16 Practical On-page, Off-Page & Technical SEO Advice For 2017
SEO strategies change faster than fashion trends, and knowing actionable SEO advice will help you go a long way. You have to keep up with the latest techniques if you want to continue dominating your niche.
You may not be at your best yet, but, with influential digital marketers like Neil Patel and Brian Dean always giving us new SEO advice, we are sure that you will be able to steer your marketing ship in the right direction. Despite the fact that these experts write a lot about digital marketing and particularly SEO, your success with SEO will depend on two things you do.
Your ability to identify the SEO techniques that will work best for you and finding the best resources to help you in the execution of the chosen effective techniques.
A snippet of the SEO world reveals numerous techniques, and you will be easily lost for choice. This leaves you with one thing, finding the best actionable SEO advice.
In this article, we shall review all the technical, On-page, and Off-page SEO techniques that are actually still working today. You will also notice that all these techniques are White Hat tricks. This means Google, or any other search engine will not penalize you for implementing the techniques.
One good way to start your link building would be checking Wikipedia for broken links, and then replacing them with working links that are related to that Wikipedia subject.
Effective SEO techniques are powerful, white hat, and are also able to be scaled up. Guess who has all these elements?
The broken link building technique!
Unfortunately, finding the broken links is a real pain, unless you know your way around Wikipedia’s editing system pretty well.
The Wikipedia editor happens to stumble upon dead links, but they aren’t deleted immediately. Rather than deleting, they add footnotes next to the links and tag them “dead links” letting other editors confirm if the link is really dead before removing it.
At the moment, Wikipedia has about 160,831 articles with dead external links, and THAT is where you have opportunity to repair broken links with your working links!
To do this, you can employ a tool like Wikigrabber. Just enter your keyword then select the “dead links, ” and you’ll find the opportunities waiting for you.
With more and more information added to Wikipedia every day, you will not run out of link building opportunities, and fixing broken links helps in optimizing your crawl budget.
Upgrade, Update and Republish Old Blog Posts
Most of us only take in content from current sources. This, however, doesn’t mean that the old content in your site is irrelevant. The old content may need a few tweaks, and if you have new case results or information from someone like Google, you can only add that to the old content. This leaves you with a new and improved post.
You get better results if the update includes data from an authoritative site.
Take advantage of Reddit for Research
Even though there are numerous keyword research tools on the market, we don’t take into account the resource, that is Reddit. Reddit is a keyword research goldmine. Just think about it, this is a site with millions of people discussing everything.
But, you can’t jump into Reddit blindly because redditors will downvote you. So, you have to understand how Reddit works – Do some research on what subreddits are. There are over 853,000 subreddits, where you can find tons of niches that are popular right now!
The use of Reddit is important because it lets you know what your competitors are sharing. You will also understand what your readers like.
Copying Adwords Ads to Create Titles
By now, you know that punchy titles and description meta tags help in getting more clicks on SERPs.
As a marketer, to know what people want to click on, you use a Google Adwords.
Once in Adwords, identify the competitive keywords which result from hundreds of split tests as split tests maximize clicks. Using the copies from the ads, you can turn your titles and tags into click magnets.
Link to Authority Sites
One of the best pieces of SEO advice you can get from this article is that linking to authority sites help boost your ranking because search engines realize that you have high quality content also, in turn ranking that page higher then if it were only containing links to its own website.
Your readers also love reading content linking to authority sites because it means that the site and the content are credible.
If you focus on creating high-quality content, linking to authority sites will be a breeze.
Linking to authority sites is important because of Hilltop, an on-page SEO signal tells Google whether the page is an authoritative or resource hub, or not. Though old, this algorithm plays a significant role in determining information hubs by looking at the relevance and the quality of the page’s outbound links.
By linking out to a big page, you establish yourself as a source/hub of helpful information in Google’s eyes. You should try linking out to about three high-quality and relevant but authoritative sites when publishing content.
