Expert SEO: Practices for a Successful Campaign

Home Expert SEO: Practices for a Successful Campaign
Advanced SEO practices for the seasoned optimizer. We help you take your SEO knowledge to a professional level. SEO aids businesses in developing a website that is quick, strong, and user-friendly, allowing them to rank higher in search engine results. In general, SEO-optimized websites attract more potential consumers and, as a result, have higher conversion rates. When you optimize your website for search engines, it increases brand recognition and encourages consumers to trust your company. To create a strong web presence and get new clients as an online company owner, you must optimize your website for search engines. Expert SEO refers to any collection of SEO tactics that need a high level of expertise. It varies from person to person, but let's just say you're not going to be able to perfect these skills in the first few months. Complex SEO usually entails more advanced technological principles and/or a deeper knowledge. Today, SEO is about more than just optimizing a website for search engines; it also aids in the creation of a website that is speedier and more user-friendly. The goal of expert SEO is to improve the user experience. A well-structured and tidy website encourages visitors to remain longer, lowering bounce rates and increasing page views. A website with relevant information, on the other hand, keeps your readers satisfied. Furthermore, SEO-optimized websites are more likely to provide solutions to their target audience's inquiries. When you properly optimize your website for search engines, it benefits both your users and the search engines.

51 Best Ways On How To Increase Website Traffic

website traffic

There comes the point in every website’s life when website traffic would begin to stagnate. And to move past that hurdle, you’ll need to be proactive. You have to make an effort to push your site traffic up. How?

In this post, we’ll show you 51 ways for you to grow your website traffic. To make this post easier to digest, we’ve split this list into four sections: site improvement, content creation, self-promotion, and community building. Implement any or all of these, and you should see quite an improvement in your website traffic.

Site Improvement

The first step you should take is to go over your entire site to make sure that it’s optimized. Since you have control over your domain, all changes are easy to implement and wouldn’t cost you anything. Making tweaks to your pages can have a significant impact on improving your website traffic. In a case study by Michael Karp that he published on robbierichards.com, he specifically credits on-page optimization tactics for generating 20,314 organic page views for his client, UAV Coach.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can improve your on-page SEO.

1. Insert Keywords in Your H1

If you’re not doing so already, add your primary keywords to your main heading (H1). Not only will it help search engines find your post, but it will also give readers better context as to what your post is all about — which is the title’s job anyway. However, there’s a need to exercise caution. You run the risk of being spammy if you don’t control how many keywords you add to your headings.

You can leverage subheadings to add other relevant keywords.

2. Check Your Metadata Information

What metadata information you put—specifically in the meta title and description fields—also has an effect on your post’s visibility in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Elise Dopson managed to increase her search traffic by 54% after optimizing her meta tags. Not only that, but her average ranking also jumped by ten positions. Her impressions also grew by 57%.

Use your metadata fields to insert keywords. But keep them looking organic. Make sure you have compelling titles and descriptions.

3. Fix Your URL Structure

Do your URLs have random strings of characters at the end? That’s called dynamic URL strings, and these are not good for your site. You want to use descriptive words in your URLs. Why? Because URLs can contain keywords and search engines can also use them to determine the content of your pages.

4. Find New Keywords

Don’t expect to rank just because you’re focusing on a high-volume keyword. You’ll need more than that to see any progress. Keyword research is crucial for improving website traffic.

In a case study published in Online Business Case Studies, the author managed to rank for 30,911 keywords. Though not all of them managed to rank in the number one position, it’s still an impressive feat. To accomplish this, the author carefully picked what keywords to use. For example, the author of the study chose keywords that aren’t too competitive. Buyer intent was also put into consideration.

5. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

In the same case study above, it mentioned that aiming for low-hanging fruit keywords (also known as long-tail keywords) can be an advantage. Long-tail keywords are phrases that are longer than a typical keyword. They have three or more words and are usually very specific. The reason why people don’t use them as often is that they have low search volumes.

However, as voice search develops, the phrases people use to search online change. To be specific, search queries are now getting conversational. So using long-tail keywords would help with ranking for voice search queries.

It’s not enough for the homepage to link to your subpages. There should be a hierarchy so that there’s a logical structure for your whole site. Dave Davies made two internal linking tweaks to his site, Trophy Central. He introduced better navigation so that search engines discovered his deeper pages. Next, he made smart link placements. This involved adding links to his sub-categories.

The result? If you’d like to see similar (or better) results, look at your internal linking structure and see if there are aspects you could improve on.

