Saturday, August 31, 2019

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel - Business 2 Community

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel - Business 2 Community


12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel - Business 2 Community

Posted: 30 Aug 2019 01:02 PM PDT

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Over one billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day, from online tutorials to shows, podcasts and up-and-coming actors and influencers who want to be seen and heard.

YouTube is the world's second-largest search engine, and as with any search engine, SEO is essential to your success and visibility.

Word of warning, if you're looking for a get-famous-quick scheme, this isn't it. YouTube SEO is the same as any other SEO — it takes time to create an impact. Then, as time passes, you'll start outranking your online competitors.

Now that you've read my SEO disclaimer, let's dive into 12 SEO growth hacks to grow your YouTube channel.

1. Get Branded

Before you start using white hat SEO tips on your YouTube channel, you need to work on your YouTube channel's branding. Here's why: if your aim is for more views, online visibility, and awareness, you have to ensure that your online branding is cohesive, coherent, and concise.

So what is branding and why is it important?

Branding is the design, presentation, and the impact that you make on people who come in contact with you (virtually and in-person) and your content. It allows people to easily recognize your work without having to second guess or research.

One of the most influential and effective ways of branding is your logo. Your logo sets you apart from your competition and imposters. Adding your logo to your video and online content is one way to authenticate it. If you don't have a creative team in-house, you can hire a graphic designer on Upwork or Fiverr.

For a more budget-friendly approach, you can use the following tools to create a logo in minutes:

If we break down branding further, using a distinct color scheme is also another form of branding. Color psychology is used strategically in marketing by top brands so that customers can associate them with the color — even if their logo isn't visible.

YouTube Example: Perfect Dude

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

You'll notice their PD logo on their videos, merch, and content along with the color Cyan (a form of blue and green) as their brand color. They also have a familiar visual aesthetic on their social media and website, so you know you're looking at Perfect Dude content.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

For more tips on getting started, try Neil Patel's Guide on How to Grow Your Personal Brand Online.

2. Create Video Titles With Specific Keywords

A rookie mistake that new YouTubers make is creating videos without having a keyword in mind.

Once your video is published, it's fighting against top-ranking content and keywords that push your video to the third page of Youtube search.

We all know that most people don't even go on the second page of Google's search engine. So what makes you think viewers are going to search on YouTube second page for your content?

Avoid being disappointed by creating video titles with keywords that rank and will increase your SEO visibility. Which brings me to the question, how do you choose the right keywords for SEO?

Firstly, a keyword is a word or phrase that's used to identify content that people are looking for online. Secondly, there are three easy ways to find the right keywords.

How to Find The Right Keywords for YouTube Videos

1. Think Like Your Viewers

Once you know who your target audience is, you can find keywords that they're most likely to use when searching for content. For example, if your niche is makeup, you know that your viewers are looking for the latest in beauty trends. When Fenty Beauty first launched MUA's were using the keyword "Fenty Beauty" in video titles as much as possible as the keyword ranked high in the MUA industry.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

2. Use Google To Find Keywords

I'm serious; Google is a perfect place to find keywords and phrases you can use in your YouTube titles or tweak to make your own. Google is a good place to start if you're entirely new to SEO research.

Google is also known for constantly changing its search algorithms while trying to deliver search results more relevant to what people want to find. So using it (along with some Google SEO reading materials) can help.

When you type in a topic or phrase, Google automatically shows answers or suggested searches. Once clicked on, the viewer gets relevant content like videos, books, and articles.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

You can look at Google's people also ask for possible topics, and titles for your videos that your target audience has shown interest in online.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

As a writer and occasional YouTuber myself, I know that having the best content marketing and SEO keyword tools can give you an edge in your niche. I also know that sometimes we can't pay over $200 each month for keyword tools, so I've listed the top four affordable and free SEO keyword tools you can start using for keyword research:

1.Related Keywords

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

This is an excellent Chrome or Firefox extension that allows you to see concise data on keywords you're searching for or happen to click. It shows the CPC, keyword volume, and ranking, along with what other related keywords people are searching for online. You can easily download your results via Excel or click on the keyword of your choice to find out more information. It also works on platforms like Google search, Yahoo, YouTube, Esty, and more.

2. Google Adwords Keyword Planner

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Trusted since the rise of SEO, Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a marketer's go-to when creating ads or conducting keyword research for blog articles and videos. You'll have to create a Google Ads account to access it, but it'll be helpful in the future if you decide to run YouTube ad campaigns.

3. Moz Keyword Tool

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

A tool created by Moz, the brainchild of the SEO wizards Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig, known for their actionable SEO tips and growth hacks. With its background, you know you're in good hands with this tool. All you have to do is sign up, and you can start searching for keywords and phrases for your video title.

4.Answer the Public

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

This platform is a growing go-to SEO tool in SEO marketing circles. Answer the Public helps you to find (un)commonly asked questions by potential viewers and customers. You can use that information to create content that answers their concerns, positioning yourself as an expert or the influencer in your niche.

Pro Tip: Create a Seed Keywords List Seed Keywords are terms that describe broad topics in a specific niche or category. For example, if you're a YouTuber that specializes in social media marketing, your Seed Keywords could be:

Seed Keyword: Social Media

Potential YouTube videos could be (but are not limited to):

  • Social Media Management Tools
  • Social Media Apps for Marketing 2019
  • Social Media Pros & Cons

4. Push for Video Shares

Foundation Inc. discovered that online users share content because they want to enrich the lives of those around them. That's why they feel motivated to share valuable and entertaining content with their network on a day-to-day basis.

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Take the initiative to ask your viewers in each video to share your videos with friends, co-workers, or family members who would appreciate or love your content. Make viewers feel that they're sharing your video for their benefit rather than your own. It makes you feel, look, and seem more human and connected to your community.

YouTuber Example: Video Creator

Video Creator is another YouTube channel you should add to your list if you're looking for ways to promote and outrank your competition.

In this video, he talks about where you should share your video once it's published and how to use Google Analytics to find your best social media sources.

5. Have a Video Backlink Strategy

The same rules of SEO apply to your videos. Place your video's backlinks in related topics on your website's blog or guest post. Moz defines backlinks, also called "inbound links" or "incoming links," as when one website links to another.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Backlinks allow you to increase traffic via off-site SEO; you can do this through link building. Your video's backlink should be trustworthy, popular, and highly valued for it to drive traffic to your website.

6. Add Links to Your Video Description

Adding links to your YouTube channel isn't necessary backlinking, but it is a form of link building!

YouTuber Example: Wishpond

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

If you're making a video that requires viewers to see a part two or additional information, you can place your link in the description. The same can be done to direct people to your products, services, website, and any current offers.

7. Embed Your YouTube Videos

Allow your website visitors to view, share, and comment on your videos. You can add videos to written posts like tutorials for visual learners.

