17 Timely SEO Tips for Higher Rankings and Traffic

Need a list of SEO tips that are working right now?

No problem.

In this post, we’re revealing the best SEO tips based on Google algorithm updates, industry data, and more.

By the end of this post, you’ll know what’s working in SEO and things you need to avoid.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Target Low-Volume Keywords for Easier Rankings

Everybody wants to rank for the most popular keywords.

You know, the ones with high search volume.

However, low-volume keywords can be just as powerful, for several reasons.

First, many low-volume keywords can be more specific, attracting a more targeted audience and resulting in a higher conversion rate.

For example, the keyphrase “best clay court tennis shoes for women” is very specific and has a very focused search intent.

low search volume keyword

Even though this query’s search volume is low, there’s a much higher chance for visitors to purchase a recommendation.

Second, a lot of low-volume keywords contain high-volume keywords within them.

Such as this one:

long tail keyword with low search volume

So, “digital marketing strategies for small business” has a search volume of 90, but “digital marketing strategies” is much higher:

high search volume variation keyword

What this means is there’s an opportunity to rank for both keywords and other variations.

Plus, it offers the ability to create an internal link strategy between low and high-volume keyword content, which can boost topical relevance.

More on internal linking later.

By integrating low-volume keywords into your content, you can significantly improve your site’s visibility in search results.

2. Create a Good Page Experience

Page experience has a lot more significance in Google’s eyes today.

In other words, they don’t just want to offer users the best content, they want the user to have a good experience too.

This is not only an important SEO tip, but a better experience means visitors are more likely to stick around.

As a result, converting into more leads and sales.

Here’s what Google states in their documentation:

Google Documentation about page experience

“Google’s core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience.”

The page goes on to outline specific criteria:

  • Good Core Web Vitals
  • Pages should be secure
  • Displays well on mobile devices
  • Ads don’t distract or interfere with the main content
  • There aren’t many overlays or dialog boxes that cover the content
  • The main content is easy to navigate to
  • The page design shows the main content clearly

Following these guidelines will ensure your visitors have a good experience and stay on the page longer.

3. Publish Helpful Content

This SEO tip is based on a recent algorithm update known as the ‘helpful content system’.

The September 2023 update stirred up a lot of confusion in the SEO community as many sites took a hit in rankings.

But there’s no need to panic. Following the most fundamental SEO principles and these SEO tips will help you stay afloat.

With that said many SEO experts have taken the time to define what helpful content looks like based on this update by Google.

Here are some guidelines, some of which are covered in-depth in this podcast:

  • Content should provide original information with a deep level of research and analysis
  • Avoid low-quality content that doesn’t add extra context or value
  • Include substantial and fresh insights that add value to the content
  • Provide a good user experience (UX), including a good design, navigation, and page speed
  • Avoid aggressive ads and popups that obstruct the content
  • Establish expertise and authority with E-E-A-T signals
  • Write people-first content and avoid over-optimizing for search engines
  • Use descriptive titles that aren’t sensationalized
  • Be transparent about how the content was produced with details of the authors
  • Stay up-to-date with Google’s guidelines

One last point to mention is that Google still says that content optimization in SEO is fine, as long as the intention is to help Google discover and understand content.

4. Remove Unhelpful Content

Leading on from the last SEO tip about publishing helpful content, this one is about removing the junk.

This strategy considers the implications of having too much unhelpful content, which could lead to on page SEO problems.

The theory suggests that having too much can hurt your reputation and authority in the SERPs.

In fact:

Backlinko documents how Proven.com increased their organic traffic by 88.3% when they deleted 40 thousand pages from their site.

Not only that but Google’s ‘helpful content system’ page has this to say about removing content:

Google's Guidelines about removing unhelpful content

“For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.”

So, if you have tons of content that doesn’t have any traffic or backlinks, this tip could help give you a boost.

