Believe it or not, SEO is still an ultra-powerful tool in 2016.
I posted recently that SEO isn’t dead—far from it. If Google is still taking it seriously after all these years, you should too.
In fact, SEO might be more powerful than ever, and for one simple reason: Most sites are neglecting their SEO.
A lot of people have convinced themselves that SEO isn’t worth pursuing. Others tell themselves it shouldn’t be a priority.
It’s an easy mistake to make, and believe me, I’ve been there. I wasted time not taking SEO seriously, and it hurt me.
What does that mean for you? If you pay attention to your SEO, you’ll see real results. It might take some time, but it’ll be worth every second.
And it doesn’t hurt to be in the know. If you do some simple research on little-known SEO techniques, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.
To get you started on the path to SEO mastery, here’s a list of 14 advanced SEO tactics your competition doesn’t know about.
1. Expand your presence
You’ve heard the saying “don’t put all your eggs into one basket.” That’s true for SEO, but so many people still focus on only one or two aspects of SEO.
For this tactic, you’ll concentrate on becoming more visible across multiple platforms.
One way is to create as many social media profiles as possible for your brand. In short, you need to be actively involved on as many networks as possible.
And don’t skip some channels because you think they’re unpopular. For example, you might not include Foursquare or Periscope in your current social media strategy, but if you do utilize them, you can reach an audience you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
Think of this technique as marking your territory. Your SEO will organically improve because you’ll be in more places. It’s a simple yet powerful strategy you can start using today.
2. Create a mobile app
You probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out: creating a mobile app can help bolster your SEO.
Granted, this is a rather expensive option, but it’s also an investment.
How exactly can an app boost your SEO? Google is now indexing apps on Google search with Firebase App Indexing.
When people are searching for keywords in your niche, they could find your app, and that creates some juicy SEO.
For example, when you search “reserve a restaurant” on Google, you’ll find an app on page one:
When your app pops up on a Google search, it automatically becomes a valuable resource.
But back to the main point—you can see the benefits of having a high-ranking app on Google. Yes, it’s costly, but it’s so worth it.
3. Fix any crawl errors
According to Google, URL errors are “specific errors Google encountered when trying to crawl specific desktop or phone pages.” Some common examples are 404, DNS, and server errors.
While these errors seem harmless, they have a big impact on your SEO. If you have any crawl errors, your SEO is hurting.
But don’t worry—crawl errors often have simple fixes. I highly recommend checking out Moz’s awesome article on fixing crawl errors.
4. Optimize your images
If you haven’t been optimizing your images for SEO, start now—there’s no time like the present.
And if your site is especially image-heavy, you need to put the extra work in here. As a result, you’ll get a faster-loading more SEO-friendly site.
Here are a few easy ways you can enhance your images’ SEO:
- Give your images specific names (e.g., traffic-analysis-graph.jpg)
- Give your images keyword-rich alt titles (but don’t go overboard!)
- Use the smallest possible file sizes (but don’t sacrifice the quality)
5. Use latent semantic indexing (LSI)
Although latent semantic indexing (LSI) is very powerful, not very many sites are using it. And that’s a shame because LSI can give your site a serious SEO boost.
LSI is the process search engines use to find related keywords in addition to your main keywords. In other words, LSI finds synonyms for keywords.
For example, if you’re writing an article about Facebook, you’d include “social media network” as an LSI keyword.
Let’s take a look at LSI in action. When you Google “buy new laptop,” one of the first pages that pops up is this TechRadar post:
Right away, you can see that “best laptops” is one of the post’s keywords.
You can see other keywords and phrases sprinkled throughout such as “budget” and “affordable.” And sure enough, when you Google “budget laptop” and “affordable laptop,” the post appears on page 1.
This article is a great example of how LSI can improve your SEO. Take it for a spin, and you’ll see just how effective it can be.
6. Optimize your landing pages
When you create your landing pages, are you thinking about SEO? If you’re not, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
You’ll be driving tons of traffic to your landing pages, but if they’re not SEO optimized, you’re doing yourself a major disservice.
