• Mon. Mar 1st, 2021

SEO Checklist 2020 — How to Get More Organic Traffic (Fast!)

today I'm going to show you my complete SEO checklist in fact this is the same checklist I've used to get first page Google rankings for competitive keywords like keyword research tools and SEO campaign i'm brian dean the founder of backlinko and in this video i'm gonna walk you through my entire SEO checklist step by step keep watching when I first got started with SEO I had no idea what I was doing so I started to search for things like how to get higher Google rankings and how to SEO my site and despite following all the advice that I read my traffic didn't budge it was really frustrating I hate you google today my site brings in hundreds of thousands of visits per month mostly from Google and major media sites like a shop owner have called me in SEO genius my secret I developed a repeatable step-by-step SEO process and that's exactly what I'm going to share with you right now so let's kick things off with step number one of this SEO checklist setup essential SEO tools and plugins your first step is to make sure that you have three important SEO tools set up and ready to go the first tool that every site needs to have is the Google search console this tool makes it super easy to track your site's performance in Google it can also help you find technical SEO problems that are holding you back but most important of all the search console shows you the exact keywords that you rank for and where you rank for them and unlike third-party tools this data comes straight from Google so you know it's legit the next tool you want to set up is Google Analytics Google Analytics is the best way to see how people find and use your website but that's just scratching the surface with Google Analytics you can do all sorts of cool stuff like find pages on your site that bringing traffic identify the exact websites that send you traffic your sites bounce rate pageviews and time on site and lots more finally if your site runs on WordPress you need to install the Yoast SEO plugin Yoast is by far the most popular SEO plug-in on the planet and for good reason Yoast makes it super easy to make your WordPress site SEO friendly right out of the box and now it's time for the second step in this checklist find keywords that customers search for it's no secret that keyword research is super important the question is how do you find keywords that your customers search for here are three simple techniques first find longtail keywords with Google Suggest to use this technique type a keyword into Google but don't press Enter or the search button instead take a look at the keywords that Google shows you Google only suggests keywords that people are actually searching for so when you see a Google search suggestion you know that lots of people are searching for that term next find keywords with the Google Keyword planner the Google Keyword planner is Google's official keyword research tool this tool is technically designed for Google ads but it's still super useful for SEO keyword research to use it just enter a seed keyword and check out the suggestions that the tool spits out that's all there is to it finally spy on online communities fortunately this isn't as creepy as it sounds I'm talking about reading threads on sites like Reddit Quora and online forums all you need to do is head over to the community and find questions that crop up again and again for example I noticed that a big chunk of the threads on the Paleo subreddit are all about paleo and keto desserts so if you ran a site in the paleo niche terms like best paleo desserts and keto friendly desserts would be great keywords to target with that let's jump into step number three keyword optimize your content so you've installed all the important SEO tools and you've found a handful of keywords now it's time to actually optimize your site here's how first use your keyword in the first hundred words of your page Google puts more weight on terms that show up at the top of your page so make sure to use your keyword once here for example on this post from my site you can see that I used the term SEO tools right off the bat next use your keyword in the beginning every title tag just like with your pages content Google puts a little bit of extra weight on terms that show up early in your title tag for example my main keyword for this post is SEO case study and as you can see my title tag starts off with that keyword third use short URLs that include your target keyword why is this important well a recent SEO industry study found a correlation between short URLs and higher Google rankings so you want to keep your URLs short and sweet for example this post on my site uses a super short URL and that short URL is one of the main reasons that this page ranks number one in google for my target keyword SEO techniques last up you want to use your keyword in an h1 h2 or h3 tag honestly H tags aren't really that important but every little bit helps especially if you're trying to target competitive keywords for example my main cure for this page is content marketing tools so I use that exact keyword inside of an h2 tag simple moving right along let's quickly blast through the fourth step in this SEO checklist find and fix technical SEO issues and errors the truth is technical SEO problems can tank your rankings so if your site has technical SEO problems you want to find and fix them right away here's how first make sure that your site is mobile friendly as you might have heard Google now runs on a mobile first index which means if your site isn't optimized for mobile devices it won't rank what the heck I can't click anything fortunately you can easily see your site's mobile friendliness with the Google mobile-friendly test just pop in a page from your site and Google will tell you whether or not your page is mobile-friendly next ID crawl errors a crawl error just means