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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?
Studying how people use video search to find the content they want is an essential but often neglected area of marketing.
When we understand how video search engines work, we can begin to devise marketing strategies around this traffic source. When you understand your audience’s search intent and properly optimize your videos, you unlock new means of generating leads for your business.
In this guide, we break down video search engines and how you can use them to increase your traffic.
The first thing we need to think about is why people search for videos in the first place. What makes someone look for a specific video? Why are they searching for that video? What are they looking to accomplish?
All of these questions are important to answer, and we’ll address them, one by one.
According to Google, people look for videos for three different reasons. They either want to reflect, connect, or learn. So, what does that mean exactly?
Video in any form has provided us with a way of escaping reality. For many decades, it’s been in the form of television. Many people use video to see life through a different lens, which helps them reflect on their own life.
This could be one reason someone might search for a video.
Another reason someone may use video is to foster connections. 51% of people in a study completed by Google say they feel the need to connect with others through video content.
A great example might be someone struggling with addiction to alcohol. Their first response would be to retreat and hide from friends and family because that’s what they’re used to doing.
A quick video search displays hundreds of videos of people going through the same thing, and now they can relate to someone. We seek video to connect with our community and to meet on common ground.
Videos have become a way for us to learn about anything we might be interested in, and there are nearly no limitations to what we can find with a quick video search. Whether you’re looking to touch up on something you know already or dive into something completely new, there are millions of videos on the internet to help you accomplish your goal or explore your hobbies.
Now that we understand the “why,” let’s look at the “how.” How do people search for videos on the internet, and what does that tell us as marketers?
One very common way people search for videos is in traditional search engines. A quick Google search for something actionable will supply hundreds of videos revolving around that topic. For example, if someone wants to learn how to properly tape off a living room to use a residential paint sprayer, it might be easier for them to watch a video on how to do it rather than read up on it.
You can also go to the video section on the search result page to see just video results.
You can type your search into the Google search bar and then choose from the recommended videos, or you can click the videos tab and search strictly for video rather than text results.
Another popular method people use to search for videos is social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and others all make it simple for you to search for videos in various ways.
For example, Instagram uses hashtags to tag videos. This feature makes it easy for people to come in and search the specific hashtag and find your video if you’ve optimized it correctly.
On Facebook, hashtags aren’t as popular, but you still have video descriptions and closed captions that can be searched.
As marketers, it’s our job to bring the right content to the right audience at the perfect time.
To do this, we need to have a firm understanding of a few things.
You need to understand who your target audience is, but this gets a little more advanced when talking about video search. This task isn’t as simple as optimizing a landing page for your organic search audience. We have to talk about a complete overhaul based on the platform you’re using.
There are a few levels to this.
The first level is choosing the platform you’re using to promote your videos. For example, the audience on Facebook is much different than the audience on TikTok. No matter how hard you try, you’re not reaching many seniors on TikTok, even if you have the perfect piece of video content for that demographic.
Once you understand the platform’s overall demographic, you need to break it down and learn who your specific audience is. What is your buyer persona? What types of videos do they like to watch? Are they looking for entertainment, information, connection, etc.?
The last level is, what types of searches are they making? Once you know where and who they are, how can you connect them with your video? What are they typing into the search bar, and how can you direct that to you?
The easiest way to understand all of this is to reverse engineer it the same we do with organic SEO. Put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes and search for a video within your wheelhouse. Figure out what search phrases lead where and what you need to do based on your competition to jump ahead of them.
This point piggybacks off the previous one, but it goes a little deeper. Connecting with the searcher means understanding what they’re looking for so you can be the one to provide it.
Attention spans are short, so you need to provide the right answer as soon as possible in your video; otherwise, people will turn somewhere else.
Another key to video search is giving the audience exactly what they want, right away. If the first few seconds of your video doesn’t pique the viewer’s interest, they’ll move on to the other hundreds of options available to them.
Another point to consider is the chosen platform you’re using from point one. How well do you understand how to use it? Do you know how the video search process works? Do you understand the basics of the algorithm and methods used to determine which videos show up and how they rank them?
In the same way that we try to understand everything about Google’s algorithms for SEO, we need to do the same with each platform, and if you don’t understand it, you might get left behind.
Timing is a huge factor. The length of your video will play a significant role in who chooses to watch it and how well it ranks. There isn’t an “end all be all” for video length because the ideal length depends on the platform.
That said, if someone is looking for a quick solution to a problem, throw that case out the window. For example, when someone is trying to figure out how to upload a featured image on WordPress, they don’t want to watch a 15-minute video because they’re going to know there’s a lot of fluff.
Your video would likely perform much better if it was only one minute because people will assume it is straight to the point.
Google even pinpoints in many video searches where the result you’re looking for is in the video in their search results.
They pull a snippet out for you to get the answer you’re looking for without having to watch the whole thing.
Lastly, you need to optimize your videos. There’s a whole guide to video SEO here, but there are some important factors pertaining to video search specifically.
First, your thumbnail:
The thumbnail of your video is like the trailer for your upcoming movie. If the trailer sucks, chances are, no one is going to see the movie.
If your thumbnail sucks, fewer people will click through to your video. Your thumbnail needs to contain keywords, and it must instill confidence in the viewer that your video will solve their problem.
Second, you need to optimize your video descriptions on all platforms. Every video search platform uses keywords to determine how relative a video is to what the user is searching. You need to make sure you’re following fundamental SEO principles when it comes to video search as well.
Many people wonder what the top video search engines are but keep in mind, it’s unique to the individual. What’s a hit on Facebook might tank on TikTok and vice versa. When choosing from these top six video search engines, make sure you factor in everything we’ve discussed so far.
Video marketing on Facebook is all about interrupting patterns. If you’re targeting an older demographic, your content is a bit more serious, and you’re able to grab attention quickly, Facebook might be an excellent place for you.
The problem that I’ve seen with Facebook video is the implementation of intrusive ads. That’s why I recommend sticking to short, sweet, and direct videos on Facebook. If your primary purpose of creating the video is to sell something, keep it super short, ideally less than 60 seconds.
One area where Facebook has shined is in e-commerce. I see videos all the time of people using a product they purchased online, and they do such a great job of making the video appear organic.
The key to getting your video in front of your audience on Facebook is to make sure you include the right keywords in your description and have a very refined target demographic.
Understanding Youtube video search is all about understanding video SEO. There are also various tools and extensions out there to use alongside the manual work and knowledge you obtain.
One thing about YouTube is that they reward continuous creators. Consistency is essential, and if you plan on having success with YouTube, you need to create videos every week so the algorithm sees that you’re a consistent creator.
I see YouTube marketing as an excellent way for affiliates, content creators, and artists to display their work. If you produce something as a product or you’re an affiliate or something, YouTube is the place to show your stuff.
The platform also puts much more emphasis on longer videos. Plus, if you’re creating high-quality content, the longer videos will increase your watch time, which has a positive impact on ranking.
Instagram is built on discovery, and if you’re looking to go from nothing to something, Instagram seems like the place to be. Video search on Instagram is made possible through the use of hashtags.
When someone wants to find something specific or they want to filter content, they search using hashtags.
One great way to get discovered on Instagram is by capitalizing on trends. Throughout the year, Instagram has a plethora of hashtag trends that explode in terms of search volume, and if you find one that’s relevant to you and your audience, you may be able to create a viral video or “reel” (their version of TikTok) in no time.
Capitalizing on Twitter video search is similar to Facebook; it needs to be interruptive without being intrusive. You’ll want to have the proper key phrases in your video’s description because users will search for content relating to that phrase.
Also, keep in mind that platforms like Twitter choose which videos to display on users’ Twitter feeds, so having relevant keywords pertaining to the content in your video may end up on the feed of your ideal client.
