7 Hot SEO tips and tricks for blogs

7 Hot SEO Tips and Tricks for Blogs

hot seo tipsThe more SEO skills you have, the more likely you are to get into trouble with Google.

Of course that is not always the case, but there are many SEO professionals who still recommend shady practices that Google frown upon.  There are also some great SEO professionals and many of them now call themselves content marketers as they realize that great content is the cornerstone of SEO.

If you are employing someone to help you with your SEO, you need to be very careful.  Even if they have lots of success with their clients, you need to know if they are deploying tactics that Google will cop onto very soon.  You’ve heard about Panda,  Penguin and others (Google’s code names for their algorithm changes)? Well, we’ll see Zebra, Koala and Irish Wolfhound soon.  Of course I made up those names but there will be more code named algorithm changes coming!

However SEO is still important and there are some non-shady tips that can help improve the optimization of your content to drive more traffic to your site.

Here are 7 SEO tips and tricks.  I’d love to hear from you if you have any more you’d like to add.

1. Internal Link Building

Do you do enough linking of old content to new content?

Linking new content to old content

When you write content on your website, find relevant articles that you have already published on your site to link to.  As the value of the new post goes up, the value of the link goes up too.  Also, if anyone does copy/republish your content then at least you’ll have at least one link back to your site.

To find relevant articles to link to, go to Google and search your site for relevant articles.  For example, if I wanted to find relevant articles about SEO on this site I would type in the following:

SEO site:www.razorsocial.com

Linking old content to new content

It’s great to link to older articles, but what about linking older articles to your new content?  This is just as important to consider.  You have some older articles that Google has probably already indexed and, if it’s a good article, you will have got links to it.  This means their value has gone up.

You can now link from these older articles to your newer posts.

This gives your new article a little boost and it also helps Google to find it.  As Google is re-indexing your content, it will follow links within your posts.

Action:  Revisit your older posts and find posts you should be cross linking.  Consider adding this as an additional item to your checklist for new posts.

 

2. Resolve Errors in Google Webmaster Tools

Imagine if Google crawled your site and, when it found any issues or problems, it told you about them.

“Hey Guys, I’ve just found some problems on your site and if you don’t fix them it will mean that I’m not going to send you as much traffic as I was going to!”

Of course, you don’t get that personal email from Google, but Google does put any errors/problems into Google Webmaster Tools.

Here is an example.  You have duplicate descriptions for some of your posts, which is not helping Google index your content.  So you need to resolve issues like this asap.

Google Webmaster HTML

Resolve issues related to Title and Description tags

 

Action: This is not something to ignore.  Check whether there are any errors in Webmaster Tools and resolve them asap.

3.  Review content that is not ranking

What about content you’ve written recently that is not ranking?

Perhaps you thought that you would get a ton of links and you could rank in Google for a competitive term, but then this didn’t happen.

Well, maybe you could go back and tweak the post to try to rank for different keywords?  Or you could write a guest post on a high-profile site and link to this content?  Or add links from existing content on your website?

Action:  On a monthly basis, review your recent posts to see what traffic they are getting.  If they are getting very little traffic, take some action to correct this.  Don’t always just think about new posts, let’s not neglect our old ones!

4.  Consider Related Keywords

When you write a blog post and try to optimize it for keywords, it’s great when you start to get regular ongoing traffic for those keywords.  But what also normally happens is that you end up getting even more traffic for keywords that are similar to the ones you tried to rank for.

So, it’s important to consider these related keywords in your posts.  I’m not talking about adding keywords for the sake of it, but if Google thinks they are related to your main keyword targets, then consider adding them if they add value to your content.

The best way of finding these keywords is by searching for something in Google, scrolling to the bottom of the page, and looking at the related keywords.

Related searches

This is available at the bottom of a search results page

 

Action:  Consider related keywords as part of your post.

 

5.  Leverage tools to help with SEO

There are many tools that can help you with different aspects of the optimization of your content, so you really need to have a small collection of them.  Here are some examples of tools I use on a regular basis.

SEMRush - This shows the terms your competitor is ranking for, what you are ranking for, helps you with keyword research and much more.

Google Keyword Planner - When you want to do keyword research, this is essential to review.  Google will give you an estimate of traffic for the keywords you search for and for associated keywords.

