How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy In 2020
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How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy In 2020

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated Jan. 16, 2020

How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy

In this post you’re going to learn exactly how to create and implement an effective SEO strategy, step-by-step.

In fact, this approach has helped me grow my website to 197,696 organic visitors every month:

Backlinko – Monthly organic visitors

So if you’re looking to get higher Google rankings, this new guide is for you.

What Is an SEO Strategy?

An SEO strategy (also referred to as “SEO approach” or “search engine optimization strategy”) is the process of planning, outlining and implementing steps designed to improve search engine rankings.

In other words: an SEO strategy is the process that you follow when you want to get more organic traffic.

With that, here are the steps to create an SEO strategy in 2020:

Step #1: Create a List of Keywords

Everything in search engine optimization revolves around keywords.

Which is why keyword research is usually the first step of any legit SEO strategy.

You can easily find keywords that your target customer searches for using Google Suggest.

Start typing a keyword into Google’s search field, and it will populate a list of suggestions:

These usually make awesome keywords for SEO because they come straight from Google.

So you know that people are actually searching for them.

Plus, longer keywords (known as “long tail keywords”) tend to be less competitive than “short tail” terms.

So even though long tails have relatively low search volume levels, you can usually rank for them faster.

I recommend typing a few different keywords into Google until you have a list of about 10 keywords.

If you want to check out the search volume and competition levels for those terms, you can use a keyword tool like SEMrush or Ubersuggest.

If you want to dive deeper into keyword research, you can check out this video.

Once you have 10 keywords jotted down, you’re ready for step #2 of this SEO strategy.

Step #2: Analyze Google’s First Page

OK, so you found a handful of keywords.

Now it’s time to see what’s already working for those keywords.

To do that, just type one of the keywords that you found into Google.

Scan the top 10 results:

And jot down any patterns that you notice.

For example, the SERPs for “SEO Tools” is PACKED with lists of tools:

So if you wanted to cover that topic on your site, you’d want to note that the first page results are made up mostly of list posts.

And you’d probably want to publish a list post on your blog.

Then, move onto step #3…

Step #3: Create Something Different or Better

Now it’s time to create some super high-quality content.

When it comes to SEO content, you’ve got two options:

Option #1: You can create something different.

Option #2: You can create something better.


Sometimes you want to create something bigger and better than what’s out there.

(aka The Skyscraper Technique)

But sometimes you’re better off with content that’s completely different.


Because it helps your content STAND OUT.

For example:

A few months ago I sat down to write a piece of content optimized around: “Mobile SEO”.

And I noticed Google’s first page was littered with list posts, like: “X Ways to Mobile Optimize Your Site.”


I could have created a bigger list post like: “150 Ways to Mobile Optimize Your Site”.

But that wouldn’t make any sense.

Instead, I created something totally different.

Specifically, I published an ultimate guide to mobile optimization.

And because my content stood out, it got a ton of shares:


And most important of all, backlinks:


All you need to do here is publish content that’s 10x better than what’s out there.

For example:

A while back I noticed that most content about “SEO tools” only listed 10-20 tools.

And I knew that publishing another list of 20 tools wouldn’t work.

So I decided to create a list of 188 SEO tools.

That post now ranks in the top 3 for the keyword “SEO Tools”:

Step #4: Add a Hook

If you want to improve your search engine rankings in 2020, you need to get backlinks.

In fact, according to a recent study by Stone Temple Consulting that was published on the Moz blog, links are still strongly correlated with first page Google rankings.

Which means they’re still a key Google ranking factor.

The question is: how do you do it

Well, you need to figure out why people link to specific pieces of content in your industry.

(“The Hook”)

Then, include that “Hook” in your content.

Last year I noticed more and more bloggers writing about voice search.

I noticed something else too:

When people wrote about voice search, they linked to content that featured stats and data:

So I decided to do a voice search study that was PACKED with stats:

To date, this single post has racked up 848 backlinks:

And 90%+ of these backlinks cite a specific stat from my post:

That said:

Data is just one type of “Hook” that you can use to build links to your content.

Another Hook that’s working well right now is Ultimate Guides.

When you publish an ultimate guide, your guide itself is The Hook.

I’ll explain with an example…

A few years back I published Link Building: The Definitive Guide.

