17 Advanced SEO Techniques for 2020

17 Advanced SEO Techniques for 2020

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated Aug. 11, 2020

17 advanced SEO strategies for 2020

This is a list of 17 advanced SEO strategies, techniques and tactics.

In fact, these strategies have helped my site bring in 350,973 visitors per month from Google.

Backlinko monthly organic traffic

So if you’re sick of reading the same old beginners stuff (“create great content!”), you’ll really enjoy this list.

1. Rank for “Journalist Keywords”

Journalist Keywords are terms that journalists search for.

And they’re a super powerful way to build backlinks at scale.

For example, a while back we published this page speed study.

Take a look at the referring domains data (via Ahrefs) for that page.

See how there’s a spike when the content was first published? Then it flattens. And then it spikes again?

Well, that second spike came because that page starting rankings for a bunch of Journalist Keywords, like this:

See how that works?

A journalist needs a specific stat for their article. So they head to Google to find it.

And my site gets in front of journalists right as they’re about to publish their piece. Which means they see my stat. And cite it in their articles.

Very nice.

2. Use Animated Images to Improve Time On Site

Our recent search engine ranking factors study found that time on site correlates with Google rankings.

And I recently figured out a simple way to improve it: animated images.

Specifically, high-res animated images (like animated SVGs). These are basically animated GIFs. But MUCH higher quality.

Here’s an example:

And I’ve noticed that animated images stop people from skimming.

That way, they read more of your content. And spend more time on your page.

For example, this post from Backlinko has a handful of animated images.

And it’s no coincidence that the time on site for that page is 3:27.

Which leads us to…

3. Create Content Hubs

28% of Backlinko’s organic traffic comes from content hubs.

What’s a content hub?

It’s basically a mini Wikipedia on a given topic.

For example, I published our SEO Marketing Hub last year.

The SEO Marketing Hub is a collection of SEO resources organized by category (like “Technical SEO” and “Link Building”).

Each of those categories has a handful of “entries”:

These entries are all optimized around a single keyword (usually a long tail).

And they’re NOT written like normal blog posts. Instead, each entry is more like a Wikipedia article.


First off, this style is a better search intent fit for these types of keywords. For example, someone searching for “LSI keywords” doesn’t want my opinion on it.

Instead, they’re wondering what it is. Why it’s important. And some first steps to get started.

And these content hub entries are strategically designed to PERFECTLY match that search intent.

Second, the entries are all strategically linked together.

Needless to say, these internal links are great for SEO.

But these internal links also help boost dwell time. That’s because readers get lost down a content rabbit hole.

And they end up spending a ton of time on my site before going back to the search results (if they go back at all).

4. Target Comparison Keywords

Comparison Keywords are terms that compare different things, like:

  • Content marketing vs SEO
  • iPhone vs Android
  • Webflow vs WordPress

Why are these keywords worth targeting?

First off: people that search for Comparison Keywords aren’t complete noobs.

For example, somebody that types “SEO tools” into Google is probably new to SEO.

But somebody searching for “Mangools vs Moz Pro” has a feel for the SEO tool landscape. They just want help deciding between two different options.

Second, comparison keywords don’t usually have that much competition.

For example, this keyword gets 1.1k searches per month with a $6 CPC. Not bad. But the keyword difficulty on that term is only 12/100.

In fact, I recently targeted that exact keyword with this post. And I was able to quickly get it to rank in the top 3.

Pro Tip: Create content optimized around “you vs competitor” comparison keywords. Drift has a bunch of these pages.

And they tend to rank super well.

5. Use Dynamic Parameters for Pagination

Exploding Topics ran into a serious technical SEO issue pretty much from day 1:

It took days (and sometimes WEEKS) to get a new page indexed.

The reason? Our crawl budget was getting eaten up SUPER quickly.

Which means that Google spiders would take FOREVER to crawl our new pages.

One of the things that helped was using dynamic parameters for our paginated pages.

In other words, we went from this:


To this


This new format helped Google figure out our paginated page URL patterns. Which made it so Google spent less time re-crawling our paginated pages. And more time finding and indexing new stuff.

It also seemed to push Google to crawl more of our pages in general.

(Plus, if we run into crawl budget issues again, we can use the URL Parameters tool in Search Console to stop Google from crawling our paginated pages. Which only works with dynamic parameters).

I’ve appeared on over 100 podcasts as a guest.

And pretty much all of them have linked to me.

Which is why I like to say: Podcasts are the new guest posts.

Actually, going on a podcast is in some ways BETTER than writing a guest post.

To publish a single guest post you need:

  1. Find a site that will accept your guest post.
  2. Pitch them.
  3. Write a draft.
  4. Go through rounds of edits.

THEN you finally get your guest post published.

