The 17 Most Important SEO Tips for Higher Rankings (2023)

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

And these tips actually work.

In fact:

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

The 17 Most Important SEO Tips for Higher Rankings (1)

And “on page seo”:

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

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

  • 1. Use Keywords In The Right Places
  • 2. Keep Users On Your Site Longer
  • 3. Find “Suggest” Keywords
  • 4. Delete Zombie Pages
  • 5. Do An Industry Study
  • 6. Add Related Keywords to Your Content
  • 7. Add Text to Infographics, Podcasts and Videos
  • 8. Update Old Pages
  • 9. Speed Up Your Website
  • 10. Use the Google Search Console
  • 11. Create Content Around Shoulder Niches
  • 12. Get Backlinks From Your Visual Assets
  • 13. Create Branded Keywords
  • 14. Add “What is X” Definitions to Blog Content
  • 15. Rank In The Featured Snippets
  • 16. Find More Guest Post Opportunities
  • 17. Improve Your Organic CTR

1. Use Keywords In The Right Places

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

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

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

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Webpage URL:

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And in the first 100 words of your content.

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

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

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

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

2. Keep Users On Your Site Longer

Here’s the truth:

Pogostickingcan make or break your Google rankings.

So: what is pogosticking exactly?

Pogosticking is when a Google user clicks on your site…

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

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

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

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The question is:

How do you keep users on your site longer?

Use lots of bullets and subheadings.

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

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

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

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This leads us to our next tip…

3. Find “Suggest” Keywords

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

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

Like Wikipedia:

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YouTube:

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And yes, even Bing:

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4. Delete Zombie Pages

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

They’re just sorta…there.

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

In fact:

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

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And they’re not alone.

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

(Video) Most Important SEO Tips for Higher Rankings - Latest Updateds

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Why does this strategy work?

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

In fact:

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

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

To date, I’ve published 196 posts on this blog.

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And those 196 posts generate 360k+ search engine visits per month.

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5. Do An Industry Study

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

An industry study.

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

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A while ago I noticed that lots of SEO blogs were talking about voice search.

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

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

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How did this content do?

This post has generated 5.6K backlinks.

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The best part?

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

Because my content provides bloggers and journalists with data…

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

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Sweet!

6. Add Related Keywords to Your Content

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

(Although that’s important too.)

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

Why?

Something called Google Hummingbird.

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

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(Kind of like how a human would.)

So:

How do you optimize your content for Hummingbird?

Include variations of your main keyword in your content.

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

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

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

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7. Add Text to Infographics, Podcasts and Videos

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

But they have one big problem:

Google can’t understand ’em!

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

For example, here’s an infographic that I published on my site some time ago:

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But I didn’t stop there.

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

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

8. Update Old Pages

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

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

(Video) Most Important SEO TIPS GET Latest SEO Updates Higher Rankings -2022

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

Few years ago, I noticed that this post from my blog wasn’t performing as well as I’d hoped.

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Despite the fact that the content was really good…

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

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Not good.

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

Specifically, I added more external links to authority sites:

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

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And wrote a new title and description:

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

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

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

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9. Speed Up Your Website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Use the Google Search Console

This is one of my favorite SEO tips.

Here’s how it works:

First, login to the Google Search Console.

And head over to the Performance Report:

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Next, hit “Pages”.

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

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Here’s where things get interesting:

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

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

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

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Why is this important?

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

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

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

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Easy peasy.

11. Create Content Around Shoulder Niches

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

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

Fortunately not.

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

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

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

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How did he do it?

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

(Video) 12 Simple, Fast SEO Tips That Are Easy To Implement

Now, you might be wondering:

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

You don’t.

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

(In other words: “Shoulder Niches”.)

In fact, that’s what Mike did:

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

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

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…his client’s traffic skyrocketed:

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12. Get Backlinks From Your Visual Assets

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

But we don’t live in a perfect world.

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

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

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

Here are the exact steps:

First, find a visual asset on your site.

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

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Then, right click and “copy image address”…

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

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

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

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

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13. Create Branded Keywords

Guestographics.

The Skyscraper Technique.

The Content Upgrade.

These are all terms that I coined.

And because of that fact, I rank on the first page of Google for all of them.

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

How?

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

This sounds hard.

But it really isn’t.

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

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

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

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Next, give it a name.

This is more of an art than a science.

But in general, you want the name to be:

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

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

Finally, get the word out.

This is key.

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

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

(Video) Rank On Google! 6 Strategies to Rank Higher

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

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

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It took a few months to catch on.

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

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

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

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

Here’s how it works:

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

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

For example:

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

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

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

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15. Rank In The Featured Snippets

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

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

Fortunately, there’s no need to guess.

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

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

For example:

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

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

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

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And it worked!

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Bottom line?

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

16. Find More Guest Post Opportunities

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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Unfortunately, finding podcasts can be a chore.

That is unless you use Google reverse image search:

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Bingo!

17. Improve Your Organic CTR

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

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

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

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

Here’s a real-life example:

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Did I Miss Anything?