Once your video is embedded, it's seamlessly displayed on your website where viewers can press play, pause, or even share the video without leaving your page. Below is an image of an embedded video in one of our very own Wishpond blog posts.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

YouTuber Example: TeamYouTube Help

To do this yourself, you can read Canto's step by step guide: The Fastest Way to Embed YouTube Video

8. Do Video Collaborations

Two YouTube channels are better than one! Expand your reach by doing a video collaboration and increase your SEO exposure. Co-host with a YouTuber with a complementary following to double your views and engagement.

Your co-host should either have the same number or more subscribers than you to support each other and improve your chances of popping up on the first page of YouTube's search engine.

You never know what video will go viral. Take popular YouTuber Alisha Marie, when she decided to co-host her weird food video series with fellow foodie Shane Dawson.

YouTuber Example: Alisha Marie

Feel free to do a video collaboration with multiple YouTubers in one video or for an entire video series.

9. Use Short Video Titles

Keep your video titles to 50 characters or 7-10 words. The longer the title, the less of it viewers will see when they are searching for content on YouTube. Use long-tail keywords in your video titles.

Check out the top results for "best social media apps." Notice what they all have in common: keywords and concise titles.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

You can still use detailed video descriptions and titles so Google can find your video for relevant and highly-specific long-tail phrases. Just don't go overboard, so your titles cut off.

10. Track Your YouTube Analytics

What do analytics have to do with SEO? Everything! You need to track your analytics to see if your SEO efforts are paying off on your YouTube channel, subscription, or website.

Keeping an eye on your metrics allows you to understand what's working and what's not. Where your videos are getting the most love, views and shares and which videos are performing better than others.

YouTube analytics isn't as daunting as it sounds. Earlier we spoke about VidIQ, but here are two free tools you can use to monitor your videos: YouTube Studio Dashboard and Google Analytics

Here are 12 YouTube analytics every YouTuber should know:

  • Watch Time
  • Impressions Click-Through Rate
  • Card Click-Through-Rate
  • Playlist Engagement
  • Unique Viewers
  • Traffic Sources
  • Subscriber Growth

11. Use Keywords in Your Video File Name.

Yes, it does make a difference. For example, if you upload your video, change your video's default name from "10000412556.mp4." to "Marketing.growth.hacks.mp4". Google will automatically focus on the keywords in your video's title. As simple as it seems, this can help to boost your video ranking dramatically.

12. Grow Your Youtube Channel by Uploading Your Videos on Facebook

Uploading your YouTube videos on other video platforms like Facebook, IGTV or Vimeo can help you to reach a broader audience that could be interested in your content.

Though most marketers still say they prefer YouTube over Facebook (87% vs. 68%) when combined for video and marketing efforts, the results speak for themselves. You can place a link to subscribe in your description or caption so you can grab some subscribers along the way.

Bonus: Use VidIQ

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Vid IQ is one of the most used YouTube analytics tools to help you to reach your goals and learn what you need to improve your channel.

Learn how you can drive traffic from your YouTube videos to your landing page and website, an individual publisher to manage your own (or multiple) YouTube channels. You'll also get YouTube SEO tips, suggested titles, and detailed descriptions to make your videos more engaging.

YouTuber Example: Think Media

Check out this quick overview by Think Media, one YouTube's best channel for anyone learning how to master YouTube, video, and influencer marketing.

A free account is available, but if you're serious about growing your YouTube Channel then invest in your channel and go pro to access added features to drive more subscribers to your channel.

Not only am I going to show you 18 best ways to grow your Youtube channel, but I'll also leave you with a list of the top 10 tools you need to grow your YouTube channel.

1.Canva: Use Canva to create free YouTube thumbnails with free templates and designs easily.
2.Keyword Tool: Use
Keyword Tool to help you find specific keywords that rank on Google and Youtube so you can optimize your content for SEO.
3. VidIQ: The go-to YouTube analytic tools to help you to reach your goals and learn what you need to improve your channel.
4. TubeBuddy:: This is a YouTuber's best friend, it helps you to streamline your daily workflow on YouTube as well as editing and managing your content in bulk.
5. Social Blade: Social Blade gives access to data-driven YouTube ranking and analytics for not just for your YouTube channel but others as well.
6. Bitly: You'll be using this tool a lot when it comes to sharing your YouTube video links. Bitly helps you to take a long URL and turn it into a short and simple link.
7. Google Analytics:: YouTube Analytics and Google Analytics make a powerful duo when it comes to tracking your YouTube and website metrics to see the results of all your promotion and actions.
9. Camtasia: Use this app for professional screen and video editing when you need it the most.
10. Social Media Management Tools: Use social media management tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to better manage and promote your YouTube channel and videos on social media.

The Rundown

Growing your YouTube channel isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. Each time you upload, engage, or share your content, you have to make sure you're doing it in a way that optimizes your video content's SEO.

As you continue best practices, your channel will not only grow but withstand the test of time.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 28 Aug 2019 06:41 AM PDT

SEO tools are the online marketer's best friend.

Without at least a few in-depth, data-mining, keyword tracking, research-handling superstars in your SEO kit, you may find it hard to compete in the content crowd.

That's because research, planning, and strategy are located at the bottom of the content success ladder.

You can't reach new heights without first climbing and conquering these basics.

With that out of the way, here are 10 awesome, dependable, so-worth-it, paid SEO tools I personally recommend.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

The only way to ensure your website is SEO-ready across all its pages is to audit regularly. And, to be blunt, you can't do that without a tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider – especially if your site is sprawling in size.

Quite simply, Screaming Frog is a web crawler that scans your web pages for common errors like broken links, duplicate content, redirect chains and loops, and even meta descriptions and titles that are too short, too long, or missing altogether.

Cost: Download a free version with limited features, or spring for the licensed, full-featured version for about $181/year, per license.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Ahrefs is a fan favorite across content marketers, content writers, and SEO-ers alike – with good reason.

The company boasts some of the most comprehensive data collecting and storage out there so their tools are as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Plus, they're easy to use and make analyzing all that SEO data simple.

When you buy a subscription, you get access to their entire range of SEO helpers, including:

  • Site Explorer: See the backlink profile and organic search traffic data for any website.
  • Keywords Explorer: Research keywords and data like search volume, keyword difficulty, and clicks.
  • Rank Tracker: Track your Google rankings and compare them to your competitors'.
  • Site Audit: Get a full visual of your site's SEO health.

Cost: The Lite plan with Ahrefs (including access for one user) costs $99/month. They also offer a free trial for 7 days that costs $7.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

If you want reams of SEO data at your fingertips or an all-in-one tool, SEMrush is the solution to buy.

Here's a breakdown:

  • Track keyword rankings, organic traffic, and backlinks.
  • Zero in on your competitors' data and analyze how to do better.
  • Save your searches in lists, and have reports and updates sent to your email.
  • Do SEO site audits.
  • Get a LOT of insights and data at your fingertips.

Cost: A Pro plan with SEMrush costs $99.95/month. You can use it for free with an email sign-up, but results will be limited.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Moz Pro is a suite of SEO tools that deserves its inclusion on this list.

