I know more than a few bloggers and small business owners that have this to say about SEO:
With Google rolling out updates on a monthly basis and constantly adding new wrinkles to their increasingly complex algorithm, it can seem impossible for the average blogger to keep up.
And with hundreds of horror stories about sites getting slapped with Google penalties for taking their SEO too far, playing it safe by "just publishing great content" can seem like a smart move.
But it's not.
In fact, hitting "publish" and hoping for the best is the #1 content marketing myth out there.
Considering that Google accounts for almost 40% of the web's traffic, you're cutting off your own foot by completely ignoring SEO.
Fortunately, you don't need to invest in fancy SEO tools or keep up with the latest trends just to get some Google love.
You just need to follow these SEO tips specifically designed for people that hate SEO.
Tip #1: Include Keywords in Your Blog Post Titles
I know that you want to craft blog post headlines that grab attention, evoke curiosity and get clicks.
I get that.
But if you don't strategically include high-volume keywords in your blog post title (and specifically in your page's title tag), you're leaving A LOT of search engine traffic on the table.
The best part?
With a little creativity, you can create titles that satisfy users and search engines.
Your first step is to find keywords that your target audience uses to search for your blog post's topic (in fact, keyword research is a great place to brainstorm blog post topics).
The best way to do that is to use the Google Keyword Planner Tool (you'll need a free Adwords account to use it). Just enter a few keywords that describe what you're writing about into the tool:
And see what keywords come up that have decent -- but not too much -- search volume (also known as long tail keywords).
Include that keyword in your eye-catching title (preferably at the beginning). Copyblogger.com has amazing resources on creating SEO-friendly headlines that also get clicks.
Tip #2: Get Mentioned on Link Roundups
Link roundups -- weekly or monthly features on blogs -- are excellent opportunities to get more referral traffic for your blog's social media friendly content. And there are roundups in almost every niche, from internet marketing to health and fitness.
But it's also an excellent link building strategy. Because when you get mentioned on a link roundup (as the name suggests), you also get a quality, contextual link back to your site (which are the types of links that Google likes to see).
Here are some search strings you can use to find link roundups in your niche:
"keyword" + "weekly roundup"
"keyword" + "recap"
"keyword" + "friday roundup"
When you find a site that might want to feature your content in their next roundup, hit them up with this script:
Just wanted to start off by saying that I'm a huge fan of SITE.
I especially love your Tuesday Link Roundups (I always seem to find something cool that I missed that week).
Anyway, I recently published something that I think you'd enjoy:
Might make a nice addition to your roundup.
Either way, keep up the awesome work!
Tip #3: Make Infographics
Infographics are a bread and butter content marketing startegy that can do wonders for your blog's brand awareness.
While they do require a lot of work -- and a budget for a pro graphic designer -- the ROI is often spectacular.
And when people share your infographic -- or embed it on their site -- they'll often link back to you (you can get even more backlinks and exposure for your infographic by submitting your infographic to popular infographic directories, like Visual.ly).
To ensure that people do link to you when sharing your infographic, you can create an embed code using this free Wordpress plugin. When you do, you'll have an embed code box on your site that people can use to easily use to publish your infographic on their site.
When another blogger uses this code, it will automatically post a backlink back to your site:
Like with any form of content marketing, you need to hustle to get the word out about your infographic using email outreach. With the hundreds of infographics that come out everyday, publishing your infographic on your site and tweeting about it isn't enough.
Tip #4: Guest Post More Often
You probably already know that guest posting is one of the best ways to drive targeted traffic to your site.
But when you publish a guest post, you're also building one way links to your blog.
The key to getting the most SEO value from guest posting is to point your links at a post on your site...not just your homepage.
I've found that this also increases CTR as well because the reader already knows what they're going to get by clicking.
For example, instead of an author bio like this:
"Jane is the founder of MommyBloggingHQ.com, where she blogs about..."
You'd want to include something like:
"Looking for more ways to turn blog visitors into subscribers? Then check out my Ultimate Guide to Blog Conversions".
Tip #5: Get Featured on Resource Pages
Resource pages are simply lists of links to helpful content that the webmaster deems worthy.
And because these lists curate the best stuff on the web, they usually get a decent amount of traffic. If you have something excellent to add to their page, most site owners are happy to fire up Wordpress and add your link.
In fact, some resource page curators even include an email address or form to make it easy for you to suggest your site:
Even better, these resource pages are heavily linked to (both from internal and external pages). This means that they have a little extra SEO "umph" to send to your site.
You can find resource pages with ease using these handy search strings:
"keyword" + inurl:resource
"keyword" + "helpful resources"
"keyword" + "useful resources"
So if you want to get more search engine traffic without having to worry about Google's menacing updates, you now have your guide.
Brian Dean is the link building expert behind Backlinko, a growing hub for link builders and SEO pros. There he posts expert insights, powerful link building strategies, and exclusive case studies to help business owners and SEOs get more search engine traffic. He's been knee deep in SEO since 2008. Since then he's launched a number of profitable authority sites and consulted for businesses of all shapes and sizes. When he's not link building for his sites or for his clients he's usually backbacking through Asia or Europe. If you want to read cutting edge SEO content you should follow him on Twitter.
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