My Top 3 SEO Tips

We talk to clients every day, about SEO and helping them rank in the search engines.  Often times the advice is the same, so we’ve rounded up a few of our best SEO tips to share with you.

Understand this and you’ll see huge opportunities in your website’s structure, as there are all kinds of opportunities to rank. Success depends on making a keyword-focused sitemap with many pages targeting many phrases.  Remember to check out your competition, as it can be very enlightening.

Putting this SEO advice into action:

  • Never make a services page with all of your services listed in one spot. Or if you do, make sure you also make a page for each service you offer. Optimize each for the name of the specific service.
  • Make a page for each team member. These pages have a chance to rank for each person’s name. Outrank their social media profiles and you’ll get a bit of traffic to each of these bio pages forever.
  • For an eCommerce website, optimize the product category pages for the name of the type of product. In order to rank, these pages need to be more than just a bunch of clickable products. They need a bit of keyphrase-focused content (titles, headers, body text, etc.)
  1. Take the “Control + F” Test

Not ranking where you want to be? Take this bit of free advice: go to the page and press control+F. Search the page for the target keyphrase. Now ask these questions:

  • Does the phrase appear on the page?
  • How many times does it appear on the page? Just once?
  • How is it used? Is it in the header and in the body text? Or is it just in the links?

If you don’t see the phrase in the header or body text, you have a keyphrase frequency of zero. This answers the question as to why you’re not ranking. Mystery solved.

You failed to indicate relevance in the basic ways. You failed to follow SEO best practices.

Our goal is to convince Google that we made the best page on the internet for the topic. If you failed the control + F test, why would Google think this is a great page?

Caution! Links don’t count

When counting the instances of a keyphrase, don’t count links or in navigation. Link text does not indicate the relevance of this page. Link text tells Google that another page is relevant for the phrase the page the link is linking to.

Three things you won’t see on the Control + F test…

What about the title?

Although the title tag is the single most important piece of SEO real estate on the page, it’s in the code and not in the page itself. But of course, make sure the target phrase is in the title tag.

What about meta descriptions?

No, this isn’t on the page either. But it’s an important place to indicate relevance. Along with the title, the meta description is often part of the “snippet” when the page ranks in search results. So make sure to use the target phrase here too.

What about alt text?

Sure. Use the phrase as the alt text of images. But don’t kid yourself. Alt text is not a major search ranking factor. Think about it: if you were the head of Google’s search team, would you make alt text an important ranking factor? Of course not.

Putting this SEO advice into action:

  • Indicate relevance by using the target phrase once in the title, header, meta description and body text. There is no magic number for keyphrase frequency.
  • Make sure your page is detailed and thorough. The average high-ranking page is 1500 words. Give it some heft.
  1. Strong relationships = Long-term SEO benefits

Now that we’ve covered relevance, let’s look at the other half of SEO: authority. People who understand search understand this:

To rank, you need authority. To have authority, you need links. To get links, you must be visible with people who create content. Therefore to rank, you need relationships.

It’s a little different (and a lot more fun) than the “link building” mentality. A lot of SEOs still pitch their content by sending cold emails to bloggers asking for links. Don’t do that.

So rather than building links, build relationships with like-minded content creators. Make friends with bloggers and collaborate on mini-content projects.

Notice the difference between a solo blogger and a collaborative content marketer.

But you’re not looking for just any “social media influencer.” You’re looking specifically for content creators.

The 1% rule

The One Percent Rule states that only a tiny fraction of people within any online community actually create content. The other 99% of users consume or contribute to content, but do not create. Therefore, our goal is to connect with and collaborate with that 1% of users, the content creators.

  • Bloggers and blog editors
  • Journalists & Editors
  • Podcasters
  • Webinar and event producers
  • Academic researchers
  • Writers and Authors

It’s those relationships with content creators that will give you a long-term, durable advantage in search. Once you have a network filled with like-minded creators, you’re halfway to winning a link.

This is a key tip for beginners and experts alike: don’t build links, attract links naturally by making great things together with people who make great content and links.

Putting this SEO advice into action:

  • Use social media to find content creators in your niche. If you need a few tips on how to use social networks like a giant phone book.  Look for influential people that have already built the audience you want.
  • Next, connect with them through lots of little interactions. Share, comment and gradually make some friends. Start with twitter, in the search bar type in [topic] + blogger, writer or author.  The results are the influencers and content creators that you should be socializing with.  Build your list, and comment on their blogs, twitter accounts, etc.  Remember to subscribe to their news letter, and like their comments.  This should get you started.
  • Finally, reach out and ask for contributor quote, interview them and find any excuse to collaborate on content marketing projects.

People rarely take free advice…

But I hope that you are the exception. And if any of this seemed unclear, just ask yourself a few fundamental questions:

  • When someone is looking for me, what would they search for?
  • Which page on my site is most relevant for that phrase?
  • Why would Google believe that this is the best page on the internet for this topic?

This should put you in the mindset for search and keep you focused on empathy and quality. Those are the two fundamental principles in search engine optimization. Happy ranking!

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