With a podcast? All you really need to do is show up. And you’re good to go.

In fact, going on podcasts was one of the first link building strategies that we used to build backlinks to Exploding Topics.

I advised my co-founder Josh to reach out to podcasts in the startup space.

And because Josh had an interesting story to share, a bunch of them said yes.

Question is: how can YOU get interviewed on other people’s podcasts?

I could write an entire post on this. But here are some pointers that I’ve picked up over the years.

  • Pitch for their audience: Your outreach needs to emphasize what SPECIFIC things the podcaster’s audience would get from your interview.
  • Get a mic: Legit podcasts care about audio quality. So I recommend investing in a high-quality USB mic (I use a Rode Podcaster).
  • Level up: Start with the tiniest podcasts you can find. Small podcasts are more likely to say yes. And you get good at being a guest (which is a skill). Then, you can leverage those early appearances to go on bigger and better shows.

And now it’s time for…

7. Forge a Content Alliance

A Content Alliance is where you team up with another business, site, blog, or YouTube channel on a single piece of content.

For example, I recently teamed up with Fractl on a post that they ended up publishing on the Moz blog.

In that case I provided data from Exploding Topics.

But you can also partner with someone that has data that you need.

For example, I teamed up with BuzzSumo for this content analysis.

This time, BuzzSumo had a bunch of fascinating data lying around. And they happily shared it with me.

In exchange, I wrote up the post and promoted it to my audience.

Overall, this single content alliance was a huge win-win.

I got access to raw data that would be pretty much impossible to get on my own. And BuzzSumo got in front of tens of thousands of people.

In fact, that single post brought in 46,489 visitors in its first month.

8. Maximize SERP Real Estate

The #1 result in Google gets about 32% of all organic clicks.

That said: there’s another way to get more clicks from the SERPs… without higher rankings:

Taking up more SERP Real Estate.

SERP Real Estate is basically how many pixels you control on Google’s first page.

And the more pixels you control, the more traffic you’ll get from that keyword.

For example, ranking in a Featured Snippet puts you to the top of the page. But it also triples your SERP Real Estate for that keyword.

How about another example?

I recently got one of my YouTube videos to rank on the first page of Google for an important keyword.

Which gave me a pretty big chunk of SERP Real Estate.

Here are some other ways you can take up more SERP Real Estate:

9. Embed Original Images In Your Content

It’s no secret that high-quality images make your content better.

Which can indirectly help with rankings.

So, what kind of images should you use on your site?

Well, a recent SEO experiment discovered that “duplicate images” (like stock photos) can hurt your page’s rankings.

Which is why you want to use as many original images as you can.

For example, we work with a graphic designer to help us create super professional screenshots.

It’s obviously much easier and faster to just take a normal screenshot. But going the extra mile makes our images original. And more helpful.

We also create several custom visuals and charts for every post.

Again, these visuals aren’t cheap. But they’re worth it for the direct and indirect SEO benefits.

As a bonus, people might start to use your visuals in their blog posts.

And give you a link as a source.

For example, this chart from one of our posts has been embedded on dozens of different blogs.

And the vast majority of people that use that image link to Backlinko as a source.

10. Optimize Your Content For Keyword Relevance

You already know that there’s more to on-page SEO than cramming a keyword into your page 187 times.

In fact, Google’s “How Search Works” document explains that they look at “quantifiable signals to assess relevance”.

Specifically, Google wants to see relevant content on the topic that page covers.

Question is: how do you give Google the “quantifiable signals to assess relevance” that they want to see?

You need to include the right LSI keywords on your page.

When you do, you’ll confirm to Google that your page is highly relevant for that query.

Which can give you higher rankings for your target keyword. AND help you rank for more keywords.

If you write in-depth content you’ll probably use a lot of these LSI keywords automatically.


If you want to double check, there are tools out there (like Clearscope and Surfer SEO) that can help you find the right LSI keywords to include in your content.

These tools work pretty much the same way: they scan content that already ranks for your keyword.

And they bubble up terms that those pages use most often.

11. Create a Comments Section On Your Blog

Comments can help your SEO for three reasons:

First, comments may actually be a direct ranking factor.

Second, comments give users more stuff to read and do. Which can boost dwell time.

Third, a comments section is actually content that Google crawls, indexes and ranks.

In fact, a Google rep stated that they count all content on a page (including UGC).

Which is why I put A LOT of effort into Backlinko’s comments section.

Not only do I reply to pretty much every comment. But we have someone that spends over an hour every day just to moderate them.

That way, 100% of the comments that end up on the site are high-quality.