Vimeo is very similar to YouTube, but Vimeo has an advantage with smaller boutique-style audiences. There’s less competition, the quality of videos is better, and viewers are more dedicated to the videos they watch.
Another recommendation for marketing on Vimeo is to stay on top of the engagement with your viewers. Because the audience is so much smaller, there’s a lot less spam and bots, which means more actual conversation from people who may have questions about whatever it is you’re selling or promoting.
Content is king on TikTok, and compared to all the other platforms, this app is the only place where you can post a video with no followers and get millions of views if you know what to post.
It’s essential to understand your audience and tap into their feelings, emotions, fears, and desires. Who are you looking to target, and what do you want them to feel when watching this video?
Once you’ve got that figure out, put in a proper description, add some hashtags, and see what happens. There’s no proven formula because the content is so important on this platform. If your content resonates with the right people, it will get likes and shares, and the sky’s the limit from there.
Now that you understand video search, how people search for videos, why they search, and how to reach them, how do you feel? Do you feel like any of the previous video platforms could work for your brand?
If this all sounds like a lot of work, consider learning more about what we’ve done to help other marketers get their videos in front of the right audience.
Which platform do you think is the best for video marketing going forward?
The post What is Video Search and How Can it Help Your Business? appeared first on Neil Patel.
Got a crawling, indexing, or site-wide ranking problem?
SEO traffic isn’t just about having the right content.
One wrong technical SEO setting can bring your entire site down.
And many technical errors are so obscure that they go unnoticed for years.
Even small problems can add up, slowing you down and resulting in less traffic.
Technical SEO audits require specialized skills and in-depth expertise. Google is constantly changing it’s algorithms. If you want the audit done right, you’ll need someone that really knows that they’re doing.
Well, I have good news.
Step-by-step, I’ll walk you through how to choose a technical SEO agency that’s right for your business.
Whether you’re a small business that just needs an audit done right, or a major corporation that needs a complete SEO program, there’s an option for you.
Most people only give technical SEO a second thought when things have gone south. It shouldn’t be this way.
Technical SEO is the backbone of every successful, long-term SEO strategy.
Here’s a few examples of when it’s worth making technical SEO a priority.
Let’s say you started your content push to get higher Google rankings.
You created, published, and promoted in-depth blog posts.
After a while, Google rewards your efforts with higher rankings for some keywords. Your site traffic starts to increase.
Things are going well.
So you keep publishing more content. And that’s when things go bad.
Your traffic tanks.
More content doesn’t always yield more traffic. Sometimes, it shrinks your organic traffic from.
I know it sounds crazy but this happens all the time.
Bloated sites with duplicate content make it really hard for Google to figure out which pages of yours to rank.
What does Google do when they’re not sure what to rank? They usually rank nothing.
Duplicate content on your blog, a ton of similar pages that were created automatically, or telling Google to index internal URLs can all lead to problems.
If you see anything like this, get a technical SEO to help you.
If you play the SEO game long enough, one of your sites will fall off a cliff overnight.
Years ago, our blog at KISSmetrics saw traffic drop by 40% in less than a month.
That dropped our monthly traffic by hundreds of thousands of visitors. The team scrambled to fix that.
Everyone goes through one of these.
And the first thing you want to do is reach out to a technical SEO.
Hopefully, it’s a simple fix like a bad robots.txt file. Even if it’s a bigger problem, you want a serious expert to pinpoint the issue and chart a course to get that traffic back.
Not all agencies can develop, let alone implement, advanced technical SEO strategies. A reason for this is that it requires specialized skills and vast experience.
So, how do you recognize those who can not only develop a technical SEO plan unique to your business but can also implement it for maximum results?
Such agencies work with a team of experts and the other characteristics I’ll discuss below.
Smaller websites rarely have issues with technical SEO that are difficult to fix. In most cases, any problems can be solved by checking the robots.txt file, making sure the site is on a good platform (like WordPress or Shopify), and upgrading to a good web host.
If a small site struggles to rank, it’s usually because they need a lot more content and authority. Rarely is there a quick fix.
Large sites, however, are completely different.
When a site has millions of URLs, all sorts of insane problems come up. There can easily be thousands of junk URLs that never should have been indexed to begin with. Or terrible canonical errors that cause rampant duplication problems. Not to mention keeping everything clean between dozens of languages.
For sites like this, make sure you’re working with someone that has tons of experience working on larger sites.
Otherwise, they won’t have the experience need to spot your technical problems quickly.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, technical SEO is the backbone that gives your site structure. Occasionally, you will see some quick technical SEO fixes bring you traffic.
But what then?
After you fix your technical SEO, what’s your plan for growing SEO traffic over the long term?
We’ve seen lots of folks work on quick fixes and then never take the next step to growing their site by 2X, 5X, or 10X what they have now.
If it was me, I’d want to work with someone that could keep growing my site year in and year out. That’s where the real impact comes from.
If you have a gnarly technical SEO problem, work with a specialist. But an agency with deep SEO expertise across content, technical SEO, and promotion will take your business to an entirely different level.
It takes patient experimentation to develop, plan, and implement technical SEO strategies.
And to show their processes and how they achieve results, exceptional technical SEO agencies publish their findings from experiments.
That’s one of the easiest ways to look for a top tier technical SEO agency. Find the folks that product the best content in the space.
After all, if they’re already doing great SEO, they can likely help your business too.
Technical SEO can move really fast.
Google is always releasing new features, shutting down others, and changing their priorities.
It’s a shifting landscape.
Getting a great technical SEO that knows the rules today isn’t enough. Ideally, you’ll want to work with someone that knows where SEO is going in the coming months and years. Or at least can take a good guess at it.
The last thing anyone wants is to restructure their site and then have Google go in an entirely different direction.
Once you’ve picked an agency, then what?
How do you work with one? What should you expect when you hire technical SEO specialists?
Typically, the process looks like this.
Most technical SEO agencies work as an extension of your in-house marketing team.
To ensure the partnership between both parties starts smoothly, you should:
When you do this, it ensures there’s team alignment between your company and the agency. It also keeps the agency in sync with your goals.
The first task to expect when you contact a technical SEO agency is an invitation to share your business problems and needs relevant to technical SEO.
A reason for this is to understand your business situation better and get ideas from their vast pool of experience on the best approach to take.
This process starts with a discovery session.
The best technical SEO agencies are first there to help organizations develop customized strategies that drive business growth. But for them to help you, expect to share your needs via a discovery session.
For a lot of marketing agencies, they’ll do a bunch of research for free and pitch you a proposal on how they’ll accomplish your goals.
This usually makes a lot of sense. The marketing agency gives you a taste of what they can do, they charge for the execution of the plan itself.
Technical SEO agencies rarely work like that.
In their case, the value is the research. You’re hiring them to do a ton of digging on your site and surface every problem they can find.
So don’t expect free audits.
The agency usually has a standard rate based on the size of your site.
Once the audit is finished, expect a document that goes into every issue that the team found. You can also expect a call to go over all the results.
Have your team ask followup questions, get clarification, and get as much advice on implementation as possible.
Because after this call, you’ll have a choice.
Some technical SEO agencies will help with implementation too. They’ll go over what that looks like. Many will have a proposal ready to go just in case you want to move forward right away.
If you want to implement everything in-house, make sure that this work doesn’t get neglected. It’s easy for it to get lost in the hand-off. Break up the work as necessary and get all deliverables assigned to individuals that can carry them to completion.
If you’ve decided to work with that agency on an ongoing basis, you’ll get into a regular cadence of status updates, invoicing, and execution.
Since you’ve already completed an audit with the agency by this point, there shouldn’t be any surprises in how they work.
As long as they keep delivering great work, keep working with them.
