12 Actionable SEO Tips Guaranteed To Boost Your Organic Traffic | Hacker Noon

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@cesilvamCarlos Silva

A CMO constantly questioning tactics, understanding who we seek to change, and willing to re-imagine the story we tell

I agree, most lists of SEO tips are overwhelming.

200+ actionable tips… generic advice — like “write better content” or “improve your user experience.”

Like we haven’t heard that before…

So I’ve boiled this list down to the 12 most actionable tips that you can do in a short period of time.

As hard as you try to produce great content, it’s perfectly normal to miss certain important points (aka keywords) and it hinders your page’s ability to rank.

Let me explain.

Take any article you have and decide what your primary target keyword is and then find the two or three top-ranking pages for that specific keyword.

Ahrefs has a great tool called “Content Gap” that’ll show you these keywords in a split second. The goal is to find what keywords one or more of the top-ranking pages rank for, but you don’t.

You don’t because maybe you didn’t cover those subtopics in your post.

If you were to rectify and edit your post, chances are you’d also rank high for those keywords.

Even better, Google will see your page as being more complete and will improve your main keyword ranking.

Cha-ching!

You probably know backlinks are an important ranking factor, but it can be a chore.

Finding prospects, vetting them, finding their emails, pitching…

A chore.

A better approach is to email everyone you link to in your articles.

For example, we have an article on KISSPatent that talks about the best tools for startups, and we probably mention around 50 tools.

It’s super easy to reach out to their founders or marketing managers and let them know you’ve recommended them. Give them a link to your article and tell them how much you love their product/article/service and why you recommended them.

There’s a catch, though.

You can’t ask for a link in this email. That’s not the point. The point is to make contact and start a conversation.

If your content is unique and well-written, you’ll surely get replies and compliments, which naturally leads to shares on social media and link opportunities like guest posts and other collaborations.

Seems obvious, but it ain’t.

For those of you who don’t know, internal links are backlinks from one page on your website to another.

Internal links help visitors navigate, distribute “link authority” throughout your site, and Google uses them for context.

The problem is, every time you publish a new page, it’ll have few (or no) internal links.

Here’s a tip to find relevant opportunities.

Search Google for site:yourwebsite.com “keyword”

For example, if I wanted to add internal links to a new post about tools for startups, I’d search for site:kisspatent.com/resources “tools”.

Every result here is a page on our site with the word “tools” and any of them would work well to cross-reference and add internal links from/to.

Do it. Google will love you for it.

A content audit involves analyzing all pages on your website to see whether you should keep them, update them, consolidate, or delete.

Following our last content audit on the KISSPatent blog, we deleted around 20 blog posts.

Guess what?

Our traffic didn’t decrease. The opposite. It increased by almost 10%!

Use any SEO tool to run the audit, but remember, any results you get are mere suggestions, not instructions. You should assess each page individually and never delete those that are actually important for your business — even if they have little or no SEO value.

It’s ultimately up to you. Trust your gut.

This one is a big one! Especially in today’s world.

People enjoy different content formats based on their personal preferences. Some like video. Some like to read. Some like to listen.

An easy way to reach a wider audience is to repurpose blog posts as videos.

But, how do you figure out which blog posts are best for repurposing?

If the post gets lots of organic traffic already, that’s a great sign! Why? Because you can embed the video and appeal to even more visitors.

Another underrated tool is considering repurposing posts about topics that people are searching for on YouTube.

If you use an SEO tool, do some keyword research and change the search engine to YouTube — you’ll instantly see what gets the most search volume.

Repurposing blog posts into videos can also help you claim multiple spots in Google’s search results thanks to the video carousel.

I love this one!

HARO (stands for Help A Reporter Out) is a service that connects journalists to sources, and vice versa. It’s totally free to sign up and when you do, you’ll get daily emails with requests from journalists.

For tons of different topics.

They usually require a really quick response, so be sure to check your email often.

All you need to do is check that you meet the requirements and reply. If they end up using your answer in their post, they’ll likely credit you with a mention.

Hello backlinks!

The only problem with HARO is that they send three emails a day. Given that most of the requests won’t be relevant, it can be overwhelming.

Luckily, I have a tip for you. Gmail filters.

