goes to work and determines that you want the first option based on thousands of other web searches performed by people looking for the same term.
A more popular example would be the difference between searching for apple and Apple:
So, how do you tell Google the exact “apple” that you’re referring to? Is it the Apple Company or the apple fruit? Or, is it something different-but-related?
RankBrain tells Google’s spiders how to index your content based on your intent.
Since Google is a lot more sophisticated these days, we no longer need to stuff our content full of keywords to make it understand our intent.
Whatever you do, don’t stuff keywords into your content!
Keyword stuffing is when you overuse keywords and phrases that relate to the main keyword in attempts to rank higher in search. It’s a bad SEO practice that you should avoid it at all costs.
For example, consider these related keywords: iPhone reviews, best iPhone reviews, new iPhone reviews. When you use all of these keywords in your content, it’s likely that Google won’t rank that page well, especially if the content falls is only a few hundred words long.
Here’s an example of a keyword stuffed paragraph:
Do you want to learn java online? Most java tutorials are not created to help beginners learn java online, because the online java learning platforms are not user-friendly. But today, in the Los Angeles area, you can easily learn java online from the comfort of your home and become a java online expert.
Not great, right?
The main keyword “java online” was mentioned four times, which is too often for such a short paragraph.
There is a better way to change this paragraph and make it more user focused, without neglecting the main keyword – “java online.” All you have to do is find synonyms for the keyword. For example:
Are you ready to learn java online? It’s a good step towards upgrading your skills and giving you a better chance of getting that job. There are several places to learn java on the web, and within 2 – 3 months, you’ll be programming in java. Most people don’t like the idea of taking online java courses, but I believe it’s one of the most flexible ways to get access to a wealth of knowledge and become skilled in your life’s pursuit.
The difference is clear, right?
The second paragraph sounds better to users and still uses your keyword without overdoing it.
That’s the power behind RankBrain.
A few guidelines for finding synonyms for your main keyword:
A good example of these practices is Marketing Land.
Marketing Land optimizes content for a main keyword and several synonyms. They know that once YouTube is mentioned, terms like videos, channels, and video source need to be mentioned, too.
Where Facebook is mentioned sharing, liking, and commenting are also included as they’re all common activities that take place on the platform.
Backlinko analyzed 11.8 million searches and found the mean first-page search result had 1,447 words.
There have been numerous studies and experiments on the correlation between content length and search engine ranking.
This graph from Backlinko pages with a higher word count tend to help you crack the first page of Google. It won’t necessarily help you hit number one, but it can help you get close.
I did an experiment for QuickSprout. The results showed that my posts over 1,500 words received almost double the amount of social shares than the ones under 1,500 words.
Content length isn’t everything. A shorter blog post that’s higher quality will still outperform a longer, low-quality post.
The trick is to cover one topic in so much detail that every part of the post is valuable to the reader. Making it more valuable to humans makes it more valuable to Google as a page to display in search results.
A key benefit of longer content is that it will naturally contain more relevant keywords and rank for them.
A roundup post is when you interview a few people about the same topic or make a list of the “best” of something.
Not only is it a great way to get different viewpoints and learn new things, it also helps grow your SEO rankings and traffic.
Here’s an example: 53 Best SEO Experts of 2020: A More Diverse Roundup
The author of this post collected the names and profiles of experts in their field, including where they work, what type of information they share, and where to follow them.
It seems simple because it is, and it works!
The key benefit of these posts is that it allows you to get your website in front of lots of new audiences, thanks to the experts you’re interviewing.
If you were featured in a roundup, you’d share that with your audience, right?
Deirdre Breakenridge is one of the experts featured in the post above about PR. She has over 30,000 Twitter followers.
If she tweeted out your roundup post even once, there’s a good chance some of her audience would click to read it.
Those are people you wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise.
Creating a roundup post that grows your traffic is easy:
For example, if I wanted to write a post about tips to grow your traffic, I could ask, “What one strategy has grown your website traffic the most?”
Make a list of as many experts in the topic you want to write about as you can. If you want to feature 10 expert opinions, make a list of 20 experts at least.
It may not be easy to find their email addresses, so write down their social media profiles instead.
Then, reach out with a nice email/social media message and ask them for their opinion!
Remember to include that you’ll be linking back to their website as a thank you for contributing.
Collect all the answers, then write and intro and conclusion. Make sure to link back to everyone featured.
After you’ve published it, be sure to send a follow up email, or social media message, to let them know the post went live.
Ask them to share it with their audience.
Even if only half of your 10 experts share it, that’s still five more audiences than you would have reached by yourself. And depending on the size of your expert’s audience, that could be thousands or tens of thousands of new people visiting your website.
Brian Liang wrote a roundup post about how to promote your blog.
He got over 40 experts to contribute to it, resulting in a comprehensive and informative piece that got over 5,000 shares on social media. It was also Buzzsumo’s most shared post of that week for the term “blog promotion.”
The biggest wow factor? His blog wasn’t even well-known at the time!
What would 5,000 shares do for your brand?
However, you can use social media platforms to gain credibility and traffic.
In the screenshot below, you can see the Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) for each search result. I’m using the free MozBar to see this information.
Page Authority was developed by Moz, and it means the likelihood that your page will rank highly in search. A higher number means it’s more likely to rank well.
This is based on several factors: content length, links, keywords, readability and more.
Domain Authority is the overall likelihood that your whole website, or domain, will rank highly in search.
But not all social media platforms are created equal when it comes to building authority and traffic.
I’m not talking about Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest where anyone can post whatever they want. I’m talking about authoritative platforms where quality content is expected.
A few examples are Slideshare, Blogger, and Quora. These sites give you the opportunity to improve your search rankings, as well as build a following, within a short period of time.
Does leveraging authority social platforms increase your search traffic and rankings?
For example, Ana Hoffman got 243,000 views in 30 days, in addition to other benefits, using Slideshare content. Her presentations were among the top most-viewed slide decks.
