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Search engine optimization is one of the most written about topics in marketing today. Unfortunately for many marketers, the information they read leaves them excited, but unable to implement. Whether it’s because development work is needed or the topic wasn’t properly explained, marketers walk away from these blog posts and conferences wishing they could implement more of what they know would help them.
To save the day, we have created a list of 10+ actionable SEO traffic hacks to optimize your website for Google (if you’d rather hire us, click on the button below to get a free search assessment.)
SEO Traffic Hack #1: Check the On-Page SEO of Core Pages in Your Menu
Ideally, we want to have great on-page SEO for every page on our site. Unfortunately, time can be of the essence and creating content or improving every page on the site can be tough. To accelerate this process, I recommend checking the on-page SEO of core pages in menu. These are often your most important and valuable pages. As a side note, if you have valuable pages to your business that are not in your menu, it might be time to consider moving them there.
A great example of content you might want to add to your menu would be a link to your evergreen resource content. Too many people worry about their offsite link profile before fixing their on-site link profile first. By adding your top content to your menu you can immediately improve your internal linking.
Once you have identified the pages that are most valuable to your rankings, make sure each page scores over 90 in Moz’s On Page tool. The tool provides simple and easy to understand ways to improve, but here’s a post that will explain more: https://moz.com/researchtools/on-page-grader.
SEO Traffic Hack #2: Make Sure You Only Have 1 Keyword per Page
Keyword cannibalization is a real threat to your website. Often times, we can get so focused on one or a couple keywords that we start to build multiple pages around ranking for that query. Frankly that’s not the best way to approach SEO.
Instead, you should try to have one core page for the keyword you are trying to rank for. This page should be the best source of information regarding that keyword on the web, and because it’s so good it should have links authoritative and relevant sites pointing towards it. If it really is that valuable wouldn’t other websites be talking about it?
Around that core page, you can have various long-tail pages that answer the questions people have about that primary keyword. Here’s a great way to visualize it with Answer the Public. We are using the query: “SEO Services.”
So remember, each unique page has it’s own unique keyword. You don’t just need the best information on that primary keyword; but also, on the questions surrounding it. When you do this, you create topical relevance. Google loves that stuff.
SEO Traffic Hack #3: Check These 45 Items
In this post, http://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors, Brian Dean has built out a comprehensive list of Google ranking factors. In particular, I recommend reviewing factors 11-61. The key will be to understand what could influence your site and then make sure you are properly satisfying these factors.
Not every factor has a direct impact or might even make a noticeable difference, SEO is very much the sum of all its parts.
SEO Traffic Hack #4: Audit Competitors Links and Do Outreach
One of the best ways to build links is by checking on what sites are linking to your competitors and then reaching out to those same people with a better piece of content. Simply take the keyword you are looking to rank for, let’s say: “PPC Agency“. Look at what sites rank above you for that query and copy their URL. Once you’ve copied their URL you can paste it into Moz’s Open Site Explorer. From here, you can find most of the websites linking to that page. Logically, if they were willing to link to that page then they might be willing to link to you as well.
Once you find a site that has a relevant link profile simply export their links to a CSV file and reach out to them with a message like this:
Hi [first name],
Loved your post on ___ for ___. I really liked how you ____. I’m not sure if you are aware, but we have a similar page that has (add value prop of your page here). I truly believe that your readership would benefit from our (unique selling point).
In addition, we’ve performed (additional value prop of your page). You can find the ____ here: ___. If you have any questions regarding our research please do not hesitate to reach out and I would be honored to be included in your post.
For more insight on this approach, the following resources are quite helpful:
SEO Traffic Hack #5: Improve Internal Linking from Old Blog Posts
Often times, sites are full of old content that is being neglected. This content can sometimes be thin to even irrelevant. Fortunately, the content can be used to generate anchor text rich internal links to our core service or product pages. By linking to these pages with keywords in our anchor text we can hopefully improve their organic ranking for the keywords in the anchor text.
Ideally, we want to find all the pages on the site that are ranking on page two for your primary keywords and link internally to them to get them onto page 1. By going from page 2 to page 1, we can drastically increase organic traffic.
