for competitive keywords, like link building tools, backlinks, and SEO checklists I’m Rakib Khan, the founder of Themeprobably,
the place where marketers turn for higher rankings and more traffic. And if you wanna rank number one in Google,
you’ll love the actionable steps in this website. Keep watching.
I have a confession to make. I used to hate SEO. That’s mostly because my first website wouldn’t rank no matter what I did. It was super frustrating. I hate you SEO!
And to make matters worse, I was following
all the advice that I read from so-called SEO experts.
“Create great content.”
“Add keywords to your page.”
“Make sure that your site loads fast.”
Yeah that stuff can help a little.
But it’s not gonna rocket your site
to the top of Google’s first page.
And when I realized that,
I decided to run lots of SEO experiments.
I tested title tags, backlinks, anchor text,
internal links, and more.
And over the years, I started to put the pieces together.
Flash forward to today and I rank number one in Google
for tons of competitive keywords, like nofollow links.
And “Success Magazine” recently called me
“The world’s foremost expert on search engine optimization.”
Okay, enough bragging.
Now it’s time for me to reveal to the process
that you can use to rank
on the first page of Google, step by step.
So let’s kick things off with step number one,
find three keywords.
So your first step is to find three keywords.
They are keywords that you’ll create content around
in the next step.
And here’s exactly how to find great,
low competition keywords.
First, head over to AnswerThePublic.
This free tool finds questions
that people ask on forums, blogs, and on social media
and it turns those questions into awesome keywords.
The best part?
The keywords that you get from AnswerThePublic
are usually long-tail keywords.
In case you haven’t heard of them before,
long tail keywords are just keywords
that are long and very specific.
For example, a keyword like a keto diet
is a short tail keyword.
But keto diet breakfast recipes is a long-tail keyword.
Even though not a lot of people tend to search
for long-tail keywords, they’re also not super competitive.
Which makes them perfect keywords to go after
if you’re just starting out.
Another great way to find keywords
is believed or not, Reddit.
Just head over to a subreddit
where your target audience hangs out
and take a look at the topics that people are talking about.
You can even pop these topics into AnswerThePublic
to find long-tail versions of these topics.
Finally, head over to explodingtopics.com.
This is another free tool that bubbles up trending topics
in industries like tech, health,
fashion, marketing, and more.
And because these topics are relatively new,
the keywords that people use to find information on them
aren’t usually that competitive.
So once you have at least three keywords ready to go,
it’s time for step number two, create epic content.
So I recently teamed up with BuzzSumo
to analyze 912 million articles.
And one of our more surprising findings
was that most content on the web
doesn’t get shared or linked to.
, In fact, we found that 94% of all articles online
have zero links.
And there’s a simple reason for that.
Most of the content that people publish isn’t that great.
And if it’s not great, it’s gonna get lost
among the millions of blog posts, tweets,
YouTube websites, and Twitch streams
that come out every day.
So for your content to stand out,
it can’t just be good, or even great.
For your content to be something
that someone else would wanna actually link to,
it needs to be epic.
Now there’s no formula for creating epic content,
or else everyone would do it.
But there are a few things you can do
to increase the odds that people will share
and more importantly, link to your content.
First, you wanna publish content that’s long and in-depth.
The BuzzSumo study that I mentioned earlier
uncovered a little interesting nugget.
And that nugget was that longer content
gets more links than short content.
Specifically, long-form content
gets an average of 77% more backlinks than short content.
Does this mean that publishing longer content
will automatically bring in thousands of links?
Of course not.
But publishing in-depth content that does cover
an entire topic in-depth can increase the odds
that people link to you.
For example, this post from my blog is 4,700 words long.
And because this post has everything there is to know
about link building in one place,
over 1,000 different sites have linked to it.
Next, you wanna add a hook to your content.
A hook is something that would make a blogger
or journalist wanna link to your content.
Your hook can be a stat, a case study example,
a unique strategy, a rare interview,
a tool or widget, or even a visualization.
Basically anything that makes someone else
say wow, I need to link to this can work.
For example, a few years ago I published this case study
of how I increased my blog’s conversion rate.
The hook, in this case, was a specific case study
that people could reference.
I also wrote about a unique strategy in that case study,
call the content upgrade, which was another hook.
And because my page wasn’t just high-quality content
but included several hooks,
lots of people have linked to that post.
Now that your epic content is ready to go,
it’s time for step number three,
keyword-optimize your content.
On page SEO has changed a lot over the last few years.
Back in the day, keyword optimization
was all about stuffing your page with keywords.
But that doesn’t really work anymore.
Instead, the goal of on-page SEO today
is to give Google context about what your page is all about.
Yes you still wanna use keywords on your page.
But you also need to help Google
understand your pages’ overall topic.
Here’s how to do it.
Your first step is to include your target keyword
in a few important places on your page.
That way Google can understand that your page
is about that specific term.
Specifically, you wanna add your keyword
to these areas of your page.
