By: Garin Kilpatrick
Every day Google sends my websites thousands of visitors, and this has little to do with luck or chance. Over the past few years I have applied SEO strategies to my websites, and my traffic has grown.
Last year I won a free $2,000 platinum pass to the Search Engine Strategies conference in Toronto. I won the pass by sending the most traffic to the contest page.
My main strategy for driving traffic and getting ranked in Google has been to create link worthy content, published using an optimized self-hosted WordPress blog like the one you are viewing right now.
Having a strong Twitter presence has also really helped my content spread. Not only does Google integrate tweets into search results, but tweets, likes, and other “social signals” strongly influence how your content will rank in the search engines. SEO is becoming more social all the time.
Learn the following ten tips and they will help you get more free traffic from Google, which can build your business in a powerful way.
1. Link It Up
SEO is largely about links. The more links you can attract and build the better you will rank.
Links are not created equal. Google’s success has been built on the fact that pages (and links) are not created equal. Take this quote from Google co-founder Sergey Brin:
We believed we could build a better search.We had a simple idea, that not all pages are created equal. Some are more important.
Keep the inequality of links in mind, and aim for quality links, over quantity.
Social Media Links can Help Your Content Rapidly Climb the Ranks of Google Search Results.
Every time your content is shared on Twitter and on Facebook this creates a new link to your page.
If your content is optimized this will help it rank faster. Installing a WordPress blog is half the battle, since WordPress comes with exceptional SEO out of the box.
2. Write for People, Tweak for Search Engines
Don’t let your writing suffer because you are trying to force keywords into your articles. This will have the reverse effect you are looking for, since keyword stuffing may stop people from sharing your content.
Having keywords in specific parts of your content is important, just don’t let this keyword placement diminish the quality of your content.
Make sure the keywords you are trying to rank for are included in:
- The Page Title
- The Page URL
- Once in the first 100 words
- Once in the body
- Once in the last 100 words
The above list is all of the on page SEO you need. The Title and the URL are the two most important places in your content for your keywords.
Ranking for your keywords is largely about having enough high quality links pointing to your page.
Having links to your page containing the keywords you are trying to rank for will help rank for those words.
For example, I want my Twitter eCourse to rank for the keywords Twitter eCourse, so I use the keywords Twitter eCourse when I link to it.
3. Use an Optimized URL
“Google Sniping” is when you buy a website that contains the keywords you are trying to rank for.
The keywords in your URL are a very strong indicator to Google of the content of your website.
Having an optimized URL like this is a great way to rank fast for your keywords.
I have built several “Sniper sites” that have ranked in the top 10 of Google for the keywords after less than a week.
Whatever your URL is you should try to include the words you are trying to rank for in your permalink.
To change your permalinks in WordPress go to Settings => Permalinks.
Some people choose to include the date in their Permalinks, but I am not a fan of this strategy.
My strategy is to create “Evergreen Content” that will still be relevant for years, and by including the date within my permalink I feel as if my content shows its age faster.
By choosing just %postname% WordPress will automatically insert keywords from your article title. I like to customize my permalinks and make them as short and memorable as possible to maximize my chance of people linking to my post and sharing it on Social Media.
4. Use Google Analytics
Google analytics is a brilliant tool. Using it you are able to analyze your incoming traffic and see what traffic people are coming to your page with.
Once you have identified your keywords you can tweak your content to optimize for those terms.
Tagging relevant posts with the keywords from Google analytics is one way to quickly increase increase your chances of ranking for those keywords.
5. Use the Free Google Keyword Tool
The Google Keyword tool is a solid resource because you are getting keyword traffic estimations from the company with the most search data in the world.
You can choose to sort by monthly searches, or competition.
The competition bar is an indicator of how many websites contain the keywords you queried.
I find good keyword opportunities by sorting based on the keywords that get the most searches and then trying to find catchy keywords with the least competition possible.
6. Include Your Keywords in Your URL
Having the right domain can make your life much easier when it comes to getting quality traffic to your website.
Having a domain that contains the keywords you are trying to rank for will allow you to outrank the majority of your competition with ease.