If you’d like to leverage Slideshare as a search traffic booster, here are the basic steps that you should take:
In my experience, simply selecting a keyword and creating a top-notch slideshow presentation doesn’t always generate buzz on social media.
Instead, look for topics that are already trending on blogs. Just as you do when looking for blog post ideas, you should identify what people are talking about right now.
Another great place is GrowthHackers, an online community of marketers. You’ll find lots of trending topics. Pick one that interests you and is related to your business or industry.
The article titled “10 Ways to Promote Content in Less Than 30 Minutes” would make a good Slideshare presentation.
Don’t feel pressured to crank out 50 or 100 slides.
Aim for about 35 slides. This gives a user a good amount of information without being too long to keep their attention.
Read the article you selected in step 1, pick out key points, and create an outline for your presentation. This will make it easier to put together the full presentation.
Your Slideshare presentation outline could be something as simple as:
Each item in your outline represents a single slide.
If you want to make a presentation based solely on someone else’s post or article, make sure you get their consent first to avoid plagiarism. Do that before moving on to the next step and don’t forget to credit the author of the post that inspired you in your presentation.
Slideshare presentations are all about using images to captivate and hold the viewer’s attention. You can find free stock photos by searching Google for “free stock photos.”
Gratisography is another place where you can download free stock photos without copyright restrictions.
A few advanced SEO tips for images:
You can also create your own images, rather than using stock photos.
Learning from experts is the best way to grow your own traffic and search rankings.
Popular presentations are featured on the Slideshare homepage. Study them carefully. Consider how you could improve them.
Could you design it better? Could you find more facts and data to back up the points made? If the answer is yes, make your own presentation.
With all of the information you’ve gathered, create your presentation! Try to make it really stand out from the other ones you studied.
You can use any software you like to create the presentation: PowerPoint, Keynote, Photoshop and save as a PDF, whatever you’re comfortable with.
You can even use Canva to create a SlideShare presentation.
This presentation is directing people to their lead magnet for doubling leads and sales, which takes you to this landing page:
Deep linking is the practice of using anchor text to link to other pages inside your blog. This shows Google the depth of your site’s pages and encourages it to index more of them.
Most people focus on getting search visitors to their homepage, but struggle to rank their internal pages.
Your older blog posts and landing pages that provide immense value on relevant topics can pull in a lot of new traffic. You should link to them often to help build the structure of your website.
Without establishing internal links, a Google spider may see your website this way:
Pages C and D could be very important, but the spider can’t easily see them.
When your content is properly linked to each other, it helps the Google see all your content in an organized way, like this:
When you start interlinking pages other than your homepage, you’ll improve the SEO value for those internal pages and improve their ranking — even for tough keywords.
Before you start link building to your inner pages, you should first check to see how many inbound links go to your homepage, as compared to your other pages.
Go to Moz’s Link Explorer. Enter your URL into the search box and click “Get free link data”.
Sign up for access, then login. Click on “Top Pages,” in the left-hand menu under overview.
Looking at the above screenshot, you can see that my homepage has 276,000 inbound links, but the next highest number of links for an internal page is only 2,445.
That’s still a good number of links to have, but much lower than 276,000!
A high bounce rate often happens to websites who receive a significantly higher level of links to their homepage than they do for internal pages.
One of the strategies that worked best for me to lower my bounce rate is deep linking. Using this tactic, I was able to drop my average bounce rate from 45.34% to 24.45%.
Here are a few other ways deep linking to internal content helps your rankings:
Improves Page Authority: Google likes fresh content, because recent information is more likely to be relevant and useful to users.
Adding fresh content regularly is not the only way to raise your Page Authority. Linking to your older content gives those pages more power and tells Google they’re still relevant.
Your homepage naturally may have a higher PA but you need to work towards improving the authority of internal pages.
Cyrus Shepard explained, in a Moz post, that Google gives fresh content a score based on the date that it was published.
Makes your internal pages indexable. Consistently linking to internal pages makes it easier for search engine spiders to quickly find and index them.
When linking to your internal pages from other blogs, avoid over-optimization of your anchor text.
Your anchor text is the actual part of your sentence that has the link in it, like this. Use something simple for your anchor text, like your website name (“Neil Patel”), or add a keyword (“Neil Patel’s content marketing”).
An easy way to link to internal pages is in your latest blog post, like I’m doing right now when I say things like you could double your traffic.
If you have a page that’s currently on page two or three of Google search results, you can help move it up to page one by passing on quality link juice to those lower ranked pages.
Link juice (aka link equity) refers to outbound links from high authority sources to your content. Since those links are from high authority websites, that reputation rubs off on your site. Essentially, this gives Google an indication that your content is high quality, too.
Let’s look at it this way: you have two websites that are 100% identical – same design, same content. If every other factor were the same, the site with the most links would rank the highest in search results.
This article about indexing used to be on page two of Google’s results for the search term “index your site”.
Now, it’s the third organic search result on page 1!
Here’s how I did it.
I added new links, content and recent data to bring the post up to date.
I cover how to update your older content in detail in Section 18!
Since I updated the post, I shared it on all my social networks again. This brought in a lot of new traffic.
Every time it was relevant to a new post I was writing, I included a link to this post. This directed traffic to the older post and resulted in people sharing it and linking to it themselves.
It helps pass link juice to your content when you get links from high authority domains. Likewise, it also helps your overall trustworthiness in Google’s eyes when you link to high authority sites.
A good place to look for sites to link to is Alltop.
You’ll see some featured sites on the homepage and recent content published by them.
All six of these options would be good to link to, and get links from.
To find something for your topic, just search for your keyword at the top of the page.
You’ll see related categories to what you typed in. I chose SEO here.
Alltop then shows me the top SEO related content from the following high authority websites:
I could link over to one of them as a data source in my content.
Like if I said that user experience was just as important as on-page SEO for ranking high in search.
Better yet, I could approach these websites and ask them to link back to my content.