12. Uncover People Also Ask Keywords

According to SEMrush, 41% of all Google search results contain a People Also Ask section.

Which means they’re worth optimizing for.

The only problem is that it’s a huge pain to find these questions at scale.

Obviously, you get a set of 4 questions right away.

But you need to open up the accordion a bunch of times to get access to more questions.

Fortunately, I recently came across a free tool called “People Also Ask” that scrapes these questions.

It works like pretty much any other keyword tool. Type in a keyword. And get a list of results.

But instead of a list of related keywords, you get questions pulled directly from Google’s People Also Ask boxes.

Pretty cool.

13. Add “Content Features” To Your Page

Content Features are things like:

  • Calculators
  • Comparison charts
  • Feature breakdowns
  • Pros and cons lists
  • Summaries
  • Quote boxes

Basically: they’re things that you add to your content to make it more compelling and useful.

And Content Features can directly and indirectly help improve your Google rankings.

In fact, Google’s own Quality Rater Guidelines state that Supplementary Content is “important”.

Here’s a recent example of how much of a difference Content Features can make.

Earlier this year I added two Content Features to my guide to becoming an SEO expert.

Specifically, I added a table that compared the different ways to learn SEO.

And a bulleted list of skills that SEO specialists need to have.

Not long after, my page shot up to the #1 spot in Google.

Which boosted organic traffic to that page by 36.9%.

(Google uses 200+ ranking factors in their algorithm. So I can’t say for sure that Content Features made all the difference. But in my opinion it was the main reason that my rankings improved).

14. Publish Topic + Year Content

Topic + Year Content are blog posts that cover key trends happening around a given topic.

For example, every year I publish a definitive guide to SEO for that year.

And that post is optimized around the keyword: “SEO 2020”.

As you probably know, “SEO” is an insanely competitive keyword.

(Even for me 🙂 )

But “SEO 2020” isn’t all that competitive. Even though THOUSANDS of people search for it every month.

In fact, I rank in the #1 spot in Google for “SEO 2020”.

Which brings in a decent chunk of traffic every month (especially early in the year).

Note: I should point out that this is VERY different than slapping “2020” to the end of a title tag.

For this strategy to work, your content needs to be focused 100% on the year in question.

For example, my annual SEO guide covers trends that are happening in the world of search engine optimization.

Which is a GREAT search intent fit for anyone searching for “SEO 2020”.

Unlinked brand mentions are just like they sound: they’re mentions in blog posts and news articles that don’t link to your site.

Here’s an example:

And all you need to do is email the person that mentioned your brand. And ask them to add a link to your site.

In my experience, the conversion rate on this approach is insane.

That’s mainly because you’re not reaching out cold to someone that’s never heard of you.

Instead, you’re emailing somebody that already mentioned your site in a blog post.

Which means they’re primed to add your link.

The key here is to reach out FAST.

For whatever reason, people are much more likely to edit a brand new post.

So the faster you send your email, the more likely you’ll get a link.

BuzzSumo’s “Brand Alerts” feature is perfect for this technique.

In fact, they even have a filter just for finding unlinked mentions.

16. Optimize for Google Discover

Google Discover is Google’s version of a social media newsfeed.

But instead of featuring posts from people that you follow, Google shows you high-quality content that they think you’d like.

And I’ve found that Google Discover can bring in legit amounts of traffic.

In fact, Google Discover has generated over 6k visitors for me over the last 90 days.

According to Google, it’s impossible to optimize for Discover.

But that’s obviously not true.

In fact, a few paragraphs later they state that high-quality images can help you rank in Discover.

That’s because every result in Discover has a big ol’ image next to it. And if that image stands out, people are going to click on it. Which can help you show up in other people’s Discover feeds.

So you want to make sure that every post that you publish has a super high-res og:image.

With that, here are a few things that I’ve found help with Google Discover SEO:

  • Content freshness (you get most of your Discover traffic the day a post goes live)
  • Original, high-quality images, charts and graphs
  • Engagement on Twitter (which Google indexes)
  • High level of traffic to a single page
  • Content about popular topics (Discover content suggestions are based largely on that user’s browsing history)

17. Find Low-Competition Keywords From Reddit

Here’s an easy way to find super low-competition keywords.

First, pop a subreddit into SEMrush or Ahrefs.

Then, look at all of the keywords that pages in that subreddit ranks for.

And boom!

You have a list of super low-competition terms.

Yes, Reddit has a higher Domain Authority than you do (that’s why they’re ranking in the first place).

