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22 SEO Tips by Experts

How great would it be if we could gather all the awesome SEO experts in just one room to talk about search engines ranks with a focus on the best SEO tips available out there? It would be glorious! Since we don’t have a room big enough to gather all the best experts in one place, we took advantage of the online “meetings” and gathered all the up to date SEO tips into an awesome expert roundup post. That is how we got the idea of interviewing 22 renowned SEO experts and how we found out 22 awesome and unique search engine optimization tips … the best of them.

22 SEO Tips by Experts for 2017


We’ve got answers from some of the brightest minds about the most actionable tips from the digital marketing world. We’ve found interesting news, insights and really helpful tips and guidelines about mobile optimization, metrics, qualitative content marketing, testing, technical SEO and customer centric websites. These 22 tips are some of the best for small businesses or large enterprises. Make sure you get the best of them.

1. SEO Is Not Just About Rankings
I’ve talked with many business owners that think ranking high in Google is all you need to be successful. The reality is that SEO is just one of many tactics to drive prospective customers to your website. Sure, ranking high in Google is great, but it’s also worthless if you don’t have a website that is set up properly to convert that traffic into leads and sales. Plus, you won’t rank high for long unless you have proper tracking in place and a process to monitor and analyze your SEO efforts. As you can see, SEO is not just about rankings; it’s also about website conversion rate optimization and website analytics and tracking. That’s important to understand before you start to invest in SEO.

2. Optimize Website for Visitor and Not for the Search Engines
Producing content that’s irrelevant and insignificant to your audience’s wants and needs leads to only one thing – people stop taking you seriously. People click on your links in the SERPs but they do not interact with your website and leave quickly – wasted opportunity to turn visitors into customers.

So how do I find what my buyer persona (not to be confused with ‘buyer profile’) is looking for? Glad you’ve asked, so let me give you some actionable tips. Finding questions that people are asking about your products or services. A very good place to start is Quora. I just went there and typed something very uninspiring like “carrots” (Writing content for a boring industry? No Problem).

3. Understand How Your Site Is Actually Performing Away From Vanity Metrics
If you track for the right KPIs, auditing will supply you with ongoing changes and help you focus on making the highest priority changes for you to hit KPIs and plan for the future.

4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Creative Technical SEO
People often neglect testing in SEO, mostly because it’s not easy, but optimizing CTR is a way to get some huge wins. Check out how Etsy is doing it or this recent look at approaches from Wayfair and their learnings.

I’m talking about coming up with novel ideas and analyses that help move the needle but are less about copywriting and more about technical proficiency. A couple examples: digging deep into semantic keyword research and data mining or dynamically populating title tags using the Google Search Analytics API.

5. Have Content Deliberately Written to Be Highly Linkable
Highly linkable content is content written on a broad enough topic that you can work it into guest posts and other link opportunities naturally, without the article having to be directly related to the content you’re linking to.

For example, I wrote a big piece on customer delight – a thorough guide on how to make your customers happy at every point in your relationship. I’ve been able to link to this piece within articles on topics ranging from marketing and sales to operations and employee management. Having a few of these kinds of pieces means you’ll never miss an opportunity to link to your content.

6. Do Not Underestimate How Important “Branding” Is to SEO
Do not underestimate how important “branding” is to SEO.

7. Build Your Website on a Solid Foundation of Data and Keyword Research
Your goal should be to build a customer-centric destination that works 24/7 at attracting fresh business.

My company, Search Planet, specializes in E-commerce SEO. I often see even large e-commerce Web shops leak revenue and profit because they’ll mirror their own needs and organizational structure online, instead of focusing on their customers’ needs. So the best prospects don’t find them in search results. Or when they do, they won’t buy from them – but go to their competitors instead.

By transforming your online presence to be entirely customer-focused, you’ll cut through the clutter, dominate search engines, draw a flood of targeted traffic to your website, and make more sales.

8. Spend the Time and Money to Have Your Site Analyzed in Terms of Its Existing SEO
You could have all kinds of issues that you aren’t aware of and rather than just trying to throw links at the site or find someone to write better content for your home page, put some focus on doing a thorough SEO audit.

9. Make the Best Page on the Internet for Your Topic
So here’s how I think about SEO:

  • If you made the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to HELP you;
  • If you didn’t make the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to STOP you.

Of course, it’s not enough just to make a great page. But it’s step one. Combine this effort with a clear understanding of off-site SEO, links and basic understanding of how to increase your domain authority and everything is going to work out well for you.

10. When It Comes to Link Acquisition You Need to Be Looking for Trust
The landscape has changed so much, we’re seeing a lot more weight shifting towards user experience, and link building has become a game of trust.

SEOs need to forget about them; there isn’t a metric out there that gives a true reflection of the value of a link, we have come across so many links with good domain authority or domain trust that we would class as toxic websites. When it comes to link acquisition, you need to be looking for trust, and you can only do this through a manual review; is this website the kind of website Google would trust and want to pass value through, is it a trusted source of information? You should then focus on how your links appear on that site, links that look like ads, in the footer or sidebars are going to be less likely to pass value in the long term.

We’re seeing a huge increase in the influence site speed has on rankings. We have run a few tests now with clients and are seeing a direct and almost immediate correlation with speed improvements and an uplift in rankings. Make it a priority, work with the development team and ensure your website is as fast as possible.

11. Invest Time and Effort into Developing a Link Earning Strategy
Do not take any shortcuts to buy or build low-quality links. While links are still a ranking factor, that is no longer their sole purpose. An effective link will provide the opportunity to improve three things; your traffic, your brand, and build trust. These are the links that should be your focal point. These types of links are found in building relationships with relevant websites and companies, creating valuable (not just quality) content, and a consistently having a giving mentality. Though it takes times, the reward will be worth it.