Now I’d like to hear from you:

(Video) Google my business SEO - 17 Quick Tips For Better Rankings

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

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

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

FAQs

What are some useful SEO tips in 2022? ›

Here are the tips:
  • Stop focusing on things that don't matter.
  • Keep search intent top of mind, always.
  • Craft compelling title tags.
  • Refresh declining content.
  • Boost important pages with internal links.
  • Improve page experience signals.
  • Double-dip on mixed intent keywords.
  • Include FAQ sections.
Feb 28, 2022

How do I improve my SEO rankings? ›

Follow these suggestions to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and watch your website rise the ranks to the top of search-engine results.
  1. Publish Relevant, Authoritative Content. ...
  2. Update Your Content Regularly. ...
  3. Metadata. ...
  4. Have a link-worthy site. ...
  5. Use alt tags.

What is SEO checklist? ›

On-page SEO checklist. On-page SEO is the process of optimizing the actual content on your page. It includes optimizations made to visible content and content in the source code. Let's look at how to do it.

How can I improve my SEO traffic in 30 days? ›

How to Increase Your SEO Traffic in 30 Days
  1. Day 1: Pick Your Top 30 Traffic Posts.
  2. Day 2: Find the Right SEO Keywords to Increase.
  3. Day 3: Add Secondary SEO Keywords.
  4. Day 4: Compare Your Content to Competition.
  5. Day 5: Improve Your SEO Title Tags.
  6. Day 6: Optimize Your Meta Descriptions.
  7. Day 7: Optimize Your H1 Tags.
Mar 27, 2021

What are the top three SEO strategies? ›

What Is an SEO Strategy?
  • Step #1: Create a List of Keywords.
  • Step #2: Analyze Google's First Page.
  • Step #3: Create Something Different or Better.
  • Step #4: Add a Hook.
  • Step #5: Optimize For On-Page SEO.
  • Step #6: Optimize For Search Intent.
  • Step #7: Focus on Content Design.
  • Step #8: Build Links to Your Page.
Oct 13, 2021

What are the two techniques of SEO? ›

SEO techniques are classified into two broad categories: White Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines recommend as part of a good design. Black Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines do not approve and attempt to minimize the effect of. These techniques are also known as spamdexing.

What is the #1 ranking factor on Google? ›

1. High-Quality Content. You must have read in several places that content is king. And in the case of Google ranking factors, it's definitely the king.

What are the top 3 ranking factors for Google? ›

In no particular order, the top factors for ranking on Google are: High-quality content. Mobile-first. Page Experience.

How do I improve my SEO Rankings in 2022? ›

Here are seven ways you can improve your search engine optimization strategy and rankings for 2022:
  1. Optimize your website. ...
  2. Target accurate keywords. ...
  3. Create longer, better content. ...
  4. Track your website traffic. ...
  5. Start link-building. ...
  6. Stay away from black hat SEO. ...
  7. Set up a Google My Business profile. ...
  8. Conclusion.
Jan 24, 2022

What is the fastest way to rank a keyword? ›

Let's take a closer look at various ranking factors and discuss how you can more effectively use keywords to drive search traffic.
  1. Measure Your Rankings. ...
  2. Target The Right Keywords. ...
  3. Clean Up Your Site Structure. ...
  4. Pay Attention To User Experience Signals. ...
  5. Optimize For Users & Search Engines.
Jun 2, 2022

What are the SEO principles? ›

7 SEO principles to live by (and help your campaign succeed)
  • Research and integrate keywords.
  • Focus on user experience.
  • Optimize title tags.
  • Optimize meta descriptions.
  • Publish valuable content.
  • Tag images.
  • Link internally.

What is the first thing to do before doing SEO? ›

Where to find keywords? Keyword research should be the very first step on your SEO journey. It is especially important in two common scenarios: Getting to know your niche – when starting a new website, keyword research can provide a great overview of what sub-topics are interesting for people in your niche or industry.

What is Offpage SEO? ›

"Off-page SEO" (also called "off-site SEO") refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs). Along with on-page SEO, these include several of the factors of basic SEO that help a site to rank.

How can I increase my website traffic organically? ›

How To Increase Organic Traffic to Website
  1. Use long-tail keywords.
  2. Consider influencer marketing.
  3. Leverage on-page SEO.
  4. Find and remove non-performing content.
  5. Become a guest blogger.
  6. Create video content on YouTube.
  7. Promote your content on social media.
  8. Answer questions on Google's People Also Ask.
Aug 25, 2021

How can I increase direct traffic to my website? ›

  1. Email List Building. Using your current readers and customers is a great way to drive traffic to your website. ...
  2. Community Engagement. The more brand recognition you have, the more traffic you will drive to your website. ...
  3. On-Page SEO. ...
  4. Quality Backlinks. ...
  5. Video Marketing. ...
  6. Content Repurposing. ...
  7. SEO Tools. ...
  8. Historical Optimization.
Aug 31, 2021

What are the top three SEO strategies? ›

What Is an SEO Strategy?
  • Step #1: Create a List of Keywords.
  • Step #2: Analyze Google's First Page.
  • Step #3: Create Something Different or Better.
  • Step #4: Add a Hook.
  • Step #5: Optimize For On-Page SEO.
  • Step #6: Optimize For Search Intent.
  • Step #7: Focus on Content Design.
  • Step #8: Build Links to Your Page.
Oct 13, 2021

What SEO technique is the most efficient in the long term? ›

The best long-term SEO strategy is to align the goals of your website with the goals of search engines. Search engines try to provide the best experience for the user. If your website provides the best solution for the keyword, then your website will rank at the top.

