500 SEO Tips: Essential Strategies To Bulldoze Through Google's Rankings, Increase Traffic and Go Viral
Chapter 13: SEO Philosophy
There are a few rules in SEO that you just need to get right. These are general rules that span across all aspects of SEO. Make sure you follow them, and understand them fully.
Follow these rules and you shall become an SEO master.
A little philosophy killed no one, right?
468. Be Patient
You probably know this already, but it's worth mentioning again. SEO takes months to work, to see any results whatsoever. You build links today and you sow the seeds for future success. Most clients think that they can rank well in a week, or even in a month. You won't see real results for months. Just be patient. It takes time, but when the time comes – you will be rewarded very generously for it.
469. Think Outside The Box
The most unique website will win the most votes. Those that can come up with the most unique linkbuilding techniques are going to win in the rankings. SEO these days is all about thinking outside the box. Who thought that getting a link on another website could get so creative? There's guest blogging, fixing broken links, pointing out hacked pages, updating old content and so much more. All those techniques stemmed from creativity.
Think creatively because there are hundreds of SEO techniques out there that you can come up with, that no one else has used. All you have to do is think differently to the rest of us.
470. Be Committed
Keep at it. Most webmasters stop just when they're about to become successful.
One of the most difficult things to do in SEO is to stay committed. It's very easy to get it started in an enthusiastic manner, and then the enthusiasm starts to wane as the days go by.
Don't let your enthusiasm wane, keep it up! Just imagine your Google Analytics graph soaring into the thousands and then, hundreds of thousands of views every day.
471. Throw Yourself Into SEO Like You Mean It
You can't fake it. It's either all or nothing. SEO is one of those things that just has to be fully worked at, or not at all. You make the decision. If you want results, you've got to look at every aspect of SEO and implement it on your website.
SEO is also an ongoing thing. Every new page you publish will have to be optimized for SEO and the same for every blog post. You'll always have to build new links. You'll always have to make your site faster, and check it technically. It's a lot of work, so make the decision to do it properly, rather than half-heartedly.
472. Be Passionate About Your Website
Embrace your website, your work and what you do. Believe it or not, but that passion and enthusiasm will actually show results. Love what you do, and the rest will follow. Enthusiasm is infectious and people will pick up on your website, if they see that you love what you do.
473. Remember That Humans Buy, Not Search Engines
It's easy to get sidetracked and start developing only with the search engine in mind, and not the user. Search engines aren't the ones to pay you money or give you a phone call or click on your ads. People do. So always remember to put people first, before anything else.
474. Keep Yourself Updated
Whilst SEO may appear to be timeless, it's always changing. Every year, SEO has changed a lot from the thing it used to be a year ago. Keep yourself updated, because I guarantee you, this time next year SEO will be slightly different.
If you don't manipulate the search results with short lived tricks, you'll find that your SEO work will stand the test of time. SEO is never going to change hugely so that the links you build today or the keywords you target will no longer be relevant. But there will always be tiny tweaks that you'll still need to watch out for.
The best way to keep yourself updated is by subscribing to SEO news websites such as Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch and Moz. In addition, this book will always be updated should there be any need.
475. Don't Ignore Content Marketing
Content marketing is the fundamental pillar which will build your brand, get you known on social media and bring you traffic.
It doesn't matter what niche you're in because there will be an audience for your content somewhere in the world. Don't make excuses and ignore content marketing, because you don't consider yourself a writer or that your website is in a "boring" (a niche not many people know about, or don't really want to read about) or hugely competitive niche. Unless you're a local business and you get most of your leads from notices on local noticeboards, there is a need to build content. If you want more money, you've got to start investing in content creation.
476. You Need Conversion Too
There's no use getting thousands of daily hits when all that converts to zero sales and zero profit. Just like how SEO is a vital part of your website's success, so is conversion.