that Google is having trouble indexing all the content on your site and if they can't index your page it's not gonna rank you can easily find crawl errors in the google search console using the coverage report finally improve your site's page speed your site's loading speed is a confirm ranking factor now to be clear in my experience page loading speed isn't gonna make or break your rankings but in general the faster site loads the better to evaluate your site's loading speed check out Google's PageSpeed insights and webpagetest.org both tools give you a benchmark for how quickly your site loads they also hook you up with recommendations to help you speed things up nice and now it's time for our next step create content designed to rank in Google there's no denying it if you want to rank in Google you need to publish great content but what is great content exactly it's content that's great in my mind great content is content that actually ranks in Google and now I'm going to show you exactly how to create the type of content that ranks on the first page of Google first create awesome content with the skyscraper technique the skyscraper technique is a three step formula for creating amazing content in fact I use this technique to double my search engine traffic in two weeks here's the three-step process first find a piece of content in your industry that's popular next create something even better and finally promote that content for example last year I noticed that lots of people are writing about SEO for e-commerce so I decided to take what was out there and make something even better specifically I spent 20 plus hours on an eight thousand word post called ecommerce SEO the definitive guide I promoted this post on social media and using email outreach and this three-step process brought in a massive spike in traffic it also helped me crack the top three results from my target keyword ecommerce SEO second break your content down into chunks because here's the truth no one and I mean no one likes reading giant walls of text like this that's why I always break things down into chunks because it makes my content super easy to read and skin and because my content is easier to read my bounce rate a key Google ranking factor is super low more on that later next make sure to cover everything there is to know about your topic when I recently analyzed over million Google search results one thing was clear content that covers an entire topic in-depth ranks above content that only covers part of a topic for example remember that ecommerce guide I mentioned earlier well that ultimate guide could have been a lame blog post like five ways to get higher rankings for your ecommerce site but I decided to create something that covered everything there is to know about optimizing ecommerce sites which helped my page hit the first page of Google in record time besides making your content in-depth you also want to use lots of multimedia on your page I'm talking about stuff like images polls visual content videos charts and infographics for example I used lots of screenshots visuals and videos in pretty much every post finally you want to double down on content formats that are working best right now I recently teamed up with buzzsumo to analyze almost 1 billion blog posts so what did we find well there was some good news and some bad news let's get the bad news out of the way the bad news is that most content is completely ignored in fact we found that 94% of all published content gets zero external links that's right zero now for the good news there are certain content formats that attract more backlinks than others we found that why posts what posts and infographics get significantly more backlinks than other content formats for example this why post has been linked to you over 50 thousand times obviously you can't just publish a why post or an infographic and expect the links to roll in but our data shows that sticking to these three content formats can increase the odds that people link to your stuff speaking of Link's it's time for the last step in this checklist build links to your website so our backlinks still important for SEO heck yeah in fact a recent study by stone temple consulting found that backlinks are still one of Google's most important ranking factors the bottom line if you're serious about ranking in Google you need backlinks and let me walk you through a handful of link building strategies that are working great right now first up build backlinks using link roundups link roundups are one of my all-time favorite ways to get backlinks why because the entire point of a roundup is to link to amazing content so if you publish something amazing on your site there's a good chance that you could get a link from a roundup for example here's a roundup in the marketing space they link to the best content about SEO and content marketing that came out over the last week or so lucky for me I had recently published a giant guide to SEO and because my post was a good fit for their roundup they happily linked to me next build links using strategic guest posting so why do I say strategic guest posting and not just guest posting it's not to sound smart that's because guest posting can work but you need to be strategic about it and if you do guest posting the wrong way your site can get slapped with a Google penalty so how do you do guest posting the right way the right way is to publish your guest post on a respective site in your niche the wrong way is to publish guest post on any website that has a right for us page even if the site has nothing to do with yours a good rule of thumb that I follow is to only guest post on sites that are gonna send me targeted traffic and related to my site for example here's a guest post that I published on the buffer blog buffers blog focuses more on social media and my site is about SEO but those two topics are related enough if I publish