7. Spread Keywords Throughout Your Posts

There’s no reason why you should limit keywords to heading tags or the metadata. You should add keywords to the body of the post as well. In SEO, there’s a thing called latent semantic keywords (or LSI) which are conceptually related terms that Google uses to understand the content of your post.

Here’s an example: If you’re writing a post about growing herbs. In your post, you’d likely mention “gardening”, “pots”, “soil”, “mint”, “chives”, and other terms that relate to your main topic. And while these LSI keywords don’t contain neither “growing” nor “herbs”, search engines put two and two together and figure that your post is about growing herbs.

If you need more information, Backlinko published a comprehensive post on LSI keywords. You should include LSI keywords in your posts as often as possible.

8. Look at Your Competitor’s Keywords

If you’re having trouble finding keywords on your own, you can look at your competitors and see what words and phrases they’re targeting. Ahrefs has a tool called Content Gap that will show you what keywords they are ranking for.

One company, The Hair Bow Company, focused on a few keywords. But it wasn’t until it looked at its competitors that it realized that there were 28 other keywords they were missing out on. They built content around those keywords. Now they are on the first and second pages of the SERPs.

9. Do Guest Posts

Guest posting does two things. First, it gives you backlinks which is one of the ranking factors that search engines use to establish domain authority. Second, it exposes you to more people. That means more website traffic going to your domain. Adam Enfroy published eight guest posts in 15 days to see what effects they can have on his blog

As a result, he got 247 new backlinks and added 12 points to his domain rating. His organic traffic also went up by 372%. There are many ways of tracking your progress. If you don’t have Ahrefs, you can use Alexa Rank. Or you can use Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic activity.

10. Minimize Your Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the number of people who click off your site after seeing only one page. There are many reasons why people click away from the site. Though the culprit usually is lack of engagement. A bounce rate of 30% to 50% is considered excellent. Anything lower could be an indication of bad analytics tracking (which you should address).

Some of the tips in this post would address high bounce rates. In general, you want to provide a better user experience. If you lack in that department, you need to fix your site ASAP. In one case study published via Sonician, tweaks made to the site made its conversion rate go up. However, the site’s owner noticed that the bounce rate went from 36% to 51%. So the SEO agency hired to do the fixes changed the text formatting, improved internal links, and added video to the homepage. The result: The bounce rate started to go down without affecting the conversion rate.

11. Make Your Site Responsive

Google now looks at site responsiveness as an indicator of quality. It has even built a tool to help users to test if their site is mobile-friendly. A case study by Vorbly shows how they increased site visits by optimizing a cafe’s site to be mobile-friendly. The cafe enjoyed 53% incremental sales after the first month. They also had 1,120 unique daily visits. And 70% of their users use mobile devices, so they made the smart move.

Make sure that you optimize your site for phones and tablets. For WordPress users, they have the option of choosing a responsive theme, so they don’t have to start a design from scratch.

12. Improve Your Site Speed

Google wants its users to have the best experience. That’s why it rewards sites that load fast. There are case studies that show how optimizing websites to load faster leads to increased rankings and website traffic.

What are some of the things you can do to make your site load faster?

You can compress the images you use in your posts; minify your CSS, JavaScript, and HTML; lessen page redirects; take advantage of browser caching; improve your servers; and make use of content distribution networks.

13. Look at Your Analytics

Your analytics data can tell you a lot. Not only does it show how many visitors you’re getting every month, but it can also show you which posts are popular with your audience. Google Analytics even has a heatmap feature, letting you know how users interact with your site. This information can be crucial, especially when you decide how to link your pages internally. It also lets you know what kind of information your readers are looking for. You can optimize your page around this information.

14. Use Schema

Schema is a special code (structured data) that you place in your posts that search engines show in the SERPs. Schema comes in many forms. In the example above, the star rating gives users information about the book even before they click on the link. This is Schema Markup in action. You can easily add schema markups by using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper tool. Just enter your URL and tick all applicable answers.

Content Creation

Content plays a significant role in getting more website traffic. Brian Dean of Backlinko famously introduced the concept of the Skyscraper Technique 2.0, which he used to increase the organic website traffic of one of his pages by 652.1%.

This widely used content strategy relies on publishing high-quality posts to drive traffic to websites. It’s proof that content creation still plays a vital role in driving traffic to a domain. The following strategies below will help improve your posts, so they have higher visibility on search engines.

15. Find Your Niche

The first thing you should do is to find your niche. What is your site about? What kind of information are they looking for? What do you specialize in? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself.

Having a defined niche helps you know what keywords to research, what kind of posts to write, and gives you a better sense of who your audience is. You don’t want to build a site that caters to everyone. You want a website that’s focused.

