It’s been a year since we’ve seen such a major shift in the SEO landscape. Google has made major changes to its algorithm, the biggest being the demotion of long-standing major ranking factors such as “domain authority” and “expert-babble.” At the same time, they’ve added new and exciting ranking factors like “mobile-friendliness,” “user experience,” and “socially shareable.” This means that every site that’s been created since then has been competing on a whole new playing field. This also means that it’s become even more important than ever to stay on top of your game with your SEO strategy – because if you don’t, you could find yourself falling behind your competitors.
Fortunately, this isn’t as hard as it may seem. With a little bit of research and a lot of patience, you can make sure that your SEO strategy remains on point this year and beyond. To assist you in your endless endeavor to make sure that your website stays on top, we’ve put together a list of the 39 proven SEO techniques that you can start implementing today.
1. Optimize Your Site for Google RankBrain
In 2015, Google introduced its new algorithm – RankBrain. The company has been pretty tight-lipped about what exactly RankBrain does, but it appears to be part of a machine learning strategy that improves search results based on word frequency, placement, and various other factors. In fact, they’ve said that RankBrain is responsible for about 15% of all search queries worldwide at present – a number that’s only expected to increase as time goes on. This means that optimizing your site with quality content is more important than ever if you want to have a chance at being found by users who may not even know what they’re looking for yet!
Moreover, RankBrain is one of the major reasons why Google is now more aggressive in demoting low-quality sites from the search results. And if you’re not familiar with how your site is ranking in Google, there’s a good chance that it’s negatively affecting your traffic. So, in order to get the most out of your site and get the most out of your SEO strategy, you should start paying more attention to how your site is ranking in Google – the phrases, the keywords, and the core page content- and adjust your site accordingly. Your objective here is to present your site as an informative, trustworthy, and relevant resource to your target audience. Because that’s what Google wants to see and present to its precious users.
2. Update, Upgrade and Republish Old Blog Posts
So, you’ve created an awesome list of powerful content topics that are guaranteed to be shared all over social media? Great! But now what? You need to republish your posts on a regular basis in order to keep them relevant. This may sound like an annoying task at first, but it’s really not hard – especially if you use a good plugin that automatically resets your publish date whenever you upload a new version of your post. Your objective here is to make sure that these top-quality pieces stay up-to-date with modern trends so they continue being linked to by users over time – which helps boost their search engine ranking. Ideally, you should have a specific schedule for republishing old content, as Google likes new sites more than ones that haven’t been updated recently. However, as far as how often to update existing pages goes…there’s no definite answer for this one yet. Some sites do well with monthly updates while others see better results from weekly or even daily publishing cycles. Once again, testing out various frequencies can help determine what works best for your site/strategy/niche/etc.
3. Increase Email Outreach Response Rates
One of the most important tips for success in any industry is proper communication – and that’s especially true in SEO. Now, just because you’re trying to get your website ranking higher than it currently is doesn’t mean you can completely forget about that aspect! You still need to reach out to influential people in your niche and other sites related to yours if you want more backlinks and social shares coming your way. The only difference here is that instead of buying an outreach service, you’ll need to use (mostly) free methods like email and social media (since there are no guarantees with outreach programs). However, these things can be a lot more time-consuming depending on how niche-specific your niche/target audience/etc. maybe. Luckily, there are tons of guides all over the web that will help get you started with email outreach to journalists and bloggers – but even these may not work 100% of the time so don’t expect immediate results from every piece you send out! Your objective here is to make sure that all messages go through successfully without being marked as spam or deleted.
4. Breadcrumb optimization
So, you have a perfectly optimized website…but are your internal pages following suit? If you have multiple sub-pages on your site that all look exactly alike, Google may not be able to differentiate between them or track which page leads visitors through to another one after they click on a link somewhere. This means your first and second/etc. pages will never show up in search results (even if other areas of your site do) and it also means users won’t find what they’re looking for as easily as you’d like – both of which hurt conversions and hurt traffic over time. The best way to combat these problems is by adding breadcrumbs into your theme’s coding – small text links with labels that connect an index (homepage) to specific sections on deeper pages; once Google catches wind of these it can treat them more like mini homepages with full rankings instead of simple links within your existing structure.
