21 Actionable SEO Techniques For 2020
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21 Actionable SEO Techniques For 2020

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated Feb. 11, 2020

21 Actionable SEO Techniques

Want more traffic from Google?

Then you’re in the right place.

Because today I’m going to show you the exact SEO techniques that I use to generate 359,364 unique visitors per month:

Backlinko – Monthly users

The best part?

All of these proven strategies are working GREAT in 2020.

Let’s do this!

And here are the tactics you’ll learn about in this post.

1. Discover Untapped Keywords on Reddit

You’ve probably already visited “The Front Page of the Internet” before… also known as Reddit.

But what you may not know is that Reddit is a keyword research GOLDMINE.

(Especially when it comes to finding long tail keywords).

Hit the play button to see how it’s done:

If you prefer to read, here’s a summary of how this process works:

First, head over to Reddit. If you already know a subreddit where your target audience hangs out, head directly there.

For example, let’s say you wanted to write an article about The Paleo Diet. You’d head right to r/paleo subreddit.

If you’re not sure where your audience is on Reddit, no worries.

Just search for your topic…

…and see which threads and subreddits come up.

Finally, scan threads for terms that appear again and again. If people are talking about these topics on Reddit, chances are they’re searching for those same terms in Google.

(Which makes them PERFECT for keyword research).

For example, when I looked at threads on the topic of “link building”, I noticed terms like “content strategy” and “content strategies”.

These are keywords that I would have NEVER thought of on my own. Thanks Reddit!

And with that, let’s move onto one of my all-time favorite advanced SEO techniques.

2. Optimize Your Site for Google RankBrain

A while back, Google announced their RankBrain algorithm.

As it turns out, this update was a game changer.

Why?

Google RankBrain is Google’s first machine learning algorithm. In other words, it measures how you interact with the results on the first page:

As you can see, the happier you make Google’s users, the higher you’ll rank.

Sure, backlinks, keywords and other traditional signals are still important. But RankBrain is quickly taking over.

In fact, Google went on to say that RankBrain was one of their “top 3” ranking signals:

(The other 2 key search engine ranking factors? Links and content).

The question is:

How do you optimize your site for Google RankBrain?

Here are two simple, easy-to-implement tips that are working great for me right now:

First, improve your organic click-through-rate (CTR).

Google RankBrain wants to see that lots of people are clicking on your site in the search results.

That tells Google:

“People LOVE this result. Let’s boost it to the top of the page so it’s easier to find”.

But if people don’t click on your result? Google will drop your site like a stone.

And that’s why optimizing your site for organic CTR is so important.

I have a very cool strategy that you can use to improve your CTR later in this post (SEO strategy #4).

But for now, here’s a quick tip that I recently learned:

One of the EASIEST ways to get more clicks is to add numbers to your title and description tag.

Here’s a real-life example from one of my blog posts:

Research shows that people online are more likely to click on content that contains a number. So when you include a number in your content’s title (and in your meta description), you can increase your CTR super quickly.

Next, improve your bounce rate and “Dwell Time”.

Again, Google RankBrain wants you to publish a piece of content that makes their users happy.

And if users leave your site (also known as a “bounce“) after 3 seconds? That’s a user experience signal that tells Google that people don’t like your content.

In fact, my analysis of 1.3 million Google search results discovered that sites with a good bounce rate ranked above sites with a poor bounce rate:

See how that works? The better your bounce rate, the better you rank.

And the longer searchers stay on your site (known as “Dwell Time“), in general, the higher you’ll rank.

So:

HOW do you actually improve your Dwell Time and bounce rate?

One tip that’s helped my rankings a lot is to write compelling introductions that encourage people to take action.

In other words, AVOID content like this:

If someone lands on this intro from Google, they’re going to bounce as fast as possible.

(And as we talked about, that’s bad for your SEO).

Instead, get STRAIGHT to the point, like this:

Boom. Anyone landing on that page knows EXACTLY what my piece of content is about.

I also recommend breaking up your content into mini, bite sized chunks.

In other words, you want your content to look like this:

As you can see, this copy is super easy to read.

And it’s especially easy to read on a phone or tablet. Considering that most Google searches are now done on mobile devices, readability is more important for SEO than ever before.

And once you’ve done that, it’s time for our next white hat SEO technique…

3. Update, Upgrade and Republish Old Blog Posts

Last year I get an email out of the blue:

Turns out Emil used The Skyscraper Technique to achieve these impressive results.

Not only that, but Emil wanted to share his great content with the Backlinko community.

That’s when I had an idea:

Instead of writing a new post for Emil’s case study, why don’t I add it to an existing post?

So that’s what I did.

Specifically, I added Emil’s case study to this old post:

(I also updated the images and added some new tips)

The final result?

A new and improved version of the post:

To make sure the new post got the attention it deserved, I re-promoted it by sending an email to my newsletter subscribers:

I also shared it on social media:

The result?

A 111.37% increase in organic traffic to that page.

(In case you’re wondering, no, this wasn’t a fluke. I’ve used “The Content Relaunch” several times since then, and it’s worked GREAT)

Pretty cool, right?

4. Copy Adwords Ads to Make Killer Title and Description Tags

It’s no secret that compelling title and description tags get more clicks in the SERPS.

(And like I mentioned earlier, more organic clicks=higher Google rankings).

Question is: How do you know what people want to click on?

That’s easy: look at that keyword’s Google Adwords ads.

You see, the Adwords ads that you see for competitive keywords are the result of hundreds (if not thousands) of split tests.

Split tests designed to maximize clicks.

And you can use copy from these ads to turn your title and description tags into click magnets.

For example, let’s say you were going to publish a blog post optimized around the keyword “best mattress”.

First, take a look at the Adwords ads for that keyword:

Keep an eye out for interesting copy from the ads that you can work into your title and description:

As you can see, these tags include words that are proven to generate clicks. So when you include these terms in your meta tags, you’ll likely get more clicks:

And if you want to boost your CTR even more, check out this video case study:

[Note: This is an advanced SEO strategy. So if you’re new to search engine optimization, feel free to skip this tip].

Broken link building has it all…

Scalable.

White hat.

Powerful.

There’s only one problem: finding broken links is a HUGE pain.

That is, unless you know about a little-known wrinkle in Wikipedia’s editing system.

You see, when a Wikipedia editor stumbles on a dead link, they don’t delete the link right away.

Instead, they add a footnote next to the link that says “dead link”:

This footnote gives other editors a chance to confirm that the link is actually dead before removing it.

And that simple footnote makes finding broken links dead simple.

Here’s how:

First, use this simple search string:

site:wikipedia.org [keyword] + “dead link”

For example, if you were in the investing space you’d search for something like this:

Next, visit a page in the search results that’s relevant to your site:

Hit ctrl + f and search for “dead link”:

Your browser will jump to any dead links in the references section:

Pro Tip: Wikipedia actually has a list of articles with dead links. This makes finding dead links in Wikipedia even easier.

OK. So once you’ve found a dead link, now what?

Well you could re-create that dead resource on your site and replace the dead link in Wikipedia with yours.

But that would only land you a single link (and a nofollow link at that).

Instead, I recommend tapping into The Moving Man Method.

This post will show you everything you need to know:

Now for our next SEO technique…

6. Steal Your Competitors Best Keywords

There are two ways to find keywords to optimize your content around.

Enter random keywords into a tool.

OR

Find the exact keywords that your competitors already rank for.

Both approaches can work. That said, I tend to more luck simply stealing my competitor’s best keywords.

Here’s how:

First, find a competing site that’s already ranking well in Google. That way, you’re reverse engineering sites that already know what they’re doing.

For example, in my case, a site like QuickSprout is one that a) writes about the same topics that I do and b) is doing really well in terms of SEO.