16. Publish Regularly

If you want people to take you seriously, you’ll need to have a posting schedule. By having a set date on when you’ll be posting your content, your audience will know when to come back to your site. It’s something they could look forward to. And it lets people know that you are serious about your commitment to sharing knowledge and information.

After all, why would they come back knowing that nothing new will be on your site when they arrive? By posting regularly, you’re helping your site to sustain its organic website traffic.

17. Write Better Headlines

Headlines draw the attention of readers. Without a compelling headline, they won’t click on the article and read further. Search engines also look at it to figure out what the post is about. So you’d want to insert your main keyword in there somewhere. There are tools like CoSchedule’s Free Headline Analyzer that you could use to improve your existing post titles.

If the headline fails to capture the essence of your post, your audience won’t even bother reading the body. So make sure the words you use in the title would pique the interest of your target audience.

18. Insert High-Quality Images

If you have a habit of stealing images from other people, you should stop doing it right away. Not only can this potentially lead to lawsuits, but it’s also not doing your site any favors. People want to see high-quality, original images from you.

There are different scenarios wherein images matter:

  • Users use images to understand the point you’re trying to make.
  • Users want to share your images on social media.
  • Users want to look at images they’ve never seen before (as in the case of travel bloggers).
  • Users use it to understand a product better (especially for those in e-commerce).

Having unique images makes you a reliable source of information. This alone is enough to make your audience come back for more.

19. Update Old Blog Posts

Do you have a vast collection of old posts? Have they done well in the past but are no longer getting any website traffic? Or maybe they were relevant years ago, but they’re no longer relevant today?

Then it’s time to repurpose your old posts. Try updating them to make them more current. Because you’re only updating your posts, part of the work is already finished. You only need to update a few sections to make them relevant again. This also justifies you updating the publishing date to make the whole page seem newer than it is. You can add new quotes, update the images, replace sections that no longer work, and anything else you feel need to change to make it more appealing to today’s audience.

20. Publish Infographics

Infographics do a few things. You’re making it easier for your audience to share your message (which means free advertising for you). And by sharing information that’s uniquely from you (stats, figures, graphs, and any other information that’s not as accessible), you’re increasing your profile.

You’ll come off as an expert in your niche. And this kind of attention will draw people toward your site. Creating your infographic is not as hard as you think. There are services like Canva that let you make infographics without the need for a graphic designer.

21. Upload Videos

Adding videos to your site is a sure-fire way of getting eyes on your website. Videos do a couple of things:

  • They help explain the purpose of your website or post.
  • They serve as eye candy for new visitors.
  • They improve customer engagement.
  • They increase the time a visitor stays on your page.
  • The longer people stay on your page, the better your bounce rate would be. So consider adding videos to your pages.

22. Do List Posts

List posts are popular because users can consume information at a faster rate. They are also, arguably, more comfortable to write than other types of posts. If people are not digging the long-form posts you publish, it’s possible that your audience is not keen on lengthy articles. In cases like this, list posts are a good alternative.

But you don’t have to stick to list posts. Other kinds of content do exist. You can try how-to posts, quiz posts, and the infographics above. Choose whatever form suits your audience best. Don’t stick to one type. Mix it up now and then. You’ll never know which ones would work. It’s different for everyone.

23. Launch a Podcast

Podcasting grew in popularity in the last couple of years. Now it seems like everyone has a podcast. And if you don’t, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to get more views. The reason why podcasts are so popular is that it’s easy to produce. You don’t need a lot of equipment to have a podcast setup. You can film it anywhere, like a bedroom or a home office.

Releasing a podcast regularly (monthly or weekly) can drive new users to your site. Or if you’re not excited about starting your podcast, why not try to be a guest on someone else’s. This could lead to more exposure, and it improves your profile.

24. Conduct Interviews

Rather than publishing content from your perspective all the time, why not consider interviewing a professional in your field? Not only is this a great way of building relationships with influential people in your sphere, but it’s also a good way of getting in the eyes of that influencer’s audience.

Some might even say that interviews are quick ways to add new content to your site. All you have to do is mostly transcribe the conversation. There’s also the added benefit of appearing in online searches for the person you interviewed.

25. Publish In-Depth Posts

Earlier, we mentioned that you should publish lists as an alternative to long-form content. The opposite is just as true. In-depth posts are useful because search engines appreciate lengthy content. They’re also suitable for consolidating competing keywords. Because the copy is long, there’s room for all your long-tail and LSI keywords.

Users also spend more time on your site as a result. Plus, who doesn’t like an informative post?

Image Source: NeONBRAND

26. Improve Your Click-Through Rate

As its name suggests, the click-through rate refers to how many people click your posts when they see them in the SERPs. Google has an explanation of how it calculates the click-through rate.

