Let me ask you a simple question before talking about the most important SEO tips to follow in 2017.
Why few sites like Backlinko, Moz, Smart Passive Income get a TON of traffic while the majority of the websites get embarrassingly little traffic?
The reason is this: all the high traffic sites are both search engine and user friendly. They all follow a strategic plan to impress both their audience and search engines.
If you’re struggling to increase your search traffic, I’ve 3 of the BEST SEO tips for you. Let’s talk about them without further ado.
#1. Find keywords that will make you rank higher
Do you want more people to visit your website or blog? Have you optimized your blog for search?
The one common mistake that most of the bloggers do is that they write and publish articles without targeting any keywords at all.
If you are trying to rank for a popular keyword, then you need to consider content marketing and SEO seriously. When your site is ranked in search engines for a keyword then it has a major impact on your web traffic, lead generation and conversions.
It takes very few minutes to know which keywords to use. You can find keywords in several ways. There are lot many tools available that makes your work easy to find.
#1. Google Keyword Planner: It is an official product from Google that gives you a traffic estimation of your target keywords and also help in finding more relevant and related keywords for your niche. You can find the keywords that are most relevant to your business. Start by searching words or phrases related to your products or services.
In order to use Google Keyword Planner tool, you need to have a Google Adwords account. And, it is free. Simply create an Adwords tool and start using it.
Here is how you can find keywords using Google’s Keyword Planner:
- Click on “Tools” and then click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.
- Enter your keyword. For example, “Marketing tactics”. Once you entered your keyword, go down and click “Get Ideas”. There, click on the “Keyword Ideas” tab.
- Scroll down and scan through the keyword ideas. Take those that are relevant to what your website is trying to achieve:
All you are trying to do right now is find ideas. List all ideas you come across in a spreadsheet.
#2. UberSuggest: It is one of the best free keyword tools for getting lots of keyword suggestions. It is also a perfect alternative to Google’s Keyword Planner if you don’t want to go through the trouble of creating an Adwords account.
- Go to UberSuggest and enter your keyword.
- Click on Suggest and it will list down Keyword suggestions.
- You can check out all your selected Keywords in the right sidebar of the Ubersuggest site and click on get to copy all the Keywords. Click “View as Text” to copy relevant keywords.
Now you can write posts based on keywords extracted using this keyword suggestion tool.
#3. SEMrush: Without a doubt, SEMrush is my favorite SEO tool. It is a SEO tool that lets you do keyword research, track keyword ranking, check backlinks, check competitor ranks and most importantly, performs a complete SEO audit of your blog. You can also know what keywords are performing well for your competitors with data from SEMrush.
- Go to SEMrush.com and enter competitor’s URL. Click on “Organic Research” and “Positions” and scroll down to “Organic Search Positions”.
- To find long tail keywords they are ranking well for, Sort by “Pos.”
- Next, search by “Volume” and see if there are keywords with very high volume that you are ranking on the first two or three pages of Google.
Make note of the pages or posts that you find. SEMrush makes it really easy to find what keyword your site (or any other site) is ranking for.
#4. Forums: If you want to find qualified content ideas then forums are the best place for it. You have real people asking real questions. Here is how you can find content ideas using forums:
- Go to Google and search “your niche forums”. You can check like this too. “keyword forum”, “keyword” + “forums”, “keyword” + “forum”, “keyword” + “board”. Click on any link and in their website, take note of the categories. Check how the forum is divided up into sections: Each of these sections is often a Niche Topic.
- Click into one of the categories and examine the threads. You can find some great content ideas.
#5. Google Search Console: Google Search Console is a neglected tool, but it is a treasure house of content ideas. You can monitor website performance in the Google search index. You can learn a great deal of information about your website and the people who visit it.
- Go to Google Search Console and click the “Search Traffic” section and then click on “Search Analytics”
- Checkmark “Position” and scroll down and click show 500 rows. Scroll back up and sort the list so that the lowest ranked keyword is at the top.
If you are new to Google Search Console, you will need to add and verify your site before you can do anything else. By adding and verifying your site in Search Console, Google thinks that you are either a site’s owner, webmaster, or other authorized user.
If you use the wrong keywords, then you likely won’t see ROI. So, finding keywords and using it in your content will make you rank higher.
#2. Spy on your competitors SEO strategies
Unless you know your competitors, all your great content and products goes waste. There are so many tools available online that will help you to find your competitor’s strength and weaknesses. Spying will help you with your business goals and allow you to plan out your next move.
