13 SEO Tips That Actually Work

September 26, 2019

Have a mobile friendly site. Increase your page speed. But you already know these things! If you’re sick and tired of hearing the same SEO tips over and over and over again, then make sure to watch this whole video, because I have tactics, techniques and strategies that you are not going to want to miss. Stay tuned. Hey, it's Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. And we have a lot of juicy stuff to cover, so let’s skip the formalities and get straight into this thing.

The first tip is to get more traffic from your existing pages by covering subtopics that Google wants to see. Last year, we did a study on 3 million searches to find how many keywords you can rank for with one page and found that the average #1 ranking page will also rank for about 1,000 other relevant keywords. So how do you find these keywords? Easy. You do a content gap analysis. So let’s assume that you run SEO for bodybuilding.com. First, you'd go to Ahrefs' Site Explorer and paste in the URL of your page on "how to lose weight," which ranks somewhere on page 2 or 3 of Google’s search results. And you can see that this page ranks for around 1,100 keywords with 2,600 monthly search visitors. Not too shabby. But let’s quickly compare that against the top ranking page from healthline.com. They rank for over 30 times the keywords and gets more than 170 times more search traffic.

So, all you need to do is go to the content gap tool in the sidebar. Next, paste Health Line’s URL here. And I’ll actually paste in a couple more of the top ranking URLs to get more relevant results. I’ll set this filter here to show keywords where all of these targets rank in the top 100 and at least one of them ranks in the top 10, while my site doesn’t rank at all. Finally, I’ll make sure that our URL is set to prefix mode and run the search. And you can see that there are over 1,600 keywords where all of these pages rank, while the bodybuilding.com one doesn’t. You can see ideas here like to include modifiers like “best.” And here are a couple great sub topics you can include in your post. You can write about diets and also have a section specifically on weight loss for women. The next tip is to reverse engineer Quora and other forums to find low competition keywords plus a bonus traffic hack that you have to see.

No matter what niche you’re in, there are likely forums that are generating search traffic from user generated content. And since no one is actively building links to these forum threads, they are likely going to be really easy keyword targets. Here’s how you find popular threads on forums like Quora. Go to Site Explorer tool and enter in a domain of a forum. So I’ll use quora.com. And you can see that they generate over 154 million search visitors every single month. Next, click on “top pages” in the sidebar to see which pages from Quora generate the most search traffic. Finally, use the search box to look for a generic topic related to your niche. So let’s say that I have a blog on bitcoin. And right away, you’ll see a couple here like bitcoin generator which only has 5 referring domains, gets 5,000 monthly searches, and ranks in position 4.

And then there’s this one, “how long does it take to mine a bitcoin” with 1 referring domain, 3,400 monthly searches, in position 1 and owns the featured snippet. These would likely be low competition keywords that you can go after. But why limit your SEO knowledge and this golden data just to play the Google game? Let’s click through to this one here on bitcoin versus some other cryptocurrencies. You can see that this question has been viewed over a million times despite having only 1,100 monthly searches for their top keyword. If you look at this response, it was answered around months ago from the time I’m recording this video, and it's gotten over 73,000 views! So post your answer here and some relevant links to your website and start getting quality referral traffic.

In fact, I tested this exact trick as an experiment with a brand new domain to generate over 48,000 visitors and 15,000 leads from Quora alone. The next tip is to convert images into links back to your page. Creating quality graphics is hard and expensive. So what do people do? They steal them. If you’ve created an infographic, image graphs with data, or taken some cool photos, then you probably want credit for those, right? Here’s how you do it using Google Chrome. Just right click on the image, then click "search Google for images.” And you can see that these images appear on a bunch of different sites. So go to these sites and make sure that they’ve linked back to you. Here’s an even easier way to do this: Go to the backlinks profile for your domain in Site Explorer and type in .jpg or whatever file extension in the search bar. And will you look at that.

It looks like we have 868 links to our images. From here, you can open up the referring pages and see if they linked to the post where the image is from. So on this page, I’ll open up the page source and do a find for our domain, ahrefs.com. And it looks like there's only one link pointing to our image that’s embedded on our email outreach post. From here, I could contact the author and politely ask if they could change the link to our post instead of the image, because it doesn’t really pass much value to us since we’re not trying to rank the image. Next tip: don’t underestimate the effectiveness of broken link building. Broken link building is one of the easiest link building tactics that anyone can do.