The Use of Benefit-focused Content Customization
For your content curation to stand out, you have to tap into benefit focused content customization. If your content has a title that outlines numerous benefits that your readers will get from your products/services, then you are assured of more clicks every time.
Emphasizing the benefits of the content to your readers forces them to pay attention to the outcome, rather than the whole process involved. Benefit-Focused Curation increases the perceived value of your content. Readers are always looking for solutions and ways of making their lives easier. They don’t mind processes.
You should also consider finding link targets that have ‘Best Of’ links and newsletters.
To give the pages within your site a boost and to ensure that they appear on top of search engine result pages by increasing traffic to your site, you should try linking internally.
Internal links are links that connect from one page on a specific domain to a different page that’s on the same domain. According to Moz, they are great for helping with navigation and are very useful in the following ways:
- They will help you establish a sophisticated information hierarchy on your website
- They let your visitors navigate through your website easily
- Internal links also help to juice up your links, also known as ranking power.
Also keep in mind that your ranking will not be stable if there is little or no benefit-focused content on the homepage. You must have important content that teaches on your pages, and as long as the content is relevant and relate-able, you can link one article to another. You can always link old to new posts and new to old posts.
This is important because search engines look at your content to list you in their massive keyword-based indices. At the same time, search engines require access to crawl-able link structures. Google, for example, uses spiders to browse the pathway of a website when looking for information and internal linking makes it possible for Google to find all related pages of the website.
Why would your pages be unreachable to search engines?
- Links that can only be accessed by using a search bar on your website– the best SEO advice you should take home today is this, a search engine will not try to perform any search to find content. Meaning, if your only way of being able to see a specific link is by searching for something in the search bar of your website, search engines will not be able to see your link.
- Your links are in a form that requires submission– search engine spiders do not submit forms, meaning that any links or content that is on a form that must be submitted (a survey, or even a drop down menu) is going to be invisible to search engines.
- Your links have been set to be blocked by robots.txt or the meta robot tag
- Links in Java, Flash and other plug-ins
- The link is on a page that contain hundreds of links or more
- Links that are in frames
Sending Juice to pages on Search Engines’s Pages 2 or 3
Backlinko has this to say about your page being on page 2 or 3, “if you’re on page 2 or 3 of Google’s search results…You might as well be on page 58.”
But, you can boost that page so that it appears on page 1. But how? Using internal links.
You can use Google Search Console which will help you find keywords that rank on the 2nd or the 3rd page. You can check your position after clicking the Search Analytics tab.
Find authoritative pages on Top Pages then go to your pages and include the internal links on the pages that need more boosting.
You can also reverse engineer search engine results on page 9 using The Skyscraper Technique. All you’ll need to do is to breathe life into the content. Chances are, the content is great, and it linked to authority sites.
Create Mini Blog Posts for YouTube Descriptions
You’ve probably seen the high number of YouTube videos dominating page one of search engine result pages, right? Well, take advantage of the platform. It is a product of Google, and it will stick around for a long time.
To make the most out of your YouTube posts, write about 200+ word video descriptions. Why is this important SEO advice? Google cannot listen to or watch the content in the videos. So, it relies on the video’s text-based descriptions and titles to determine its relevance.
Don’t forget to create high-quality content. It worked for Backlinko; it will work for you too.
Use Long-tail Keywords in your titles
Using long-tail keywords in titles doesn’t mean keyword stuffing. What it means is that you are focusing on the humans who visit your site and read your content and not search engine bots or algorithms.
Long-tail keywords make titles into something a human is more likely to search for. You don’t enter one word when looking for a product or a service online, do you?
First Link Priority Rule
If you have two links pointing to one page on your site, Google will focus on the first link on your page. This is a rule embedded in search engine algorithms meaning that you should place more focus on the first link. Use the right anchor text.
Use Schema to gain a competitive edge
Schema is a collection of HTML tags which can be added to a web page. The tags create an enhanced description which appears on search results.