Next, pop the site’s homepage into a keyword research tool like SEMrush.

And you’ll get a list of keywords that they already rank for.

Of course, some of these keywords won’t make sense for your business. For example, they may target keywords that your customers don’t search for. Or maybe they’re ranking for ultra competitive keywords that you have no shot of ranking for.

That’s why you want to focus on the keywords that a) your target customer searches for in Google and B) you could create awesome content around.

Speaking of awesome content, our next technique shows you exactly how to do just that.

7. Optimize Your Content to Maximize “Shareability”

Let’s face it: Most content online isn’t worth sharing.

And without shares (especially backlinks), you’re not going to rank in Google.

Fortunately, taking your content from “zero” to “hero” isn’t that hard.

For example, this post of mine about link building has done really well.

How well? It’s generated over 470,000 visits from social media, forums, blogs and search engines:

(I should point out that the guide’s design and promotion contributed to its success. But it all started with how the content itself was organized. As you probably know, when it comes to SEO, quality content is the foundation)

Specifically, my post follows the actionable tips from this infographic:

Now:

There’s A LOT to digest from this infographic. So let me highlight two tips that are working best for me right now.

First, I use short URLs in almost every blog post.

For example the URL for this post you’re reading is simply: backlinko.com/seo-techniques.

Why?

Short URLs tend to get more clicks. And more clicks=higher rankings (thanks to Google Rankbrain).

Next, I put social share buttons prominently on the page.

You’ve probably noticed that little floating sidebar on the left hand side of this page.

From lots of testing, I’ve found that these icons SIGNIFICANTLY increase the amount of Facebook likes and Tweets that my posts receive.

Now, to be clear: Google probably doesn’t use social signals as a ranking factor.

(At least not directly)

That said, social shares can bring you more traffic. And some of those people might link to you, which CAN help your rankings.

And now that your content is optimized for shares, you want to make sure your page’s on-page SEO is good to go.

And that’s what our next tip is all about: an on-page SEO technique that’s easy… and can help your site’s rankings.

With all the talk about Hummingbirds and Penguins it’s easy to forget about an important Google algorithm update called Hilltop.

Despite being over ten years old, Hilltop still plays a role in today’s search engine landscape.

Hilltop is essentially an on-page SEO signal way that tells Google whether or not a page is a “hub” of information.

So: How does Google know which pages are hubs?

It’s simple: Hubs are determined by the quality and relevancy of that page’s outbound links.

This makes total sense if you think about it…

The pages you link out to tend to reflect the topic of your web page.

And pages that link to helpful resources also tend to be higher-quality than pages that only link to their own stuff.

In other words, pages that link out to awesome resources establish themselves as hubs of helpful content in the eyes of Big G.

In fact, a recent industry study found a correlation between outbound links and Google rankings.

(As a bonus, outbound links are better for user experience too. After all, helpful external links help users find content that can help them learn more about the topics you discuss in your article).

Bottom line:

Link to at least 3 quality, relevant resources in every piece of content that you publish.

This will show Google that your page is a Hilltop Hub.

That said, external links are just ONE of many on-page SEO signals that Google looks at. For a comprehensive list, I recommend watching this video:

If you’re on page 2 or 3 of Google’s search results… you might as well be on page 58.

In fact, our recent Google CTR study found that less than 1% of Google searchers end up on the 2nd page.

(And yes, even quality content can get stuck on the 2nd page if it’s not well optimized for search engines).

So how can you give those pages a boost so they hit the first page?

Use this powerful SEO technique: throw some internal links their way!

Here’s the 3-step process:

Step #1: Use Google Search Console to find keywords where you rank on the 2nd or 3rd page.

To find them, login to the new Google Search Console and head over to the Performance Report:

Make sure to hit “Average position”. That way you’ll see the average ranking for each keyword.

Then, sort the results by “Position”:

Next, look for keywords with an average position of 11-30.

If you’re getting clicks from a keyword on page 2 or 3, you can be pretty sure that keyword has some decent search volume.

For example, this page from Backlinko is ranking #12 for the keyword “SEO checklist”.

Even though I’m on the second page, I still get 24 clicks and 2,792 impressions per month for that keyword:

Sure enough, according to the Ahrefs, that keyword gets 1.7k monthly searches with a suggested bid of $12.

That means that it’s worth my time to push this keyword to page 1.

Step #2: Identify authoritative pages on your site.

You can easily find the pages on your site with the most juice to pass around using an SEO tool called Ahrefs.

Just enter your homepage URL into the tool and click “Search”:

Then click on “Best By Links” in the left-hand sidebar:

That will show you the most authoritative pages on your site:

Step #3: Go to those landing pages and add internal links.

Finally, add internal links from those authoritative pages to the landing page that needs a boost.

10. Add This One Word to Your Outreach Email…and Increase Your Response Rate by 45%

When someone sees an email pop into their inbox, two questions enter their mind:

“Who is this person?” and “What do they want?”

The faster you answer these questions in your outreach emails, the better your response rate will be.

But how can you do that?

It’s easy: Use the word “because” early in your email.

Believe it or not, the word “because” has surprisingly powerful effects on human psychology.

Research by Dr. Ellen Langer of Harvard University tested whether people waiting in line to use a copy machine would let a stranger cut in front of them.

When the stranger asked: “Can I use the copy machine before you?”, only 61% people said “yes”.

But when the stranger asked: “Can I use the copy machine before you because I’m in a rush?”, 89% said yes.

(That’s a 45% increase!)

Why such a huge difference?

It turns out that the word “because” makes your request seem more legitimate.

In the world of outreach, legit messages get better responses.

(Just look at all those lame guest post pitches that flood your inbox. If they actually took the time to look legit, they’d perform a lot better)

Here’s an example blogger outreach pitch that leverages the word “because” early on:

The person receiving that message knows why I’m emailing them after two seconds of reading.

But more importantly, the word “because” cements my reason for reaching out as more legit.

11. Write Mini Blog Posts for YouTube Descriptions

I don’t need to tell you that YouTube video results are dominating Google’s first page.

And considering that Google owns the popular video site, it’s a trend that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

Here’s the best part:

There’s a dead-simple technique that can get your YouTube videos to rank for competitive keywords in both YouTube and Google: write 200+ word video descriptions.

When most people upload a video to YouTube, they mindlessly toss a few words into the description box:

That’s a HUGE mistake.

Remember that Google can’t watch or listen to your video content.

Instead, they rely on your video’s text-based title and description to determine what your video is about.

And this extra text content can help you rank for your target keywords.

For example, I recently published this video that outlines a handful of DIY search engine optimization strategies:

And here’s the description for that video:

As you can see, that’s a high-quality, 200-word video description (you may have also noticed that it contains my target keyword, “DIY SEO”, several times).

And this description is one reason that my video rocketed to the first page of YouTube for my target keyword:

If you want to learn more about YouTube SEO, check out this step-by-step guide.

12. Optimize Content For “Semantic SEO”

A few years ago, Google rolled out an all-new search algorithm called Hummingbird.

Before Hummingbird, Google only analyzed the individual keywords on your page.

But thanks to this new algorithm, Google could now understand the TOPIC of your page.

(By the way, the ability for search engines to understand topics and rank search results accordingly is called: “Semantic Search”)

The question is:

How can you optimize your content for Semantic SEO?

Here’s the step-by-step process:

First, optimize your page around your target keyword just like you normally would.

Then, cover subtopics related to your target keyword. That way, Google can fully understand the topic of your page (not just your keyword).

For example, this page on my site is a list of 200 Google ranking factors:

Because I cover subtopics (like Google penalties and site-level factors), Google knows what my content is about.

