17 [Advanced] SEO Tips For 2018

17 [Advanced] SEO Tips for 2018

Today you’re going to see 17 advanced SEO tips and techniques.

In fact:

These are the same tips that I’ve used to grow my site to 186,081 visitors per month.

Visitors per month

Let’s dive right in.

1. Use Title Tag Powerups

When you use “Title Tag Powerups”, more people will click on YOUR site in the search results.

Clicking in SERPs

Which means more traffic for you 🙂

For example, check out these two title tags:

Title change

Look what happened when I changed title tag #1 to title tag #2:

Tile change – Google Analytics outcome

That’s right: organic traffic to that page increased by 45.5%!

And all I really did was add a Powerup word (“Awesome”) to my title tag.

Pretty cool, right?

With that, here’s a list of Title Tag Powerups to try:

  • Guide
  • Awesome
  • New
  • Fast
  • Crazy
  • How to
  • Research
  • Proven
  • Results
  • Amazing
  • Step-by-Step

And now it’s time for…

2. Stop “Pogosticking”, Get Higher Rankings

Here’s the truth:

Pogosticking can make or break your Google rankings.

So: what is pogosticking exactly?

Pogosticking is when a Google user clicks on your site…

…then “pogosticks” back to the search results to find something that actually helps them.

Pogosticking

And when someone pogosticks, it sends a strong message to Google: “I didn’t like that result.”

Needless to say: if your site doesn’t make users happy, Google’s gonna downrank you.

Downranking

The question is:

How do you stop people from pogosticking?

Here are 3 tips that work GREAT.

First, use lots of bullets and subheadings.

When your content is easy to read, people will spend more time on your site.

(It also stops them from hitting their “back” button)

As it turns out, a few bullets and subheadings make your content MUCH easier to read:

Bullets and subheadings

Second, use short introductions (4-9 sentences).

Long intros make people run away from your site like it’s on fire.

That’s why I only use short blog post introductions (9 sentences MAX).

Here’s an example from Backlinko:

SEO Strategy – Intro

Yup, that’s a grand total of 5 lines. And the average time on page for that article is 4:27.

That’s no coincidence.

Last up, put your content front and center.

Remember:

Google searchers want their results FAST.

And if they can’t easily find the answer their looking for, they’re going to bounce like a rubber ball.

So place your content front and center on your page, like this:

SEO Checklist

As you can see, there’s very little going on EXCEPT for the content. This makes users (and Google) happy.

Which leads us to our next tip…

3. Delete Zombie Pages

Zombie pages are pages on your site that don’t bring in any traffic.

They’re just sorta…there.

And when you delete Zombie Pages, you can get higher rankings and more Google traffic.

In fact:

One ecommerce site saw a 31% boost in search engine traffic (not to mention a 28% increase in revenue) when they “pruned” 11k product pages.

Google Analytics – Screenshot of traffic

And they’re not alone.

Proven.com saw their organic search traffic increase by 88.3% after deleting 40 thousand Zombie Pages from their site:

Proven traffic increase

Why does this strategy work?

Well, Google doesn’t want to rank sites that are bloated with thin, low-quality content.

In fact:

Google recently stated that they prefer “one stronger page versus many smaller pages”:

Google prefers one stronger page

This is something I pay A LOT of attention to here at Backlinko.

To date, I’ve only published 44 posts on this blog.

Backlinko – Published posts

And those 44 posts generate over 100k search engine visits per month.

Backlinko – Monthly users

4. Do An Industry Study

What’s the BEST way to get backlinks from authority blogs and news sites in your niche?

An industry study.

In fact, BuzzSumo found that publishing an industry study can bring you a ton of traffic, social media shares, and mentions in the press.

BuzzSumo – Industry study benefits

Here’s a real-life example:

A few months back I noticed that lots of SEO blogs were talking about voice search.

Voice search is a popular topic

But I also noticed that VERY few of these posts cited any data or research.

So we decided to do the first large-scale voice search SEO study.

Voice search study

How did this content do?

Even though this post is only a few months old, it’s already generated over 500 backlinks.

Voice search SEO – Backlinks

The best part?

I didn’t need to do a ton of outreach to get these links.

Because my content provides bloggers and journalists with data…

Voice search data

…they reference (and link to) my content like crazy:

Voice search study – Referenced

Sweet!

5. Use a “Feeler” Email

When it comes to email outreach link building, you have two options:

Option #1: Pitch your link in the first email

Option #2: Send a “feeler” email… then make your pitch

In my experience, option #2 converts MUCH better.

For example:

Backlinko reader Mike Bonadio recently promoted an infographic for one of his clients.

In the early days of that campaign, Mike asked for a link in the first email that he sent.

Here’s the script that Mike used:

Mike – Outreach template

But it wasn’t working.

So Mike changed things up.

Instead of asking for a link right away, he sent a “feeler” email.

That way, he could make sure someone was interested…BEFORE asking for anything.

Mike – Feeler email

And that “feeler” email doubled Mike’s conversion rate:

outreach reply stats

6. Optimize Content for Google Hummingbird

Here’s the deal:

There’s A LOT more to on-page SEO than: “make sure to include your keyword a few times on your page.”

Why?

Something called Google Hummingbird.

Search Engine Land – Hummingbird

Google’s Hummingbird update allows Google to go beyond simple keywords. Instead, they try to understand the topic of your page.

Keyword bubble

(Kind of like how a human would)

So:

How do you optimize your content for Hummingbird?

First, include variations of your main keyword in your content.

To do that, just search for your target keyword in Google…

…and scroll down to the bottom of the search results.

Add a few “Searches related to…” terms to your content.

Next, try LSIKeywords.com.

LSIKeywords.com is a free tool hooks you up with LSI keywords that you can use in your content.

LSI Keywords

(LSI keywords= terms that help search engines understand your content better)

All you need to do is pop in the keyword that you want to rank for…

LSI Keywords –

…and you’ll get a list of closely-related LSI keywords.

LSI Keywords –

Pretty cool.

7. Add Text Content to Infographics, Podcasts and Videos

Yes, multimedia content (like infographics and podcasts) are an awesome way to get traffic and backlinks.

But they have one big problem:

Google can’t understand ’em!

That’s why I recommend adding plenty of text to go along with your infographic, podcast or video.

For example, here’s an infographic that I published on my site earlier this year:

On-page SEO – Infographic

But I didn’t stop there.

As you can see, I also added LOTS of high quality content underneath my infographic.

On-page SEO – Content under infographic

And this text content helped search engines understand what my infographic was all about.

8. Give Old Content New Life

Do you have a bunch of blog posts on your site collecting dust?

If so, you’re probably sitting on a GOLDMINE.

(A goldmine that can bring you lots and lots of search engine traffic)

Let me show you how this works with a real life example…

A few months ago I noticed that this post from my blog wasn’t performing as well as I’d hoped.

SEO Checklist – Old

Despite the fact that the content was really good…

…my page was bouncing between the 8th and 11th spots for my target keyword: “SEO Checklist”.

SEO Checklist – SERPs change

Not good.

So I decided to give this post a major update and upgrade.

Specifically, I added more external links to authority sites:

SEO Checklist – External links

I also organized the content into sections to make the steps easier to follow:

SEO Checklist – Contents

Finally, wrote a new title and description:

SEO Checklist – SERPs

(Note: As long as you publish your updated content on the same URL, you don’t need to worry about duplicate content)

And those 3 simple changes quickly shot my page up to the top of Google for my target keyword:

SEO Checklist – SERPs position

Which led to a BIG bump in that page’s search engine traffic:

SEO Checklist – Search engine traffic jump

9. Build Backlinks From Speaking Gigs

Is this a lot of work for a single link? You betcha.

Fortunately, it’s VERY rare that you’ll only get 1 link from your talk.

(In some cases, you can sometimes get 7-8 links from a single speaking gig)

For example, I recently spoke at a conference in Dublin.

Brian Dublin conference

And not only did I get a link from the conference website…

…but I got 4 “bonus” links from people that blogged about the event.

Conference bonus links

Nice.

10. “The GSC Hack”

The GSC Hack is an SEO strategy that can help you rank for LOTS of long tail keywords.

Here’s how it works:

First, login to the Google Search Console.

And head over to the Performance Report:

Google Search Console – Performance report

Next, hit “Pages”:

Google Search Console – Performance report pages

This will show you which pages bring you the most traffic.

Google Search Console – Performance report pages close

Here’s where things get interesting:

If you click on one of the pages, you can see all of the keywords that page already ranks for.

Google Search Console –

And if you dig deep, you’ll find LOTS of keywords that you didn’t even know you were ranking for.

For example, when I ran this report on this page from my site, I found 3 keywords that I had no clue I was ranking for.

Three surprise keywords

Why is this important?

Well, if I’m ranking for these 3 keywords by accident, imagine if I actually tried!

So to get more traffic from those search queries, I’d just need to sprinkle those terms into my post.

And now that Google sees those keywords in my content, they’re going to boost my rankings for those search terms.

Sprinkled keywords

Easy peasy.

11. Create Linkable Content Around “Shoulder Niches”

In a boring niche?

Then you might think it’s IMPOSSIBLE to create content that people will link to (or share on social media).

Fortunately, that’s not the case.

