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The 17 Most Important SEO Tips for Higher Rankings

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated Jan. 10, 2020

The 17 Most Important SEO Tips for Higher Rankings

Today you’re going to see 17 most important SEO tips that you need to know.

And these tips actually work.

In fact:

These SEO tips have helped me get #1 ranking for keywords like “link building tools”:

SERP – "link building tools"

And “Ecommerce SEO”:

So whether you’re a new to SEO, or a seasoned veteran, I hope you get a lot of value from the techniques in this post.

Here are the 17 most important SEO tips to follow when optimizing your website:

1. Use Keywords In The Right Places

You probably already know that you should add keywords to pages that you want to rank.

But where you use your keywords is just as important than how many times you use them.

Specifically, you want to make sure that your keyword appears at least once in your page’s title tag.

Webpage URL:

And in the first 100 words of your content.

For example, I have a page on my site that’s optimized around the keyword: “copywriting”.

And I made sure to add that exact term in those key places.

If you want to get more advanced with your on-page SEO, I recommend checking out this video.

And once you finished with the video, check out the rest of the SEO tips in this post…

2. Keep Users On Your Site Longer

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.

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 will downrank you.

The question is:

How do you keep users on your site longer?

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, bullets and subheadings make your content MUCH easier to read:

Which leads us to our next tip…

3. Find “Suggest” Keywords

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

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

Like Wikipedia:

YouTube:

And yes, even Bing:

4. 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.

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:

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”:

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

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

And those 44 posts generate 120k+ search engine visits per month.

5. 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.

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

But I also noticed that these posts gave out SEO tips for voice search… without any data or research to back them up.

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

How did this content do?

Even though this post is less than a year old, it’s already generated over 900 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…

…they reference (and link to) my content automatically.

Sweet!

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

(Although that’s important too).

To rank in Google today, you also need to add synonyms and other related keywords in your content.

Why?

Something called Google Hummingbird.

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

(Kind of like how a human would)

So:

How do you optimize your content for Hummingbird?

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.

7. Add Text to Infographics, Podcasts and Videos

Yes, visual 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:

But I didn’t stop there.

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

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

8. Update Old Pages

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

If so, you can probably improve your rankings by updating that post.

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.

Despite the fact that the content was really good…

…my page was bouncing between the first and second page for my target keyword: “SEO Checklist”.

Not good.

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

Specifically, I added more external links to authority sites:

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

And wrote a new title and description:

(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:

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

9. Speed Up Your Website

Having a slow website can hurt your Google rankings. Google’s “Speed Update” specifically downranks pages that load slowly on mobile devices.

Which is why you want to eliminate anything that slows down your page speed.

Well, we recently ran a large-scale page speed study.

And we found that, in many cases, using a CDN actually hurts loading speed.

So if you do use a CDN, I recommend testing your website speed with it turned on and off.

We also discovered that 3rd party scripts (like Facebook’s pixel) slows things down significantly.

You can see all of the 3rd party scripts on your site using a tool like BuiltWith.com.

And if you find any scripts that aren’t super important, delete them.

10. Use the Google Search Console

This is one of my favorite SEO tips.

Here’s how it works:

First, login to the Google Search Console.

And head over to the Performance Report:

Next, hit “Pages”:

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

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.

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.

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 probably going to boost my rankings for those search terms.

Easy peasy.

11. Create Content Around Shoulder Niches

Publishing high-quality content is one of the most important SEO tips.

But what if you’re in a so-called “boring” niche? Isn’t it impossible to create content that people will link to or share on social media?

Fortunately not..

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%:

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, go after closely-related niches that are actually interesting.

(In other words: “Shoulder Niches”)

In fact, that’s what Mike did:

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

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

…his client’s traffic skyrocketed:

12. Get Backlinks From 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:

Then, right click and “copy image address”…

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

It took a few months to catch on.

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

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

14. Add “What is X” Definitions to Blog Content

This is one of the most important SEO tips that people tend to overlook.

Here’s how it works:

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?:

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:

You’ve probably noticed more and more 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).

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”.

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

But I also made sure to include “Snippet Bait” in the form of a short 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”.

16. Find More Guest Post Opportunities

Here’s a simple SEO tip that will help you find sites to guest post on.

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

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

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

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):

Unfortunately, finding podcasts can be a chore.

That is, unless you use Google reverse image search:

Bingo!

17. Improve Your Organic CTR

When you improve your organic click-through-rate more people will click on your site in the search results.

Which means you can get more traffic… without needing higher rankings.

When we recently analyzed millions of Google search results to learn more about Google’s CTR, we found that using question title tags significantly boosted CTR.

So whenever it makes sense, I recommend using a question in your page’s title.

Here’s a real-life example:

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.

576 Comments

  1. This is simply the best list I have ever seen, Great work Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Paul

  2. 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. 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Tim. Keep me posted.