And because Google can fully understand my content’s topic, it ranks this single page for over 2,400 keywords (according to SEMRush):

You can easily find related subtopics using a tool called LSIGraph:

This tool shows you subtopics (and terms) that are related to the keyword you typed into it. And when you use cover these subtopics in your content, it’ll be optimized for Semantic Search.

13. Embed Long Tail Keywords In Title Tags

Here’s the deal:

If you only include one keyword in your title tag you’re leaving A LOT of search engine traffic on the table (And no, I’m not talking about keyword stuffing).

I’ll explain: I recently published a post called “White Hat SEO Case Study: How To Get a #1 Ranking“.

My target keyword for that post was, “white hat SEO”.

So I included the keyword “white hat SEO” in the post’s title.

But I didn’t stop there…

I realized that the keyword “SEO case study” also got a decent amount of searches every month:

So I decided to embed that long tail keyword into the blog post title:

And I hit the #5 for “SEO case study” in a few short weeks.

As you might expect, the keyword “SEO case study” is MUCH less competitive than “white hat SEO”.

Because of that, I got traffic almost instantly from the keyword “SEO case study”.

And as that page has accumulated links, it made its way onto the first page for “white hat SEO”.

If I had only optimized for “white hat SEO”, I wouldn’t have received ANY traffic until I hit the first page for that term.

Fortunately, my embedded long tail keyword “SEO case study” hooked me up with traffic right away.

Bottom line:

Find long tails that you can embed into your titles.

You’ll get search engine traffic faster… and eventually rank the page for more than one term.

14. Hack Wikipedia for Keyword and Topic Ideas

Want to find untapped keywords that your competition doesn’t know about?

Then stop using the Google Keyword Planner and use this SEO technique instead.

Sure, The Keyword Planner is nice for monthly search volume info…but it’s HORRIBLE at generating new keyword ideas.

Why?

Well, the Keyword Planner only gives you VERY close variations of the keywords of your seed keywords.

So if you enter a seed keyword like “weight loss”, it will spit out VERY similar keywords, like this:

If you want to find keywords that are closely related to your seed keyword — but not straight-up variations — you need a human mind.

Or better yet, the thousands of human minds that contribute to Wikipedia.

Here’s how:

Head over to Wikipedia and enter a keyword (I’m going to use the keyword “insurance” in this example):

Next, keep an eye out for sections on the Wikipedia entry that display closely related keywords and topics.

These sections are… The “Contents” box:

Callouts and sidebars:

Internal links:

And “See Also” sections:

You’ll usually come away with fistfuls of keyword and topic ideas from a single Wikipedia entry.

If you want to find even more keyword ideas, click on an internal link.

Then simply follow the same process for that Wikipedia entry.

Rinse and repeat.

15. Use “Best of” Lists to Find Awesome Link Building Opportunities

This is one of my favorite SEO tips of all time.

If you do a lot of link building, you know that a list of high-quality, niche-relevant blogs is like money in the bank.

What you may not realize is that bloggers in your niche create these lists for you in the form of “best of” blog posts.

“Best of” blog posts are simply hand curated lists of the best blogs in a specific industry.

How can you find these “best of” blog posts?

Use these search strings:

  • “[keyword] blogs to follow”
  • “best [keyword] posts 2020”
  • “top [keyword] blogs to follow” + “2020”

For example, I just did a quick search for “fitness blogs to follow”:

I found this list of 10 awesome blogs in the fitness space after about 30 seconds of searching:

These 25 blogs are PERFECT places to reach out to the next time you want to promote a piece of content or build a long-term relationship.

16. Publish Content With At Least 1,800 Words

There’s no denying it: longer content CRUSHES short 300-word blog posts.

In fact, our study of 1 million Google search results found that the average word count of a first page Google results was 1,890 words.

(Are long pieces of content mobile friendly? According to our data, yes. Longer content also performs great for mobile searches).

Why do long posts work? First off, long posts show Google that you’re providing in-depth information for searchers.

But that’s not all:

In-depth content flips an important emotional switch that pushes people to share online content: awe.

University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Jonah Berger found that content that elicited awe made people 30% more likely to share it.

As you may expect, it’s REALLY hard to trigger a feeling of awe from a 350-word article…

…but in-depth pieces work like a charm.

Here’s an SEO mistake I see A LOT of people make:

Let’s say you have two links pointing to a page on your site… and both of those links are on same page.

Which anchor text does Google pay attention to? The first one? The second one? Both?

According to the First Link Priority Rule, only the first link.

Why is this important?

Let’s say you have a navigation bar on your site, like this:

Because your navigation is at the top of the page, Google sees those links first.

Here’s where things get tricky:

Let’s say that you drop a link to your “Recipe Index” page in a blog post.

And that link has the anchor text: “healthy recipes”.

Unfortunately, the “healthy recipes” anchor text is ignored by Big G.

Google only counts the anchor text it saw first: “Recipe Index”.

Important Takeaway:

Use keyword-rich anchors in your site’s navigation.

As you just learned, the keyword-rich internal links below them don’t count.

18. Create Your Own Keywords

This is one of the best pieces of SEO advice you’re ever going to hear:

You always rank #1 for keywords that you create.

What am I talking about?

When you create something truly original — like a brand, product, or a step-by-step system — you’re the only person optimizing for that term.

(After all, you made it up)

And if your creation becomes popular, you’ll suddenly find yourself ranking #1 for a high-volume keyword.

Let me show you an example:

A while back I published a post called: Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days.

Now I could have optimized my post around a keyword like: “link building strategy”.

Instead, I decided to create my own keyword: “The Skyscraper Technique“.

Today, I get a steady stream of organic traffic from people searching for that keyword that I created.

How can you do the same thing?

The next time that you write about a technique that you created — whether it’s a diet tip, productivity hack or system for growing tomatoes — name it.

If you’ve been in the SEO game for a while you know that a keyword tool is only as good as the seed keywords you put into it.

In other words:

If you use the same seed keywords as your competition, you’re going to see the same keywords they do.

Fortunately, there’s a little-known tool that helps you get around this problem: SeedKeywords.com.

Here’s how to use it:

First, head over to Seed Keywords and create a scenario.

(A scenario is what someone would use to find your business online).

Hit “create my scenario” and you’ll get a special link.

Send this link to friends, family and target customers to see what keywords they would use:

And you’ll get a list of outside-the-box seed keywords that you can pop into the Google Keyword Planner.

Now it’s time for our next actionable SEO technique…

20. Find Niche-Specific Link Building Opportunities Using Flippa

There’s no doubt about it:

Google is putting more and more weight on the relevancy of the links pointing to your site.

But where can you find link building opportunities that are specific to your niche? Flippa.com.

Flippa is like eBay for websites.

And it’s one of the best places on the web to find untapped link building opportunities.

Why?

Because people that sell their site on Flippa give away every detail about how they built their site.

That means they’ll often show you their keywords, content marketing strategy, (and of course) link sources.

It’s like a downloadable content marketing plan.

Here’s how to do it:

Head over to Flippa and click on Websites –>All:

Next, enter a keyword that describes your site’s broad niche (I’m going to use travel in this example).

You also want to set the monthly users to at least 500 per month.

Here’s a good one:

The owner of this site actually gives a list of places where he landed editorial links:

Not only does he show you where he got his links from…but HOW he was able to get them:

(Many Flippa sellers are just as forthcoming)

Now you know that they acquired those quality links using PR.

That means you have a list of journalists that are open to covering sites in the travel space.

Can you say jackpot?

21. Use The Google Search Console to Get More (Targeted) Traffic

The Google Search Console is one of the best SEO tools on the market.

Unlike most SEO software on the market, the data you get Google Search Console comes straight from Google.

That said, there are A LOT of features inside of the software… most of which you won’t need.

