Have you given up on search engine optimization?
Are you one of those people who no longer feel SEO is working? Is your ROI so critical in this field that you’ve started thinking it’s time to call it quits and look for gold somewhere else?
If so, I’m willing to bet that you’ve been making all the wrong moves with your optimization. It’s more than likely that your efforts in this department have just been misguided.
As the CEO of an SEO agency that helps a substantial number of clients from all parts of the globe achieve success online, my experience has taught me that it’s more than possible that your overall SEO playbook is in need of some fine-tuning and updating.
Don’t freak out! Now is not the time to throw in the towel and walk away from SEO.
My team and I have decided to help you out in this department.
But first, before we dig in and start bombarding you with useful tips and tricks, let’s elaborate on the source of the problem. In order to grow and take your SEO game to the next level, you must first understand where and why your current efforts are breaking down:
Engine, Engine, Hear Me Roar
Over the last couple of years, Google has implemented a significant number of changes. The Panda, the Hummingbird, the Penguin – every single one of these algorithm improvements has created a whole new level of confusion in the digital marketing world. Especially in the heads of marketers who don’t live and breathe SEO.
Everyone whose income is dependent on the traffic that comes through the world’s most popular search engine has started to panic. Loads of marketers today see Google as the enemy, even though they really shouldn’t. In their eyes, the engine now embodies a great big beast that shoots lasers from its eyes, spits fire and decapitates everyone and everything that stands in its way.
If you ask me, this is quite ridiculous. Especially if you do things by the book. Baba Yaga only comes for those who are begging for punishment.
People are scared of getting penalized by Google to such an extent that they have basically abandoned everything they used to do in order to improve their positions in search. Everything that could catch the engine’s eye has now become a huge no-no in most digital marketing circles. Loads of online businessmen and webmasters now feel that the days of pumping up rankings, generating links and optimizing their site and content for search has become a thing of the past, because every single one of these things might look unnatural in the engine’s eyes.
We beg to differ.
Regardless of what people say, SEO still works. It’s still standing firmly on its however-many feet. Our practice has shown that Google continues to reward those who make a genuine effort to bring value to the Web.
As far as the engine is concerned, SEO hasn’t died – it has just evolved.
The Ship isn’t Sinking, no Need to Start Throwing Everything Overboard
As we have clearly explained in our recent post: “The Death of SEO: A Hypothesis” – SEO will never become a thing of the past. There will always be a need for additional fine-tuning in this department. Even though most marketers and businesses wish for it to silently fade into the night, search engine optimization is not going anywhere. Recent statistics have shown that SEO is still pretty much alive and kicking.
In fact, it’s more alive than ever, now that the skeptics have given up on it.
As the guys from HubSpot report, 66% of marketers claim that improving their SEO and growing their organic presence is still their top priority in business.
These are some serious digits that, if nothing else, underline that the SEO train is still full of gravy.
In addition to that, the same company’s findings have also shed light on the fact that 71% of B2B buyers start their research with a generic Google search. They’ve also underlined the fact that most of these businessmen conduct around 12 searches on average before they actually engage with a specific brand online.
The Case for SEO
Looking at these statistics, we can easily agree on one thing – SEO still matters. People still use the Internet for business. Especially in the B2B world. If you’re a person who wants to generate intelligent traffic to your site and keep those leads and sales piling up – then optimizing your site and content for search should be constantly on your mind.
The only thing that has changed are the rules of the game. If you want to achieve success via SEO, you cannot just write content for keywords and fill out search snippet metaboxes. You need to take your game to the next level and start focusing on some more advanced SEO tactics.
Luckily, that’s exactly what we are going to cover in the following part of this post. Below you will find a couple of cool SEO techniques that can help you increase your website’s traffic and improve your overall position in SERP.
Let’s get down to business:
Level Up Your Internal Linking Structure
If you want to win big with your SEO, you need to create a tight internal link structure for your site. Without a clear and clean internal linking structure, Google will experience difficulty while crawling your site. The algorithm will assign less relevant phrases to your site’s most important landing pages, which will immediately negatively affect your position in SERP. Only a few of the keywords you want to rank for will make it to the top of SERP, which is a huge bummer if you own a site that has a lot of different things to offer to its current and potential visitors.
That’s why you need to think about your internal linking structure. By successfully optimizing your on-page elements, you will instantly help Google see the value in your site.
How does one do such a thing? How can a webmaster improve his overall internal linking structure? – By creating anchors that tie everything together. If you take all the anchors on your site and rewrite them to create a straightforward story, Google will most likely get a clear picture of what your site is actually about. Start out by linking together your top blogging assets that are relevant to your primary landing pages. Then expand on that. Produce additional content that delivers additional insight relevant to those chosen assets, and link out from these older posts to the new ones, and the other way around as well. Make it all come together in a nice story. This new, relevant linking path on your site, paved by old, indexed pages, and the addition of fresh ones, will help the engine assign a whole new level of relevancy to your efforts, pages and site.
Finding Great Resource that are no Longer up
I got this one from Brian Dean at Backlinko. He calls this strategy the Moving Man Method. It’s a link building principle built around locating terrific resources on the web that are no longer active. I’m talking about articles that aren’t really around anymore, or are pretty much out of date. Meaning, they’re basically useless to 99% percent of the people who search the web.
The general idea is to find them by using search strings like keyword + out of business or keyword + “service no longer available”, and then check if they have some quality links pointing to them which you could replace with yours. Great, right? Instant quality contextual links. But don’t take my word for it, watch Brian’s YouTube video about the process:
Eliminate Duplicate Content
Duplicate title tags, repetitive meta descriptions, categorization issues, twin domains – these are just some of the common duplicate content issues most webmasters have on their sites.
