Karma Creative

101 Solidus SEO Tips: The Ultimate Guide

101 Tips to improve SEO featuring Planning, Technical SEO, Content Guidelines and Off-site Promotions.


Table of Contents

  1. Presentation at SolidusConf: Watch on YouTube

  2. Planning: Keywords | Voice Search | EAT

  3. Technical SEO: Site-wide Optimizations | Metatdata | Structured Data | Speed

  4. SEO Content Guidelines: Keywords and Content | Quality of Content | Writing

  5. Off-Site Promotion: Link Building | Link Reclamation | Ranking in Local Searches | Social Media

  6. Closing: Hiring a SEO | Slides | Sources



Read below for an explanation of all our tips or

Watch the presentation on YouTube




Ok! - We hope you enjoyed the video, now here are the tips:
- Tip #1: Start Early On SEO
SEO Planning should be done from the very beginning of your project

Keywords are Key

Here are some great resources to generate keywords to help you with your keyword research:

- Tip #2: Use AnswerThePublic.com to generate a huge list of awesome keywords and topic ideas

Keywords Infographic

  • Tip #8: Search in forums using non-exact match
  • Tip #9: Apple Auto-complete
  • Tip #10: Amazon Autofill
  • Tip #11: Google Auto-complete
  • Tip #12: Google’s “Searches Related To” box
  • Tip #13: Google’s “People Also Ask”
  • Tip #14: Google Ads: Keyword Planner Tool

Go Back to the Table Of Contents


Voice Search: Why Should You Care?

  • 60% of searches from mobile are voice searches
  • 52% of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices
  • Tip #15: When building keywords for voice search, use Long Tail Keywords, 5+ words (a year ago it was less, but now could be 5-20)
  • Tip #16: Use question modifiers like who, what, when, how, etc.
  • Tip #17: Use question search engines like Quora, Yahoo Answers or Ask Jeeves for question-based keyword research
- Tip #18: Create a FAQ page so that you can easily target Long Tail Keywords in question formats
  • Tip #19: Use local intent keywords including neighborhood, city, state, and regional names
  • Tip #20: Use Google Listings to enter in opening times, street names, contact details, etc or keep an up to date, easily accessible web page with useful info

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EAT

What is EAT?

Eat stands for Expertise, Authoritativenesss and Trust

Pacman Cheese

Expertise

  • Tip #21: Generate well-written content that uses relevant examples, citations, and media
  • Tip #22: Keep content up to date by correcting any information or statistics that go stale
  • Tip #23: Provide relevant updates or new/additional information to the original content
  • Tip #24: Add a Trusted Badge to the footer of your site

Authoritativeness

  • Tip #25: Get links from websites who have gained authority in the space already -links are recommendations
  • Tip #26: Get mentioned in the news or on credible media websites.
  • Tip #27: Get Wikipedia mentions, or better yet, your own page

Trust

- Tip #28: You should be encouraging good reviews on The Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Amazon and Google Shopping - the quality raters are trying to determine what the overall public sentiment is for your business. If you have the odd bad review, that is not likely to hurt
  • Tip #29: Add a Contact Us Page. You should have clear ways of contacting website owners, and associate your site with a physical location. Make sure that your contact information matches your whois info.Contact Us Graphic
  • Tip #30: Provide Helpful “Supplementary Content” examples include currency converters, loan interest calculators and interactive recipes
  • Tip #31: Have a clear refund/return policy if accepting any transactions
  • Tip #32: Have comprehensive specifications of the product if products are sold
  • Tip #33: Add a Terms of Service and Privacy Page: These two pages help tell Google that a site is a trustworthy member of the internet
  • Tip #34: Add Outbound links to your page (ideally within the body) to other pages and content on a similar topic
  • Tip #35: Add Testimonials from customers