We’ve mentioned earlier that you should optimize your headings and metadata, compose better titles, improve your URLs, and add your keywords in all these places. All of these will help improve your click-through rate. Try to look at all these things together to see which needs improvement.

Self-Promotion

Your website traffic will improve if you get your name out there. There are different channels you could leverage to achieve this goal. There’s social media, forums, conferences, and more. Social media services provider, Hootsuite, ran an experiment to see if social media has any effect on SEO.

It determined that there is an impact. To be specific, it observed that posts shared in the first 48 hours performed better in the SERPs. This is the opposite of what happened to posts that were not put on social media. Those that weren’t promoted lost their rankings. These are some of the ways you can improve your website traffic through self-promotion.

27. Promote on Social Media

You want to share your posts on social media platforms like Facebook. Not only do these social media platforms make it easier to spread the word about your post, but it also lets you build a community of fans that’ll go to your site every time you publish a post. In a Color Whistle case study, the company detailed how they were able to increase site visits by 218% thanks to social media sharing.

28. Make Free Online Courses

Promoting free online courses can get people talking about your site. Not only that, but they’re also a great way of generating backlinks to your website as people put them in their resource pages. You can create courses for your niche. Photography bloggers, for example, can create camera guides or courses on using the right lighting for portraits. Best of all, it establishes you as an authority figure in your niche. Just remember that you’ll need to know what you’re talking about. If you provide false information or don’t do enough research, your course could backfire on you.

29. Do Giveaways

Who doesn’t love an excellent giveaway? This is one of the tried-and-tested strategies for building a loyal following. And the good thing about giveaways is that you can ask your audience to do something in return (within reason, of course) to qualify. You can ask them to comment on your blog, like your social media pages, sign up for a newsletter, and more.

30. Go on Forums

The good thing about online forums is that you’ll likely encounter people who are already into the same things as you. If you have a site that sells food supplements, then you’ll find interested customers of food supplement forums. And it’s the same case for every niche.

Don’t use forums to promote your product. Instead, engage the community and develop a relationship with them. Soon enough, they’ll work their way into your site, and that will help with website traffic.

31. Launch Contests

Similar to giveaways, you can get people to participate in your website by asking them to help you out with your promotion. Here’s a tip: By asking people to provide their email addresses when they enter the contest, you can build your list of leads. You can use this list to offer products and services in the future. As the FTF Agency notes in their case study, there’s merit to running contests for SEO purposes.

32. Reply to Blog Comments

Replying to blog comments gets you on the radar of the blog owner. And once you are, you can do a couple of things — all of which can help you increase your website traffic:

  • You can collaborate on a project.
  • You can reach out for a guest blog spot.
  • You can ask the blogger for an interview request.
  • You can ask for a backlink.
  • Who knows? Maybe the blogger would link to you organically, and you wouldn’t have to ask for anything.

You’re also introducing yourself to the other commenters on the post. If they like what you have to say, they might just check out your blog.

33. Go to Conferences

If you want face-to-face interactions with other people in your industry, then going to conferences is the right move for you. There are a lot of meet-and-greets in conferences, giving you the perfect opportunity to get the word out about your site. You’ll also interact with influencers who are looking for possible collaborators for future projects.

34. Host Webinars

You can interact with fans and potential leads when you host webinars. As with podcasting, you don’t have to invest in high-end equipment. Some hosts just use a typical webcam to get started. Again, hosting your webinar makes you seem like an authority figure in your niche. This helps get your name out there. And if you want to get the most out of your webinars, you could have them transcribed and used as a blog post in the future.

35. Publish on SlideShare

SlideShare (by LinkedIn) is where you go if you want to share reports, tutorials, conference notes, or any other type of presentation with the world. However, it’s also a good dumping ground for repurposed content. People are actively going through SlideShare to find slides that are of interest to them. If users aren’t able to find your posts on search engines, they might be able to find them on SlideShare. You can include a link pointing to your site if the user wants more information.

36. Do Collaborations

What do we mean by collaborations? You can work with influencers or brands on a project they’re working on. If you’re in the fitness industry, for example, you and a partner can work on building a workout routine and ask people to determine which one they think is the best. Then you can write a blog post about it, telling the story from your perspective. Your partner could do the same. Both of you can then link to each other’s posts as part of your cross-promotion.

37. Sponsor Events

Event sponsorships introduce you to people who may not have discovered you yet. By sponsoring events, your brand name will appear on all promotional materials, including banners, signs, and websites.

You don’t have to sponsor big events if you don’t have the money. You can try local events first, especially if you’re a local business.

