Despite popular opinion, the death of SEO has been greatly exaggerated. However, that doesn’t mean that what was effective in 2006, 2010, or even last year still works today. SEO is a rapidly changing practice – thanks in part to the hundreds of adjustments Google makes every year to its search engine algorithm.
Because of this, you need to stay on top of the latest industry news and take the advice of some of proven SEO professionals, like the following 25 tips.
1. Bruce Clay
Bruce Clay, who has been an industry leader with SEO since 1996, provides 100 helpful and useful 100 SEO Tips, which includes:
“A blog is primarily an awareness channel that will lead to micro-conversions, such as social sharing, page visiting, etc. These micro-conversions are important, because they keep you at the front of a customer’s mind when they need the product or service you offer.”
2. Tim Grice
Time Grice is the Director of Search at Branded3, which is a Search and Digital Agency based in the UK, who voiced his support of using social media to boost your SEO with SocialBro. According to Grice:
“As link manipulation is being slowly killed by Google, there is a genuine need to reach out to real people, those who can influence in your industry. Publishers with a genuine audience are the type Google want, so reach out and engage with these ‘real’ publishers. Email and telephone will always have their place, but social is great way to connect with these publishers.”
3. Joost de Valk
The founder and CEO of Yoast shared some valuable insights on how to select the perfect focus keyword for your blog post or website page. He begins by reminding us that, “Your keyword strategy should have given you some idea what you want to write about. For blog posts, you will usually aim for a long tail keyword (containing multiple words).” After that you can use a tool, such as the WP SEO plugin, to gain a list of suggestions. You also want to test the search volume of your chosen focus keyword to make sure it’s high. You can do this through AdWords or Google Trends. Finally, you want to make sure that your keyword fits your audience.
4. Joelle Gropper Kaufman
Former Chief Marketing Officer of Clarizen, Inc. and current head of partnerships and marketing for BloomReach, informed Cio that while your content needs to be “compelling, descriptive, and differentiated,” you also need to look at technical considerations, such as:
- Identify and reduce or eliminate duplicate pages and content.
- Make sure your “in-linking” helps users and search engines find their way around your site.
- Identify sources of insight from within and beyond your site to guide the content you create, curate, and retain.
- Ensure your content is accessible and optimized for mobile searchers, who Kaufman says are already reaching 50 percent of search traffic.
5. Rand Fishkin
You’ve probably heard of Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz. But, did you know he didn’t spend a whole lot of money on marketing? He has stated (via HubSpot) that to start his small business rolling he simply:
“For the first 5 years of SEOmoz’s marketing efforts, I doubt I spent [$200] on anything — just blogged, participated in communities, produced some interesting one-off content …”
6. Trond Lyngbø
Trond Lyngbø – founder of SEOnomics.com, Head of SEO at MediaCom Norway, and columnist at Search Engine Land, stated on Search Engine Land you need to:
“Make sure that anything you buy — whether it’s a CMS, a web analytics platform, or a PPC management solution — will help you achieve your marketing goals.
“SEO is an integrated discipline. Different components influence and impact other business activities, and synergies between them can be lost unless you take the right precautions. Make sure you’ve mapped out your marketing goals and anticipate future requirements before even looking at software. Seek your SEO consultant’s advice early, before buying (or even deciding upon) a new product or service that impacts your online presence.
Proper foresight will allow you speed up and grow in the year ahead, rather than get bogged down by products that don’t support (or worse, hinder) your online marketing efforts.”
7. Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz – Search Engine Land’s News Editor, founder of Search Engine Table and owner of consulting firm Rustybrick – offered this nugget of advice to SuccessWorks:
“The best advice, don’t follow the changes. Just focus on writing the best content for your clients and their businesses. Write expert content that is hard to replicate. Don’t become experts in the Google algorithms, become experts in the content that you have to write about. So if you are writing about plumbing, make sure you know it better than most or don’t write it. Google wants the most authoritative content to rank the best and the best way to do that is to become an authority based on being an authority in your niche.”