It's another all-in-one solution that could potentially save some pennies in smaller brand budgets (keywords, links, site audits, rank tracking, and on-page optimization are all covered).

Plus, the combination of user-friendly tools and a large support community means this is a good starting suite for beginners to SEO.

Cost: The Standard plan with Moz Pro is $99/month, or $79/month if you pay annually.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

KWFinder does exactly what it says, and does it well, to boot.

This is a tool I recommend over and over because of its ease-of-use, simple design, and great UX – not to mention the accurate keyword data.

If you just need to do keyword research, choose this SEO tool.

Cost: The Mangools Basic plan costs $29.90/month. This has limits, but unless you're doing a researching frenzy, it should be good enough for a beginner or intermediate user.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Searchmetrics isn't just an SEO tool, but also a valuable helper for your content strategy.

This suite does it all: ROI reporting, competitive analysis, site audits, mobile and desktop site optimization, content optimization, web visibility analysis, and more.

Cost: Searchmetrics offers three pricing plans: Suite Business, Suite Enterprise, and Suite Ultimate. All prices are only available on request.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Are you all about those backlinks? Majestic should be your tool.

It boasts the largest link index database on the planet.

See where your links are coming from, the anchor text other sites use to link to you, and how much weight each backlink has overall.

You can even compare the link profiles of up to five sites at a time.

Cost: Majestic plans start at $49.99/month for the Lite plan.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Yet another wholesale SEO solution for your consideration: cognitiveSEO.

This suite of tools includes all the basics you need to research, plan, and tweak your SEO strategy.

Research keywords, crawl and audit your site, compare and analyze backlinks, and take advantage of local, desktop, and mobile rank tracking.

Cost:  The Starter plan for cognitiveSEO costs $129.99/month. Or, sign up for yearly billing and save 30%.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

For comprehensive position tracking and rank monitoring, Advanced Web Ranking is a solid choice.

It offers local results tracking as well as tracking across search engines, including Amazon and YouTube.

Along with all that, there are plenty of ways to dig into your data and glean new insights, including customizable filtering.

Cost: AWR's Starter plan is available for $49/month. Pay yearly and you get a 10% discount.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Yoast is a standard tool in most marketers' line-ups because it's so easy to use.

It helps you optimize all your content posts and pages in WordPress, including metas, titles, links, keywords, readability, and more.

If you're an SEO newbie or need to provide SEO guidance for clients, this is a great tool for the job.

Cost: It's $89 to add the Yoast plugin to one site. There's a free version with limited features, too.

Your New Favorite SEO Tool Awaits

Each of the tools on this list is a bit of a monthly investment, but I guarantee it will pay off. Research is one of the best ways to improve your site experience, your content, and your strategy in the marketing game.

Invest, dig into the data, and come out the other side with invaluable insights that will boost your brand to new heights.

More Resources:


Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, August 2019

How to Improve Your Keyword Rankings in Google - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 08 Aug 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Improving your keyword rankings in search isn't as straightforward as it once was.

With all of the recent Google algorithm changes we have seen, traditional tactics like keyword research and targeting, page tagging optimization, and on-page content updates don't have the impact that they used to.

More importantly, every website is unique. This means that using a certain tactic doesn't guarantee a specific result for your website.

The same change could impact websites differently, which is why it's important to make continuous improvements, test new strategies, monitor performance, and adjust as needed.

improving keyword rankings

In today's evolving search landscape, we need to think beyond traditional keyword ranking factors and look at the big picture.

This involves focusing on the overall experience of a website, optimizing content for both users and search engines, building inbound links the right way, and much more.

Here are several ways to improve your keyword rankings in Google by looking at your site more holistically.

1. Measure Your Rankings

The first, and probably the most obvious, place to start is measuring your rankings.

Without having a solid understanding of your baseline keyword performance, you won't know how far you've come and how much you've improved.

I'd highly suggest exporting all of this valuable keyword data and keeping it on file to reference in the future.

Some of us may have learned the hard way, but you never know when things will change in any given tool – whether it's how the data is reported, what information we have access to, etc.

Google Search Console

Export keyword data from Google Search Console and landing page traffic (organic and total) from Google Analytics.

Analyzing this data will give you a good idea of:

  • What your most valuable keywords/landing pages are.
  • Where the most immediate opportunities for improvement are.
  • What keywords/landing pages are underperforming.

As far as the top areas for improvement, focus on keywords that are ranking in positions 5 through 15 (where you're teetering at the bottom of Page 1 or top of Page 2 on Google).

For these terms, ranking at the top of the first page on Google is very likely, and will give you some quick wins to share with your client or boss.

2. Target the Right Keywords

To ensure your keyword targets are aligned with overarching business objectives and offer real value, it's important that you understand both the search intent behind them and the difficulty of ranking.

While terms have a particular meaning to you, they could take on an entirely different meaning in Google and vice versa.

Knowing the type of intent, whether it's informational/educational, transactional or navigational, will help you understand what stage users are at in the sales funnel.

Doing a thorough SERP analysis will be essential. Look at what's currently ranking in the top search result for your core keyword targets including:

  • Related searches
  • People also ask
  • Google autocomplete suggestions
  • Other advanced search features
SERP Features

Knowing what is required to rank for a particular keyword will help you draw conclusions about what content development efforts will be required and come up with a plan for creation.

SEMrush's SEO Content Template is really great for this type of analysis.

You simply enter a keyword, and the tool will analyze what's showing up in Google's top results to provide recommendations for SEO-friendly content.

SEO Content Template

Cross-referencing your organic keyword research with paid advertising data can also help uncover new opportunities and fill gaps.

Don't ignore long-tail queries. While they may have lower search volume, you could be missing out on extremely targeted audiences that are ready to buy.

3. Fix Technical Issues

Setting a solid foundation for your website involves resolving any technical issues that may diminish your organic keyword visibility.

Site pages should be both easily found and navigated by search engines and users.

If your website is difficult for users to navigate and search engines to crawl, your keyword rankings will likely be negatively impacted.

And, vice versa – if you're website is intuitive for both users and Google, your rankings are bound to see positive increases.

Make sure that your site has a solid website structure, fix any broken links, and resolve any duplicate content issues.

Conducting a thorough technical SEO audit is necessary to ensure all priority technical issues are addressed.

4. Focus on the User Experience

User experience and brand equity are important when it comes to driving organic search visibility.

While user experience may not be a direct responsibility of a search engine marketer, it's important that user experience and SEO work together.

Here are some of the key elements that present an opportunity to improve UX and SEO:

  • Keyword research: Confirm that you're targeting keywords that have the right search intent and are aligned with the language that your target audiences use.
  • Page tagging: Ensure page tagging is engaging and encourages clicks to your website (title tags, meta descriptions, main headings).
  • Content optimization: Keep users on the page and provide them with another logical destination or next step. This involves everything from the navigation to the copy, internal cross-linking, and call-to-actions on your site.
  • Page speed: Give users the content they are requesting quickly and seamlessly across devices. Compress images, be mobile-friendly, clean up your code, and speed up your server.