This is something a lot of marketers overlook, but it’s very powerful for generating high authority backlinks to your content.
Scan Wikipedia for dead links and claim them as your own!
Didn’t think of that, did you?
There are two types of links you can get from Wikipedia:
If you can write a post about the topic, and be a credible source of information, you can get these valuable links from Wikipedia.
I like to use a tool called WikiGrabber to find these link opportunities. Enter your keyword and click Search.
WikiGrabber then shows me this list of Wikipedia articles that need citations or that have dead links.
You can also use Google to find dead links on Wikipedia. Use the following search term:
site:wikipedia.org “Keyword phrase” “dead link”
For “content marketing”, you get the following results:
Let’s check out this article on Content Marketing.
Scroll through the article until you see the text .
Read over the item that needs a source. If you have content that already backs up this statement, you can move ahead to submitting your link. If not, you will need to write a new post that thoroughly covers the topic and provides verifiable data.
To submit your link, click on the  text beside Digital content marketing.
You’ll get the Wikipedia editor screen. Find the sentence that needed a citation, click at the end of it and click on Cite on the top menu.
Paste your URL into the box above and click Generate.
You’ll see this screen confirming your citation and marking the date it was added.
To save your changes to the article, click on Save Changes at the top right of your screen.
Your edit will be submitted for moderation. If Wikipedia staff agrees it’s a valid source of data for that point, it will be added to the page and you’ll enjoy increased page authority and traffic from Wikipedia.
Wikipedia links are technically no-follow, which means that they do not pass link juice over to you. However, their domain authority ranking and trust level from Google are very high, so there are still SEO benefits to snagging them!
Competitor research is a smart move. Why reinvent the wheel, when all of the hard work of ranking in Google’s top pages has already been done by your competitors?
Something as simple as signing up for your competitor’s newsletter can reveal their whole email marketing strategy to you. A little research doesn’t cost anything but your time, and can produce some great new strategies for you to try.
Starbucks’ profit in China has been steadily increasing because they did some simple research.
So how do you find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for right now?
Enter your competitor’s site URL into the search box and press Enter.
This will give you a list of keywords related to your website.
Scroll down to the last section titled SEO Keywords.
The Position column tells you which Google search result position your site sits in for that keyword. For example, smartblogger.com is in the first organic spot for “how do blogs make money”.
In order to verify whether the keywords are truly ranking at the positions Ubersuggest says, let’s do a quick Google search for “how do blogs make money”.
Definitely the top spot!
Now your job is to create high quality content using those same keywords. Use all the other tools in this list to build trusted links and boost that page’s ranking power.
If you want to get even more ideas for long-tail keywords to rank highly for, head back to the Ubersuggest home page.
In this example, you’re provided 461 keywords related to “online marketing.” You can now use filters to find long-tail keywords with high volume and a low SEO Difficulty score.
For this search, I set the volume at 800 to 4,000 and the SD at 40 or below.
While these search parameters eliminated more than 350 keywords, it also left behind seven ideas to include in future content.
You know the monthly search volume is greater than 800 and the SD is lower than 40. With that, you can confidently optimize for the keyword, knowing that the first page of Google is within reach. When that happens, there’s traffic to be had.
After clicking on a keyword that piques your interest, you’ll see how your competition is doing:
You’re given the following:
For the keyword “online marketing strategies,” my website is currently in the third position of the Google search results. This is good for roughly 97 visitors per month. However, if I am able to reach the top spot, I’ll pick up another 200+ visitors per month.
The data shows my domain score is in line with the top two search results, but the page doesn’t have nearly as many links or social shares. So, focusing on those two metrics will help me reach the goal of claiming the top search result.
Another great way to steal the spotlight from your competition is to look for keyword ideas in their Google AdWords search ads.
Google AdWords ads are short and already optimized for your competition’s target keywords. If you can produce a quality article that ranks well organically for that same keyword, you can easily establish yourself among your target customers.
With 26 percent of internet users using ad blockers, consumers are warier than ever of paid advertising.
Establishing yourself high in organic search results establishes trust and will display you first to those using ad blockers.
To find some good AdWords keywords to create content around, try searching for keywords you want to rank for:
Analyze the titles and copy used in each of these ads. They should give you at least a few ideas for headlines you can use in new content.
A few from this example could be:
I wrote the first post below for QuickSprout using “How to Perform an SEO Audit”, and included the word free in the title.
In that post, I broke down all the steps to do a full SEO website audit and included a template for users to download.
Your SEO page title is the title that is displayed in Google search results. Here’s an example.
You want to ensure that each page title for each page and post on your website contains a keyword.
A strategy I have found particularly effective is to include multiple keywords within each page title. Make sure not to be spammy with this or it could end up hurting you.
By spammy, I mean just cramming keywords in there for the sake of it, even if they sound a little off. Or, by using spam trigger words that instantly make Google think your content is less than legit.
Let’s say your post is about hair colors for fall and you want to rank for the following keywords:
Here are a few examples of a page title that combines those in a natural-sounding way:
See the difference? The first two sound natural and like you could picture seeing them online. The last one just seems spammy and like it’s trying too hard.
If your page titles sound like you’re trying too hard, you probably are.
Google Search Console is a powerful tool to help you track potential issues with your site that affect your rankings.
If you haven’t already signed up for it, you can see how to do that step by step right here.
There are three main things you want to check regularly in Search Console:
When you first sign in to Search Console, you’ll see your Dashboard page.
Under “Coverage,” you’ll see any URL erros.
As you can see, I have seven recent URL errors for my blog.
I had corrected a lot of 404 page errors in previous months that were caused by a switch to a new webhost, as you can tell by the red line. It’s important to keep monitoring these reports often as new errors can pop up anytime, like these seven have!
If you click on one of the URLs in the list, you’ll see this message.
404 errors don’t have a direct impact your search result rankings, but they don’t make for a great user experience which can impact SEO.