All you need to do is create content around “Shoulder Niches”.

Shoulder Niches are closely-related topics that you can easily create awesome content around.

For example, Mike Bonadio used Shoulder Niches to boost his client’s organic traffic by 15%:

Mike Bonadio client traffic increase

How did he do it?

Well, Mike was in a niche that couldn’t be more boring: pest control.

Now, you might be wondering:

“How do you create an interesting piece of content about pest control?”

You don’t.

Instead, you want to go after closely-related niches that ARE actually interesting.

(In other words: “Shoulder Niches”)

In fact, that’s what Mike did:

Mike Bonadio shoulder niches

And this ultimately led him to create an excellent infographic on the related topic of: “pest control for gardeners”.

infographic animated gif

Because Mike’s infographic got featured on a handful of authority blogs…

descriptive anchor text

…his client’s traffic skyrocketed:

Google Analytics referral traffic

12. Get Links From Sites That Use Your
Visual Assets

In a perfect world, website owners would link back to you when they use your chart, visualization, or infographic.

But we don’t live in a perfect world 🙂

On the bright side, I’ve found that most people are happy to link to you when given a friendly nudge.

So if you tend to publish a lot of visual content, spend an afternoon executing this technique.

And I can almost guarantee that you’ll come away with a handful of backlinks.

Here are the exact steps:

First, find a visual asset on your site.

For example, here’s the on-page SEO infographic that I mentioned earlier:

On-page SEO – Infographic

Then, right click and “copy image address”…

Copy image address

…and paste the filename into Google “Search by image”.

Paste into search by image

And you’ll get a complete list of sites that use your image.

All sites using an image

Now it’s a matter of finding pages that used your image on their content… but didn’t link to you:

Infographic without link

Then, send them a friendly email asking them to add a link to the original source (you).

Ask for infographic link

13. Create Branded Keywords

Guestographics.

The Moving Man Method.

The Content Upgrade.

These are all terms that I coined.

And because of that fact, I rank #1 in Google for all of them.

Guestographics – Examples

That’s why I highly recommend creating your own terms.

How?

First, develop a strategy, technique, process or concept that’s unique to you.

This sounds hard.

But it really isn’t.

All you need to do is take something that already exists… and add a twist.

For example, a while back I noticed that lots of people were building links from guest posting.

So I simply added a twist where you pitch an infographic instead of a traditional guest post.

Infographic pitch

Next, give it a name.

This is more of an art than a science.

But in general, you want the name to be:

  • Short
  • Easy to pronounce
  • Easy to remember
  • Unique
  • Descriptive

For example, when I started guest posting with infographics, I combined “guest posting” and “infographics” into one term: Guestographics.

Finally, get the word out.

This is key.

For your term to catch on, you need to promote it like crazy.

In my case, I published a case study of Guestographics in action.

Guestographics case study – Post

Then, a few months later, I published ANOTHER case study:

SEO Strategy – Post

I also made sure to mention “Guestographics” in interviews:

Guestographics mention

It took a few months to catch on.

But before I knew it, LOTS of people were writing about Guestographics.

Guestographics examples

And whenever someone talks about that technique, they link to me 🙂

Guestographics mention

14. Provide “What is X” Information For Definition Keywords

When someone searches for a high-level term (like “search engine optimization”), they’re usually looking for a definition.

And as Ross Hudgens points out, results on the first page of Google for definition terms tend to answer the question: “What is X?”.

For example:

If you do a search for “inbound marketing”, 2 of the top 3 results answer the question: “What is inbound marketing?:

Inbound marketing SERPs

So if you’re gunning for a definition keyword, make at least some of your content focused on answering the question: “What is X?”.

That’s why I always include a “What is X” section whenever I target definition keywords:

What are backlinks

15. Replace “Published On” Dates with “Last Updated”

A few years ago I had a problem:

I’d go back to update and upgrade an old blog post. And despite the fact that the post was 50%+ new content, it still said: “Published on…”.

Published date

Which meant:

When someone saw the post they’d say: “Shucks! I dare say that this is one old post.”

(Yes, farmers read my blog)

That’s why I decided to swap out the published date with “last updated”.

Last updated post

That way whenever I make a major update to a piece of content, readers (and Google) can see it.

16. Use Google Images to Find Guest Post, Column and Interview Opportunities

Here’s how this works:

First, find someone in your niche that tends to guest post a lot.

Larry Kim – Twitter

Second, grab their headshot (you can usually find this on their LinkedIn profile) and pop it into Google’s reverse image search.

Sujan Patel – Reverse Image Search

Voila! You can see everywhere they’ve guest posted:

Larry Kim – Guest posting

And you can use the same process to find interview opportunities (like podcasts).

In fact, podcasts might be the most underrated link building strategy on the planet.

Why?

Well, it’s 10x easier to hop on a podcast than pitch, write, edit and publish a guest post.

And just like with a guest post, you get a sweet link back to your site (in the show notes):

Podcast backlink

Unfortunately, finding podcasts can be a chore.

That is, unless you use Google reverse image search:

Google Reverse Image Search “rand fishkin” example search

Bingo!

17. Tap Into Google’s Underrated Keyword Research Tool

Google Correlate shows you keywords that tend to get searched for together.

For example, someone searching for “blogging” may also search for:

  • WordPress
  • Blog comments
  • Blog post ideas
  • Copywriting tips

To use Google Correlate, just enter a keyword into the tool and see what it pops out:

Google Correlate example search for

What can you do with this information?

First, you can optimize your content using the terms that the tool spits out.

(After all, these are terms that Google considers closely related to your keyword).

For example, let’s say you’re writing a piece of content on Google Analytics.

Just enter “Google Analytics” into Google Correlate, and you’ll get a list of related terms:

Search

Then, add those terms to your article.

You can also create new pieces of content around the keywords that you find in Google Correlate.

And because your competitors have likely never heard of this nifty little tool, you can find keywords that your competition doesn’t know about.

BONUS #1: Use “Snippet Bait”

You’ve probably noticed more and more Featured Snippets in the SERPs:

Featured Snippets in the SERPs

And if you’re like me, you’re asking yourself: “How can I get MY content in the Featured Snippet?”

Fortunately, there’s no need to guess.

SEMrush recently did a massive Featured Snippet study (they analyzed a whopping 80 million keywords).

Featured Snippet study

And they found that adding a Q&A section to your content works REALLY well for grabbing the Featured Snippet spot.

For example:

This page on my site is optimized around the keyword “Channel Description”.

Channel Description – YouTube Marketing Hub

Like any good piece of content on this topic, it has lots of helpful tips on writing a YouTube channel description:

Channel Description – Helpful tips

But I also made sure to include “Snippet Bait” in the form of a short Q&A section:

Q & A section

And it worked!

Bottom line?

If you want to get your content to show up in the Featured Snippet spot, try “Snippet Bait”.

Sitelinks are one of the best ways to boost your page’s organic click-through rate.

Backlinko sitelinks

As it turns out, there’s an EASY way to get sitelinks:

“Jump Links”

Jump links are internal links that take people to different sections of your page:

Backlinko jumplinks example

And when you use Jump Links, Google will use the anchor text of those internal links as sitelinks.

Jumplinks as sitelinks

(Note: this doesn’t work 100% of the time. But in my experience, Jump Links significantly increase the odds that you’ll get sitelinks)

For example, I recently added jump links to this list of SEO techniques.

SEO Techniques – Jump link example

And sure enough, after Google crawled the page, they added sitelinks underneath my result:

SEO Techniques – Sitelinks in the SERPs

But sitelinks aren’t the only way to boost your click-through rate…

BONUS #3: Use These 3 Tactics to Boost CTR

Here are 3 simple ways to improve your organic click-through rate (CTR):

1. Add numbers to your pages titles.

Studies show that numbers=more clicks.

Add numbers to titles

For example, here’s a title tag of mine that uses a number:

Post with number in the title

2. Use descriptive URLs.

Your URL helps Google searchers figure out what your page is all about.

(They also use your domain name…but that’s a lot harder to change)

And that’s why you want to avoid weird URLs, like this:

https://mysite.com/cat=4/page56

Instead, use URLs that describe the content of your page:

https://mysite.com/awesome-content

3. Write enticing meta descriptions.

Use your description to “sell” your content.

For example, you can see that this meta description is designed to push people to click on my result:

Backlinko meta description example

How do you know what to write in your description?

Check out the AdWords ads for that keyword:

AdWords ads in SERPs

AdWords ads are engineered to get as many clicks as possible.

And when you use these proven words and phrases in your description, you’ll get more clicks.

BONUS #4: Find Keywords With Wikipedia, Bing and YouTube Suggest

You probably already know that you can use Google Suggest to find long tail keywords:

Google Suggest example

But what you may not know is that you can use this same approach with OTHER search engines.

Like Wikipedia:

Wikipedia Suggest

YouTube:

YouTube Suggest

And yes, even Bing:

Bing Suggest

Did I Miss Anything?

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which strategy from today’s post are you going to try first?

Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favorite SEO tips.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

521 Comments

  1. Hi Brian,

    These are amazing tips. I am going to try all of them next month and will see how much success I get.

