The Ultimate Guide to Advanced SEO in 2017
Your secret SEO sauce may no longer help your rankings a few months (or even weeks) from now. In fact, it may end up hurting your ranking. You need to ask yourself this question: "what are some advanced technical techniques that I can use to continuously ensure that my SEO efforts pay off?"
This is the question that we will answer in this article.
1. Conduct an SEO audit and diagnosis your site.
You need to know how well your site is doing with regards to SEO. Think of a hospital check-up. You need to do some tests to determine if you are well or not, and the areas where you need to improve. Just like you need to identify the areas where you need to improve health-wise, you need to identify the areas where your SEO needs improvement and set goals towards the same. You need to know what to do in order to achieve your goals. This is why you need to be aware of advanced SEO techniques.
Back to our hospital check up example: The doctor needs to know indicators of disease or poor health in order to draw conclusions about the aspects of your health that you need to pay attention to. The same way, you need to know what to look out for in an SEO audit.
Here is what to look out for:
All your web pages are well-optimized
Meta titles and descriptions
The URL structure is optimized for search engines
Images have ALT tags
Each web page is optimized for SEO keywords
Web pages and blog content is properly formatted
You have backlinks in your content
2. At the core of SEO is the user.
At the end of the day, everything you do is for the user to interact, engage with, or consume. If you do meet your audience’s needs, they will then do what you want them to, whether that means reading your content or buying your product. How then do you effectively meet a user’s need? The best way is to ask them what their need is.
This is where data comes in. Your users do actually tell you what they want, not necessarily directly, but they could be quite loud about it. Have you visited discussion boards and forums like Quora, Reddit, and Yahoo answers? You will be amazed at how many questions are asked here, and how detailed some of the responses are. In fact, some of the answers are given by professionals.
How do such forums help? They could form a good basis for understanding your readers or visitors and their needs. The best part? It costs you nothing apart from your time and creativity. To get to know what your audience wants, type your primary keyword into the search bar. Start enjoying the questions that people ask and the answers they receive. Better still, begin to note the areas of concern. This will form a solid basis of the content that you should be creating on your website.
There are also sites like Ubersuggest, AnswerThePublic, Keyword Tool, and LSIGraph that collect information from Google’s Autosuggest. They will give you a lot of areas and content gaps that you could fill. This way, you end up creating expert content that your visitors will love.
3. Create SEO optimized landing pages
According to MarketingSherpa, more than half of your traffic comes from landing pages, especially if you provide services or products to B2B companies. You can send traffic generated from PPC (pay per click) campaigns or email marketing to landing pages, or even from a banner ad.
How do you ensure that you create a properly optimized landing page?
It should have informative content, a call to action, for instance, "subscribe now " or "download now," and highly engaging and informative content. Better still, using the data research approach we discussed above, you can get a long tail keyword that highly captures what your users want and use it throughout the content of your landing page. Your aim when creating a landing page should be to get your visitor to read the next sentence. Right from the headline, make your content compelling. A testimonial or customer review also comes in handy. Adding links from your web pages will definitely help conversion rates too.
No one wants to read a long landing page with a lot of text and unprofessional design. Attractive design helps to drive your message home. A good software to use for professional, appealing, design is Unbounce. When using plugins, include meta titles, meta descriptions, and the keywords that your audience will love, just like you would on your web pages. When it comes to landing pages, you want to have as many as possible. According to Wishpond, if you have at least 10 landing pages, you increase conversion by up to 55%. If you have over 40, then you increase your conversions by more than 500%. One of the reasons that landing pages result in high conversion rates is because they can be shared on social media platforms. Traffic from social sites ends up on your landing page. If you have many different landing pages, then you have a lot of content that can be shared on social sites, increasing chances of higher traffic on your landing page.
4. Check your site for mobile friendliness
You have probably heard of responsive design. This simply means that your website is able to "adapt" to any screen size it is viewed from. Put in mind that many people now use mobile devices to access the internet. In fact, at least 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, according to Search Engine Land. Do you recall our hospital check up example? You need to diagnose the problem first before you come up with the solution. In this case, you need to check your site for mobile friendliness. To do this, use Google’s mobile testing tool.