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Technical SEO

Site-wide Optimizations

URL Structure Graphic

URL Structure

  • Tip #36: Keep your URL as simple and as short as possible
  • Tip #37: Make sure to have your keywords in URLs across various pages
  • Tip #38: Use hyphens (-) instead of underscores
  • Tip #39: Reduce or ideally eliminate parameters in URLs
- Tip #40: Check to make sure only one version of your site is browseable since there are typically 4 possibilities of the URL someone will request when they visit your site. Make sure the others properly 301 redirect to the single Canonical URL:
- http://example.com
- http://www.example.com
- https://example.com
- https://www.example.com
  • Tip #41: Use SSL to provide a slight boost to SERP ratings. Free certificate from Let’s Encrypt

Audit Your Website

  • Tip #42: Use Ahrefs or Screaming Frog to crawl and audit your website: find broken links, missing alt text & metadata and look for poor quality or duplicate content
  • Tip #43: Use Google Search Console to check the number of indexed pages and crawl errors: Google will actually tell you what’s wrong
  • Tip #44: Make sure that your mobile site is providing the same content as your desktop site: factors such as text, images, videos, links, structured data, titles and descriptions all matter when considering mobile-first indexing

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Metadata

Do's:

Green Checkmark

  • Tip #45: Make sure every page on your site has a title specified in the title tag - This is the most important SEO element
  • Tip #46: Place your keyword at the beginning of your title
  • Tip #47: Make sure you final result looks good -test with SERPsim or Pixel Width Checker
  • Tip #48: Image file names and alt tags should ideally include your target keywords but most importantly make sense

Dont's:

Red X

  • Tip #49: Don’t use “Home” or “Profile” or other generic words
  • Tip #50: Don’t spend time on Meta Keywords - they don’t matter at all

Metadata Description

  • Tip #51: Ensure every page on your site has a meta description.

    • Even though the meta description doesn’t directly affect SEO, it acts like an Ad and can have a large impact on your CTR which in turn can affect your final ranking (after the modification engine takes CTR into account)
  • Tip #52: Don’t use the same or a very similar meta description for all your pages; Google will penalize you for this.

    • If you have the same meta description set on lots of your pages, for example product pages, Google may decide this default description is completely irrelevant and/or entirely unhelpful, which may then result in Google scraping random text (such as your nav header links) to use as your description instead.

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Structured Data

Structure Graphic

  • Tip #53: JSON-LD snippets are the new standard according to Google; Use JSON-LD to implement structured data on your website in order to be featured in rich snippets in Google, and to get a boost to your SERPs.
  • Tip #54: Utilize Search Console’s new feature to check your product schema data and other enhancements
  • Tip #55: Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to immediately see if you have any warnings or errors
  • Tip #56: Use Karma Creative’s solidus_seo gem

Speed

Fast Typing

  • Tip #57: Test for speed using: WebPageTest.org, Pingdom Website Speed Test, Ahrefs, or Yslow
  • Tip #58: Configure paperclip to optimize all your images by default - solidus_seo does this for you
  • Tip #59: Minify CSS, HTML and Javascript
  • Tip #60: Gzip CSS, HTML, and Javascript files larger than 150 bytes
  • Tip #61: Remove and reduce redirects as much as possible

Cache

  • Tip #62: Use consistent URLs
  • Tip #63: Identify which resources can be cached by intermediaries such as a CDN. Use a CDN to reduce the load on the server and ensure the shortest distance for the data to travel from site visitor to content provider and back
- Tip #64: Minimize churn by separating out frequently changes resources into separate files

Load Time

Fast Car

  • Tip #65: Check for bottlenecks to improve performance, such as: n+1 queries and other database query issues (check with the bullet gem)

    • Slow routing
    • Lack of memory
    • Ideal performance should be a server response of 200 ms or less
  • Tip #66: Reduce your DNS lookups

- Tip #67: Define a critical-load path in your application and take steps to reduce the load time of the slowest components: remove any blocking javascript, etc