To choose a technical SEO agency that’s right for you, I recommend you start with these steps:
To make the selection process much easier for you, below you’ll find the best technical SEO companies below.
No doubt, content is king. But content without a strong technical SEO foundation doesn’t yield long-term SEO success.
Ideally, you’d have both. Great content and smooth technical SEO.
At Neil Patel Digital, we excel at developing and implementing SEO-optimized content structuring that meets the necessary technical SEO requirements.
I truly believe we have one of the most comprehensive SEO programs in the world. We’d be a great fit if you really want to go for it.
Quite a few Fortune 500 companies have picked us to do just that.
Let’s say you feel really good about your SEO strategy. But something on your site is a little off. Or you just want to double check and make sure nothing’s missing.
In that case, a technical SEO audit would be a great fit for you.
The company I recommend for this kind of work is Webris.
Their entire process is published here, take a look before you decide to contact them.
Led by Ryan Stewart, Webris boasts a talented team of advanced technical SEO experts trusted by government agencies and enterprise companies.
Salt.agency’s core differentiator is how they blend industry-leading technical expertise with organic growth strategies to drive organic optimization.
They’re a good option for business that need more than just a technical SEO audit. If you know that you have SEO problems but aren’t sure where they are, they’ll be happy to dig in and give you guidance on your strategy.
They have offices in Leeds, Boston, and London and customers that include Travel Supermarket, Cloudflare, Hartley Botanic, and many others.
Ayima positions itself as the technical SEO agency for enterprise companies. And this agency’s minimum project size is $25,000.
This may seem on the high side from afar, but it only reflects Ayima’s vast experience and expertise, working with huge companies like eBay and British Airways.
Ayima didn’t become the technical SEO agency for enterprise brands overnight. The company earned its stripes after transitioning from a search engine technology startup into a technical marketing agency.
In any space, the best agencies have people that have built products in that exact space. They really understand how it all comes together.
If you’re looking for hardcore technical SEO expertise, reach out to them.
Orainti, a Spanish-based SEO agency, works mostly with ecommerce brands selling globally.
This agency is excellent for developing SEO-optimized multilingual domains and a robust site structure for category pages and products.
Ecommerce sites have a lot of technical SEO problems that are completely unique for them. If you have a large ecommerce site, I’d definitely recommend working with an agency with deep ecommerce experience.
Most importantly, most of Orainti’s services is around technical SEO.
Founded by Aleyda Solis, a veteran SEO practitioner, author, and speaker, Orainti has an impressive portfolio of premium brands likeUnder Armour, Zillow, Sage, Eventbrite, and others.
Most businesses make the mistake of relegating technical SEO to the backseat.
Because from the onset, it doesn’t have much impact on rankings and traffic.
A little time invested today could gain you thousands of extra visitors without any extra work later.
Don’t wait for things to go south. Make it easy for Google to find, index, understand, and rank your content.
No sense in jumping on the SEO treadmill while trying to carry a bunch of extra weight that will only slow you down.
Get a solid plan for technical SEO from day one.
And if you need help, reach out to an agency that specializes in technical SEO.
No matter how great the content on your website is, your hard work could amount to nothing without proper technical SEO.
Technical SEO gives your site structure, makes it super easy for search engine bots to crawl and index, and helps Google understand what each page is about.
URL structuring, robots.txt, redirect codes, canonical tags, .htaccess files, load time, and many others. It all matters.
Do all those things sound unfamiliar to you? No?
Well, you don’t need to.
Tons of companies already know this stuff and it’s really easy to work with them.
That’s where this guide comes in.
Our team at Neil Patel Digital researched, reviewed, and listed the top technical SEO companies on four criteria:
From these criteria, we found technical SEO companies you can trust and what they’re good for:
Without further ado, let’s dive into what makes us trust and bet our reputation on these companies.
It’s been touted over and again that content is king. While there’s truth in this, what most people never take into consideration is content structuring.
Neil Patel Digital is the go-to SEO company for excellent content structuring.
Well, don’t take my word for it. Let me show you why.
From our years of extensive search engine optimization experience, we found that for content marketing to work and power long-term SEO strategy, it must have the right structure.
This is a key piece of our comprehensive SEO program.
And what have we to show for doing this, you ask?
The result of doing this speaks for itself:
Over 3 million visitors per month on this blog. All built from scratch.
Content was a huge part of this but the site wouldn’t be nearly as large without the right structure and technical SEO.
You can get access to this vast technical SEO expertise by working with the Neil Patel Digital team.
Today, we’ve developed a content marketing program with content structuring (in the form of content clusters) to help clients get technical SEO right from day one.
Almost all great endeavors begin with taking in-depth audits of what’s already existing.
Technical SEO is no exception.
You won’t achieve much in your effort to optimize your site for search engine bots’ crawling and indexing without first doing a proper audit of your site’s structure.
And Webris is the company we recommend for technical SEO audits.
If you a do quick Google search for “technical SEO audit,” you’ll find this excellent content piece by Webris:
Ranking on Google’s top spot for this search term is another way of saying that earned its stripes on this list.
No company can earn that by accident.
This proves that Webris walks the talk when it comes to technical SEO audits and is a reliable option if you’re just getting started.
Founded by Ryan Stewart, the core strengths of Webris is technical SEO audits and conversion-focused UX. This company boasts of an incredibly talented team of advanced technical SEO consultants.
Major brands like Shopify and Accenture trust Webris and have worked with them.
Salt.agency prides itself on “Technical Excellence” and that’s for a good reason. This company breathes technical SEO before anything else:
Massive enterprise sites can have all sort of crazy technical problems.
If you’re running one of these sites, you need a team that’s worked with that type of complexity before.
In this case, Salt.agency is the best option.
With offices in Boston, Leeds, and London, Salt.agency’s clients include Cloudflare, Hartley Botanic, Brex, Travel Supermarket, and many others.
Orainti specializes in providing technical and strategic SEO services for brands in competitive industries.
This company approaches digital marketing and search engine optimization with a technical mindset, which justifies its inclusion in this highly-vetted list.
And they work mostly with ecommerce brands selling internationally.
International ecommerce businesses have tons of unique challenges like dealing with multilingual sites, getting product and category pages ranked properly, and avoiding duplicate content.
Orainti comes highly recommended for this.
Aleyda Solis is the Founder of Orainti. She is a veteran SEO practitioner, speaker, and author who has earned recognition and awards for her technical SEO expertise by organizations such as Forbes and European Search Awards.
Orainti boasts an impressive portfolio of top brands, including Zillow, Under Armour, Sage, Eventbrite, and others.
What separates the good technical SEO shops from the great ones? What would you specifically look for when choosing someone to work with?
Here’s what I look for.
Technical SEO brings structure to your site. It helps search engine bots crawl, index, and rank your website correctly, which is essential for driving traffic.
Also, it helps to boost your site’s load time.
However, this doesn’t mean that once you have an excellent technical SEO, everything search engine optimization will fall in place automatically.
The best technical SEO companies have a complete SEO program including manual site review, technical SEO implementation, content strategy, and others.
If you’re really good at SEO already and just need a quick SEO audit to double check everything, you could get value at working with a specialist. But for everyone else, I recommend working with someone that understands the complete SEO strategy. It’s the only way to build a site with tons of traffic.
It takes lots of experimentation to implement technical SEO strategies that move the needle. Companies that embark on this kind of excruciating work always like to document their experience and findings.
Working with SEO thought leaders increases the odds of a successful project.
After all, if someone can successfully teach technical SEO, they can also help your business directly.
Publishing cutting-edge content about technical SEO is a great sign that they’ll deliver amazing results.
An excellent way to see if the expertise and processes used by a technical SEO company works is by looking at its client portfolio.
There is nuance here.