    Thanks for your insight. You always amaze me and keep me coming back for more. 🙂

  2. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for always creating killer content – I learn something new every time! I used your “Skyscraper Technique” for the keyword “India Travel” last year and now I rank #2 with this article about “201 India Travel Tips” https://asherfergusson.com/india-travel-tips.

    One new strategy I’m working on now which I don’t think you mentioned in this article is using maps to create some killer link bait content that also goes viral and doesn’t break the bank with it’s cost of creation. I’ll let you know how it goes 😉

    Cheers,

    Asher.

        1. 100 hours?! That’s no joke. This one took “only” 25.

          Does that 100 hour count also include promotion? Or just writing the post?

          1. That included getting infographics made, quotes from influencers and research but didn’t include promotion. Promotion was another 50 hours. But now I get links to my site all the time without asking for them and so I think the time I put in will pay off in the long run.

        2. Awesome Asher, about to dive into your piece to check it out! Very impressive from first impressions. Quick question, where does most of the readership come from for the article (country)? Cheers

          1. Great piece, Asher! I work for a travel marketing company and just shared your piece with a bunch of my colleagues.

            Brian, I’ve been sharing your work around the office for a while now.

          2. Hey Asher, just published a piece thanks to your travel guide. It’s not as good as yours and got a lot of ideas from yours, but of course it’s not in direct competition 🙂

            About to get started on the out reach part, wholly smokes it’s a big job.
            Brian, time to get all them backlinks thanks to you!

    1. I congratulate you, Asher. I have seen that you have created an extensive and of great quality. I think Google loves that. What is your strategy is based on content or backlinks? Best regards.

      1. I would say you could add the following on your ‘on-page optimization’:
        Speed up your website by compressing your images, HTML, Javascript and CSS.

        I ‘always’ do this. It takes just a few minutes and it makes your website so much faster.

        Some tools you could use:
        Kraken.io for image compressing (I find this one the best by far). For compressing HTML, Javascript and CSS, just search for “HTML compressor”. They’re all pretty much equally efficient.

        I hope this helps 🙂

  3. Brian, it is always a pleasure to read your posts. If there is a source to a huge number of information, its Backlinko. Congrats on that post. Its realy huge but it is still readable. Good work.

    1. Thanks Glen. That it will. It’s 4k+ words. Even longer than a viperchill post 🙂

      Would love to know what you think or if I missed anything. You’re one of the few peeps in SEO that I know and respect.

  4. *insert expletive here* me, that is one HUGE post Brian!

    As you can imagine, not been through these as yet but know it will be sterling work 🙂

  5. Thanks Brian, great post as always. I’ve taken to short URLs in my posts as well (think I copied on that one middle of last year).
    Anyways, what do you say about using stop phrases in URLS like “an” and “your.” Would it negatively impact SEO or doesn’t really matter?

    1. You’re welcome, Daniel. I’d say that stop words don’t help…and might hurt (a little). But we’re talking <0.01% or something.

      I actually use short URLs mostly for UX...not SEO. It makes your content easier to share

  6. Amazing, once again Brian Dean. I’ve been using all of your tips, especially your 17 Backlinking tips and I’ve seen huge success. You’re the man, and I’m a huge fan. Thanks for this awesome content. This must have taken a long time to make and I really appreciate it.

    1. Thanks Jesse. You’re right: this was a monster post that took a while. But hopefully it will help lots of people get higher rankings. So it’s worth it!

  7. This is amazing, Thank you again Brian. I do have one question. In your 1M page study, you talked about words lenght. Does more than 2000 hurts SEO?

    1. Thanks Johann. No, that doesn’t hurt. I have pages with 5k words that rank well. It’s all about providing value to that searcher. If it takes 5k words, great. If it takes 50, so be it.

  8. Hey brian, I love your posts!
    but I’m confused, every now and then you post an article talking about the same thing complete list of seo tips, strategies etc.. that can be implemented to boost rankings.
    What are the differences between these posts? are the newer ones “updated” or you are just increasing the authority of your site by publishing more?

  9. Killer post, Brian. Really want to know how to create those charts you keep using throughout your posts. I searched Google for them but couldn’t find them so I’m guessing they’re custom designed but with what tool is the question… Would love to see a flat architecture diagram for blogs and non-ecommerce sites. Look forward to your upcoming Blab with Dmitry.

      1. 🙂

        Yes, those charts. They look outstanding. I haven’t found a good way to make consistent and aesthetically appealing charts to include in posts. With Excel, I find the charts are all over the place and other tools I’ve used don’t make charts that come out nearly as well as yours.

        Promise not to replicate your color scheme, but would love to know how to create charts of that caliber. Mind sharing your secret?

        Thanks!

        Cody

        1. Yup, Excel charts look terrible. I hired a pro graphic designer to make these. That’s why they look so good!

  10. Hey Brian,
    Awesome work man. I am going to start my blog soon. And your blog is the only blog,I’m following day and night. Who says your blog is for advance seo techniques? You are just amazing for absolute beginners like me also. Though am pretty confused about how link building works in beauty blogosphere, still you always give me the courage to make this type of huge giantic list posts.
    Keep the great work “Inspiration”
    Madhuri.

  11. Hey Brian,
    Fantastic collection of SEO Tips! Bookmarked, shared and printed!
    Maybe I missed where you mentioned about related posts on onpage SEO. If not, what is your take on having related links at the bottom of articles?

    1. Thanks for spreading the word, Marcelo.

      Good question. I’d say “related posts” are similar to any internal links. I don’t think Google necessarily treats them differently.

      1. Hey Brian,

        Your recommendation on that is to link from high-authority pages. Should I keep at least the same topics or that won’t matter in your opinion?

        Thanks again for sharing!

          1. Hey Brian,

            That makes complete sense!
            I have one more question came up today that I couldn’t find in here, and you may know since you do use WordPress.

            Should we use WordPress tags or only categories?
            Should we consider any limits as far as how many tags and categories?
            Should the tags be indexed?

  12. The tip that resonates with me the most is to publish studies, which you back up by linking to the study you collaborated on. That is spot on. It feels like having genuinely useful in depth content is THE strategy that will not be “Google updated” at any point. (Because if you were building a search engine, that’s the content you’d want to serve your users when they search for a topic.)

    1. Thanks Devesh.

      That’s a great point. At some level the key to SEO today and in the future is creating the best result. And for most queries, that’s in-depth content.

  13. Hello Brian,

    This post is just awesome!

    You could also add this tip : adding “.html” at the end of blog posts URL, I noticed that these URLs ranked better as Google really takes it as content.

    Thanks and keep up this really good work!

    1. Dany, that does sound interesting. Have you seen results on your own for numerous sites or come across an article with information showing how this works out? Love to learn more, every little helps me!

      1. Well, I don’t remember where I exactly read that but I think it was on a forum and I also have a coach that told me that it was better to put “.html” at the end of blog posts URLs.

        Actually, I’ve just done some research and you can also add “.php”, “.htm”. The main point here is to show to Google that the page is a page.

        I have some sources in french but not in english. Try to search someting like “.html at the end of URL seo” on Google you may find something.

        1. Another advice :

          Let’s imagine you want to rank for the keyword “Low cost computer”

          Instead of putting this one keyword in one sentence like :
          “Sometimes, it’s hard to find a low cost computer”.

          You should put one word in a sentence and the other in another sentence, etc.

          Example :

          1st sentence : blablabla blablabla blabla low blablabla
          2d sentence : blablablabla cost blabla blablabla
          3d sentence : blla bla bla blablabla computer blabla blabla

          I hope my explanation was somewhat understandable :).

  14. Thanks Brian for these unique tips on SEO. I am following your blog for 4 months now. I have applied some of your tips to grow my sites traffic and surprisingly there is a huge increase in my traffic now!

    Now, its time to follow your “Video SEO techniques”.

  15. Wow so much fantastic and actionable content here Brian. Thanks man! Funny… I just finished a monster post about ‘actionable’ ways for saving money (I write in the personal finance space).

    Anyway, I think I may be able to take action on a good handful of your tips right now, and I’m definitely bookmarking this post. Thanks again.

    1. You’re welcome, Brian. Yup, it’s all about the actionable tips. It doesn’t even matter what industry you’re in. People want golden nuggets that they can apply right away.

  16. Hey There,

    Quick question on “Give Old Content New Life”. Are you updating the published date too when you do this?

    Or, leaving that alone and depending on the last update date

    Thanks,

    Chris Pontine

    1. In order to get the post back at the top of your blog feed you need to change the published date. There may be another way to do it but not sure.

  17. Thanks Brian, I was running out of ideas what and how to improve and was about to do a search on some tips, when I checked my email and found this in my inbox. Great timing 🙂 I’m glad I subscribed. A few of them are already on to-do list for tomorrow with more in the following days.
    Thanks again, keep up with awesome stuff.

  18. Hey Brian,

    Many thanks for the fifty hours (and the rest I suspect…!) that you spent putting this together. A fantastic resource that I will be revisiting constantly in the weeks and months ahead. As a relative newbie, I found it to be very accessible despite covering an incredible amount of topics (well, 201 to be precise ;-).