  3. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Very cool, Asher.

      1. Haha – yes! It took me literally 100 hours but was so worth it to be able to share my knowledge and help so many people. The traffic is nice too 😀

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          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. 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. 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.

  4. Andrew Avatar Andrewsays:

    Awesome work Brian! I’m going to be implementing these tips wherever I can.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Andrew. Keep me posted on how they work out for you.

  5. Brian, this is a hell of a content!

    Congrats!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Nacho. That’s what I was going for.

  6. This is why you are the boss, Brian. Bookmarked this post. I know for sure that I’ll be playing around here often 😀

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Raul. Let me know if you notice any tips that I forgot about.

      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 🙂

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Thanks Raul. I actually have Kraken on there. But I’ll look into HTML compression. Great suggestion.

  7. Amazing. Well organizde and very practical. Thank you Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Heidi. Glad you liked it.

  8. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Ralf

  9. Massive dude. Will take a while to get through it all 😉

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  10. Andy Drinkwater Avatar Andy Drinkwatersays:

    *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 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      HA! Thanks Andy. No rush. The post isn’t going anywhere

  11. Daniel Ndukwu Avatar Daniel Ndukwusays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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

      1. Daniel Ndukwu Avatar Daniel Ndukwusays:

        really now? Thanks for that. I’ll keep it in mind. I think I have a few stop words that need changing.

        Stay awesome

  12. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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!

  13. Wow Brian. Just, f**king.. WOW!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Vishal, you’re the third person that swore already. I must have done something right with this post 😀

  14. Definitely the greatest and most up to date SEO guide for this year. Thanks Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      So far 😉

  15. Thanks Brian for updating an historic post.

    I´m looking forward to more on this!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Miguel. Glad you liked it.

  16. Thanks for the fantastic list and organization. Excited to implement these!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, David. Let me know how it goes.

  17. Brilliant article Brian, for sure it’s an ultimate resource. Thanks for the guide.

    Best
    Bill

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Bill. I’d agree: this is the ultimate list of SEO tips (at least from what I’ve seen)

  18. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  19. Abdul Avatar Abdulsays:

    This isn’t a blog post – it’s an encyclopedia!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      HA! That’s true, Abdul

  20. Eric Nguyen Avatar Eric Nguyensays:

    You are the only one who make me open my email no-brainer. Great link building guide as always!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Eric. I aim to please 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jason. Glad you liked it.

  21. Muaz Avatar Muazsays:

    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?

  22. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  23. Andrew Avatar Andrewsays:

    God Daaaaaaamn!!!!!!!!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Yup. It’s that kind of post 🙂

  24. Madhuri SenGupta Avatar Madhuri SenGuptasays:

    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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Madhuri. Best of luck with your new blog.

      1. Madhuri SenGupta Avatar Madhuri SenGuptasays:

        Thanks a ton Brian. Means a lot.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s a good thing, right? 😉

  25. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Hi Marcelo, it should at least be semi-related.

  26. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  27. Stefano Avatar Stefanosays:

    Amazing post! 100% golden content! Keep doing this!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I’ll do that, Stefano 🙂

  28. Dany Santos Avatar Dany Santossays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Dany. I’ve never heard that before.

    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. Dany Santos Avatar Dany Santossays:

        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. Dany Santos Avatar Dany Santossays:

          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 :).

  29. 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”.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nice Hussain. These tips should help you continue your success.

  30. Brian Lund Avatar Brian Lundsays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  31. Awesome post!!! thank you, Brian! A lot of powerful tips!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Alona.

  32. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

      1. Thanks kind sir!!! I was thinking the same thing.

        My main thought is it would hurt my rankings by changing the published date.

  33. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Jure. That’s perfect timing, right?

  34. Ben Avatar Bensays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  35. Annie Avatar Anniesays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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. Annie Avatar Anniesays:

        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.

  36. Very Powerful tips brian. Thanks for the email notification.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries, James.

  37. Awesome! Massive list of smart tips Brian! Love it.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Chris. Massive is right. This clocks in at 4k+ words! 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Jeroen.

  38. That’s huge Brian.

    Do you sleep at all?

    Thanks to you, your posts have helped me do things on my own, especially, SEO.

    Francis

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      HA! I actually get 9 hours per night. How else could I write insane posts like this?

  39. Thank you Brian you’re the best of SEO. GJ man..

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Bilal

  40. Thanks, Brian. Always find your posts incredibly helpful.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Marc.

  41. Dean Davis Avatar Dean Davissays:

    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! 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      LOL. Well I guess it’s possible I missed something. So far it doesn’t look like it 🙂

  42. Tarquin Avatar Tarquinsays:

    This is awesome. Thanks Brian

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No problem, Tarquin

  43. Nitin Jain Avatar Nitin Jainsays:

    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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nice!

  44. This is awesome Brian, thanks for sharing! Definitely saving this list to my Pocket for future references 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Craig. Yup, this is a good one to save as a reference.