It was (and still is) the most complete guide to link building out there.

Here’s where things get interesting…

Every now and again a blogger will mention “link building” in a post.

But they don’t have room to cover the entire topic.

So they link to my guide as a way for their readers to learn more:

Very cool.

Step #5: Optimize For On-Page SEO

This step is all about keyword-optimizing your content for SEO.

There’s a lot more to on-page SEO than I could cover in a single post.

So if you want to learn more about optimizing your content for SEO, this video may help.

That said, here are three on-page SEO techniques that I recommend focusing on in 2020.

Internal Linking

Yup, internal linking still works.

But you have to do it right.

Specifically, you want to link FROM high-authority web pages TO pages that need authority.

(And use keyword-rich anchor text in your internal links)

For example, I published Google Search Console: The Definitive Guide earlier this year.

So I found a page on my site with a ton of authority…

…and linked from that page to my new guide.


Short, Keyword-Rich URLs

Our analysis of 1 million Google search results found something that surprised a lot of people:

When it comes to search engine optimization, short URLs crush long URLs.

That’s why I make my URLs either just my keyword…

… Or my target keyword plus one more word:

Either way works.

Semantic SEO

Finally, I optimize my content for Semantic SEO.

In other words:

I find words that are related to my target keyword.

Then, I use those terms in my content.

Here are the deets:

First, pop your keyword into Google Images.

And Google will give you words and phrases they consider closely-related to that topic:

Second, type the same keyword into normal Google search. And scroll down to the “Searches related to…” section.

Finally, sprinkle some of those terms into your content:

And you’re set.

Step #6: Optimize For Search Intent

In other words: The Skyscraper Technique 2.0.

I’ll show you how this works with a quick example.

A few years ago I wrote a post about getting more traffic to your site.

It did OK.

But it never cracked the top 5 for my target keyword (“increase website traffic”).

And when I analyzed Google’s first page, I realized why:

My page didn’t satisfy search intent for that keyword.

I’ll explain…

Most of the content ranking for “increase website traffic” listed bite-sized traffic tips.

But my post gave them a high-level process.

This wasn’t the user experience search engine visitors wanted. So I rewrote my content to match this keyword’s Search Intent.

Specifically, I turned my process into a list post:

And now that my content matches Search Intent, it ranks in the top 3 for my target keyword:

Which led to a 70.43% boost in search engine traffic compared to the old version of the post:

That said:

You can (and should) publish content with Search Intent in mind right out of the gate.

In fact, that’s what I did with my recent post: The Ultimate SEO Audit.

I saw that most of the content ranking for “SEO Audit” listed out non-technical steps.

So I included simple strategies that anyone could use:

I even emphasized the fact that my audit was non-technical.

(This hooks people so they don’t bounce back to the search results)

And this Search Intent optimization (and my site’s Domain Authority) helped my post crack the first page of Google within a month.

Step #7: Make Your Content Look Awesome

Design might be the most underrated part of content marketing.

You can have the best content ever written.

But if it looks like this…

…it’s not gonna work.

That’s why I invest a ton of time and money into content design.

For example, you’ve probably seen one of my definitive guides:

These guides are designed and coded 100% from scratch using WordPress.

(Which makes them super expensive to make)

That said:

Great content design doesn’t have to break the bank.

In fact, here are 4 types of visual content that are super easy to pull off.

Graphs and Charts

These work so well that I try to include at least one chart in every post.


Because they make hard data easy to understand.

For example, take this stat from my mobile SEO guide.

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time picturing 27.8 billion anything.

So I had our designer create a nice chart.

As a bonus, people will sometimes use your chart in a blog post… and link back to you:

Screenshots and Pictures

You might have noticed that I use LOTS of screenshots in every post.

In fact, this single post has 78 screenshots:

To be clear:

I don’t use screenshots just for the sake of using screenshots.

I only use them if it helps someone implement a specific step.

For example, these screenshots make the 2 steps from this guide dead-simple to follow:

That said:

Screenshots only make sense when you describe something technical.

What if you’re in a non-technical niche… like fitness?

Well, pictures serve the same purpose.

For example, my friend Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness uses pictures to show you how to do exercises the right way:

Blog Post Banners

Unlike graphs and screenshots, blog post banners serve no practical purpose.

