SEO is a beast. It’s so big, there’s absolutely no way for you to conquer it all.
There’s so much expert advice out there that if you don’t deliberately choose not to listen to 75% of it, you’ll be confused forever.
But in the same way SEO can be your worst enemy if you’re trying to conquer it, it can also be your best friend if you realize it’s an untamable beast and you lower your goals from conquering to just being able to pat it’s head without it breathing fire on your site and scorching you to death.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to tame the SEO dragon enough so it can benefit your site’s search rankings and organic traffic without burning yourself with search engine penalties by working too hard at it.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 220 profitable buyer keywords click here or the image below)
1. Keywords in Headlines, Subheadings & URLs
We’re really not trying to insult your intelligence here, but as obvious as this seems, you’d be shocked at how many bloggers and web content managers ignore these minor details while they’re busy looking after the bigger picture.
If you don’t take care of this though, you’re costing yourself significant potential rankings and quality organic traffic of people looking for the exact information you’re writing about.
It’s a quick fix though. To remedy it, we suggest using a plugin like Yoast for WordPress. It reminds you before you publish whether or not you’ve integrated your chosen keyword enough to have a passable SEO grade.
2. Phrase-Padded Back Linking
Over-doing the direct, spam-style back links can lead to search engine penalties, especially if you’re super obvious about it and repeat the same three-word anchor text two hundred times in one week for one landing page.
However, instead of directly hyperlinking obvious keywords, hyper link the keywords with a few pillow words. (Just don’t do it 200 times for the same page - let it come naturally as you guest blog and build out your website.)
For example, instead of linking “diet pills” over and over again back to your landing page, link occasional variations of anchor text like “when I started taking diet pills” or “these diet pills worked better than others I tried before.”
This does not come across as spam. And if you’re particularly careful about the sites you choose to back link from, the search engines will actually reward you for it.
That’s right, there’s no need for this irrational fear of back linking that’s so rampant all over the web as long as you don’t spam.
3. Optimizing Your 404 Page
404s are frustrating. When I land on one, I get frustrated—especially if there’s nothing to help me find what I’m looking for.
But 404 pages offer a great way to recover otherwise lost traffic.
Instead of driving your site visitors to click away in frustration, you can apologize for the error and create a list of links using your on-site key words to help them find what they’re looking for.
This is great for inner-site keyword linking without spamming. It’s valuable and genius.
4. Writing Longer Content
There’s been a time-set standard that blog posts and web pages should be around 500 words each.
To be honest, I’m not really sure where that came from, but it’s fortunate that people are moving away from that now.
B2B blogs and product-based websites now typically like their blog posts to be at least 1,000 words, but what really makes Google happy is pages have 2,000 words or more.
This level of word count isn’t a guarantee of quality, of course.
But it does mean that whoever wrote it has put in some serious time and effort, so the chances of it being better quality content for the end reader is much higher.
To an SEO hacker, it also means you can put more keywords on a page without triggering any keyword-stuffing red flags.
Neil Patel did a test on this. He replaced a 1,200+ word page with a 488 word page, and the longer page performed 7.2% better than the short one.
So skimping on the word count could be costing you valuable traffic and conversions.
5. Focusing on Small Wins
There’s always going to be that one big win keyword that gets all the traffic.
Most people, deep down, feel that if they could just find a way to make it work with that keyword and get into the top five, they’d have it made with countless leads and a skyrocketing bottom line.
But daydreaming, hoping, and wishing for that scenario can be a waste of energy and precious time.
Instead, you can focus on ranking in the top five for a few keywords that get less traffic, but will still win you lots of conversions.
Refusing to focus on the small wins means you lose out in the short term and the long term.
Ranking well for lesser-known keywords boosts your websites credibility and actually increases your chances of ranking for that big win keyword down the line.
But focusing on the small wins now means you still generate business today and increase your chances of hitting it big later.
6. Having a Responsive Site Design
Not having a site design that’s responsive to mobile can have a greater effect on your SEO than simply losing the one-off site visits that click away because they can’t read your tiny text.
It’s debatable whether or not bounce rate has an effect on your organic search rankings, but it’s certain that a high bounce rate greatly affects your statistics and quality score in AdWords.
That means if you ever try to advertise your services or want to do a push for a product launch, you’ll have to pay more money per click for lower rankings and less traffic than if you invested in a responsive website and didn’t have so many mobile bounces.
If you’re a solopreneur setting up niche websites without a full-time developer to do your bidding, this is actually a relatively easy fix.
All you need to do is update your site to a responsive theme, make small adjustments according to the new look, and go live.
The rest is done for you and you decrease your bounce rate.
Your Best SEO Hacks
So, tell us. How do you relate to the SEO monster?
Do you feel you've tamed the dragon or have you been burned in the past?
What are some of the practices that have helped you improve your rankings?