8 SEO Tips and Tricks: Actionable Advice from an SEO Expert for 2020

Aaron Pearson
Co Founder, Managing Director

Are you tired of failed SEO efforts?

While organic traffic is one of the most reliable sources of revenue for a business, SEO is hard work and a lot of "experts" really aren't.

Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to make yourself stand out in the SERPs.

If you're looking for actionable SEO tips and tricks you're in the right place. Read on and we'll show you exactly how to bring your rankings up like a pro.

1. Guest Posting... With a Twist

You've undoubtedly heard about the value of guest posting before. It's really SEO 101.

It's also one of the quickest ways to score white hat backlinks. Since they're natural you'll be able to rest assured that you won't have any trouble with your rankings in the future.

However, most people stop there.

There are a ton of guides on how to find blogs that accept guest posts online but many people give up early.

You should be on the constant hunt within your niche. Basically you need to know who the competition is in the first place if you're planning on beating them. It can be hard to figure out in the beginning.

Many people will shoot down your request, even if you offer to exchange links.

What most guides won't tell you, however, is that you can also go off-topic a bit and still gain backlinks. Indeed, in many cases, this is much easier than trying to gain backlinks in your own niche.

Think about it this way: most backlinks work on an exchange basis. When that's the case both you and your competition are gaining ground on each other and the net result is in favor of the person with the lower-ranked website.

So, for instance, if you're working a website within the pet niche you may be able to get a backlink on a general review website or a blog that is dedicated to another part of your niche.

With a bit of creativity, you'll be able to form mutually beneficial backlinks instead of hoping a larger site will give you some link juice when they're really gaining nothing from it.

Always keep your eyes out for opportunities to step just a bit out of your niche.

Example: A reptile-focused website is more likely to host a guest post with a backlink from a dog website than someone else who focuses on reptiles. It would be pretty easy to come up with a solution to bridge the gap. Maybe an article on how to ensure that the pets get along?

2. Quality Web 2.0 Websites

Web 2.0s is somewhat of a grey-hat technique but there are ways to make sure that you don't get dinged when creating them.

Web 2.0s are simple blogs hosted on websites like Blogspot or Wordpress.org. From there you link back to your page with relevant content and anchor text.

There are a few ways to do it, ranging from automated generation that creates thousands of backlinks to actual blogs.

The best way?

Simply make sure that your sites all have quality content. Many businesses make the mistake of having someone build a Web 2.0 network for them that simply uses spun content, especially in the lower tiers of the network.

While it can work for some time, it's not going to last forever if you're doing it. Some people will spin thousands of backlinks for a single page... and inevitably lose all of the advantages they gained in the first place.

This isn't for beginners and it's going to be either expensive or time-consuming depending on how good you are at creating content.

If you're up for the challenge, however, crack open a new spreadsheet and begin building the network. Even if each blog only ends up with 5-10 pieces of content, you'll be in good hands and they'll have lasting power.

This technique requires a lot of management but you can start immediately and as long as you're able to produce the content required it's not high cost.

Keep one thing in mind, however: theoretically, a private blog network, or PBN, is against Google's policies. If you're not careful about constructing your tiered network you may end up shooting your rankings in the foot.

Just don't use spun content and vary your anchor text and you'll be alright. Linking back to the page naturally makes things better for everyone involved.

In other words, know how to disavow links before proceeding.

3. Build Skyscraper Content

Your goal in content marketing can be boiled down to one simple factor: you want to make sure that you have the best piece of content that exists for a keyword.

How do you build that kind of content?

Scoping out the competition and then outdoing them. This can be easier or harder depending on your niche but it's doable in most cases.

The skyscraper method works by having others in your niche link back to you since your page will now be the most in-depth piece of content available. More backlinks will mean more authority for your site as a whole and that helps your SERPs across the board.

It's also completely white-hat. You're essentially doing exactly what Google encourages by creating a great piece of content.

The problem is that if you only exceed the competition by a little bit you can be one-upped again in short order.

It's also true that not everyone is capable of doing the technique properly. Many people will end up outsourcing their skyscraper-style content to an outside party, there are even freelancers whos specialize specifically in producing this kind of content.

It will take time and a lot of effort, but skyscraper content actually ends up being a fast way to get ahead of the competition. Just make sure that you outstrip the nearest competition by a wide margin so that you won't get locked into a constant battle of updates with competitors.

