10 Sureshot SEO tricks that you can deploy RIGHT THIS MOMENT
In all my meetings, whether with my existing clients or with the prospects, or even at conferences, I am constantly asked one question, “What’s your best SEO tip?” And my answer is always the same, “The best SEO trick is pattern-matching.” It simply means two things:
1. Keep experimenting with different things until you are able to identify an SEO tactic that matches with the pattern of your business. And,
2. Giving your complete focus to understanding and implementing that tactic for your business.
As you’d already understand, there is no right or wrong answer about which SEO technique is most appropriate. There really isn’t! And neither does it occur to you just by reading many SEO blogs or watching the whiteboard videos or keeping a close watch on Google’s algorithm updates. The best SEO tricks come through experience. You should not be afraid of trying new things. You should not be afraid of losing a bit of traffic. Because, all of it is momentary. Once you’ve found out what works the best for your website, there is no looking back.
So, with this post, I am going to give you some of the SEO tricks that you can try out for your website RIGHT THIS MOMENT. You don’t need to watch any tutorial videos. Neither do you need to read through longer how-to guides. What I am giving you here, in terms of the tips, is all you need to get started and get going.
These are in no particular order of importance. So, feel free to start from the very last tip, if you wish. What matters is that you give them a go.
1) Turn your YouTube video descriptions into mini blogs
I guess I don’t need to tell you the importance of video content in SEO these days. Roughly 60% of Google’s universal searches incorporate videos and about 80% of these video results come from YouTube. About 9 in 10 online marketers plan on including video in their content strategy in 2017. While they spend a lot of time in deciding what to include in their video and including the most important keywords in their video script, most of them are potentially missing out on one extremely simple and straight forward optimization trick. YouTube allows for two-hundred plus words’ worth description for each video. And most marketers would only use about up to 30-40 words in their video description.
Here’s how an average marketer’s YouTube video description looks like:
But, look at it as an added opportunity to create content around your target keywords. While you target your primary keywords in your main blogs and web content, you can go after your secondary set of keywords and phrases in such video descriptions.
Here’s how the mini blog version of YouTube video description looks like:
Higher video engagement means higher incoming traffic to the website, if the visitors are re-routed to the main website through effective linking structure.
2) Long form content
Let’s face it. Everyone out there is a self-proclaimed content expert. Even a startup marketer knows how to write a blog post. If that were not enough, people are spending a large sum of money on promoting their blog posts, which in reality, well, sound and read just about like every other content out there on the web. So, just writing a good blog post won’t help you cut it. The real expertise is reflected from longer form content. In a recent survey of over a million blog pages that appeared in Google’s search engine results page, on an average the first ranked web page had about 2000 words worth of content. Now, that should give you some type of idea. In another study, it was found that the average length of a normal blog post is about 350 to 400 words. So, if you write and publish content that’s a minimum 2000 words’ work, you are easily crushing your possible content competition on Google. At the same time, because you add more insights into your blog posts, you are potentially taken as a thought leader in your niche. It helps you in charming your target audience and thus improving the overall engagement around your content. Here’s what a recent survey by HubSpot revealed about the length of content and its impact on a blog site’s performance:
The report also showed how word count affects a content’s social share ability:
The traffic is also greatly affected by the word count of the content:
And finally, another study highlighted the impact of long-form content on the ranking of the website:
3) Fill in other’s shoes on Wikipedia
Wikipedia – Call it an open source platform or a social media network. Everyone finds some or the other use out of it. And most frequently, a Wikipedia page outranks any type of website in Google’s search results. If you take Wikipedia out of Google’s search results, then I reckon’ the search engine would really find itself in a vulnerable situation, wouldn’t you agree? But this largest information source on the Internet has a secret SEO trick hidden deep within itself. It’s called – a broken link in a Wikipedia article. Many a times, the source link for a Wikipedia article gets dead as it may run out of date or is no longer valid. And that’s your opportunity – to fill someone’s shoes. Whenever, there is a dead link for a source in the article, the editor will leave a small footnote right next to it saying [dead link]. Here’s how it looks:
I know that it can get really tiring looking for dead links on Wikipedia. But, once you stumble upon a dead link for which you could really provide a good replacement, you’ve hit the bull’s eye! And Google comes to your rescue for finding such dead links on Wikipedia. This is what you will have to do:
I assume you would already know how to use “Site:” function in Google’s search bar. And also, it’s easy to find out the function of the ‘+’ symbol in your query. Well, then all you need to do is add an extra phrase at the end of your search query: “dead link”. And that’s about it. Google will show you a list of pages according to your keyword, where you can find the dead links. So, once you click to go to the article page, just find the phrase dead link and you will directly reach your destination. Now, that’s half job done. What you then need to do is create a resource page on your website and replace the URL of the dead link in the Wikipedia article with your newly created page. The best way will be to find if the domain license for the old source link available to acquire. And if so, then you should just buy that and link it to your website. That way you won’t have to worry about giving a heads up to the editor. You will get a direct link. Amazing, right? Do give it a try!
