Today you’re gonna see my 22 absolute best SEO hack ever. All the SEO hacks I’m gonna share with you is insanely actionable.
Have you ever wondered, How can you reach the top trying the same method that everyone else is doing?
Exactly, It will take you nowhere.
In this article, I’m gonna reveal my favorite keyword research strategy, what I learned from analyzing thousands of Google search results and 22 SEO hacks that are crushing it right now.
Before I reveal SEO hack #1, a quick word of warning!
The tips that I’m about to share with you aren’t the here today, gone tomorrow strategies that stop working after a few months.
In fact, I use some of these SEO hacks over and over again and they still work great in 2018.
Because my SEO hacks give Google what it wants.
So whether you’re reading this today or three years from now, you can use these techniques to leverage huge traffic from Google.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in with SEO hack # 1, which is to use short URLs.
Use Short Url
When I first started with SEO, I’d use the first URL that popped into my head, and that led to long ugly URL like this:
Today I make sure to only use short URLs.
Because all things being equal, Short URLs rank better than long URLs.
In fact, I recently analyzed one thousand Google search results, and I discovered that short URLs rank best in Google.
Let’s move on to SEO hack #2 which is to use keyword rich URLs.
Use keyword rich URLs.
This is a simple one.
Whenever you create a URL for one of your pages, make sure it contains your target keyword.
For example here’s the page at APOGEESOFT optimized around the keyword “SEO tips”.
As you can see the URL is short which is the SEO hack #1 mentioned earlier.
And you can also see that the URL contain my target keywords.
It’s that simple.
Let’s jump into SEO hack #3, which is to choose keywords with strong commercial intent.
Choose Keywords With Strong Commercial Intent
Here’s a mistake I see a lot of people make, and it’s a mistake I made a lot back in the day.
What’s the mistake?
Choosing keywords that have zero commercial intent.
So, what does commercial intent mean exactly?
Commercial intent is the likelihood that someone searching for a given keyword will buy from you.
Someone searching for premium Java courses has a much higher commercial intent than someone searching for free Java tutorials.
Fortunately, You can easily size up a keywords commercial intent using the Google Keyword Planner.
The higher the estimated bid, the higher the commercial intent.
Yes, a keyword’s search volume and competition are important, but before you decide on a keyword, make sure it has at least some commercial intent.
Let’s move onto SEO hack #4 which is to use Amazon as keyword ideas.
Use Amazon As Keyword Ideas.
Did you know that you can use Amazon for keyword research?
Well, you can!
Step1: First, find a popular book in your niche on Amazon.
Step2: Next check out the book’s table of contents.
Each chapter is a potential topic or keyword idea.
Step3: Finally, pop the chapter titles into your favorite keyword research tool to see if they get searched for on Google.
Now, it’s time for an SEO hack #5 which is to hack Wikipedia for keyword research.
Hack Wikipedia For Keyword Research.
Wikipedia is a keyword research gold mine. Here’s the exact process that I use to find amazing keywords on Wikipedia.
Step1: Type in a topic or keyword into Wikipedia.
For example, if your site publishes content about Tea. You’d wanna type Tea into Wikipedia search.
Step2: Look at other articles on Wikipedia that the Wikipedia article links to. The anchor text of these links can be a great keyword or topic ideas.
Step3: Look at the table of contents for that article. These can also reveal amazing keyword ideas that would be hard to find otherwise.
With hack number 5 let’s move onto SEO hack #6.
Optimize Your Title Tag For CTR
I probably don’t need to tell you that you should include your target keyword in your title tag but you might not know that you also wanna optimize your title tag for click-through rate.
First, When you improve your CTR (Click Through Rate), you get more traffic without needing high rankings.
Let’s say that you rank number 4 for your target keyword. If you double your CTR, you double your traffic.
Google recently stated that they use CTR as a ranking signal and this makes sense if you think about it.
If lots of people click on your result, it sends a clear message to Google that this page is a great result for this keyword.
And, they’ll give you a ranking boost.
Optimize your title tag not just for keywords, but for CTR too.
I’ll show you exactly how to boost your click-through rate later in this article.
But for now, let’s dive into SEO hack # 7.
Use Title Tag Modifier
Believe it or not, but most of your search engine traffic comes from very long, very specific searches.