5. Optimize for Users & Search Engines

Many of us get so fixated on optimizing content for Google that we forget what the end game is – to reach a highly targeted set of humans.

While search engines and humans have a different way of reading and digesting content, there are certainly commonalities that will help ensure we are creating content with both in mind.

Both robots and humans want us to be:

  • Be clear and concise.
  • Provide accurate information.
  • Avoid jargon.
  • Cover related subtopics.

This is important to keep in mind from the start of your content creation process.

As we are thinking about ways to make our content easier to read for both users and search engines, header tags are key.

Not only will proper header tags improve the overall readability of your content, but they will also ensure search engines can follow the hierarchy of what is most important on the page.

Images should also be a consideration, as providing more engaging imagery can make all the difference for users. It also presents the opportunity to further optimize for search engines through ALT text and file naming.

6. Create Eye-Catching & Engaging Titles

Dare I say that title tags are the most important SEO element of a webpage?

Not just because it's an SEO best practice, but also because it's the first thing that users see in search results and on social media.

The title tag is your biggest opportunity to catch the eyes of a user and encourage them to click into the page.

Determine the page that you want to rank for the keyword target at hand, and then figure out a way for your title to stand out from all the others.

Yes, the keyword target should be included towards the beginning of the title tag, but how else can you encourage users to click?

BuzzSumo analyzed 100 million headlines and learned that:

  • Emotional headlines drive interactions.
  • Curiosity and voyeurism gain engagement.
  • List posts and the number 10 in headlines are extremely powerful.

While meta descriptions don't have a direct impact on rankings, they should work closely with your title tags. Incorporate the keyword if possible, as well as a clear call-to-action for users.

The goal of your title tag and meta description should be to explain the benefit to users, provoke emotion, and trigger engagement, all while applying SEO best practices.

7. Stay on Top of Algorithm Updates

Why should you care about Google's most recent algorithm updates?

Because good SEO professionals stay on top of that stuff. Among many other reasons, it helps ensure your keyword rankings are not only steady, but they're constantly improving.

Knowing when an algorithm update first hit and when it officially ended is useful for tracking purposes, and will allow you to trace back keyword and traffic fluctuations to the root cause.

This will help you uncover potential reasoning for how/why a site was hit by an update, or certain keyword rankings and pieces of content that may have been impacted by it.

As we have experienced recently, when multiple algorithm updates happen over a short stretch of time, figuring out why certain site changes have occurred and analyzing the impact of a specific update is extremely difficult.

8. Provide Answers to the Questions People Are Asking

It's clear that Google is on a mission to provide users with answers.

Just look at all of the new and increased SERP features we have seen over the past couple of years:

  • Featured Snippets (or Answer Boxes).
  • People Also Asked
  • Knowledge Cards
  • Dictionary Definitions.
  • And the list goes on.
Search Features

Optimizing for Featured Snippet results and People Also Asked features around your priority keyword targets is now becoming an essential part of SEO strategy.

While there is certainly a great deal of debate over the direct value that ranking in "position zero" of search results offers a business, ultimately, I pose this question:

Would you rather have your competitor rank in the Answer Box for that search query?

As far as we know, the Featured Snippet result isn't going away anytime soon, and not ranking in it could mean lost visibility to your competitor, or even your "frenemy" Google.

9. Build Valuable Inbound Links

Start by looking for opportunities on your own website to cross-link to assets from keyword-rich anchor text. This will help drive users to relevant content, and build keyword association.

Unfortunately, crafting a strong internal link strategy is only half of the battle. The other half is generating highly authoritative and valuable inbound links from third-party websites.

This can seem overwhelming, but there are some key tactics to hone in on:

  • Create link-worthy content that is based on your keyword research and analysis of what is ranking in top search results to help generate inbound links and improve keyword rankings.
  • Monitor mentions of your brand for some quick-win opportunities to gain a inbound link from websites that are already talking about you.
  • If you want other websites to link to you, remember to link to other websites. You only get as much as you give.
  • Leverage social media to support link building. Interact with your targets beforehand to help build relationships prior to reaching out about a link building opportunity.

These are just a few tactics to get you started; however, there are certainly more advanced link building tactics to be successful in today's extremely competitive landscape.

10. Promote Your Content Strategically

I mention this briefly above, but it's also important to leverage non-SEO channels in an effort to drive visibility to your assets and support your link building efforts.

The more eyes that you get on your content, the more opportunity you have to:

  • Generate inbound links.
  • Drive social media shares.
  • Gain traction to the piece.
  • Rank better.
Content Distribution

While different promotional tactics may apply to different types of content, creating a checklist is always helpful. This way, when it comes time to promote an asset, you have a list of all possible tactics.

This could include:

  • Distributing across social media channels.
  • Pushing out an email to subscribers.
  • Letting internal team members know to encourage shares.
  • Reaching out to those mentioned in the asset.
  • Setting up Google Alerts to monitor conversations around the topic.
  • Sharing directly with certain experts or influencers.
  • Answering related questions on Quora, or other forums.
  • Advertising on social media.
  • Identifying existing internal cross-link opportunities.
  • Creating a SlideShare presentation, or repurposing the asset in other forms.

11. Continuously Optimize & Improve Content

It doesn't stop there. We know that search engine results are constantly changing, and this means that you need to make continuous optimizations and improvements to your content.

For example, just because you've gained the Featured Snippet result for a particular keyword or phrase, does not mean that you will stay there.

Refreshing your content will ensure that you're offering users with the best (and up to date) information, and driving increased keyword visibility.

If content is out of date, you will likely see the associated keyword rankings decline.

On the other hand, if you're always looking for opportunities to refresh your content and provide users with the best material, you will likely see keyword ranking increases.

Content optimization should never be one-and-done, especially if you aren't seeing the results that you want. If an asset isn't ranking, re-optimize it for relevance, search intent, engagement, and readability.

Your goal should be to offer users a piece of content that is better than everything else being displayed for the given query.

The concept that, "if it's not broke, don't fix it" certainly applies here.

For example, if you are ranking in the first position on Google for an extremely competitive and highly searched for keyword, you don't want to risk losing that.

In that case, I would not recommend changing the title tag or anything that could have a negative impact.

However, there could be opportunities to make the asset that is ranking more conversion-friendly and encourage users to stay on your site.

Final Thoughts 

Don't get me wrong – I'm not saying that tactics like page tagging and on-page content optimizations aren't important anymore. But, it's also essential that SEOs look at the 10,000-foot view of their website.

If you aren't driving the results you need from certain ranking tactics, it may be time to take a step back and look at your website more holistically.

And, remember, it may take some testing, failing and testing some more to find the tactics that will have the biggest impact on your unique site.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with some new ideas and considerations to help improve your keyword rankings on Google.