You don’t want to show up high in search, get someone excited to visit your site, then disappoint them with a 404 page when they get there, right?
Fortunately, they’re very easy to correct in Search Console. For each 404 error, click on Fetch as Google in the screenshot above.
Search Console will tell you the result of what Google’s indexing spider sees.
In this case, my 404 page was showing up that way because it’s being redirected to a new page. This can be easily solved by getting my site re-indexed. Click on Request Indexing button, and you’re done.
There’s also an easier way: you can submit a new sitemap for your full site.
Click on Sitemaps on the left-side menu.
Enter in the URL to your sitemap. For most people, this is just “sitemap.xml” after your domain name, like neilpatel.com/sitemap.xml.
If you need help creating a sitemap, use this guide on How to Create an SEO-Boosting XML Sitemap in 20 Minutes (or Less.)
When you submit a new sitemap, the status changes to Pending.
Getting Google to re-index your site will ensure any 404 errors that you know don’t exist are marked as fixed.
Another great use of Search Console is to find out the keywords people are using to find you.
Click on Performance in the left-side menu.
You’ll see a list of keywords that people typed into Google that displayed your website, whether they clicked on your page or not.
Looking at how people found you can tell you a lot about what you’re ranking well for. If the keywords in your list aren’t the ones you want to rank for, it’s time to optimize more of your content!
If you’ve been blogging for more than three months, you’ve got a goldmine of content in your archives to repurpose.
You’ve undoubtedly written some posts that are still generating organic traffic. You can improve those posts and leverage their authority for higher search rankings.
Start by making a list of your top performing content.
Log into Google Analytics. Click the “Behavior” tab on the left side.
Look for the best performing posts from three to six months ago. These posts are doing well, but a refresh could drive even more traffic.
Here’s what I do to update my best performing posts to keep them fresh and popular:
So, if your old post was titled “How to Make $10,000 From Your Blog,” you could make it more sharable by adding a bit of personal flair. The headline should evoke curiosity, but still maintain its clarity.
Something like this: How I Make $10,000 a Month From My Blog While Traveling the World
That’s a bit more fun, huh?
You could even add a number to the headline, as people more frequently share headlines that contain a number. Headlines like, “7 Reasons Why Blogging Can Be a Career”, etc.
Take a look at this Copy Hackers headline. It’s thought-provoking, keyword-rich, clickable and clear:
Now that you have some experience, let it show in your content.
Customer testimonials are huge for marketing. When it comes to including a testimonial within a piece of content, that content has an 89% success rate.
Your reader may not jump on board if you’re the only one saying how awesome you are. But if someone else backs it up, your authority and influence will increase.
When you get a testimonial, find a piece of content that fits it and include that testimonial.
If your post was originally from 2014, you clearly need to update your data sources.
If your website has gone through a redesign during that time, you’ll likely need to update images in the post to be in line with your current branding.
I do this regularly with my best performing content. For example, this guide on getting your website indexed is one of my most popular posts.
Whenever something changes with Google’s algorithm or indexing rules, I update that post so it’s always up to date. I don’t want new users coming to my site and finding outdated info, so it’s important that my top content is accurate.
Another word for content like this is your ‘cornerstone content’.
Cornerstone content is basically the foundation of your blog. They are the articles you are most proud of and the ones that are the most unique, in-depth and informative.
Brian Clark describes it as, “It’s what people need to know to make use of your website and do business with you.”
An easy way to keep track of your cornerstone content is to create a spreadsheet. Add the following columns:
In the previous section, we covered how you can keep your best performing articles fresh and optimized. But what about the articles that didn’t go over so well?
You should also be updating your lowest performing content to improve it.
You know it’s a good topic and that people want to know about it, otherwise you wouldn’t have written about it in the first place. Revamping an old underperforming article is a sure way to get more organic search traffic.
What’s the alternative? Writing a new post from scratch. It may do well, or it could flop too. It’s worth the effort to revamp an old post!
Here’s how to turn your previous content failures into organic search stars:
Open up Google Analytics and click on Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
Look at page views, average time on page, and bounce rate.
If you click on the arrow next to Pageviews, you can see the pages with the least amount of traffic. These are pages that need some thelp!
For each of your lowest performing posts that you want to update, run them through whatsmyserp.
Enter the keyword you want to check the ranking of and your post’s URL, and click Go.
You can enter in multiple searches one at a time and see all your results at the bottom of the page.
This post ranked 14 for sales funnel — which might isn’t even on the first page.
If my goal were to rank higher for ‘sales funnel’, I now have some data to start with. There are over 200 factors that go into search engine rankings, but updating this old post with better optimization for that keyword will help boost its position.
The top four organic search results get 69.6% of all traffic.
The higher you can get underperforming content to rank in search results, the more eyeballs will be on it, and the more clicks you’ll get.
Similar to the section above, you’ll want to update:
I recently went through this process with this post about starting a blog.
Before I updated it, it was ranking on page three. After expanding the post to over 3,000 words, updating all the images and screenshots, adding new information and resharing it to my network, the post is now on page one for “how to start a blog”.
The post has received a 167% jump in traffic since I revamped it and it’s now my second most shared post ever!
You can’t just press update and expect the world to know you just added a ton more value to your old post. You need to tell people.
It’s important to edit the publish date of the post to today’s date. You don’t want it to get buried in your archives, or for Google to think it’s old news.
When you’re ready to relaunch the post, change the publish date. In WordPress, there’s an edit link next to the date you can click.
Just change that to the current date.
This makes your revamped post show at the top of your blog feed so it looks brand new and more people see it.
There are a few more things you’ll want to do right away:
Revamping old content has been really successful for me.
It would have taken me 10x as long to come up with all new post ideas and write them instead of editing the ones I already had. Making use of existing content is always more efficient than starting from scratch and the traffic results prove it.
A blog is a powerful brand marketing tool.
Maybe that’s because, by their very nature, blogs provide a personal touch that’s not found elsewhere.
