Not too long ago I wrote piece entitled, “Seven Super Easy SEO Tips For Dummies”. I’m not an expert on SEO by any means and spent hours doing research to come up with those seven tips. My motto is to start small with incorporating changes in order to make them stick in your head. So thinking seven is a lucky number I settled on that.
Much to my surprise I received an email last week. Wow!
“My name is George Pirvu and I’m one of your blog readers. Great job with the “Seven Super Easy SEO Tips For Dummies” article! Using Google’s suggestions for content ideas is a great tip, and yet very few people use it. Actually, I just published the 2017 edition of my “SEO Tips” article; it has 164 tips now.”
First, I was happy to know someone was reading my blog and second, to know someone had found something useful. I responded to George with big thanks and asked if I could excerpt some of his 164 tips and link over to his site for the full list. He said yes and also shared my original piece with his 50,000 Twitter followers. It was truly a great day and one of the reasons I love social media.
George’s post is organized by chapters. I think it’s the first time I remember ever seeing anyone post chapters like a book. Here are by favorite tips from each of his chapters. I think bloggers will love this list.
Part 1: Site Design & Architecture
• Create dedicated pages for each targeted keyword. Resist the temptation to create other pages for similar keywords because having similar pages on the same website can quickly destroy your rankings.
• Check and fix your website’s HTML and CSS. A few errors won’t get your site penalized; however, if their number exceeds a certain value, Google’s bot may leave your site without crawling it in its entirety. A free HTML/CSS validator can be found here: http://www.onlinewebcheck.com/
Part 2: Keyword Research
• Ask Google what are the keywords your website should be ranking for. Go to Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, and then input the URL of your website in the “Your landing page” field.
• Use sites like Wikipedia, Quora and Reddit to discover unique keyword ideas.
• The duplicate content penalty has to do with having duplicate content pieces on your own website, and not with somebody else reusing your website content. Use Google searches similar to the one below: keyword site:yoursite.com to reveal pages that may have similar content.
Part 4: On-page SEO Tips
• Google has stated that having low quality pages on your site could lead to a Panda penalty for the entire website. If you have several tiny website pages with 50…200 words texts each, consider merging them or moving them to a folder that will not be indexed by the search engines.
• Google will usually display the first 50-60 characters from your title tag in its search results. Keep the title tags short and punchy; otherwise, they will not be displayed in their entirety in Google’s search results.
Part 5: User Experience Tips
• Pop-ups may be a necessity, but don’t forget to take user experience into account. Google will penalize your site if you display huge pop-ups on tiny smartphone screens, hiding the actual content.
• Use Google Analytics or your favorite analytics service to discover your site’s exit pages.
Part 6: Off-page SEO / Link Building Tips
• PageRank is gone for good, so learn to evaluate the strength of a particular website using Majestic SEO’s Citation Flow/Trust Flow and Moz’s Domain Authority/Page Authority.
• Set up Google Alerts for your website URL and company name. I included this in my favorites because I have my name as an alert but had not put my website’s name in as an alert.
Part 7: Website Traffic Tips
• Get notified when your website receives a sudden website traffic drop by setting up an alert in Google Analytics; this will give you the opportunity to react quickly in case that something unexpected happens. Use Google’s Intelligence Events -> Create a Custom Alert to set it up.
Part 8: SEO Tools
• Having access to a paid backlinks discovery tool is crucial for any SEO consultant. Still, if money is an issue, you can use Open Link Profiler, a 100% free tool that provides good results. You can export up to 1,000 backlinks per website with a free account.
• Monitor your website downtime by using free services like UptimeRobot; you will be notified by email and/or SMS whenever your website is down.
Part 9: Social Media Tips
• Don’t just share your own posts; share other people’s articles about trending topics to boost your brand and authority.
Part 10: WordPress SEO Tips
• If you have a WordPress-based blog, its RSS feed URL is http://www.yoursite.com/feed. Grab this URL and submit it to the top RSS directories; you will get backlinks and visitors on autopilot every time you post a fresh article.
• Install a caching plug-in. Most of them are free and will significantly boost the speed of your website. Plug-ins like W3 Total Cache serve static HTML versions of the pages to your visitors, rather than making lots of database calls that slow down the site.
Part 11: Google Penalties and Recovery
• Audit your website’s backlinks profile on a regular basis.
• Links that have been built using automated tools can quickly lead to Google Penguin penalties. Forum profile links, directory links, blog comments links and keyword-rich links are known Penguin triggers. Read this detailed Google Penguin recovery guide to learn more.
• Type yoursite.com and www.yoursite.com into the browser; if they don’t redirect to the same address (be it with the www or not) you are missing a 301 redirect.
Be sure to visit George’s full list.
It’s a virtual treasure trove of ideas. I’ve shared the list with my marketing team. And I think it’s worthy of sharing with our entire community of influencers. SEO and taking the time to create great content will make all the difference for you site.
You can follow George at @randbyte