More Resources:


Image Credits

In-Post Image: Created by author, August 2019
All screenshots taken by author, August 2019

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel - Business 2 Community


12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel - Business 2 Community

Posted: 30 Aug 2019 01:02 PM PDT

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Over one billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day, from online tutorials to shows, podcasts and up-and-coming actors and influencers who want to be seen and heard.

YouTube is the world's second-largest search engine, and as with any search engine, SEO is essential to your success and visibility.

Word of warning, if you're looking for a get-famous-quick scheme, this isn't it. YouTube SEO is the same as any other SEO — it takes time to create an impact. Then, as time passes, you'll start outranking your online competitors.

Now that you've read my SEO disclaimer, let's dive into 12 SEO growth hacks to grow your YouTube channel.

1. Get Branded

Before you start using white hat SEO tips on your YouTube channel, you need to work on your YouTube channel's branding. Here's why: if your aim is for more views, online visibility, and awareness, you have to ensure that your online branding is cohesive, coherent, and concise.

So what is branding and why is it important?

Branding is the design, presentation, and the impact that you make on people who come in contact with you (virtually and in-person) and your content. It allows people to easily recognize your work without having to second guess or research.

One of the most influential and effective ways of branding is your logo. Your logo sets you apart from your competition and imposters. Adding your logo to your video and online content is one way to authenticate it. If you don't have a creative team in-house, you can hire a graphic designer on Upwork or Fiverr.

For a more budget-friendly approach, you can use the following tools to create a logo in minutes:

If we break down branding further, using a distinct color scheme is also another form of branding. Color psychology is used strategically in marketing by top brands so that customers can associate them with the color — even if their logo isn't visible.

YouTube Example: Perfect Dude

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

You'll notice their PD logo on their videos, merch, and content along with the color Cyan (a form of blue and green) as their brand color. They also have a familiar visual aesthetic on their social media and website, so you know you're looking at Perfect Dude content.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

For more tips on getting started, try Neil Patel's Guide on How to Grow Your Personal Brand Online.

2. Create Video Titles With Specific Keywords

A rookie mistake that new YouTubers make is creating videos without having a keyword in mind.

Once your video is published, it's fighting against top-ranking content and keywords that push your video to the third page of Youtube search.

We all know that most people don't even go on the second page of Google's search engine. So what makes you think viewers are going to search on YouTube second page for your content?

Avoid being disappointed by creating video titles with keywords that rank and will increase your SEO visibility. Which brings me to the question, how do you choose the right keywords for SEO?

Firstly, a keyword is a word or phrase that's used to identify content that people are looking for online. Secondly, there are three easy ways to find the right keywords.

How to Find The Right Keywords for YouTube Videos

1. Think Like Your Viewers

Once you know who your target audience is, you can find keywords that they're most likely to use when searching for content. For example, if your niche is makeup, you know that your viewers are looking for the latest in beauty trends. When Fenty Beauty first launched MUA's were using the keyword "Fenty Beauty" in video titles as much as possible as the keyword ranked high in the MUA industry.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

2. Use Google To Find Keywords

I'm serious; Google is a perfect place to find keywords and phrases you can use in your YouTube titles or tweak to make your own. Google is a good place to start if you're entirely new to SEO research.

Google is also known for constantly changing its search algorithms while trying to deliver search results more relevant to what people want to find. So using it (along with some Google SEO reading materials) can help.

When you type in a topic or phrase, Google automatically shows answers or suggested searches. Once clicked on, the viewer gets relevant content like videos, books, and articles.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

You can look at Google's people also ask for possible topics, and titles for your videos that your target audience has shown interest in online.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

As a writer and occasional YouTuber myself, I know that having the best content marketing and SEO keyword tools can give you an edge in your niche. I also know that sometimes we can't pay over $200 each month for keyword tools, so I've listed the top four affordable and free SEO keyword tools you can start using for keyword research:

1.Related Keywords

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

This is an excellent Chrome or Firefox extension that allows you to see concise data on keywords you're searching for or happen to click. It shows the CPC, keyword volume, and ranking, along with what other related keywords people are searching for online. You can easily download your results via Excel or click on the keyword of your choice to find out more information. It also works on platforms like Google search, Yahoo, YouTube, Esty, and more.

2. Google Adwords Keyword Planner

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Trusted since the rise of SEO, Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a marketer's go-to when creating ads or conducting keyword research for blog articles and videos. You'll have to create a Google Ads account to access it, but it'll be helpful in the future if you decide to run YouTube ad campaigns.

3. Moz Keyword Tool

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

A tool created by Moz, the brainchild of the SEO wizards Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig, known for their actionable SEO tips and growth hacks. With its background, you know you're in good hands with this tool. All you have to do is sign up, and you can start searching for keywords and phrases for your video title.

4.Answer the Public

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

This platform is a growing go-to SEO tool in SEO marketing circles. Answer the Public helps you to find (un)commonly asked questions by potential viewers and customers. You can use that information to create content that answers their concerns, positioning yourself as an expert or the influencer in your niche.

Pro Tip: Create a Seed Keywords List Seed Keywords are terms that describe broad topics in a specific niche or category. For example, if you're a YouTuber that specializes in social media marketing, your Seed Keywords could be:

Seed Keyword: Social Media

Potential YouTube videos could be (but are not limited to):

  • Social Media Management Tools
  • Social Media Apps for Marketing 2019
  • Social Media Pros & Cons

4. Push for Video Shares

Foundation Inc. discovered that online users share content because they want to enrich the lives of those around them. That's why they feel motivated to share valuable and entertaining content with their network on a day-to-day basis.

Recommended for You

Webcast, September 17th: 10X Growth & Relationships with Community Building

Take the initiative to ask your viewers in each video to share your videos with friends, co-workers, or family members who would appreciate or love your content. Make viewers feel that they're sharing your video for their benefit rather than your own. It makes you feel, look, and seem more human and connected to your community.

YouTuber Example: Video Creator

Video Creator is another YouTube channel you should add to your list if you're looking for ways to promote and outrank your competition.

In this video, he talks about where you should share your video once it's published and how to use Google Analytics to find your best social media sources.

5. Have a Video Backlink Strategy

The same rules of SEO apply to your videos. Place your video's backlinks in related topics on your website's blog or guest post. Moz defines backlinks, also called "inbound links" or "incoming links," as when one website links to another.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Backlinks allow you to increase traffic via off-site SEO; you can do this through link building. Your video's backlink should be trustworthy, popular, and highly valued for it to drive traffic to your website.

6. Add Links to Your Video Description

Adding links to your YouTube channel isn't necessary backlinking, but it is a form of link building!

YouTuber Example: Wishpond

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

If you're making a video that requires viewers to see a part two or additional information, you can place your link in the description. The same can be done to direct people to your products, services, website, and any current offers.

7. Embed Your YouTube Videos

Allow your website visitors to view, share, and comment on your videos. You can add videos to written posts like tutorials for visual learners.