Having a ton of major brands is great. But that doesn’t mean that you can get help with your exact situation.
Ideally, the technical SEO company has worked with similar companies like your own.
The nice thing about technical SEO is that it’s extremely practical. Technical problems come up that tanks traffic. Then technical SEO experts fix those problems.
It’s cut and dry.
Any great technical SEO company should have plenty of case studies where they turned around a site after it got hit. The more obscure the technical problem, the more likely they’ll be able to find weird problems on your own site.
Sometimes, these case studies are published on their site. But a lot of companies don’t like sharing the best stories. So ask their team as you talk to them. They should be able to give you plenty of examples during a call.
Covering every last technical SEO requirement is way too big of a task for a single person. You’ll need a fully-staffed team to do it all. Especially on major sites.
Go through the company’s team pages and LinkedIn employees, then look for lots of depth and expertise across the entire team.
If you’re like most people who only realize the need for technical SEO late on, you’ll probably be wondering what you should expect from one.
The most significant things to expect are what follows.
After you reach out to a technical SEO company, they’ll want to get on a call to understand what you’re looking for.
It’s the only way to understand the goals that you have for your site.
If a technical SEO company wants to jump straight into an audit without even getting on the phone, it’s a sign they’re running an “audit mill” and aren’t going to spend much time on your project.
Find a company that wants to go really deep and understand the full picture.
Most technically SEO companies will perform a one-time audit for a flat fee.
Since this is a standard part of their practice, they can usually jump into this right away.
Assuming their fee works with your budget, you could have someone get started within a week. That’s how easy it is to get going.
Before starting the audit, ask them for everything that they’ll check. It should include everything like canonical problems, indexing issues, duplicate content, other Google Search Console errors, everything.
If the list doesn’t feel extremely comprehensive, get a few quotes from other companies.
Once you’ve agreed to move forward with an audit, the company will get started.
These usually take a few weeks to complete, depending on the size of your site.
Of course, you’ll need to give them access to your Google Analytics, Google Search Console, WordPress account, and possibly your web host.
During the audit, there shouldn’t be much work for you or your team. The company performing the audit may have questions but they can do the vast majority of the work on their own.
Most technical SEO audits only include the discovery of site issues. The project doesn’t usually include the work that’s required to fix any problems.
This is because most problems don’t have easy fixes.
For example, if your site has terrible site speed that’s impacting your rankings, you’ll need to do a ton of front-end work in order to fix it. That will also involve your marketing team and possibly other agencies.
So once the audit is complete, expect to see a proposal that includes implementing any solutions.
Something to watch for here: a great technical SEO company will know the limits of it’s expertise. When they find problems outside their capabilities, they’ll tell you and advise you to work with someone else on fixing them. Site rebuilds and content marketing are good examples of this.
If a technical SEO agency tells you that it can fix every single problem, double check and make sure they truly have real expertise in those areas.
Technical SEO is like the frame of your house. Only with good bones can your content and marketing drive traffic to your site.
But, as things add up, and you have hundreds or thousands of pages on your site, something is going to break.
Search engines have a harder time crawling your site, content isn’t indexed, and your site speed slows way down.
Even if you start with a great foundation, you need a healthy rebuild every few years.
If you haven’t done a deep technical SEO audit recently, now’s the time.
Let’s talk about meta tags — what they are, why they matter, and how to do them better.
First things first — what made you click on this article to read it?
Maybe the title caught your eye, or perhaps it was the short blurb you saw.
You might have clicked simply because this article comes from a source you trust.
If you found this article via a search engine, though, there’s a good chance you found and clicked this article because of meta tags.
Meta tags are the foundation of SEO, and the first thing you’ll find yourself setting up when building a web page.
Without meta tags, you can’t reach readers organically.
It doesn’t take much time to generate meta tags, but it’s more important than you might think.
That’s because 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.
Organic search traffic is the holy grail of SEO, so it can’t be ignored.
Your content needs to be readable and appealing to users on search engines.
There’s a very specific syntax needed.
It’s similar to how bookstores and libraries organize their archives of books — and that’s what meta tags are, essentially.
Meta tags are a type of HTML tag that provides search engines with information about a website page.
Let’s take a look at the basic elements.
The title and description tags make up almost the entire entry.
If not for these meta tags, all you’d see in Google SERPs would be my URL.
Title and description tags are the two most-used tags for SEO purposes, but SEO isn’t the only part of digital marketing.
Advanced digital marketing requires the use of even more tags that improve page rank and overall user experience.
Just like this search result, you’ll soon find out that these tags control how your entire digital presence is viewed and navigated.
Machines can read URLs just fine. If I wrote for machines, my website would look like this:
Google prioritizes certain tags because they provide context for people.
I built my website for people as well, so it looks like this:
This polish is what marketing is all about.
In this blog post, we will explore meta tags and see how they affect your overall digital marketing efforts.
While simple, the devil is in the details, and every detail counts.
You absolutely can judge a book by its cover. It’s what covers are designed for.
Your title and meta description tag create the cover for your web page. They’re your first impression on most visitors.
It’s not just about search engines, but how we view the Internet.
Reddit is a basic link-aggregation site that takes away all the bells and whistles.
Reddit depends on the title and image to entice conversations and clicks.
Using meta tags correctly is like using the correct format for a business email.
Sure, you can put whatever you like out there, but there’s a level of professionalism that’s expected at some point.
Even Amazon will only give you a picture, title, and short description to make your point.
Think of these tags as your elevator pitch.
You’re given about as much space as a Tweet to sell your entire brand and product.
Which means you need to nail it.
You can’t just call in this detail and polish everything else. If you do, nobody will ever see the rest of what you polished.
We already know how meta tags affect SEO, but that’s not the only element.
Meta tags will make your email marketing and marketing automation efforts easier by providing information for emailed links.
Tags are a crucial element that determines what my automated social media posts look like.
When other bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers (and micro-influencers) share your content, tags make it easier.
Think of meta tags as the packaging for your product.
If your packaging isn’t spot-on, nobody will ever buy your product, no matter how great it is!
So what are some best practices to implement for tags?
There are a TON of different HTML tags that can be used on a web page. We’re only going to focus on a handful of significant tags.
We’ll start with the one that might have brought you here today.
It’s not technically a meta tag, but it shows up in the header and is used as one.
As of July 2017, the character limits for title tags in Google search results are 78 on mobile devices and 70 on a desktop.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should use all those characters, and 60 is the generally recommended limit.
Long-tail keywords make a difference.
Here are the top meta titles in the SERPs for “How to make content marketing effective.”
By adding the year, we get an entirely new set of results for “how to make content marketing effective 2017.”
Some users will want basic information, while others will want the most current.
By adjusting our title tag, we can affect which of these searches we rank for.
Ultimately, the goal is to hit both, but that’s not always feasible.
Make sure your keyword is in your title, or you’ll find your articles buried in search results.
For example, when I search for the “best tacos in Tucson,” some restaurants are on page 10 below, even Del Taco.
That’s a wasted opportunity for that taco capital of the country!
These small businesses could greatly improve their search results, sales, and ROI by simply adding “best tacos in Tucson” to their title tags.
Here’s a sample of the HTML required for a title tag located in your header.
<title>The Best Title Example I Could Come Up With</title>
In WordPress, it’s as easy as giving your page a title.
You really can’t miss it.
That’s all there is to it!
Like title tags, Image tags aren’t labeled “meta.”
But they’re clearly used by search engines, link aggregators, and other sites to identify your site.
There are two image descriptions actually crammed into one tag.
Here’s what the HTML code looks like.
<img src=“image.jpg” alt=“image description” title=“image tooltip”>
Both the alt and title tags should be defined for the best experience.
The title displays on your screen when you hover your cursor over it.
