– In this video, I'mgonna walk you through my entire eight step SEO strategy.
Step by step.
In fact, this is theexact strategy that I used to rank on the first page of Google for competitive key words, like on-page SEO, video SEO, key word research tools, and thousands of others.
Now I should warn you.
This video isn't gonna be abunch of high level fluff.
Instead, everything I'm about to show you is gonna be super tactical and actionable.
Let's face it, SEO can be hard, and it's even harder when you read the same advice over and over again.
You know the stuff I'm talking about.
Optimize your title tags.
Share your content on social media.
Publish great content.
Oh, publish great content.
I didn't think of that.
And hey, this adviceisn't completely useless but it's not gonna rocket yoursite to the top of Google.
Why? Because everyone witha website is following the exact same advice.
So to rank above them, you need to do something completely different, which is exactly what I'm gonna walk you through right now.
Starting with step number one, find an opportunity keyword.
An opportunity keyword is likea regular keyword but better.
You probably noticedthat Google's first page is packed with morestuff than ever before.
For example, take a look at thefirst page for this keyword.
You've got a bunch of ads above the fold, a featured snippet, a questions box, and news results, which is exactly why now I focus almost 100% onopportunity keywords.
So, what are opportunity keywords? Opportunity keywords are keywords with a high organic click-through-rate.
In other words, they'reterms that don't have a bunch of stuff on the first page that distracts peoplefrom the organic results.
Let's look at an example.
A while ago, I created a page on my site optimized around thekeyword SEO checklist.
And as it turns out, SEO checklist is an opportunity keyword.
Yep, there are a few ads on the page, but that's not really a big deal.
It's actually in a way a good thing, because it shows that people are bidding on that keyword in Google ads.
Other than that the firstpage is pretty clean which means the focus ison the organic results.
Bottom line, look at the search results before picking a keyword.
If it's packed with stuff, consider going for an opportunity keyword that's gonna get you more clicks.
With that, let's moveon to step number two.
Check out the content competition.
Okay, so you've foundan opportunity keyword.
What's next? Well, most people whip openWordPress and start writing.
But that's actually a huge mistake.
In fact, that's what Iused to do back in the day.
I'd write something that Ithink would rank in Google.
Today, I know better.
Today, I analyze the first page results to see what's already working.
In other words, my content competition.
And once I figure out the type of content that Google wants to see for that keyword, then I start creating content.
For example, look atthe first page results for the keyword paleo desserts.
As you can see, the resultsare lists of dessert recipes.
So if you wanted to write for that keyword you wouldn't wanna write a blog post like what makes a dessert paleo or not.
Instead, you'd want a post that lists out a bunch of recipes.
How about another example.
One of my most important keywords is actually keyword research.
And back in the day whenI looked at the content that was ranking for that term, I noticed that they didn't list out tips or strategies for finding keywords.
Instead, they were all huge guides.
So I decided to createa guide that covered pretty much everything there is to know about keyword research, which helped me crack the top three for this super competitive term.
With that, it's time for our third step.
Create content that's different or better.
When it comes to creating content for SEO, you have two main options.
Option number one, you cancreate something different.
Option number two is tocreate something better.
Most of the time youwanna publish something that's just way better thanwhat's already out there.
But sometimes it makes more sense to create something completely unique.
For example, a few months ago I found the opportunity keyword mobile SEO, and when I looked atthe content competition, I noticed that most of theresults were list posts like nine ways to optimizeyour site for mobile.
Now I could've created a giant list post like 150 ways to mobileoptimize your site, but that wouldn't make any sense.
In this case it made more sense to create something different.
So that's what I did.
I spent two weeks writingthis ultimate guide to mobile optimization, and because my contentwas completely different than what was already out there, it really stood out, which led to tons ofshares on social media, backlinks and Google rankings.
Like I mentioned earlier, you can also just create something that's straight up better than what's already out there.
For example, a while back I wanted to rank for the keyword SEO tools.
And when I looked at thecontent that was already ranking I noticed that most of them were lists of about 20 to 30 tools.
Now I could've created my own list of 20 of the best SEO tools, but I know that that would just blend in.
So I decided to createsomething way better.
Specifically I published thiscomplete list of SEO tools.
Over 180 in all.
It took about six weeksto test all these tools.
It was kind of insane.
But at the end of the day, that post did really well.
In fact, it now ranks in the top three for my main keyword SEO tools.
Which leads us to step number four.
Add your hook.
