Today, I’m sharing 6 powerful and often overlooked SEO hacks that every SEO, small business owner, or webmaster should immediately add to their arsenal.
I feel quite strongly that there is at least ONE SEO hack in this post that you are NOT using. If you’ve discovered something new, feel free to drop a comment and let me know.
I hope you find a hidden gem.
Use these keywords in your title to boost your rankings
Back in 2017 Ross Hudgens of Siege Media ran a little test experiment that proved to have some pretty amazing results.
Ross gathered around 8,000 pages that ranked on the first page of Google to figure out some commonalities between them.
What did Ross discover?
Well, he discovered that out of those 8,000 or so pages that ranked on the front page of Google, many happened to use 7 core keywords in their title tags.
Those 7 keywords were:
Since we believe that google uses CTR as a ranking signal, these terms attracted the best CTR and they were nicely rewarded in Google.
*** UPDATE *** After writing this post, Cyrus Shepard confirmed via a Tweet that CTR IS INDEED a ranking factor.
One of my favorite documents concerning Google’s use of CTR as a ranking factor. Obtained via open-records request from the FTC in 2015 by @WSJ
— Cyrus (@CyrusShepard) January 3, 2019
We’ve suspected it for years, but this WSJ open-records request confirms that click-throughs impact Google rank.
Do you happen to use keywords similar to those above in your title tags to attract and improve your CTR? If so, drop a comment below if you feel like sharing.
2. Take advantage of Google’s “Searches related to…” tool
One of the best strategies for discovering new keywords is by using Google’s “Searches related to…” tool.
Let’s give it a try.
First, perform your search in Google.
Next, scroll to the bottom of the page. See those amazing new long-tail keywords? You should already be using this strategy in your keyword research and content creation, but if you aren’t, add it immediately.
While this is not a new SEO keyword research strategy, it’s often overlooked and should be part of your research toolkit.
3. Use suggestion tools that are NOT Google
One of the most common forms of keyword research is using Google’s suggestion data to expand your keyword list.
The problem with this strategy is that everyone and their mother is using it. Let’s take it one step further and show you how you can get an advantage on your competition.
Go ahead and head over to YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia or Big.
Start typing. Yes, they use auto-suggestion too!
While there might be some overlap, in many case this strategy will open up some great new keywords for you to use.
Go ahead and give it a try and see if you can find some hidden long-tail keywords that were previously undiscovered.
4. Reduce your bounce rate and get rewarded with better rankings
As mentioned above, CTR is believed to be a key ranking signal to Google. But what about Bounce Rate?
While it’s not yet document by Google directly, there are plenty of studies and cases that might suggest that a lower bounce rate leads to improved rankings.
Now, this might be a case of correlation not always equaling causation, but there’s enough data to suggest that bounce rate does have a direct impact on your rankings.
A good strategy would be jump into your Analytics account and find pages with higher than average bounce rate.
Take some time to analyze each of those pages and try to find some creative ways to improve the bounce rate.
Here are some easy suggestions to help lower your bounce rate:
Expand on your content
Add more images to the page
Cite your sources for facts
Add links to interior pages or other on-page resources
5. Spy on Google Ads for optimal CTRs
I mentioned above that CTR can have a big impact on your SEO results, so why not do everything in your power to improve upon it?
One critical, untapped resource for improving your CTR is Google Ads.
If you’ve run Google Ad campaigns before you know that Google rewards ads with good CTRs. This can be by way of positioning or cost per click (CPC).
So, let’s use Google Ads to our advantage, shall we?
Since there’s a strong possibility that the Google Ads you see in your search results are optimized like crazy for best possible CTR, go ahead and spy on those ads for inspiration.
First, search for a specific keyword in Google and keep an eye out for those Google Ads that appear at the top of the page.
Why not try this in your title tags and see what happens?
6. Publish in-depth content
The days of easily ranking 400, 500, 600, even 1000 word articles are gone.
As mentioned in our 2019 SEO Strategies post, Google is rewarding pages and posts with comprehensive, in-depth content.
This means that instead of posting four 500 word articles per month, you may need to really focus on one topic per month and produce a 2,000 word article.
But don’t rely solely on word count.
You need to ensure that you’re hitting on all or most of the below:
Citation of facts and strong statements
Linking to resources on your website
Plenty of images
Graphs to support your context
Videos to improve dwell time
Don’t believe me about images?
Skyword research discovered that pages and posts that contained at least one image received an average 94% more traffic than pages and posts without an image.