The thing is, most Reddit threads are super unorganized. And include lots of useless comments, like this:

Which means there’s PLENTY you can do to make your content better than a Reddit thread, like:

  • Organize information into steps
  • Add multimedia, like images and videos
  • Include external links to helpful resources
  • Include more up-to-date techniques, strategies, or information

Basically: any well-written post > Reddit thread.

Which means your post has a good chance of outranking the original Reddit thread.

Pro Tip: Most subreddits rank for LOTS of junk keywords. Keywords that you don’t want to target in the first place. A quick CPC filter makes it easy to zero-in on good keywords. I recommend setting the minimum CPC to about $2. That way, you can filter out the junk.

Bonus Strategy #1: Visualize Your Sitemap

A flat website architecture is SUPER important for your site’s technical SEO.

(Especially if your site has lots of pages)

The problem is: it’s really hard to know if your architecture is flat (good). Or super deep (bad).

Which is why I recommend visualizing your sitemap.

You can do this using the SEO site audit feature in Ahrefs:

Or with a cool tool I recently found called VisualSitemaps.

Bonus Strategy #2: Find Hidden Terms With Google Keyword Planner

Most people type seed keywords into the Google Keyword Planner.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you want to find even MORE keyword ideas, put a URL into this field.

When you do, Google will scrape the page. And generate a list of keywords that they don’t show most people.

And you’re set.

Now It’s Your Turn

There you have it: my list of 17 advanced SEO strategies that are working super well right now.

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

Which strategy from this list are you going to try first?

Do you want to get a visual of your sitemap?

Or maybe you want to optimize around “People also ask” keywords.

Either way, let me know in the comments section below.


  1. Sam Avatar Samsays:


    Good stuff as usual Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Sam 👍

  2. Excellent content, I have a Joomla site if would not mind having a look as you the number 1 in my opinion .

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Chris. Joomla isn’t ideal for SEO. But it’s very possible to make it work.

  3. Great I will definitely try out the Journalist Keywords method today.. Thanks a ton Brian!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Rocco.

  4. I totally agree with you on the use of animated images to increase users stay time on the website.
    Thank you for such a wonderful post, I will be implementing many other tips you shared now on my blog. You have been of great help to me!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Joan, for sure. It just makes sense. These animated images catch your eye as you scroll down the page.

  5. Brian I appreciate all this information, all your content is pure gold.

    Thanks for sharing, and I was applying some of your tips 🤩

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Lesther. Let me know how these advanced SEO strategies work out for you.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  6. Do you have any resources/websites about creating custom animated images?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I don’t. I work with a graphic designer who makes them for us. But I’m sure there are tutorials on YouTube.

  7. Great tips as usual. ‘Finding low competition words from Reddit’ is an idea I have heard for the first time. Will definitely try. Thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Seems, no problem. I’ve found some keyword GEMs on Reddit. So I hope you also have some luck with that approach.

  8. Hey Brian

    Amazing stuff! Thanks for sharing this.

    Have a great day!


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries 👍

  9. Super list .. really helpful for my SEO strategies. Bookmarking this post.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Daman.

  10. Hey Brian,

    Amazing article, literally help me a lot.

    Specially about journalists keyword.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries, Glan.

  11. Hi Brian,

    That is really helpful. I’ve never tried most of these.

    So I’m gonna try these right away.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  12. Thanks for such valuable information Brian. I’ll be sure to make the most of it & apply to my site.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Darshana, you’re welcome. I really tried to share some fresh stuff in this post.

  13. Hello
    Can you help my website bring organic traffic?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      What do you mean?

  14. Hi Brian, thank you for the great article, it’s on the point as always!
    The animated SVGs impressed me the most as starting point!
    I think I try them 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Jans, sounds good. Yup, SVGs are pretty cool.

  15. Thanks Brian, another great and enjoyable article. Particularly of interest for me are: the Google Keyword Planner tweak, the People Also Ask tool and the recommendation about Dynamic Pagination!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Pauline. Let me know how these strategies work out for you.

  16. Abhinav Avatar Abhinavsays:

    Do you have any plugins or suggestions to create a content hub.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I don’t but someone should definitely make one.

  17. Thanks for the great tips as usual, and I like the Reddit tip, especially where we can easily get some low competitive keywords. TBH, already applying the same.

    Also, I don’t like the lazy loading images thing, and It is kinda distracting for me.

    I hope I get the reply😁

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Kevin, thanks. Quora is also good for the same sort of thing.

  18. on another note, when I go to share your article via the Twitter sharing button on the left, the URL doesn’t get copied over. Maybe it’s just me but I thought it might be no harm mentioning it. Thanks again and keep up with the great work!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Pasquale, thanks for letting me know about that. We’ve made some changes to the site recently, so it might be a bug. I’ll let our dev know.