Here are the 7 tools that will reveal your competitors SEO strategies:
#1. SEMrush: Without discussing about SEMrush, any SEO tools list is incomplete. It shows you data about sites’ search engine traffic based on estimates of keyword traffic and rankings. It lets you track the keyword position of your competitor in any search engine based on their geographical location.
You can find all keywords your competitor is currently ranking for on any given page. You will also get ad keywords and traffic numbers of competitors.
#2. Open Site Explorer: It is an easy-to-use tool from Moz that helps to monitor backlinks. It allows you to follow your competitors’ link-building efforts. Moz analytics helps you to track your site’s link profile over time and compare it with your competitors.
You will find details on how to get data on page and domain authority, anchor text and boost your links. You can easily check out what links you competitors have, compared their link profiles with your links, and boost link building strategies.
#3. Similar Web: It allows you to get traffic insights for any website. Just type in a website and you will get global rank, country rank and category rank of that website. It shows the weekly number of visitors in the last 6 months.
#4. iSpionage: This tool makes it easy to see what your competitors are doing organic search. It has a set of tools that includes SEO competitive research, social monitoring and keyword tracking. If you are into different campaigns whether it’s PPC, social media, or organic traffic, this is one of the best sites to use.
You can see the best performing keywords for organic as well as for PPC and how much the competitor spends on both organic and paid search.
#5. SpyFu: This tool lets you know which keywords your competitors are targeting, both in organic search and in AdWords. You just need to add competitors’ keywords and get an overall view of their strategy. SpyFu can help you eliminate bad keywords from your website.
#6. Majestic SEO: With this tool, you can download the backlink profile of your competitors. It allows you to download the link profile for any of your competitors’ sites. If you are serious about building quality links for your website, then this tool will help you a lot. You can download the link profile of any competitor
#7. Marketing Grader: This tool gives each of your competitors an overall score based on social media activity, blogging success, SEO and lead generation. You can monitor social activity of competitors, blogging and SEO success of competitors and lead generation success of competitors.
#3. Create SEO optimized and in-depth articles
Well who doesn’t want to rank higher than their competitors on Google? However, writing content that is liked by people and search engine is the biggest challenges that bloggers and content marketers face.
Whatever the content you write, it should appeal to your readers and also solve a particular problem. Here are the 5 secrets that will help you to create SEO optimized in-depth articles:
#1. Perform keyword research: If you write article without doing enough keyword research, it takes a lot of time for Google to notice your effort. So, find out which keywords and phrases people are searching for and prepare a keyword spreadsheet. Keep track of how many times you used those keywords into your content.
#2. Start writing around those keywords: Include your target keyword throughout your article. Remember, never ever stuff keywords. Whatever the sentence you write, it should be meaningful. Include your keyword in the title, in the first 300 words, and in the first h1 or h2.
#3. Add value to your readers: Before you even start writing, analyze to whom you are writing? What do they gain through your content? How it helps them? What kind of knowledge you can share to them that can’t be found anywhere else?
You are writing for people. So, when you are writing, make sure that you provide value to your readers.
#4. Make it really long and worthy content: Search engines tend to give preference to longer blogs and articles. It also favours “in-depth” content which is of at least 2,000 words. The longer your content, the more value you are going to give your readers. Remember, 100 words of fresh content is better than no new content at all.
#5. Track your analytics: Just publishing content won’t fetch you any result. You need to monitor your content regularly using Google Analytics. If your site has a high bounce rate, that means that visitors to your site are not staying for long, because your page is not providing them with the information they are looking for.
If your bounce rate is high, that means your page is not optimized for the appropriate keywords. Pop-ups, slow loading times, unrelated ads or images, and any other ugly design element can push visitors away. SEO-based content is not just about the words on your screen but is about how your visitor sees them.
So, optimize for SEO and use good design, track your analytics to know where you can modify further.
Final thoughts about the most important SEO tips
SEO is not as easy as it sounds. SEO involves in a lot of factors like backlinks, competitor research, keyword research etc.
The key to winning at SEO game is to find what works best and do more of it. Don’t spend your time and energy on implementing all the new stuff that you learn on the go. Focus on one or two steps at a time, implement them and move on.
So what are your thoughts? Did you find the 3 SEO tips mentioned above useful? Share your views in the comments.