38. Send Newsletters

Believe it or not, people still send newsletters. They’re great reminders for people who may not visit your site as often as they should. There you can tease your most recent posts along with other site promotions you’re currently running. Shane Barker explains how you can get more website traffic by sending newsletters.

Paid search can be costly, but there’s no doubting how effective it can be. It does almost everything all the other strategies we’ve discussed so far can do. It can drive more traffic to your site, it can help improve your conversion rate, and it gets your domain in front of people. Lyfe Marketing use paid search to bring website traffic to their clients’ domains. And in one of their case studies, they detailed how they increased sales by as much as 457%.

40. Explore Email Marketing

Email marketing makes it possible to send promotional material directly to your audience’s inbox. It’s useful because emails are highly targeted, boost brand recognition, you can make it work no matter your budget, and it’s measurable. Promodo makes a compelling case for email marketing in their case study. Thanks to their efforts and brilliant email strategy, their client increased both website sessions and revenues.

Community Building

People may recognize your site and visit it from time to time. However, if you want to build lasting relationships, you have to engage a community. Fans are what drive website traffic. They visit regularly and promote your site to their friends and loved ones. They might even directly influence how your site grows.

This is the case for Sales Hacker. Their organic growth was due to content provided by their community of B2B sales, marketing, and customers (though there were challenges since they had to edit the posts themselves). But still, it’s a good argument for why you want to develop relationships in your community to drive traffic to your site.

41. Add Share Buttons

This is a straightforward addition to your pages that might improve your site visits. It’s not that hard to add social sharing buttons to your site. WordPress users can add a plugin that would add buttons with a few clicks.

You won’t even have to mess with your site’s code. Here are a few of the available social share button plugins on WordPress.

42. Add Click to Tweet

Another WordPress plugin, Click to Tweet makes it easier to share quotes, statistics, and other phrases or sentences you think are worth sharing. It’s a step up from adding a Tweet button since you’re able to set which exact quote to pull.

43. Create Facebook Community Pages

Facebook community pages are a great way to interact with your community and get a pulse on what kind of content they want from you. The company gives you tons of ways you could interact with your community. And businesses have been using all of them to not only increase their website traffic but also to get name recognition. Just check out these case studies from HubSpot.

44. Be Active on Twitter

Same with Facebook, Twitter gives you a platform to not only promote your latest content but also hear what people have to say about it. Utilizing hashtags lets you join in on other conversations around your areas of interest. If your post becomes part of the trending list, you can expect to receive more traffic.

45. Leverage Instagram to Drive Website Traffic

If you have images to spare, then maybe you should post them on Instagram. Not only is this great for bloggers, but it also works for brands who want to reach a wider audience. This is great for lifestyle brands.

46. Share Images on Pinterest

Pinterest is another site that you could use to post images. However, it does stand out since other forms of images also work on the site. This includes infographics, how-to guides, and even long-form content. If your page has pictures on it, you can add them to Pinterest. Leanne Wong used Pinterest to increase her organic views. And in one week, she saw an increase of 459%.

47. Promote on LinkedIn

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, posts on LinkedIn are more professional by nature. So it’s the right spot for promoting business articles and anything similar.

48. Post on Reddit

Most marketers would usually avoid Reddit because of its savvy community that can smell promotional materials a mile away. However, if you have a post that’s relevant to the community’s interests (and you find the right subreddit to post them in), you might surprise yourself with the amount of website traffic it can bring. Shane Barker wrote an interesting piece on using Reddit for SEO if you want to learn more.

49. Make Your Presence Felt on YouTube

YouTube is simply a fantastic platform for video promotions. You can start your vlog to accompany your existing site. You can subtly hint that people should check out your website once you’ve built a following.

50. Publish on Medium

You can use Medium to syndicate your content. It’s a blogging platform that’s getting more and more popular for its simplicity and community features. Now you might be wondering: Is it okay to refurbish content?

Moz seems to think so. They even published a Whiteboard Friday episode all about it.

51. Advertise on Social Media Platforms

If advertising on Google doesn’t seem like a good deal for you, then why not advertise on social media platforms instead. Some organizations found success on social media. School Year Abroad, for example, was able to increase its site sessions by 515%.

What makes this amazing is that they only had to spend $350 a month on the campaign.

Conclusion

Any combination of these strategies should help you increase your visitors per month. Most of these don’t even require you to spend money. All you have to do is invest your time. And if you do have a team working with you, you’ll be able to work on some of these changes (especially the on-page optimization strategies) in no time.