8. Ann Smarty
Owner of myblogguest.com and respected SEO consultant Ann Smarty has this nifty reminder – you want people to do something while on your site. But, how can you achieve this? Ann stresses the importance of call-to-action and how why every element of your CTA matters, which includes: “The color of your buttons and supporting elements, the language you use to describe the action, the place on the page where you locate them, the additional elements that encourage people to act. All these elements should be consistent and support each other getting your visitors one step closer to their objective.”
9. Marcus Tober
My friend Marcus Tober, founder of Searchmetrics, states “Content needs to be different when optimizing for mobile search because attention spans are different on mobile compared to desktop. The context is also different, for example you have different needs when searching for a restaurant on mobile compared to searching for one on your desktop computer.”
10. Danny Sullivan
Search Engine Land Editor-in-Chief Danny Sullivan states on OPEN Forum that “one of the primary ways search engines decide which pages should rank well is by looking at links to those pages.” How can you build these valuable links? Danny suggests:
“Search engines want to reward sites that gain “hard links“—links that took an effort to gain. A guest post in a publication with a high standard, one that doesn’t let just anyone write, might be an example of a hard link…
The type of site where you might want to earn a link is one you and potential customers regularly read. Build a relationship with the site. Discover who runs it. Understand what type of content they publish, how they tend to link to external sources. Using that knowledge, suggest your site in an appropriate manner.”
11. Zach Kitschke
According to Canva’s Zach Kitschike on Post Planner:
“Many brands spend time thinking about their content strategy, yet many forget to think about their visual brand. The best brands have a strong visual identity on social media. Every time you post, you need to differentiate your content from the flood of updates that fill people’s social feed. It’s been proven that images result in more retweets, likes. and comments.
When it comes to visuals, make sure you’re consistent in what you post. Use consistent colors, fonts, photo filters and icons or logos. People will begin to recognize your visual style and will look out for your posts.”
12 Neil Patel
Neil Patel explains to Anil Agarwal on Social Media Chimps when it comes to driving traffic:
“I think infographics and how-to posts have tremendous potential. It’s all about creating content that is interesting and worthy of sharing. If someone can learn something valuable from your content they are more likely to share your content and come back.”
13. Heather Lloyd-Martin
Heather Lloyd-Martin, pioneer of SEO copywriting, shared this piece of wisdom on Success Works:
“You know what makes me cringe? Overoptimized SEO content. Unfortunately, it still exists. What’s worse, I recently learned that some SEO writers are being taught that over optimization is “how you write for Google.” Argh! If you’re wondering if your content is pushing the optimization a bit too much, check out this post. Quickly. Please.”
14. Brian Provost
Even wondered how social, clickbaity sites such as Buzzfeed or Upworthy, are so effective at SEO? Brian Provost, Vice President of Digital Strategy at Define Media Group, answers that question on his blog. “The answer is links. Social Media is a massive link building lever and your backlink profile is still the most heavily weighted component of why you rank for something at the search engines.”
15. Lee Odden
Lee Odden shares the 6-steps needed to create “a content and social media focused optimization workflow that often inspires” him and the TopRank Online Marketing team. This includes:
- Content Planning – Research Customer Segments and Develop Profiles/Personas, Creations of Content.
- Audits – Keyword, Social Media Competitive
- Recommendations – Restate hypothesis and strategy based on audit data, Identify top priorities.
- On and Off Page SEO Implementation – Keyword Mapping to Content, On-page Optimization.
- Social Media Integration – Social Profile Alignment, Optimize Connections.
- Performance Measurement and Optimization – SEO KPI Measurement, Social KPI Measurement.
16. Adam Connell
In an interview with The Daily Interview, Adam Connell (founder of Blogging Wizard) reminds us of the power of influencers.
“Tap into the audience of niche influencers: there’s a growing marketing trend known as ‘influencer marketing’. The idea is that you discover who your target audience is and then figure out who exactly influences them. Then you market your content directly to those influencers.”