According to Search Engine Journal, the Rich Snippets help users in their searches by making search results stand out. It also helps search engines to understand content easily, and the microdata may improve click-through rates.
Your Content Marketing Strategy must beat that of your Competitors
You’ve heard about this several times but, since it matters to ranking, it is worth mentioning. You have to create great content, and from Search Engine Journal, great content is innovative because it is Useful, Enjoyable and Inspired.
Create content is geared towards answering what, how, when, why and where.
Technical SEO techniques
While we have discussed many topics on how to link build, and how to manage backlinks, there is something we have overlooked, which is the technical side of things. You can prepare high-quality and very relevant content but, that isn’t all you need to keep in mind when trying to keep your digital marketing campaign moving in the right direction. You also need to build a strong technical foundation for your site.
This is important because Google’s Algorithm incorporates thousands of possible signals in order to create your ranking. So, knowing the tech aspects that can drive up your ranking is critical.
Mobile web crawling SEO advice
Google recently shared information with the public indicating that most of its searches are mobile driven. They also mentioned the fact that they are migrating towards a mobile-first index in the next few months. This means that you have to keep up. In keeping up, you have to make sure that you review how the desktop Googlebot accesses your content and also how your Google Smartphone crawler accesses content.
For mobile crawling, you’ll need to validate your website’s mobile crawl-ability by checking for possible errors, blocked resources, and redirects. You will also need to recheck content accessibility by looking if your content rendering is done correctly.
This probably sounds like Greek to most of you, hence these are some tools that simplify mobile crawling:
SEO targeted log analyzers like the Screaming Frog Log Analyzer. This tool is freely downloadable, and you can use it to fetch on site elements like duplicated page titles and meta descriptions. It will also review your URL’s structure.
Using this tool, you will be able to know if your website has catchy titles, persuasive descriptions or appropriate image sizes.
You can also use the Google page-level mobile validators like Google’s Search Console which will report possible usability issues.
SEO Crawlers with a Smartphone Googlebot option such as the Screaming Frog SEO Spider lets you view and verify your pages in list form.
Make important resources crawl-able
To do this,
Look for pages and resources restricted from indexing – The WebSite Auditor lets you access a full list of all blocked resources. Use the Robots Instructions Column to disallow the instruction If you have blocked pages that shouldn’t be blocked.
Check for orphan pages – these are the pages on your site which aren’t linked internally. Internal linking is important for ranking. If there are orphan pages, it means that even if the search engine discovers them, they will be crawled infrequently.
Raise your crawl budget
A crawl budget refers to the number of a site’s pages which a search engine crawls over a particular time.
Though it isn’t a ranking factor, it determines the frequency with which your site’s important pages are crawled.
Google Search Console give an idea of your daily crawl budget. To make the most out of your site, depending on the number of your daily crawl budget,
- Clean up your duplicated content, for example, meta description tags and titles. Delete what you can and what you can’t block them from search engine bots
- Restrict the indexation of pages that have no SEO value.
- Include URL parameters in Google Search Console.
For good link building, you should make sure that people can find your content. To make sure that nothing on the contrary happens, you should know how to use the correct versions of redirects in the link building process. The most important redirects are:
301 – This is a permanent redirect which passes 90-99% of original page authority.
302 – This is a temporary redirect which indicates to search engines that your original page will be restored soon.
Using a 302 redirect instead of a 301 redirect will confuse search engines, and, if you leave the 301 redirect for long, you will lose traffic.
Pro Tip: if you don’t need a page on your website anymore, 301 redirect it to an updated and a relevant page.
- URLs deleted from your website
- You have been moved to a different location
- You were linked incorrectly by other webmasters
Incorrect URLs waste Google’s time because Google ends up indexing non-existing content on your website and this damages your search results.
If your 404 page is receiving good links from other sites, redirect it, if not, let it 404.
The SEO practices that actually make a difference are actionable. Implementing these strategies will improve your ranking and increase the zeros in your bank account.
On the technical front, remember to review your site map and keep your site’s speed lightning fast.