Go ahead and try these strategies so you could drive more traffic to your site. There’s no real reason why you shouldn’t.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success? Google’s traffic estimates are for Google AdWords users, not bloggers. There are (supposedly) 200 ranking factors to keep in mind.

Then there are multiple updates Google uses that come and go that could mess everything up. But by using search engine math, you can hope to simplify SEO and get a quick idea of the fewest steps to rank content faster in Google.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success – What is Search Engine Math?

Search engine math is a simple formula to learn how to increase your return on investment from SEO.

SEO falls under three categories:

  • On-page SEO (or content optimization).
  • Off-page SEO (or link building).
  • Technical SEO (or all SEO activities excluding content optimization and link building.

According to the law of diminishing returns, eventually you will receive less value for the same amount of work you put in.

For example, let’s say it takes five workers to build a car in ten hours and ten workers to build a car in five hours. You might assume adding an 11th worker would increase production at an equal rate. But this doesn’t account for problems that come when the workers get in the way of each other.

Here’s how this applies to SEO: Would an additional 100 outreach emails to get five links help your article rank better in Google? Would it be worth the time to write another guest post? Or should you move on to something else?
SEO math seeks to answer these questions by estimating what the optimal way to grow your site is.

Let’s begin with the assumptions of SEO math – How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success.

1. Your content quality is equal, if not better than the competition.

The goal of content marketing is to solve a problem that your potential customer has. As a result, your content needs to be both thorough and useful in answering their problems.

There is no easy way to measure which content is the best. To make things worse when comparing content quality, the IKEA effect can get you to think your content is better than it actually is.

Therefore, while content quality is important to ranking in search, SEO math does not take this factor into consideration.

2. Your site’s page speed is equal, if not better than the competition.

Source: Left Digital Media

When asked the question how to reverse engineer SEO success, page speed is one of the few ranking signals Google states it uses to rank your site.

Even if it wasn’t a ranking signal, a slow site makes for a bad customer experience. And a bad experience means fewer people are interested in waiting to load your website to read what you wrote.

Believe it or not, 3% of America still uses dial-up. That’s 9.4 million people in the USA. Then when you add in everyone else in the world with slow connection speed, you can begin to see why 40% of individuals close a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Unlike content quality, there are ways to measure page speed using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and GTmetrix.

But your page speed can only improve so much before you hit a point of diminishing returns. It can’t load faster than 0 seconds.

3. Your on-page SEO is equal, if not better than the competition.

When you look at the search engine results page (or “SERPs”), it’s clear that on-page SEO plays a large part in how your website ranks in search engines.
Aside from creating great content, on-page SEO refers to how relevant Google believes your content is based on your article’s:

  • Title tag
  • URL structure (e.g. “https://www.exampledomain.com/category/primary-keyword-phrase/)
  • Image alt text
  • Amount of unique content

Use of keyword throughout your content, including in the meta description.
Again, after a certain point, it’s hard to know who has the better on-page SEO. So if you have your keyword phrase (or a slight variation of it) in the title, URL structure, image alt text, and sprinkled throughout your amazing content, it’s good enough.

4. Your title is equally appealing, if not better than the competition.

To answer the question on how to reverse engineer SEO success title should definitely be taken into consideration. If someone does a Google search, people are more likely to click on your article if the title provides a clear benefit to the reader and creates a powerful emotion.

Which of these titles sound more appealing to you?

  • A. 15 Stunning Emails Everyone Can Send to Increase Sales 72%
  • B. 15 Emails You Can Send Today

If your goal is to find out how to send marketing emails to increase sales, the first title gives a clear benefit and solves a problem. But after improving your headline using the AMI Headline Analyzer or CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, there isn’t a clear way to know which blog title is best.

5. Your blog’s brand is equally valuable, if not better than the competition.

Source: vietcetera

Over time, people should know what to expect when they connect with your business. People expect Burberry to deliver luxury clothing and accessories. They trust Apple will be sleek and well-designed.

Whether your customers realize it or not, they also have expectations about your content. For example, you can often go to Dan Shure, John Doherty, Ross Hudgens, and a dozen other SEO experts to learn about SEO.

You don’t go to those blog expecting to learn about viral marketing loops as you would from going to Andrew Chen’s blog. You have to also stop reading SEO articles from the SEMrush blog, because nothing you can read on their blog will help you learn more about SEO.

This same thought process goes through the mind of many of your potential customers as they look at the search results in Google.

But since you can’t do much to improve this “score” aside from creating more great content, this should also be temporarily set aside.