Yoast SEO Plugin -  If you’re on WordPress, you need this plugin.  It’s the best plugin for optimizing your content for Google.  It’s simple to use and very effective.

Opensite Explorer -  It’s important to understand about the proprietary website and web page ranking system implemented by Moz.  Your website is ranked out of 100 using a domain authority ranking and your pages are ranked out of 100 also. This tool shows you this data so that you can consider it when trying to compete against other websites.

Moz Toolbar - When you do a Google search, this toolbar adds the domain and page authority onto each search result.  Consider using two browsers: one for normal searching and one that has Moz toolbar installed. You can use this one when you are doing your SEO work.

Ahrefs - I use this mainly for analyzing the link profiles of our site and our competitors’ sites.

6. Strategic guest posting

If you have a post that is ranking well and getting some traffic, this may be a post that you want to keep topping up with new links.

The new links to the post will help it maintain its standing in Google search results, but you may also push it up the search results if it’s not currently in the number one position.

One way of doing this is through guest posting.  Write an article that is relevant to the content you have, and include a link to the article you want to promote.  This helps drive traffic to the post but it will also help with the ranking of the post.  Because the link is relevant and adds value to the content that you are guest posting about, you’ll generally get away with adding the link!

Action:  Read this post on Guest posting (notice the way I’m linking to internal articles!).

7. Write long content

Is this really about optimizing content for SEO?  Yes, absolutely.  So, why write long content?

If you can write super high-quality short articles, then write them.  But typically it’s very difficult to provide a lot of value in a short article, so they don’t tend to get many links or shares.  Without these, you won’t have much of a chance of ranking for this content.

I read a recent post from the wonderful Andy Crestodina on the importance of the length of blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates etc.  In his article he presented research on the average content length for search results in the top 10.

You can see that most of them are more than 2,000 words!

 

Average Post Length

You can see that Google top search results are generally longer content

Action:  Write long posts – this is one of the best optimization techniques you will come across.

Summary

SEO tips and tricks are not about scamming Google.  You don’t want to over optimize your content, but some optimization is required and this is ongoing work you need to do.

However, quality content is the starting point.  Never, ever deliver any piece of content on any site unless it’s high quality.  And never write articles for websites that are not high authority (check to make sure they have a good domain rank).

Next Steps

1.  Read this article on Domain Authority.

2. Share this post – If you like it share it, we appreciate you sharing.

3.  Comment below – We love to hear from you.  Tell us what you’re going to implement, what you disagree with, or what you like.  Just comment!!

All the best,

Ian




 

About the author

Ian Cleary

Author: Ian Cleary is the Founder of RazorSocial and is super passionate about helping people leverage tools and technology to improve effectiveness of your social media presence.

  • Jill Holtz

    Great tip Ian about linking newer content onto your older articles as well

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Jill, it works a treat!

  • http://www.thebusinessofathomebusiness.com/ Jane Gardner

    I had this discussion with my Mentor on what is a good length for A post in terms of SEO so it is great to know it is true that a longer post would be relevant for SEO. It has more meaning and content for the Reader and Google likes it too! Bonus!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      That’s it Jane! Just make sure to have short paragraphs, lots of images, bullet points etc, anything to break up the content!.

      • http://naomihattaway.com/ Naomi Hattaway

        Great idea to have those longer posts AND the hints to make sure to break it up!

  • http://inspiretothrive.com/ Lisa Buben

    Hi Ian, interesting about the longer posts. I was reading one this morning and it was so long I lost interest and time. Do they also note about specific categories of these long posts?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Lisa, there’s a balance between feeding Google and looking after your reader. I’ve been thinking of putting a summary for people that don’t have much time, maybe I’ll do this!!! Ian

      • http://www.esivy.com/ E.S. Ivy

        Long post for SEO is something I hadn’t heard – I’m still kind of just starting out and I was concentrating on short to try to attract readers. But I’ll throw some long ones in there, now!

        Reading this comment I had an idea, that at the top of a long post I could put an outline in the vein of “tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them (and maybe leave out tell them what you told them – but that would add length!) Would be nice if WordPress let you put internal links to later in the post, but I’m not sure if it’s capable of that.

