I woke up one morning several years ago asking myself something you may be asking yourself right now: “How the hell do I get more traffic to my website because this SUCKS!?”
So, I started looking for ANY SEO ideas I could find, realizing I had nothing to lose anyways since the way down from 100 visitors a month wasn’t a long way down.
Basically, I tested every SEO idea under the sun… and then some. And, although others are probably ashamed to admit it, I’m still learning. Not because I’m an idiot, slow learner or anything, but because once you get the basics of SEO? The ideas keep coming and coming, and coming… and coming.
In other words: the list of ideas you’ll see before you today is the result of me spending many sleepless nights on fucking around with every SEO concept I discovered.
And I hope that by sharing my list of SEO ideas with you, you WON’T have to fuck around more than a prostitute in the Red Light District of Amsterdam like I did…
17 SEO Ideas to Help You Kick Search Result Ass
1) Stay drama free when starting a new site:
You won’t believe how many times our clients or business owners in general ask for all kinds of link building tactics while they just got started. It just won’t work. EVER.
Think about it: if you were to send me a manual link request and I would visit your site and only see sales pages and nothing of interest to me… why would I link to you? Makes no sense. Meanwhile, the people who try this come out saying link building doesn’t work, manual link requests don’t work, etc. “But they do, just not for you” is what I tell them.
You see, when you start a new site no one knows you, no one cares, and no one thinks you’re interesting. That’s why I always say: create a blog, put interesting articles on there (20 or so), and then do manual link requests. Then people can get to know you and like you before they think about giving you a link. Result: more links.
What can you do in terms of link building until you have enough interesting stuff on your site? Use Facebook and Twitter to befriend other people in your market, talk to them, and start sharing. You can also use social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, Stumble Upon. I’m not saying these are super high quality sites, but it does help you get your linking root domain count up. See SEO idea #11 to discover why that matters.
2) For all you noobs out there: write it and they will come!
Another one of the SEO ideas I rarely ever hear business owners and marketing departments talk about is content marketing. I mean, sometimes internet marketing forums look like a sea of noobs (newbies) talking about links, while they should be talking about content.
Better said: if you write awesome stuff and put it on your site, then links will inevitably come. And sometimes stalkers too, but that’s not the point. The point is: make whatever it is that your company is about exciting, entertaining, and share your stories. That’s what will get you more links than any amount of manual link requests ever will. I’m NOT kidding.
3) The motto is research to last, not being last to research:
People and their get rich quick mentalities are in such a rush to get money that they get crushed in the search results by those companies that are slow to start. Why? Because those companies know that half the SEO game is won with research and the other half with action.
Want proof? Here you go:
- The more time you spend on doing keyword research, the more low competition keywords you’ll find that are always easier to rank for than the stuff you’ll find after doing “research” (guesswork) for half an hour
- The more time you spend on analyzing competitors, the more weaknesses you can spot and thus exploit. It simply gives you more SEO ideas than if you don’t do it.
In short: lions don’t eat their prey after roaring for 30 minutes as they run through the grass dude. They spend the majority of their time waiting. As Sun Tzu said:
“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.”
4) The awesomeness of internal links:
Tons of online entrepreneurs ignore internal links. Shame on them! Because here’s the deal: every new page you create adds value to your total site value, you can spread site value with internal links, and internal links make your pages easier to find for search engines because they improve crawl saturation.
Crawl saturation in short: the percentage of pages on your site that is indexed by search engines. Guess what? It’s never 100%, meaning search engines never see 100% of your site’s value, and it’s your freaking JOB to make sure they see as much as possible of it.
How to do it: internal links (easiest way) and external links (more difficult way). And that, my friend, is proof of the awesomeness of internal links.
Spend more time on them. WAY MORE.
5) Internal links are not meant to be Terminators:
Image source: legserrano.deviantart.com
After reading #4 of my list of SEO ideas you should have probably realized that more control over your internal links means a higher crawl saturation and thus better performance of ALL your site’s pages in the search results.
Let that sink in a bit…
And now ask yourself if it’s a good idea to use a WordPress plugin or PHP script or whatever to automate the creation of internal links. The answer: FUCK NO! It’s giving up all the control over the value of all your pages, because you’ll have no idea which pages are more valuable than others, how high your crawl saturation is, etc.
It’s SEO suicide. Don’t ever go there. Please?
6) Link building starts with a freaking archive dude:
Speaking of having control over your SEO efforts: if you want to do link building successfully, then you’ll need an archive that shows you who you’ve contacted, who you haven’t contacted yet, and what the results of your contact attempts have been.