  19. Excellent content, Brian. Full of ideas and solid research as always. Reddit is a goldmine if you know how to search -but it always takes time. I’ll make sure to search for unlinked mentions, didn’t think of it so far. Thanks for sharing, once again, your tips.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks George. Glad you learned some new stuff that you can try (like recovering unlinked mentions).

  20. Brian, awesome as always. Can you share the link where all of your back issues are housed? I would love to spend more time reading the ones I missed

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Nick, thanks. Do you mean old blog posts or old email newsletters?

  21. Amazing stuff as always. I really enjoy reading your stuff Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Russell, no worries. Glad to hear that.

  22. Hi Brian, love the article. It’s super informative and helpful just like all your other content. My personal favourite strategy is #3 Create Content Hubs. I do mini versions of it for a few client projects and they work really well for a specific set of keywords within the same topic.
    Your Skyscraper method of creating a super content is still one of my default go-to technique whenever I want to rank a bunch of keywords though.
    Look forward to more insights from you!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Alva, thanks! For sure: it’s funny how The Skyscraper Technique still works well as these years later. I originally revealed the strategy in 2013.

  23. Once again Brian an awesome post and engaging read. I have been a fan and paid subscriber from SEO university to STW and a lot of the success we are getting I can attribute to following your advice.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Lloyd, thank you! I appreciate that. Happy to hear that you’ve got so much value out of STW. I’m actually working on a huge update to that program right now.

  24. Great content, and good strategies to generate traffic to our sites.

    The one I liked the must is the Podcast Route, it’s a great way to generate Links + Content + Social Media assets + Recognition + some sales if you do it right.

    Lot to do to get more traffic.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Gabriel, absolutely. I don’t go as many podcasts as I used to. But I still try to sneak one in now and again because it’s such an easy way to get the benefits that you listed above.

  25. Hi Brian!

    If I use stock photos editing it with my own ways such as adding some texts then will not it be considered as an original image?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Dora, good question there. I haven’t tested it but I think making it a little bit unique would probably do the trick.

  26. I like the one on reddit to get some fresh ideas. Does that mean you would even include “reddit” in your content to rank for that EXACT keyword?

    Anyway great list with nice and actionable suggestions. Totally agree that statistics (“journalist keywords”) are way more quotable than most other stuff. Similar to infographics.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Alex. I definitely wouldn’t include the word Reddit in your content unless you think people are specifically searching for “keyword + reddit”.

  27. I do like sites with hi-def animated images, but aren’t you risking page speed for this? Which is the preferable of the 2?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Jake, you’re right: high res images come with slow load times. There’s no way around it. In my opinion, I’m OK with the tradeoff. But other people think that site speed is more important than sharp images. There’s no right or wrong answer. It depends on you and your business.

  28. Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the excellent work!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Sumon, thank you 👍

  29. As usually stunning findings. I am particularly impressed with the Custom graphics and Reddit threads strategies. AnswerThePublic is also a great place to find LSI and People also Ask keywords.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Romeo. For sure: AnswerThePublic is a really cool little keyword research tool.

  30. Hi Brian Dean,

    Really great post with a lot of information, thanks for sharing. In this post, you explained about SVG animation if you could explain, how to create that would be mor ehelpful.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Gopi. I would but I don’t know how to make them myself. Someone from my team takes care of that.

  31. I love your content very much. Always new.
    You have any advice for beginners
    I am one of them 😁

  32. I would definitely be trying the “People also ask” tool, it would definitely help me to know more about my prospects and would help me to optimize my site for those keywords. Also, be using the keyword planner and animated images. This article was really great insight into SEO. This helped me with more strategies to look into. Thanks, Brian Dean for this amazing content piece. Looking forward to learning more actionable steps from you.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  33. Very well written strategies and surely are upto date. Personally, I liked the use of animated photos as they can significantly increase the user retention time.
    Thanks for this amazing post Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  34. Wow, these are some really advanced SEO tips, Brian. Hats off to your knowledge and SEO skills. I will definitely be implementing some of these on my blog.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Aarav.

  35. What a great piece of content. Love the Reddit strategy most of all.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Marcus, thank you. Yup, that’s a great way to find long tail keywords.

  36. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for this great post as usual. Journalist keywords strategy sounds crazy – I never thought about publishinh this content before. I will definitely try this out. Hopefully, it works. And did you notice any ranking glitches lately? Is it due to the latest Google update?

    Thanks 🙂

    Best Regards,
    Himanshu Tyagi

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Himanshu, thanks. Yup, Google had a rare glitch yesterday but everything seems to be back to normal now.

