You're not alone and I'm here to clear everything up and by the time you finish this post, you'll have a clear understanding of everything it takes to improve your SEO so you can increase traffic.
SEO is quite simple to understand and it comes down to two things. If you get both of them right... AND have patience, you'll eventually rank (This is assuming after you've done some sort of keyword research).
IMPORTANT: This post is all about whitehat techniques. So if you're looking for blackhat techniques that may give you a temporary boost in rankings but will hurt you in the long run... then GO AWAY because you're not going to find what you're looking for in this post.
Now for everyone else... here are the two determining factors that will get your specific page or blog post ranked relatively high in the search engines:
- On Site Optimization
- Authority (anyone can be one in their niche)
Let's Go Into Some Details About On Site SEO.
On site Optimization is the easy part of the two. You control the entire process and it comes down to following a basic checklist. Yeah, there are a lot of components when optimizing your webpage or blog post for SEO, but it's worth it.
Here are some examples of on site tasks to make your web page SEO and Google friendly:
- Setup Google Webmaster Tools & Ensure that Google can crawl your site properly
- Heading tags: h1, h2, h3
- No duplicate title tags
- Exact keyword found in the first 100 words
- Never keyword stuff your keywords and write them in naturally
- Bold, italicize, or underline exact keyword
- Exact keyword found in anchor text
- Fast loading time
- Title tag has keyword and is less than 55 characters
- Alt tags for all images that contain the exact keyword
- No underscores in image alt tag
- HTML is W3C validated
- No flash on your page (slows down loading time)
- Minify your CSS
- Install a sitemap
- Install a mobile sitemap
- Add apple icons
- Add social sharing buttons
- Add outbound links relevant to your keyword
- Domain name expires in no less than two years
- Add a favicon
- And a whole lot more
For local SEO on site optimization you'll want to make sure the following are implemented into your site:
- Add Google+ publisher tag to website
- Create Google Places for Business, Bing Places for business and Yelp profiles
- Claim and verify your Google Places, Bing Places and Yelp listing
- Ensure your navigation menu items are indexable
- Add city / service pages to your website
- Add your NAP (name, address, phone number) on every page and make sure it's an exact match in your Google Places and Plus profile
- Add Business Details In Schema
- Submit your NAP (citations) to at least 50 business listing sites (yellowpages.com, local.com, etc.)
- Submit To Competitor Citations
- Display Testimonials / Reviews On Your Website
- Check Your Backlink Profile To Penguin Proof Your Website
- And of course, a lot more
Again, this is time consuming but it's well worth it. Google rewards the sites that comply with what they are looking for.
Do You Want More Traffic? Do You Know What Your SEO Score Is?
Do you know how optimized a specific web page, landing page, or blog post of yours is for a exact keyword or phrase. Receive a FULL detailed audit report telling you the improvements you need to make to rank #1 in Google.
You can download the report and it'll list all the improvements that you need to make for your web page, landing page or blog post to be Google compliant.
Takes less than 45 seconds and it'll be well worth it... I promise!
The Second Part of SEO is Authority and This is Where Quality Trumps Quantity in a Major Way.
What is authority? Writing quality content (yes, I hate that buzz phrase too) that is remarkable.
Lets breakdown those two words authority and remarkable.
What are the first six letters in authority? Author. You want to become an author by writing about your expertise in your industry or niche. Know everything there is about your industry and spread it all over the web until you become an authority.
Let's look at remarkable. You want your content to be so rich in quality that you want to force your visitors to have the ability to leave remarks... get it... able to leave remarks - remarkable.
There is the magic formula. Become an authority by creating remarkable shit.
This can have your content being shared all over the web creating a ton of backlinks from high authority sites (and a load of comments as well). And high authority sites is where you want your backlinks coming from.
One PR4 backlink is greater than 400 PR1 backlinks. Of course, if a PR1 website that has a ton of traffic links to your site, it doesn't hurt because you'll potentially receive a ton of traffic yourself, which is the name of the game.
But it's still better getting backlinks from high authority sites than it is from low traffic and low page rank sites.
How To Generate Traffic For Your SEO Efforts
1. Write longer articles instead of shorter ones for SEO Backlinks.
For as long as I can remember, the standard that's been deemed safe is 600 words. That may be true for Google to recognize it as an article with sufficient content, but the readers state otherwise.
Look at the chart below, 8859 total average shares for articles ranging in the 3,000 to 10,000 words per post. Even though there is a ton more short-form content being written, about 16 times more content with less than 1000 words than there were content with 2000+ words, you can clearly see that the longer content is proven to be shared more.
2. Use BuzzSumo.com To Find What Content Releated To Your Industry or Niche is Being Shared The Most
Buzzsumo is a great resource to find the hottest content that relates to your industry and let's you analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor.