What are the most underrated SEO techniques in 2022? ›

7 Basic But Underrated SEO Techniques That Makes The Real Difference
  • Internal linking.
  • External linking.
  • Social signals.
  • Website speed.
  • Website structure.
  • Updating old content.
  • Optimizing image alt tags and file names.
  • 8. ( Bonus) Proper keyword research.

Why SEO strategy is important? ›

In short, SEO is crucial because it makes your website more visible, and that means more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into customers. Check out the SEO tools you can use for optimal ranking.

What are the best SEO tips for beginners in 2023? ›

SEO Basics: Discover the 9 Most Important SEO Tips for Beginners
  1. Complete Keyword Research.
  2. Develop Long-Form Content.
  3. Tell Google Which Pages Not to Crawl.
  4. Create Easily Digestible Content.
  5. Create Unique Page Titles.
  6. Accurately Describe Page Contents.
  7. Use Headings and Formatting.
Jan 22, 2022

What are the two techniques of SEO? ›

SEO techniques are classified into two broad categories: White Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines recommend as part of a good design. Black Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines do not approve and attempt to minimize the effect of. These techniques are also known as spamdexing.

What are the three stages of ranking? ›

The three stages of ranking are: discovery, relevance and authority.

Which SEO technique should be avoided? ›

Don't over-prioritize keywords

Keyword research has long been considered a cornerstone of SEO. Creating content that features the keywords and terms your target audience are searching for seems like the most logical approach. However, using these keywords to excess will seriously harm your SEO strategy.

How can I increase my website traffic organically? ›

How To Increase Organic Traffic to Website
  1. Use long-tail keywords.
  2. Consider influencer marketing.
  3. Leverage on-page SEO.
  4. Find and remove non-performing content.
  5. Become a guest blogger.
  6. Create video content on YouTube.
  7. Promote your content on social media.
  8. Answer questions on Google's People Also Ask.
Aug 25, 2021

What SEO technique is required to increase page speed? ›

By optimizing your code (including removing spaces, commas, and other unnecessary characters), you can dramatically increase your page speed. Also remove code comments, formatting, and unused code. Google recommends using CSSNano and UglifyJS.

What is black hat in digital marketing? ›

Black hat SEO is a practice against search engine guidelines, used to get a site ranking higher in search results. These unethical tactics don't solve for the searcher and often end in a penalty from search engines. Black hat techniques include keyword stuffing, cloaking, and using private link networks.

Which is the best free SEO tool? ›

25 Best Free SEO Tools
  • Panguin Tool. ...
  • Wordtracker Scout. ...
  • Lipperhey. ...
  • Bing Webmaster Tools. ...
  • Dareboost. ...
  • Siteliner. Get a full SEO report for free. ...
  • KWFinder. No-nonsense keyword research tool. ...
  • People Also Ask. This free tool pulls questions that appear in the “People Also Ask” section of Google's search results.
Oct 29, 2021

How SEO works step by step? ›

To understand the process you have to create a plan, have a strategy, and know all the steps in the process.
  1. Audit. The Process. ...
  2. Technical SEO. The Process. ...
  3. Keyword Research. The Process. ...
  4. Location Demographics. The Process. ...
  5. Content Strategy. The Process. ...
  6. Content Writing & Editing. The Process. ...
  7. Ranking. The Process.
Apr 21, 2022

What are the 5 common goals of marketing? ›

Marketing Goals
  • Building brand awareness.
  • Generating a high volume of qualified leads.
  • Establishing thought leadership.
  • Attributing marketing activities to revenue generation.
  • Increasing brand engagement.
Nov 29, 2016

What are the challenges of SEO? ›

Key SEO challenges that marketers face include algorithm changes, underdeveloped AI, slow results and too many tools.
  • Google algorithm changes. Google changes its search algorithm multiple times per year, which can affect organizations' website traffic. ...
  • Artificial intelligence. ...
  • Slow results. ...
  • Too many tools.
Oct 5, 2022

Videos

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6. SEO Strategy for Higher Rankings - Powerful SEO Tips Rank #1 on Google
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Author: Annamae Dooley

Last Updated: 11/02/2022

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Name: Annamae Dooley

Birthday: 2001-07-26

Address: 9687 Tambra Meadow, Bradleyhaven, TN 53219

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Hobby: Archery, Couponing, Poi, Kite flying, Knitting, Rappelling, Baseball

Introduction: My name is Annamae Dooley, I am a witty, quaint, lovely, clever, rich, sparkling, powerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.