    I did want to ask you about the section on “Don’t Focus on Long Tail Keywords”. This is topical for me as I actually have a tab opened from a recent post on the MOZ blog from Rand Fishkin that details reasons why you should focus on long tail keywords. I know you have said that “they have their place”, but as I say as a newbie to all of this, ever so slightly differing opinions from two authoritative people in the industry (that’s you and Rand of course 🙂 frazzles my brain somewhat and I’m not sure whether to turn left or right!

    https://moz.com/blog/long-tail-seo-target-low-volume-keywords-whiteboard-friday

    Specifically the section entitled: “Niche + specific long tail SEO”

    The great thing about the long tail for new sites that have no backlinks and no authority, is that it is possible to rank for these terms, assuming great on-page SEO, quality content etc.. So therefore focusing on the long tail is a strategy that is often recommended and in fact Rand himself (and indeed others of good repute) have cited 4+ words and lower LMS to avoid the med-high volume kws due to their kw difficulty. Have I completely missed the point in your guide or do you indeed have a slightly different view on the long tail?

    Many thanks for input you can offer on this.

    Best,
    Ben

    1. Hey Ben, Great question. The way I saw that video, Rand is saying the two cases to target long tails are 1) hyper-specific product + service terms (like “voice over actor NYC”) or 2) user generated content long tails that happen automatically.

      I agree 100%. But for content, I don’t recommend focusing on long tails. Although for new sites it may make more sense to target those vs. those than super-competitive terms. Even then I wouldn’t put too much effort into long tails.

  19. This is great, Brian!
    The tip that really strikes me is consolidating similar posts into one. The site I work with has around 150 informational pages, usually with 2-3 pages on each topic – and they are all mediocrely written. I’ve been working to get them updated, accurate, and a little more helpful, but I think consolidating would be a really good idea.

    If I have 2 pages that are on the same topic and basically the same info re-written with the same image, but both are very popular pages, what is your advice? Over the last 9 years the 2 pages have gotten more than a million pageviews combined, almost equally between them. Should I permanently redirect one to the other, or try to improve them each and distinguish them slightly more so that they cover a different angle of the same topic?

    Love to hear your thoughts!

    1. Thanks Annie. In some cases you can just fix most of the pages and make them so you wouldn’t want to delete them.

      That said, for a page that’s doing well, I’d be reluctant to change it. Even though you and I may see the two pages that are super similar, it looks
      like Google may not agree. So I’d only combine them if organic traffic starts to dip for one or the other.

      1. Thanks Brian! I’m always a bit scared to make big changes to pages that rank well.
        It’s a weird niche because there is really VERY little good info on a topic that is searched for hundreds of thousands of times every month – it’s also remarkably hard to build links.

        Since taking over in January we’ve seen a 96% increase in monthly organic traffic (May vs Jan), so I must be doing something right, but my biggest challenge now is getting the traffic to convert more without dev/design work.

  20. Love how Brian says at the end…”Did I Miss Anything?”

    Nah mate, after this behemoth of awesome content and SEO tips, I think you’ve covered a fair bit! 🙂

  21. And that’s Brian Dean for you!
    Wow! Blown away!! This post proves why Brian is the go-to man when it comes to SEO advice. Time to do wonders to my website!

  22. Thank you Brian. This is SOLID stuff. I appreciate your mindset for SEO and SEM. What’s the use of SEO and all of this backlinking effort if it can’t stand the test of time? Plus these back links are like little promotions, little ads throughout the internet vs. just a backlink. Plus it makes a lot of sense to maximize promotion efforts to have our on page stuff liked by search engines but also have our on page stuff maximize clarity to what the user is looking for getting them excited to share and link back. Man I’ve got a lot of work to do! Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome, Chris. Well said. That’s why all of these SEO tips are white hat. There’s no reason to waste time with black hat anymore. The results (if any) are short lived.

  23. How do you change it to “last updated”? Do you manually do it or did you change the published button? Does it mean it’s ok to change the published date?

    1. We worked out a custom coded solution. That way, we can update “last updated” without needing to change the publish date.

  24. I think this page would rank betterif you had a higher word count 😛

    Rock solid post and I’m using one of your tips today to reach out to a few local Universities to pitch a discount offer on thier Staff/Alumni pages.

    You’re crushing it!

  25. Even for a french reader like me, it’s a real pleasure to get this impressive list of SEO goodies. Always a pleasure to read you !

  26. Hi brian your guestography method helped me lot to build backlink to my site. It is web hosting site, Creating backlinks are somewhat tricky for this site. I am going to share my experience in my website. Thank you for your tips.

  27. This is awesome post. I don’t think I need to read several blog posts after reading this. You have put everything which a digital marketer need to bring his website on the top.

    I am also wondering how long it took to wrote this jumbo post?

  28. Thank you Brian for this amazing article. It’s really very pleasure to read your posts. I learned most of new techniques from your articles and all are actionable.. thank you

  29. Thanks Brian for such an excellent post. I have made my actionable points out of it. But can you please try a hand on link building guide for amazon niche site? I am sure it require a lot of work, but I found, it is tough to earn a link in such site as you are not very much in knowledge sharing. Let me know your ideas if possible for the same.

    Thanks again.

    1. Lalit, there’s no special way to build links to an Amazon niche site. The same principles apply to all websites.

  30. Hey Brian first off all I want to say thanks to you for this epic post. I cant say how much I had learnt from you showing your post you are really a genius when it comes to SEO and linkbuilding. Though I have one question currently I am working on a project and that don’t have any blog so I have only links and social signals to boost my ranking. So can you please tell me what strategies should I follow for higher rankings with out blog ???

  31. Hi Brain,

    I am reading your emails from long time and tips and techniques are always wonderful, I have used many suggestions and also highly suggest others using the same, really seo is like playing with search engines and keeping your eye on everything going on and the changes and even implementing our own sense of humour while preparing metas, sometimes guessing what users will use to search products or services.

    Well said ask the users directly using which phrases they found the site, increases communication between the two people and trust with the customers further.

    All the Best

  32. Thanks Brain You are one of the few big names in marketing thats not afraid to share your tips and knowledge, Few years back i used your back-link list and ranked a few clients just with that technique! there is a few things i will try with this list!

  33. Thanks Brian for this amazing post. It is not just the content that I’m referring to but also the user experience too.

  34. Thank you so much for such a great post. I have been really looking for some refreshing techniques in SEO for long time and finally I got the list of techniques which are helpful for me. I almost like all techniques in your post but link building techniques are interesting and new. I am going to implement them soon in my projects.

  35. This is bomb! So much gold here. Thanks very much for writing in depth article like this.

    (I was tired of scrolling at the end :D, well done).

    Thank you.

  36. This article is simply amazing Brian, thanks for all the goods tips and advice. I hope you’re gonna post another in-depth resource soon.

    Billy

  37. Great post as always Brian! It’s a full blast of SEO tips. I think I need to re-read to absorb everything and take down notes of my own.

    1. Thanks Maria. Yup, it’s definitely one of those posts that’s best to bookmark so that you can refer to it later on.

  38. I’m not one to leave comments, but this post is unreal. A great resource that our team at Sticker Mule will be using again and again. Thanks for making it and love the filtering buttons too.

  39. Hey Brian!

    Great stuff. I actually just watched your video from Quicksprout University on Blog commenting so I will do my best to encompass! 🙂

    You and Neil are the dynamic duo…Did you learn a lot of your SEO expertise from him?

    After reading all of your posts, your content IS very actionable and can really help optimize content…However MY PROBLEM is writing the actual content. I’m writing content that I know very little about. In one comment I made on one of your other posts you said write for shoulder niches and that’s what I’m trying to do. Thanks for that.

    One of your tips is “Make your content actionable”…I feel like this is not always the case depending on the context of the blog post. If I am to write a post on, say, “35 Incredible Linear Actuator Applications”, I feel like that’s something extremely hard to be actionable about. Rather, I feel my purpose is to be informative. Both of us are going for backlinks, but your blog I feel is more aimed towards giving awesome tips & advice for SEO’s. Whereas MY BLOG is about informing people about “linear actuators and their applications”.

    I feel like I don’t really have a direct audience I can talk in the 2nd person to like you can. I’m not giving out advice, only straight info. Therefore I feel like I can’t make my content actionable.

    If you search “linear actuator” on Google, there’s only company landing pages and the only piece of content is Wikipedia.

    My first question is this: Do you ALWAYS make your content actionable? Or does it depend on the context of what you’re writing?

    My second question is this: How do you write content about something you know very little about? What would YOUR research process look like if you were trying to write content about a “linear actuator”?

    Sorry for the long comment haha

    1. Matt, keep in mind that “actionable” is a spectrum. So for your industry just do your best to make it as actionable as you can.

  40. Amazing list, Brian! Took me two days to get through it. Ha!

    I wish more bloggers would include dates in their posts. At least when the post contains timely information. When a blogger doesn’t include a date, I assume the content is old and they’re trying to hide it.

    Having a last update date is better than nothing, but I love it when a blogger not only tells you when they last updated the post, but tells you what was updated. Without that kind of information, I have no idea if you updated something significant the other day, or just corrected the spelling of a word. 🙂

    If you’re updating the whole post, I think bloggers should create a brand new post and link the old to the new. I know, you’re starting over with no “link juice,” but at least it’s clear to the reader that the post has gotten a makeover. I remember reading a new post of yours a few months. I was about 25% through it and thought “man this sounds familiar.” So I checked it out on archive.org and realized that you had updated and republished it.