  37. Chris Dunne Avatar Chris Dunnesays:

    Some great tips here. I hadn’t heard the Reddit one before. Will definitely be using that. Awesome post.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Chris. Yup, that Reddit approach is helpful for sure. Can also do the same thing on any forums out there in your space.

  38. Brian,

    I’ve been learning from you for a few years now-and I continue to do so. Thank you for your valuable SEO tips and strategies.

    I especially like the tool you mentioned, “People also ask.”

    The Franchise King®
    Joel Libava

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Joel, no worries. Glad to hear that. More SEO tips on the way.

  39. Raju Verghese Avatar Raju Verghesesays:

    Thank you Brian for the excellent post. I really learnt a lot.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries, Raju.

  40. Hi Brian,

    I’ve been using a few of the techniques but the content hub technique really drove my attention. I’ve read your content hub for a long time and i think it does not just help in SEO but also helps a lot of user experience and brand building.

    I’ll definitely try out the content Hub Technique.

    Thank you for sharing this amazing piece of content.

    Tushar Dey

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Tushar.

  41. Yemi Avatar Yemisays:

    Thank you so much for this great piece. I have a lot of questions but let me ask the most important to me right now.

    Which is the issue of crawling and indexing.

    I also have a new site that takes forever for Google to come and crawl and index even when I use fetch on console.

    Please can you be more detailed about this dynamic parameters for pagination. Thanks so much.

  42. Thanks for all these tips, really useful as usual! I’m going to try the “People also ask” tool right away.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Blanca, you’re welcome. Keep me posted on how that goes.

  43. I can’t really thank you enough. First of all, the monthly organic traffic I saw at the top was mind-blowing and I couldn’t help reading through the whole content.

    For me, I have got serious work to do on topics 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 17 to really get a bump on my SEO. The bonus is awesome!

    Thank you, Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Irene, sounds good! Executing all of those strategies is a lot of work for sure. But you should see a nice bump in your organic traffic from it.

  44. David Warner Avatar David Warnersays:

    Hi Brian,

    It it possible for you to share your content hub code?

    Please sir 🙏

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey David, unfortunately it wouldn’t even be that helpful. It was coded to work with Backlinko’s code. Which is kind of unique to begin with.

  45. Great insights. Some very unique strategies. Thanks 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries, Himanshu. I really tried to focus on new strategies that haven’t been repeated 100x already.

  46. Hi Brian,
    Thanks a lot again for this amazing guide. I have a small question though. Recently I have shared my post on Twitter before requesting for index. And it helped me to index the post in less than a minute. Is this something that we can do again and again ?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No problem. That’s sometimes worked for me too. But in my experience, the GSC still gets things indexed the fastest.

  47. Rahul Avatar Rahulsays:

    As usual – Superb content piece Brian Dean. Its clear, depth, easy to skim through and enticing as well.

    I will definitely use few of the awesome advance SEO tips for my client websites.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rahul 👍👍👍

  48. Great tips as usual. Thank you so much!
    We’re using Dynomapper for visual sitemaps. Have you used that? If so, how does it compare to VisualSitemaps? I reckon they’re fairly similar.
    Thanks again for sharing this information.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Edwin. In my experience they’re both similar.

  49. Great Content Brian. But I have one question for you. Will Animated Images not increase the load time of my webpage?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Pepe, yes they will. So it’s definitely a trade off between dwell time and page speed.

  50. Guy Fitzpatrick Avatar Guy Fitzpatricksays:

    Great list of strategies, Brian! Comparison keywords are huge for driving highly targeted users. Building a comparison content hub for Mozilla (i.e. Firefox vs Chrome) was one of the most impactful ways we generated evergreen organic downloads.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Guy. Exactly: the keywords aren’t going to blow you away in terms of monthly volume. But the people that search for comparison keywords are usually super targeted.

  51. Manu Kiran Avatar Manu Kiransays:

    Brian please update the post about CPA marketing also add some affiliate marketing SEO strategies….. just a reminder 🤗

  52. These are wonderful. You are so generous! Thank you for explaining the practical details as always.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Kristi, you’re welcome. Glad you learned some new advanced strategies to try out.

  53. Marie Avatar Mariesays:

    Great stuff! Am motivated to redo my website for sure. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Marie. Hope these strategies help.

  54. Thank you for this post!

    I’ll definitely create more original images. Some posts I have with only pictures and graphics I made rank 1st or second. And others using art and known images struggle to get to the top 4.

    I’ll also apply many other strategies.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Daniel, sounds good. Let me know how it goes.

  55. Hi Brain,

    SEO is important. But it works only for those who knows how to do it in right way. I have seen a massive change in organic traffic for the posts where I have used unique and original images.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  56. I’m guessing this can be solved with lazy loading.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I think so. Although loading the script itself may slow things down.