Go Back to the Table Of Contents


SEO Content Guidelines

Keywords and Content

  • Tip #68: Avoid Keyword Cannibalization: Make sure that there are not multiple pages focusing on the same keywords
  • Tip #69: Keyword Frequency: Make sure your keyword appears within the first 100 words of your content, and 2-3 times within the first 300 words
  • Tip #70: Do NOT stuff your keywords, again, that is a tactic that will now get you penalized.
  • Tip #71: Add modifiers like “2019”, “best”, or “review” to your title to help rank for long tail keywords
  • Tip #72: Predict the next searches of your users and have content prepared to meet their possible queries
  • Tip #73: Use targeted keyword list to generate topic ideas, perhaps even video

Keywords

  • Tip #74: Mind map search intent associated with your keywords across the buying cycle - these stage-based search intents can help you form content pillars as part of a broader content strategy. Maybe each of these search intents is literally a separate category of articles on your website. Stages:

    • Attraction: meeting intentions triggered by life events
    • Consideration: learning about solutions and benefits
    • Preference: why should they trust you and how are you different?
    • Conversion: why buy from you now?

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Quality of Content

  • Tip #75: Format your text so it’s digestible
  • Tip #76: Use Visual Assets such as images, diagrams, infographics, charts, etc to make content more appealing and keep interest of the reader
  • Tip #77: Add media like video or audio.
- Tip #78: Avoid Duplicate Content: Use a tool such as copyscape to seek any out on your site and improve or remove it

Similar Dogs

  • Tip #79: Choose “List” Posts (or “Why” Posts): A numbered list of tips, techniques, reasons, myths, etc [list posts have 6.19 referring domain links on average, and outperform Quiz, How to, Video, and Infographic post types]
  • Tip #80: Avoid using generic subheaders such as “more information”, “details”, etc
- Tip #81: Post Long Content - Think: 9000 words. Use it as a target and see how many you end up with. This greatly impacts Dwell Time. For PDPs, shoot for 2000
  • Tip #82: Consider removing pages from your site with less than 200 words and almost no organic traffic
  • Tip #83: Create a Podcast

    • 25% of listeners have bought product after listening to a Podcast
    • 60% increase in mobile listening in the last year
    • Podcasts are now indexed directly

New Ideas Lightbulb

  • Tip #84: Regularly update your pages with new information. The frequency of page updates play a role in freshness.

    • Think: How often has the page been updated over time? Daily, weekly, every 5 years?
  • Tip #85: When updating pages, change more than just the date or correcting a typo; Google knows the difference. The significance of edits and changes serves as a freshness factor.

Go Back to the Table Of Contents


SEO Writing

  • Tip #86: Plan a piece that does everything the top 5 pieces do:

    • Meet search intentions faster and more concisely than your competitors
    • Tell readers exactly what you’ll cover
    • Write for a lower reading age than your competitors
    • Use an even clearer structure and formatting than your competitors
    • Give clear definitions of any key terms and concepts
    • Expand on the topic as you progress through the piece
    • Have some personality in your writing
    • Find and use primary sources, one example is soliciting experts in the topic - this is truly original content
    • Quote experts and include social proof
    • Tell readers what to do next: leave them with a strong CTA at the end
  • Tip #87: Add transcription of any audio or video on your site.
  • Tip #88: Include a Sitemap. Presence of Sitemap helps search engines index your pages easier and more thoroughly, improving visibility.
  • Tip #89: Include a linked table of contents that will help Google better understand your page’s content. It can also result in sitelinks
  • Tip #90: Add Internal Links to your page - at least 2-3, but a few more is even better. Internal linking is important because it affects Domain Authority, an important factor in SERP rankings.
  • Tip #91: Sprinkle long-tail versions of your target keywords throughout your content

Sprinkling

  • Tip #92: When writing a new article to target replacing an existing piece of content, add more on-topic congruent copywriting: If the original content has 10 ideas, make 100 ideas

    • Tip #93: Put quotes in rich quote boxes to make your content more visually engaging
  • Tip #94: Use an h1 tag for the title of your page within the body
  • Tip #95: Use h2 tags for the subheadings of your page
  • Tip #96: Correctly use h3 tags, when appropriate.