In order to maximize your blog’s potential, you have to make sure it gets found in search results.
These advanced SEO techniques may not be the easiest to implement – they certainly require more effort than basic keyword research and link building – but they are incredibly effective. Using these strategies can double your search traffic.
Remember the human beings on the other side of the screen and write for what they want to read. Focusing on user intent and trying out these 19 advanced SEO tips is a recipe for traffic success.
Have you tried any of these advanced SEO techniques before? What results did you get and how long did it take to see them?
The post 19 Advanced SEO Techniques to Double Your Search Traffic appeared first on Neil Patel.
Not sure what a 302 redirect is or when to use them? Are you curious about the impact on your SEO efforts?
I’ve got good news: 302 redirects are actually pretty simple. At its core, a 302 redirect is a way to tell search engines and users that a page has moved temporarily and to direct them to a new page for a short period.
Simple enough, right?
The problem is using the wrong redirect can significantly impact SEO and user experience. This is why getting the redirect right is crucial to your overall digital marketing strategy.
So what’s the difference between the types of redirects, and when should you use a 302? Here’s what you need to know.
A 302 redirect is an HTTP response status code that tells search engines a page has moved, but only temporarily. It then directs users (and search engines) to the new, temporary page.
A 301 redirect is a server-side HTTP response status code that tells users and search engines a page has permanently moved, and it won’t be coming back.
For users, there’s little difference between the two types of redirects. They get sent to a new (hopefully more useful) page regardless of the redirect type.
The core difference between a 302 redirect and a 301 redirect is the amount of time the redirect is in place, but a 302 also leaves something important behind: link equity and page rank.
When you use a 302 redirect, the original page usually maintains its Google ranking, so it shouldn’t impact your SEO efforts. However, a 301 redirect causes the original page to lose ranking and can cause it to be deindexed by search engines.
According to Google, the main reasons to use a 301 (permanent) redirect are:
You might also use a 301 redirect when switching from HTTP to HTTPS or when you merge two related pages. Any time you move a page and have no intentions of bringing it back, use a 301.
When you use a 301 redirect, the original page is no longer considered by Google, which is the main reason you want to ensure you use the correct type of redirect.
Say you’ve spent years establishing a pillar content page to rank for a key term in your industry. You decide to take the page down for a few days to redesign and update the page. If you use a 301 redirect, Google thinks the page is gone forever and removes the page from indexing.
Use a 302 and Google knows the page is coming back.
The type of redirect you use severely impacts your SEO, so make sure you always use the correct type for the situation.
So, what are the exact benefits of using a 302 redirect? Not all redirects are created equal, and using the wrong redirect can have a severe impact on your site’s SEO, as we’ve already covered.
Remember, a 301 redirect is permanent. You are telling Google and users that the page is gone and will never return. If the change is not permanent, you’ll want to use a 302 redirect.
Here are a few benefits of using a 302 over a 301 redirect.
Few things are more frustrating than clicking on a link and not finding the content you expect. It’s enough to send most users back to the search results (and to a competitor).
A 302 redirect makes sure users and search engines always find the content they are looking for. For example, if a product is temporarily out of stock, you might use a 302 redirect to send customers to a related product page or a page letting them know when the product is likely to be back in stock. You might also use a 302 to send users to related content while you redesign a pillar content page.
Unlike 301 pages, 302 redirects are temporary, which means you can switch back at any time. This provides a lot of flexibility for site owners. For example, you could temporarily send site users to a related page while you redesign a landing page.
Because the switch is temporary, Google won’t remove the page from search results or otherwise devalue the page in its ranking.
A 302 redirect tells Google (and all other search engines) that the move is temporary and preserves the page’s ranking and link equity. As a result, implementing the redirect shouldn’t impact your SEO. That means all your hard work won’t be in vain!
When the page no longer needs to be redirected, simply remove the redirect, and your SEO shouldn’t be affected.
Creating a 301 redirect requires access to your server, which means most digital marketers and site owners have to enlist the help of a developer to implement a 301 redirect. 302 redirects, however, can be created relatively easily using meta tags or a WordPress plugin. That means you can quickly implement them and easily take them down.
Note: Do not use 302 redirects when permanently moving a page just because they are easier. If a page move is permanent, always use a 301 redirect. Depending on your site, 301 redirects might be easy enough to create. If you aren’t sure where to start, head to your host’s knowledge base or look for a WordPress plugin.
Remember, the core difference between 301 and 302 redirects is the permanency of the move. If you are moving a page for a short time, you’ll want to use a 302 redirect to preserve the original page’s integrity (and ranking).
Let’s look at a few examples of when you’d want to use a 302.
A 302 redirect makes no practical difference for users. They still get sent to the new page regardless. For search engines, however, the temporary nature of the switch is crucial.
Essentially, you are telling search engines, “Hey, don’t worry about this page right now; the other page will be back soon.”
If you are confident the move is temporary, 302 is the way to go. For example, you might move a page temporarily because:
Another reason to use a temporary redirect is when a page (or website) is under development. Extensive redesigns might require taking your site offline, which can be frustrating for users and confusing for search engines.
Rather than leaving users hanging, a temporary redirect lets them know the page or site will be back very soon.
In this situation, you might send users to an email sign-up page or to offer a countdown clock so they know when the site will be back. Here’s an example of a countdown page from Themeforest with a countdown clock:
The page also offers links to social media accounts to help build a social media presence.
You might also use a 302 redirect when a page is broken or inactive. You don’t want users to land on a blank page (or get a 404 error), so a temporary redirect may be the way to go. Remember, only use a 302 if you plan to bring the page back.
For example, the content might be inactive because you run a semi-annual sign-up period for a membership site or you have a landing page for a recurring webinar that’s currently unavailable. A 302 should ensure the site maintains its SEO ranking and is ready to go when you want to reactivate the page.