4) Turn your product pages into mini blog posts
About 8 in 10 shoppers believe that they will find better deals online than in store, according to a recently conducted survey. And about 84% of the online population has bought something through an ecommerce site at some point in time or the other. People are increasingly carrying out their online shopping through their mobile devices. So, it’s not very uncommon to stumble upon an ecommerce store or a sponsored ad about products on either Google’s search results page or Facebook’s newsfeed or even when you are watching your favorite video on YouTube. That also shows the degree of competitive intensity, if you are an ecommerce store owner. But, you don’t need to feel discouraged at all. The chances are that you’re already doing what you can in terms of how you present your products on your site. But, as you’d agree, there is always scope for something more. And that more is the “description” part on your product page. The normal tendency is to only show the product specs, pricing and deals under this section. But you don’t have to necessarily restrict yourself only by doing that. In fact, you can add as much content on this page as you deem is useful for your shoppers. And you don’t always have to use the same ol’ boring product specification language. SO, consider making it exciting and fun and personable. For example, look at this website’s product page:
What they are doing here is showing a short story with each product. That way you will know how your product came into being. And this helps in making an emotional connect with the product. Consider including your secondary keywords as well as synonyms of your primary keywords in such content segments. As long as you keep it in the form of a mini blog post, your audience will always appreciate it.
5) Let your “Hero” pages support the weaker pages on your website
It’s a simple math: while some of your website pages may rank on the top 3 pages of Google, there will be other pages which will not be so high in the ranking. That’s just how the Internet works. But, this is the time when the popular pages on your site can come to the rescue of such not so popular pages. The first step is to locate the top performing pages on your website and separate them from the rest of the pages. Go to Google Search Console and find the pages on your site that are ranking on the top 3 pages of Google. Go to Search Traffic and then Search Analytics. Tick the position option to see the average ranking for each keyword. See this image:
Once you get the list of pages, just sort them by position. You are looking at keywords with an average position of 1-30. So, these are your top performing pages. You can crosscheck this using Ahref by entering the URL into the tool.
Once you have located the highest ranking pages for your website, provide internal links from these pages to the other low-performing pages of your site. This way, you are passing the link juice from the best pages to not-so-good pages and helping them boost up their performance.
6) Find creative inspiration from the best ads in Google’s search results
When you are out walking on the shopping street, you are more likely to enter a store that has the most appealing display front, right? The same logic applies to Google’s search results page. The sites with the most attractive (and also the most appropriate) titles and description tags tend to enjoy a higher click through rate (CTR). And it is mentioned in a number of industry reports that the CTR for the sponsored search listings is generally seen to be higher than the organic results. And isn’t that obvious as well? You are more attentive to your title and meta tags when you know that you are paying for each click it generates for you as against when it’s displayed just organically. So, here’s a quick tip. When you are optimizing your website’s pages, do a quick Google search with your primary keywords. Look at the top paid ads in the SERP and you will get a lot of ideas about how you can keep your title and description. And it’s a safe bet as well, because most often the advertisers run a large number of split tests with their ad copies and so the ones that rank are really the outcome of many reiterations. Let me give you a quick example here. Let’s say that you have a website for organic clothing line and you are trying to optimize your pages with the keyword “Organic clothing”. So, first you need to look up that keyword on Google. And here’s what Google will get back to you with:
As you can see, Google shows you the ads at the top of the organic search results. An each of these ad copies are optimized with the keywords in the title and the description. See how they incorporate action points in their copy. So, if you use these proven ways of including keywords into your page title and meta description, then you are sure to generate higher click through rate eventually.
7) Publish curated content for your blog
This is one trend that every blog has been using of late, whether it’s HubSpot or Mashable or even a not so popular personal blogger website dedicated to a specific niche. But, not everyone is successful in using it. That’s because not everyone knows how content curation works really. There is an ocean of curated content out there on Google and even on Facebook. But, what’s one thing that differentiates the successful curated content blogs from the not so successful ones? One thing: Focus. And to be more precise, a focus on a benefit. If what you are asking the experts is not a direct benefit to your target audience, then they will not bother going through the content. So, you should only go after benefit-centered curated content blog posts. And also, make sure that you stand out in your topic selection from the rest. Here are a couple of examples of benefit-led content curation:
This is a guide that I put up for e-Intelligence a few months back. The idea was simple. Get a comprehensive blog post that lists out all the most important tools in the digital marketing niche. So, what we did is that we approached the companies who owned these tools and asked for their inputs for the blog and tell us one thing how their tool is beneficial to the online marketers at large. And that was it, in no time we had a list of 100 best digital marketing tools for startups. And boy, did this blog post pick up in response? Of course it did. We also got a very good traction across social media platforms.