They just look cool 🙂

Depending on the post, I either use a right-aligned 220×200 image…

…or a giant banner at the top of the post:

Graphics and Visualizations

Graphics and visualizations are kind of like charts.

But instead of visualizing data, they visualize concepts.

To be clear:

These DON’T have to be fancy.

For example, in this post I explain how all 4 versions of your site should redirect to the same URL:

This isn’t rocket science.

But it’s hard to picture this idea in your mind.

So our designer made a simple visual that makes this concept easy to understand.

Now it’s time to actively build links to your content.

Specifically, we’re going to tap into 3 link building strategies that are working GREAT right now.

Broken Link Building

Here’s where you find a broken link on someone’s site…

…and offer your content as a replacement.

For example, this is an outreach email that I sent to a blogger in the marketing niche:

(Note how specific I am. I don’t say “Please consider linking to me in a blog post”. I have a specific place on a specific page where my link makes sense)

And because I helped the person out BEFORE asking for anything, they were happy to add my link:

Competitor Analysis

This strategy is old school.

But it still works.

First, find a site that’s ranking for a keyword you want to rank for.

For example, I’m trying to rank for the keyword “SEO Audit”.

So I grab this result from the first page…

…and look at their backlinks.

I can see that this page has links from 160 domains:

So I should be able to get at least a handful of the same links they have.

To do that, I go one-by-one through their backlinks.

And find pages where my link would add value.

For example, this post mentions the Ahrefs content by name:

There’s no reason to link to my post there. So I moved onto the next opportunity on the list.

And I came across this post:

This time, the link to Ahrefs is part of a big list of resources.

A list that would be even BETTER and more complete with a link to my SEO audit post.

Evangelist Method

This strategy is less about links… and more about getting your content in front of the right people.

(Specifically: people that run blogs in your niche)

I’ll explain how this strategy works with an example…

A while back I wanted to promote a new Skyscraper Technique case study.

So I used BuzzSumo to see who recently shared content about The Skyscraper Technique.

And emailed everyone a variation of this template:

And when they replied “sure, I’ll check it out”, I sent them a link to the post:

(Note how I DON’T ask for a share. This is a Judo move that makes your outreach stand out)

Which led to dozens of shares to my brand post:

Step #9: Improve and Update Your Content

This is working amazingly well right now.

You might have read about the time that I used The Content Relaunch to boost my organic traffic by 260.7%:

And I’m happy to tell you that this approach still works.

For example, last year I relaunched this list of SEO techniques.

But I didn’t just re-post the same content and call it “new”.

Instead, I went through and removed old screenshots and images:

Added new strategies:

And deleted strategies that didn’t work anymore:

The result?

An 62.60% organic traffic boost to that page:

Now I’d Like To Hear From You

There you have it:

My 9-step SEO strategy for 2020.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

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

Are you going to update and relaunch older content?

Or maybe you want to try Broken Link Building.

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


  1. Brian, I can’t wait to try this for my niche sites. Your backlink strategies have always worked well with my sites. I’ll let you know how it goes

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Reggie. Keep me posted.

  2. Hi Brian
    Thanks for this detailed breakdown. I will use it as a method for my next content campaign for sure.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad you’re going to give it a shot, Esben. Let me know how it goes.

  3. Definitely bookmarking this page! The video is very useful and easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rachel! Let me know how the strategy works out for you.

  4. Wow, brilliant strategy! I am thrilled to learn something new and effective that isn’t “black hat”. And yes, this does require work, but that’s precisely what it should require. I would rather see sites ranking high because they contribute terrific content (i.e. useful/interesting infographics) to their niche vs. the person exploiting the latest loophole. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

    Thanks, Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I couldn’t agree more, Barbara. The fact is: ranking today takes a ton of work.

  5. Always love your tips. Wondering if you have any tips on how a car dealer might be able to use this strategy.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks John.

      There are so many amazing car-related topics you could turn into awesome content. Just off the top of my head I can think of: most expensive cars of all time, James Bond cars, biggest gas guzzlers…

      When it’s done you can reach out to blogs in the car space.