So let me show you how to quickly snag more traffic using data you have sitting inside your account right now.

First, login and click on “Performance” in the sidebar:

Next, look for keywords (GSC calls these “queries”) that you already rank for. In other words, keywords that bring you the most impressions:

Then, see how many clicks you get for some of these high-impression terms. If your getting lots of impressions for a certain keyword, and not many clicks, that means that you have A LOT of potential to get traffic for that term.

You just need to boost your rankings for that keyword.

For example, I get A TON of impressions but very few clicks for this keyword (sorry, I can’t reveal the keyword. It’s a good one 🙂 ).

So how can you get your site to rank higher for that keyword?

Here are a few tips:

  • Improve your Click-Through-Rate. Google searchers probably aren’t clicking on your result as often as the other sites in the first page.
  • Add More Content. Like I mentioned earlier, longer content=higher Google rankings.
  • Include visual multimedia. Try creating content with multimedia (like images and video). This type of content tends to rank better than content that’s 100% text.
  • Build links. Yup, backlinks are still super important. In general, more high-quality links will result in higher rankings.

Here’s The Next Step…

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which of the 21 SEO techniques from today’s post are you going to try first?

Are you going to start publishing longer content?

Or maybe you want to optimize your site for Google RankBrain.

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

1148 Comments

  1. Wow, great post Brian! Insanely detailed. I already grabbed a couple of these and shot them over to my assistant to hammer through this week.

    Always top notch stuff man!

    – Trevor

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Trevor. I appreciate that!

      Let me know how the strategies work out for you 🙂

    1. Hey Trevor,

      Just to add a bonus one that saw my website mentions increase HUGE

      HARO (Help A Reporter Out) <——— Brian mentioned this one before too just to be fare.

      Don't just pass this one up: use it big time.

      I took the time to respond to niche focused questions and was shocked in over 2 months to see 3 new backlinks.

      I know that isn't a ton. But, it's an awesome start to get them rolling and to build a relationship hopefully (fingers crossed) with these people.

      Just to add: If you do the totally free version of HARO it is awesome. I decided to pay for it, but found that the free fits me PERFECT.

      Thanks,

      Chris Pontine

    1. It’s funny, I’ve been using some of these techniques off and on for a bit now.

      Like checking out copy you know has already performed well in some of your content.

      Keep delivering the goodies Brian.

      1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

        Thanks Daniel 🙂

  2. Brandon Avatar Brandonsays:

    Really smart and informative guide… I love how these are all “real world” tips that anyone can take action on.

    Normally SEO advice is meaningless to the masses because people think “oh I don’t have 10,000 twitter followers to get my infographic viral” but these tips pretty much anyone can put into action.

    Thanks!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I put over 15 hours working on this post so I’m happy to hear that you got so much takeaway value from it, Brandon.

      Most of that time was making sure each technique was insanely practical so that people could
      actually use the techniques to get more search engine traffic.

  3. Brian,
    You never seem to run out of excellent ideas! Some of the techniques above are simply genius.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for that, Karl 🙂

      When you think about SEO non-stop ideas like these tend to crop up as I go about my day. I guess that’s the upside of being obsessive 😀

  4. Awesome post Brian! Well, these seo techniques are great but also very hard working. The niche, on I am working, is also so hard :/

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I hear you, Usama.

      Here’s the thing about niches that are hard to build links in:

      It’s hard for your competitors too. That means that you don’t need that many links to rank!
      Even a handful of authoritative links is usually enough to blow by the competition in weird/obscure niches.

      1. Well, right! And I am going to rock soon 😉

  5. Raymond Avatar Raymondsays:

    awesome post yet again Brian! I would seriously pay to pickup all these tips. Thanks for providing such great value.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Raymond, thanks for your comment. These strategies are on me today 🙂

  6. Brian,
    I really enjoyed the post. I’m going to try number 1 in the next few days. I’ll let you know, if I have success.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to hear that you’re going to put the techniques into practice, Matt. Definitely keep me posted with how that broken link building tip works out for you.

  7. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

    I really appreciate that, Rushin. Let me know how the Wikipedia BLB technique goes.

  8. I don’t know how you did it, but you’ve totally outdone yourself. That was one of the best SEO articles I’ve ever read. Amazing!!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I try, Jon 🙂

      But seriously, I appreciate your kind words. A lot of work goes into posts like these so it’s great to see that all that time in front of my laptop was worth it.

  9. Puya Avatar Puyasays:

    Hi Brian,

    I can’t wait to try some of your ideas in the list starting today. Like I tweeted earlier, “you just took us back to school”. I knew about Alltop but just ignored it (or maybe I was being lazy).

    I am going to set this page as the background image for my computer to remind me of the proper way to build links.

    Cheers,

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      “I am going to set this page as the background image for my computer to remind me of the proper way to build links”…Best. Comment. Ever.

      Thanks Puya 🙂

  10. Blimey Brian, I think this is your best post ever! Gonna be coming back and going through each tip one by one!

    I really liked what you said about using “because” in outreach emails. Am going to implement this immediately and record the results. Also loved the first tip about finding dead links on Wikipedia. In fact, I’m sure this post will spark an arms race for anyone that’s read it so I’m going to get onto that right away hehe!

    Anyway, thanks man for all these insights. I’ve been scratching my head recently trying to think of white hat ways I can defeat the black hatters in my new niche and this has given me so many ideas!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You know you’re doing something right when someone says “Blimey”.

      Anyway, happy to have helped you find some white hat strategies you can use to beat up on the competition.
      Keep me posted on how adding “because” and the Wikipedia BLB technique works out for you, Richard.

  11. Holy Crap! This is insane! Super actionable tips! It’s like drinking from a firehose! Thanks for the ideas Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said, Newlyn. Glad you liked it 🙂

  12. Once again you overdelivered Brian. Awesome actionable tips with many of them being real eye opener and actually very easy to implement.
    Thanks a lot for spending the time to bring all those together.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for your comment, Eric. Really glad to hear that you found some practical tips from the post (that’s exactly what I aimed to do with this one).

  13. You’re the man, Absolutely thrilled to the tid bits. As usual, a lot of value.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Adam! I always try to deliver the goods 🙂

  14. This list is great, thank you so much for posting!
    Not only are the tactics creative and unique, but you did an excellent job outlining each with step by step instructions, including great visuals, and providing concrete examples on how to implement the linking tactic. My favorite is probably the Flippa tactic. Amazing for pulling information on how other webmasters were able to acquire links, etc. Thanks again!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      My pleasure, Andrew 🙂

      You’re right: the Flippa technique is solid gold. You’d be surprised the kind of business insights
      people share when they’re desperate to sell their site.

  15. Excellent resource as always Brian. These tips are Golden and anyone who wants results can pick any of these techniques and make them work like Richard from Clambr.com

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Great point, Salmaan.

      Of the thousands of people that read a post like this, (unfortunately) very few people will actually put it into action like Richard did with my Skyscraper Technique post.

      That’s why I make the techniques as easy to follow as possible. That way, there’s no excuse NOT to try them.

      1. Totally agree with you on this one. It is a common trait I guess. Tim Ferris said he had disclosed everything about how he got to where he is right now and anyone who wants to be at his place just need to read and follow but hardly anyone practices it but lets not bitter the mood with these thoughts 🙂

        Appreciate your effort in putting up the post, keep it up! (Y)

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Nice Tim Ferris quote, Salmaan. He (and you) are absolutely right.

  16. Brian,
    You hit a grand slam with this great article. I have learned a bunch of new techniques. Thank you so much for the work you put into it. I’m going to share it out to my followers because it is truly helpful and insightful.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I swear that this grand slam didn’t require any PEDs (unless you count a few gallons of coffee).