    In regards to boilerplate meta titles and descriptions – how can you make them more unique when the content is an image or video gallery and the only difference between it and similar pages is one word – like the year or location?

    I can’t believe that gardening glossary page has over 300 backlinks! I mean it’s a decent page, but it’s not exactly what you’d call “epic” or 10x content.

    In regards to long-tail keywords – I assumed that you recommended avoiding them because of the low ROI. Can you explain further what you mean when you say that they don’t have much influence these days?

    Lastly, on your header for “Generate 1 Million Keyword Ideas With,” I think you forgot to add “Keyword Magic” to the end.

    1. Glad you liked the post, Matt.

      1. I’d say there’s some merit to that idea. But it depends on how much of the post you’ve updated.
      2. That’s tough. It takes some creativity.
      3. It’s mostly because of Google Hummingbird. It doesn’t treat two similar keywords differently anymore.

  41. it takes hours to me to read, actually I pined it in my browser to not forget to read. i read it part to part because i had to do some woks too, and now in 3 am finally it finished:) love that Brian,
    Thank you.

  42. This is a great post, I’ve feel overwhelmed by all of the info but I have made a list of my favourite steps and I’m about to action some keyword research for a client of mine. There were a lot of learning points for me, especially about Google Search Console, the power of SEMRush and Google Correlate (never heard of it!).
    Thanks Brian

    1. You’re welcome, Sally. Yup, those three things can definitely help you find great keywords for your clients.

  43. Thank you. I would love to know how to handle an eCommerce site. Meaning, I have one product with 9 different sizes how do I or do I come up with 9 different keywords and text for each size. Now picture 40 products just like that.

  44. This post is equal parts inspiring and discouraging. I want to make content this good! …but Bryan’s already done it all 😛

    100% informative though. And 100% bookmarked and shared. You’re at the top of the game man.

  45. Hi Brian, This Is Awesome! Everytime I see you have new content the first thing I do is put the kettle on for a coffee 🙂
    What technique would you recommend If you have quality content that is getting published every week? Keep up the good work

    1. Good idea, Christopher. You may need a big batch for this one 🙂

      Hmmm. In that case I’d focus on the keyword research and on-page SEO strategies in this guide.

  46. Hi Brian, great list. I noticed you mentioned using Kraken to optimize your images. A couple other tools I’ve found to work really well are ImageOptim (an app that you can download for your computer) and Optimus (a WordPress plugin that will optimize them when uploaded to your site). I’m not sure what your policy is on including links in comments so I won’t link to them here (even though I have no affiliate with either one.) Hope those resources can help someone!

  47. Wow, that’s a comprehensive list!

    I’m going to go back through and try to implement every single one of these for my own site. It must’ve taken you a great deal of time and effort, Brian–thank you so much for sharing!

  48. Good grief! Yet another epic post. Question: for changing “Published” date to “Last Updated” in WordPress, you had to make some code adjustments right? (Genius idea by the way.)

  49. Hey Brain,

    I was wondering how much time does it took you to write this article ?

    I’m really glad that I read this awesome article. It took me 45-60 minutes to complete whole article but it was worth reading this 🙂

    Thanks,
    Piyush

  50. I agree that images are helpful in articles. But how can we deal with speed when we have for example 100 images in 1 article? Is there any plugins or techniques to help speed up the web page?
    Thanks for that awesome and useful article!

      1. Thanks for the info Brian.
        I was wondering what are your thoughts on Page Load Time (considering your article is loaded with images).
        Page load time for your article on GTMetrix.com (https://gtmetrix.com/reports/backlinko.com/9Q9oEPdm) is 17.3 seconds (average is 6s) and the total page size is 10.2 Mb (average is 1.87Mb).

        Is page load time (aka speed) overrated?
        Many thanks

        1. Page load time is definitely a Google ranking factor. But it’s not the end-all-be-all. Your first priority should always be to put out the best content that you can.

  51. Brian,
    You are so creative! This is another amazing post. And, I love the way you have it organized. This has become a go-to tool for me in my efforts to constantly improve our SEO. Thank you so much!

  52. Brian, why i like to read your blog is that you give detailed information on your articles and this helps a lot to understand things at one place rather going here and there. I like your style. keep doing good work.

  53. Thanks for at great article.

    There is sooo much useful information, that I´m going to read over and over again – My new ultimate guide to SEO.

    I agree that writing epic in-depth content is king, and buidling links to epic content will be a whole lot easier.

    Thanks

  54. Brian! Dude! I freaking love this guide. Got it book marked and will be hitting it back time and time again I’m sure. I’m Brian Lund btw, I came over from one of your sponsored posts on facebook. Good to meet you man! Looking forward to reading more and connecting.

  55. Hi dear Brian it seems that “google keyword planner” is not free anymore and you should pay to use all features is there any alternative?

  56. Wow Brian, this list is just awesome.

    I’ve been out of th SEO world for like a year or two –
    and that’s exactly what I needed to “step back in”.
    Thank you!

  57. Good Lord, Brian! How long did it take you to put together this list. Undoubtedly, there’s no way that I get through it all today so I’ve already bookmarked it. But I was really shocked by how much content length has an effect on rankings.

  58. Hi Brian,

    This is another master piece. You’re not only a top SEO but your writing skills are also amazing. Good to see that I am doing most of the things already that you mentioned under On-Page SEO tips. The only thing I am currently struggling with is to get my content published on top sites. Can you come up with a detailed article about how to approach top sites in your niche and get your content approved? Thanks

  59. You are embarrassing others in the biz by making it seem “easy” to come up with moon-shot ideas for posts that keep, well, landing on the moon! This one is required viewing for ANY SEO.

  60. Excellent article Brian.

    I have one question.It might not be related to this article.But I need to ask this anyway.

    When should we use “Post” and when should we use “Page” for writing an article.

    If you could explain this with an example,case study or website reference that would be helpful.

    Thanks

  61. I have two tabs open. This article and another one. Both written in June. Each with a different opinion on keywords in URLs. Its so hard to follow SEO nowadays when everyone says they have the best data to prove stuff yet contradict each other. The only way around it is to test test test on my own stuff but it would be great if there was concensus.

    article in question: https://ahrefs.com/blog/on-page-seo/

    (see the second image on the page)

  62. Hey Brian, Even though the length of the article is very large, the quality of the content that you provided is Excellent.Coming to my question I used plugins like WP SMUSH in my WordPress to reduce the size of images but i still get the images of size larger than you mentioned.Can you please suggest me how to overcome this problem.

  63. Hey Brian, This is my first ever comment in Backlinko. I am silent lover of Backlinko. Whenever I stuck and feel numb about what to do next for my site ranking , I always come and find peace in backlinko planet. You are awesome man. Just a quick suggestion for you, Whenever I click on “Show only Brian’s favorite tips: NO” then it also shows your favorite tips too. It might be a problem ! See I learned from you and now I am helping you 😛 LOL …. Now Give me a authority link for my site 😀 Just Kidding !

    Anyways I LOVE YOU GURU!

  64. Hey Brian, for some reason when I research content for “kids soccer” etc… all that shows up in my google search is local Canadian news… zero blogs etc… is this cause there’s no interest? Or zero people blogging about it? Thanks

    1. Hard to say, Joey. I’d use the google keyword planner to check out search volume for the topics/keywords that you’re targeting.

  65. One thing I have come to realize is that the more SEO techniques one uses the better.

    This is because SEO techniques don’t work the same. There are those that yield higher ranking compared to others.

    It’s all about experimenting with the SEO techniques to note the ones that yield higher ranking.

    These are amazing tips that you have shared.

  66. Stellar post as always Brian! For marketers who have the time and budget we can do all of these things, however for most people who run small/local businesses they simply don’t have the time to do most of these things, and then it’s not cost feasible to pay someone to do this because that would require a full time position or paying an agency $xxxx/month which they can’t afford either. It’s a quandary of a position they find themselves in and makes it almost impossible to compete in modern day search against established giants. I wish Google would place more emphasis on relevancy and what’s actually on the page versus domain authority. Maybe one they’ll move towards that, but for now, all I see in the serps is giant sites then comes relevancy.

    1. Jared, Thanks! I’d disagree with that assessment. There are plenty of things in there that a) have an impact and b) don’t take a ton of time or money.

  67. This is an awesome resource, even for local SEO! People think SEO is difficult but really it’s just a bunch of simple things combined together to create a rocket ship website that works to your advantage! Keep the amazingly useful posts coming Brian!

  68. Hey Brian,
    Great post!
    I have read every one of your blog posts several times. They have all helped me rank websites I manage significantly! In regards to link building, how would you go about it for a lawn care service website? I have gotten most of the dofollow links from local landscape groups, but other then that, I haven’t had any luck with links. I have started blogs, but in this industry, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in the topics that I write about.

  69. Hey Brian!

    It’s been a while..

    So thought I’d come and leave that comment,

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this for almost one month!

    I have a question for you Brian, hopefully you can help:

    Website A Links To > Website B (Image backlink)
    Website C Links To > Website B (Full URL backlink e.g. http://www.thisexample.com)

    Which link is more powerful if A and C are relevant to B and have matching metrics?