  6. This is my first time on your blog. I thought I already know everything about SEO until I saw your techniques. I browsed on your site and almost all your tips are unique and helpful. Thanks Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Pauline

  7. Roberto Avatar Robertosays:

    It’s the first time I read your blog and man… It’s outstanding! Thanks for your unique and useful tips!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Roberto!

  8. Matt Satell Avatar Matt Satellsays:

    Great advice! All comes down to adding value. The more value you can deliver, the more likely you’ll be to get the link.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Boom. Well said, Matt.

  9. Just found your blog and I am digging it! This is also cool strategy and easy to establish a connection with different bloggers out there. Thanks for the tips Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Sanjay.

  10. You are absolutely right. The title has the biggest effect in the success of an article. I have the same experience.
    You have some very good articles. I’m keep reading… 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thank you, Andras. That’s true: titles are HUGE.

  11. justin Avatar justinsays:

    That’s really and effective SEO strategy. Thank you so much for letting us know.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No prob, Justin.

  12. Awesome idea. Gonna test this out to see how I can tweak it for my clients.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Sarra. Keep me posted.

  13. Hans Avatar Hanssays:

    This is some valuable information cramped in just one page i’ll definitely try these methods on my site

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Hans.

  14. Is there such thing as having too many backlinks?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sandy, fortunately not. As long as they’re legit, the more the better.

  15. Again, Brian, wonderful article.
    Definitely going to apply this practise.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Matthew. Let me know how it goes.

  16. The article is simply fabulous, I will implement this technique and many of the other techniques mentioned.

    Unfortunately, these techniques are not as eficacez in Spanish, but we will do what we can. Thank you.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Roberto. Let me know how it works out.

  17. Hi Brian, thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge globally. I can’t say that I understand everything as I still have lots (and lots) of things to learn, but I’m really happy to have come across your site. I subscribed, of course. 😀

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Zurainny. No worries. Just take it one step at a time and you’ll be set.

    1. Hey Brian!

      This is totally like a twin to the Skyscraper Technique! 🙂

      My first is already in the works! 🙂

      Have you seen success with taking an already successful post (on your own site) and turning it into an infographic?

      Be awesome!
      Keith Breseé

  18. It’s a really refreshing idea. By doing this, people don’t get bored by your actual plan to influence them. Great!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad you liked it, Marieke.

  19. Sarah Avatar Sarahsays:

    Hello Brain,
    I m working in French sem, do you think this startegy ‘ll work ?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Definitely, Sarah. It may even work better because there’s less people using it.

  20. Bradley Avatar Bradleysays:

    Thanks Brian, this is great!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Bradley.

  21. Is this the same SEO strategy for magento website? I mean e commerce magento website? thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Yes, Pierre, the same principles apply to all ecommerce sites.

  22. Derek Avatar Dereksays:

    Awesome work. I can’t wait to try this out in the next few weeks.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Derek!

  23. Allan Avatar Allansays:

    Everytime I do some kind of SEO search in Google backlinko seems to be on page 1. Im impressed! 😀

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      What can I say, Allan, I practice what I preach 🙂

  24. Great concept Brian, I am going to implement this for my business and look forward to more of your advice!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds like a plan, Lars.

  25. Awesome read Dean! A lot of really good information in this article. I’m sure I’ll put this to good use 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Fraklin. I hope so. This strategy is working really well right now.

  26. Hey Brian, great post!

    I’m right at the start of trying out the skyscraper technique with my new blog post so I’ll let you know how that goes (it’s already got great results!)

    I’ll be sure to try this out next and give you an update!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Liam!

      Oh cool. The Skyscraper Technique is great. This works really well too.

  27. This is something that I should definitely has a crack at. Seems that if you get it right the results are amazing!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I agree, Nigel. Definitely give it a go.

  28. I’m going to have to put this one into action! Thanks Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Matt.

  29. Annie Avatar Anniesays:

    Brian all of your posts inspire me to get up and do something! I love your actionable style. I am brand new to the blogging biz and currently have 0 traffic. I am hoping to use this as well as other strategies I’ve learned from your posts to change that number! Thanks for all the great info!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Annie.

  30. Brian, you are just awesome, the tactics explained here are completely unique, following some of your tactics I have also been able to fetch the reply from sites like Huffington. Soon gonna share on my site and with you that how I grew my traffic by more than 1000% 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Oh nice! Glad to see you’re putting my strategies into action, Karan.