12. If Everyone Else Is Zigging, Then Zagging Is a Strategic Opportunity
If you just want one SEO tip, then let me share the insight that led me to co-found SEO-PR back in 2003. Hundreds of SEOs optimize web pages hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google search results. And many of them do a great job. But only a small handful optimize news stories, blog posts, or press releases hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google News search results.

Now, the Google News algorithm is similar but different than the Google algorithm. Why? Because inbound links aren’t as strong a signal of the importance of a story. This puts a premium on relevance. But, the big mistake that many SEOs make is assuming that the popularity of keywords used on Google is the same on Google News. They often aren’t. You can see this for yourself by using the Google Trends Explore tool. The default result for any keyword will be web search interest. But you can use the drop down menu to see news search interest. And the trends are often different.

In addition, Google says that 16% of searches that it sees every day are new. Well, ask yourself: “Where do baby search terms come from?” And you’ll discover that the stork doesn’t bring them. They are generated by the “news.” So, these are search terms that your competitors haven’t been optimizing their web pages to get high rankings for 15 years. So, you have a better shot of getting your news stories or blog posts (if you’re a news source) and even your press releases to get high rankings for than you would for yet another web page.

Now, admittedly, your ranking in Google News may only last a day or two. But, for near term news and events, this is the opportunity to drive traffic to a relevant landing page on your website. Now, the links in press releases are no-follow, so there is no “link juice” in them. But, they can still drive visitors to a page with more information — if it’s relevant and important. We used unique tracking links in four press releases for Southwest Airlines to generate $2.5 million in ticket sales. And when the CFO asked how we knew that they came from the press releases, we showed him that the tracking parameters on the links weren’t used by any other element of the company’s marketing. And when he suggested that we were merely harvesting interest that had been generated by the company’s excellent TV advertising, we showed him that the releases were for new service to cities where Southwest Airlines had never run an ad. He asked what else we knew. Well, we’d analyzed the database of people who had purchased tickets and found that two-thirds had never flown Southwest Airlines before and that they were generally purchasing round-trip tickets for two people.

13. Invest More in Content
Invest more in content. This is without a doubt the thing that people underinvest in the most, yet, doing so almost always brings great yields, both in terms of conversion and SEO.

14. Run Your Own SEO Tests Across Different Search Categories
Don’t believe everything you read and watch on the internet about SEO. Most of the best SEO’s I know don’t even have a Twitter account. Run your own SEO tests across different search categories.

15. Perform an In-Depth SEO SWOT Analysis
My best SEO tip is to do an SEO SWOT analysis. What are your SEO Strengths? What are your SEO Weaknesses? What are your SEO Opportunities? What are your SEO Threats?

If you create a basic SWOT grid and start to detail your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you can start to get a better idea what kind of SEO you need. This is exactly how we work at Bowler Hat and even our SEO service page details how you need to identify what kind of SEO is right for you.

16. Understand What Your Targeted Audience Might Be Looking For
Make sure you understand what your targeted audience might be looking for when they might search for a site that you are optimizing.

What words they might use when they search for it, how they might construct their query and what words they will expect to see on your pages. Also what questions they might have about the goods or services offered on that website; and the answers to those questions, so that you can provide answers, and begin the journey towards having them become customers of your site.

17. Test Longer Strategies over Tactics and Measure Each Step of the Way
Is it possible that a single implementation could make a big difference? Yes. Is it likely? Not really. If you’re investing in SEO, you’re accepting a long game.

Google wants to rank the sites that earn their users’ satisfaction. Google isn’t as easily influenced, thanks to new search models and AI that are designed to truly understand the value of a page the way a user would.

18. Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
There are many things you can do to your website to improve SEO, but I would say right now that you should focus on making sure your site is mobile-friendly.

At the moment, Google uses your desktop site to rank you on desktop searches – Mobile First turns this on its head because it will base your desktop rankings on your mobile site. So if your mobile site is very poor, or even if you don’t have one, expect mobile first to cause you problems.

19. Create Your Own Websites and Experiment Things Risk-Free
The one SEO tip I would offer, that applies to both those who are new or more experienced, would be to start your own websites as soon as possible.

When I started out in the industry I was obsessed with consuming every SEO article that was published, but ultimately things really took off when I started launching websites. None of them are particularly successful, but they allowed me to try things risk-free without jeopardizing a client’s campaign. I was able to freely dive into onsite SEO, and I also dabbled in the ‘dark arts’ of link building which of course led to one of my sites being penalized..all fun and games! In order to truly understand how a website works I think it’s important to have some hands on experience, and getting that is easier than you might think. WordPress websites are simple to set up, and building up a bit of traffic can also allow you to experiment with advertising, log file analysis and more!

20. Focus on Content Quality
The single biggest tip I can give SEOs for 2017 is focusing on content quality. Over the last year, I have extensively been running experiments on how much the swing of search results has moved to the quality of the content.

It seems that the Google algo is getting better and better at pulling out content and really starting to understand how that content answers a query. Traditionally we used to talk about “content” and used to hammer in content in areas where really there was no structure, for example on product category landing pages in eCommerce websites. That used to be good enough to dominate the short, mid and long tail of queries as long as you had a decent volume of links.

21. Find a Way to Create Attention
Attention creates awareness, which in turn creates (brand) traffic and links, which will improve your SEO. You need to find a way to create attention (to your product/service/brand/company/website).

22. Hone Your Technical SEO Skills as Much as Possible
If I had to give one SEO tip it would be to hone your technical SEO skills as much as possible.

While SEO is a relatively broad discipline, the technical aspects of it are relatively opaque to many, and there is no shortcut for. On top of that, it is a skill that will likely always be in demand.

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