      Thanks for sharing, Richard.

  17. I wait with bated breath for your always totally awesome linkbuilding posts, Brian. You do indeed deliver the goods. I’m forever your evangelizer. Now off to Tweet and share.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for sharing, Kat 🙂

      I hope this post will tide you over until the next one I plan on publishing next month.

  18. Thanks Brain, these tips are useful. The key thing with most of the tips that you provided is that it will take time and most people want to have more traffic, but they do not want to do the work and put in the time. However, if you put in the word and you do a quality job then it will work out. I think that is the overall strategies that a lot of SEOs have to do today is just to take the time and figure out quality strategies.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s very true, Tariehk. At some level the more work you put into your site the more traffic you’ll get.

      And in the SEO space, a lot of that work comes from testing different strategies to see what works (and then scaling them).

  19. Rajesh Magar Avatar Rajesh Magarsays:

    Rocking as always. I am also big fan of Alltop which is really great resource to discover engaging keywords and topics, but reverse engineering for the links saturated on page 3-6 is sounds new & interesting. will definitely go for this in coming week.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rajesh. Let me know how reverse engineering those inner pages work out. You’ll have to sift through some junk results, but there are some real gems in there as well.

  20. Jennifer Rodriguez Avatar Jennifer Rodriguezsays:

    Wow! Thank you! Great post!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jennifer 🙂

      Let me know if you have any questions about the techniques in the post.

  21. Talha Bhatti Avatar Talha Bhattisays:

    I normally don’t comment on blog posts but I just could not help my self because this was some awesome stuff. Brian you have just found yourself a new reader. Keep it up!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for making an exception for this post, Talha 🙂

      Shoot me an email if you have any questions.

  22. Hi Brian, Just wanted to say thanks for another great read. The options are all very helpful and some slightly easier to do than others but as always its trial and error starting with the ones that suit you most. Thanks again.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Asif! Let me know which of the strategies works best for you.

  23. Superlative. I am speechless… there are more tips in this article than in most SEO guides I have purchased in the last three years. Thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Wow, that’s quite a compliment Nicola. I’m pumped that I could have provided so much value to your business 🙂

  24. Another amazing post, Brian. Whenever I get your emails, I always stop what I’m doing to read them. I especially love that you cited actual studies to back up your points. Putting these to work soon!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Mike! I’m happy to hear that citing studies helped make the post better. I might have to do that more often 🙂

  25. Yoav B Avatar Yoav Bsays:

    Another BD masterpiece. Way to go Brian! 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Yoav!

  26. Brian your the best. These techniques will be put to good use 😉

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      ThI’m glad to hear that you’re going to give some of the techniques a shot. Keep me posted Nazir 🙂

  27. Awesome post Brian! Hands down…sometimes I wonder how do you get so much link building ideas.

    We often see posts on how to get blog topic ideas or ideas on creating visuals but nobody ever talked about new link building ideas. The ways you showed here some are absolutely unheard to me. You know what I think you should write a post on how to get your own link building ideas…where to start…how to proceed…how do I know it’s full proof…it surely comes with lots of experiments…but the point is starting…….I know sounds weird but I know you will come up with something 🙂

    Look forward see what you pick up next from your idea box 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Sourav.

      That’s a good suggestion. I honestly come up with most of my link building strategies by testing a million different things. And I report what works well with the Backlinko community 🙂

  28. Especially like the Expert Roundup tip, I bet that could work VERY well and probably in every niche out there.

    I like it so much that I’ll probably make it a part of the SEO services that I offer.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad to hear you liked that one, Dennis.

      I love the idea to offer that as a service. It’s also good for clients because it establishes relationships
      really, really quickly with other people in their industry. So it’s not just for links (although you’ll get a lot of those too).

      If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out Richard’s
      Expert Roundup which went really well:
      https://www.clambr.com/link-building-tools/

      1. Dennis Avatar Dennissays:

        As a matter of fact I just forwarded it to one of my VA’s to source the top websites, blogs, etc in my niche and let him contact them to see how much time it will require, I’m really at the low end cost/budget wise so I have to do it through cheap VA’s.

        Just curious, when you do it for clients do they create an email for you that you can mail from their name or do you mail from out your own company?

        Will definitely check out that other post, thanks!

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Sounds good, Dennis.

          Good question. I usually get an email set up from their email address (ie. brian@company.com). I’ve found that the response
          rate from that is much better vs. using my agency’s email.

  29. Best SEO article I’ve read in a long time. Great tips and the instructions are clear as daylight. This page gets a bookmark from me!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jeff. I really appreciate that. I tried to make the steps crystal clear so that people could use all of the techniques.

  30. Brian – this is a really excellent post. There is much to explore and think about. Ken

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for dropping by, Ken. As someone I respect a lot in the SEO space, it’s great to hear that you enjoyed reading the post.

  31. I’m pretty sure this is one of the best posts I’ve read in a while. No BS – straight to the point.
    To add on to your flippa idea, look at the domain-only section. Chances are when a domain is for sale, or after it has sold, file structures have changes, pages have died. Great chance to do some broken link building 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s what I’m talking about, Marc! GREAT creative approach for finding broken links.

      Gotta give that a shot tomorrow morning 🙂

  32. This is an awesome list of tips Brian! I like the idea of using Wikipedia to get keywords ideas! Great job!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Peter 🙂

      That’s one that I use all the time. There are a ton of great ideas in the contents box alone.

  33. Biplab Avatar Biplabsays:

    “Goldmine”! I’m excited to experiment with all of them for sure. This is easily one of my best read posts so far. Thanks a lot 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I see what you did there 🙂

      I’m excited to hear how they work out for you, Biplab.

  34. Can not digest this yummy delight in one go. Bookmarking it for future reference. Thanks for the treat 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      🙂

      Thanks Kashif!

  35. Read…picked up jaw from the floor…read again…shook my head and smiled…bookmarked and now reading again! Brian, you’re by far the best SEO guy on the planet and a nice decent bloke as well. I love these gems you post every so often and looking forward to your next online course.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for your awesome comment!

      I really enjoy putting these thorough guides together. I’d publish more often, but they take A LOT of time. Thanks again for your support Dean 🙂

  36. Holy crap you’re a legend Brian.. You’re the only SEO who consistently spits out great stuff.

    Tip: Along with delicious I search on scoop.it for similar opportunities. If they liked an article related to a year.. say 2013 and you update the resource to 2014 chances are they’ll share it. Kind of a twist on your delicious + sky scraper technique. You don’t even have to make the content much different or better, just updated! Got some fantastic links recently because of it.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      GREAT tip, Christian.

      I for some reason never thought to use scoop.it for that kind of outreach (just content promo). But it makes perfect sense. And because scoop.it is probably a bit more lively than Delicious these days I imagine it works even better.

  37. Goodness me! How can any one share such awesome tips on public! Thanks Brain! You are the best link building guy I have ever followed!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well thanks Satish! Hit me up if you have any questions about the tips in this post.

  38. Blown. Away. Ridiculous. Fantastic. As always:)
    Btw, I was always under the impression that digg and delicious were dying but I’m really mistaken. Your(and Jason’s) thinking is foolproof though. If these guys are already curating content, there’s no reason they wouldn’t want to do more of just that! Seo has become a lot of chasing and pestering…it’s good of you to remind us that there are people out there just waiting to share stuff, too.:)

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Shabbir!

      Good point about Delicious. As another Backlinko reader Christian Sculthorp pointed out in the comments you can use scoop.it the same exact way. And you may have more success there because it’s probably more active than Delicious right now. SEO is still a lot of pestering, but GOOD SEOs pester people that want to be pestered 🙂

      1. That’s tweet-worthy stuff right there: “SEO is still a lot of pestering, but GOOD SEOs pester people that want to be pestered :-)” It’s going in my buffer!