  31. Hi Brian
    This was extremely useful for me – can’t wait to give it a go 😉

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Chris.

  32. Hi Brian,

    This post is a real eye opener. I have simply been publishing posts without giving much thought toward how to make it more appealing to users (and of course wondering why I am not getting any visitors). Your post gave me some creative ideas that I can use right away. Thanks.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, April. This approach will probably work a lot better.

  33. And another great post by Brian, never gonna get tired from the posts you are publishing! Keep on rockin’!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Hugh. I’ll keep it up then.

  34. 100% grade A quality. I’m not sure that I’ve ever ran across a Google ranking guide that’s quite this thorough, and I’m most definitely bookmarking/sending out to clients. Appreciate your hard work and effort!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Brandy. As far as I know this is the only one out there.

  35. Ohh man…Just starting an SEO agency. This will come very handy. Thanks Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Yes it will, Sebastian.

  36. Hi Brian

    Just want to thank you for this post, very great details and informative, I will apply this strategy for my blog.

    Thanks again.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help, Lan

  37. Hey Brian,

    This is a rocking stategy it seems. Never used but atleast this inspires me to get me out of my comfort zone to do something creative and get traffic + rankings. I will definitely give this a try and see how it works for my niche.

    Great post mate.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Cheers Keyur

  38. RJ Bryan Avatar RJ Bryansays:

    Hey Brian,

    Quick Question: What do you use to create your example images? I usually just do a screen shot, but what do you use to make the red arrows and boxes you usually use?

    1. RJ Bryan Avatar RJ Bryansays:

      Great post btw… but you knew that lol

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi RJ, I use greenshot.

      1. RJ Bryan Avatar RJ Bryansays:


  39. Brian, as always your posts are just awesome. Keep them coming 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Collin.

  40. Another great article Brian! Perfect tips for my niche sites to give them an extra boost on page 1. Thanks!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help, Holly.

  41. This information was eye-opening for me. As someone who is relatively new to the blog scene, tips like these give me a lot of inspiration for getting a larger following. Thank you for putting all this information in one place!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  42. Maribel Avatar Maribelsays:

    We will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing your ideas! 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Maribel

  43. Great post. Sort of reflects the changing face of all PR and Marketing. Establish relationships, and provide true value. These are the ways to drive traffic and build a successful business.

    The days of just crossing fingers hoping for a hit are over.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said, Alena. I 1000% agree.

  44. Arash Ghaemi Avatar Arash Ghaemisays:

    A consistent theme among your blog posts and SEO course is go against the grain and do something different than other people.

    I consider this a “Contrarian SEO” approach and I think it’s super cool you do this. I try to apply this to my day to day job and also in freelance/contractor gigs as they come in.

    One question I have is how does someone who has carved out a place in SEO beat the OG contrarian SEO?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Arash. That’s a tough one. I recommend developing your own strategies and techniques. If they go against the grain, great. If not, as long as you have something that works, people will listen either way.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks 👍👍👍👍

  45. Hey Brian, You always rock, and provides great knowledge to your followers, and I’m one if your follower too. Thanks for this amazing info😊

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Amit.

  46. Good information, as always, Brian. I will digest this slowly & get back to you if I have any questions. Thanks again for your help on helping us all!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good. Let me know how it goes.

  47. Hello Brian,

    Just wanted to say, thank you for this awesome Blog.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Amit. Glad you enjoyed it.

  48. Thank you for sharing such an amaizng Strategies. Your SEO Strategies help to rank much faster on Google. Hope you will come with more new strategies in Future.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No problem, Rayyan. Glad you learned some new strategies from today’s post.

  49. Great post Brian! But in this strategy you haven’t spoke about Rank brain algorithm, as you specific only user intent. Any updates for rank brain algorithm

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      RankBrain is how Google measures and interprets the user experience/user intent signals. It’s involved in almost every query, so it’s always running behind the scenes.

  50. Hi Brian, this is a real, eye-opening info for me too. I’ve been struggling to get some of my ‘confident pages’ ranked high, felt like I’d done everything I could.