The alt text displays when the image can’t be rendered (or is spoken to the blind and visually impaired).
When uploading an image to WordPress, you’ll be prompted to enter the title, caption, alt text, and description.
The more fields you fill out (even if you use the same information), the more searchable your images become.
Anywhere from 20-60% of all Google traffic goes to sites with well-optimized graphics.
Why wouldn’t you want to be included?
It’s also a matter of ADA website compliance.
There are approximately 58,200 people with some level of visual impairment per million in the U.S. alone.
That’s a huge segment of the population that wouldn’t have a great user experience without alt image tags.
Optimize your images for search engines and users.
A meta description tag gives you a chance to provide an overview of the page’s content.
They’re limited to around 160 characters and aren’t directly tied to Google’s search algorithms at all!
Once again, the reason you need description tags is to improve the user experience.
Description tags encourage click-throughs.
Here’s what the HTML looks like:
<meta name=”description” content=”This is an example of the text that will show up in search results. Read on to learn more about description tags.”>
Without a meta description, Google will default to whatever preview sentence it feels best encompasses the content.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
This post doesn’t have a meta description (I rarely use them), and it ranks well.
Of course, my blogs are filled with relevant content in short, sweet sentences. Most of them would work as descriptions on their own.
Still, there’s no harm in adding additional information to make your content more searchable.
Robot meta tags aren’t always necessary.
By default, all of the pages and links you create on your website are indexed as ‘follow’ by search bots and web crawlers.
Whenever you want to redirect them, you’ll need a robot meta tag.
Here’s the noindex HTML code:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” />
This would be within the header and indicate this page doesn’t need to be indexed.
It’s useful for syndicated and duplicate content that your customers/readers could use, but you don’t want credit in search indexes.
Here’s the HTML for a robot nofollow.
<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow”>
This is used for links you don’t necessarily want to endorse.
For example, readers leaving links in my comments aren’t exactly endorsed by me, so a nofollow tag above the comments section keeps my site clean for bots.
Here’s a great infographic on when and how to use nofollow tags.
Now we get to one of the most controversial meta tags.
Keyword tags aren’t used by search algorithms to determine search ranking.
Here’s what the HTML looks like:
I coach my SEO clients to ignore keyword tags because they don’t affect SEO.
That doesn’t necessarily make them useless, however. They’re especially useful in WordPress.
Keyword tags and categories can help Google determine which page on your site should rank for a search.
They also create a page in WordPress that provides one more indexed page.
This means that, while your blog posts are focused on long-tail keywords, your tag and category pages have feeds covering the shorter keywords.
Categories can be used for the URL format, providing one more keyword to the page address.
This is accomplished under Settings – Permalinks in WordPress.
Adding this format provides context to your content.
Google loves context for search results!
Keywords also provide a big-picture overview of how many pages you have for each keyword.
You can use them to help plan your editorial calendar.
You don’t spend much time thinking about viewports, but they’re especially important in today’s mobile-first world of search.
On mobile devices, pages are shown in a popup window called a viewport that extends past the device’s border.
Here’s an illustration of what I’m talking about.
Developers can set the viewport size to increase mobile usability.
WordPress users can check this tag to learn this information for their templates.
But you probably didn’t know that unless you’re already a web developer.
Since Google increasingly focuses on mobile-friendly websites, this meta tag could mean the difference between success and mobile failure.
Now that you have a basic understanding of meta tags and why they’re important, I’ll show you some of my favorite tools for manipulating them.
Don’t worry if this all sounds overwhelming — there are tons of tools to make it easy to get meta tags right. Here are two of my favorites.
Yoast is a powerful SEO plugin for WordPress and one of the most-downloaded SEO and meta tags tools.
With Yoast, all of the pages and posts you publish have back-end options to increase social sharing, optimize SEO, update tags, and other metadata.
With Yoast installed on your WordPress site, a few clicks and a few seconds of your time are all it takes to add meta-tagging to your process.
Yoast also allows you to enter a focus keyword that doesn’t get added to the meta tags, allowing the back-end program to analyze your post.
If you need a quick chart of the metadata that’s being used by your competition, BuzzStream’s Meta Tag Extractor is a sleek and simple solution.
Copy and paste a list of URLs, and you’ll be presented with the meta tag information.
There’s even an option to download as a CSV file so that you can scrape large lists quickly.
It’s a quick and easy way to organize this data when you need it.
This free online tool does its job without all the bells and whistles.
So to be fully transparent, here’s a chart of HTML meta tags.
An author meta tag can be used to tell search engines who wrote a piece of content.
Authors have been used in the past for search results, but it’s not a factor anymore. However, you might use author tags if you run a multi-author blog.
WordPress does add this information to blogs when multiple users are contributing content.
It’s more a badge of honor for bloggers than anything else.
Most of the rest define parameters that should already be controlled on a server level.
While I ignored these meta tags, it doesn’t mean you have to. Feel free to add whatever information you’d like.
It doesn’t help search rankings, but it doesn’t hurt them, either.
Meta tags are a basic part of HTML — and can impact SEO.
Back in the early days of the internet, they were a signaling factor for search engines to understand what content is on a page.
The internet (and our relationship with it) has evolved exponentially since then.
Contextual search, AI digital assistants, and mobile devices are changing the way we view content.
Search engines are incentivized to provide the best search results possible, so meta tags are less important.
However, some, such as the titles and meta descriptions, are more important than ever before.
While less metadata is used, it’s still the first impression you’ll make on both robots and people.
What do your website’s meta tags say about you?
What are backlinks to search engine optimization?
Short version: They’re signals Google uses to determine if your website is a reputable resource worthy of citation.
The long and sweet version?
The more quality backlinks pointing to your website, the higher your chances of ranking for profitable keywords and competitive search queries that drive sales.
You’ll generate more targeted traffic, leads, and customers.
TThe SEO research tool, SEMrush, revealed backlinks account for as much as five SEO top 10 ranking factors:
Due to how essential links are to rankings and traffic, you’ll find a host of companies promising to help you generate backlinks at the click of a button.
If only it were that easy!
Acquiring top-quality backlinks isn’t a stroll in the park.
Our team at Neil Patel Digital reviewed and listed the top companies for building links.
The creation and distribution of linkable assets is the most reliable way to get people linking back to your website.
Called editorial links, Google and other search engines prioritize such links.
The reason for this?
They’re natural, and indeed a vote of confidence other sites show for the content resources on your own website.
Another name for this type of link-building strategy is linkable content marketing.
And Neil Patel Digital excels at this.
I’ve amassed millions of backlinks to this blog:
That’s over 3 million backlinks.
The Neil Patel Digital experience spans over five decades to help you get similar results.
And we leveraged this experience and vast expertise to develop a holistic, battle-tested content marketing program that helps our customers generate high-quality backlinks.
It starts with auditing, optimizing, and creating new, high-quality content people would love to link to.
Then, promotion, so even influencers can find and reference them.
This proven program powers us to create and distribute content marketing assets that get high-quality backlinks, higher rankings, and qualified traffic.
In short, this is why our customers, from startup to grow-stage and enterprise companies, love working with Neil Patel Digital.
You may have linkable content resources on your site. What if other websites or bloggers don’t know those assets exist? No one would link to them, right?
Yup, that’s a problem.
To make people, especially bloggers, aware of your content, you need what SEOs call blogger outreach.
And this is what FATJOE excels at doing. They’re a reliable blogger outreach service even other agencies rely on for generating backlinks:
The experienced SEO expert, Joe Taylor, founded FATJOE. And they’ve been in business since 2012, helping over 5,000 clients worldwide get backlink placements via blogger outreach.
About 97% of those 5k plus customers rate FATJOE a 4.5/5.