All that to say, search engine math focuses on three things:

  • Keyword Research
  • Page Authority (PA)
  • Domain Authority (DA)
  • Let’s dive into each and talk about what you need to do to assess how fast you can rank in Google quickly.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success – Improve Your Keyword Research

There is very little SEO math used in keyword research. However, proper keyword research will make the other two areas of SEO math easier, so let’s discuss this topic.

Keyword research is a process marketers use to find search terms that people enter into search engines.

Ideally, marketers look for high traffic search terms with a high likelihood to rank on page one or two of Google. If you cannot get listed on the first two pages of Google, you probably will not receive any clicks from your search results.

So there is a limit to what you can do to optimize your keyword research process. Here are three simple guidelines you can use:

1. Some traffic is better than no traffic.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success? Focus on the traffic of course. One concern you may have about doing keyword research is what the ROI for the work.

Let’s say you find a keyword that has 50 searches a month. You might think that even if you were to get in spot #1, you’d maybe get 20 visitors a month, or 240 people in a year. With a 2% conversion rate, that’s about five sales a year. And at a lifetime value of $100, you spent 15-20 hours for $500 revenue.

That’s no good.

The reality is, even a keyword phrase that gets 50 visitors/month may receive 10x the monthly traffic compared to the estimate.

Dan Shure coached a writer to create an article with a keyword that said it would get 70 visitors a month. In the first 90 days, that article received 2,284 clicks. Given the first few months are the slowest, that article could bring in 25,000-50,000 visitors a year.

There are ways to get organic traffic from keyword phrases with 0 traffic. This is possible when you rank for a keyword before Google analyzes the data to give an estimate, such as talking about a new trend.

But unless you are good at trendspotting, it’s better to keep things simple and target keywords that get at least 10 searches a month. Typically you use Keywords Everywhere to find this estimate, although you have to also use UberSuggest, KeywordTool.io, and Ahrefs in different circumstances.

2. More traffic is better than less traffic.

Source: auto web traffic

This sounds really obvious, and it is.

Most SEO marketers know that if you target one keyword, you will also get traffic from several other keywords. This is known as a keyword footprint.
Here’s where it can be tempting to start complicating something that’s simple.
Rather than evaluating the traffic of one keyword, some SEO marketers try to estimate the traffic of the footprint. While this is possible to estimate, the easier solution is to compare the traffic potential of every main term you think you can rank on page one of Google.

3. It’s best to find low competition keywords to rank in Google faster.

Did you find a social site like Facebook, Pinterest, or Quora in the SERPs? This is a great sign you will rank your article fast.

Heck, even if you see a harder site to beat like Wikipedia in the SERPs, you don’t necessarily need to back down. It will take some effort, but websites beat Wikipedia in the SERPs all the time.

If you use a tool that correlates the difficulty to rank for a term, like Ahrefs keyword explorer, you can quickly find out how likely it is to rank on page one. That said, you need to make sure you do keyword research correct.

It’s also worth emphasizing that you don’t need to be in position 1 to get a high ROI. Or even page 1. If you look back at Dan’s tweet, the average position of the article was 18.1. As crazy as it is, apparently people do go to page 2 to get answers to their questions. Weird, but true.

It takes time and practice finding solid keywords to rank for fast. There is a lot to know to master keyword research, so we won’t go over that here, but there are a few guides on the subject that can help you, such as here, here, and here.

But if you want a quick way to find relevant keywords with low competition, try this out:

Use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush.

  • Find the keywords that websites like Quora or Pinterest are ranking for.
  • Find relevant keywords they are getting organic traffic from.
  • Or you can use those two tools and use their difficulty score to get an idea of how easy it will be to rank faster, then look at the results by hand.

How to Use Search Engine Math to Beat Your Competitor’s Page Authority, Quickly and Efficiently

Page Authority (or “PA”) is another important ranking factor. In short, PA compares the number and quality of links from other websites to your website. Which is why a profession started to build backlinks, called link building.

Because PA is on a 100-point logarithmic scale, that means it’s easier to grow from a PA of 20 to 30 than to grow from a PA of 70 to 80.

Source: outreach warriors

Here’s how to quickly estimate how many links you need to beat the competition:

  • Look at the domain authority of the links pointing to your competitor’s article, such as with Open Site Explorer.
  • Find out the DA of each link, such as with the Moz toolbar.

Use this table to estimate the # of DA 40 links you need to build:

Domain Authority – DA 40 Links Needed
DA 0-9 Ignore these links
DA 10-19 Ignore these links
DA 20-29.5 DA 40 links
DA 30-39 1 DA 40 link
DA 40-49 1.5 DA 40 links
DA 50-59 1.5 DA 40 links
DA 60-69 2 DA 40 links
DA 70-79 3 DA 40 links
DA 80-89 5 DA 40 links
DA 90-100 7 DA 40 links

Questions About How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success

Now, before the SEO experts pick up their pitchforks, let me answer some of your questions:

1. SEO isn’t that simple.

That’s not a question.