Some examples of unhelpful content are:

  • Content that doesn’t provide much value
  • Thin content or pages with minimal information
  • Duplicate content
  • Out-of-stock products
  • Pages that are no longer relevant

When implementing this strategy, make sure you take the necessary precautions, as removing the wrong content will cause even more problems.

Furthermore, some of your content might not need to be removed but updated instead, which is what we’ll cover next.

5. Refresh Outdated Content

It’s apparent that Google prefers fresh and up-to-date content.

Therefore it’s essential to keep up with the changes in your niche and how that affects the things you publish.

So, if you have a ton of content you published years ago, updating it can result in better rankings and more traffic.

The first thing you’ll need to do is check to see which articles have declined in performance. You can do this using Google Analytics.

Then, one way to refresh the content is to check it against the results on the first page of Google.

Take note of any additional information that’s missing from your content and add your perspective on these ideas.

Another strategy to help you improve old content is to use AI. For example, pasting the entire post into ChatGPT and asking it how the content can be improved can give you tons of insights.

A few other ways to easily update content might include:

  • Adding some links to external resources
  • Including a key takeaways section
  • Adding a table of contents
  • Updating the layout and design of the page
  • Removing clutter or overuse of ads or popups

Depending on the nature of your content might depend on how often it needs to be updated.

The best thing to do is monitor your site’s performance in search to see if there are any drops in traffic.

More on tracking performance in a bit.

6. Target Related Keywords

Gone are the days when targeting one primary keyword was sufficient enough to rank.

Now, thanks to Google Hummingbird, it’s important to include related words in the content.

That’s because the Hummingbird update tries to understand the content based on the relevancy of other terms on the page.

For example, if you’re talking about the “best green smoothie recipes”, it makes sense to include the words spinach, kale, and apple within the content.

Doing so adds context to the main keyword and builds topical relevance.

In other words, relevant keywords make it easier for Google to determine what the topic is about.

So, adding synonyms and keyword variations to your content is a must. To help you find related terms, on-page SEO tools such as Neuron Writer can save you a lot of time.

7. Internally Link to Supporting Content

This next SEO tip is so often underutilized, yet has the potential to snowball organic traffic and rankings.

For example, Steve Chou increased his traffic 4x when he implemented this strategy.

That is to build internal links to each article.

Doing so has several benefits:

  • Provides a better experience for visitors
  • Can increase user engagement
  • Helps search engines find and index your content
  • Builds context and relevance of your content

There are a few ways you can do this manually, but it can often take hours.

However, there is a faster way to find internal linking opportunities when using our plugin Link Whisper.

You simply open the Internal Links report and click Add under the Inbound Internal Links column.

Internal Links Report in Link Whisper

From this page, you get a list of related articles that you can add links to. Plus it provides you with internal link anchor text that is semantically related to the content.

All you have to do to add links is click the checkboxes down the side, then the ‘Add Links’ button.

For a detailed guide, check out how Niche Pursuits podcast host Jared Bauman does it in this video:

8. Display Expertise and Authority

Ever since Google introduced E-E-A-T to help their system rank content, expertise and authority have become a high priority.

But what is E-E-A-T, anyway?

Simply put, it’s how Google evaluates helpful and relevant content that also demonstrates Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

The problem is that it can be hard to know exactly how to demonstrate this on your website.

And unfortunately, there’s not one simple trick that can accomplish this for every niche.

Thankfully we have already mentioned a few things that can help, such as producing helpful content that is written by an expert.

Another SEO tip that will help is to demonstrate first-hand experience in your writing, which we will touch on in a bit.

First, you need the basics:

  • Author bios on every article detailing credentials or experience
  • Detailed information about the owner and authors is on the About page
  • Showcase publications you or your site has been featured on
  • Implement schema markup in author bios and on the About page

Then, implementing some of these can really help:

  1. Linking to real LinkedIn profiles of the site owner and your authors. This will demonstrate transparency of who is behind your content
  2. Higher industry experts to either write or review your content. This adds another layer of trust and authority to your content
  3. Get reviews and testimonials from customers
  4. Being active on social media, YouTube, or your own podcast

Essentially, the more transparent the website is about who the founder is and who writes the content, the more you’ll be rewarded by Google.