Here’s how it works: You find pages that are broken and have backlinks pointing to it, you recreate that page, then you reach out to the websites that are linking to the broken page and ask them for a link. The easiest way to do this is to go to Ahrefs' Site Explorer, enter in a domain of a closely related competitor, and run the search. Next, click on “best by links” in the sidebar. From here, you’ll use this filter to show only 404 pages. And right away, you can see all of the pages that are broken and the number of unique linking websites that are pointing to these pages. Here are a few tips to make your campaigns convert better. 1. Include a screenshot of where the broken link is. This one tip took my conversion rate from sub 7% to around 13%. 2. Don’t copy people’s email scripts. They’re overdone and when someone receives that first line that says, “I was looking for some resources on 'topic'” then they’ll just click away or delete it.

And #3. Make sure your resource is relevant and actually impressive. The next tip is to include case studies and stats in your articles. Stats build trust and links. Period. Exclamation point. Happy face. Take a look at the backlink profile for Ahrefs' blog. If I do a search for the percent sign, you can see that we have over a thousand backlinks where this symbol is either in the anchor or surrounding text. But Sam, Ahrefs is a big-data company! Well, let’s look at Backlinko’s backlinks. Brian has over 2,600 backlinks with the percent sign in the anchor or surrounding text. And if you look through some of the links that he has, they’re based on his personal results like this one that says: “Brian Dean increased his search traffic by 110% in just 14 days.” Here are a couple more ideas on how you can add stats and data to your posts.

1. Use your own surveys with email subscribers, social media followers, or whoever would fit the profile. 2. Gather boring data and make it interesting. You can do this by turning it into an infographic, a video or a map. The next tip is to avoid “Keyword Unicorns” and consider search intent first. Just because a keyword has high search volume, it doesn’t mean it’s one that you should target. Search intent says a lot.

If we look at the keyword metrics for the search query, "Google Analytics" in Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer, you'll see that there are around million searches per month. The thing is that the vast majority of people searching for this , they probably wants to login to Google Analytics, right? So even if your page ranked in the number one or two position, you probably wouldn’t get very many clicks because you can’t serve the searcher’s intent. And our Keywords Explorer shows that only 5% of the time, search results for this query get clicked. But if we search for “how to use Google Analytics,” then the search intent becomes more clear. People likely want a guide or tutorial on how to navigate their way around Google Analytics and extract actionable insights. And the clicks data shows that the search results for this query get clicked around 51% of the time.

So always consider search intent first and ask yourself questions like: Do people searching for this likely have intent to buy what I have? Can I convert this traffic into leads? Is there enough search demand to make it worth creating and promoting? If the answer is no, then you might want to move on. The next tip is to add modifier keywords to your titles. Modifier keywords are add-ons to a base keyword. Here are 4 of my favorites: Best, top, buy, or the current year. For example, someone who is searching for “keyword research tools,” they might also look for “best keyword research tools,” or even “best keyword research tools 2018.” Modifiers can help you rank for more keywords and also meet people in different parts of their buying journey. So, if you own an eCommerce site and you sell this Kitchen Aid mixer, you might want to add “Buy Kitchen Aid Mixer," and then the model number.

So do your keyword research on phrases with modifiers and play around with your titles and content. The next tip is to monitor your competitor’s links, and then steal them like a thief in the night. When someone links to your competitors' content, you need to ask yourself, why did they link to them and not me? And the answer is almost always because that they don’t know your resource even exists.

And even if you email them right now and you tell them about your resource, it’s probably too late because timing is a critical component in successful outreach. You can solve this is by monitoring new backlinks for one of your competitor’s pages, then reach out to the site owner or author ASAP. Here’s how you can automate the process. Go to Ahrefs’ Alerts menu. Then under the backlinks menu, set up a new one and enter in the URL of one of your competitor’s pages. Set the notifications to real-time and as soon as your competitor gets a link to that page and we find it, you’ll get an email notification so that you can contact the author and pitch your resource. The next tip is to find low competition keywords that no keyword research tool can find. Something that's widely accepted in the SEO community is that quality backlinks help you rank high on Google.

Agree? But wait a second. Then that should mean that if a page has no backlinks but gets a ton of organic search visitors, then that page must rank for some low competition keywords, right? So using Content Explorer, which has an index size of nearly 1 billion pages, you can do just that. Just type in a general topic in your niche and set the option to a “title search.” Then set the maximum number of referring domains to 0, so no backlinks at all, and then set the minimum organic traffic value to something like 1,000. Scrolling down a bit, you’ll see this cool topic here on backpacks for professionals that gets over 2,000 search visitors each month without a single linking website.