Once your video is embedded, it's seamlessly displayed on your website where viewers can press play, pause, or even share the video without leaving your page. Below is an image of an embedded video in one of our very own Wishpond blog posts.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

YouTuber Example: TeamYouTube Help

To do this yourself, you can read Canto's step by step guide: The Fastest Way to Embed YouTube Video

8. Do Video Collaborations

Two YouTube channels are better than one! Expand your reach by doing a video collaboration and increase your SEO exposure. Co-host with a YouTuber with a complementary following to double your views and engagement.

Your co-host should either have the same number or more subscribers than you to support each other and improve your chances of popping up on the first page of YouTube's search engine.

You never know what video will go viral. Take popular YouTuber Alisha Marie, when she decided to co-host her weird food video series with fellow foodie Shane Dawson.

YouTuber Example: Alisha Marie

Feel free to do a video collaboration with multiple YouTubers in one video or for an entire video series.

9. Use Short Video Titles

Keep your video titles to 50 characters or 7-10 words. The longer the title, the less of it viewers will see when they are searching for content on YouTube. Use long-tail keywords in your video titles.

Check out the top results for "best social media apps." Notice what they all have in common: keywords and concise titles.

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

You can still use detailed video descriptions and titles so Google can find your video for relevant and highly-specific long-tail phrases. Just don't go overboard, so your titles cut off.

10. Track Your YouTube Analytics

What do analytics have to do with SEO? Everything! You need to track your analytics to see if your SEO efforts are paying off on your YouTube channel, subscription, or website.

Keeping an eye on your metrics allows you to understand what's working and what's not. Where your videos are getting the most love, views and shares and which videos are performing better than others.

YouTube analytics isn't as daunting as it sounds. Earlier we spoke about VidIQ, but here are two free tools you can use to monitor your videos: YouTube Studio Dashboard and Google Analytics

Here are 12 YouTube analytics every YouTuber should know:

  • Watch Time
  • Impressions Click-Through Rate
  • Card Click-Through-Rate
  • Playlist Engagement
  • Unique Viewers
  • Traffic Sources
  • Subscriber Growth

11. Use Keywords in Your Video File Name.

Yes, it does make a difference. For example, if you upload your video, change your video's default name from "10000412556.mp4." to "Marketing.growth.hacks.mp4". Google will automatically focus on the keywords in your video's title. As simple as it seems, this can help to boost your video ranking dramatically.

12. Grow Your Youtube Channel by Uploading Your Videos on Facebook

Uploading your YouTube videos on other video platforms like Facebook, IGTV or Vimeo can help you to reach a broader audience that could be interested in your content.

Though most marketers still say they prefer YouTube over Facebook (87% vs. 68%) when combined for video and marketing efforts, the results speak for themselves. You can place a link to subscribe in your description or caption so you can grab some subscribers along the way.

Bonus: Use VidIQ

12 SEO Grow Hacks to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Vid IQ is one of the most used YouTube analytics tools to help you to reach your goals and learn what you need to improve your channel.

Learn how you can drive traffic from your YouTube videos to your landing page and website, an individual publisher to manage your own (or multiple) YouTube channels. You'll also get YouTube SEO tips, suggested titles, and detailed descriptions to make your videos more engaging.

YouTuber Example: Think Media

Check out this quick overview by Think Media, one YouTube's best channel for anyone learning how to master YouTube, video, and influencer marketing.

A free account is available, but if you're serious about growing your YouTube Channel then invest in your channel and go pro to access added features to drive more subscribers to your channel.

Not only am I going to show you 18 best ways to grow your Youtube channel, but I'll also leave you with a list of the top 10 tools you need to grow your YouTube channel.

1.Canva: Use Canva to create free YouTube thumbnails with free templates and designs easily.
2.Keyword Tool: Use
Keyword Tool to help you find specific keywords that rank on Google and Youtube so you can optimize your content for SEO.
3. VidIQ: The go-to YouTube analytic tools to help you to reach your goals and learn what you need to improve your channel.
4. TubeBuddy:: This is a YouTuber's best friend, it helps you to streamline your daily workflow on YouTube as well as editing and managing your content in bulk.
5. Social Blade: Social Blade gives access to data-driven YouTube ranking and analytics for not just for your YouTube channel but others as well.
6. Bitly: You'll be using this tool a lot when it comes to sharing your YouTube video links. Bitly helps you to take a long URL and turn it into a short and simple link.
7. Google Analytics:: YouTube Analytics and Google Analytics make a powerful duo when it comes to tracking your YouTube and website metrics to see the results of all your promotion and actions.
9. Camtasia: Use this app for professional screen and video editing when you need it the most.
10. Social Media Management Tools: Use social media management tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to better manage and promote your YouTube channel and videos on social media.

The Rundown

Growing your YouTube channel isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. Each time you upload, engage, or share your content, you have to make sure you're doing it in a way that optimizes your video content's SEO.

As you continue best practices, your channel will not only grow but withstand the test of time.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 28 Aug 2019 06:41 AM PDT

SEO tools are the online marketer's best friend.

Without at least a few in-depth, data-mining, keyword tracking, research-handling superstars in your SEO kit, you may find it hard to compete in the content crowd.

That's because research, planning, and strategy are located at the bottom of the content success ladder.

You can't reach new heights without first climbing and conquering these basics.

With that out of the way, here are 10 awesome, dependable, so-worth-it, paid SEO tools I personally recommend.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

The only way to ensure your website is SEO-ready across all its pages is to audit regularly. And, to be blunt, you can't do that without a tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider – especially if your site is sprawling in size.

Quite simply, Screaming Frog is a web crawler that scans your web pages for common errors like broken links, duplicate content, redirect chains and loops, and even meta descriptions and titles that are too short, too long, or missing altogether.

Cost: Download a free version with limited features, or spring for the licensed, full-featured version for about $181/year, per license.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Ahrefs is a fan favorite across content marketers, content writers, and SEO-ers alike – with good reason.

The company boasts some of the most comprehensive data collecting and storage out there so their tools are as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Plus, they're easy to use and make analyzing all that SEO data simple.

When you buy a subscription, you get access to their entire range of SEO helpers, including:

  • Site Explorer: See the backlink profile and organic search traffic data for any website.
  • Keywords Explorer: Research keywords and data like search volume, keyword difficulty, and clicks.
  • Rank Tracker: Track your Google rankings and compare them to your competitors'.
  • Site Audit: Get a full visual of your site's SEO health.

Cost: The Lite plan with Ahrefs (including access for one user) costs $99/month. They also offer a free trial for 7 days that costs $7.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

If you want reams of SEO data at your fingertips or an all-in-one tool, SEMrush is the solution to buy.

Here's a breakdown:

  • Track keyword rankings, organic traffic, and backlinks.
  • Zero in on your competitors' data and analyze how to do better.
  • Save your searches in lists, and have reports and updates sent to your email.
  • Do SEO site audits.
  • Get a LOT of insights and data at your fingertips.

Cost: A Pro plan with SEMrush costs $99.95/month. You can use it for free with an email sign-up, but results will be limited.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Moz Pro is a suite of SEO tools that deserves its inclusion on this list.