SEO Traffic Hack #6: ReWrite and Improve Content on Page 2
Beyond simply pointing internal links at content that’s currently ranking on page 2, it’s important that you also improve the overall value of the page. For example, if you have a page that is a list of: “5 Tips to Improve Your ____”, you can turn that into: “20+ Tips to Improve Your ___”. By adding more information and content on the topic, you can be seen as a better source of information and will increase your likelihood of ranking.
In addition, we have found that adding video content to your page can be quite helpful. Instead of only relying on written content, you can record a quick 2-minute explanation of a point, or even dive deeper into the subject.
Here’s a great example! Watch this video for 2 more exclusive ways to improve your existing content for SEO.
SEO Traffic Hack #7: Add Breadcrumbs to Your Site
If you have a site with a lot of content and different categories, it’s crucial to tie the architecture of the site together. A great way to do that is via breadcrumbs. As we talked about internal linking in hack #6 above, breadcrumbs provide a terrific way to add contextual internal links to your pages and help Google understand the purpose of your pages.
While this is a small change, it can make a big difference on sites with a lot of categories and deep information architectures. If you are using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin provides a simple way to add breadcrumbs.
You can find complete instruction on how to instal breadcrumbs via Yoast here: https://kb.yoast.com/kb/implement-wordpress-seo-breadcrumbs/
SEO Traffic Hack #8: Use Your PPC Teams Search Term Report to Rank for High Performing Paid Keywords
Google took all our organic keyword data and said: “You’re going to have to pay for that.” Most search marketers understand this, but they don’t know what to do about it.
Here’s a little tip, become friends with your PPC team. They have all the data!
What you need to do is look at the PPC teams keywords. You can find these in the search terms report. You will want to look at the overall campaign level so you can see all the options. We also like to filter the data to: “All time”. So that we don’t miss any nuggets of gold.
If you see keywords performing well, meaning that they have a high conversion rate or a low cost per conversion, dive deeper. Do you currently not rank for these organically? If not, make sure your content and SEO team are creating content around your most valuable search terms for PPC. You can’t necessarily make more people search for a keyword, but you can take more positions on the page.
SEO Traffic Hack #9: Look at Site Search to Optimize for User’s Intent
SEO Traffic Hack #10: Get Rid of Duplicate Content with Siteliner
From using manufacturer descriptions on product pages to using content templates across sounds of SKUs, duplicate content can be the organic death of many sites. While creating product content at scale is a nightmare for all eCommerce shops, it’s a necessity. One way to overcome this duplicate content issue is to have a template for all of your product content.
From this template, as you upload new products content can be added. Some ideas for sections are the following:
- How is the product made?
- Who makes the product?
- Where is the product made?
- Is there anything unique about its construction?
- Are any unique materials or ingredients used?
The goal is to be unique and add value to your shopper and search engines.
eCommerce sites are not the only ones that suffer from duplicate content. Lead generation sites suffer from this as well. Here are some of the common things we see:
- Content is being duplicated by sub-domains. Subdomains should be “no-indexed” in your robots.txt.
- Content is being duplicated by categories or your blog page. Blog categories should often times be “no-followed” in your robots.txt. Blog pages should not have all the content on them, but instead, a read more tag or some call to action that takes you to the actual blog post.
- Content is duplicated by copying it from other places and posting it as curation. You should avoid this. If you want to curate content, you should do your write up. Maybe even a video!
There are many other ways that duplicate content can cause problems. To help you find it, use this tool: http://www.siteliner.com/.
SEO Traffic Hack #11: Find Paid Lists and Review Sites That Rank in the Top 10 for Your Keywords
I recently flew to Australia to speak at Big Digital, on this very subject. You can find the full presentation below:
The goal with this tactic is quite simple. Most websites are not the best answer in Google’s eyes for their most valuable queries. For example, my site will never rank on it’s own for these queries:
- best SEO companies
- top SEO agencies
The sites that are the best answer for these queries are review sites. The key is to find which review sites are ranking for your similar queries and to then build up reviews + advertise on them. From here, you can take more market share in the top 10 organic results and drive targeted leads that are low in the sales funnel.
Don’t have time to implement these tactics yourself? No worries, click below to get a free search assessment!