Grabbing an exact match domain with the keywords you are trying to rank for is called “Google Sniping.”
To snipe a good domain in Google use the free Google Keyword Tool to find keywords that have a high search volume, and low competition.
A domain containing the keywords you want to rank for will allow you to rank for these keywords with greater ease.
The age of a domain is another important factor in determining if a site will rank well.
If you can find an old domain (the older the better) in your niche and offer to buy it from the owner this can be a powerful way to improve your visibility in Google.
You can find the owner of any domain, and information about how old it is, by doing a “Who is” look up on the domain.
7. Focus on Creating Quality Content
Aim to create epic content. Epic content is like a magnet for links and shares.
An Awesome Way to Create Viral Content is to Design an Infographic.
Infographics go viral more often than almost any other kind of content, if they are done right.
If you are not skilled with graphic design you can get the facts together and post a job on an outsourcing website like odesk.
8. Use SEO Spyglass to Find High Quality Links
SEO Spyglass is a program that allows you to put the websites that are currently ranking for your keywords under a spyglass so you can see where their most powerful links are coming from.
You can download SEO Spyglass for free and many effective features are enabled in the free version of SEO Spyglass.
9. Syndicate Your Content
“Spinning” your articles allows you to bypass Google’s duplicate content filters.
The most important element to spin is your headline. Try to write a title that will match what people are searching for.
You can publish multiple versions of your content on different platforms like Squidoo and Tumblr, to name just a few, and then link back to your original article.
10. Build Many Links at Once
Social Bookmarking can Get You Thousands of Links.
A Social Bookmarking tool I have become quite fond of if called OnlyWire. Onlywire allows you to add up to 40 social bookmarking accounts and then send a bookmark to them all using the OnlyWire submitter.
You have to download the submitter to send your content to these sites, and some sites require you to fill out a captcha, but this is still a far more effective method than bookmarking this content manually.
Social Bookmarking is another way to get your content out to many different communities. The tool Onlywire is a great free way to publish your content automatically to the top 49 social media services. With the free version of the service you can get up 300 submissions a month.
Even at 300 a month that is still 3,600 free backlinks a year, and there is nothing stopping you from opening another account if you want more.
Here are the social bookmarking services that Onlywire supports:
If you want to Social Bookmark beyond these 40 services there is a website called Social Marker that streamlines the bookmark submission process.
11. Use Twitter to Get Your Pages Indexed Fast
Tweeting about your new content will cause it to be indexed quickly by Google.
The more your content is shared on social media sites the more easily it will rank in Google so be sure to learn the best twitter tips and tools and apply them to your business.
12. Track Your Progress
As you build links to your website keep a document recording all of the different backlink building activities that you do, and the dates you did them.
Every week or so check your ranks in the search engines to see how your backlink building activities are improving your rankings.
Checking your ranking manually will cause them to become artificially inflated in Google. Google remembers the sites you visit often and it increases their rankings for you only when you search them.
Use a free SEO rank tracking program to track your progress and start a spreadsheet to record your ranking progress for different keywords over time.
13. Leverage Video Content
Forrester research makes the claim on their blog that video is the easiest way to get a first place ranking on Google.
The Forrester post points out the huge opportunity in optimizing YouTube videos:
Less than 20% of marketers tell us they insert keywords into the filenames of the videos on their site, and even fewer use more advanced tactics like writing keyword-rich captions and annotations, or creating online video libraries.
YouTube is owned by Google so of course Google is going to favor videos on YouTube when someone does a Google search.
Embed your video into your website and you will get credit for both the visitor to your site and the view on YouTube.
YouTube offers a free Youtube Keyword suggestion tool that makes it easy to find relevant keywords for your content.
Using YouTube annotations in your videos to interlink your videos is a cool way to get people watching more of your videos.
Try to use as many relevant keywords as possible in your video tags and this will help open your content up to more channels where people might be interested.
Important Fact: On the keywords for which Google offers video results, any given video in the index stands about a 50 times better chance of appearing on the first page of results than any given text page in the index.
For more tips about optimizing your videos so that they deliver more traffic to you check out my post on 50 ways to win with YouTube.