It's another all-in-one solution that could potentially save some pennies in smaller brand budgets (keywords, links, site audits, rank tracking, and on-page optimization are all covered).

Plus, the combination of user-friendly tools and a large support community means this is a good starting suite for beginners to SEO.

Cost: The Standard plan with Moz Pro is $99/month, or $79/month if you pay annually.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

KWFinder does exactly what it says, and does it well, to boot.

This is a tool I recommend over and over because of its ease-of-use, simple design, and great UX – not to mention the accurate keyword data.

If you just need to do keyword research, choose this SEO tool.

Cost: The Mangools Basic plan costs $29.90/month. This has limits, but unless you're doing a researching frenzy, it should be good enough for a beginner or intermediate user.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Searchmetrics isn't just an SEO tool, but also a valuable helper for your content strategy.

This suite does it all: ROI reporting, competitive analysis, site audits, mobile and desktop site optimization, content optimization, web visibility analysis, and more.

Cost: Searchmetrics offers three pricing plans: Suite Business, Suite Enterprise, and Suite Ultimate. All prices are only available on request.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Are you all about those backlinks? Majestic should be your tool.

It boasts the largest link index database on the planet.

See where your links are coming from, the anchor text other sites use to link to you, and how much weight each backlink has overall.

You can even compare the link profiles of up to five sites at a time.

Cost: Majestic plans start at $49.99/month for the Lite plan.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Yet another wholesale SEO solution for your consideration: cognitiveSEO.

This suite of tools includes all the basics you need to research, plan, and tweak your SEO strategy.

Research keywords, crawl and audit your site, compare and analyze backlinks, and take advantage of local, desktop, and mobile rank tracking.

Cost:  The Starter plan for cognitiveSEO costs $129.99/month. Or, sign up for yearly billing and save 30%.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

For comprehensive position tracking and rank monitoring, Advanced Web Ranking is a solid choice.

It offers local results tracking as well as tracking across search engines, including Amazon and YouTube.

Along with all that, there are plenty of ways to dig into your data and glean new insights, including customizable filtering.

Cost: AWR's Starter plan is available for $49/month. Pay yearly and you get a 10% discount.

10 Awesome Paid SEO Tools That Are Worth the Money

Yoast is a standard tool in most marketers' line-ups because it's so easy to use.

It helps you optimize all your content posts and pages in WordPress, including metas, titles, links, keywords, readability, and more.

If you're an SEO newbie or need to provide SEO guidance for clients, this is a great tool for the job.

Cost: It's $89 to add the Yoast plugin to one site. There's a free version with limited features, too.

Your New Favorite SEO Tool Awaits

Each of the tools on this list is a bit of a monthly investment, but I guarantee it will pay off. Research is one of the best ways to improve your site experience, your content, and your strategy in the marketing game.

Invest, dig into the data, and come out the other side with invaluable insights that will boost your brand to new heights.

More Resources:


Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, August 2019

How to Improve Your Keyword Rankings in Google - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 08 Aug 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Improving your keyword rankings in search isn't as straightforward as it once was.

With all of the recent Google algorithm changes we have seen, traditional tactics like keyword research and targeting, page tagging optimization, and on-page content updates don't have the impact that they used to.

More importantly, every website is unique. This means that using a certain tactic doesn't guarantee a specific result for your website.

The same change could impact websites differently, which is why it's important to make continuous improvements, test new strategies, monitor performance, and adjust as needed.

improving keyword rankings

In today's evolving search landscape, we need to think beyond traditional keyword ranking factors and look at the big picture.

This involves focusing on the overall experience of a website, optimizing content for both users and search engines, building inbound links the right way, and much more.

Here are several ways to improve your keyword rankings in Google by looking at your site more holistically.

1. Measure Your Rankings

The first, and probably the most obvious, place to start is measuring your rankings.

Without having a solid understanding of your baseline keyword performance, you won't know how far you've come and how much you've improved.

I'd highly suggest exporting all of this valuable keyword data and keeping it on file to reference in the future.

Some of us may have learned the hard way, but you never know when things will change in any given tool – whether it's how the data is reported, what information we have access to, etc.

Google Search Console

Export keyword data from Google Search Console and landing page traffic (organic and total) from Google Analytics.

Analyzing this data will give you a good idea of:

  • What your most valuable keywords/landing pages are.
  • Where the most immediate opportunities for improvement are.
  • What keywords/landing pages are underperforming.

As far as the top areas for improvement, focus on keywords that are ranking in positions 5 through 15 (where you're teetering at the bottom of Page 1 or top of Page 2 on Google).

For these terms, ranking at the top of the first page on Google is very likely, and will give you some quick wins to share with your client or boss.

2. Target the Right Keywords

To ensure your keyword targets are aligned with overarching business objectives and offer real value, it's important that you understand both the search intent behind them and the difficulty of ranking.

While terms have a particular meaning to you, they could take on an entirely different meaning in Google and vice versa.

Knowing the type of intent, whether it's informational/educational, transactional or navigational, will help you understand what stage users are at in the sales funnel.

Doing a thorough SERP analysis will be essential. Look at what's currently ranking in the top search result for your core keyword targets including:

  • Related searches
  • People also ask
  • Google autocomplete suggestions
  • Other advanced search features
SERP Features

Knowing what is required to rank for a particular keyword will help you draw conclusions about what content development efforts will be required and come up with a plan for creation.

SEMrush's SEO Content Template is really great for this type of analysis.

You simply enter a keyword, and the tool will analyze what's showing up in Google's top results to provide recommendations for SEO-friendly content.

SEO Content Template

Cross-referencing your organic keyword research with paid advertising data can also help uncover new opportunities and fill gaps.

Don't ignore long-tail queries. While they may have lower search volume, you could be missing out on extremely targeted audiences that are ready to buy.

3. Fix Technical Issues

Setting a solid foundation for your website involves resolving any technical issues that may diminish your organic keyword visibility.

Site pages should be both easily found and navigated by search engines and users.

If your website is difficult for users to navigate and search engines to crawl, your keyword rankings will likely be negatively impacted.

And, vice versa – if you're website is intuitive for both users and Google, your rankings are bound to see positive increases.

Make sure that your site has a solid website structure, fix any broken links, and resolve any duplicate content issues.

Conducting a thorough technical SEO audit is necessary to ensure all priority technical issues are addressed.

4. Focus on the User Experience

User experience and brand equity are important when it comes to driving organic search visibility.

While user experience may not be a direct responsibility of a search engine marketer, it's important that user experience and SEO work together.

Here are some of the key elements that present an opportunity to improve UX and SEO:

  • Keyword research: Confirm that you're targeting keywords that have the right search intent and are aligned with the language that your target audiences use.
  • Page tagging: Ensure page tagging is engaging and encourages clicks to your website (title tags, meta descriptions, main headings).
  • Content optimization: Keep users on the page and provide them with another logical destination or next step. This involves everything from the navigation to the copy, internal cross-linking, and call-to-actions on your site.
  • Page speed: Give users the content they are requesting quickly and seamlessly across devices. Compress images, be mobile-friendly, clean up your code, and speed up your server.

