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43 Proven SEO Tips to Boost Your Rankings from Moz

November 28th

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There’s a question that has been on every marketer’s lips since the invention of search engines: how can you put your website in front of potential visitors?

You may believe that you need years of dedicated study to understand how search engine optimization works and identify the best SEO tips.

That’s not necessarily true. Sure, mastering all the subtleties takes time, but the reality is that websites that rank high in search engines do just three things very well:

  1. Write great content
  2. Optimize their content for search engines using on-page SEO best practices
  3. Promote their content to relevant sites that will give them backlinks

Now, you’re probably wondering:

“How can I keep up with SEO best practices when Google seems to change its algorithm every fortnight? (and yes, you’re specifically thinking ‘every fortnight’)”

Luckily, there are great resources that keep their finger on the pulse of the ever-changing SEO industry. Moz.com is one of them.

In this article, I am going to share some great proven SEO tips to boost your ranking, boiled down into bite-sized bits.

Note that this is part of an ongoing series where we delve into the best content from our favorite blogs.

On Page SEO

  • Pay Attention to User Intent. Don’t just write content that grabs people’s attention. Make sure you understand why searchers typed in those words. What problem do they have? What goal are they trying to fulfill? And, most importantly, how can you help them?
  • Make Sure Your Website Loads Fast. Page speed is one of the many factors that Google uses to rank websites. If your page takes too much to load, searchers will get impatient and bounce. A high bounce rate is a good indication for Google that something is off with your site.
  • Create Trust through UI, UX, and branding. Make sure to include user interface (UI) elements that help people perceive your website as trustworthy. Pay attention to the color scheme and the images you are using. Make navigation intuitive. Try to include external validation signals, such as reviews and testimonials, to prove your expertise in your industry.
  • Keyword Targeting. Keyword targeting is a classic on-page ranking element that is still valid today. Make sure you implement it correctly. Use the main keyword phrase in the title element, page content, external anchor links, alt attributes, image file name, and internal links.
  • Snippet Optimization. Make sure that on-page elements, such as the title, meta description, and URL format are accurate and optimized properly. Pay attention to the publication date as most searchers want fresh content. And, lastly, pay attention to the content format, especially if you want to take advantage of Google’s Rich Answer Box (a snippet at the top of search results that provides a short answer to a given query.) Focus on writing listicles, how to posts, and step-by-step articles to get a chance at being featured in Google’s Answer Box.

For more SEO tips about on page optimization, check out this full post.

Keyword Research

  • The High Volume Keyword Isn’t Always the Best Option. The higher the volume for a certain keyword, the stiffer the competition. And, the stiffer the competition, the harder it becomes to rank for that particular keyword. Instead of focusing on the highest volume keyword on the list, settle for #4. You actually have a better chance at ranking high in SERP, and you will spend less money.
  • Keep Organic Opportunity in Mind. Some of the most attractive, high-volume keywords have the least SEO opportunity.
  • How Important Is the Keyword to You? Instead of trying to rank high for every keyword under the sun, focus on a few important search terms that are relevant to your business.
  • Decide Which Keywords Have the Most Potential. Use metrics such as volume, keyword difficulty, keyword opportunity, and importance to determine which keywords have the most potential. However, don’t make the mistakes of believing that these results are set in stone. Monitor your keyword’s performance regularly and make adjustments based on your target audience’s needs.

For more tips about the modern rules of keyword research, check this full post.

Backlink Building

  • Reach Out to Relevant Communities. The first step to proper link building is to get in contact with communities that are relevant to your business. Use forums and chat rooms to acquire links. Reach out to bloggers and social influencers to get competitive links. Or, you could look into press and publications and see if there’s any opportunity for backlink building there.
  • Gather Your Data. Create a link acquisition spreadsheet and prioritize data based on the importance of links and how easy it would be to obtain them.
  • Implement. Now that you’ve reached out to the communities that matter most to your business and created a list of links that you’re hoping to get, it’s time to implement your strategy. If things don’t go as planned, analyze your strategy, learn from your mistakes, and adjust.

For more proven SEO tips about link building, you should read this interesting article.

Local SEO

  • Traditional SEO best practices apply to local SEO as well.
  • It’s crucial to have a Contact Us page featuring the complete name, address, phone number, and email address for all your locations.
  • If you offer the same services in different cities, create unique landing pages for every city. Don’t scrape content from other internal landing pages.
  • It’s better to create a single website that promotes your business and all its services rather that creating multiple websites.
  • Build citations for every office and brick and mortar location. Triple check the name, address, phone number, and website address to make sure they are correct.
  • Make sure to point the website URL in the citations to the correct corresponding landing page on your site. For instance, point your New York citation to your New York landing page, and so on.
  • Pay attention to duplicate listings and use different tools, such as Moz Check Listing feature to detect them.
  • Make sure your business is listed on the most important review sites, such as Yelp, Google My Business, or even Facebook.
  • However, don’t neglect local review sites.
  • Be smart about keyword research. Use local keywords in header tags, title tags, meta description, and page content to make it easier for Google to crawl your local targeted pages.
  • Encourage customers to post reviews.
  • Use everything from Google+ Places to Bing Places or Yahoo Local to get your business noticed in local markets.
  • Don’t forget that most people usually check a business’s social media page rather than its website. Make sure you have a locally-optimized account on all relevant social platforms.