However, before I expand on the matter at hand, let us first get one thing clear – duplicate content issues doesn’t usually mean what people think it means. A couple of identical sentences on a single page or domain won’t be interpreted as a duplicate content issue. Most people assume that if something appears twice on the same domain or page – Google will summon the Kraken to devour them!
In Google’s eyes, duplicated content means there’s more than one exact same version of a page indexed somewhere online. It is all about volume, timing, and context. If, for example, dozens of web pages with the same text appear online instantly – Google will see them as spam. The engine hates this, because it makes its job a lot harder.
When Google looks at pages to index or not and where to put them in SERP – chances are it won’t rank or index those that are full of content that can already be found online. It’s important to know that, generally speaking, the engine won’t crush a site for having on-site duplicated content. It will simply pick the one it feels is the most genuine source and rank it, while dumping all the rest with the same content.
The best way to work on your duplicate content issue is to use a tool like CopyScape to locate your problem areas and handle them accordingly. Next to that, you should do your best to create separate pages for sub-topics. If you have decided to do this with your existing content, remember to apply redirections and update Google about the pages that now contain the information about the subject you’re promoting. And last, but not least – use rel=”canonical” to define an internal page as identical to another page.
Focus on Latent Semantic Indexing
Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI, are the things that engines look at while indexing your site. It’s not enough to create content for keywords anymore. Context also plays an important role. Google pays attention to the words around the keywords to figure out the general intent behind a specific blog post or page.
For example, when using the word Dibz, the engine won’t instantly know whether you’re referring to a link building tool or a company in its development stage, which engages in the acquisition and transformation of its subsidiaries. In order to determine your intent, it needs to look at the content surrounding the keyword. Therefore, if you also mention link prospecting or link building, the meaning will become clear. LSI is all about adding additional context. The great thing about it is that it also takes synonyms into consideration, so you can always spin a wide variety of keyphrases and make your content reader-friendly.
Be sure not to overdo it. Keyword stuffing is something that Google hates almost as much as it hates spammy links. The goal is to improve the quality of your content and create a natural flow that both the engine and your users can easily follow.
Create and Optimize Intelligent Landing Pages
As I have already said above, Google’s no.1 goal is to provide its users with the best possible answers to the questions they’re typing into search. So, having this in mind, we need to think about what happens when users actually click on our links. Where do they land? Are they getting what they have come for?
As a person who has created a tool that’s designed to help people with their link building efforts, I know that every second counts. I want people to instantly see what my product is all about, so I do everything in my power to design intelligent landing pages that are dedicated to one topic with a particular goal.
In order to create a successful landing page for your business, you first need to pick a relevant long tail keyword as your foundation. Next, you need to come up with a great title and meta description. Once you do that, you should fill that page with great copy, so Google will see that you’re the real deal. Then – focus on your loading speed and CTAs. User experience is an essential part of your success. Every page on your site needs to have a purpose that offers something valuable to your visitors. That’s why you need to constantly A/B test your page and optimize every single detail on it. Also, be sure to invest in professional design. Once you have done that, once you’ve finally completed your landing page, you need to do a bit of link building in order to improve its rankings.
Link building plays a crucial role in your online success. If you want to do it right, you should probably read our 10,000 word long link building bible, titled: “Every Damn Thing You Need to Know About Backlinks.”
User Data Research – Find Relevant Insights and Expand on Them
Everyone who knows anything about Google understands that the engine’s only mission is to constantly provide its users with the best possible experience. The algorithm is build around that idea. Its main purpose is to understand user intent and feed it with the best possible results that will help them instantly find everything they’re searching for.
Having all this in mind, we can immediately discard the idea of Google being a beast that’s out for blood.
Even though the way Google and SEO work might look far too technical to some, the truth is far from it. In the end, it’s all about figuring out what users want. The better you know your targeted audience, what they want and how to deliver it to them – the better the chances you’ll be making a ton of sales.
As simple as that.
All you have to do is actually listen. The Internet is a wonderful place, where people share their needs and desires. You can easily follow up on your targeted audience’s behavior. There are plenty of websites and communities where people openly talk about what kind of help they really need. For example, Quora is one of those places. I have already talked about this online community in our “I’ll Answer that for You” SEO strategy post. As I wrote there, answering questions on Quora is a great way to drive traffic to your site and actually build relevant links. To find out more about your audience on a site like Quora, all you have to do is type in your relevant keywords in the search bar, press enter, and follow the results. Quora will show you a heap of questions about topics that are of interest to you. Some of them are begging for answers, others are filled with comments that ignite endless discussions.
A similar place to do user research is Reddit. This site has a ton of active communities built around various different topics and industries. All you have to do to come into contact with your audience is follow up on relevant subreddits and listen to the discussions. This is a great way to actually get some real insight about the people in your niche and industry, and create something they’ll organically share and link to.
You can take some of these popular subjects and work on them further. When you figure out the topics people actually care about, you can build on them. You can take the key elements and build compelling blog posts for you site. Yes, once again, I’m talking about the 10x content strategy. Like I’ve already said, Google appreciates the extra effort. Everything you do online should serve improvement. If you cannot invent the next wheel, you can certainly put in some thought and work into making it better. As Jason Acidre wrote for the Kaiserthesage blog: “Be the first one to break a story. Or be the best one to tell it.” Be sure to read his post on 10x content ideation and creation process.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post from top to bottom. I hope you find the time to try out some of these tips. I can guarantee that every single one of these tactics will restore your faith in SEO and increase your overall visibility in search.
That’s it for now,
See you again soon,
Rad @ Dibz.me