    I’ve read this article of yours twice now and am going to apply as much as I can. Thank you for sharing your advice! 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s great to hear, Ray. I hope this helps your pages get on the right track.

  51. receive just your newsletter! Thanks for the information ! Is this also working for a real based Website?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Dominik. Not sure what you mean by “real based website”. Did you mean real estate?

  52. Hi, Brian. Your every content is fantastic. I always follow your instructions. Thanks.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Boris

  53. Thanks you so much for helping me by this Superb SEO strategy . Very useful information for ranking my website on google.
    Thanks again Brian ! Keep posting

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Bharat. Glad to hear that my strategies have helped you!

  54. Hello Brian,

    Your content is a great tool always to explore SEO. There are many take-aways in each post. Thank you for this and keep sharing thru 2019 as well.

    Cheers from Turkey!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Can. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  55. Something I learned today. A good SEO strategy is to update article every few months like Brian :). without a lot of extra work you will boost your search engine traffic…. and rankings.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s definitely a good strategy 🙂

  56. Learnt new thing again. Thanks Brian for the great post.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Vara.

  57. Thanks, Brian,

    I will try some of your SEO strategies. I hope it works for my health niche.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I hope so too, Isreal. Let me know if you have any questions.

  58. Writing a really useful post and making it look great are two different things.Then comes the rest. A very good strategy to take the post to the next level

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Davis 👍👍👍

  59. Great article, Brian. Like that you’re finally talking about Domain Authority (DA). It’s essential to make skyscraper technique work as well. Also, a great pointer on comments as I have personally seen articles perform well because of comments. Do you recommend closing the comments as well a few days after the article is published? Kinda like Copyblogger does now.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Chintan. I actually keep them open. The problem with that is that most of the GOOD comments come in early. Then, a higher and higher percentage of the posts are spammy. You still get some good comments. But not as many. So I can see why some sites close comments after a few days.

  60. Always great stuff, Brian! I can’t help but feel a little self-indulgent to see my SEO Auditor ranking #1 in your screen shots 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Dario. You should feel proud: that’s an awesome keyword. Solid search volume and a high CPC.

  61. That’s a great guide! Right in time for my new idea about a branded guide to create blog posts. You said branded things are awesome to get backlinks and shares, so will I.

    I think I will link to some guides of yours and let you know for future updates and collaborations, Brian!



    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  62. Hey Brian. Your Website is awesome but your Website Content is Amazing thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I appreciate that.

  63. Anytime I visit your blog, I leave better than I came, thumbs up

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  64. Hi,
    Thanks for the information. It is very useful and I’ll be following the information.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Graham.

  65. Super awesome ideas, Brian

    Thanks for putting great efforts to write about the SEO.

    Organic traffic is always my dream and hence I focus more on SEO.

    What is your viewpoint about Keyword Density?

    Do you focus on it?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Nirmala. I don’t pay any attention to keyword density these days. I just make sure that I use my target keyword a few times on the page.

  66. Bang bang…
    I got a new strategy #Content partnership
    Awesome 👍
    I want to add one more strategy (home page interlinking strategy that will boost ranking of other pages)
    Hidden Natural secret
    I am going to share with you this amazing strategy on my blog with real life example.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good Sammy. I’d like to read that post.

  67. Always love your content dean. thanks for the new post 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No problem, Eric. Happy to help.

  68. Very Nice… I’ve been on to broken Links technics but hasn’t work out…i run an Entertainment blog…I want to try and create a community for my site…gained that from today’s lesson…

    Thanks Brian, I will be glad if you can do a little help for me over my blog…

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Ahmmed. A community can only help your site grow.

  69. Hi Brian, your trick with google image is awesome!

    I’m using that feature in google image for so many times, but it didn’t cross my mind to use it in my content..

    Great post btw

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Irvan. You’re the first person to comment on that! I think a lot of people missed that because it’s kind of buried in the middle of the post.

  70. I recognize a skyscraper when I see one! Great post, My biggest takeaway is to try and make a better result when the SERP is filled with list posts. Optimizing for user intent for 2019.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      HA! Good one Jeff. Same here: user intent optimization is going to be huge in 2019.

  71. Afs Fahad Avatar Afs Fahadsays:

    This article is very important for me. But I can’t understand what you mean by the word of Jot down in step 2.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Jot down=write down.