  70. Great tips. Focusing on improving pages ranking between 5 to 10 positions has greatly helped my website. The CTR varied a lot when the page ranked about 5.

  71. Thanks for this Brian, a truly invaluable resource, clearly this must have taken a very long time to put together!

    The only thing I would say is that it can be quite overwhelming at times, when there are so many techniques to choose from, it’s hard to know where you put your time to start with.

    As you say, starting with resource pages is a good starting point for most beginners, have been finding your posts very useful, thanks again!

  72. Great list! I guess I have some work to do! Question for you: would you say that putting content on Slideshare will soon become what posting content on Ezinearticles has become?

  73. Now this is called the evergreen content and top rated content. Brian this is like the best. After creating such an awesome content, backlinks are like the automatic thing that start happening as soon as this type of blog post gets published.

  74. An incredible selection of tips as always! It’s unfortunate that many SEO agencies consider themselves all ‘skilled-up’ and therefore fail to continue their learning. This is despite it being essential to keep up-to date with the latest developments in search engine marketing.

  75. Hi Brian Thanks,
    This is another master piece. You’re not only a top SEO but your writing skills are also amazing. Good to see that I am doing most of the things already that you mentioned under On-Page SEO tips.

  76. Hey Brian, Thanks ! ! !
    This is very awesome and informative post. I don’t think I need to read several other blog posts after reading this article. You have put everything which a digital marketers need to bring his website on the top of SERP.

    I am also wondering how long it took to wrote this jumbo article? Thanks

  77. I took several hours to read this slowly slowly but now I need several days or weeks to implement these great SEO techniques.

    Just Joking!
    But Brian indeed it’s worth reading such a detailed article!

    One I find difficult is to comment on you posts because of scrolling to the end of page. Appreciate if you can set 30-50 latest comments only with option to see all comments if anyone wants.

  78. Yo Brian,

    On a scale from 1-10, how important is it that you build relationships (commenting on linkerati’s blog posts, sharing their articles, linking to them, etc) prior to your first email outreach?

    In other words, how big of a deal is it to have warm-outreach vs. cold-outreach?

    How much time do you spend building these relationships?

  79. Hello Brian,
    This is great tips. Focusing on improving pages ranking between 5 to 10 positions has greatly helped my website.Thank you for sharing your thinking with us. Love this post. keep it up. waiting for new one.

  80. Hi Brian, is it an encyclopedia of SEO? I think it’s. I’ve never seen such an awesome article on SEO. I’m lucky that I’ve found this post. I’m applying the rules and getting great result.

    Thank you so much for your efforts of writing the post.

  81. Without a doubt this is one of the best articles I’ve ever read on SEO. This is better than info I’ve paid alot of money for! I like your tip on using ‘last updated’ instead of the published date as I update my money making posts on a regular basis.

  82. I have a new site launch at 25 days ago. So, I need some better and powerful SEO tips to build my link building task. I have a question. Can I manage SEO daily routine and what type of SEO work doing a day?

  83. Well, what a great list Brian! I just kept scrolling and scrolling 🙂 Some really useful tips there.

    I’ll be applying these to my website and blog shortly!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Laurence

  84. Yet another great post. I find your posts so well structured, and deliver somuch valuable content.

    And ironically adding value to your content, automatically makes it a great value asset. By giving back to the community.

  85. Is there a method for ranking for a new keyword?
    My site is relatively new and I do not rank at all, there are site for obscure things that rank higher than mine for a keyword. I suspect it is because I am new…or am I wrong?

  86. Hey Brian
    You know what you are giving tons of valuable content in free and that’s why God is blessing you and growing you day by day. Just keep doing this great stuff and take prayers from the heart of people.

    I have also learned a lot from you and i am the daily visitor of backlinko. Your techniques and methods and tips are just awesome we just cannot images the things that we found on your blog and best part is they are free.

    Once again Thanks for this Brilliant effort God Bless you

  87. Hey Brian,
    this is awesome! I would love to make a similar post in my niche. Is there a plugin which allows the reader to select which tips he wants to see, like in this post?
    Never seen that before on a blog.
    Best regards 😉

  88. Hey Brian,

    One small doubt. Is there any specific reason why the dates of the comments have been disabled? Is there any SEO significance attached to it? Sorry, it sounds stupid, but I wanted to confirm.

    Vikas

  89. Hi Brain,

    You talked about the published date, or the last update so can you tell me how we can add this feature to our website? Because normally website show publish date instead of the last update and your idea is totally unique as compared to other marketers.

    I look forward to your response.

    Thanks,
    Rameez Ramzan

  90. Google must be like “how the hell this guy knows everything about us?” :p I know this should have been difficult. Anyways thanks Brian for taking the time and sharing this information with us! Should now work on implementing this.

  91. Hi Brian, Awesome content (I am a beginner and your blog is a great place to learn). Just wanted to point out the capitalization of “Tie Your SItes Together in GSC”, I don’t know if the SItes was intentional ;).

  92. Hey Brian,

    really great info on link building. I bookmarked your page and will visit regularly to use as much of your tipps & tricks as possible. Thanks a lot.

  93. Thanks Brian for all these tips. This post is a goldmine for anyone who would like to do seo right. I have come across some of these tips scattered around the web but the way you put them together is a lot more accessible.

  94. Hello Brian,

    Seriously, I don’t even know where to begin. This list is so comprehensive; it’s nuts!

    The keyword synonym tip in headers was a good one for me that I didn’t consider. It’s funny because it seems like a no brainer but, hey, these are the little details that a lot of us miss.

    I’ve recently started a new blog that’s focused much more on a topic I’m passionate about, and I learned to blog about my passion by spending 4 years blogging about a topic that I was only somewhat interested in. That other blog was a decent success for a couple of years but crashed hard when a google algorithm smacked it down!

    After digging into what might have happened, I discovered that its backlink profile sucked! It wasn’t necessarily the content itself but more the fact that as I added more of said content barely anyone was linking to it. I was stuck in the old school mode of create great content and they will find you… Ummm… not true anymore!

    After doing some soul searching and discovering a niche I am really passionate about, I now feel like I have the drive and motivation to spend more time doing all of the little things I wasn’t with my other blog. Building backlinks and making solid connections with other bloggers is at the top of my list.

    Your blog is a great inspiration, Brian, and I’m blown away by the amount of good tips you publish here. I’ll be sharing this comprehensive little gem with all of my peeps, right now! 🙂

  95. Probably the best guide i’ve seen and just great general knowledge about SEO, Brian! but damn! there’s so much work to do considering all this, that makes me wanna quit my job and go home play video games, that’s where i belong! lol..

  96. Hi, Brian! Just wow. This is the most completed TODO SEO checklist I’ve ever seen before.
    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m gonna print and check this on all my projects.
    PS: It would also be nice to have an infographic based on this guide.

  97. This is absolutely fantastic. Thanks a lot Brian for putting out such great content. I just launched my own website and I find myself visiting your site so often to get the best advice explained in a simple language. Again, thanks so much for the GREAT content!

    Regards,

    Niels

  98. Hey Brian,

    Great list, thanks.
    I’ll be trying a few of these for sure, but definitely not all 201 in a month!!

    One small typo, “poured over” should be “pored over”, just to make it perfect.

    Happy New Year!

  99. Good stuff, Brian. The tip about getting longer (4-line) descriptions is awesome. I hadn’t noticed that too much in the SERPs, although now I’m on a mission to find some examples in my niche and study how to achieve these longer descriptions. I also like the tip about using brackets in the post’s title. One other thing that works well in certain niches is to add a CAPITAL word somewhere in the title. Based on some early tests, it appears to improve CTR.

  100. Brian, this is brilliant! I can’t get enough. I was supposed to read for only a minute before I headed out, but I couldn’t stop lol.

    Special thanks for the mention on the Numbered List & Googles Knowledge graph. I gotta keep an eye out on that

  101. Before few years thin content was less than 500 words and my sites used to rank well with more than 500 words but Now a days think content is less than 1000 words. Thanks for the tip to find thin content using RavenTools.

    And relauch of old content is a very good idea too as google is giving higher ranking to up to date content than old content in most of the niches.

    Thanks for the great post as always.

    Thanks,
    Gowtham V

  102. Great SEO tips. I have a question on keyword search. I pretty much use Google Keyword tool. With the tips or tools you provided, should I be using more than just the GK tool or cross-check the keyword I found in that tool with other tools you mentioned? Thanks.

  103. Ha! I love this post, which took an entire evening to read, because I needed to follow up on a lot of the links that branch out from here. I am a beginner but I was delighted to see you last section on how succint, strong, active and snappy writing helps to reduce bounce rate 😉 I think you might add using humor to the mix. You use it a lot, too. (And I’m only half joking).

  104. This is a great list of SEO tips. One tip you can add to your broken links section is that there is a free tool called Xenu Link Sleuth. It will automatically crawl your website (or a competitor’s site) and find all the broken backlinks (and lots of other things). It’s very helpful if you have a large site or need to find broken links you aren’t aware of. (like images and .pdf files)

  105. You forgot one. “Create a list of things that anyone can do to help rankings, but is so overwhelming that they just hire a professional to do it instead.” Fortunately for me, I’m crazy enough to try them. Thanks for the great content.