Think about the last time you tried to order an item online, only to find out the product was no longer in stock. You were so close to having that item in your hands, only to find out it’s gone, and you have no idea when it might be available again.
It’s frustrating, and you’re likely to head to a competitor to complete your purchase. This is why stockouts (when a product is out of stock or unavailable) can hurt overall revenue and impact brand trust.
The reality is, items will sometimes go out of stock. It’s just part of doing business. A manufacturer might run out, or the supply chain might otherwise be impacted by something out of your control.
While you might not always be able to control stockouts, you can use redirects to preserve user experience. For example, you might use a 302 redirect to send users to a waitlist page, like this one:
You could also send users to a related product (just be sure to let them know!). When the product is back in stock, you can reactivate the original page and preserve all that SEO you worked so hard for.
Whether you are in e-commerce, the service industry, or run a local business, A/B testing is crucial to your bottom line. A/B testing allows you to test two different versions of the same page to see which version drives conversions, sales, or any other behavior you want users to take.
For example, I used A/B testing to figure out which CTAs to use in the sidebar of my website.
It turns out, the orange button converted much better than other colors.
Here’s another example of the power of A/B testing: WallMonkeys, a company offering wall decals and murals, increased conversions by 550% by using A/B testing to figure out what site users were more likely to respond to.
So where do 302 redirects come into play?
Well, you don’t want to permanently redirect your page because you might find out the original page was the best! Instead, use a 302 redirect to temporarily send a portion of your users to the adjusted page without losing your ranking. When the test is over, you can remove the redirect and go right back to normal.
If you are struggling with A/B testing, check out this guide for creating a winning A/B testing strategy.
If you aren’t already offering a mobile-friendly website, it is past time to do so. Seriously. Google moved to mobile-first indexing in the summer of 2019.
Your site should already work well on both mobile and desktop, but there are some reasons why you might still have a mobile version of a website.
For example, a banking app might offer a streamlined version of their website for mobile users, or they might find most mobile users are looking for a branch location. A 302 can send those users to the most useful page. You might also use a streamlined navigation bar for mobile and allow desktop users to access the complete version.
In both cases, a 302 redirect ensures every user lands on the site most useful to them.
Redirects can get confusing: 301s, 302s, plus 404 errors for when pages are broken.
Navigating these can be a pain if you are not a developer or a technical SEO expert. Hopefully, I’ve helped you better understand when and why you’d want to use 302 redirects on your site.
Here’s the TL;DR version: 302 redirects are temporary and generally preserve the SEO of the original page. 301 pages are permanent and tell search engines to disregard the old page in favor of the new page.
Now that you understand the difference, make sure to implement the right one on your site.
Have you used a temporary redirect before? What challenges did you face?
Even if you publish the best content on any given content, Google might not rank it.
In fact, they usually don’t.
It takes a lot more than just content to get Google traffic these days.
So what’s required to win?
Sooner or later, you’re going to need high quality links to your content.
There’s lots of grey-area folks in this space. What’s the right way to do it? Are there any good link building companies out there?
They do exist. They’re just hard to find.
And be extra careful with all this. Not only does Google forbid paying for links, the only legitimate long-term strategy is to build links authentically. The right link building companies will help you do this.
Before going any further, always start with your goals.
Take a step back and ask yourself: Why do I need to build links to my website?
If you’re like most business people, you’re looking to hire a link-building agency because you heard links drive higher rankings and traffic to your site.
Well, there are even more benefits if you build quality links to your site.
Emphasis on ‘quality.’
And it’s because the way links work is pretty straightforward: Other sites trust your site for something, and they link to it. Google uses those signals, or ‘vote of confidence,’ to consider your website an authoritative resource.
These rewards explain why some businesses spend between $10,000 – $50,000 per month on link-building alone.
Yet, the competition for quality links has gotten tough.
Google cracked down on most of the link strategies. And even if you find something that works today, Google gets better at finding inauthentic links every year.
The last thing you want to build a bunch of links that Google starts ignoring in 12 months.
So, before you spray money on a link-building agency, be sure to choose one with experience building quality backlinks.
To get quality backlinks, there are only a few strategies I know you can get them:
Your SEO strategy and business goals determine what link-building strategies and agency you’ll need.
Let me explain with a few examples.
Imagine for a second your main competitor’s site ranks No.1 organically for the keyword, “best female fitness apps,” while yours languishes on Google’s 19th page.
And you realize this competitor ranks high because authoritative domains are linking to an old piece of content by them, which cited an outdated study related to women’s fitness.
Authority, as they say, breeds authority.
So, to displace your competitor or, at least, improve your position on the SERPs, you’ll also need to get backlinks from authoritative domains.
Two options I trust you can leverage for this are:
Either way, the link-building strategy you’ll need in this scenario is called linkable content marketing.
And that’s because content marketing and backlinks go together perfectly. You can’t really do one without the other.
To get links using this strategy, you’ll need an agency with vast and proven experience in content marketing.
Let’s stay with the “best female fitness app” example.
Imagine that you went ahead to conduct a new study on women’s fitness.
After this, you produced an excellent content piece that breaks down your findings.
Some months later, your study and content go viral, and many bloggers start mentioning it in their articles.
Those mentions usually include links straight to your research.
But not always.
To seize this opportunity and build backlinks, you’ll need to reach out to those bloggers and ask for a link.
In this case, you’ll use a link-building strategy called blogger outreach.
Did you notice something in both examples I just shared?
You need something worth linking to—something of high quality, to give other websites the confidence to send backlinks to your site.
And these link-worthy assets are better if they’re in the form of content.
The better your content, the easier it is to get these authentic links that are perfectly legitimate.
Why does any of this matter?
Why not just hire some agency to build links for you?
There’s a lot of shady stuff in the link building space. If you don’t have a specific idea for the type of links you want, you’re going to get a link spammer to build a ton of bad links, charge you a ton, and then walk away. If you do enough of that, Google can penalize your site. It can take years to reverse that kind of thing.