However, FATJOE is best for acquiring links from websites with domain authority between DA10 and DA50. And prices per link placement range from $45 to $465.
Getting backlinks from higher domain websites (DA60+) needs a combination of linkable assets, outreach, and high-level strategy.
Page One Power, although more expensive and not a productized service like FATJOE, excels at this.
Yearly, this company is behind the acquisition of more than 15,000 strategic backlinks on average to its clients from higher domain websites.
And Page One Power achieves this, leveraging its 10 years of experience and 982 active partners:
If you have the budget that starts at $550 per link, with more for a monthly retainer, you should turn to Page One Power for their consistent, strategic link-building expertise.
And can you make this turn, knowing other businesses, such as QuickBooks, Healthline, BOTTSTICH, and several others, trust Page One Power’s strategic link acquisition services, too.
What if you’ve done everything possible, yet people still won’t link to your site?
The HOTH, a company successful for its guest posting services, can help, and they come highly recommended:
The HOTH’s guest post, backlinking service covers everything from manual outreach, securing guest post slots, and creating the guest content piece with links to your site.
Their industry experience and expertise have seen them work with or get mentioned on reputable websites such as Forbes, Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies, Salesforce’s Dreamforce, and others.
The HOTH is a productized link-building service like FATJOE, allows you to purchase guest posts and backlinks with a few clicks.
Sometimes, other websites already have published content pieces with info relevant to assets on your own site.
In such a case, reach out to the webmasters of those sites and ask for a link, otherwise called curated link-building.
Based on our review, RhinoRank is the go-to company for this type of link acquisition tactic. They do all the hard labor, reaching out to several webmasters to secure backlinks for its clients in existing content on those webmasters’ domains:
Not only will RhinoRank reach out to webmasters, they’ll take it a step further by ensuring those links are weaved naturally with the right anchor text.
RhinoRank serves over 200 companies and SEO agencies globally.
The price of each curated link generated for customers by RhinoRank starts from $35.
For each link-building strategy and company recommended above, you’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of others promising the same things.
So, what characteristics make a great link-building company if you wanted to find an ideal company to work with and do your own due diligence?
Let’s look at the most significant ones.
Link-building is a crucial part of SEO, but it is not a silver bullet. On its own, it won’t drive traffic and help you generate leads.
You can amass links, but if the search engines don’t trust those links or the content being linked to, those efforts amount to nothing.
Thus, an essential characteristic of great link-building companies is to have a holistic SEO program with all the bolts and nuts, including content creation, promotion, and link acquisition.
An excellent way to judge the processes and expertise of a company is via its client portfolio.
Thus, as other companies with hands-on experience would do, the top link-building companies have the characteristic of displaying their ability to generate backlinks by showing off a portfolio of clients they’ve helped to get backlinks.
The best link-building companies aren’t just great at acquiring backlinks.
They also have the characteristic of sharing all their learnings on their way to helping themselves and other companies generate high-quality backlinks.
You want a team that knows the best strategies and tactics that work today.
For example, if you Google “link-building Neil Patel,” you’ll find my in-depth guides.
A good criterion for determining if a link-building company is among the very best is to look at their customer testimonials.
Thus, a characteristic you’ll find with the top link-building companies in the world are real-life testimonials, highlighting what customers say about working with them.
One person can write a guest post and send you a few links. But you’ll need a diversified team of experts to execute more strategic and extensive link-building campaigns.
As we’ve shown you, the best link-building companies excel at planning and executing these bigger, more effective link acquisition strategies.
And to do that, they usually work with a team of diversified experts, which you can look up to as one of their characteristics:
If you take on the services of a link-building company, you judge them by their ability to get you links. It’s that simple.
However, there’s a wide gap between contacting a company and getting those juicy links.
So, what should you expect if you decide to work with any of the link-building companies reviewed above?
Your business needs are different from those of others, and so would your link-building needs. Thus, the link acquisition strategies that worked for one site won’t work for yours automatically.
The best link-building companies have experience generating links for different organizations. Thus, they don’t jump straight into sending you proposals.
Instead, they start the process of helping to customize a strategy for your business by allowing you to share your exact business needs over a discovery session.
Once you’ve booked and discussed your business needs with a link-building company, the best ones take what you tell them and leverage their experience to conduct in-depth research.
After this research, you should receive a host of strategic link-building recommendations most suited to your business. Most companies would share this with you via email or over another discovery call.
Once everyone decides that the project is a good fit, it’s time to get a contract in place.
Deliverables, deadlines, resources required, and budget should all clearly be outlined in detail.
The next thing to expect from a top link-building is an onboarding process. It sets the stage for working with you to achieve your link acquisition and related business goals.
Depending on your work scope, you’ll need to bring on your in-house staff and share your website, blog, analytics, etc. with the company.
This onboarding process also establishes an understanding of how the company would manage your project.
Unfortunately, link building isn’t a one-off project. I wish it was.
But links decay, pages decay, and Google’s always looking for freshness.
You’ll need ongoing links to keep your site at the top of the rankings.
This is the main reason why companies try to get help. It’s exhausting trying to do it yourself all the time.
However you decide to do it, treat link-building as an ongoing, long-term activity that’s a core part of your SEO strategy.
Doing this is how you’ll get maximum results.
We’re expected to perform so many tasks daily, from organizing our content buckets to ensuring a website’s usability to link building to much, much more. It’s a lot — but there is good news. There are a variety of Google Chrome extensions that can make these tasks a lot easier.
Google Chrome has gobbled up a substantial market share. As per Stats Counter, Google Chrome has more than 66% of the total market share.
I assume many of you are also Google Chrome fans. But, have you explored the powerful extensions and Chrome shortcuts the browser has to offer?
At the click of a mouse button, you can install an SEO plugin and open doors to higher productivity levels. Some Chrome extensions are pure gold with value-adding functionality that can save you hours of tedious tasks every week. Ultimately, the goal is improving ranks, including Quantcast Rank, specializing in audience measurement.
In this post, I’ll share 15 Chrome extensions that are useful for marketers. I’ve organized the post into three sections – content organizing, on-page SEO metadata and usability analysis, and link building and outreach management.
Let’s dive into the first section and look at the first tool.
Information overload can be really stressful. Wading through truckloads of web pages to find relevant and high-quality pieces is daunting.
But it need not be that way. These two Chrome extensions will help you organize your content and save it for reading later.
Evernote has powerful note-taking functionalities. Search Engine Land describes it as a “business-to-individual” media tool.
But if you are particularly interested in saving articles for reading later, the web clipper is a handy tool (located in the upper right side of Chrome).
While surfing the internet, you can take specific search results and use the clipper to save articles in three ways – entirely, in a simplified version, or even specific parts of an article.
This is great because a site’s Quantcast rank may change, making the content more difficult to find later.
The webpages are added to your Evernote account, so you don’t have to go back to the search engine.
You can further organize them into notebooks and also assign tags (or remarks so that searching later will be easier). You can even highlight particular information if you want to. Evernote is a very popular browser extension.
You can also right-click on a page and use the clipper’s menu in the toolbar.
By using the options menu, you can also customize the keyboard shortcuts for its prominent functionalities.
The tool has a specialized saving feature for clipping from Gmail, LinkedIn, Amazon, and YouTube. You can selectively clip the portions you want.
Here is a video walkthrough of saving Gmail messages using the web clipper. The tool even includes the attachments while clipping.
All of your saved articles will be synced across all your devices and can be accessed through your Evernote account.
The most useful feature I find in the clipper is its powerful image editing and annotating software Skitch.
It’s handy for creating images for your blog posts. You can use it to take screenshots, pixelate a certain area in them, and add custom text.
You can also mark up using different colors and visual callouts to draw attention to specific elements on a page.