14. Use Scribe for SEO
If you have a WordPress blog the Scribe SEO plugin allows you to optimize your content as you create it.
- Optimize content faster
- Choose great keywords
- Preserve reader engagement
- Build quality links
- Increase targeted traffic!
I really like the Scribe guarantee: Fall in Love With Scribe in 30 Days or Less…Or Your Money Back.
15. Outsource Your SEO
SEO takes time. Many people are too busy to invest many hours into SEO activities.
SEO takes alot of work and you can really speed up your progress by outsourcing your SEO work.
I plan to outsource my SEO in the very near future, as my time is better spent working on more creative aspects of my business.
When I do outsource my SEO my plan is to go with SEO partner.
If you want to do your own SEO you can look at the services they offer and do the same things in order to get the same results.
16. Effective Keyword Research is Huge
In SEO, the first and foremost need that you should maintain to monitor is proper keyword research.
To get good ranking in search engines, first you need to come up with the right choice of keywords or phrases that a visitor might provide with when searching for any product or service.
Make a list of the most popularly used keywords with help of various SEO tools such as Google Keyword Tools, Word tracker etc and focus on the objective of attracting maximum number of visit.
17. Make Sure Your Site is Indexed
To have your website among the top search engine ranks, it is important that your website is compatible with different search engines, and indexed by them.
Manual submission to Google, Bing, and Yahoo is a good place to start, and I also recommend using the free Quick Indexer tool by profit instruments.
18. Exceptional Content is Essential for SEO Success
Make sure your webpage content is as informative, original, and fresh as possible.
Visitors will only revisit your website if the content is makes an impression, so strive to over-deliver and provide massive value for your readers.
If content is exceptional people will be more likely to share it. Even if it means publishing less often I recommend really taking your time with the content you
19. Smart Keyword Placement
As soon as you know what keywords to use, it’s time to implement them properly.
Write content that has the right keyword ratio without stuffing in the keywords in awkwardly.
Your content should deliver as much value as possible, focus on delivering value, not stuffing the keywords you want to rank for into your content.
Do not try using too many keywords in a webpage in the hope of availing good traffic. Doing this can create adverse results.
Your webpage keyword density should not be more than 3% in total.
20. Build a Strong Internal Link Network
Internal linking is a smart way to build your PageRank without having to go out and acquire inbound links from other websites.
The stronger internal link structure it has, the more effective your website will be.
Search engines prefer websites with strong internal links, and when you build internal links you can use the exact keywords you are trying to rank for as anchor text.
21. Analyze and Optimize your Website
Not just keyword research, you should also concentrate on the performance of your website. There are many tools and applications that allow you to track the statistics of your website easily.
Google Analytics is one such tool that you can install to have a check on your website traffic, most used keywords etc.
I use the WordPress plugin Google Analyticator so that I can check my traffic stats directly from my dashboard.
Having a thorough update about your website’s traffic and performance is a must need in order to decide on the SEO strategies to apply for maximum benefits.
22. Socialize With Your Audience
Interaction and communication are the prime principles that rule today’s age.
If you want to attract increasing volume of traffic to your website, banking on the benefits of social media is an option worth trying out.
Interact, converse and connect with potential customers through the networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and promote your company to the maximum.
Having a corresponding Twitter account is a must for each website I am seriously
23. Customize Your Meta Descriptions
Although Google does a very good job of finding an accurate description snippet, by using a custom meta description you can control exactly how your website is previewed by search engines like Google.
I usually only bother tweaking my meta descriptions if I notice one of my articles is getting plenty of search engine traffic.
The WordPress plugin SEO Ultimate is a solid SEO plugin that makes it easy to select a post or page, and then quickly customize the meta description.
24. Install Jetpack into Your WordPress Sites
Jetpack is an awesome plugin developed by WordPress that adds a host of free new features to your blog.
All of these features are “Cloud enabled” and will add no additional load on your server.
The features that I like the most are the real-time dashboard traffic stats, and the ability to easily create http://wp.me short links for any post or page.
Do you have any cool SEO tips? If so let us know in the comments below!