In essence, skyscraper content is the white-hat method of SEO. Quality content means a better user experience, and that makes Google happy.

4. Quality Content On Social Feeds

Google has repeatedly stated that social media pages aren't a ranking factor when it comes to organic searches.

That's important: it would be preposterously easy to get backlinks through things like Facebook advertising if each backlink actually counted towards your total.

However, you can get a bit of boost to SEO by making sure that you focus on getting quality content on your social media feeds instead of just frequent posting.

SEO shouldn't be the main focus of a good social media marketing campaign. However, most businesses will do well with a bit of social media marketing added into the mix and you'll most likely find a bit of boost in your rankings.

Social media campaigns can also raise awareness of pages to bring in organic backlinks so make sure to keep track of engagement metrics when you're posting so you know which of your posts are getting the best reception.

5. Broken Link Building

Ever been on an article and clicked an outbound link in order to check it out, only to find a 404 error?

Broken links are rampant on the internet. You won't always be able to find them but if you've got the right piece of content or are willing to create it you can score big.

There are free utilities that are great for this if you're not stumbling across them often.

A simple e-mail to the website owner is often enough.

Try something along the lines of: "Hey, I enjoyed [x article] for [reasons] but I saw that you had a broken link at [location]. I have a perfect piece of content for the link at [your article's URL] if you'd like to replace it."

Just be polite and you should be able to get a few backlinks this way.

The great part about this method is that it's actually easier to scale up in competitive niches since broken links are more likely to occur due to the sheer volume of pages.

It's not a front-line strategy, but as an addition to using other strategies it's a useful technique.

6. The Scholarship Trick

How would you like to score a high-quality backlink for $150?

Considering the price you'll pay for links on websites like Forbes it's pretty cheap.

The technique is easy to understand. .edu domains carry a lot of weight with Google, and you can use that weight to increase the authority of your page.

Many schools will allow for small scholarships in the range of $150-250 dollars, especially if you tie it to something like an article contest for the page.

Even better?

If you actually get applicants for the scholarship sending you articles and word things properly you'll be able to use all of the content that's sent to you.

Students trying their hardest generally produce better content than low-rent freelancers and you're not shelling out money for it.

You'll eventually have to pay out, of course, but it's a great way to get a ton of backlink power and content for minimal effort. You'll just have to find a school that will allow you to post your backlink.

7. Tune Your On-Page SEO

Make sure that your on-page SEO is fixed to the latest standards.

For the most part, semantic search has dragged down the importance of keyword density. If you're using an agency and they talk about keyword density... run.

If you're really concerned about it then just slip the keyword into the introduction, a subheading, and the conclusion. Any other occurrences should be natural throughout the content.

And really, good content is the primary thing you should concern yourself with. While SEO is important, Google focuses increasingly on user experience and their algorithms are getting very good at finding content which only exists for SEO purposes and doesn't add value.

Some of the on-page factors are less obvious than you'd think, however. Accessibility, for instance, is a big factor that many people miss.

Image optimization includes both the name of the file and the alt-text. The latter isn't a place to jam keywords but instead, you should describe the image accurately since it's mainly for the vision impaired. Witty comments should be saved for the caption.

Other technical factors like page load speed will play an indirect role through metrics like bounce rate being increased. Make sure they're taken care of.

On-page SEO can give you the edge over your competitors but in the end, it's not enough to get the first-page rank on its own.

8. Focus On the Mobile Experience

59% of searches come from mobile devices.

You need to optimize for mobile searches or you'll fall by the wayside quickly. This is true no matter what niche you're in.

Responsive themes are the rule in content management systems like Wordpress.

It's not enough anymore. You need to make sure that the mobile experience is optimized for how people use their phones.

If you're not doing so then you simply won't be able to get ahead of the competition.

It takes a lot of work to make sure that you're optimized for both mobile devices and desktop computers but it'll pay off in improved metrics. Remember that metrics like bounce rate are a key component of SEO.

Is it going to get you the top rank on its own?

Probably not, but every bit counts when you're in a highly competitive niche.

Enjoy Our SEO Tips and Tricks?

So, consider these strategies carefully. SEO tips and tricks most often come from hard-earned experience and the above are all proven ways to boost your rankings.

Does it sound like a lot of work?

It absolutely is. That's why most people outsource their SEO services, but it can be a hit-or-miss process.

If you're not yet ready to follow our advice, contact us and see what we can do for your business.

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