  57. Brian,

    How did you handle the dynamic parameters for pagination within WordPress?


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Clint, Exploding Topics actually isn’t built in WP.

  58. Great post Brian! I second that original unique images feature. We have seen good results as well.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Jonas, nice. Same here. And it was cool to see an experiment to back it up.

  59. Great stuff, Brian! I learned a few new things. I’m super interested in trying the animated images and the content hub – it should work perfectly for a project I’m working on.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Bill, thanks. Yup, the hub is a pretty cool format. It takes A TON of work to create. But once it’s out there, it can be a traffic machine.

  60. Pat Avatar Patsays:

    Excellent information, thank you!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Pat, you’re welcome. Happy to help.

  61. thanks a lot brian for wonderful information like always and I will try to implement that all on my site.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good.

  62. Thanks for this very extensive list of advice, tips and insights.

    Whenever you started working on Content Features, how did you decide which ones to go for?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Stephan. It depends on the content. I basically put myself in the eyes of someone searching for that term. And try to think of ways to make my content more useful to that person.

  63. Amazing stuff Brian,

    By the way, how do you create your animated SVGs or gifs?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks. I don’t make them myself. But our in-house videographer uses After Effects.

  64. I received your content recommendation from Google Discover. So I can verify this info…you have optimised your content for Google Discover clearly. :)✌️

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nice 👍

  65. These are great strategies for 2020. We do have one that is year specific, actually twice per year. We call it the Mid Year Market Report and End of the Year.

    Really like the podcast route that is one of the ones I have been doing a lot of recently.

    As always great content.

    p.s. – there is a broken image on the page.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Bretty. And I like that 2x/year report. Smart idea. Which image was broken?

  66. Wow this is way beyond “create great content” or “go for low competition keyword”! Thanks a ton!

    Question: You mentioned “Quote boxes” in “Content Feature”, do you mean just by quoting someone’s quote in a standard WP blog post, or quoting the quote in some sort of an original image? Can you please specify?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Sarah. That was definitely my goal here: to not just rehash the same old stuff. I mean, that’s the goal with all of my content. But especially this one.

      Either way can work. I prefer to quote them in the post itself. But an eye-catching image could also work.

  67. Thank you Brian – Amazing content as always, I changed my content creation process based on your advice, and started doing definitive guides to cover topics in great details, my traffic has grown from 10K per month to 50K per month in last 7 months.

    Thank you so much, really appreciate it.

    BTW – just curious what tools do you or team use to create these custom graphics that you include in your posts?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Goldy. Nice! That’s an amazing increase. I actually don’t make those graphics myself. I work with a designer that does them for us.

  68. Great content as always, kudos!
    The “problem” is that most tools that you mention don’t work with Greek search queries (especially the people also ask tool) 🙁
    Anyway, thank you for all the valuable stuff!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Emmanouil.

  69. Hi Brian,

    Great tips. I’m sick of hearing the ‘write great content’ over and over. I’ve tried the ‘vs’ type blog which works really well. I have a comment section on my blog, but it only seems to attract spam. What can I do about this?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Melissa, thanks. Unfortunately, spam is a real issue if you use WordPress for your comments. But it’s still the best overall option in my opinion.

  70. Hi Brian,

    awesome new tips that I have not seen elsewhere, especially on Animated Images.

    But doesn’t it increase the pagespeed by a lot on those pages?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Criss, thanks. Yes it slows things down a little bit. But I don’t think site speed is a super important ranking factor. And there’s data that backs me up.

  71. Hey Brian,

    I’ll start implementing brand mentions as is seems to be a quick backlink win.

    A quick question through:

    What’s your opinion on Surfer SEO as it encourages one to slash some content(Keeping in mind that comments are counted too)


  72. I love the “People Also Ask” tool that you recommended! That is super useful, not only to optimize existing content around it, but also to find new content ideas. I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Zach, yup, that’s a pretty helpful tool. It was one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments when I came across it for the first time.

  73. Thanks for sharing. Find some unique ways to find backlink opportunities.
    Keep posting.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Alex, you’re welcome.

  74. Brian, I think some of the most effective SEO techniques are timeless, as all good things should be. 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said, Alva 👍

  75. Hi Brian

    Thanks a lot for a wonderful article,

    #17 #7, and Visualize Your Sitemap, is totally new to me, I will surely implement these tactics

    Well, how we can find Journalist Keywords?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Richa. It’s honestly more of an art than a science. I might make a video or post on that someday.

  76. So interesting Brian.

    What do you think about buying links?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks. Not worth the risk IMO.