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          😀

          Glad you liked that one, Shabbir.

  39. Yoav Avatar Yoavsays:

    So Brian, regarding #16 does that mean that you can never send an inner post link to a main page that’s located on your main nav bar?? I mean it will never count? But those main pages needs the most links…

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Good question, Yoav.

      That second link will still help you because it will pass extra PR to that page. But in terms of anchor text, most of the experiments I’ve seen show that the second link’s anchor text probably doesn’t help. That being said, Google is more sophisticated than when a lot of these came out so they may count both anchors. But to stay on the safe side I recommend adding keywords to navigation links if possible.

  40. Joe Hughes Avatar Joe Hughessays:

    Brian

    Incredible post. You are one of the ONLY guys out there who publishes advanced techniques that are actionable. You deserve every bit of success you get.

    Joe

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for your kind words, Joe 🙂

  41. Very impressive strategies Brain, thanks for letting us know. This is the reason why I have subscribed to you email newsletter. 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Awesome to hear that you’re enjoying the newsletter so far, Pawan.

  42. Some awesome tips here, thanks for sharing! Looks like your link to Alltop.com is broken though.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Takeshi. Glad you got some value from it.

      And thanks for the heads up about the broken link. Fixed 🙂

  43. You basically had me hooked after you mentioned the Wikipedia dead link technique. The idea of finding dead links and reaching out to the websites that’ve linked there is actually one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time. I’ve bookmarked this page for future reference. Thanks.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Ted, glad I could hook you up with a new strategy. Let me know how the Wikipedia dead link strategy works out for you.

  44. Paul Avatar Paulsays:

    I like that Brian.
    Only improvement I can see if point 14 to find top list of blogs. I’d use a query like:
    inurl:best*fitness*blog*2012
    intitle:best +fitness blogs
    intitle:best ~fitness blogs
    I’ll have to try the flippa one ASAP. I had no idea you could do that. Love the wikipedia one too.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for those search strings, Paul. You’re right: those are GREAT to toss into ScrapeBox too 🙂

  45. Jackson Morreysen Avatar Jackson Morreysensays:

    These are the best ideas I’ve ever heard. How can you know these kinds of techniques? It is unbelievable! You really are a genius Brian.Your SEO techniques are unique and your effort to write all these information here is amazing! I have a final exam tomorrow, but I read all of the techniques “because” these are simply what we want to hear.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I know these kind of techniques “because” I think about SEO and marketing all day long 🙂

      So when I go to a site like Flippa, I think: “How can I get a link from this?”.

      Thanks for your comment Jackson. I appreciate it.

  46. Some brilliant suggestions Brian, I will certainly be using some of these ideas on my new site. Thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Yeah Nick! These are great strategies to get your new site off on the right foot.

  47. Brian, you’re a beast. Your content makes me feel like an infant, but motivates me to do better with my own! – thanks for this awesome resource, and of course, your hard work. Bookmarked.

    – Gotch

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Nathan. Don’t sell yourself short: you publish really good stuff.

  48. John Duggan Avatar John Duggansays:

    Darn it. More work that will produce great results. Bang goes my evenings. I’m bookmarking this but I ain’t sharing it. Don’t want too many to know even if loads of your followers already do. Great thinking and creativity and thanks for sharing for free Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      My pleasure, John. No worries about not sharing it. It’s more important to me that you got some value out of the post. Let me know if you have any questions about one of the strategies.

  49. Brian,
    this article is amazing as always.
    I especially like the part about using Adwords Ads for title and description tags – it`s very simple yet genius idea, thank you.
    I would love to read any on page optimization related articles, could you recommend something really useful?
    (I read everything from your and quicksprout blog=))

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Viktor.

      I wish I could give someone credit for that technique, but it’s something I read back when I first got into SEO so I don’t remember where I read it (probably an internet marketing forum). Actually, I published this on-page SEO guide a few months ago: https://old.backlinko.com/on-page-seo

  50. Great stuff Brian
    I shared it earlier after a quick read through, and have now given it my full attention with a nice pint of real ale 🙂

    There’s so much to action in here – but my favourite tip is naming a unique technique or strategy you come up with. If you then build up your online brand, as your site gets more popular you could potentially rank for quite a few if these self- invented keywords.
    I’d say ‘keep up the good work’ – but as you so obviously are I’ll simply say ‘thank you’.
    Cheers mate!
    Loz

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Loz,

      Thanks for sharing and happy to hear that my post pairs well with a pint 🙂

      Glad you liked that one. It’s one that’s a bit more on the hit or miss side of things, but when it works, it’s awesome. The name also helps the technique (and by proxy you), more memorable in general.

      Thanks again for your comment, Loz.

  51. A post with lots of good stuff Brian. I’m pretty occupied with STW, but have to add these techniques to the toolbox

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Christopher. This is some good stuff to complement the foundational strategies from SEO That Works.

  52. Love this Brian… You never disappoint! I have had some amazing results using your skyscraper technique so will be definitely taking a closer look at some of these ideas. Keep up the great work mate.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Aaaon, glad you found the post helpful. But I’m even more pleased to hear that The Skyscraper Technique has worked out so well for you 🙂

  53. Dimitris Avatar Dimitrissays:

    Hi Brian,thanks for amazing seo techniques :))))
    I have an authority site in Mens Health niche about 100 pages.These Pages have no obls.How is the best way to optimised on page seo this content?Have to begin give some outbound links from each page,or the best practise is to concetrate to specific pages that send links for ranking?….thank you

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      My pleasure, Dimitris.

      I’d actually just follow this on-page SEO guide for your mens health site:
      https://old.backlinko.com/on-page-seo

      I’d just link out where it makes sense from a user’s point of view. Look for 2-3 resources that would help make the article better and link out to those.

  54. Josh May Avatar Josh Maysays:

    Brian this post is amazing!

    Seriously man, I appreciate you spending extra time crafting your posts and making them truly valuable for readers like me 🙂

    So many blogs out there just write the same old content over and over again that isn’t helpful…thanks for not being like every blog! There’s a lot here to take in, and I bookmarked it to work on some of these things the next couple of days.

    Hope you’re enjoying your week man.

    Josh May

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      My pleasure, Josh. It’s nice to hear that all the extra work that goes into these posts makes them more actionable and valuable.
      Thanks again for your comment man. Have an awesome weekend.

  55. Hi Brian,
    You’re living GOD of SEO. What you’re sharing is gold stuff. This is one of the best if not the best ever seo techniques that i read in a very long time. I follow a lot of authority seo bloggers but you provide a list these techniques that is new to me.

    The one about wikipidea is high on the list of to do. Also, i have a question here. How many add inner pages that we should add in a post so as not to harm our ranking? Does google take into the account of linking of inner pages of our post when they decide to rank our page?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jeff! Really glad to hear that you got so much value out of the post.

      I usually add around 2-3 links to internal links per post, depending on a) the length of the post and b) what makes sense for that article. Just like with outbound links, internal links (probably) give clues to Google about a page’s relevancy.

  56. Fantastic stuff, as usual, Brian. The First Link Priority Rule is always one that causes me great angst. I often get torn between search engines and usability when it comes to the main navigation bar. And, I’ve never known what the heck to do about the “Home” link. You can hardly target your keywords with that one without it being anything but awkward.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Scott.

      I hear you on that. In my experience, when in doubt, put the user first.

      Fortunately, Google puts more weight on the anchor text of external links anyway. So as long as some of your external links have your target anchors, you’re probably OK with a “Home” button. In fact, I’ve ranked homepages with a “Home” anchor text nav button for some seriously competitive terms. So it’s not a make-or-break ranking signal by any means.