It's super simple to use. All you do is type in the topic you want to write about:
And it lists all of the most shared articles on that topic. I entered "responsive web design" and here are my results:
It lists how many times it was shared with a breakdown on how many times it was shared by platform. You can also review their backlinks and view who shared it.
Here is how you can use Buzzsumo to your benefit:
After you've received your results you can write an extension of that article by adding new information. You already know that the original article was well received by your audience so just make it epic. Then share it and promote it as much as you can.
You can also reach out to those who shared the original article letting them know that since they enjoyed the same topic before that they'll enjoy yours too and ask them to share it for you if they did.
Bryan Harris wrote an excellent post on how to use Buzzsumo to get at least 120 people to read and share your blog post. Click here to read it 'The ‘Vacuum’ Formula: How to guarantee at least 120 people read your first blog post'
3. Use Snip.ly to Piggyback off of Viral Content
This is an easier way to use Buzzsumo and a very effective way. Snip.ly lets you add a bubble snippet at the bottom of ANY web page that lists a call to action linking to your website. This is a powerful but underground tactic that barley anyone is using... and it's FREE. Click Here For an Example so you can see how badass this service is.
First you find an article in the first five results of a Buzzsumo search. Then create your snip by doing the following:
- Enter the URL of the viral post you selected.
- Select Button to create a call to action.
- Type in the message you want on your bubble snippet.
- Write your button text.
- Enter in the URL that you want your call to action to go to (your new blog post or web page).
- Click create and that's it. It'll give you a URL and simply tweet, facebook and any other sharing methods you use.
Below is an example on how easy it is to use.
Here is a snapshot of the dashboard that gives you your analytics for you to study and see which types of posts are giving you the most traffic.
Take advantage of using this free tool. It benefits the original article since you are promoting their content and it benefits you and your content. You'll also give your audience high quality content other than yours that will give them tremendous value.
4. Link Roundups
Link roundups are another easy way to get high authority web sites to link to your new posts.
A link roundup is where a site will gather links from all over the web that have to do with their industry and will send those links in an email newsletter or posted on their site.
You simply search Google for the following search term: link roundup + your niche. So if I were looking for a link roundup in the SEO niche then I would search: link roundup SEO. Click here for the example.
Next, search high authority blogs (PR4 and above) and locate the owner. Use this Chrome extension to instantly identify their page rank when their site loads.
Then send them an email stating that you have content relevant to the links they supply their readers in their weekly link roundups and you'd like to be featured in their next roundup.
This strategy is hit and miss as far as getting a reply, but you will get featured if you reach out to enough blog owners.
Read this article: HOW TO BUILD LINKS AND TRAFFIC FROM LINK ROUNDUPS for an in depth way to use this powerful technique.
5. Promote The Shit Out Of Your Content
This takes me back to what I said earlier... Quality trumps quantity every single time.
You will get a much farther reach when you write long, information and results driven content than you would if you were to write a ton of tiny articles with no real substance to them whatsoever.
write epic shit and you'll get epic returns. People believe that you need to write 4-5 blog posts a week to gain traction and that's completely false.
Yes, you will gain some traction but nowhere near as you would if you took that same amount of effort and concentrated on writing longer quality articles and promoted them like your life depended on it.
Derek Halpern over at SocialTriggers.com built an email list in the 10's of 1000's his first year online and he only averaged 2.5 new blog posts PER MONTH.
How did he do it? Simple, he wrote badass articles and promoted them with every effort he could.
He explained how one time he went to go get a massage and the massage studio seriously didn't know how to market. He then wrote a post on how massage studios can significantly boost their revenue by implementing easy techniques into their marketing efforts.
He then approached the leading online forum for massage studio owners and gave them the link to his post and said that it will tremendously help their users and asked if they wouldn't mind sharing it. They shared it and the rest is history.
Last but not least, here is what I consider the best way to get organic traffic. As a matter of fact, it's now being considered to be the "new way" to do so:
There you have it.... and easy way to understand SEO. It comes down to two things: optimize your web page and be an authority in your niche to create a ton of backlinks to move up in the rankings.
When I say be an "authority", I don't mean that you have to be the best... I simply mean that you have to write content that's epic with actionable steps so others will link to it.
Here is the reason why good quality, high page rank and non-spammy backlinks are important:
Think of every quality backlink as a "vote" for your website. The more votes you have, the more important Google believes your site to be.
Combine a load of votes along with a highly SEO optimized web page or blog post and you have a perfect recipe for high ranking success.
Just make sure to do quality keyword research first and within time you'll be where you want to be.
Get your SEO Score Now To Optimize Your Site For an Increase In Traffic.
So for right now, here is what I want from you.
Leave a comment on this post on what has worked for you, what has hurt you and what creative 'out of the box' tactics has helped you and your SEO efforts.
Share it here and read and reply to others comments as well. You may be surprised on what you'll learn from each other.
That's what I love about the Internet, you can learn anything with just a few keystrokes.
If you learned something, I'd appreciate it if you share this.