SEO is far from easy. You’re essentially trying to figure out an algorithm that has not been made public and that everyone has different views on. We all know what Google wants and we all have an idea of how to provide it, but there are things that won’t always add up, things that should work and don’t and things that shouldn’t work but do.
To make life easier, here are a few basic tricks I use to make white hat SEO considerably easier and less time-consuming. These will likely be known to SEO experts, but should provide some useful insight for beginners.
1. Link Spying
There are loads of sites out there that accept backlinks, but there are just as many, if not more, that do not. This can make off-page SEO a nightmare. You could hire agencies to help you, you could do outreach to every blog and content website, or you could simply see what your competitors are doing.
As soon as you find a successful site that you know relies on outreach, guest posting and other essential SEO tricks, then you need to run it though Majestic and find out where it got its links from. If it’s a low traffic high-metric site then you know that 99% of those quality links will come from sites that allow guest posting, link posting, sponsored ads, and everything of the sort. Once you know that then you just need to follow those links, make your request and get your links.
It will save you a lot of time.
2. Use Videos
Videos will rule the future of the internet. Google have already alluded to this themselves and I’ve seen it in my own metrics. Sites that embed more videos and show more original videos have way more success in the Google algorithm than those that rely on pictures or no media at all.
It’s very easy to embed videos in your articles. Just find one that is relevant on YouTube and, if you’re using WordPress, paste the link into the page. It will turn into an embedded video straightaway and because it’s not being stored locally you won’t need to worry about it hogging your bandwidth.
3. Don’t Neglect Google Alternatives
While Google has the dominant marketshare, other search engines are growing at a faster rate and in a few years they could have a share big enough to massively impact on your traffic. Not only that, but if you get your site to the top of Bing and other search engines for major keywords then you can still bring in thousands of hits a week.
If you’re a small content website this could be huge and it’s definitely worth paying attention to. Signup to Bing Webmaster Tools and focus as much on optimizing there as you do on Google. See how you can increase your rankings on other websites as well. One of my own sites is currently getting 25% of its hits from DuckDuckGo, a search engine I didn’t even know existed until I saw the traffic come in!
4. Use Images
Videos are great for boosting Google positions, but images should not be neglected. There are many ways that they can help. In my experience, image tags no longer have the impact they once had when it comes to on-page SEO, but they can help with off-page.
If you have plenty of images then you’ll find that these start being picked up by sites that are also looking for images. Because they don’t want to steal or take up bandwidth, they will simply link out to your images and you get a backlink out of it. These backlinks are 80% useless, 15% decent and 5% great, but it all helps to build an organic backlink profile and that’s part of the plan.
Images also make your pages look a little less bland, which decreases your bounce rate. Just make sure that you use copyright-free images (Flickr, Instagram and Pixabay are great sources) and that you actually download and then upload.
5. Use Review Sites
If you run an e-commerce website then you need to take advantage of the many review sites out there. This can make a massive difference to traffic and leads, but it can also help with SEO as Google seems to place a lot of emphasis on the companies that rank highly on these sites and have outgoing links on them.
TrustPilot is one of the better examples out there, but there are many others. Of course, you should also offer great customer service in order to get great reviews. Whether you run an online e-commerce site selling knick knacks or a defense law firm, you need good reviews on these sites.