Again, just like SEO, conversion is a whole science. There are entire books, websites, blogs and tools related to conversion. The best websites I recommend for conversion include Unbounce, Crazy Egg and Optimizely. You might find that your website converts extremely well without learning the exact science. It really depends on your niche, but conversion definitely has to be integrated into your digital marketing strategy.
477. Update Your Best Performing Pages
Updating your best performing pages can give you a boost in the rankings. On HubPages, an article directory, they have updated their articles and have seen a 20% increase in traffic to these articles. Check your highest earning pages in terms of traffic and update them. You can update them by adding new text, images, statistics and multimedia. Whatever updates you make, be sure to expect a nice boost in traffic.
478. Build Relationships
SEO is turning from manipulating search engines to developing relationships with niche influencers. For promotion, link building and so much more – you will need to build relationships with key influencers in your niche.
These people could have thousands of followers on social media, be influential bloggers or just people that we all look up to. Whoever it is, make sure to reach out to them by commenting on their blog, letting them know you appreciate their work, and following them on social media. It's corny, but it works.
As Keith Ferazzi (author of "Never Eat Alone") once said, "Build your network before you need it".
479. No More Manipulation
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Always be a white hat SEO, and never go to the dark side. There are no shortcuts to SEO anymore. It’s either full on persistence or nothing. So no matter how tempted you are to get more traffic through black hat manipulation and tricks, don't give in. Too many webmasters already did, and they now suffer the consequences.
480. Use Evernote, It's Indispensable
I only started using Evernote recently, and it really enhanced my productivity. In case you haven't heard of it yet, Evernote is basically an app for all your devices where you can write notes, clip webpages, take screenshots and organize all that into notebooks. A lot of people use Evernote to record any ideas that strike them at a particular moment, but then when they try to remember that idea later on, they can't remember.
I strongly believe that by using Evernote, you can enhance your SEO results. Here, you can record potential keyword ideas, set reminders for linkbuilding, innovation ideas for your website or clip any interesting findings from the web. It works on all your devices (desktop and mobile), and is especially useful on the go. If you're going to download a life-changing app this year, it's got to be Evernote. (www.evernote.com)
481. Offer Something Insanely Useful
If your website doesn't provide any value to your readers, there's no point doing any SEO at all. You need to attract your readers to subscribing to your blog, trying your products and make them become interested. But if your blog doesn't offer anything useful to them, you might as well pack up. There is a demand for anything and everything online, so be the one to answer that call.
482. Remember Your Website's Values
Always stick to the core of what your website is all about. Don't create off-topic content just because it's popular at the moment or build links from off-topic websites just because the opportunity arose. Make decisions based on your website's niche and values.
483. "The Difference Between Try and Triumph Is Just A Little Umph" – Unknown
You need that something extra special to get your website on a popular scale. It could be that your products are cheaper than everyone else's or that your blog posts are so actionable that nobody else can compete. It's difficult to do SEO if you don't have that extra spark that people want. Find the unique thing about your company or website and emphasise it on your home page, outreach, PR and so on. That is what will separate your website from the crowd.
484. "Great content is the best sales tool in the world" – Marcus Sherdian
We're sick of advertising. The only way to get the unwashed masses excited about your brand or products is through content. Help them first, and then they'll respond a lot better than you think.
485. "What you do after you create your content is what truly counts"- Gary Vaynerchuk
You can create content all day, but if you don't actually promote it, nothing exciting happens. Promotion is what everyone wants, but can't seem to get it. SEO is the best, and perhaps the cheapest way to get thousands of people to view your site daily. That's why working towards page one is essential, and the only way to do that is through linkbuilding.
486. "There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the web" – Rand Fishkin
If that was the case, you'd find me splurging all my innermost black magic secrets in this book. There are none.
487. In this age of micro blogging and two second sound bites, almost no one has the attention span or time to read more than a few sentences" – Tim Frick
Great titles. Great sales copy. Be quick about it and use words which evoke a response or a click.