  106. HI, Brian,

    Really good content and tips, thanks for sharing them.
    About Tweet Buttons, can i find the wordpress plugin to install it ?

  107. Great post, as always… Thank you! I have a question regarding your comment section. I noticed you let people post their website address when leaving comments. Can’t such outbound links cause SEO damage, even if they are nofollow?

    And while I’m at it, a couple other quick questions.

    2. When linking to relevant authority sites from posts, wouldn’t you recommend nofollow? I noticed that at least some of your outbound links are dofollow.

    3. A site that is composed entirely of pages, without any posts, would that be a bad idea from an SEO perspective?

    Thanks in advance!

  108. My finger literally started heating up after scrolling through the endless content on this page. Hats off Brian for this super thorough SEO tips guide. I am a huge fan of your work.

  109. Can not wait and go through all of these Brian. Always something new to learn from and make our website or ranking better and it’s so helpful. Thanks again for your hard work!

  110. Awesome post. All of your stuff is golden and very actionable. Since all of this is very content and research-based, I would love to see more of a technical-sided SEO post on how to optimize HTML and the “back-end” for SEO success.

  111. Hi Brian… great post as always.

    I’m struggling with rugport.com as I switched hosting platforms and those zombie pages are still floating on the earlier platform where the hosting site is active, but unwanted ones shows 404, I have used 301 for the ones I wanted.

  112. I’m always looking to improve my SEO efforts in the blogs I write, so the tip on creating enticing meta descriptions was very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome, Wendy. In my experience, tweaking your title and description is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get more traffic from Google

  113. Wow – Really great and useful content as always Brian! Thanks for sharing with all of us.

    I have gone through my “zombie pages” before but after reading this I think I will do another look.

    Thanks Again Brian!

    1. You’re welcome, Scott. I don’t think a few Zombie Pages hurt. But once you get into 100+ territory, they start to take their toll.

  114. This is amazing! I have immediately begun implementing some of the easier strategies! Thank you for your ongoing wonderful content 🙂

  115. Title tag Power Up is a very good idea. About Zombie pages: I have a site that has almost a million visitors a month and 90% are Zombie pages, but I would not delete them at all, they make sense to be there in combination with other content and once in a while the generate an organic click.

  116. Hi Brian! As usual, you nailed it. Also I like very much how your posts are clean and organized. Do you use any plugin to have a list first and by choosing a topic to jump to the right point? Thank you!

    1. Thanks Nad. Our CTO sets that up. But I think those jump links are manually coded with “#” URLs. Although there’s probably a plugin out there that makes the job easier.

  117. Brian, Great stuff! I have a questuon about deleting zombie pages. Do you just delete them? or making redirect ? what abot the 404 error? can you please explain the process.

    1. Thanks Evgeni. It depends on the page. If there’s another page on your site that’s a good replacement, then you definitely want to 301 to that page. Otherwise, I recommend deleting them. Either way, I recommend doing this process gradually and adjust as you go.

  118. Hi Brain,
    Great article i got some awesome ideas to boost up my blog traffic. Mainly i will try the zombie oage technique & updating old content.
    Regards,
    Kathir

  119. This great piece of content, so why so much hype for back links while we can get traffic from many others resources , do you have any study where site gets lots of traffic without building single back link

    Usman

  120. I read a lot of “SEO tips” everyday and very rarely do I find much I haven’t seen before. There’s a few gems on here that I have either not heard of or forgot to try
    Great content as ever!

    1. Thanks Matt. The focus of this post was advanced tips that most people haven’t seen before. Happy to hear that I hit the mark

  121. Hi Brian,

    No one produces such a awesome article like you on the internet.

    I have few question that I think you are the best person to ask.

    1. How do an beginner blogger do industry research that you mentioned in point 4.
    2. I am an Indian and I just started a blog with Hindi language. So, how to I do keyword research with search volume for local language and how do I do SEO for a website which is in native country language.
    3. How do you make the awesome looking images. I mean do you have professional graphics designer with adobe Photoshop or any tool you use to make these stunning images.

  122. Wow! … I just had to Wow! at the length of this post. It is actually longer than Many SEO eBooks I’ve read in recent times. Notwithstanding, every minute spent reading it was worth it. Seriously!

    Nice work you have on your blog all over.

  123. Thank you very much, Brian! As always, everything is accessible and understandable. But I have a question. When I save an article in Pocket, I see headline: 201 Powerful SEO Tips (That Actually Work)

    Why is this happening?

  124. This is a great post and there are definitely many tips here I can get started on here right away. Using the “Searches related to…” tip seems simple and useful and will probably be the first one I’ll start using. But there is so much good stuff here, can’t wait to try almost all of them if not all of them ASAP.

  125. Hey Brian, Thanks for sharing these awesome SEO-tips. Have been following your blog for some time now, and I really enjoy your clear and precise way to teach.
    This article is bookmarked!
    Keep it up!

  126. I can’t get Google Search Console to verify my site. I’ve tried several options including logging them in to my domain company. Do you have any suggestions? Should I call Google Support or is it something my website developer should handle?

  127. Email from Brian: “Check out the new post. Here’s what you’ll learn in today’s new post…”

    * Clicks link, starts reading post, then realizes… *

    Me: “Shucks! I dare say that this is one old post.” (BTW, I know several farmers and none of them talk like that.)

    🙂

  128. Hi Brian! I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while and had a good amount of success. 🙂 I have a request, similar to what someone else mentioned. It would be nice to learn the HOW to the tips you give, including details like which pro designer you hired, or at least where you found them, what their credentials should be (for which tasks), etc. Example: you used a custom coder to change the “last updated” date. So how do we find our own custom coder, and what coding language would they need to know. Same thing with jump links. Also, which pro graphics designer do you use, or at least, where did you find them, and what type of graphics skills do they need?

    After doing this since 2012, I have definitely learned that the devil is in the details!

    Still, as always, I absolutely love your posts and hope that you will find it in your soul to publish as often as possible. 🙂

    1. Thanks Tina. I try to be detailed… to a point. I leave some of the minute details to each person because everyone is in a different situation.

      For example, lots of my readers run SEO agencies. And they usually have designer in-house. Others are developers who (obviously) don’t need help with the custom code. etc.

      Hope that makes sense.

  129. I’ve been reading your content for some time but this is the first time I’ve written a comment on your site. Awesome post as usual! Just wondering about the Published Date tactic: do you also use schema markup for both published date and last modified date?

  130. Hi,

    Great list and just an extra note / benefit around adding text for your podcast / infographic etc.
    I am blind myself and run a disability community and many of our users have different accessibility issues and needs – eg I can’t see your infographic, deaf people can’t listen to your podcast without transcript or captions. Adding this text will benefit Google and your SEO but also make life much better for people with different disabilities so thanks for thinking of us!

    Dale.

  131. Hi Brian, a very useful post, thanks for sharing. These things turned to be very useful for us: blocking thin content/pages from Google index, adjusting meta titles/descriptions and content of popular articles, improving internal links, improving page speed, implementing schema (didn’t notice a big difference here), optimizing images and their alt tags, making sure the site is mobile friendly and there are no accessibility issues (Lighthouse in Google Chrome helped a lot), some link building activity (long term) and of course keyword research and mapping. Thanks again for providing valuable info, regards.

    1. You’re welcome, Igor. I also haven’t seen Schema make much of an impact. It’s super overrated compared to the other stuff you mentioned in your comment.

  132. Hello, Brian,
    In my opinion, you are the best SEO master on the planet!
    In our project “Lowtrip” we increased traffic more than 100 times within 6 months in accordance with your advice!

  133. BOOOMMM!! BD knocks it outta the park again.

    How do you manage to come up with this killer content?

    My personal favourite; The Branded Keywords.

    Deffo gonna have a think about how I can apply this…

  134. Thanks for sharing these tips, Brian. Agree with all of these, except maybe #3 Delete zombie pages. A better strategy would be to update these pages with fresh content and convert them into a long form blog posts/guides. Deleting them entirely would mean either setting up a 404 or 301 redirect – both of which can hurt your organic traffic in the short run.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

    Cheers,
    Sandeep

    1. Hey Sandeep, that’s true: if possible you should improve and update the content. But that’s not always possible or practical (for example, if you have 5k Zombie Pages).

  135. Great article. Recently I tried out Guestographic strategy. Firstly I made an infographic on “How to know if someone has blocked on Skype” by myself. I tried my best to make it good. However, after publishing my infographic I send out website owners who have written about Skype.
    I emailed everyone. But no one has replied to me. And my infographic is now sitting in the middle of the desert.
    However, the Guestography was an amazing technique but something was wrong for me.
    Also, I want to request you to publish some more helpful articles on Guest posting. I want to know more.
    Thanks, Brian

  136. Hi Brian,

    Absolutely love these helpful guides you consistently produce. Weirdly enough my first SEO client (started in January) was in pest control and I have loved writing for them, perhaps I just like all things bugs haha

    But the increase in organic traffic is really down to constantly going back and tweaking content when finding out new tips from you and Neil Patel. Cheers!