When you access the page, copy and paste your website URL. Click "run test". The tool takes some time to “fetch the page and run the test.” If your site is mobile friendly, you should see the following text: “Page is mobile-friendly” followed by “This page is easy to use on a mobile device” at the tool’s top left. If your site is not mobile friendly, you need to think of how to redesign it.
5. Use infographics
You get a chance to break it down into simpler steps, processes, or even diagrams. According to Pearson, most people are visual learners. It, therefore, makes sense to use a form which most of your audience can easily understand. Neil Patel says that quality infographics will increase traffic on your website to the tunes of 193%. At KISSmetrics, they generated 2,512,596 visitors and 41,000 backlinks within 2 years, using infographics. When we talk about quality, we are referring to not only the design, but to the information that your graphic will convey to the user or visitor. You need to have facts and solid content on your graphic for your users to find it meaningful too.
Here’s an infographic from HubSpot explaining why Infographics should be part of your SEO:
How do you effectively use infographics to build your website’s traffic?
Trending topic or idea – you can base your infographic on a trending topic or idea. An easy way to do this is to go on dynamic social platforms like Twitter and see whether something related to your industry is trending. Again, discussion forums are a good source of inspiration. Once you identify the topic, do a bit of research, and get a few solid facts.
Blog post – you can also create a blog post based on your infographic. It should expound on the facts on your infographic. Remember to include the infographic or a link to it, when writing your post. Infographics are more shareable, and you want your readers to easily do this. The best part about designing infographics is that it is quite easy.
It is best to use all the three tools, especially if you create a lot of infographics, for the sake of variety. Alternatively, you can work with a graphic designer or hire one on a site like Dribble. Want more Infographic tools you can use for free?
6. Do YouTube SEO
According to Tubular Insights, in 2015, 55% of search results included at least one video. Better still, 82% of these videos were from YouTube. Where do you think these statistics are today? The fact that Facebook now has the "live" option, which is quite popular, video is something that you would want to include in your SEO efforts. Who knows, maybe these videos will show in search results. But for now, let’s talk about YouTube. You would like to be on platforms with big numbers. YouTube comes in after Google as the second biggest. Every month, there are over 3 billion searches. Every minute, 100 hours of video are uploaded. But, just like when creating content on your website, uploading videos on YouTube is not enough.
Here is how to do SEO on YouTube:
Use a compelling, well-optimized title – include keywords at the beginning of your title. You can then add a colon and a sub header as in "SEO for beginners in 2017: How to Rank High in Google"
Add in a comprehensive description – Google’s bots will use your video’ description to rank it on search results. Make it more like a short blog post. Let it have some structure, and use the keywords appropriately (especially in the first and last paragraphs).
Longer videos – longer seems to be better when it comes to ranking on search results. Make your video at least 5 minutes.
Use a good thumbnail – The thumbnail you use will make it more compelling for users to click on your video. Use a title card too, so that your audience knows exactly what your video is about.
7. Study Google Search Console statistics
This tool by Google is a very good one when it comes to showing any issues with your site that may affect its rank in search results. On Console, look out for:
Crawl errors (you know the infamous 404 errors?)
Sitemaps - Keywords that your visitors are using to find your site
Better still, when you get to your Console dashboard, you will see what needs to be addressed urgently, under "new and important". To fix 404 errors, click “Fetch”
You will get to see what Google’s bots see when they crawl your page. Maybe that particular web page is being redirected to a new page. If so, solve this by clicking on "request indexing." 404 errors can also be fixed by submitting a sitemap of your entire site.
Under Crawl (the left side menu). Then "add/test sitemap".
Enter your sitemap URL.
Usually, it takes the form of domain name/sitemap.xml. Google will update its index fixing all errors on your site. To see the keywords people use to find your site, go to search analytics. If you are not ranking well for the keywords that you intend to, then it’s time to identify the keywords you should be ranking for and optimize your content.
Sync your Google Search Console with WooRank and you can easily identify what is affecting your rank:
This ultimate guide to Advanced SEO techniques in 2017 takes SEO a step further
It helps you learn how to do SEO in a smarter way. Even if it may be a bit technical at first, especially with the various tools like SEO audits and Google Search Console, over time, you get to learn the ropes, and it will pay off in Google search results.