Much has been shared on the tips for beginners in SEO. Basic lessons can be found all over the Internet and some books and published guides on the shelves of libraries and bookstores. Now for the advanced SEO webmasters, this article can help you gain further knowledge and take it to the next level.
1. Use the Right Keywords
As soon as you decide on which niche to tackle, find the most relevant keywords to include in your blog posts. Each of them must be highly optimized but not too much as major search engines may wrong you as a spammer. Finding the right keywords which may be in the form of short-tail and long-tail indeed requires time and patience. You must also test their performance once in a while to know which ones are most effective.
2. Use Keyword Tool
As an advanced SEO webmaster, you don’t have to manually look for keywords either through experimentation, research or getting insights from your competitors. Use a keyword tool to gather a list of categories and related products and catchphrases often searched by people online. Once you gather the top ones, talk to some copywriters for suggestions and other experts in the field for recommendations on which to apply to your site. Most popular tools are Google Keyword Tool and Wordtracker.
3. Target Keywords Based on Location
In the Google Keyword Tool, there’s such feature used to target your desired audiences. For example, your website fits an offline business and you want to cater only to your local market. To enhance the keywords and SEO of your page, you can acquire more site visits only from this market. Aside from using your selected keywords, it would be good to affix the name of your region with the phrase. The tool allows you to also track the keyword ideas section in your area.
4. Conduct Split Testing
Split testing is also known as A/B testing, wherein you test how your website is seen by different groups of visitors. To start with, you should have one testing page which looks like exactly the same as the original. Make sure to include canonical tags to avoid being penalized by Google for duplicate contents. Ultimately, you would know how to rewrite and design websites to fit your potential and existing customers’ screens properly.
5. Add Data from Social Media
Data from social networking sites would make your site look more humane. Numbers would show how engaging you are as an author, and the metrics would also allow you to monitor your social mentions for your analysis.
6. Google Authorship
One snippet of news related to projections on SEO this 2013 that is spreading like wildfire is that Google will depend on the rank of authors on the web. This is called the Google Authorship, where Google allows authors to link up all the articles they contributed to their Google Plus page tagged to their bios. A higher click through rate is generally found when authors implementing this by inserting the rel=”author” tag into their web pages.
SEO is not only about optimizing pages in your website but also by strategically building relationships with your readers. One good way to do this is to encourage them to post a response in your article and don’t pass the chance to ignore their replies. It’s a best practice to comment and contribute more to their ideas to answer their concerns.
8. Join Online Networks
While link in blog comments generally do not have a “dofollow” tag, forum commenting allow such for link-building tactic. So participating in relevant forums and networks is critical to SEO as well. This is a good strategy to get backlinks and discover more people with similar interests. Just don’t put spam contents and links unless you want to be reported as abused or blocked by the community.
9. Place Super-Sized Photos
Next to textual content, readers favor photos while visiting websites. These may be in the form of drawing, infographics, illustrations and other images. Regardless, when attracting them for more attention, use super-sized and high-quality photos. Have emphasis on great resolutions as you don’t want to frustrate your audiences who will choose to ignore your post after seeing a crappy photo.
10. Have More Social Media Buttons
Instead of sticking only to the most common ones such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, you should also have other social media buttons. Recommendations are Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and LinkedIn. Users and members of these communities have the power to expand readership to your blog a hundred fold. The goal is to gain more followers and build more backlinks, as always.
11. Provide Discussion
So many Q&A sites are increasing traffic. Examples are Yahoo! Answers, Formspring and Quora. These sites are visited by people who come looking for answers from the most stolid questions to sometimes the insensible ones. Leverage on this and take advantage of the concept. You can specialize also in Q&A in your website by providing discussions to add value to your content.
12. Research for the “In” Things
As you can’t always maintain the same repeating boring contents in your website, exploring others’ posts might help a lot. If you can just spend time to read the feeds of Chris Brogan, SEOmoz, Copyblogger, Search Engine Journal and others which are similar, you get plus points. These so-called gurus can become your inspiration in knowing how to engage more readers and what trendy topics to publish next related to your domain.
13. Think Usability
Allow your friends and trusted bloggers to comment on the usability of your website. Change the elements that receive negative feedback and align them to appropriate web design for SEO. Watch the page loading speed, navigation, side bars, contents section, headers and footers, scrolling, etc. Act as if you’re the visitor of the site and list down all things and arrangements that should be corrected.
14. Focus on Content Above the Fold
According to researches and surveys conducted, most people only view the content which are located above the fold. More than 20% of users do not continue reading the rest for whatever reason. So it’s best to have your most important content in the first 768 pixels before they even scroll down.
As the number of mobile device users is increasing, your website should also have a mobile version or a mobile-friendly theme. This is to accommodate good viewing for people who are always on the go and are in search of good information or products to buy.
16. Add Badges
This may not exactly be a straightforward SEO tactic but including badges to show off your state would be beneficial for your website. People would come to trust you more if they know that you are endorsed as one of the top bloggers out there. One example is the ego bait or the Power 150 that lists all the most influential contributors. So if your site is on that list, visitors would see you with more authority. This then increases your chances of being recommended through word-of-mouse.
17. Validate Your Site
Another powerful SEO traffic driver is to test how search engines crawl your site. To validate this, check for broken links, your feeds URL, CSS and HTML/XHTML. You may also consider testing in different devices for its accessibility.
18. Automate post syndication
Automatic post syndication to various social media channels is key to get more people tweet, share, and post about your article to different social media sites. Then you win more eyeballs reading your content.
19. Schedule Posts
WordPress, Blogger, Facebook and other editing tools now feature scheduling of your posts to have more of your target market view your content at specific times. For example, RSS feeds of new posts are read mostly on late noon when employees finish their work-related tasks and would like to browse through the feeds they are interested in. Rather than posting later in the night, scheduling your post to be published at that time would have more impact.
20. Figure Out Robots.txt
As there are different ways search engines use the meta ROBOTS tag, knowing how different search engines treat the protocols in robots.txt is a good start. You should never ignore this text file because this is the one informing search engine spiders how to interact with indexing your content.
21. Add Paid Search Data
For sure by now you already have a lot of organic searches landing to your website. You can include these search data if you are selling products or services. But it’s even more helpful when you add performance-driven paid search data including AdWords traffic to view in reports. This is for you to see best sources of visits with quality traffic.
SEO strategies never stop emerging. As search engine algorithms and people evolve as well, you have to learn how to best get your audiences attentive to your posts to dominate in the industry. Try these methods and find out which work for you. You may combine them all to drive more traffic and enhance your SEO.
Author Bio: Sean Si is the author and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. The SEO Hacker Blog is all about providing the world with the latest information in the SEO industry.