  45. Chris Avatar Chrissays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  46. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  47. Edgar Avatar Edgarsays:

    Just PURE SOLID GOLD… !

    Thxs

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      🙂

  48. 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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      HA! Next time I’ll aim for 20k words 🙂

  49. 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 !

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Merci 🙂

  50. Thanks you Brian. You are always come with smart tips. I’m gonna try this all.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Hardik. Let me know how the tips come out.

  51. Holy! A lot of content here Brian. Thanks for the list. Now I have something to work on for the rest of this week. Thanks for the great post.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Akash.

  52. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good. Let me know how it goes.

  53. 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?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Umesh. It took about 25 hours.

  54. alekya Avatar alekyasays:

    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

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Alekya. Yup, I tried to make them all 100% actionable.

  55. Whoa! That’s massive list..

    Very Resourceful. Thanks Brian.

  56. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  57. Holy shizzle mizzle . This is amazing.Well done Brian !

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Fo shizzle!

  58. WOW! For sure the best i have ever seen. A lot of new stuff, thanks so much. I’ll have so much work to do 😀
    I really appreciate your effort, keep up.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Steve. Let me know how it goes.

  59. Sanjib Avatar Sanjibsays:

    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 ???

  60. 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

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Avdesh, exactly. SEO is largely about experimentation.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome Sadanand

  61. Incredible stuff again Brian – thanks so much for putting it together!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Luke. It wasn’t easy to put together but I’m glad it’s out there now.

  62. Wow, Brian! I’ve never seen these SEO techniques in one place before. You’re rocking this one once again. 🙂 Thanks a bunch for sharing.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Anh 😀

  63. Johan Avatar Johansays:

    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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Johan. Glad to see that you implemented my strategies and saw results 🙂

  64. Brian, this is wonderful guide like all in one seo book. I have bookmarked for later detailed reading. Thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Sadri

  65. Mohammad Umair Avatar Mohammad Umairsays:

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

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome. With a long-form post like this , UX is super important.

  66. Nicky Evelyn Avatar Nicky Evelynsays:

    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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Nicky. I’m glad to see that you learned some cool new stuff.

  67. Avinash Avatar Avinashsays:

    Thank’s Brian really great article.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Avinash

  68. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome

  69. Billy Avatar Billysays:

    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

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Billy. Do I post anything else? 😉

  70. Great post Brian. I read it a few times when I didn’t even have my site yet. Now that I have started blogging, I will try and follow all tips.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds like a plan, William.

  71. Maria Liamar Empestan Avatar Maria Liamar Empestansays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  72. Where to start? Thanks for sharing all this great info!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Bob. I’d start with the one you can implement the fastest.

  73. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Tyler. Glad I could help y’all out

  74. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  75. Thank you Brian for awesome content! You inspiring me to go forward!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You can do it, Jakub!

  76. Awesome tips Brian! I am currently using some of your strategies in my current role with CDG Brand. Keep up the knowledge sharing.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Alex. Let me know how these tips work out.

  77. Matt Avatar Mattsays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  78. I’m going to kidnap you and have you on my podcast if it’s the last thing I ever do 😛

    You’re the MAN, Brian!!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      LOL. Thanks Justin 🙂

  79. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Omid

  80. Great work Brian. I’m using the tips today.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Awesome Shane!

  81. Sally Avatar Sallysays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  82. 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.

  83. You’re amazing Brian, never disappoint. Thank you again for the information, I feel like I’d be years behind proper SEO practices without Backlinko.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Sean. Happy to help

  84. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      HA!

      Thanks for sharing, Nick

  85. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  86. Ifeanyi Avatar Ifeanyisays:

    Great stuff Brian! Thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome Ifeanyi

  87. 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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Seth. I’ll check them out.

  88. Incredible stuff Brian. I will come back to this again and again. Thank you so much!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Nathan. Yup, it’s quite the reference piece!

  89. Woow, what a List!! Thanks for sharing this great post.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No problem, Samuel.

  90. Dom Avatar Domsays:

    More ammo for the (marketing arsenal). Good stuff Brian, as always.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Load em’ up Dom!

  91. Chris Avatar Chrissays:

    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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Chris.

  92. 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.)

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Josh, thank you 🙂
      Yes, as far as I know there’s no plugin out there that does the job.

  93. 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

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Piyush, I didn’t track is closely but around 25 hours.

  94. This list is just amazing. I’m a big fan of your work and I often go to your site for inspiration.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      🙂

  95. Max Avatar Maxsays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Max, Kraken.io helps a lot with image optimization

      1. Max Avatar Maxsays:

        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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          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.

  96. Stephen Brian Avatar Stephen Briansays:

    Great insight. I wonder to see your great knowledge on backlink and SEO! Keep it up sharing your valuable advice for us.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Cheers Stephan

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