5. Optimize for Users & Search Engines

Many of us get so fixated on optimizing content for Google that we forget what the end game is – to reach a highly targeted set of humans.

While search engines and humans have a different way of reading and digesting content, there are certainly commonalities that will help ensure we are creating content with both in mind.

Both robots and humans want us to be:

  • Be clear and concise.
  • Provide accurate information.
  • Avoid jargon.
  • Cover related subtopics.

This is important to keep in mind from the start of your content creation process.

As we are thinking about ways to make our content easier to read for both users and search engines, header tags are key.

Not only will proper header tags improve the overall readability of your content, but they will also ensure search engines can follow the hierarchy of what is most important on the page.

Images should also be a consideration, as providing more engaging imagery can make all the difference for users. It also presents the opportunity to further optimize for search engines through ALT text and file naming.

6. Create Eye-Catching & Engaging Titles

Dare I say that title tags are the most important SEO element of a webpage?

Not just because it's an SEO best practice, but also because it's the first thing that users see in search results and on social media.

The title tag is your biggest opportunity to catch the eyes of a user and encourage them to click into the page.

Determine the page that you want to rank for the keyword target at hand, and then figure out a way for your title to stand out from all the others.

Yes, the keyword target should be included towards the beginning of the title tag, but how else can you encourage users to click?

BuzzSumo analyzed 100 million headlines and learned that:

  • Emotional headlines drive interactions.
  • Curiosity and voyeurism gain engagement.
  • List posts and the number 10 in headlines are extremely powerful.

While meta descriptions don't have a direct impact on rankings, they should work closely with your title tags. Incorporate the keyword if possible, as well as a clear call-to-action for users.

The goal of your title tag and meta description should be to explain the benefit to users, provoke emotion, and trigger engagement, all while applying SEO best practices.

7. Stay on Top of Algorithm Updates

Why should you care about Google's most recent algorithm updates?

Because good SEO professionals stay on top of that stuff. Among many other reasons, it helps ensure your keyword rankings are not only steady, but they're constantly improving.

Knowing when an algorithm update first hit and when it officially ended is useful for tracking purposes, and will allow you to trace back keyword and traffic fluctuations to the root cause.

This will help you uncover potential reasoning for how/why a site was hit by an update, or certain keyword rankings and pieces of content that may have been impacted by it.

As we have experienced recently, when multiple algorithm updates happen over a short stretch of time, figuring out why certain site changes have occurred and analyzing the impact of a specific update is extremely difficult.

8. Provide Answers to the Questions People Are Asking

It's clear that Google is on a mission to provide users with answers.

Just look at all of the new and increased SERP features we have seen over the past couple of years:

  • Featured Snippets (or Answer Boxes).
  • People Also Asked
  • Knowledge Cards
  • Dictionary Definitions.
  • And the list goes on.
Search Features

Optimizing for Featured Snippet results and People Also Asked features around your priority keyword targets is now becoming an essential part of SEO strategy.

While there is certainly a great deal of debate over the direct value that ranking in "position zero" of search results offers a business, ultimately, I pose this question:

Would you rather have your competitor rank in the Answer Box for that search query?

As far as we know, the Featured Snippet result isn't going away anytime soon, and not ranking in it could mean lost visibility to your competitor, or even your "frenemy" Google.

9. Build Valuable Inbound Links

Start by looking for opportunities on your own website to cross-link to assets from keyword-rich anchor text. This will help drive users to relevant content, and build keyword association.

Unfortunately, crafting a strong internal link strategy is only half of the battle. The other half is generating highly authoritative and valuable inbound links from third-party websites.

This can seem overwhelming, but there are some key tactics to hone in on:

  • Create link-worthy content that is based on your keyword research and analysis of what is ranking in top search results to help generate inbound links and improve keyword rankings.
  • Monitor mentions of your brand for some quick-win opportunities to gain a inbound link from websites that are already talking about you.
  • If you want other websites to link to you, remember to link to other websites. You only get as much as you give.
  • Leverage social media to support link building. Interact with your targets beforehand to help build relationships prior to reaching out about a link building opportunity.

These are just a few tactics to get you started; however, there are certainly more advanced link building tactics to be successful in today's extremely competitive landscape.

10. Promote Your Content Strategically

I mention this briefly above, but it's also important to leverage non-SEO channels in an effort to drive visibility to your assets and support your link building efforts.

The more eyes that you get on your content, the more opportunity you have to:

  • Generate inbound links.
  • Drive social media shares.
  • Gain traction to the piece.
  • Rank better.
Content Distribution

While different promotional tactics may apply to different types of content, creating a checklist is always helpful. This way, when it comes time to promote an asset, you have a list of all possible tactics.

This could include:

  • Distributing across social media channels.
  • Pushing out an email to subscribers.
  • Letting internal team members know to encourage shares.
  • Reaching out to those mentioned in the asset.
  • Setting up Google Alerts to monitor conversations around the topic.
  • Sharing directly with certain experts or influencers.
  • Answering related questions on Quora, or other forums.
  • Advertising on social media.
  • Identifying existing internal cross-link opportunities.
  • Creating a SlideShare presentation, or repurposing the asset in other forms.

11. Continuously Optimize & Improve Content

It doesn't stop there. We know that search engine results are constantly changing, and this means that you need to make continuous optimizations and improvements to your content.

For example, just because you've gained the Featured Snippet result for a particular keyword or phrase, does not mean that you will stay there.

Refreshing your content will ensure that you're offering users with the best (and up to date) information, and driving increased keyword visibility.

If content is out of date, you will likely see the associated keyword rankings decline.

On the other hand, if you're always looking for opportunities to refresh your content and provide users with the best material, you will likely see keyword ranking increases.

Content optimization should never be one-and-done, especially if you aren't seeing the results that you want. If an asset isn't ranking, re-optimize it for relevance, search intent, engagement, and readability.

Your goal should be to offer users a piece of content that is better than everything else being displayed for the given query.

The concept that, "if it's not broke, don't fix it" certainly applies here.

For example, if you are ranking in the first position on Google for an extremely competitive and highly searched for keyword, you don't want to risk losing that.

In that case, I would not recommend changing the title tag or anything that could have a negative impact.

However, there could be opportunities to make the asset that is ranking more conversion-friendly and encourage users to stay on your site.

Final Thoughts 

Don't get me wrong – I'm not saying that tactics like page tagging and on-page content optimizations aren't important anymore. But, it's also essential that SEOs look at the 10,000-foot view of their website.

If you aren't driving the results you need from certain ranking tactics, it may be time to take a step back and look at your website more holistically.

And, remember, it may take some testing, failing and testing some more to find the tactics that will have the biggest impact on your unique site.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with some new ideas and considerations to help improve your keyword rankings on Google.

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Image Credits

In-Post Image: Created by author, August 2019
All screenshots taken by author, August 2019

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