If you mange to kick ass on Google you’ll get a lot of free traffic to your site and generate lots of business!
Brian Dean from Backlinko launched his site about SEO in December and is already appearing on page 1 of Google for some of the most competitive terms in the SEO industry.
I chatted to Brian to find out how his blog promotion process works – Write great content on the blog, optimize it and promote it!
Read this summary of a really interesting interview and you’ll be kicking ass in no time!!!
1. Identifying the Topic
Brian does some keyword research to figure out a good topic to write about and then he searches Google to find out the top results for this search. He will then pick out the best content from that list and write something a lot better.
He wants to have the best article on that list and this will give him the best chance to stand out.
2. Writing the Content
Brian writes around once a month and writes long detailed articles, each article on his site is over 1,000 words. From his research long articles do better in terms of shares, comments and of course links, which are the most important and means they will do better in search results.
How can you make an impact with only one post a month? Brian agrees with Derek Halpern from Social Triggers. You need to spend more time promoting your content than writing it! In fact he suggests spending 20% of your time writing the content and 80% promoting it.
You can write lots of great content each week but if you don’t have a good promotion strategy then the content just won’t do well.
3. Optimizing the Content
Brian mentioned in the interview that a couple of years ago you would just stuff keywords in a post to help it rank. But Google is smarter now so the goal is to help Google understand how to index your content correctly based on what you want to rank for and not to over optimize.
Let’s take a look at one of Brian’s posts.
Brian wants to rank on the term ‘on-page seo’
1. On-Page SEO is displayed across the top of the browser. This is known as the page title and it’s one of the most important elements you need to configure. Google will read this to figure out what the page is about. You’ll notice that the title tag includes other words but what’s imortant is that On-Page SEO is at the start of the title.
2. On-Page SEO is the page name. You’ll notice that Brian doesn’t include the full name of the blog post but only focuses on the key term he wants to rank on.
3. The name of the post is a Heading 1 title. This is also relevant. Make sure the name of your post is marked as a H1 tag (Heading 1) on your page.
4. Brian mentions the keywords within the first 100 words of his post. As the post is about On Page SEO it makes perfect sense that he talks about this early on.
The whole post is about Brian’s technique so have a read of his post about on page seo and take a look at the infographic below.
(Get infographic code on www.backlinko.com)
Note: Raventools is a good tool for analyzing and optimizing content.
4. Promoting the content
Writing great content doesn’t mean it will rank well within Google or it will get shared. The crucial element after publishing the content is how you promote it.
Brian produces really valuable content so there are plenty of people that will be interested in linking to it. But if they don’t know about it in the first place how can they? So Brian reaches out to these people to make them aware of his content. He uses a monitoring tool called ‘Mention.net’ to monitor mentions of keywords he wants to rank on so that he can reach out to the sites that mention these keywords when he posts his blog post to make them aware of his post!
In the post above Brian had an infographic so he started to reach out to relevant blogs that may be interested in this infographic to see if they would publish it. Of course when they publish (embed it) a link it generated back to Brian’s site.
Brian uses a tool called Ahrefs to find the sites that are linking to the URLs that appear in the top 10 results for a search on the keywords he wants to rank on. So in this example, he would have entered “on-page SEO” into Google and then copied the web address of the top 10 results, one by one, into Ahrefs to see what sites are currently linking to this content.
Note: Brian also mentioned that he’s investigating a tool called Backlink Spy from SECockpit which he is finding very good.
I ran this on his page and as you can see there over 600 links pointing back to this page.
Without these links the page would not have a chance of ranking well.
Based on this basic optimization of the post, by providing fantastic content and carrying out some strategic link building, this page is ranking number 8 in the search results. Think about all the thousands of SEO companies that know SEO and want to rank for this keyword. Brian ranks with one post and some link building, powerful!!!
How did Brian get these links?
This is not an easy task and it’s time consuming. You try to identify relevant websites/blogs that would want to link to you. One of the most important things for links is to get relevant links. You want to get links from sites that are relevant to yours. But the diversity of these links is also important, for example, if all your links come from only a handful of high profile sites Google will not see this is as natural. It’s much better if you have a broader spread of links so having some lower profile links are fine (as long as the sites are relevant).
In the example above infographics are very popular so it’s easier to get people to include an infographic in a post.
Let’s take a look at some of the examples of where the links came from.
1. Networking with the right people
In the following example this blogger found Brian through Neil Patel’s site (very influential) and decided to write an article and include the infographic. So this is not a link that Brian looked for. He got this because he networks with the right people. So networking is one important area of building links. Network with people, build relationships and where relevant share their content.
2. Being picked up by high profile sites.
Wordtracker (which is a highly ranked website) included the infographic as a post. This is a site found either Brian’s article or seen the infographic on another site. Companies are looking for good content all the time so if you produce good content and you really promote it you’ll get some juicy links!
3. Edu domain link
A domain that ends in edu is generally an institute of higher education. These websites are generally highly ranked within Google due to their huge popularity so getting a link back from them can be really valuable. On the site http://www.code.colostate.edu there is a list of SEO resources and Brian’s post is mentioned.
They could have just found Brian because the infographic was shared around a lot or they may have found him through search results. In this case Brian reached out to them and found them through searching online.
This sounds like a lot of work and it is! But this is a link you will always have and having more high quality links means regular ongoing traffic.
During the interview Brian gave an example of someone who created an infographic very similar to his that didn’t have any links and very few social shares. The issue with this infographic was that it wasn’t promoted.
What about optimizing video?
The best tip that Brian gave was to search Google for the keywords you want to rank on and if there are no video results in this search then don’t waste your time trying to rank a video. Google only puts video’s in search results for some keyword searches so there’s no point in trying to rank if there are not videos in the results already!
Thanks to Brian for a fascinating interview. The action I’d love to see at the end of this is for people to commit to higher quality content and focus more on blog promotion.
I’d strongly advise you to start following Brian as he is bringing out some fantastic courses which will teach people the process he follows for ranking.
We’d love to hear your feedback below. Will you take any of the above on board? What has worked for you?