Next, it’s time to give Google more context about your page.
And the best way to do that?
LSI keywords are words and phrases
that are closely related to your target keyword.
Put another way, they are terms that tend to show up
next to your keyword around the web.
For example, if your target keyword was fresh prince,
LSI keywords would be terms like this.
And when Google sees these LSI keywords on your page,
it makes them say we’re confident that this page
is actually about that topic.
You can find these LSI keywords
by searching for your keyword and then scrolling
to the bottom of the search results.
The bold suggested keywords here
usually make great LSI keywords.
Then sprinkle in a few of these LSI keywords
on your page and you’re good to go.
With that, let’s dive right into step number four,
optimize your content for users.
Back in the day, Google would rank pages
based almost 100% on who had the most backlinks.
Yes, backlinks are still important.
And I’ll show you exactly how
to build backlinks in the next step.
But to rank in Google today, backlinks aren’t enough.
Your content also needs to be optimized for users.
That’s because Google pays very close attention
to how people interact with your site in the search results.
And if they notice that people are clicking on your site
and then quickly heading back to Google,
they’ll downrank you.
But if they see users sticking on your page,
that’s a sign that you’re giving Google searchers
what they want.
This is awesome!
And you’ll usually get a rankings to boost.
With that, here’s exactly how to optimize your content
for users so they stay on your page.
First, structure your content
so people start getting actionable info ASAP.
In other words, you don’t wanna start your post off
with a long explanation about why the topic is important,
that’s only gonna make people bounce.
Instead, use a short intro, then get right into the steps,
tips, recipes, workout plans,
or whatever you’re gonna cover in your post.
For example, in this post from my blog,
I don’t get into a long backstory
about why SEO is important.
Instead, I have a brief, five-line intro,
then it’s time for the first strategy.
Next, make sure that your content’s design is on point.
Studies show that people largely judge your site
based on a design first and content second.
So if your site looks like this,
you can expect a really high bounce rate.
Now that doesn’t mean that your site
needs to win any design awards.
Or look fancy.
In fact in my experience,
a simple design tends to work best.
For example, if you look at this post,
there’s nothing remotely fancy about it.
But it does have a clean design
that makes it easy to read and skim.
Which leads us to our last step,
step number five, build backlinks.
Are backlinks still important for SEO?
In fact, Perficient Digital has been tracking
the importance of backlinks over the last three years.
And they found that links are basically
just as important today as they were
since they first started tracking them.
And if you follow the steps so far
by creating epic content, optimizing it for users,
and adding hooks, you already have
a strong foundation for building backlinks.
It’s just a matter of getting your content out there
to actually build those links.
And the best way to do that?
Broken link building.
In fact, I used broken link building
to get this link from a super authoritative website.
Here’s how it works.
First, find a broken link on a page
that you wanna get a link from.
I personally use the helpful Check My Links extension
for Google Chrome, which is free.
It automatically crawls all of the links on a page
and IDs broken links.
Next, you wanna find a post on your site
that will make a good replacement for the dead link.
For example, I recently found a broken link on this page
and after looking through my site,
I found this post that would be a pretty good replacement.
Now it’s not a one-to-one match
to what the person linked to but it’s close enough.
Finally, reach out to the person that runs that site
and ask them to swap out the dead link
for a link to your content.
Now, for this process you can definitely work
with an email script as you send these out.
But I definitely don’t recommend sending out
the same generic email to 100 different people.
In fact an outreach study that I recently did with Pitchbox
found that personalized emails got 32% more replies
than emails that used the same exact pitch for everybody.
For example, you can see that this broken link
building email that I recently sent out
is super personalized.
Now before we close out this SEO tutorial,
I wanna show you a quick bonus step, use unique images.
Can using stock photos on your site
hurt your Google rankings?
As it turns out, they might.The folks at Reboot Online
recently ran an interesting experiment.
They created 10 brand new websites,
all optimized around a keyword that they made up.
For the experiments, on five of the sites
they used five stock photos
that were already used on a bunch of other websites.
And for the other five, they actually took their own images,
that way they were 100% unique.
So what did they find?
They discovered that the five websites
that had unique images, which are the green lines
in this chart you see here, outrank the sites
that didn’t use unique images,
which are the red lines from the chart.
So, what’s the bottom line?
Whenever you can, try to use unique images in your content.
These can be pictures that you take with your phone.
Or illustrations that you make in Photoshop.
Or screenshots that you take yourself.
As this study showed, unique images
seem to have a direct impact on rankings.
Did you learn something new from today’s website?
If so, make sure to subscribe
to my YouTube channel right now.
Just click on the subscribe button below this website.
Also, if you want exclusive SEO techniques
that I only share with subscribers,
head over to Themeprobably.com and hop on the newsletter.
Now I wanna turn it over to you.
Which technique from today’s website are you gonna try first?
Are you gonna try broken link building?
Or are you gonna try adding unique images to your page?
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
Okay, we don’t need a prop.
The hook here.