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Bridge Building

  • Tip #97: Generate links from other websites with the aim of increasing rankings on SERPs, thus driving more organic traffic from your target audience and helping to build brand authority.

    • Links in the beginning of a piece of content usually carry slightly more weight than links placed at the end of the content.
    • Generally, a link embedded in a page’s content is more powerful than a link in the footer or sidebar area.
  • Tip #98: Obtain new original content by soliciting experts in the topic
- Tip #99: HARO Go to helpareporter.com and sign up for an account as a source. You will receive daily emails from reporters. The best way to get your answers successfully published is to be one of the first to respond
  • Tip #100: Links from diverse sources are a sign of a natural link profile.
  • Tip #101: Do not buy links, spam content boxes, and or heavily stuff your keywords, these are all ineffective.
  • Tip #102: Use Majestic Citation Flow to rank the quality of your backlinks
  • Tip #103: Make sure that all your links are properly attributed. If you are using sponsored links or link resulting from user generated content then they should use the new link attributes: rel=sponsored and rel=ugc
  • Tip #104: Find out who is linking to your competitors and which pages they are linking to.

    • Use a tool like Ahrefs to find all the backlinks, filter out spam - who are the high quality domains that are linking to the competitors?
    • Then, look at which pages the competitors are linking to. How do these pages compare to yours? Is there an opportunity to improve/change your page? Are there topics you could target in your own content?

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  • Tip #105: Fix and acquire broken links: Use a tool like LinkMiner to check for broken links

    • Make a connection with the owner of the page through email outreach, and promote your content in place of the broken content
  • Tip #106: Use Link Reclamation to build more links: Use BuzzSumo to find places on the web where your site or article is mentioned but no link.

    • Email the author or maintainer asking for a link
  • Tip #107: Use Google’s reverse image search to look for places on the web where your graphics are being used without attribution or a link

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Ranking in Local Searches

Local Search

  • Tip #108: Execute an outreach campaign to try and get your site linked from other local businesses
- Tip #109: Claim your Google My Business page/account - new features are available such as setting a preferred profile cover photo
  • Tip #110: Claim your business profile on various other services and fill in all applicable information
  • Tip #111: Build citations on business directories -Make sure your information is accurate. It needs to be EXACTLY the same everywhere it’s listed on the web.

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Social Media

Social Media Icons

  • Tip #112: Create a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account to build your brand. Accounts with a lot of followers/likes signals a popular brand
  • Tip #113: Create an Official Linkedin Company Page
  • Tip #114: Add prominent social media buttons to your website because they can increase sharing by 700%
  • Tip #115: Add CTA Buttons to tweet or share from directly within your content.
  • Tip #116: Focus your time on Facebook and Twitter. Traffic on these sites gets your webpage indexed quicker as long as your posts are relevant to what is being searched. i.e. posts about king sized mattress will help when users search ‘king sized mattress’

    2018 study by Hootsuite - Pages with high social shares received an average 22% boost in rank over those that did not

Building a Strong Social Media Following

  • Tip #117: Keep all your profiles up to date and put out consistent content to indicate a strong online presence, resulting in valuable mentions and even partnership opportunities.
  • Tip #118: Seek out and collaborate with organic influencers. Organic influencers are social media accounts that have influence relevant to your brand, earned because of genuine expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Tell them about your brand and company and make a lasting connection.

Hiring a SEO

The one thing that can't be faked is long term success.

  • Tip #119: Some questions you can ask:
    Do they guarantee results?
    Are they transparent about the strategies they will be using?
    Do they use PBNs (Private Blog Networks)?
    Have they ever attended or participated in any conferences?

Slides

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Sources

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