For example, someone searching for a new pair of slippers might search for something like “Best Black Fluffy Slippers 8 Size Free Shipping”
As you might expect, insanely long keywords like this aren’t gonna show up in any keyword research tool.
If they don’t show up in a tool how can you possibly optimize around them?
Just add modifiers to your title tag.
Some of my favourite title tag modifiers are:
- Free shipping
So, you wanna make your title tags look something like this.
“THE BEST BLACK FLUFFY SLIPPERS(FREE SHIPPING)”
With a title tag like this, you’ll rank for your target keyword, fluffy slippers and dozens of long-tailed keywords too.
With that it’s time for SEO hack #8:
Use Numbers In Your Title Tag to Boost CTR
Remembers a few lines before when I said that “Google uses your site’s click-through rate as a ranking factor“?
If lots of people click on your result, It sends a clear message to Google that this page is a great result for this keyword, and they’ll give you a ranking boost.
So, the question is, how do you improve your CTR?
One of the easiest ways to get more clicks on your result is to add numbers to your title tag.
According to our recent industry study, titles with numbers get 36% more clicks than title without a number.
That’s why I make sure to use a number in almost every single one of my titles.
Moving right along here, we’re already on to SEO hack #9.
Publish Content That’s At Least 2,000 Words.
Remember that ranking factors study that I mentioned earlier in On-Page SEO - 10 Actionable Techniques That Works Great!
Well, one of my interesting findings was that longer content tended to rank better than short content.
In fact, I found that the average first-page result in Google contained 2000 words or above.
Yes, this goes against the idea that people online have short attention spans, but the data proves this clearly isn’t true.
Because the fact is:
When you create a valuable resource people will want to read it, even if it’s really long.
If you have a page that you really wanna rank, make sure it contains at least 2000 words of awesome content.
Let’s dive right into SEO hack #10
Use Two-Step email outreach
I probably don’t need to tell you that to rank on Google today, you need to build backlinks.
But, not just any backlinks, white hat backlinks from authority sites in your industry.
The question is how do you do it?
In my experience, nothing beats old-fashioned email outreach.
That’s said there’s right and wrong way.
And the wrong way to do email outreach is what you see most people sending out hundreds of spam email begging for links.
In fact, that’s what I did back in the day and it didn’t work then and it definitely doesn’t work today.
Instead, I recommend two-step email outreach.
Let me explain how two step email outreach works with a real-life example:
A Backlinko reader named Mike Bonadio was promoting an infographic for one of his clients.
At first, Mike would ask for a link in his initial outreach email, but it wasn’t working.
So he decided to try a two-step approach.
So, in Mikes first email, instead of asking for a link right off the bat, he asked if the blogger or journalist would like to see his infographic.
Earlier today I was going through your article about “Organic Pest Control. Great Stuff!
I haven’t heard of starch spray, I’ll have to check that out.
I thought I’d reach out to you because I just published an infographic on organic pest control methods for gardeners and thought it might interest you.
Would it be ok to pass along? I’d love to get your opinion on it.
Either way, keep up the good work!
When they said yes, he followed up with a link pitch:
Sure, here it is: (Inserted the link)
I’d love to know what you think.
Also, If you’re at all interested in sharing it with your readers I’d be happy to write a custom intro for you to go along with it if you like.
And the two-step approach let to 40% more responses than straight up asking for a link.
Speaking of link building, it’s time for SEO hack #11
Link Out To Authority Websites
Wanna see something?
An SEO agency in the UK recently ran an SEO Experiment.
They created 10 brand new website, all optimized around the same made up keyword: “Phylandocic”.
The 10 websites were all set up exactly the same way, except five of them had one major difference. They contained outbound links to authority websites.
Can you guess which pages rank better?
Yes exactly, the five websites with outbound links ranked above the sites that didn’t have any.
Link out to authority websites in every piece of content that you publish.
Okay, here’s our next SEO hack i.e. broken link building.
12. Broken Link Building
Broken link building is one of my favorite white hat link building strategies.
Here’s how it works:
Step1: First, find a site that you wanna get a link from.
Step2: Next, find a broken link on that site.
Step3: When you find a broken link, look for a piece of content on your site that would make a good replacement for the dead link.
If you don’t have something that would make a good replacement, feel free to create one.
Step4: Finally, email the site owner to let them know about their broken link.