Here are more useful tips on local SEO and how to win over your local market.

Mobile Optimization

  • Mobile-Friendliness Has Become a Ranking Factor. After Google rolled out its “mobile-friendly” update (also known as the “Mobilegeddon,”) mobile-friendliness has become one of the most important rank factors for mobile searches. Sites that weren’t responsive suffered severely, some of them even losing up to 35% of their mobile rankings within the first month of the update. Run your website through the Google Search Console and look for any mobile-specific errors.
  • Improve Site Speed and Load Time. Because site speed and page load time play such an important role in mobile search, Google has included them in its mobile-friendly algorithm. The search giant even created the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP), a solution that allows publishers to create a stripped down HTML version of their sites. However, you need to make sure that AMP is relevant to your business before you implement it. Ask yourself, is Google News an important traffic source for you? Do you want a wider distribution of your content? If so, then you should consider AMP.
  • App Integration. Google has started indexing and serving app content in SERP in an attempt to integrate app content with the rest of the web. App indexation means setting up the same link on your desktop website and mobile version inside your app. That way, Google can deliver the most relevant content based on the user’s context.

For more data-backed SEO tips on how to optimize your website for mobile, read this full post.

Content Marketing

  • Know Who Your Audience Is. Instead of guessing what content you should create, focus on understanding who your audience is. Find out what problems they have, what are their hopes and goals, and what can your products/services do to help them solve those problems or achieve those goals.
  • Interact with Your Audience. Answer your audience’s questions on forums or social media. Be sure to take off your sales hat and be honest and helpful. Over time, they’ll start trusting you, and they’ll become more likely to convert.
  • Create Content for What Your Audience Is Trying to Accomplish. There’s an old marketing adage that is more relevant today than ever before: people don’t buy a quarter-inch drill they buy a quarter-inch hole. Meaning that you should focus on creating content about what your audience is trying to accomplish.
  • Promote Your Content. Now that you’ve created outstanding content that is relevant to your audience profile and needs, it’s time to promote it. One way to do so is to reach out to influencers in your industry who can help you promote and amplify your content marketing efforts. BuzzSumo is a great tool that can help you identify influencers that are relevant to your niche and have a sizable audience that might be interested in your content.

Continue reading this article for more tips on how to create content that your audience will love.

Best SEO Tools

  • Open Site Explorer. If you want to boost your ranking, you need to understand your link profile and that of your competition. This is one of the most valuable SEO tips you need to keep in mind. One of the easiest ways to analyze your competitor’s link profile is by using the Open Site Explorer tool.
  • Screaming Frog. This is a great tool for finding broken links, duplicate content or identifying pages that are missing meta descriptions. The free version allows you to crawl up to 500 pages.
  • Siteliner. Siteliner is an excellent tool that allows you to explore your website and look for duplicate content, analyze average page size and page load time, check text-to-HTML ratio, and so on.
  • Google Keyword Planner. Keyword research is a crucial aspect of every small business. With this amazing tool, you can see how well a certain keyword is performing. In addition to search volume metrics, you can also check the competition level and suggested bids for your selected keyword.
  • Moz Local. If you are looking for a way to audit the consistency of your name, address, and phone number, then Moz Local is a great tool.

Check this full article to find more amazing SEO tools.

SEO Myths Debunked

  • Removing a listing from Google My Business doesn’t actually remove the listing from Google. It just makes it unverified.
  • If you forget to claim your page, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t rank anywhere.
  • Posting on Google+ doesn’t improve your ranking.
  • In spite of what you have heard, you can get quality links from directories.
  • Google isn’t going to penalize you if you’re building your link profile too fast, however it’s going to, if you are acquiring low-quality links or spammy-looking links.
  • Links from sites or pages that are outside your industry can help you rank high in SERP.

If you want to find out what other SEO myths some people take as absolute truth, check these full posts here and here.

Conclusion

I’ve included the reference posts on Moz.com for any topic that requires a deeper dive. I highly recommend reading them.

Of course, there are plenty of valuable articles on Moz.com that are worth your time and attention. You should definitely subscribe to their newsletter.

How about you, guys? What are your best resources for proven SEO tips?

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