Since link building has so much risk, you want to be in the weeds with any link building agency that you work with. It’s the only way to ensure that they don’t damage your domain.
Here’s some other things to look for in a great link building agency.
Great companies have attributes that define them in general. Great link-building agencies are no exception.
But what characteristics should one lookout for, which makes a link-building agency great?
There are six significant ones I can bet my money on.
I prefer to keep content and link building closely aligned.
Simply buying a ton of links to a landing page hasn’t worked in Google for ages.
To get good, authentic links, you need good, authentic content.
Many sites don’t have that content. Even if they’ve produced great content in the past, they might not have content that’s linkable enough. Research, stats, studies, and resources all do really well.
If you don’t have that type of content, you’ll need an agency that can spot that gap and get the content produced for you.
Any good link building agency will be deeply familiar with black hat SEO and the dodgy stuff some people do. And they never venture into these areas. It’s just too risky.
The good agencies know precisely where to draw the line.
They believe in building long-term links that Google values.
So they’ve set firm boundaries with their team and their clients on what they won’t do.
Ask them what links they won’t build. And which strategies they don’t use.
It should be a long list.
Any legitimate link building agency will give you a list of every link that they’ve built.
This is your opportunity to review those links and make sure they’re 100% legitimate.
If an agency attempts to hide the links or drags their feet at all, work with someone else.
When you start working with a new agency, be sure to check all of the links in their first batch. You want to be completely sure that every link looks good. Anyone can check link quality, you don’t need to be an SEO expert.
Look for links on quality pages. Is it a good blog post? Is it a quality site? Does the link make sense?
If anything looks off to you, it’ll also look bad to Google.
The simple fact of link building is that results are never guaranteed. Google doesn’t give out rankings for participation. If you want that #1 slot, you need to outperform everyone else.
No one wins by doing a defined list of requirements, they win by doing more than their competitors.
If you have tough competition, you could be facing an uphill battle the whole way.
Great agencies know how hard some rankings can be. And they don’t overpromise.
Stay away from anyone that promises #1 rankings. And if an agency promises rankings within firm timelines or makes really specific forecasts, consider these redflags.
What’s it like working with a link-building agency?
It’s easiest to describe what a link building isn’t:
Tons of companies offer that sort of thing.
And it’s almost always doomed to fail.
Working with agencies like that will only get your low-quality links. The agency is pursuing a volume game, they can’t give you the attention that you really need.
Look for a real agency that will help get you authentic links.
That process feels more link a real agency:
Like working with most agencies, you can set them up to succeed or fail.
No agency can perform miracles on their own.
Agencies get results by working closely with your team and using your internal resources when it makes sense.
It’s usually a good idea to get your team aligned before reaching out to an agency in the first place. Then there won’t be any roadblocks once you get started.
Once your team is ready to go, reach out to an agency that seems promising.
Authentic link building strategies are usually custom tailored to each site and business.
Most link building agencies will want to jump on a call with you, get a sense for your market and goals, and ask tons of questions to make sure they’re a good fit.
Expect to get on a discovery call with them.
And if you have a massive website, there might be several discovery calls.
Once you fill out the agency’s contact form, you can expect to get these done within a week or so.
The really amazing link building agencies will leverage their expertise to research your company, target audience, competitors, and industry.
They won’t blindly offer to start building links.
After all, winning Google is about outplaying your competitors.
If you don’t know the competition, you’ll have a really hard time beating them.
So great agencies figure out that competition. They get a sense for how much work it’s take to get good rankings in your space.
You should see a bunch of deep research on your site and competitors at this point.
That’s how they come up with a set of strategy recommendations for you.
Assuming their recommendations look good, you can move to the proposal stage.
Expect long-term proposals.
Link building takes forever to work, especially if you’re doing it the legit way.
First you need to get a campaign or content built, then you launch it, then you wait for organic links to come in, then you wait for those links to have an impact.
None of this happens quickly.
And link building agencies know this. They only want to work with folks that are truly onboard for the long-term.
Yes, the top link-building agencies have an onboarding process unique to each client’s project, so expect one.
Going through this process is crucial as it sets the stage for working together.
It also clarifies what you’ll need to do to make the partnership successful. Follow up with your team and ensure the agency is getting what they need.
That’s the only way to give the project any chance of success.
A link-building agency that’s right for you is one that understands your needs and how getting backlinks would impact your business and SEO strategy in general.
By now, I trust you already know this.
And what can get from these kinds?
Those ill-tactics may have quick wins—they had in the past, but give it some time and Google will penalize you and shrink your rankings.
It’s best to choose reputable, trusted, and experienced quality link-building companies who won’t cut corners and daint their image and brands.
Below are the best link building companies that come highly recommended.
I’ve built millions of backlinks to my personal blog using by using my linkable content strategy:
Thats over 3 million backlinks which generate more than 3.4 million monthly organic visits.
By working with Neil Patel Digital, you get access to that same playbook for your own site. Contact us and my team will get in touch with you.
FATJOE is a trusted blogger outreach service even other agencies turn to for backlinks:
Founded by experienced SEO practitioner, Joe Taylor, FATJOE’s blogger outreach service has generated backlinks for over 5,000 customers globally.
This is a great option if you already have amazing content and only need some extra muscle from an outreach strategy.
Page One Power has built a reputation as the trusted link-building agency for getting strategic link placements on higher domain (DA60+) websites.
They do this through a combination of linkable assets and high-level outreach strategy.
This agency’s ten years of experience speaks for itself. They build about 15,000 strategic backlinks each year and and have 982 active partners:
If you need to generate some backlinks on your own, guest posting on other people’s sites is the way to go.
But what if you didn’t have the time to do this?
The HOTH can help:
The HOTH’s guest posting is a productized service you can turn to and get links from sites with domain authority between DA10 and DA50.
RhinoRank is excellent for getting links from websites that have mentioned your company or product in content pieces published on their sites without linking to you.