  57. I love when I see your newsletter arrive Brian because I know it’s going to lead me to an article jam packed with goodies.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to hear that, Mike. You can always hit “reply” to any newsletter email if you have a question or just want to say what’s up.

  58. Garrick Dee Avatar Garrick Deesays:

    Awesome list Brian, definitely gives us a lot of value. I’ll go through this again with my future sites.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Garrick! Let me know how the techniques work out for your future sites.

  59. brian,
    Excellent post I really like the methods you mentioned above for finding keywords (reddit, wikipedia, and facebook) your so right Google Keyword Planner is great for measuring keywords, but it is terrible for Finding keywords!
    I also like to use this tool called Google Correlate. It helps you look at keywords that people queried when they searched the keywords you are targeting. Also SEM Rush is pretty pro for sniping competitors keywords.
    Thanks!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad I’m not alone with my love/hate relationship with the Google Keyword Planner. It’s definitely an awesome tool and SEOs couldn’t live without. But as you said, it’s really not designed to help you find completely new keywords.

      Good tip about Google Correlate and SEM Rush. I’ve used them both quite a bit (SEM Rush a lot more obviously) and it’s really cool. I might discuss both of them in a future post.

  60. Emmanuel Rosani Avatar Emmanuel Rosanisays:

    Great post man! Gonna share it and post it in my Google Plus wall to read for this weekend… 🙂

    Cheers,

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for sharing the post, Emmanuel. Let me know if any questions pop up as you read the post over the weekend.

      1. Emmanuel Rosani Avatar Emmanuel Rosanisays:

        Sure, mate! I’m still on the process of learning SEO strategies and techniques. You and Jason Acidre are both amazing in giving throrough instructions and tutorials with regards to this topic! 🙂

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          These techniques should definitely help shorten your learning curve quite a bit, Emmanuel. I agree: Jason Acidre is an SEO legend!

  61. Awesome info as usual, Brian. Gonna have to go through it a couple of times to digest the info.
    I’ve gotten natural ehow links, but they are nofollow, at least in my experience. No SEO value, no referral traffic. I guess it depends on the niche.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nick, glad you found the post helpful.

      Good point about ehow links being nofollow (I didn’t know that). I agree that nofollow links pass zero SEO value.
      But as you said, depending on the niche and the popularity of that ehow article, you could get some decent referral traffic from
      that link.

  62. This is awesome it was worth the wait 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad to hear that, Jonathan. I don’t post very often for one simple reason: so I can spend more time on every post that I do publish and make them worth the wait 🙂

  63. Akbar Sheikh Avatar Akbar Sheikhsays:

    Hi Brian,
    You’re such a monster of practical and actionable content. This post oozes out your ability and force me to think that you deserve to rank for keyword “backlinks” on the first page. I wish I could clone you!! 😀 Simply awesome stuff.
    Keep helping us, the way you always do…
    Now, will put these tips into practice and get back to you..

    Two Thumbs Up!
    Akbar

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I’m happy to hear that I gave you some actionable tips you can use to get more search engine traffic. Definitely let me know how they work out for you, Akbar 🙂

  64. Wow! so much value in this post! thanks for getting it together Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No problem, Miki. Happy to hear you got so much value from the article. Keep me posted on how the strategies work out for you.

  65. Great post Brian, thanks. I have learned a bunch of new SEO techniques, awesome! Will try them soon 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Really happy to hear you learned some new SEO techniques from this post, Michaela. Definitely give them a go and hit me up if you have any questions 🙂

  66. Hi Brian,
    Awesome techniques Brian, thank you so much. I am sure, I can reap great benefits from these techniques.
    You are simply matchless.
    Thanks again.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Any, glad you liked it 🙂

      Shoot me an email if you have any questions or need help with any of the techniques.

      1. Yup, for sure-if I find any.

  67. Mega post and some very choice tips.

    But as you know I’m not one to only offer positives… Because 😉

    Yesterday I was re doing our process for ideas and alltop was a part of it. Now I have also known it was a bit spammy (some of my grey sites are featured ) but now it seems way too bad. You have places like new York times next to random adsense blog x. Guy kawasaki needs to really start giving some sort of influence ranking or at least culling the total crap ones.

    So I gave taking the decision to remove alltop from the process and use searching for x best ‘niche’ blogs. It’s not perfect but Google at the moment is doing a good job of ranking quality publishers near the top.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Danny 🙂

      Great insights there. I’ve noticed the same thing, especially in the SEO category. But like anything it doesn’t make sense to copy and paste the blogs listed in AllTop and call it a day. You obviously need to check them out and make sure they’re worth building relationships with.

      But I agree: AllTop should periodically go back and re-review some of the sites that are in there…or make it harder to get listed in the first place.

  68. Bibiano Wenceslao Avatar Bibiano Wenceslaosays:

    Now THIS is an actionable guide. Thanks for this 2014 SEO head start, Brian! Evernoted.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for your feedback, Bibiano. You’re right: this is the type of stuff that will help you blow by your competitors this year 🙂

  69. Avnish Avatar Avnishsays:

    thanks for sharing….really helpful…

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Avnish.

  70. Hey Brian,awesome seo techniques list ! I am looking forward to point #19 “Use Expert Roundups to Generate Links and Social Shares on Autopilot”.Thank you very much 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds like a plan, Tarun. Let me know how it goes.

  71. Louise Dickens Avatar Louise Dickenssays:

    Probably one of the most useful and brilliant posts that I have seen in this category. A HUGE thank you from this newbie – going to start acting on some of these right away.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      My pleasure, Louise. Glad to hear that you’re already going to put these into action. Keep me posted 🙂

  72. Brian I hate you! 😀
    I was going about my daily traffic generation routine when I open my RSS feed to see what new blog posts have been made on my favorite blogs and I discover this, quite frankly, genius post.

    I think I’ll just have a quick read and what ends up happening? You only go and give me tons of new methods that I’d never thought of that I can’t help but try out.

    I’ve just spent the last hour on Reddit, Wikipedia and AllTop trying out your tricks instead of doing what I was supposed to be. 😛

    Using Wiki for link opportunities via the dead link method was new to me but I always make it one of my first stops for keyword research as you can often find a ton of new keywords and related info you otherwise wouldn’t know,

    The expert round up post is a firm favorite of mines as well and as you know you were recently featured in my post “I Asked 8 – What’s The Best Keyword Research Tool?”

    Post is here if any of your readers are interested in how it can be done with relative ease…
    https://www.nichehacks.com/best-keyword-research-tool/

    It’s one of the most popular posts on the blog so far. It’s a brand new blog yet there’s 11 comments including from some of the experts and 35 social shares.

    On a dating niche site I took the ‘ego-bait’ post one step further and had sexy girls perform a dance and strip to revel the names of the major bloggers in my niche written on their bodies. As you can imagine it got a lot of attention from the big players in my niche and my audience and is a little more creative for getting links, shares and traffic.

    Remember to make sure you let all the people you features know when it’s posted as they’ll often tell their audience about it which results in floods of traffic.

    Thanks for the epic post Bryan. You really do blow me away with your intelligent SEO. I can’t read most SEO blogs I find them bland and boring but you continue to surprise me with ingenious methods of getting top quality links.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Great insights, Stuart. I think you’ll find that the hours-long distraction was worth it 🙂

      I really like the ego-bait idea you mentioned here. A bit edgy, but that’s what it takes in some niches. Really creative stuff.

      That’s a really good tip: let people know what you mentioned them in a post. It’s so, so basic, but it works. Most influential people are super-busy and may not even realize they’ve been mentioned. A quick “hey, I mentioned you here” goes a long way.