Use tools like Emailhunter.io to find a webmaster’s contact info, if it’s not available.
I was searching for some information on SEO when I came across your awesome seo checklist.
I especially thank you for giving such a useful insight on keyword research. So many people start with keyword research tool before they even know what their customers search for.
However, I did come across a few links that didn’t seem to be working. Want me to forward you the short list I jotted down?
And when they get back to you pinch your link as a replacement.
Awesome to hear that you responded. And big congrats on writing such a useful content.
As I said, the post is awesome as-is. I won’t change much of anything except maybe update the screenshots and a link that wasn’t working for me.
And it would be awesome if you’d consider mentioning my SEO tools guide in your post: (insert your link)
It might make a nice addition to the “Must-Read SEO Guides and Resources” section of your post.
That’s all there is to it.
All right, next up, we have SEO hack #13.
Update Underperforming Pages
A while back a webmaster trends analyst at Google said something very interesting:
“Don’t create a low quality and no value ad pages. We think that it’s a waste of resources. The other thing is that you just won’t get quality traffic. If you don’t get quality traffic, then why you’re burning resource on it?”
In other words,
Having lots of low-quality pages on your site is bad for SEO, and that’s why I recommend updating those pages with some useful content and republish it.
In fact, I often update my previous pages when I find something useful for my visitors and republish it. I recently updated my post “Blogger Or WordPress: Which Is Better? [Detailed Unbiased Comparison]”
I added lots of information that didn’t hit my mind while I was writing the post.
You know what happened after the updates?
Within three days of republishing, it ranked from the third page of the Google search result to the first for the keyword “Blogger or WordPress for a personal blog“
That’s how powerful it is!
And it’s one of the main reason that my organic traffic goes on increasing by the time.
Update low-quality pages of your site. In fact, in my experience updating those pages can help you gaining pages rank better in Google
Ok, it’s time for SEO hack #14
Stop Using Huge Images
In most of the cases, I see people using huge images on their site of size up to 5 MB or more.
That’s a big mistake! You should refrain from using large images right away.
It’s true that images play a vital role in audience retention. You might have seen me using lots of screenshots in each article.
But I make sure to reduce the size of these images to few kilobytes (KB).
Because images increase your website load time and hence hinders you from ranking in the Google’s first page.
Google has clearly stated that “Google penalizes the slow loading website and gives a ranking boost to comparatively fast loading website”
If you’re a WordPress user, there are lots of plugin like ShortPixel, WP smush and Compress JPEG & PNG images that you can use to reduce the size of images.
Now it’s time for SEO hack #15
Use Rich Snippets SERP.
The rich snippet is one of my favourite SEO hacks to increase the CTR along with a tempting title and meta description.
These are the text that shows up when somebody does a web search. It lies below the title tag and link to the site.
When you do Google search how do you decide which search result is best fit for your keyword?
Exactly, first, you are attracted by the sweet and attracting title then you look at the description.
When you find the description catchy you hit enter to check out your result.
This is not just the case with you and me. 80% of people do the same.
So, the question is “how can you write an amazing description of your post?”
- Use short sweet keyword enrich sentences.
- Don’t exceed the SERP limit which is 130 character.
- Try to use the keywords twice if possible.
- Use numbers in your description
This is not directly the ranking factor but by using attractive meta description you’ll be able to get more hits on your result and hence fast ranking boost.
Let’s jump into SEO hack #16
The Right Ways To Use Keywords In Article.
We have known above the importance of keywords and how to find the right keywords that your competitor can never do.
But, choosing great keywords are not enough unless you know how to sprinkle those keywords in your article.
There are both wrong and right ways to use keywords in your article.
But, you’re here to learn the right ways.
So, the best places to put your keywords are:
- Title tag
- Meta Description
- Heading (H1, H2, H3)
- Subheadings &
- Image alt tags.
Don’t use lots of keywords when you have thin content that is called as keyword stuffing in technical terms.
Google can easily detect when you have low-quality content centred around the focus keyword. You can’t trick Google for a very long time, they’ll find you and penalize you.
So with SEO hack #16 let’s move onto next.
Get Listed In Online Directories.
Some SEO ninja would say directories are dead but I say: No, it’s not.
There are people who search the products and services on these sites and they are shown up in the Google search results.
