Good question, Rob. This can definitely work for local businesses. But you’re right: it takes a slightly different approach. One of the hardest parts of doing outreach for brick and mortar business or large sites is finding the right person to get in touch with. If you dig deep you can usually find the right email address somewhere on the site. If not, I recommend using the general “contact us” page and asking them to forward your message to the right person.
33. Choose keywords you can easily rank for. Stay away from highly competitive keywords that are targeted by the big companies, or prepare to spend a lot of time and money with your SEO without having any guarantee that you will win the fight. Fortunately, the big guys don’t care about keywords that have hundreds of searches per month, while a small business owner can make a decent living by getting good rankings for a dozen of carefully chosen, low competition keywords.
Often times, people will build bad links to your site to hide their own affiliate links that are placed on the same low quality page. Others simply attack your website using negative SEO because it ranks better than theirs, making them lose clients.
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157. Use a CDN (content delivery network) to speed up your site. It’s a system that caches your website’s static content, storing it in a network of servers. Then, when people access your website, the desired pages are loaded from the servers that are closest to them. Cloudflare is one of the best CDN providers on the market, and they have a free plan that offers enough features for most people’s needs.
Once upon a time, tactics were defined by a handful of search engines. Now, SEO tactics are defined and controlled by the big daddy of search: Google. So let’s quickly define what is a hat and what a hat means.
Remember, Google has a product, the information it serves and if that information is no good then Google has no value. Google wants better websites and gets them from SEO professionals.
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51. Use Quora to understand the main problems of your potential customers. Then, write a report that solves/answers them and give it away on your website, or upload it to the top document sharing sites.
21. If you have bought a domain but you aren’t ready to launch your website yet, put a 2000+ words, high quality article on the home page and get it indexed – it will allow your site to age naturally, thus helping you rank it faster when you are prepared to promote it.
Excellent. I still believe users shouldn’t piss search engines by using black hat link building strategies. I am a blogger, and I have full faith in White Hat Link building tactics. By the way, you have written a wonderful piece. Keep up the good work. Reply
Successful search optimization for international markets may require professional translation of web pages, registration of a domain name with a top level domain in the target market, and web hosting that provides a local IP address. Otherwise, the fundamental elements of search optimization are essentially the same, regardless of language.
Great stuff! I remember the old days and how we used to do things. But, you’re right, it’s a new era and these techniques are a must! I am using all of these with my creation of niche websites and the work, though time consuming at times, surely pays off. Nice work!
161. Optimize your site for mobile devices; their number is growing constantly, and you don’t want to lose potential leads because of that. Responsive website designs are the best, easiest to maintain solution. See how your site looks on various mobile devices using websites like MobileTest.me.
Now, since a site can even be removed from the index, if found using these tactics. Does this make these tactics bad? Does this make black hat SEO evil? Not at all, as we discussed it is merely a tactic.
When I published 151 Things to Do in Carmel CA, I wanted to contact the businesses/places that I had referenced in the article. Many just had a contact form on their site or something like /* */. I just sent my generic intro email and 100% responded positively that they wanted the link to the article. In most cases I got a ‘real’ email address and name when they replied. That’s the beauty of using Brian’s strategy of sending an intro email first (without the link), asking them if they would like to have it. It forces them to reply, versus if you simply send over the link.
I like to re-Tweet, share, comment and interact with their content at least once a week for a month. In my experience, this is enough time to get their attention and recognize your name.
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147. Make sure to keep your website clean and free from links that point out to shady websites. Update its CMS and plug-ins regularly and back it up regularly. Often times, this can be done by your hosting provider for a small fee, or it may even be included in a regular hosting package.
98. Don’t just rely on SEO for traffic. Forum posting, ethical article marketing, guest posting, offline marketing (flyers, etc), Q & A sites, document sharing sites and giveaways are just a few examples of free and inexpensive website traffic sources.
124. Don’t forget to brand any infographics, images, etc that are produced by you and shared on social media, adding your URL to them. It’s a simple way of attracting more visitors to your website, because people may share a great image, but not necessarily its associated URL.
Everyone talks about creating “great content”, but what does that even mean? It really comes down to having useful content, finding the right audience, and then reaching that audience. This doesn’t have to be a difficult exercise. It boils down to having empathy with your prospects and customers. Ann Handley created the following formula to sum it up:
74. Keep an eye on your click-through rate. If the site ranks OK for a particular keyword, but very few people click through to your page, there must be something wrong with the page title and/or its description.
Excellent case study, Brian/Richard. I have bee blogging for a few years and just recently found out how important promotion really is. Like Derek Halpern says, “20% of your time should be focused on writing and 80% should be focused on promotion”. Richard obviously spent a ton of time on this one post, but it should work FOR him for the long time. Well done, Richard! Way to take action and as always, thanks for the tips, Brian!
24. Discover your competitors’ keywords using tools like SEMrush, Spyfu and Ahrefs (my favorite). Then, test each keyword using all the methods listed below; you will discover that some of them are either useless or too competitive. Incorporate the winners into your content creation and outreach strategy.
Hi Ryan, thank you for this informative post. You mentioned in your article that you do not enter the website field of the blog comments. Just a question, if you entered your website url, will it be a do follow link?If so, will it add to the seo effort?
2. Create dedicated pages for each targeted keyword, but don’t go overboard with it. If you target the “small business seo” keyword, for example, you should create a
Use, by you or one client, in a single end product which end users can be charged for. The total price includes the item price and a buyer fee.
Completely love how you dedicate one hour to writing each day. Getting started has def. become the most difficult part, but how are you getting getting past writer’s block after a couple of months, and how often do you have other teams members at your company assist you with great content? Love Your Work!
Hi Tyler, well said and great article. Another element I’d like to add is the power of content repurposing. Once you’re, for example, publishing content regularly on your blog, the same content can be adapted and repurposed for multiple other formats, rather than starting from scratch each time. Each blog post should at some point also become a video, a SlideShare presentation, a podcast episode, a post on Medium and Quora, answers to questions on Quora also, multiple posts to social, guest posts on other blogs, and so on. By doing so, you not only tap into the huge audiences on these other platforms, but also help develop the kind of link profile that supports strong and sustainable SEO.
In a Google Webmaster Q&A forum, Matt Cutt’s stated blog comment links are perfectly fine. In fact, it’s a practice he uses himself.
88. Set up Google Alerts for your website URL and company name. This way, you will be able to discover websites that have mentioned your site, but haven’t linked to it. Discover the valuable sites, contact their webmasters, and then politely ask them to turn the mentions into backlinks.
We use keyword research for many things, but we always put the content first. Having a keyword to accompany an article is great because when you write high-quality content it should be read for a long time, right? Without keywords, those great articles could get lost on the Internet, never to be read again. There are thousands of companies doing it wrong out there, and Google is penalizing them one by one.
25. Test if a certain keyword is profitable for SEO by running a small pay per click (PPC) campaign for it. Create a Google AdWords account, and then set up an AdWords campaign using your keyword list. Use conversion tracking and wait for a few days, until you gather enough data; then, examine the results and you will discover the set of winning keywords.
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Google is now doubling down on mobile, giving notice that “after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.” In other words, the Google index is going mobile first and if you don’t have a mobile-friendly page, then you will likely take a hit in the SERPs. That’s especially true for websites using intrusive interstitial ads. If you aren’t certain as to whether your website meets the criteria for being mobile friendly, log in to your Search Console account and view the Mobile Usability Report. Google will report mobile issues there, so you can take the appropriate action.