  • http://www.bizeez.com/ Tania Shirgwin

    Great tips as usual. No 3 – Review Content that is not Ranking is something usually forget to do. It’s now on my monthly check list. Thanks!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Fantastic, we love when the RazorSocial community takes action, thanks Tania!

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Power tips Ian. Linking is huge. I gotta admit, I’ve let go Google a bit as my network is growing and the energy needed to spend, to appease them, is not what I feel I should be spending ;) But the little things like linking take a few moments to do and make all the difference in the world. That’s how it works, just a few little change and you can SEO-out your blog.

    Thanks!

    I’ll share this on kingged(dot)com for a nice little traffic boost :)

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Fantastic thanks Ryan. Great to hear that your network is growing so you don’t have to worry too much about the linking but any little boost is always nice! Ian

  • amyjyoffie

    Ian, very useful! I use a WordPress Plugin called Contextual Related Posts. It automatically looks at earlier posts on my blog and puts links to them at the bottom of each new post. I had the option to say how many posts I want it to look for. It does a good job. Do you think that these qualify as the kinds of links that give new articles a boost in Google?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Amy, what’s your website, I’ll take a look, thanks Ian

      • Junaid Mir

        Hi!
        I, too have a similar plugin installed in my website ‘http://www.fitnesstipoftheday.net/’
        It automatically places a ‘related’ link at the end of any article.
        Does that count for the thing ‘Linking old content to new’ ?

  • Gareth Mailer

    RE: long posts, good advice. One of the more prominent SERPs changes being discussed recently is Google’s inclusion of ‘in-depth’ posts as a subset of results; while this seems to feature predominantly on Google.com, certain people (Neil Patel) report significant surges in traffic as a result of this change.

    Writing long posts consistently – and I’m speaking from personal experience here – can be a bit draining mind you. I’ve created a few posts on my blog in excess of 10,000+ words – while they drive a lot of traffic, they take a heck of a lot of time (not just writing the content, but also editing and sourcing, formatting and adding imagery etc), particulary if you’re a micro business owner or independent webmaster.

    There’s a great deal to be said for EVERGREEN content in the region of 1,000 – 1,500 words which is supplemented with a few resources (big pieces); however, the most important factor in the success of ANY blog is consistency.

    At least by conditioning yourself to post shorter posts more regularly you will, more likely, stick with it, and start to build up a bit of brand awareness through being able to ‘feed’ your audience with new content on a regular basis.

    FINAL POINT: as well as reviewing content which is not ranking, it’s worth checking out author stats in Google Webmaster Tools, too (under ‘labs’) – you’ll get CTR data on all of your posts; while you may have created unique titles/meta descriptions for these posts, it could be worth scanning through to see if there are any posts which are struggling to garner clicks.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Excellent points Gareth. I look for posts in Google webmaster tools that are getting clicks but don’t have a great title/description and then I update it and can generally improve the click through rate. I think we forget to maximize value of existing content and focus too much on new content.

      I agree with you about having 1,000/1,500 word posts and then every so often having the large ones (5k words plus).

      In Mike Stelzners book (Launch) he talks about having your normal blog content which is fuel and bigger content which is rocket fuel. For example, Mike does a quarterly industry report. This report takes a lot of time but he gets a ton of value from it.

      Neal produces 30k word freebie guides most quarters and that’s his rocket fuel.

      Thank you so much for your commentary, I’m always learning and comments like these help.

      Ian

      • Gareth Mailer

        No worries Ian, I’m a regular visitor, if infrequent commenter, for that exact reason – you can always learn from the people around you, so the ‘always learning’ principle applies to me too.

        I haven’t come across Mike’s book, I will definitely take a look – cheers.

        I think the thing which really took my results for clients to the next level was looking at keywords from the perspective of a sales funnel – target and cover a broad range of topics, always answer the visitor’s question and draw them into viewing the buying content which falls further down the funnel.

        Rather than targeting ‘buyer queries’ we tend to target 95% informational then slowly draw them into ‘buying mode’ by offering free trials, case studies etc via e-mail. We often find – personally speaking and as far as our audiences are concerned – on-the-spot conversions are always relatively hard to come by.

        Anyway, thanks for the response and sure I will see you around.