Though it does not have the same value as it used to have in the past.
In fact, if you’re using few free directories to generate lots of untrusted backlinks, surely you’ll get penalized sooner or later.
Instead, use these three trusted and reliable directories to get listed:
- Google My Business
- Google Maps
While submitting your business to these directories, give a proper address with geographical location. Having no physical address will hinder you from showing up in local search results.
While links from these directories and social media won’t be count as backlink but this doesn’t mean you won’t get SEO advantage.
Step1: Optimize your business by getting positive reviews from your customers. The better the review the higher you’ll rank for your target keyword.
Step2: Add your website to the Google My Business profile.
Step3: When you write a blog post, make sure to post the same article on Google my business.
What I do is, I write a few catchy lines while posting on Google My Business page and add a clickable link “Learn More“. So when my visitors click on that link it sends them directly to my website.
That’s how I generate huge chunks of local visitors by having a Google My Business account.
Since Google now serves up results based on visitor’s location, it is easy for the local businesses to rank for relevant keywords that is nearly impossible to rank with your website solely.
That said, it’s time for the SEO hack #18 i.e. Be natural while writing the blog post.
Be Natural While Writing Your Blog Post.
Remember that people reading your content is not very technical. They are reading that because they want to learn from it.
Write in natural language, the way you speak. Don’t use lots of technical terms, try to simplify it and make it easy for your visitors to digest your content.
So the next SEO hack in line is Power Words.
Power Words Are Very Effective SEO Hack
Use power words while writing your article. Here’s list of few emotional words that I use very often in my article:
- Right Now
- Works Quickly
- Bottom line
Sprinkle these power words throughout your article. Don’t forget that majority of the people likes emotional and interactive content.
When you will right dull boring essay-like posts, they will bounce back immediately by reading just a few lines of articles.
With that, let’s dive right into SEO hack #20
Use Bucket Brigades
Use bucket brigades in your article, when you think of a particular place where your readers are gonna hit back.
Start with your intro. Most of the people hit back after reading just the intro. It should be precise and reveals what your post is all about.
Here’s an example of few bucket brigades that I use quite often within my article:
- Bottom Line
- But you’re probably wondering
- Here’s how it works
- Here’s what you need to do
- But stay with me.
- Saved the best for last. etc
These are powerful catchy phrases that you can use to interact with your readers.
You can also ask questions and then answer them. The questions that can pop up in their mind while reading your content.
Now it’s time for 21st SEO hack
Use LSI Keyword
It stands for Latent Semantic Indexing keywords. These are synonyms or closely related terms with your focus keyword.
You can find LSI keywords at the bottom of the SERPs when you enter your focus keyword in Google and hit enter.
By using LSI keywords, you are actually helping the google to understand what your content is all about.
The more Google understand your page, the more chances you have to get Google love and hence higher ranking.
It’s that Simple!
I saved the best for the last, Let’s dive right into SEO hack #22
Hack Your Competitors
By hack, I don’t literally mean to hack their websites.
What I mean is to copy their footsteps.
You might have heard this common saying before “Good artist create, while great artists steal“.
In fact, Mark Zuckerberg– the founder of Facebook is alleged to stole Cameron and his brother’s idea of “ConnectU” to create Facebook.
Like it or not, but if you want to rank higher in Google Search Result, you need to copy your competitor that is already ranking high.
But, you must be wondering how can you do this?
You can use the free Chrome extension like SEO quake or SpyFu to sneak your competitor’s keyword idea and more.
There are also paid tools like SEMrush and BuzzSumo, that you can use to get pretty awesome keyword ideas and simultaneously hack the keywords idea that your competitor is ranking for.
With another tool like SimilarWeb, you can analyze the competitor’s inbound link and write a two-step email approach to get backlinks.
And it’s easy because they are already providing backlinks to your competitors. If you have got a great content why won’t they provide you also?
SEO is quite complicated subject.
It took me years to learn what I wrote in this article. These SEO hacks work great even today.
You know what?
I’m still not satisfied with my SEO that’s why I continually blog and experiment with the new techniques.
The more time you work on SEO for your website. The more chances you have to stand in the crowd.
If you know any SEO hacks that I skipped and worked great for you, do let me know in comments.
And, if this article helped you share it with your friends so that I can write a yet better article next time.
I inspire to create more!..