Why? What do you mean why!? You need to know who you contacted but hasn’t replied so you can contact them again. You need to know to which page you got a link and what the link text was. You need to know who’s a “friendly” and can give you more links in the future after the one(s) he/she has already given you.
More control over your SEO efforts equals more control over the results you achieve.
7) Link building continues with “getting all up in they face”:
And now we’re already talking about link building I think this is a good moment to tell you that all SEO ideas that take the personal approach out of manual link requests, guest blogging, etc. SUCK more than a black hole.
Do you really think I would reply to an email about guest blogging if you say something like “Dear website master, love your site, bla bla I have not actually seen your site or I would have mentioned you or your site by name bla bla”. Nope.
Get personal. “Get all up in they face”: say something like “Hey lucky guy or girl who owns websitename.com, I love the articles on your site… like the one about topic XYZ.” That gets someone’s attention. Being a disrespectful a-hole who’s too lazy to mention someone’s name or site never will.
Build relationships. Build links. In that order.
8 ) Link building ends with getting a restraining order from Mr. Follow Up:
Do you want to know how to rank well in the Google search results? Then be relentless with your follow up. Be so relentless with following up that if you would have done it in person you would have gotten a restraining order. Here’s what I mean:
Target doesn’t reply? Try again in 2 weeks. No reply? Try again in 2 weeks. No reply? Try again… ad infinitum. You only accept a “Yes” or a “No” when asking for links or guest blogs. Nothing in between.
You won’t believe how many people responded to a second, third, fourth, etc. attempt. Why? Some just don’t checked their email that often. Others loved my persistence because it showed them I wasn’t contacting random people, but them… I was “getting all up in they face” and they liked it.
9) Rock-paper-scissors-Spock: yes, that’s right, one of my best SEO ideas actually comes from a show that sells T-shirts with Bazinga on it (The Big Bang Theory).
In the show they invent the geek version of rock-paper-scissors which includes Spock and I think one other character. I limited myself to four elements for a good reason though: it reflects the power structure of SEO…
Website structure > keyword research & targeting > link building > social media
What does that little sentence mean? It means it’s one of the best SEO ideas I’ve shared with you so far. Because it means that if I spend half an hour on optimizing my website structure I can do just as much SEO damage (or more) as you’ll do by spending 5 hours yapping on Twitter or Facebook. It’s an order of importance that you always need to keep in mind.
In other words: don’t be a dumb ass who works on getting links if you can still optimize your website structure.
10) Ain’t clickthrough rate a bitch?
Be honest here. Have you ever seen (or worse: used) the following as a title…
Keyword XYZ tips | Keyword XYZ advice | Keyword-blabla.com
Oh yeah that is a totally SEO optimized title that will kick ass in the Google search results, right? Right!?
You forgot the fact that PEOPLE click on search results, not bots (search engines). If people don’t like your title or meta description, then you can rank #1 but they’ll just click on #2, #3, etc. I’ve seen it happen. Make the title and meta description interesting man.
Title tips: use a list (like this article’s title does) and describe a benefit in your title
Meta description tips: “Looking for bla bla? Come check out the bla bla on this page.” A description like that will always get more clicks then something like “The best bla bla, 100% guaranteed.” Clickthrough rates matter. Hell, they influence who ranks on top and who doesn’t.
If you want to get some SEO ideas to improve clickthrough rates, then you need to wake up and start learning copywriting my friend.
11) Go back to your roots… linking root domains that is!
While business owners, marketing departments, and “gurus” are obsessed with getting as many links as possible, SEO is just not that simple.
You see, it’s better to get 1 link from site A and 1 link from site B than to get 2 links from site A or B. Yes, even if the 2 links on one of the sites are of extremely high quality. Why? Because search engines use the number of linking root domains pointing to your site as a signal of trust.
To keep it really simple for you: you’re more trustworthy and thus more likely to rank well if 5 different domains (not subdomains, not pages, but domains as in different website addresses) point to your site than if 5 pages on the same domain link to you.
A simple formula: number of linking root domains x quality of those domains x quality of the links = trust score
The reality is much more complex, but we have to start somewhere and make sure you understand at least the basics of the game, right?
This is why I said use social bookmarking as I explained SEO idea #1: although you have to wait with manual link requests until you have enough awesome content on your site, some linking root domains pointing to your site are better than 0 linking root domains.
12) The boiling frog is the master of the SEO universe:
Image source: graffiti.org
The story of the boiling frog is absolutely worth mentioning in this list of SEO ideas and it’s, without a doubt, the best explanation of how to do SEO.
Here’s the story in short: if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
It’s a metaphor for how to do SEO: do what must be done for SEO on a daily basis, no matter how minor any given detail is, and you’ll end up beating all your competitors who don’t do it over a long enough period of time.