Let’s take a look at a landing page from Copyblogger that I analyzed on NeilPatel.com:
Copyblogger’s landing pages perform so well only because the team put a lot of work into them. Here’s how you can do the same:
- use one or two long-tail keywords to write your landing page;
- make sure your copy is at least 2,000 words long;
- make sure your copy is strong, clear, and relevant to your audience.
It’s not rocket science, but it does take effort. Put in the effort now, and reap the rewards later.
7. Spy on your competitors’ keywords
This is a sneaky trick that will put you way ahead of your competition.
By spying on your competitors’ keywords, you can see exactly what you’re up against and compare your own performance to that of your competition’s.
You can use SEMrush to easily find keywords. This is a crazy useful tool, and it’s free!
Enter the site of your choice (e.g., quicksprout.com), and you’ll see something like this:
You can see the top organic keywords, their volume, and traffic amount. But I especially like that you can see a site’s main organic competitors as well.
If you scroll down, you can also see the top paid keywords and competitors. And if you need more detail, just click on “View full report.”
Don’t forget to enter your own site on SEMrush. Like I said, it’s a crazy useful tool, and you should use it regularly.
8. Fix your broken links
I use a lot of links in my blog posts. Unfortunately, linking isn’t a set-and-forget process. What’s new today is old tomorrow, and some links you use may die in the future.
If your site has lots of broken links, search engines will view your site as less accessible. That’s why you need to make sure all of your links, both internal and external, are alive and healthy.
I like using SEO Spider by Screaming Frog to check for broken links. Plus, it’s handy for a lot of other SEO areas.
9. Sniff out unnecessary code
Code is good, but you know what they say about having too much of a good thing.
Your code should be as lightweight as possible. This will also help your page load time, and a faster load time means better SEO.
10. Fix any errors in your code
Excess code is bad, but erroneous code is even worse.
Errors in your code will also cause search engines to take longer to crawl your site. Too many mistakes can signify that you have a poorly maintained site, which will cause your SEO to tank.
11. Tell a story with your internal link structure
This idea comes from Ben Oren of Search Engine Journal. He says that your link structure should tell a story. In other words, when you read your anchors consecutively, you should get a clear idea of your site’s theme.
12. Join question-and-answer sites
People are hungry for knowledge. That’s why so many people post on Q&A sites like Yahoo! Answers and Quora.
But there aren’t many answers out there. That’s where you come in.
The trick is to compose a thorough, well-written answer to someone’s question, preferably a question that doesn’t have many answers. You need to write the best answer possible and include links to your site when it’s relevant. (Don’t get spammy here!)
By doing this, you’re accomplishing two things at once. First, you’re helping the person asking. Second, you’re getting attention to your links, exposing them to countless readers. You’ll be seen as a valuable resource by the community, and people will be more likely to click your links.
13. Use infographics
For your infographics to be super powerful, you need two things: great design and great content. Don’t overlook the content when creating infographics. Lots of people do, and guess what? Their infographics don’t perform well.
I also recommend coupling your infographic with at least 2,000 words of high-quality content. That’s because Google won’t index the text on the infographic itself, so writing longform content will give you extra ranking power.
14. Consider making videos
Video marketing is relatively new, and it’s absolutely blowing up.
If you’re not making videos already, check out this post for more on enhancing your SEO using videos.
SEO is more alive than ever before.
If you want a thriving site in 2016 and beyond, you have to have a firm grasp of SEO principles. And if you go beyond the basics, it’s even better.
Need another reason to start taking SEO seriously? Here’s one: as SEO moves forward, many sites will stay in the past. They won’t pay attention to Google’s algorithm updates or the effect of mobile use on SEO.
But if you stay up-to-date with SEO, your site will improve by leaps and bounds while your competitors’ sites get left behind in the dust.
You can tell I’m a fan of SEO. That’s because I know the power of SEO. It’s not an outdated gimmick—it’s a long-term strategy with lasting benefits.
Put in the work to keep your SEO in tip-top shape. Trust me, it’s so worth it.
What’s your SEO strategy for out-hustling your competition?
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