    A quick question: I have recently added schema.org data structure to the site. How big of an increase in traffic would you expect to see for a site that usually gets just under 1,000 organic hits a month?

    1. Thanks Peter. In my experience Schema doesn’t increase Google traffic. The only exception is if you get review stars or other types of rich snippets.

  137. And again you have proved that even professional analyze and advanced SEO-strategies are fully understandable for someone like me!

    Just getting started but can see results slowly pointing in the right direction! Thanks for all the useful information Brian!

  138. Dear Brian,
    I have read every word in this article. Really, very easy to understand and I am very impressed. It’s so great if apply all 17 these tips.

    Actually, I was very surprised and impressive with the 13th tip. You are the smart guy man :D. How can you think of this way. so excited.

    And I don’t understand a point at 2th tip that you was mention” put your content front and center”. Could you make clearer ?

    Thank you so much Dean.

  139. Hi Brian, awesome article, as always. I’ve started to add jumplinks as well to my content and it seems to work, not always, but better than not doing it.
    But I have one question about jumplinks and backlinks:
    – Do you try to get backlinks directly to jumplinks?

    For example, would it be good to try to get backlinks directly here:
    https://backlinko.com/actionable-seo-tips#sitelinks

    What is your take on this?

    Personally I think it would be good, because:
    1. Then the backlink goes directly to the part of the page, so the person who clicks the link will probably stay on the page and read it longer, instead of bouncing.
    2. It could be easier to get a backlink with a jumplink especially to your long article/page, as it is easier to create/add linkable content to your current long page. Instead of creating a totally new page. And for the site who would link to you it would be more relevant if the link goes directly to the part of the page where they are referring to in the backlink.

    And is there any insight how google sees these kind of backlinks, whether they are seen as any backlink, or if they would have for some weird reason lower value?

    I tried to search on this topic but couldn’t really find any info about it. Maybe the answer is so obvious and I’m too new to SEO.

    Thanks Brian!

    1. You’re welcome, Risto. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      I actually just started using sitelinks on a regular basis this year. To me, a backlink is a backlink. So if it’s easier to get links to jump links, then that’s great. My guess is that Google pretty much counts them the same as a link to the main URL. But I don’t have any data to back that up.

      1. Thanks Brian for your opinion. Good to know that I am not the only one thinking like this! 🙂

        Big thanks for taking your time to reply, really appreciate it!

    1. Candi, it depends on the page. If the page provides value to in some way, you might want to noindex it. I prefer to just delete it. Deleting it also makes it easier to manage the site in general.

  140. Great read as always, thanks for taking the time, Brian!

    I work in a niche where it’s really hard to get anyone to link to you, even if you created the best content made by man.

    Do you have any SEO tips for niches that are really competitive, but hard to get backlinks in?

    For example loans, gambling and finance.

    Cheers!

  141. Hi Brian,

    99.99% of the bloggers use the same rubbish, that’s recycled over and over again, except 0.01% of bloggers. Brian, you are on the top of those 0.01% of bloggers that write authentic original brand new content. You literally invent, and define the new age of the SEO tactics. Brian, you are the man.

    1. You’re welcome, Marty. I love supporting small businesses and startups. Fighting big brands is not easy. So I try to give people tips that will give people an edge over their entrenched competitors.

  142. Thanks Brian for these tips. After reading your “On page optimization” article, I made an infographic and posted on my blog. I got good engagement after publishing the infographics. I think people find infographics interesting while reading. I’ll implement all the other tips from this article and share my experience!

  143. Thank you for this very informative article. As many other alternative medicine sites, my site was affected by Google Medic Update in august. Do you suggest reducing the terms related to alternative medicine (“holistic”, “homeopathy”, ecc.)? Or it would be a useless operation?

    1. You’re welcome, Giovanni. I saw the data on that too. That said, I haven’t seen enough data to figure out if removing certain terms will help. Worth a try though if your site got hit by the medic update

  144. Hi Brian,

    An awesome read as always 🙂

    1) I saw people asking a similar question about “Last Updated” tweak, and I wanted to ask the same question again, until I realized that I could Google first to see if there are instructions about that.

    Funny that as an aspiring blogger/affiliate marketer I STILL sometimes forget about using Google to ask questions lol. Hopefully I won’t mess up the PHP coding.

    Question is, how do we remove the dates from the comment section?? Is it OK to edit the dates on the comments once the article has been updated?

    2) I have a question in terms of having one power page versus many thing pages.

    I have a small niche website and I mainly focused on reviews and best of lists, until I was told that Google doesn’t like affiliate-only content and that I better add how-to/info posts with zero affiliate links.

    I outsource how-to/info posts. I mean they are not $5 articles but I wouldn’t call them top-top quality as well. The reviews and buying guides I write are super lengthy and I try to make it the highest quality possible.

    Question is: is it true that it’s best to have non-affiliate articles on small Amazon niche websites, just for the sake of having them? After reading your posts, I thought that maybe it’ll be considered as “thin” content?

    3) And finding who uses your images to get backlinks? That’s simply brilliant!

    I know you get a lot of comments but I really hope you’ll be able to answer my questions here 🙂

    Thanks again for your hard work!! You really inspire me to create amazing content even more (like you do).

    1. Thanks Zarina. 1. I’m actually not sure how to remove dates from comments. We don’t display dates on comments by default, so I’ve never had to change them. I wouldn’t change the dates on comments though. If the person left a comment on such and such a date, it’s not really kosher to change the date on that. 2. Good question. The same rule applies for any website: you need to publish awesome stuff. 3. Thank you 🙂

  145. This is super helpful! Thanks so much for creating this.

    Two questions for you relating to published date versus last updated…
    (1) Whenever we update articles substantially we update the publication date. When we update an article minorly, we don’t change the date at all. Is this good practice?

    (2) I do like the “last updated” idea. May try to implement that. But with the way you have it set up, when you update an article (and “last updated” date becomes that very day) does it bring the article back to the top of your blog reel on https://backlinko.com/blog? Or does it stay in its original position?

    Thank you SO much this is incredibly helpful.

    1. You’re welcome, Laurence. 1. That’s good practice. I do the same thing. 2. The way we have it setup, changing the “last updated” date keeps it in the same place in the blog feed.

  146. Thanks, Brian for sharing another masterpiece article. I really like the term Zombie pages. In fact, I have recently deleted all such pages are redirected them (301) accordingly.

  147. Hi Brian,
    Can you offer any commentary that is more specific to web-based stores? I definitely see the value in some of this and have made a few positive changes to my site, but I’m not a blogger and am ideally looking to direct more traffic to the site through other means. As it stands, we get only a few orders/month, and I’d like to dive deeper into how we can simply (though not necessarily easily) expand our market.

    Thanks for all you do!

  148. The level of effort you put in each and every article is really stunning, Brian!
    I have become a fan of yours after I read the https://backlinko.com/seo-copywriting article.
    That one helped me a lot!
    And the recent SEO related tips on your YT channel are really hidden gems!
    Now it’s time to implement your SEO tips.
    I have a quick question. If I embed 4/5 YT videos in my post, would that bring any negative SEO effect?
    Thanks a lot
    Mark

  149. Brian, you continue to drive wisdom to SEO’s day after day! Great post for anyone from beginner to a veteran to drive more organic traffic. Also loved the part about content curation, Curated links are insane right now for ranking.

  150. Amazing as always.
    Keep it up.

    1 thing though, Google Correlate is giving very weird correlations.
    I’m from The Netherlands so I select that country, but the results are very strange. Even when I select ‘United States’ the results are very special 🙂

    Do you also see this? Or is there a special setting that I have to apply?

    Keep up the good work!

  151. Hey Brian,
    thank you for blasting your adience with very high quality content. Its really actionable and when I start reading your posts, i know, i will read every letter of it, mostly not once, but many times!

    I have a question, which is cause by no.3: delete Zombie Pages.
    Right now im working on a concept to reduce our structure, and delete many unnescassary URLs.
    Besides our regular Homepage, we also have a help site for our software customers.
    regular Website: http://www.Homepage.com
    Help Site: http://www.help.homepage.com

    We dont want to delete these pages ofcourse, because these provide extra knowledge for our customers, but ofcourse in terms of SEO they do horrible.
    Do you think, the subdomain impacts on our main site? If yes, could a noindex Tag do the same charm as deleting trash pages?

    Thank you for your work!

    1. Hey Dennis, good question. If the page adds values to users, you can always use the noindex tag on those pages instead of deleting them.

  152. I have heard first time this Google Correlate feature. Brian you should create one blog about it as well. We can use it to create different content for one particular keywords.

  153. One more kick-ass post from Brian!
    8629 shares — it`s crazy. Deservedly, I’m sure.
    People feel those who share useful information.
    I love Brian and Neil. Two coolest dudes in the industry!

  154. Great stuff, Brian. So much in-depth stuff in your articles – they literally take away any excuse someone may have to not become great at SEO.

    Looking forward to a 2019 update!

  155. Brian – I have a question about zombie pages. I have an e-commerce where most of the physical products are sold once.

    Right now, after a product is sold out, I keep the original listing page available at the store but I add the category link at the top of the page. In that way, the customer can search for another product within that category.

    Should I just keep doing that or should I just delete all those pages?

    Thank You!!