And then, we did this towards the end of 2016:
The idea here was to tell the social media audience of our blog what they should NOT do in 2017. While there were so many blogs that talked about the latest social media trends, and top tricks for social media campaigns in the New Year, none of these posts told them what they shouldn’t do to save up on time and efforts. Again, we approached the social media experts across different countries and invited their opinions. This blog post also was very well received by our target audience.
For both of these blogs, we still keep receiving requests from different tool providers and social media experts asking to include their inputs. The unique thing that sets these two apart, for example, is that they are compiled and curated by benefits and not topics. And above all, they provide the answer to the most important question raised by most blog readers – “What’s in it for me?”
8) Go beyond Google Keyword Planner and try these amazing tools
Ask any SEO expert which is their favorite keyword generator tool. By default, Google Keyword Planner is the first choice for those who plan on promoting their sites on the search engine. Why? Because, it’s Google’s own product. So, if Google is suggesting you a keyword and telling you that you should use it, then it means that it is already ranking it in its search results. But, that’s where the problem lies. Everyone else is using it. So, essentially you are after the exact same keywords that your competition is targeting. This means you won’t be able to make your site stand out.
Instead, try these two less popular tools.
The first one is called SeedKeywords.com. The best part is not many digital marketers know about it. So, it means that you have the first-mover advantage. Well, at least for now. Unlike Keyword Planner tool, this tool first asks you to create your scenario. Don’t worry. It’s really as simple as it sounds. You just have to tell the tool an ideal way that would be deployed by a user when looking up your site.
You can literally have your friends, family members or other acquaintances do this for you. Ask them to describe how they would search for your website. And you will get the ideas for your website’s keywords. These seed keywords are really unique as they come directly from the users and not as a result of a brainstorming meeting full of SEO team members.
Another tool that I really like is called Flippa.com. In a layman’s language, it is a portal where people sell and buy ready-made websites. Like how you have product descriptions and specs on Ebay or Amazon, on Flippa, you have the sellers describe the history of their websites, including the top keywords, how they designed and developed the websites, what promotions have been done on the websites previously along with performance metrics. Isn’t that amazing?
And the best part about searching a site on Flippa is that you can give a range of expected users for the site. Similarly, you can specify the range of expected monthly pageviews. You can even ask the tool to tell you the age of the website. See this image:
So, this way you not only get to know some unique keywords to target in your SEO strategy, but also find out some interesting tricks and tactics that you haven’t yet tried for your website.
9) Expand your PR network
A very easy, yet often less explored trick to get higher visibility for your website. If you ask me, in the world of SEO, the good ol’ PR tactic is still very effective. The platforms may have changed or developed, but the idea still remains the same. You need to connect with more influencers in your niche and this automatically increases your chances of being considered as a thought leader by your prospective search audience. And you don’t have to restrict it only on a few blog-related platforms. You can do it on social media websites too.
So, actively look out for expert round up related posts in your niche. And once you come across such posts, build a rapport with the author/editor. Give them some value addition to their existing content, and I guarantee you that they will not deny your request.
Here is an example where I collaborated with other digital marketing experts in order to come up with a piece of content that was widely appreciated by the readers:
This also is a very good way to get link juice from such roundup related posts.
10) And last but not the least, create and publish awesome infographics
The chances of your content being read is 30 times higher if it’s presented in an infographic format. Another statistics suggests that Google receives over sixty thousand search queries for infographics every month, and we are only talking about English language searches here. And third and the most important statistics is that your target audience is 80 times more likely to remember what you tell them through your content if its shown in a visual manner such as an infographic.
And if you ask me, infographic is the best way to repurpose your older content. If you have a text-heavy blog post, you can easily convert it into an infographic. And similarly, you can convert your older videos and presentations into interactive infographics. They make the content more share-friendly as well.
The best part? You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create infographics. There are so many online infographic tools available that can be used, such as Piktochart. It gives you ready made templates from which you can choose the best theme for your purpose.
Here is an example. Back in 2013, when infographics weren’t a trend, we created an infographic for e-Intelligence, which compared Facebook advertising with Google AdWords. Again, we didn’t not know what the best ways to promote the infographic were as well. So, we just published it on our blog and across some infographic portals, in addition to our social media channels. And we received a tremendous response. We got over seven thousand views on Visual.ly alone. See for yourself:
You can even consider co-creating cool infographic with others. That’s an effective way to halve the amount of work and time involved in the creation, but more than double the impact in terms of the response.
I hope you find these tricks useful. There are so many other tricks that I could not include here due to limitation of time, but I promise to keep sharing my SEO success stories and tricks with you regularly.
And I am sure you have your own li’ll tricks as well, right? Won’t you like to share it with others? Just put a comment below or give a link to your blog post which includes such tricks.
Do you like these? Would you like me to cover a specific topic in my next blog post? Feel free to drop in a comment below or just email me.