Once you’ve signed up, head over to your Gmail and hit the caret in the search bar. In the “From” field enter [email protected], enter “[HARO]” in the “Subject” field, and then enter the keyword or keywords you want to monitor in the “Has the words” field.

Hit search and check a few results to make sure they’re relevant. If they are, hit the care and click “Create filter.”

You’ll then have options to mark it as important, apply labels, or forward it to another team member to take care of.

You’re welcome 😉

This one is a little more advanced.

Backlinks might be one of many factors that are keeping you from ranking number one for your target keyword.

Your competitors likely have more high-quality backlinks.

Use any free SERP checker to see if that’s the case.

If the pages that outrank you have more referring domains, that’s what’s holding you back.

A great fix is to monitor people linking to less deserving content and then try to get them to link to you instead.

How?

Open a few top-ranking pages with backlinks and look for misleading, outdated, missing, or inaccurate information (that your content covers).

You’re essentially looking for areas where your page trumps theirs.

Most SEO tools like MOZ or Ahrefs have “backlink alerts” where you can paste in your competitors URL and set to alert for new backlinks.

Bear in mind, your content has to be good, really good! Then, and only then, is it really is worth reaching out and asking for that link.

Easy peasy.

Backlinks to dead pages are a total waste, and it happens more often than you think.

To find broken backlinks, turn to an SEO tool and filter a Site Explorer for 404 pages in the “Best by Links” reports.

If there are pages with referring domains, then those backlinks are broken.

There are three ways to fix these:

Reinstate: If the dead page was deleted by mistake, put it back.

Redirect: If the dead page exists as a new URL, redirect the old URL to the new one. If the page no longer exists, redirect it to a similar one.

Request a link change: If someone made a mistake when linking to your page, then it’s worth reaching out to let them know.

Just keep in mind that it’s only worth fixing these issues if the dead pages have high quality backlinks. If not, it’s probably best to leave them as 404’s.

Whaaaat?

If you have custom illustrations or infographics in your posts, it’s likely that others will use them in their content.

For example, here is an image of a blockchain study we conducted, which has been shared a ton.

But, how do you find people using your images without proper attribution in the first place?

One way is to right-click on an image on your site, then hit “Search Google for Image.”

Check the results to see if they’ve linked back to you. If not, reach out.

Here’s another way:

Paste your website into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, go to the Backlinks report, then search for links with .png or .jpg in the backlink URLs.

Like this:

A what?

Hear me out.

Caching helps speed up your website for visitors, and there are a few reasons why that matters:

  • Page speed is a ranking factor on both mobile and desktop
  • The probability of a visitor bouncing increases as page load time increases.

courtesy of TheSEMPost

Installing a caching plugin is a quick and easy win that takes only two minutes.

For example, to do it in WordPress, log in to your backend and then go to:

Plugins > Add new > search for “WP Super Cache” > Install > Activate

Then, go to the settings page for the plugin and make sure caching is on.

Most search definitions show a featured snippet.

Google pulls information from one of the top-ranking pages and places a snippet on top of the SERP.

But here’s the thing, if you don’t have a definition on your page, there’s no way it’ll ever appear on a snippet.

Google knows searchers are looking for a definition, so it’s going to pull from a page with that information.

Here’s what you can do:

On your SEO tool, go to the site explorer, the Organic Keywords report and filter for the top 10 rankings with featured snippets.

Here’s the trick: then go one step further and filter for “what is” and “what are” keywords using the Include filter.

Look through the results and make sure there’s a relevant definition on each page.

For deeper insights read this great article on how to optimize for Google’s featured snippets in 2020.

You’ve probably noticed the “Videos” tab in Google search, right?

The interesting thing about the tab is that it doesn’t just show YouTube videos. It also shows pages from the web results with relevant video embeds.

Awesome, huh!?

Plus, if your site’s in a highly visual niche like recipes, you’ll probably see an even bigger boost.

None of these tips should take more than 15 minutes.

Seriously.

You could implement them all in three hours, which isn’t long at all considering the impact they’ll have.

Is there more you can do to boost traffic?

Sure.

But we’ll cover that at some other point.

If you’ve got questions, feel free to ping me on Twitter.

Also published behind paywall at: https://medium.com/better-marketers/12-actionable-seo-tips-guaranteed-to-boost-your-organic-traffic-in-15-minutes-or-less-854afec9183e

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