Next, I’ll click on “details,” and then “organic keywords.” And just like that, I found some great keywords that I can create a post around like professional backpack, best professional backpack, and professional backpacks for work. And I know that I can probably rank high for these keywords with one page and only a few quality backlinks or maybe none at all, since this page is doing it. The next tip is to claim unlinked mentions. And this strategy is simple. When someone mentions you or your company, then they should link to you, right? Well, people don’t always do that. There are a few ways to find people who have mentioned you but haven’t linked to you. First, go to Google and search for something like “your brand name” -site:yourdomain. But it would be quite the feat to search through this many results only to find that most people have already linked to you. Instead you can use Content Explorer.

You can type in something like your brand name and common misspellings, so I’ll type in brackets ("netflix" OR "net flix" as a phrase match OR "netflicks") -site:netflix.com. This query is going to look for any of these keywords and exclude results from their own domain. Next, I’ll click on the “one article per domain” filter to narrow down our results set since we don’t need to get links from every page that has mentioned the brand name. Next, click on the “highlight unlinked domains” dropdown and enter in the domain, netflix.com. Scrolling down, you can see that this result is highlighted in yellow, which tells us that this website has never linked to netflix.com From here, we could reach out to the site and claim an unlinked brand mention.

If you have a lot of results like Netflix, then you can click the export button and make sure that this checkbox is checked to export only the unlinked domains. The next tip is to repurpose your best content. If have a blog post that has done particularly well by gaining links or garnering engagement, then it might be a good idea to repurpose that content into different media types. So you might turn that into an infographic, a podcast, a video, or a map, or a Slideshare presentation. The video that you’re watching right now is the perfect example. We have a blog post on 70+ SEO tips that's earned 254 links from different domains, over 7,000 shares and has 140 comments. By repurposing your content, you can expand your reach on different platforms and reach larger audiences. The next tip is to grab links from Wikipedia and make sure they stick. Before I show you how to do this, there are two things that I need to address: 1.

Yes, Wikipedia’s links are "no followed." 2. Yes, you should still consider getting links from these pages. But why? Because just the English version of Wikipedia gets around 3 billion search visitors every single month. Translation: an awesome place for referral traffic. With Wikipedia, anyone can edit the Wikis and add links to their pages. Just find the wiki you want to add, click the edit button and add your contribution. But they do have a pretty tight moderation team, so you can’t just spam links. When you’re adding content and/or links to the pages, you need to make sure that the resources you’re adding are bang on and adds value to what’s already there.

Something that I’ve found to work well is to include a supporting statistic. Next, you need to make sure that you’re contributing to the right Wiki. Here’s a surefire way to find pages that get organic search traffic. First, go to Google and type in something like site:wikipedia.org then add your keyword term as a phrase match.” Then I’ll make a note of any of the URLs that are clearly relevant to the article I want to promote. Next, I’ll go to Ahrefs’ batch analysis tool, and paste these URLs here and run the search. And right away, you can see which pages are getting the most organic search traffic and now, it’s just a matter of finding the balance between impressions and relevance. The final SEO tip I have for you is an important one and I predict it’s only going to become more important. And that’s to optimize for featured snippets. Featured snippets are when Google shows an answer, or a partial answer to the question directly in the search results.

Ahrefs did a study on featured snippets and found that 8.6% of clicks go to these featured snippets, which is stealing clicks away from the top organic rankings. Whether you like these SERP features or not, you’re going to have to adapt and play the game. Here are a few quick tips to optimize your content for featured snippets. 1. Our study showed that 99.58% of featured pages ranked in the top 10 search results. Not top 3, top 10. So your first task is to make sure your page ranks there.

2. Look and see how the current featured snippet is formatted and understand what part of the question is being answered. For example, if we search for “how to make chicken soup” then you’ll see the featured snippet that highlights the directions and only the directions as a numbered list. If we look up “chicken soup ingredients”, then you’ll see just the ingredients appear and from a different website than our first example.

Looking deeper at one of these pages, you’ll see that there’s a simple headline and no introductory text. Just the list. There are a lot of great resources out there on optimizing for featured snippets. And hey, we actually have a great video on this topic which I highly recommend watching. There were probably some, maybe even a lot of tips in here that you haven’t used so I’d love to hear from you and see which SEO tip was your favorite. Make sure to leave a comment and hit the subscribe button to get more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials. And don’t just close this video and go about your day. I’ve left links in the description to some more helpful videos and of course to our full SEO tips post with 70+ actionable SEO tips. Keep grinding away, take action, get results, and I’ll see you in the next tutorial. .

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