This is an advanced SEO strategy so if you're new to SEO, youmight wanna skip this step.
With that out of theway, here's how it works.
You probably already know that in general, pages with the most backlinksrank highest in Google.
But how do you get people to link to you? Here's a simple two-step process.
Step number one, figure out why people link to content in yourindustry, AKA the hook.
Step number two, includethat hook in your content.
For example, last year I noticed that more and more marketingblogs were publishing content about voice search, andwhen I read that content I noticed something super interesting.
Hmm, that's interesting.
When people wrote about voice search, they almost always cited stats and data, and when they mentioned a stat, they linked to the source.
So I created a post about voice search that was packed with bite sized steps.
So, how did it go? According to Ahrefs, mypost has been linked to thousands of times, andif you look at those individual links, most of them reference a specific step from my post.
Now data is one type ofhook that you can use.
Here are three others that are working really well right now.
First up we have unique techniques.
Think about it, what do blogsand news sites love to cover? New stuff.
And when you create something new, you've got yourself a hook.
For example a few years ago I created a new strategy called Guestographics.
Because Guestographics was a new approach that no one had heard before, my past that firsttalked about the strategy racked up a ton of links.
The next hook is to position your content as an ultimate guide.
This is actually one of my favorite hooks.
Why? Because it's really straight forward.
In fact, when you publish a massive guide, your guide itself is the hook.
Let's take a look at a real life example.
A few years ago, I published this definitive guide to backlinks.
Now, in my opinion, this isthe most comprehensive guide to backlinks out there.
In fact, the fact that my post covers everything there is to knowabout that topic, is the hook.
For example, once in awhile a blogger will mention the concept of backlinks in their post.
But they're not gonna divedeep into a full explanation right in the middle of their post.
So they link to my guide as a way for their readers to learn more.
Our last hook is to include results from case studies in your content.
In my experience, casestudies are one of the easiest hooks that you can use.
And all you need to do is feature one result in your case study.
This is a lesson that Ihad to learn the hard way.
For example, a few years ago I published this case study post on my blog.
And this case studyfeatured a ton of results.
Some were about traffic, somewere about social shares, and other stats were relatedto email subscribers.
And all these statsmeant that my case study lacked that single hookthat would make someone wanna link to it.
And that's one of the reasonsthat my post struggled to get links.
On the bright side, I didlearn a valuable lesson from that post.
If you want people tolink to your case study you need to feature one specific result.
So when I published this casestudy about a year later, I made sure to really zeroin on one specific result.
A 785% increase in conversion rate.
And because that post has a single hook, it gets linked to all the time.
And now it's time for step number five.
Optimize your site's on-page SEO.
There's a lot that goes into optimizing your content for SEO.
So instead of covering every single SEO technique on the planet, I'm gonna focus on two strategies that are working really well right now.
The first strategy is to use short URLs.
When my team and I analyzeda million Google results, we found a clear correlationbetween short URLs and higher Google rankings.
So if you're URLs tend tobe super long, cut them down so they're nice and short.
Now to be clear, I don't recommend going back and changing your existing URLs because that can do more harm than good.
Instead, just make yournew URLs short and sweet.
For example, my URLs areusually just my keyword or my main keyword plus aword before or after it.
Next up we have internal linking.
Yep, internal links still work, but you have to do it right.
Specifically you wanna linkfrom high authority pages on your site to pages that you wanna rank.
Those internal links will send authority to the pages that you wanna rank, which can give them a nice rankings boost.
For example, last year Ipublished this post on my site and because the post was brand new it had absolutely zero authority.
So I went over to this post from my site that lots of people had already linked to and added an internal link to my new post.
That's all there is to it.
With that, let's jump right into step six.
The skyscraper technique 2.
Now you might've already heardof the skyscraper technique.
A content marketing and SEO approach that went viral a few years ago.
Now the original skyscrapertechnique is pretty cool but it doesn't cover somethingthat's super important for ranking in Google today.
Search intent is what aGoogle searcher is looking for when they perform a search.
And the better your contentmatches their intent the higher you'll rank.
Let's look at how thisworks with a quick example.
When I first started myblog I wrote this post about getting more traffic, and in general this post did pretty well in terms of social shares and comments.
But no matter what I did, itwouldn't rank for any keyword including my main keywordincrease website traffic.
And one day it hit me.
My page didn't match thesearch intent for that keyword.
Most of the content on Google's first page for increase websitetraffic were bite sized traffic tips and strategies.