  72. Thanks Brian for sharing SEO strategy. I learned a lot from your article.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome

  73. Grant Avatar Grantsays:

    Hi Brian,

    I’ve been reading your stuff for about a year now and it has helped our blog immensely. Obviously your custom charts and graphics are awesome, but I think they’re a bit over done on this particular post.

    It felt like I had to scroll and scroll to get to a few sentences of your advice before scrolling again. I think you’re a great writer, and at the end of the day that’s why people read your stuff, so it’d be nice if there was some more written content to go along with all the visuals.

    Just wanted to share my opinion!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for the feedback, Grant.

  74. This is honestly more than a post, Brian: it’s a treasure. I have already bookmarked it! The backlinks work pretty well for me: I started a travel blog 90 days ago and I’m glad that I could reach a DA of 12. I think that I’m gonna try the (shall I call it like this since I have a travel blog?) “Off the beaten path keyword” next. I already have an idea after reading your article, so I ‘ll try to write about it and implement ypur techniques.
    Thank you very much for sharing, I’m always glad to receive your newsletter (which brought me here). Cheers!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, George. Good luck with the new travel blog!

  75. Does it matter which platform you use for comments?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I haven’t tested this but I’m confident Google can see comments/community with most comment options (WordPress, Disqus etc.)

  76. Thanks Brian!

    This is a very comprehensive article and I really love it. Keep up the good work here.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thank you

  77. Brian My SEOman …. You do a brilliant job (Insane actionable). I was reading your post “21 Actionable SEO Techniques That Work GREAT in 2018 ” in my office
    and suddenly I got an email notification about this article. Generally, I watch your YouTube videos, again and again, every night because I have a problem with my eyes and I cannot read for a long time. I
    I read, watch and note down all points so that I can use it in my next article.
    Brian my hero… If you get time, please upload more videos.
    one in 15 days …. or I am also happy if you do once in a month or once in two months. I would be grateful to you. Thanks love from India

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  78. Ty Avatar Tysays:

    Seems like an old post? Says updated today, but it’s the same ol stuff you’ve always taught, so I’m confused. In the email that went out, you said ythis is a ‘new strategy’, but what is new about this strategy than skyscraper? Find content people search for, write better content, outreach, etc.
    Am I missing something?

    Why aren’t the comments dated? From a user experience perspective, I’d definitely date the comments…. I’m like ‘what, the heck, where are the dates? Is he hiding them cuz this is an old post? Are these questions and comments even relevant anymore?’

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Ty, not sure what to tell you. This is a 100% new post.

  79. Refreshing old content with new content, images, etc. has been my latest SEO strategy. TBD on results, but I know it’s making a better UX overall.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s great, Rachel. That’s a good point: there’s really no downside to updating and improving old content.

  80. A HUGE thanks to you Brian, I always follow your strategies and these work for me. It is the blog where I find something special. And I want to tell you that just following your On Page SEO guidelines, I ranked on page 1 with ZERO backlinks. WOW! Before that, I wasn’t able to bring my article event on 3rd page. You are Awesome! Again thanks 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  81. Hi Brian,

    Building the backlinks is not so easy task.
    What will be your advice for those with limited resources and time:

    – Would it better to create one comprehensive article covering multiple keywords and create many backlinks to it?
    -Or it is better to create multiple articles to different keywords and create few backlinks to each separate article in the blog?

    Thanks for your answer in advance!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Definitely one comprehensive article.

  82. Ryan Avatar Ryansays:

    Come on Brian….
    It’s 2019 already, give us a real content not just changing the year and add a few bits of content on the old article.
    ahahaha great content anyway, Thanks!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      What?! This is on an old URL but the content is 100% new.

      1. So this is 100% new content on the same URL?

        What’s more important assets to website? Is it the URL or the content? By discarding old contents, you simply throw away lots of effort, time and money. How you can be so sure that the new content will be better than the old content?

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Exactly. The content on this URL was outdated. So I wrote a completely new post to replace it.

  83. Thanks, Brian for such a great article and all of your tips are amazing and really helpful for me.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help

  84. What if I can’t Find exact match niche for guest Post outreach but can find “somehow” related sites or cross niche sites… will the guest post links add any value due to not very relevant ?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      It depends how relevant they are. As long as they’re somewhat related, you’re good. That said, the more relevant the site linking to you the better.