        Gareth

        • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

          Thank you Gareth, that is smart! I love that approach.

  • http://www.hisocial.com/ Hisocial

    Hi Ian,

    Nice tips,

    I would also add improve your social media post dissemination. Social factors are getting very important.

    Regards
    Albert

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you Albert, I believe that social signals are completely ignored by Google but people find out about your through social so that means lots more references/links from other sites. Thanks for stopping by! Ian

      • cori warner

        Social signals are ignored…except for G+. And bloggers need to learn how to leverage that!!

  • http://www.workonlinekenya.com Sheeroh

    Ever since I learned the importance of internal linking (Wikipedia being an excellent example) I’ve become a sucker for it. Thanks for this!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Sheeroh!

  • http://www.contentspruce.com Grant Draper

    Before I start, I have read your articles on SME and if you want to put a piece (or offer perspective) give me a shout. Here are my thoughts (opinion from here on…)

    1. Internal linking – You should view internal links as external links. Would
    you link to this link if it was not on your domain? Does it add value to the
    reader? The boost happens when it’s relevant and traffic engages. The link
    juice is minimal, believe me, I’ve tried it for a fairly competitive phrase
    (100k+ global).

    2. Agreed.

    3. Review content that is not ranking – No. Don’t do that. Either 1. Your
    content is bad or 2. You didn’t promote it properly. Don’t dilute well
    established and successful posts by sending traffic and/or juice to lesser. It’s
    not natural. This is also how large companies have fallen (i.e. not cutting
    their losses)

    4. Consider Related Keywords – This is what I’m most interesting in. You
    optimise by serving the intent of the search (each individual should come to
    their own conclusion as to what that is). Stuffing keywords means lower CTR,
    engagement, higher bounce…yada…This is more of a research method. LSI should
    happen naturally. Target 1 keyword. Service the intent behind THAT search and
    as you write, you’ll incorporate new ones. Go back and modify phrases where you
    can obviously optimise, beyond that, LSI does your work.

    5. Agreed. DA is not a factor I consider, but hey…

    6. Strategic guest posting – Nope. Matt Cutts culled that months ago
    (although your link out makes sense). Even before that, guest posting is a
    means of reaching an audience that you can’t; exposure. They need epic content
    + Site has epic reach = relationship.

    7. Write long content – agreed if quality is constant.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Grant, I loved your detailed comments. Here’s my responses!

      1. Internal Linking – Good point.
      2. cool.
      3. Maybe you went after keywords that were too competitive so you want to target less competitive keywords? Maybe you didn’t do sufficient promotion and you need to give it another push? Maybe it’s just content that is not worth focussing on! So I guess it depends.
      4. Agree. When I look at related keywords sometimes it gives me ideas for content that should be included. Other times it gives me phrases that are not relevant that I ignore.
      5. cool.
      6. I know that Matt Cutts said guest posting is not something they like but that’s a dig at all the spammers. Guest posting strategically on high quality sites builds reputation, branding but doesn’t always bring traffic. A side benefit is that if you guest post regularly you end up with a good relationship with the blog and thus ending up getting links to your content in other posts!
      7. cool

      Thank you so much for your comments. It’s great to hear another opinion that challenges my thinking!

      Ian

      • http://www.contentspruce.com Grant Draper

        Hey Ian, No problem. I think we’re overlapping mostly but:

        3. That’s basically what I’m saying. But taking away solid juice from good pages isn’t the answer. I should have been more specific and said “links”. I.e. Do everything else you mention, then re-promote. Rather than “link to it, that’s an option”. Go: Check top 10 and see what they are doing better, delete fluff, ad substance, re-promote with a boost from a good guest post.

        4. 100% correct. Competitiveness as we know it isn’t always a factor. My site ranks #22 (useless I know) for a phrase with 22m results and #1-10 for 100 other phrases with 100k-1m results. It’s a 2,400 word post and I didn’t build any links. (I did build relevant internals to keep some traffic on my site, there was no noticeable difference in it’s growth SE wise). Outranks tonnes of big names (AOL, Entrepreneur.com etc). OK, so more effort would need to go into something like “content marketing”, but I do have ideas for that and I’m trying all the ideas I’ll be developing. Feel free to give me a shout and get involved with a post ( grant at grantdraper .co.uk

        6. My view is if your not getting traffic, you’re probably on the wrong sites. Not as a rule, I’m just saying in general. Highly popular should = huge traffic. If your content is quality and relevant to that audience and your company is an extension or highly related to that post, it should bring targeted traffic. From a writers perspective though, anything along the lines of Forbes, Huffington etc is just as much about “look – Forbes like me – you should too!” and the same goes for brands as a whole. I wouldn’t spend too much of my budget/time on that though.