488. "The only way to win at content marketing is for the reader to say, 'This was written specifically for me'" – Jamie Turner
Did you ever read an article, when you were on wits end, and it solved your problem or question? It feels like that article was written only for you. I remember getting a nasty virus on my computer and couldn't remove it. There were no removal guides on the internet, and nobody seemed to have heard of it. I was getting extremely worried, since the virus was wreaking havoc across my files and documents.
But then, I stumbled across an article by Computer which was particularly about that virus, and step by step – showed me how to remove it. I tried the steps, and sure enough, the virus was removed. I'll never forget the relief and the way I looked up to that website again.
When you evoke that indescribable feeling in a reader, magical things will happen.
489. "Content is the reason search began in the first place" – Lee Odden
There would be no Google if it wasn't for content. Now that's saying something.
490. "The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing" – Tom Fishburne
Telemarketing, TV advertising and radio advertising feels like marketing. It's tedious, nobody listens to it and even if they do, the sheer cost of that advertising will make quite an unforgettable dent in your bank account. Compare this to SEO where you can expect fantastic results by doing it in a creative and non-tedious way. And if you're an internet lover, it doesn't really feel like work.
491. "Traditional marketing is telling the world you're a rock star. Content marketing is showing you are one" – Robert Rose
Traditional marketing brings happiness to its creators and tears to its audience. Content brings happiness to its creators and happiness to its audience. That's the difference. Showing people that you can write and be a rockstar on the internet at the same time, is a whole lot better than hogging the newspaper, TV or radio.
492. "The future of content marketing is in your hands" – David Hahn
Get creative and re-invent the wheel. Content marketing can become anything you want it to be, if you imagine it.
493. "When you enchant people, your goal is not to make money from them or to get them to do what you want, but to fill them with great delight." – Guy Kawasaki
Make it look like you actually want to enchant your readers with content. Once they're a fan of your content, they'll buy your products and become true customers.
494. "My theory is that in the age of the internet, it's what you write not where you write it that matters" – Dan Lyons
It doesn't matter who you are or where you write. With the right content and promotion, you can get that content to span across the world, and reach readers in places you've never imagined.
495. "Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first" – Wendy Piersall
Create a website that will entice, convert and engage. If you have a website, make sure your products stand out from the rest. Once you have a solid foundation, your SEO will become a whole lot easier.
496. "If you wait until there is another case study in your industry, you will be too late" – Seth Godin
Start working on your SEO now. There's no time like the present, after all.
497. "The paradox is the more info you give away, the more people will buy what you have to give" Brian Clark
Strange, but true. The more content your give to people for free, the more people will buy your products.
498. "There’s a part of me that feels like enough is enough with the list of prohibited linking activities. I wish you’d just not count the links you don’t think deserve credit." – Danny Sullivan
This was written in the comments section of a blog post by Matt Cutts (Head of Webspam at Google and responsible for Panda and Penguin) which said that guest blogging is over, and is a dodgy linkbuilding practice. With so many "prohibited forms of linkbuilding" out there, it's quite frustrating to see the list getting longer.
There shouldn’t be a list, only common sense. If you think a certain blog is okay to get a backlink from, do it. If you think a link directory looks a little off-putting, don't do it.
499. “Those who have real empathy for web users and influencers AND have the SEO skills to infuse their work with great keyword targeting, search accessibility, etc., are going to have ongoing success.” – Rand Fishkin
If I were to summarize SEO in one sentence, this quote from Rand sums it up beautifully. SEO may first appear to be a complex task that only tech geeks would understand, but when you break it down, it's quite doable.
500. You're Capable of Anything
Wahoo! This is the final tip, in the entire book.
And it required a lot of thought.
After all, I had to pick a tip which reflected the entire book whilst concluding it at the same time. And it's this:
You're capable of anything.
This tip sounds more like a piece of "real" philosophy rather than SEO philosophy.
But, it’s true both in the real world and the SEO world.
If you want to start a successful website, SEO is the strategy that will get you there. Since the internet dominates our entire lives, SEO is actually a method to leading a successful life.
Put your mind to it, and you can do anything.