Google isn’t going to tell you everything you need to know. Or everything you don’t need to know. There goal is to get more people to use their tool because it can find better content. Not to get your site more traffic.

That said, you can agree there is more to SEO than just building DA 40 links.
The goal of search engine math is to help simplify the complex. This is especially important for small-to-medium businesses that don’t have a lot of bandwidth. If you have a six-figure marketing budget, it may be worth it to optimize the small stuff.

2. Why DA 40?

From the experience doing link building, there are a ton of blogs with DA 40-49. At the same time, those are valuable enough links to go after.
Guest post for them, give them an infographic, massage their back… whatever you want to do, just make it happen to get the link.

3. What should I do if I build a link with a higher domain?

Do a happy dance! You have one of three options:

  • Ignore that the link is higher than DA 40.
  • Use the higher DA link to cancel out a smaller DA link (for example, use a DA 61 to beat a DA 52).
  • Use the column on the left to estimate how many DA 40 links it is worth (for example, if you got a DA 72 link, count it as three DA 40 links).

We would not recommend coming up with your own algorithm for each DA range. Remember the goal is to keep things simple.

4. What’s with the “.5” links?

The goal of this system is to beat your competitor’s links. As such, sometimes you only need a slight edge to beat your competitors.

If your total number ends with .5, round the number up.

5. Does this system guarantee search results?

Source: digital marketing institute

No, this is just a theory to help you do so.

Because Google is smart, there are many factors that tailor each person’s search results to that person. For example, if you read articles from examplesite.com, Google will assume you would like more articles from them than losersiteoftheinternet.com.

So even if you have stellar content and get “enough” links, you still may not rank first in Google.

6. Why do you ignore links under DA 20?

To keep it simple. Also because these sites are new, many will disappear in a year. Not to mention their SEO value is small.

7. What should I do with nofollow links?

If it’s a full moon today and 80 degrees outside, then count them.
In all seriousness, it depends. You can built nofollow links on sites like Inc Magazine. You can view those as very valuable and count like a dofollow link.

There are also nofollow links like those from Scoop.it which you can ignore.
Whatever you decide to do, just remember to keep it simple.

8. Is Search Engine Math Necessary to Compare Domain Authority?

Short answer – Not really.
Longer answer – It depends on how much you want to simplify your life.
Full answer – When using search engine math to compare your DA with your competitors, there are two things you should think about:

  • Your DA today.
  • Your DA down the road, say in a couple years.

If you are a new site, it’s more important to focus on getting your content ranked today rather than a year. This is because SEO creates a flywheel effect. The faster you get organic traffic, the faster you can use that momentum to your advantage.

But keep in mind, you are also building links. In time, your domain authority will go up. So eventually, you will beat the competition.

Even better, if you do keyword research effectively, it will be easier to rank. And as your articles get higher in the SERPs, if you created great content, people will naturally link to your articles.

9. What do you do with links from the same website?

Another SEO theory is that links from the same website decrease the value of a link.

To keep things simple, if two links point to the same article, cut the DA value in half. Also, only look at unique website links for a given page, not the entire website.

So if “www.example.com/article-a/” and “www.example.com/article-b/” has a DA of 50, and both link to “www.yoursite.com/your-article-1/,” then count the second link as a DA 25.

But if “www.example.com/article-a/” points to “www.yoursite.com/your-article-1/” and “www.example.com/article-b/” points to “www.yoursite.com/your-article-2/”, don’t penalize the two links.

How to Reverse Engineer SEO Success – A Simple Summary

Source: kingpng

Search engine math is used to help you get better results faster from SEO, although it cannot guarantee rankings. The primary factors SEO math takes into consideration are:

  • Quality content and a quality website.
  • Keyword Research
  • Page Authority
  • Domain Authority (important, but less so)

The rules of keyword research: some traffic is better than no traffic, more traffic is better than less traffic, and find low competition keywords to rank faster. Remember that solid keyword research decreases the number of links you need than if you do poor keyword research. Focus on this step, write great content, build fewer links.

To beat your competitor’s page authority, look at the back links of the article you are trying to beat. Use a base of DA 40 to know how many links you need and get ‘em.

Domain authority is an important consideration, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rank if your DA is too low. There are articles out there with a DA 30 blog beat out sites with double the DA score.

This theory is still a work in progress. As such, we would love to get your honest feedback, questions, and polite criticisms to stress test this theory.

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