the same post on a site about cute cats that would look shady to Google anyway I got a solid backlink from my post and it brought in a decent chunk of targeted traffic to my site the next strategy I want to show you is to go on podcast as a guest this is one of the most underrated link building techniques on the planet just like with a guest post you get a nice contextual link from your podcast appearance but unlike a guest post there's much less legwork you don't need to pitch topics or work with an editor just schedule your interview and show up and provide value that's it because this strategy is so easy I've actually appeared on over 70 podcast episodes over the last few years last stuff we have the age-old strategy of mentioning influencers in your content this process couldn't be any simpler first mentioned influential bloggers in your post then let them know about it seriously that's it for example a while back I published this giant list of SEO tools now it could have published this post and hoped and prayed that people actually see it so I decided to be proactive so I reached out to each person to let them know that I mentioned them and as you can see most of the people that are reached out to you we're happy to share my post now before we close out this video it's time for a quick bonus step tap into advanced SEO techniques and strategies at this point you've got the basics down so let me walk you through a handful of advanced SEO tips and strategies that are working really well right now my first advanced SEO tip is to delete what I call zombie pages zombie pages are pages on your site that don't bring in any traffic and as it turns out Google hates sites with lots of zombie pages in fact a Google employee recently stated that they prefer to rank sites that have a small number of high quality pages over those that are bloated with lots of pages that don't provide any value that's why I make sure that every page on my site is awesome in fact that glucose generates over 300,000 visitors per month and today I've only published around 70 total blog posts how is this possible it's because when it comes to content I focus a hundred percent on quality not quantity to be clear you don't want to start deleting pages like a crazy person this is the process you want to do slow and carefully so use Google Analytics to find a handful of pages that don't generate any traffic then delete them or redirect them to another related page wait a week or two to see how it goes then over the next few months slowly delete more and more zombie pages for example the team at proven calm noticed that they had almost 50,000 pages indexed way more than they thought as it turned out a lot of these extra pages Wars ombre pages that didn't provide any value so they deleted them and thanks to this and a few other SEO improvements they made proven organic traffic significantly increased our next advanced tip is to boost your organic click-through rate as you might have heard Google pays very close attention to how many people click on your site in the search results if people skip over your site and click on the other results your rankings can drop like a stone but if lots of people click on your result Google considers your page a great result for that keyword and you'll get a ranking boost in fact Google document states that when you click on a link in Google search Google considers your click when ranking that search result so how do you improve your organic click-through rate scan the first page search results for your target keyword and imagine what someone searching for that keyword would want to click on then optimize your title tag and description to match what a searcher wants to see for example if you search for video SEO you'll notice that most of the results are guides and tutorials in other words people that search for this keyword don't want a handful of tips they want a complete guide and to show people that my result was a thorough guide I made sure to include the word guide in my title and description the last advanced SEO tip I have for you is to keep your content up-to-date back in the day I published a new post and never think about it again and as time went on my content got really outdated I had old screenshots outdated strategies and overall content that just looked kind of dated so early last year I started a huge project go back and update every single post on my site like I said earlier I only have about 70 posts but that's still a lot of content to go through and update fortunately I didn't need to update all 70 I only had to update about 20 posts so how did it go well after I'd update a post I noticed a huge spike in search engine traffic and even though the traffic eventually dipped it was still much higher than before the update for example a few months ago I updated this post even though I updated that post months ago that page still gets 30% more organic traffic than before the update and thanks mostly to these content updates my site's overall organic traffic is up twenty four point six percent which means two hundred and forty nine thousand more people visit my site every year than before crazy so that's it from my SEO checklist if you learn something new from today's video make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel right now just click on the button below this video and if you want exclusive SEO and traffic techniques that I only share with subscribers head over to backlinko comm and sign up for the newsletter it's free now I want to turn it over to you which strategy from this video are you gonna try first are you gonna update your old content or a try link roundups let me know by leaving a comment below right now okay ready the end the show is my hometown okay I was like who said that if your site isn't mobilized oops and usually it's like higher at the end it's kind of on here

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