He also recommends that you use online tools like Triberr to get noticed.
17. Julia Rosien
According to Julia Rosien, Brand Engineer for Restonic, Chief Idea Officer GoGirlfriend:
“Authentic is probably the most over used word in social media – but it’s also the secret to standing out in a crowd. No one thinks exactly like you and if you’re willing to share your thoughts and dreams with the world, you’re putting something out there that wasn’t there before. In a world of people trying to one up the next person to get ahead, someone that’s unique and honest and just themselves – that’s intoxicating. If you can be you on social media, I want to get to know you better!”
18. Kurt Noer
Kurt Noer – CEO, Customer Magnetismm, shared the following tidbit on the Huffington Post on how to gain a competitive advantage with local SEO:
“Make sure Google can properly feature you when a searcher types your business name or keywords from a mobile phone or in Google maps by using schema.org tags in your meta headers. Google announced support for phone numbers, hours and menus for small businesses on April 8. This is an opportunity to stand out over your competitors by giving searchers a quick call to action when they are searching for a local business. Click here for a schema markup tutorial.”
19. Jayson DeMers
Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, stated on Effective Inbound Marketing that you:
“Don’t roll with the wrong crowd. There are lots of forums, discussion groups, and websites littered with terrible information on SEO. SEO has changed so much over the past couple years that the tactics that used to work two years ago will actually have negative impacts on your search visibility these days. Moz, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Land are the best sources of information when it comes to learning about what to do (and what not to do).”
20. Chad Pollitt
If you want to get your name out there as quickly as possible then “you need to get creative with how you promote your content,” according to VP of Audience and Co-founder of Relevance.com Chad Pollitt on HubSpot. One way to accomplish is by having a blend of Content Coverage (earned media through syndication, media relations), Content Broadcasting (owned media such as social media accounts) and Content Distributions (paid media like press releases, native advertising).
21. Aaron Wall
Aaron Wall, founder of SEO Blog, shares one thing many of us sometimes forget, “In SEO, verticals are often overlooked.” Aaron is talking about Google Optimization, as opposed to SEO, which is why we should look at search beyond Google. For example, if you’re an online merchant, and on Amazon, have you answered the following: “What does it take to be placed well on Amazon? What are people saying? What are their complaints? What do they like? What language do they use? “
22. Julie Joyce
What do you do after you created and shared your awesome content? Start working on your user engagement – and gain some links while at it. Julie Joyce, owner of Link Fish Media and founding member of SEO Chicks, details exactly how to do that on Search Engine Land:
- Blog Comments – Make it known that you welcome comments from your community.
- Surveys – Gives you an overview of a certain topic.
- Feedback Questions – Gives you “information to make what you’re doing more valuable.”
- Social Media – Don’t overdo it on social media.
- Your Links to Other Sites – Stick to relevant sites.
- Internal Links – Include links to other pages on your site.
23. Annie Cushing
Annie Cushing is so into analytics that she named her site Annielytics. When she’s not busy sharing her insights into data, Annie is also creating a Google Doc that contains the best SEO tools available. It’s in-depth, extensive and amazing. Check it out for yourself.
24. John Lincoln
If you weren’t aware, “Your link profile is so critical to your SEO performance,” says John Lincoln, Co-Owner & President at Ignite Visibility. So, what kind of profile do you have? Here are six basic SEO profiles created by John.
- Baby – new website
- Starting Strong – site over a year old and earning quality links
- Good Profile – site is over three years old and has a good reputation
- Slightly Spammy – over 25% of links are from spammy site
- Spammy – more than 40% of links are from spammy site
- Pure Spam – over of links are from spammy site
25. Will Critchlow
According to Will Critchlow, founder and CEO of Distilled, (via the OpenView Blog) “the key with SEO will always be ensuring your company has the right infrastructure (CMS), content quality, and team to make it work. If you lack any of those pillars, then you’re going to find it difficult to succeed in modern online marketing.”