The name of this link acquisition strategy is curated link-building.
RhinoRank will do all the hard work, reach out to several webmasters with relevant brand mentions, and secure backlinks for your site.
Yes, sites need links to rank in Google. Especially for competitive terms.
You could try to brute force your way through this and work with a link building agency.
Or you could roll out a whole marketing strategy that builds your domain authority, your brand, gets you a ton of leads, and builds links naturally over time.
That’s how I prefer to do it.
Instead of just looking for a link building agency, consider a top-tier online marketing agency that can implement the entire program for you.
That’s what we do at Neil Patel Digital.
One of the latest evolutions in SEO is called schema markup. This new form of optimization is one of the most powerful but least-utilized forms of SEO available today. Once you grasp the concept and method of schema markup, you can boost your website in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
My goal in this article is to show you exactly how to get started using schema markup for your website.
Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you place on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. If you’ve ever used rich snippets, you’ll understand exactly what schema markup is all about.
Here’s an example of a local business that has markup on its event schedule page. The SERP entry looks like this:
The schema markup told the SERP to display a schedule of upcoming hotel events. That, for the user, is exceptionally helpful.
Here are some facts about schema markup:
The content on your website gets indexed and returned in search results. Obviously. But with schema markup, some of that content gets indexed and returned in a different way.
How? Because the markup tells the search engine what that content means. For example, let’s say the word “Neil Patel” appears in an article. The search engine sees this, and produces a SERP entry with “Neil Patel.”
However, if I put the right schema markup around the name “Neil Patel,” I’ve just told that search engine that “Neil Patel” is the author of the article, not just a couple of random words. The search engine then provides results that display better information for the user who was searching for “Neil Patel.”
Schema.org explains it this way:
Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string “Avatar” in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means — “Avatar” could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.
You don’t need to learn any new coding skills. Web pages with markup still use HTML. The only difference is adding bits of schema.org vocabulary to HTML Microdata.
It’s not too often that competitors come together to help each other, but Schema.org is exactly that kind of inter-industry collaboration. What you have, then, is an agreed-upon set of code markers that tells the major search engines what to do with the data on your website.
When a website has schema markup in place, users can see in the SERPs what a website is all about, where they are, what they do, how much stuff costs, plus plenty of other stuff. Some people have taken to calling schema markup “your virtual business card.”
This is a user-focused improvement. Search engines exist for users to gain the information they need. Schema markup does exactly that.
Schema markup helps your website rank better for all kinds of content types. There is data markup for a ton of different types of data, including:
There are hundreds of markup types—from toy stores to medical dose schedules. If you have any type of data on your website, there’s a good chance that it will have an associated itemscope and itemtype.
Websites that use schema markup will rank better in the SERPs than companies without markup. One study determined that websites with markup rank an average of four positions higher in the SERPs than those without schema markup. While it’s not totally clear that this higher result is due to the markup alone, there is obviously some correlation.
Right now, one-third of Google’s search results incorporate rich snippets, which includes schema markup. However, according to recent research, less than one-third of websites use schema markup.
In other words, there are millions of websites missing out on a huge source of SEO potential. If you use schema markup, you’ll automatically have a leg up on the majority of your competition.
Now, let’s talk about how to use schema markup. Your goal is to rank better, look better, and do better in the SERPs and in front of users.
Schema markup will help you. With your website in hand, follow these steps.
There are several options listed. This list is not exhaustive. For the sample below, I’m going to use “Articles” since it’s one of the most common types of content.
If you only have HTML, you can paste that instead. Then, click “Start Tagging.”
The page will load in the markup tool and provide you with the workspace for the next phase of markup—tagging items. You’ll see your web page in the left pane, and the data items in the right pane.
Since this piece of content is an article, I’m going to highlight the name of the article in order to add “Name” markup. When I finish highlighting, I select “Name” from the tooltip.
When I select “Name,” the tool adds it to “Data Items” in the right pane.
Use the list of data items as a guide, and highlight the other items in your article to add them to the markup list. You probably won’t be able to tag every item in the list. Just add what you can.
Once you’ve finished, click “Create HTML.”
In the following page, you will see the HTML of your page with the relevant microdata inserted in the spots that you selected.
Next, you will go into your CMS (or source code if you’re not using a CMS) and add the highlighted snippets in the appropriate spots. Find the yellow markers on the scrollbar to find the schema markup code.
A simple alternative is to download the automatically-generated HTML file, and copy/paste it into your CMS or source code.
When you click “Finish,” you will be presented with a series of “Next Steps.”
Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to find out what your page will look like with the added markup.
Instead of analyzing a published web page, I’m going to analyze the code that the tool generated for me, and which I downloaded.
Once the code is pasted, I click “preview.” The testing tool shows me what the article will look like in Google search results:
In addition, I can inspect every markup element that I added.
If necessary, I can edit the HTML directly in the testing tool in order to update the schema and preview results again.
The purpose of this article was to get you started in the world of schema markup. It’s a big world.
The next few tips will show you how to dive even deeper, and gain even richer results from schema.
Schema.org provides a list of the most common types of schema markup. You can visit the Organization of Schemas page to see this list. Check out the types that are best suited to your business.
As I mentioned previously, there is a myriad of markup types. To get the full list, visit The Type Hierarchy. This master list provides most of the markup types that are available.
Schema.org’s instructions explain clearly, “the more content you mark up, the better.” When you start understanding the vast array of item types, you begin to see just how much there is on your web page that you can mark up.
Keep in mind the disclaimer, however: “You should mark up only the content that is visible to people who visit the web page and not content in hidden div’s or other hidden page elements.”
As simple as schema markup is to implement, it’s surprising how few businesses and websites have taken advantage of it.
Schema markup is one of those SEO techniques that will probably be with us for a long time. Now is the time to learn and implement the relevant microdata to improve your search results. Doing so right away will put you ahead of the curve, giving you a leg up on the competition.
How do you use schema markup for your company’s website?