  77. Wow, another great Guide Brian. Love it. So many good tips. Thank you.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Benny, no worries.

  78. Awesome advice, thanks.
    Any tools recommendations for animated SVGs? I guess we’d need some kind of mp4 to animated SVG tool but I’m drawing a blank on the right one.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Keith, our video editor uses After Effects for ours.

  79. This content is great Brian again… but when you deal with a large compagnies can you used this kind strategies… especially for e-commerce site… What do you think?



    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Claude, I would say most of these strategies also apply to ecommerce sites.

  80. How do I make out if this specific keyword is journalist keyword?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      There’s no objective criteria. It’s more about coming up with terms that journalists in your niche search for.

  81. Hi Brian,

    As always very good article.
    Aren’t the animated images hurting your page speed?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jelle. Yes they are. So there’s a trade off with that.

  82. Nate Avatar Natesays:

    Thanks for the great data and insights!

    May I ask why you think my traffic is good but Search Console shows zero Discover traffic – We seem to check the right boxes.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Nate, I’m still figuring out how it works (besides what I laid out in the post). I think a big part of it is based on sites you visit. So I’m thinking that popular sites have an edge.

  83. Use Animated Images to Improve Time On Site – Like most about this statement of you
    Thanks for sharing, and I was applying some of your tips 🤩

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  84. If you think that you know all about SEO just read Brian blog and you will be surprised that there are many things that you do not know. Thank you Brian)

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Sergy.

  85. Great Read, Will be looking to implement these into my website.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Chris. Let me know how these advanced strategies work out for you.

  86. It is very tempting to use gifs & many screenshots in one article but then comes my shared hosting. Lol.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I hear you. I always recommend people get the best hosting they can. The ROI is almost always worth it.

  87. Excellent recommendations. You always come up with something new and unique. There is always a learning aspect in your each blog.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Sandra.

  88. Marcela Avatar Marcelasays:

    Very helpful content. Thanks Brian. Always helping us.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Marcela, you’re welcome.

  89. Wow! There is so much value in this post! Thanks for the info, Brian!

    I should adapt them for my site one by one.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Eddie.

  90. Another fantastic post, thank you for sharing. For me I’m straight onto the Reddit idea and also going to transfer the logic to Medium.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Jo, you’re welcome. Let me know how it works out for you.

  91. Thank you so much, Brian, I’ve already checked out People also ask it’s a great tool thanks once again! I think I will try to apply everything you mentioned here but first I’m going to try out animated images

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  92. Excellent post and SO USEFUL…want to do all of the steps but I think will need to go a step at a time. Kind of overwhelming to think there is so much to do!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Orion. Fortunately, just implementing a handful of these strategies can make a big dent in your organic traffic.

  93. Rudaiya Avatar Rudaiyasays:

    Your Posts always helps me. Thank you Brian ❤️

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome 👍

  94. I will implement each and everything you mentioned.
    But, the first thing that I will implement on my site today are the animated images.

    It was a first hand experience. While going through the animated images I waited longer to know what was being explained there.

    Just a few quick questions. The last image seems to be interactive. when i click it the scrolling stops. What type of image is that and how can I get such images created? Is there a wp plugin that I can use or do I need to hire someone?

    sorry, too many questions.

    thanks for the great really useful and practicle tips and tricks


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Vishal. That last image isn’t interactive outside of maybe stopping the animation.

  95. Hey Brian!

    Great content as always. I’m incredibly interested in the Google Discover snippet. That said, do you foresee any potential with Staykeen.com? This is essentially Google’s new social media platform, so it seems like there would be some interesting tactics to explore within that platform.

    JD Alewine

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks JD. Re: staykeen. I’m not super bullish on Google and social after Google+.

  96. Hey Brian, thank you so much.
    I am thinking to start from “Snippet Baits” as they seem more cool thing.

    The best thing about them is that you don’t require Backlinks to rank for them.
    Am i right?😅

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No problem. Well, actually still need backlinks to hit the first page.

  97. Good stuff as always. I like the reddit strategy 🔥

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks AJ.

  98. Great content, Brian!!

    It is very challenge to do SEO, nowadays. Every little tip is worth to get ahead of the competition. I will apply all of the ones you provide here, for sure.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Abner.

  99. I read everything you write. As a business owner working on my website, there are gold nuggets in every article you’ve done, thanks.
    With the content hub, if the article is 2 or 3 level deep, would that effect the google crawling budget? If those articles are only 1 level deep from homepage, would it affect what you are trying to achieve with the content hub?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Nojan, good question. Having pages 2-3 layers deep is no big deal. At some point it’s impossible to have every single page 1 level deep from your site’s homepage.

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