5. Write Compelling Title and Description Tags
You can optimize your site for RankBrain all you want, but if your site doesn’t show up in a user’s search results, you’re not going to be able to rank well at all. One of the easiest ways to increase your visibility is by making sure that your title tags and meta descriptions are compelling enough to convince a user that they need to click on them in order to get their questions answered. In fact, studies have shown that over 90% of users rely primarily on metadata when browsing search engine results pages (SERPs). So how do you write those awesome title tags? Think about what a user would type into Google as a search query. Think about what specific terms they might use to describe their problem or need. Try brainstorming with some coworkers who may know more about your field than you do; consider creating an editorial calendar that includes topics that will appeal to different audiences. Try testing different titles and phrases on social media – Facebook has had success with A/B testing before – so why not start there? At any rate, make sure that whatever content you choose does its job – otherwise, no one will ever see it.
6. Discover Untapped Keywords Using Tools Like SEMRush & Ahrefs
Once you’ve written your content, you need to figure out which keywords are actually worth targeting. This is where tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs come in handy; they’ll help you discover new keywords that are relevant to your business’s niche but aren’t currently getting much traction online – which means that if you manage to rank for them, you can capitalize on otherwise untapped traffic opportunities.
Of course, while some of these terms may not get a lot of search volume, they may be more likely to convert into leads or sales than general phrases that get thousands of searches per month. And remember, just because a keyword doesn’t have high search volume now doesn’t mean it won’t ever have high search volume – so don’t be afraid to pick up terms and phrases with less monthly search volume (MVPS) when you can. Just make sure that whatever phrase or term you pick makes sense within your industry and feels natural when users read it! If there’s any doubt about whether or not something will feel natural when someone reads it out loud (such as click here), then chances are that phrase probably isn’t ideal for ranking in Google at all.
7. Try to Copy Your Competitors’ Best Marketing Tactics
When it comes to search engine optimization, you’re playing a game of catch-up with your competitors – meaning that if you can figure out what tactics are working for them, there’s a good chance that they’ll work for you too. One of my favorite ways to do that is by using SEMRush’s Site Audits tool; once I’ve entered my competitor’s domain name, I can quickly see which keywords they currently rank for, along with which phrases show up most frequently in their titles tags and meta descriptions. And as a bonus, I’m also able to see how many backlinks each page has (and which links are helping/hurting their rankings), how much traffic each page receives on average per month, and even whether they have any blocked link equity!
Of course, since Google may use different factors when determining who ranks where on SERPs, catching up with your competition isn’t always easy. But considering all of these free tools are available online now – including Competitor Keyword Research tools like Ahrefs – getting ahead shouldn’t be as difficult as ever before!
8. Focus on Semantic SEO
A lot of businesses miss out on valuable search traffic opportunities simply because they don’t optimize their website’s content properly for semantic keywords. What does that mean? In most cases, it means using more descriptive keywords within your site’s content instead of broad phrases that appear everywhere – such as Hotels in San Francisco versus Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. If you’re trying to rank for a popular phrase with a lot of searches per month, then chances are you’ll also need a large number of backlinks to help improve your visibility. However, if you can rank for specific sub-phrases (such as Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco) then not only will Google think that your site is more relevant (and thus give you higher rankings), but you’ll also be able to attract higher converting users since many people type sub-phrases into Google when looking for local information or results.
Moreover, semantic SEO won’t just boost your search engine optimization game; it’ll also lead to happier visitors since you’re providing them with exactly what they want to see!
9. Increase Number of Internal Links
A successful content marketing strategy focuses on quality, not quantity. But with that said, there’s a big difference between articles or posts created simply for SEO purposes and those that add true value to your site. If you’re not linking internally on your own site, you’re missing out on an easy way to show Google that your site is relevant to all of its users – even those who aren’t ready to convert just yet! This is because internal links help Google better determine which pages should rank higher than others in relation to a certain topic, and they also tell Google whether these pages are related by topic or theme. By establishing strong relationships between your different pieces of content, you’re telling Google that these individual topics are related – but more importantly, you’re making it easier for Google to understand what type of users may be looking for one type of content over another.
9 down and 30 more to go!
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