In other words, they were list posts.
My content, it was ahigh level strategy post.
People that searched for my keyword didn't want a highlevel four step process, they wanted a list ofbite sized strategies.
So I decided to rewritemy content from scratch.
Specifically I rewrote my content to better match search intent.
So I turned this high level process into a 27 point list post.
And this single change boosted that page's organic traffic by 70.
With that, it's time forone of my favorite topics, content design.
In my experience, your content's design can make or break your SEO.
Imagine that you just wrotethe best post ever written, but it looks like this.
Well no one in their right mind is gonna link to that page, and Google searchers thatsee an ugly page like that, they're gonna bounce backto the search results.
That's why I personallyspend a lot of time, money and energy on content design.
I've already mentioned a few of my definitive guides in this video.
In my opinion, these customguides look really nice and they do really well.
But each guide is customdesigned and custom coded, which makes them really expensive to make.
So if you don't havethousands of dollars to spend on every single guide thatyou publish, no worries.
Here are three simple ways that you can make yourcontent look awesome.
First up, we have images, screenshots and pictures.
I use a ton of screenshotsand images in every post.
For example, this singlepost has over 75 images.
Next, you can make your content look nicer with blog post banners.
Post banners are those custom-made images that go at the top of your post.
Now sometimes I use a 220 by220 pixel image in my intro and sometimes I go with a giant banner.
Finally, we have charts and visuals.
Not only do charts andvisuals look really cool, but they help people understand complicated stuff from your post.
And they don't need to be superfancy or expensive to work.
For example, in this article I explain how every version of your site should redirect to the same URL.
Now it's kinda hard to picture this idea in your head only with text.
So I hired a graphic designerto make this simple visual.
And now it's time for our last step.
Step number eight, build backlinks.
So you just published an awesome piece of content on your site.
A piece of content that has a hook and it's also optimized for search intent.
So what's next? It's time to build links to that page.
First, use something calledthe content road show.
This strategy is allabout getting your content in front of the right people.
Who are the right people? People that run blogs in your industry.
With that, here's exactly howthe content road show works.
A few years ago, I wrote a case study about the skyscraper technique, and to get the word out, I found people that recently shared contenton that topic on Twitter.
And I sent each of thesepeople a personalized version of this outreach script.
Notice how I'm notbeing a pushy jerk face, I'm just offering to sendthem a link to my post.
And I sent this simpleemail to anyone that replied to my first message.
And this simple technique landed me a ton of social sharesfrom authority bloggers.
Next you wanna use broken link building.
This strategy is pretty simple.
First, find a broken linkon someone's website, then pitch your content as areplacement for the dead link.
For example, a while backI wanted to build links to this giant list of SEO toolsthat I published on my site.
So I found broken links on marketing blogs and sent the people that ran those blogs a simple outreach email.
And because I helped the person out before I even asked for anything, they were happy to add my link.
Now before I end this video, it's time for a quick bonus strategy.
Encourage comments and community.
A few years ago, a Googleemployee made waves when he said that commentscan help your Google ranking.
Personally, I think he meantthat comments and community can indirectly help your rankings.
For example, people that feel like they're part of your site's community are gonna be more likely toshare and link to your stuff.
Either way, I found a clear correlation between comments and rankings.
So how do you get morepeople to leave comments? One thing that's really helped me is to reply to every comment that I get.
I see lots of people complaining that no one comments on their blog posts.
But when I do look at their blog, they don't even bother to reply to the few comments that come in.
(sighing) The truth is if you wannabuild a community on your site, you gotta reply to comments.
In fact, I just did the math on this.
Last I checked, we haveabout 25000 comments on the Backlinko blog.
And about half of thoseare me replying to people, and I have zero regrets aboutreplying to so many comments.
Why? Well these replies show that I care about their thoughts and comments.
Which turns randompeople into loyal members of the Backlinko community.
So that's it for myeight step SEO strategy.
Did you learn somethingnew from today's video? If so, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel right now.
And if you want exclusiveSEO and traffic techniques that I only share with subscribers, head over to backlinko.
comand hop on the newsletter.
Now I wanna turn it over to you.
Which strategy from today'svideo are you gonna use first? Are you gonna try broken link building? Or maybe you're ready tostart replying to comments.
Let me know by leaving acomment below right now.
I always (sighs).
Good old fashioned face palm.
(tissue crinkling on skin) Who are- Am I good? I'm shiny again? Option one.
So that's it for my at- (sighs).