SEO is about outlasting your competitors: doing one MORE thing right than they’re doing every day equals in beating them with all your pages after a certain time.
13) Rankings + traffic numbers = get your mind out of the gutter. Both are bad SEO ideas to have.
I’ve said it multiple times now on the Motriz Marketing blog, but it’s worth repeating: SEO is NOT about rankings. SEO is NOT about traffic. SEO is about how many more sales search engines can generate for you without you paying them for it (the paid version is called PPC, AdWords and stuff).
- Who gives a shit if you’re ranking #1 but aren’t getting any extra sales? Sounds like a worthless ranking to me!
- Who gives a shit if you’re getting a million visitors a month if those visitors aren’t buying anything? Sounds like a bunch of broke people (worthless traffic) to me!
14) Another one of those “revolutionary” SEO ideas: copycats never win.
If guru such and such is kicking ass in his market by using search engine technique XYZ, then what makes you assume that you will get similar results in your market?
Because the truth is: every keyword is actually a market. It has a different number of searches (users) a month, different competitors competing for the top spot, etc.
As such, assuming all the keywords (mini markets) of your market behave the same as all the keywords of some guru’s market is like saying you know what the star Alpha Centauri is like because you know what the sun is like. It’s like saying you can do the same as Michael Jordan did because you watched all his games. So not true.
That’s why I hate cats. Copycats that is.
15) Stop watching movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sky Net in it.
Better said: get over yourself. Get over your obsession with bots (search engines). Because the brutal truth is: if you write articles for the sole purpose of entertaining search engines, then the people reading it will say “Fuck you” within seconds.
I see way too many articles that are boring, not inspiring, and not educational at all. They’re just filler content. Stuff some freelancer who doesn’t know shit about the topic wrote because it’s inexpensive for the business owner to work with said freelancer.
The only problem is: SEO is more than keyword density dude. Yes, even if that freelancer tries to tell you otherwise. Perhaps I should add another idea to the list of SEO ideas: don’t outsource SEO to people who don’t know how to do SEO? It sounds so damn logical, but you’ll be surprised…
16) Linking all the way to the bank:
Link banking. The art of making a page that links to you more valuable by linking to it so you, in turn, get more value out of that page that is linking to you. Start doing it.
- John links to you, so you link to John’s page on Facebook so it becomes more valuable
- Peter links to you from page A, so you link to Peter’s page A from another page on your site
- Need me to keep going here?
17) Get over your fear of birds NOW.
Image source: animalszooguru.blogspot.com
I know what you’re thinking right now: “What the -bleep- have birds to do with Google and SEO ideas?”
Good question, so let me be more specific: you need to start having a bird’s eye view on SEO in general and on your SEO efforts (more on that later). How do you get an overview of SEO? By drawing logical conclusions:
- If some sites and pages disappear, some links to me disappear, so I need to get more links than I lose annually just to break even in terms of link building
- If Google can’t “see” 100% of my pages, then I need internal/external links to all my pages to get as close to maximum site value (100% crawl saturation) as possible
- If my competitors are always trying to beat me in the rankings, then I need to either equal what they’re doing to maintain rankings or gain such an advantage that they’ll play catch up for months or even years
In short: think about more than the ball (techniques) when playing the game. Think about the consequences of other players playing the game and how to exploit that. Screw the ball. Think about winning plays instead.
One Final SEO Idea Worth Mentioning is…
Turn everything into a process with guidelines, put all the processes together so you’ll have a system, and then you can scale as much as you’d like to even if YOU are not the one doing SEO. Here’s why:
- To make guidelines for a task, you need to write down every step you take and how to take it
- Once you have all the required steps on paper, you can outsource it
- Once you have all required steps on paper, you can also look for ways to improve ANY step
- Make a point of reviewing all steps regularly so your SEO efforts will consistently get better
If this sounds boring to you or complicated, then you’d better listen up pal: this is one of the best SEO ideas you can ever try, because Wikipedia used it to get 410 million unique visitors a month in 2011!
And that leaves me with one thing left to say:
I really hope you’ll start using some of the SEO ideas I’ve shared with you today, because honestly? Some of them sound technical but work better than you’d think!
To More Traffic, More Conversions, And More Business,
- Dennis MiedemaCEO of Motriz MarketingDennis Miedema is the founder, owner, and CEO of Motriz Marketing. He's crazy passionate about SEO and copywriting, hell, about online marketing in general. And sometimes he's just crazy. Whenever he's not ranting about IM, Dennis loves to watch movies or The Dog Whisperer or to play games on his Xbox 360 like a total geek.