This is another useful tool for saving articles and videos to read later.
Once installed, you’ll see the pocket icon in the Chrome toolbar located at top-right.
Like web clipper, Pocket also has the functionality to add tags to help easily explore and retrieve stories once pulled out of search engine land.
The best part is that your articles and videos will be available on all devices for reading later. So you can read articles in your leisure time, even on its mobile app.
When you open a story for reading, you’ll see a stripped-down basic version (distraction-free) of articles. This reformation makes the reading experience clutter-free and pleasant compared to the ad-bogged search engine view.
The service recently launched a recommended feature (refreshed throughout the day) that shows articles based on your saved article sources and reading habits.
You can save the recommended articles you like to your reading list by clicking on the save button.
On Pocket’s iOS and Android mobile apps, you can even listen to your saved articles using Text-To-Speech (TTS).
You can start reading anywhere, skip paragraphs, and even change the reading speed.
You can also add stories from RSS feeds directly into your pocket account by integrating it with Feedhuddler.
And if you’re a fan of marketing automation, then you’ll also like Pocket’s integration with tools like IFTTT, Twitter, Feedly, and Buffer.
Your productivity levels will shoot through the roof. With just five minutes of casual browsing, you can use an IFTTT recipe to schedule articles on your social media accounts for a week.
Here is the IFTTT recipe for integrating Buffer with Pocket.
And if you’re the super-organized geek type, you may like combining pocket with Evernote to create an organized system.
You can save any interesting article you find around on the web (from feeds and social media) to pocket.
Once you scan these articles, only store the most valuable ones permanently in an Evernote. This way, your Evernote account will remain a long-term clutter-free place to hang out.
For sending articles from Pocket to Evernote, you can either use the “Send To” button or this IFTTT recipe.
Sometimes you need to perform a quick analysis of your (or a competitor’s) website pages without logging into a tool’s website. This provides useful metrics in how you compare in search engine land.
A Chrome browser extension can help you achieve this goal without any hassles.
Let’s look at a few useful ones.
A one-second delay in your website loading time decreases your conversions by 7%, page views by 16%, and customer satisfaction by 23%.
Google included site speed as one of the 200 signals in its search ranking algorithm back in 2010.
Monitoring your server’s response time is important for your business.
It’s even more critical if you get a major chunk of mobile traffic. Being a more distracted medium, 40% of mobile users will abandon a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a great tool to explore your website’s usability. It identifies elements that are leading to slow loading time and a poor mobile user experience.
To get started, you need to install the plugin.
After your website’s analysis, you are presented with recommendations to fix issues and lower your website’s loading time on desktops and mobiles.
Brenda Barron, a WordPress enthusiast, rigorously tested her website with different WordPress plugins and manual optimizations to boost her PageSpeed Insights score. Her goal was to get a 100/100 score (or the highest possible) using Divi.
Look at her initial score on her new WordPress installation (Twenty Fifteen theme) on a shared server. It also shows recommendations to fix the slowing issues. The loading speed will also help redirect duplicate content to a canonical URL of preference.
After numerous plugin changes, including installation of speed booster pack, WP Performance Score Booster, WP Super Minify, and others:
She managed to boost her score to 93.
Here is the combination that worked for her.
If you don’t want to go on a manual plugin installation and fixing issues spree, you can automatically use PageSpeed modules that automatically optimize your website.
Let me show you how with a live case study.
Matthew was initially using a non-responsive WordPress theme that led to poor mobile search results performance.
Google PageSpeed Insights showed a score of only 56, along with elements that needed fixing.
So he switched to the native twenty fourteen WordPress theme. It is responsive and performs well on most platforms.
Look at his score post-changes.
As you would expect, even Matthew’s pagespeed score was just 64.
But instead of fixing issues individually, he used the PageSpeed Module for nginx.
He shares the technical details of how he re-compiled nginx with the PageSpeed module in this article.
After this installation, he achieved a PageSpeed score of 100 (on both mobile and desktop).
I know that many of you might be afraid of technical terms.
But even if you’re not a coding geek, you need to understand the basics of website redirecting. It will help in the overall Quantcast rank of your web pages.
Redirecting is important because web pages keep moving to new locations and deleted during website migrations, redesigning, etc.
And a simple redirect determines if link juice is passed from a removed URL to a new page.
Redirect Path is a redirect checker that flags URLs with their HTTP status codes – 301, 302, 304, 404, and 500. You don’t need to check them manually.
The tool shows you all the redirects from the URL you entered to the final URL.
Once you install the extension from the Chrome store, it’ll start appearing next to the address bar at the top.
And if the extension finds any redirect errors, the icon will change (as visible below).
On clicking the icon, you can get full details about the redirect chain.
Want more details about a particular item in the path?
Then click on it to see additional HTTP headers sent (like server types, cookies, caching, etc.) and the server’s IP address.
A great way to discover backlink opportunities using the tool is to follow the redirect chain and find the backlinks to individual pages.
You can also use the tool for auditing your redirects after a site migration to review how you fare in search engine land.
It is one of the oldest and most popular marketing software programs on the internet.
It instantly hit chords with marketers because it streamlines your SEO efforts while surfing web pages.
At the click of a button, you can access important metrics about a webpage like its Page Authority, Domain Authority, Link Profile, Keyword Highlights, etc.
The tool works in two environments – in SERP as an overlay and as a toolbar when visiting a website. There are different features in both modes. Let’s explore them both.
When you’re in a search mode and Google a keyword, the bar will give detailed statistics for all the SERP ranking websites.
Here are the results for the keyword “content marketing tips.”
Look at the metrics like domain authority and page authority (metrics below each result). They help you determine the difficulty in ranking for the particular keyword often used in SEO meta tags.
You can also export the SERP results in a CSV file.
If you visit a website, you can use Mozbar to do a deeper analysis of the webpage, including its pagespeed, alt text, SEO meta tags, headings, markup, etc.
If you buy a premium subscription, you’ll also be able to see a keyword difficulty score in SERP at the click of a button.
Would you care to understand the user behavior on your website?
Then page analytics is a great tool to delve into how your customers are interacting with your website.
The tool gives you useful data like where your users click and the number of active visitors in real-time.
For the clickable areas on your page (like links and buttons), you can even see bubbles showing the percentage of visitors who clicked in that particular place.
The bubbles are of different colors (red, green, blue, or orange) based on their relative percentage of clicks.
And you can filter the page to show only bubbles above your set click threshold.
The tool also shows your usual Google Analytics metrics like Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, Average time on page, and Bounce Rate (you need to login to your analytics account before accessing information).
You can also analyze up to four segments with different scorecards for each and compare time ranges.
By analyzing the places where your users are clicking and engaging the most, you can optimize your design accordingly.
Touted as a Mozbar competitor, this is another popular SEO browser extension tool that shows important metrics in SERPs.
Instead of launching and using its own metrics, the bar shows the standard Alexa Rank, Page Rank (PR), and some other important SEO parameters.
Here is a look at the SEO Quake bar in search mode.
The results show varied info about SERP pages, including info on backlinks, whois info, PR, traffic info, number of pages indexed, domain age, and Alexa rank.
You can export the SERP data from SEO Quake in a CSV file too.
You can also use the extension to perform a deeper analysis of the webpage you visit. You’ll get information on the keyword density, links, social shares, and SEO meta info.
A word of warning:
Google hasn’t updated page Rank since December 2013, and as per John Mueller, Google probably won’t update Toolbar PageRank in the future.
Even the tool’s backlinks data is from publicly reported Google and Bing/Yahoo links (which aren’t updated frequently either).
So you shouldn’t rely exclusively on SEO Quake data for devising your SEO strategy.
This is an all-inclusive SEO powerhouse with a wealth of data.