  85. Matt Avatar Mattsays:

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for your 2019 tips. As a startup business I’m researching heavily on all SEO matters and you’re giving me the confidence to succeed. Just one question if I may. I’m creating a platform that will have 50,000 pages… As it’s practically impossible to create backlinks to all individual pages, do backlinks count from the domain, for example blog posts. Thanks, Matt

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Matt, you’re welcome. Yes, exactly: backlinks to blog posts can help all of your pages rank better.

  86. Hey Brian, you seem to be adding more and more images to your blog posts, this is obviously something that you think helps rank, or is it simply satisfying user intent?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Matt, I don’t think images help rankings directly. It’s more to make the post easier to follow and understand, which can indirectly help with rankings.

  87. You’re a genius Brian (and definitely not a failure). I’m saying this because it’s just dawn on me what kind of thought leader you need to be to gather tens of thousands of following.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Thomas. I appreciate that.

  88. Great post Brian, thanks. I must say, although it me literally the entire day to process and implement these strategies, it has been worth it. Will be watching my page closely to see how well it’ll do. Great stuff

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Amu. SEO is definitely worth it!

  89. Hey Brian, terrific article as always, I’m a big fan. I was wondering does Google mainly take backlinks into account for DA? If you have a site with high traffic but few backlinks will it still rank highly in search results?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Alison. That’s right: Google mostly uses backlinks to determine a site’s Domain Authority. There are probably other signals that go into it (like branded searches). But links are the big one.

  90. Wow, I just start to learn SEO a few month ago, and this article make me clear how to do SEO, especialy in SEO content strategy..
    Step 3 and 4 will be my focus now..
    and which one are better for new website like what I have,

    focus to create one quality content each week or

    just publish content each day until I reach a lot of content to start think about more deep quality content?

    thank you for your advice!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thank you. Definitely focus on quality.

  91. Brian, i like the article a lot, just one question, how do you find that keyword? what made you choose the seo audit keyword? how do you get to that point? Thanks man an enjoy your stuff

  92. I never thought of searching Google images! I’ll definitely have to try that. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Joanna, you’re welcome. Glad you noticed that! That’s a cool tip from the post that most people missed.

  93. Thanks for this great, detailed post, Brian! I love “The Evangelist Method” … will be trying that for sure! 😃

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Kalli. Let me know how The Evangelist Method works out for you.

  94. Thanks again for another informative list! Some of the suggestions make my head spin but I’m going to start with reviewing user intent and updating my older posts. I also can see the merits in providing in-depth data and know the opportunity cost would be worth it.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Gem. Updating older content is a great first step.

  95. Cheefoo Avatar Cheefoosays:

    I tried your step #6 (aka Skyscraper 2.0), and it really works!!!!! My page shot up from page 3 to page 1 and stays there! Thanks.. 🙂 Just curious. On average, how much time do you spend on one guest post?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Awesome! I usually spend about 10-15 hours on a guest post.

  96. Hi brian,
    Thanks for your amazing post. I have a question How many links we can put in A page that has high authrity ? And can we link keywords of the same article to new post? Is it wisely? What is your advise? Thank you.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Aroos. You can technically put hundreds. But I recommend sticking to <50

  97. Great article Brian, I an making a real go of it in quite a busy and tough niche (Blogging Tips and Affiliate Marketing) really attempting to do just really detailed posts (10k+ once a week) targeting different keywords for each post (obviously! duh!)

    couple of questions…

    1) How long before I see traction in new site?
    2) My content for many posts are quite similar showing how to build sites in different niches but telling the same techniques, methods on gaining traffic and social media presence…could this, similar LSI keywords penalise my SEO efforts?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Derek. 1. That’s really hard to answer. It depends on the keywords you pick, how much outreach you do etc. etc. 2. I’d definitely try to make each piece of content 100% unique and cover different topics.

  98. Awesome! I’m practising every single strategy on Backlinko, and it works… really well. My site generate 100,000 to 1,000,000 visitors per month.

    But I just focus on my local country, much easier to rank 🙂

    As long I can make some money.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s a lot of traffic. Nice work!

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