        All the best :)

  • http://www.it-sales-leads.com/ Barbara Mckinney

    Thanks for the tips.I already tried guest blogging and it works well for me.I think the most beneficial part of guest posting is getting your content in front of new viewers. It’s a great way to build your audience and share your expertise and it helps you build your brand and authority.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Absolutely Barbara, it worked for me also!! thanks for your feedback, Ian

  • BigcomDevloper

    Nice One Ian, I want to add something that add a site description under Settings > Search preferences. This is what will pop-up when someone searches for your site. Make sure to include keywords relating to your site’s content.

  • Don Hesh

    Sometimes I seen one page HTML sites ranking higher. No links, no seo.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Don, in a non competitive area this can happen.

  • http://www.avowzone.com MD Golam Rabbani

    Internal linking is first thing to start seo. Anyway, I never check Webmaster tool to resolve errors. Will do it from now. Thanks for your great seo tips.

  • http://backyardbrilliant.com BackyardBrilliant

    Great tips, Ian!
    I love how easy to understand this post was – even for a newbie blogger like myself! I have seen tip #7 in action. I wrote a super long post on tips for training for a half-marathon in just 8 weeks. Our blog gets very low traffic numbers, but this post is always getting found in google searches. It seems like the prevailing advice out there is to keep it short and simple (you don’t want to lose your readers’ attention) or write longer posts in a series of smaller posts. Yet the stats and your advice here prove that advice wrong. Maybe it’s because the people who REALLY care about the information you’re providing are going to love a long, info-packed post, and the individuals whose attention you lost on paragraph 2? Well, they weren’t really all that interested in the topic anyways.
    Another thing we’re trying to do is add more video to our blog posts. Video is such a powerful form of media – it lets your audience really get to know you as a person, can help explain ideas and concepts better, and google seems to really like Youtube videos for ranking purposes!
    Thanks again,
    ~ Beth Anne

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Beth Anne, people might enjoy the short post but it’s forgotten about quite quickly. Long posts that can be reference posts get linked to and talked about for a long time e.g. The Ultimate guide to traveling in X. You just need to make sure that if you’re spending time writing a long post it’s full of really useful information. Creating a list post is a great way of breaking down a long post as people can skip to what’s interesting to them! Thanks for your feedback. Ian

      • http://backyardbrilliant.com BackyardBrilliant

        Great advice, Ian! Thank you!
        ~ Beth Anne

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  • Portman

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    blogging you have touched some good things here. Any way keeps sharing this
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  • peterzmijewski

    I really like the tips provided by the blogger regarding SEO. Thanks for sharing. I am totally pleased by your excellent work.
    Peter Zmijewski – CEO at KeywordSpy

  • ronald

    I have found this great SEO technique from a friend working in a BIG SEO company. It works like a magic. In 20 days your name is on the first page of google. Its the latest most effective tool based technique called URL Specific Optimization.

    Step-1

    Open this url in the browser

    http://amanzee.com/A/B/C/D/E/F/C

    step-2

    You will see A , B , C….. are appearing on the web page at different places.

    step-3

    Replace A , B , C … etc in the url (address bar) with your words or content.

    NOTE-1: Use hyphen(-) in place of space.

    Example : Microsoft Corporation will be written in the url as Microsoft-Corporation

    Note:2: Replace E with your contact number

    Replace F with your email / address / fax

    Note-4: C is the image url without “http://”

    SHARE THE LINK CREATED ON BLOGS AND SOCIAL NETWORK

  • Magesh FPS

    Am beginner of Search Engine Optimization techniques. Your
    post helped me to learn a lot. Thanks for the awesome Post!!
    Seo Services

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  • Portman

    I learned something today. Thanks for sharing nice information.i am very thankful to you Ian Cleary go here