SEO Strategy: 5 Tips to Scale Your Organic Traffic

August 12, 2020

Looking for some no-nonsense SEO tips to boost your site’s search engine rankings? We sat down with Aaron Moskowitz, Director of SEO at Golden Hippo, and covered 5 easy-to-implement tactics that help increase your website's ranking and boost inbound traffic.

Looking for some no-nonsense SEO tips to boost your site’s search engine rankings? We sat down with Aaron Moskowitz, Director of SEO at Golden Hippo, and covered 5 easy-to-implement tactics that help increase your website's ranking and boost inbound traffic.

 

  1. Homepages are for Brand Traffic
  2. Less is More (URL Length, Meta Tags)
  3. Search Engines Crawl Words on individual pages
  4. Not All of Your Pages are Winners (Prune)
  5. You are an entity, so let Google know

 

1. Homepages and Brand

 

Google rewards you in rankings and organic based on your brand name. A great tool we recommend is Ahrefs, a powerful SEO platform that crawls the web and can measure SEO for your brand. It’s best to prioritize your trademarked name over your .com to strengthen your brand. Generally speaking, it’s very important to push backlinks/PR objectives to hyperlink your “anchor”, which is the word they click to get to your website. For example, if we look at Salesforce, on Ahrefs we can see that they were rewarded with a first place ranking and 18,000 keywords for how well they branded. Even though they are a CRM, they didn’t brand as a CRM -- they just focused on their name to strengthen SEO. 

 

Source: ahrefs.com

However, keyword-laden domains can present problems when trying to boost SEO. For example, if your business sells cabinets, your brand name is “Cabinets”, and your domain name is “cabinets.com,” the competition can heat up for your homepage name in the search engine results pages. Competitors targeting “cabinets” as a keyword can drag your homepage down, despite SEO best practices. Just like you would target a few connected keywords in a blog post, your homepage can follow a theme or focus rather than becoming so narrow that it is ineffective.

 

2. Less is More

 

Less is more! You don’t have to take up all the space in your URL. You will see more benefit if you use the page to describe your “goal” and make the URL shorter. In fact, Google will actually reward you for refined, exact match attempts and short URLs. The words on the physical page present what your webpage is actually about, your URL is essential for SEO. SEOQuake is a free tool (chrome extension) that checks keyword density. You can perform a thorough SEO analysis of any webpage with just your browser. 

 

3. Crawling

 

Source: searchenginejournal.com

Google has its own “crawler” on your site that looks for the hot, quality pages. Once Google discovers your page’s URL, it visits, or “crawls”, that page to find out what content is on it. Google renders the page and analyzes both text and non-text content to decide where it should appear in the search results. The better Google can understand your page, the better they can match it to people who are looking for your content.   

To improve your site crawling, verify that Google can actually reach the pages on your site, and that they look correct. Google’s crawler accesses the web as an anonymous user, and should still be able to see all the images and other elements of the page to be able to understand them correctly. You can do a quick check by typing your page URL in the Mobile-Friendly test tool.

4. Pruning

 

At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to get the crawler to index more than 400 pages. This means that you should want your best pages to be the ones Google is visiting. If you want the crawler to skip certain pages, you can add a “no index” tag on the header or disallow certain pages from being crawled. For example, if you have some 10 year old pages that have not been visited in the last 6 months, you will probably want to delete or “no index” that page. It will hurt all of your other pages if it’s trying to crawl too many webpages.

 

5. Entities

 

You need to consider that your site is an entity. Over the last year Google made some significant changes, including confirming if a website corresponds to an entity for their Knowledge Graph, which is Google’s semantic database. This is where entities are placed in relation to one another, assigned attributes, and set in a thematic context. The Knowledge Graph is populated with data from WikiData. To find out if something is an entity, Google checks to see whether there is a data entry in Wikidata or a page on Wikipedia.

Source: wikidata.org

 

Technically, you don’t need to have a Wikipedia article, but those articles play a pivotal role as an information source for many Knowledge Graph boxes. Together with Wikidata entries, Google uses these as proof of an entity’s relevance. You can work with someone who is an editor on Wikipedia, since they also have access to WikiData, to try to become an entity. But if there is no Wikipedia article and no Wikidata, no Entity. 

 

Bonus: Query Thieves

 

Google is getting better at detecting the original authors of content. However, there is a chance that thieves are trying to rank for your content! The bottom feeders of SEO, paid SEM and fake review pages that show up organically. An example of this would be when Samsung advertises for a competitive keyword like iPhone to steal exposure. Look out for query thieves targeting phrase combinations of your brand, they are paying to be where your customers are looking for you.

 

 

Bonus: Spammy Links

 

Spammy links are low authority links that Google has blocked or throttled from ranking -- you don’t want these pages linking to your site. Google created the Search Console’s Disavow Links tool to help protect your site from link-related penalties. This tool lets you tell Google to ignore specific backlinks for ranking purposes. You do this by submitting a text file containing the linking pages or domains that you want to disavow via Google Search Console. 

 

According to Google, a low-quality link is one that is: ”intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google [or] may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.” Put simply, if the link isn’t relevant to your site or your visitors, it probably shouldn’t be in your profile. Ahrefs does a good job of explaining what constitutes a “bad link”

 

Bonus: Backlinks

 

Source: webfx.com

 

Backlinks are worth 75% as much as organic traffic, meaning you can use backlinks to increase your SEO ranking. When writing a new blog piece, try to link to other relevant blog posts or pages on your site. This will not only help guide users through information around your site, but is also beneficial to SEO. On that note, have you read the 9 most important metrics for B2B startups? ☺

 

 


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