  73. BhavukKhandelwal Avatar BhavukKhandelwalsays:

    Hey Brian, This article is really really awesome, Seriously you have covered all 21 points which i never read on anywhere over internet. Everyone shares basics but here you have shared awesome info specially that face book keyword research and 1000+ words in a post, and the wiki pedia ideas are really good and helpful. learned many things from this article. keep sharing this kind of info thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Bhavuk! I tried to share strategies that aren’t talked about as often. Happy to hear that you learned something new from the post.

  74. Paul Avatar Paulsays:

    Yet again, an amazing post with some awesome techniques. I’m going to work through the list……I’ll report back with the results.

    Keep up the good work, Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds like a plan 🙂 Definitely keep me posted with how the strategies work out for you, Paul.

  75. Great post! Very easy to follow (not just to understand, but for practising as well). Pity that not all of it works in non-english speaking space. Thanks, anyway.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Elana.

      You’re right: some of these techniques (like AllTop) only work for English-speaking sites. Fortunately, you can use most of the other techniques internationally.

  76. Serah Singh Avatar Serah Singhsays:

    Very detailed article. Almost every SEO article on web has similar points but all your strategies are 100% unique and working.
    You are really an SEO genius.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Serah, glad I could help. Thanks for your feedback 🙂

  77. One word. Awesome. I intend to try each and everyone of these technique.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Adegboye! Sounds good. Let me know how they work out for you.

  78. Hey Brian, I appreciate you for helping us out. I found your tips really helpful, including tip number 20. Find Niche
    Specific Link Building Opportunities Using Flippa it’s like ebay for websites. And tip 21. Use Facebook Ads for Keyword Research. Thank you

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help. Those were two of my favorites too 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries, Max. I actually have a premium business training course called SEO That Works. You can sign up
      here to get notified when registration opens up again: https://seothatworks.com/

  79. Timothy Avatar Timothysays:

    Brian,

    Another great post! I really appreciate you coming up with some new, fresh ideas for SEO that I have not seen elsewhere.

    -Timothy

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks for your feedback Timothy! I’m glad to hear you saw some new stuff in my post 🙂

  80. Brent Carnduff Avatar Brent Carnduffsays:

    Awesome list Brian – thanks for sharing! Definitely going to start mixing some longer content in with my regular posts!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sure thing, Brent.

      Sounds like a plan! Let me know if you see any difference from publishing longer posts.

  81. I can’t even say, how I like the stuff you’re writing. Off to share and tweet!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I really appreciate that, Krystian. Thanks for sharing the post 🙂

  82. Hi Brian, these are great tips, thank you.

    Do you have a faster (maybe automated) way to check wikipedia for dead links – that are on expired domains?

    Thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Sami. Good question. I’ve actually had a couple people email me with suggestions about automating the process.

      I’ll see if I can work them into the post without making the entire post about automating the first technique 🙂

      1. Thanks Brian, I am excited about building new links to our website using some of your techniques. BTW, I have another Q: What type of ELP would you write for a construction company. I am stuck what to write about. We work with both home owners on home improvements and on comercial projects :/

        Thanks again.

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Sounds like a plan, Sami. I’m not sure what “ELP” stands for…

  83. Each and every single tips are really helpful,especially the Facebook ads keyword trick.One thing I would like to mention that this article is too big to read and it may bore readers as well.So I suggest if you break it into part 1 and part 2 you’d get much traffic.
    Thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad you liked that one. Trust me, I know what I’m doing when it comes to traffic, Debarpan. One long post CRUSHES two shorter posts.

  84. Great, great post. So much actionable goodness here. It’s amazing how many SEO blogs regurgitate the same tips, and this post puts them all to shame.

    Definitely plan on being back. Keep up the great work!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Dave! Stop by again anytime 🙂

  85. Justin Avatar Justinsays:

    Great great stuff thanks. I am trying to use the last tip for facebook keyword suggestions but when I go to the create ad/page likes section, anything I put into that box just tells me “We didn’t recognize what you entered. Please enter the URL for your destination”

    What am I missing?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad you enjoyed it Jason. Hmmm. Not sure why that’s happening. It could be that you’re on the page before the one I’m talking about here. Just put any URL in that box and you’ll go to the page where you can find interests and keywords.

  86. OMG what an amazing post, you are so generous with your knowledge and time. I particularly liked No.12 and try to employ that tactic with my website. I see you followed No.15 in writing this tremendous post! I have you bookmarked and will be coming back here often. Glad I’ve met you and I think you’re going to be a great mentor in my future SEO.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thank you Sandi. #12 is a real gem. Let me know how that technique works out for you.

  87. Gowtham V Avatar Gowtham Vsays:

    This is the best post i ever read about SEO on the internet.Though it took a while to read it, its really worth every second reading your posts.
    Thanks brain for this awesome post.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s great to hear, Gowtham. Keep me posted on how the strategies work out for your site.

  88. Thanks for this awesome post. I have few that were ranking in the 2-3 pages and was thinking of ways of moving them up when I came across this. Your tips will help immensely in that regard.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help, Nishadha. Sending some internal juice their way should definitely help those pages crack page 1.

  89. Thanks for a great post Brian – There really is a lot of stuff for me to see, how I can implement in my niche.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad you enjoyed the post and learned some new stuff, Morten. Let me know how it goes.

  90. Rohit Chhibber Avatar Rohit Chhibbersays:

    Really Brain the article was awesome I have learn a lot of technique I give a try to wikipedia and really I got success 🙂

    Thanks for this post

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad to hear that you’ve already seen some success from that technique, Rohit 🙂

  91. Great post with illustrations and images. All the points are clear now. I loved this post

    Thanks 🙂 Keep posting

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed the post, Sachin 🙂

  92. Vaibhav Jain Avatar Vaibhav Jainsays:

    Really Good post. Great share !

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Viabhav.

  93. Hey Brian… You actually put so much information on your single post only which covers actually all seo techniques which are working like a sure shot bullet for seo specialists.
    I think If I follow all mentioned describe seo tips then no one can stop me to become successful in seo for my blog. Thanks for your amazing work.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Lalit. You’re right: if you put these into practice you’ll rock the house 🙂

  94. Hey Brian, tons of value in this post. I love all the keyword research ideas, broken links and much more. Well done!
    Ian

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Ian, thanks so much! It’s always nice to get positive feedback from a blogger that puts out epic stuff like you 🙂

  95. These ideas are absolutely brilliant and completely original. GREAT link building ideas.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Justin, thanks for your comment. I’m glad to hear that you learned something new from my post 🙂

  96. Oceanic SEO Avatar Oceanic SEOsays:

    Great stuff Brian – lot of valued stuff. Bookmarked

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks :-). Hit me up using the contact page if you have any questions.

  97. This truly amazing and I’m gonna share this with like minded people. I loved the part about flippa. What a great source to get ideas. Building links tends to be the hardest to do, but a few good quality links is all you need now a days to get ranked. I currently rank for a very high volume keyword with only 5 links all with pr 3,4 and good DA and PA. Good links are hard to get but you only need a few which is encouraging! Props for this post!
    James

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I’ve noticed the same thing: a handful of the right links is all you need to rank today. As you said, getting those links is the real challenge.

      Thanks for your insights, James 🙂

  98. This is awesome post, many thanks for this. There are a lot of resources where we can find new keywords ideas instead of using Google Keyword Planner and they are free!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s very true, Francois: the best keywords are those that the Google Keyword Planner won’t show you. You need to basically find out where your target market hangs out and see what words and phrases they tend to use 🙂

  99. Hi,
    At the time of reading from start, i thought it’s the same as others but what i think now is, experience says truth always. Thanks a lot for sharing these precious techniques.

    Thanks!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries, Manoj. Glad you got so much value out of the post.

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