It’s invaluable to understand performance data, AMP status, errors for HTML pages, invalid canonical, hreflang, AMP version, and structured data.
After installing the extension, you’ll start seeing a camera icon like this:
If you want to perform a deeper analysis of a website, you need to click on this icon. You’ll see the main dashboard:
It will show you important website vitals, such as speed, whether your page is indexable, mobile compatibility, AMP status, language, and more.
Four other pages dig into structured data, links (internal and external), resources, and an overall audit.
This provides a wealth of information about the overall health of your website. You will need to connect to PageSpeed Insights to run the audit.
This is another popular and powerful link intelligence tool.
The tool creates a quick way to see important backlinks info about your webpage (or a competitor’s webpage).
It does not rely on third parties for data. It uses Majestic’s very own trust metrics: trust flow and citation flow.
Haven’t heard of Majestic’s trust metrics?
Here is an explanation of the trust ratio (= Trust Flow / Citation Flow) by Majestic.
The tool has three important metrics tabs – Summary, Backlinks, and Anchor text. But a free account will only allow you to use the summary tab.
The summary tab gives an overall strength picture of the webpage.
It shows the following metrics: citation flow, trust flow, external backlinks, referring domains, backlink history chart, referring domains chart, and link profile.
The backlinks tab shows citation flow, trust flow, anchor text, and source URL of the 10 strongest backlinks to the page.
And the anchor text tab shows detailed information on the number of referring domains and other parameters for the 10 strongest anchor texts.
The tools tab is for switching to other Majestic SEO tools like the site explorer, backlinks history, and more.
The last is the options tab. You can go there to connect your Majestic account to the browser extension.
You’ll also see a battery near the options tab. This shows the resources depleted from your main Majestic account.
Ubersuggest is our keyword research tool that provides a wealth of information about keywords, including new keyword ideas, content suggestions, and other insights to help you gain a competitive edge.
And, now there’s a Chrome extension that makes this tool even easier to use.
Simple download the extensions, and you’ll see an orange “U” in your Chrome bar. Perform a search in Google, and Ubersuggest will provide a ton of information, including organic monthly traffic, backlinks, related questions, and more.
It also provides the average CPC and total monthly searches for that key term. This information can generate content ideas, plan PPC campaigns, and guide your SEO strategy.
If the sidebar doesn’t provide enough info, click “Get more insights” to be taken to the main tool website.
You can also use the plugin to check on your competition. Go to your competitor’s website, then click on the Chrome shortcut for information about that site’s traffic, top keywords, backlinks, and SEO ranking.
One essential, non-scalable, and probably the most value-adding task of a professional SEO is performing outreach and building relationships.
And it’s a vital part of building editorial backlinks that matter in today’s SEO landscape.
But sending 100 emails does not sound fun. So outreach is generally viewed in a tedious, boring, and uncreative light.
Here are five Chrome extensions to streamline your outreach, save you time, and make your outreach more convenient.
Ninja Outreach is in itself a powerful prospecting and outreach CRM with a database of over 4 million influencers.
The extension is like a freemium version of the tool to mine tremendous data. Once you install the extension, you can use the ninja icon Chrome shortcut to start finding influencers.
The information available through the tool includes full name, location, social media follower counts, email address, Alexa rank, backlinks, page authority, domain authority, and more.
It even includes links to key pages – contact, about, resources, guest post pages. As well as the monetization method of websites.
The RSS Feed tab shows the latest posts from the blog’s feed with the author’s name, date of publishing, and the number of comments on the post.
The demographic tab will show you key information on website visitors, like their locations, daily pageviews per visitor, bounce rate, and much more.
The tool’s pro version also allows you to autofill contact forms and leave notes for each website (that will be cached later).
If you’re planning to launch a guest blogging campaign or build relationships with influencers soon, then the extension can be convenient.
This is an effective data mining tool that can streamline your online research efforts. It copies links or similarly structured content from a webpage that you can later export to a Google document.
Here are the three steps to scrape data using the tool.
Step 1. Select some content from the table/chart you want to scrape.
Step 2. Right-click your selection and choose “scrape similar” from the drop-down menu.
Step 3. You’ll get a list of similarly structured data in a new window (the scraper console). From the window, you can either copy the content to your clipboard, or you can export the data to a Google document.
You can use the tool to quicken your link prospecting efforts. Let me show you how.
Suppose you want to get a list of potential link opportunities in your niche. So you curate blogs from Alltop.com. Or, you perform a Google search “list of [your niche keyword] blog” (set Google search to return 100 results).
You can copy right-click on just one URL and scrape the whole list. Then you can export them to Google docs and remove duplicates. Remember that duplicate content can be used but should be redirected to a canonical URL to not anger the spiders.
Here is a breakdown of the technique by Matt Gratt.
No SEO should doubt that Broken Link Building (BLB) is an extremely effective technique to up your website’s authority.
But it’s a lot of hard work. You first need to find broken web links on a website in your niche and then send 100s of emails to website owners.
Link miner is a simple yet handy tool to conduct page analysis while executing BLB.
At the click of a button, it’ll crawl a webpage and find (mark) broken links on it.
It also pulls additional statistics about the broken link. You get details like the number of referring domains, total links, social media shares, and even the top five links.
You can also get the link data right next to the status code of the link.
Want to record this data?
Then the tool can also export the information about the links in a CSV file.
While doing a Google search, the tool can also determine the number of inbound and outbound links for each result.
You can customize the way you want it to work under settings by clicking on the gear icon.
You can choose the metrics you want the tool to show: status code of working links, Ahrefs metrics like backlinks and referring domains, and more.
The link data in the tool is pulled from Ahrefs. So you’ll need to authenticate the extension to access Ahrefs API data.
This SEO plugin is useful not just for discovering link building opportunities. It’s also useful to check broken links on your website so that you don’t hurt your website visitors’ user experience.
This is another useful tool to play with links.
You can use it to open multiple links in new tabs (or a new window), copy them to your clipboard or bookmark them.
So how do you get started?
Just by choosing a particular portion of the screen.
You can even customize how you want to activate the tool.
There are various possible mouse (right-click and left-click) and key combinations (alt/ctrl/shift). If you like, you can even change the selection box color.
You’ll need to head over to Chrome’s extension page at chrome://extensions. And choose “options” below linkclump to find these customization options.
You can also filter the links that contain certain keywords, block repeated links in your selection, and open links in reverse order. There is also a smart select option to open only those links from a page that the tool deems as important.
Overall the tool is glitch-free and can save you a lot time while performing link-related tasks.
Google Analytics (GA) is an extremely powerful tool to track your website traffic.
The URL Builder extension is a useful add-on to quickly tag the URLs you want to track in your GA campaigns.
Let me show you how to use the tool.
Once you’re on a page, click on the shopping cart icon.
The tool will automatically capture the current URL of the page. You will then need to complete a form, including fields like the source, medium, campaign, etc.
Once you’ve filled the form, it’ll auto-generate the final URL and offer an option to generate the shortened bit.ly link.
You can then share this new tagged link through your social media accounts and track them independently using GA.
The extension also allows you to add custom form fields (quick sets) by clicking on the “edit list” link.
Here is a step-by-step video tutorial of the URL builder to walk you through the process of tagging your links.
Google Chrome remains a popular browser for web users. The reason is that it’s lightweight and has tons of value-adding extensions to enhance your browsing experience.
If you aren’t extracting the powerful functionalities of Chrome shortcuts, then you’re probably losing your time performing tedious tasks.
Start with installing a couple of Chrome extensions today. It only requires a single “Add to Chrome” click.
If you’re already using Chrome extensions, then I would love to hear from you. Have you used any of the above 15 extensions to streamline your workflow? Did I miss your favorite Chrome extension that has helped you in SEO?