9. Understand Search Intent

This SEO tip is huge. Get the search intent wrong and your SEO efforts will be wasted.

To clarify, search intent is the reason why someone is searching for a query.

A question to ask is, why is the user conducting this search and what is their specific need?

For example, why is someone searching for the best coffee maker?

This is likely because they are looking to decide on a coffee maker and are not ready to buy yet.

That means the search intent is commercial and wants to learn more about a specific product before buying.

Here are the types of search intent and an example for each:

  • Navigational = starbucks contact number
  • Informational = how to use a coffee machine
  • Commercial = best coffee machine
  • Transactional = buy coffee machine
Inforgraphic showing various types of search intent
Image from https://www.seerinteractive.com/insights/what-is-search-intent

The best way to know what the search intent is for any of your keywords is to check Google first.

This will give you a clue of what people are looking for.

When you tailor your content to meet the needs of the user, you make the content more appealing to users and become hyper-relevant to search engines.

10. Demonstrate First-Hand Experience

Since Google added an extra E (for Experience) to the front of E-A-T, sites that show real experience have seen a boost in rankings.

This means that you’ve got a much better chance of ranking if you show your involvement in the content you publish.

For example, a travel site that shows pictures of hotels you’ve actually stayed at, with photos as evidence.

This is what the owners of a new travel blog Stay New England do well.

They aren’t just listing stock images of restaurants with details they found on Trip Advisor.

Nope. They share their own photos and recommendations of places they’ve visited themselves.

And it has paid off for them. With just 4 articles after launching, the site generated 1,500 sessions in 30 days.

Now the site gets over 5,000 visits per month according to Similar Web, which is impressive for a site younger than 8 months.

This is what Google wants to see from sites these days. And it’s emphasized in this article that analyzes a recent core update.

Some other examples of demonstrating first-hand experience might include:

  • Showing images and YouTube videos of you using products you review
  • Share personal stories and insights
  • Provide as much detail as possible
  • Conduct podcast interviews
  • Share case studies of your experience
  • Document the journey of your experience from start to finish

Overall, it’s clear that Google is favoring sites that offer real, valuable experiences that people can trust. This type of content is what people are looking for and Google’s algorithm is getting better at recognising it.

11. Use AI-generated content with caution

There has been a lot of debate about the use of AI-generated content and its impact on SEO.

Use AI with Caution

For example, Google changed the wording of their Helpful Content Update documentation from “content written by people, for people” to “content created for people.”

Furthermore, many AI-generated blogs have faired well in recent algorithm updates, whilst human-written content has suffered.

However, this certainly doesn’t mean AI-generated content is better than human-written content.

Essentially, it comes down to several factors we have already gone through in this post.

If you choose to use AI to assist in content creation, here are a few guidelines you should be aware of:

  1. Use AI-generated content with caution. No one really knows how well it’ll rank in future algorithm changes
  2. Heavy editing of AI-generated content is highly recommended
  3. Use of AI content generators should be used to assist content creation, not replace human insights, perspective, and experience
  4. Quality is essential. Make sure AI content is accurate, relevant, and grammatically correct
  5. Check for originality. Some AI tools come with plagiarism built-in, but tools like ChatGPT might simply regurgitate information

One simple tip to help you take care of AI-generated content is to produce it in sections.

You can do this by first creating a unique outline that includes all the relevant talking points. Then, guide AI through the content creation process, instead of allowing AI to completely take over.

This approach will give much better results and avoid disappointment in the future.

12. Attract high-quality backlinks

Almost everyone in the SEO community knows how powerful backlinks are for SEO.

Backlinks for SEO

But a lot of people simply hate the process. Write great content, then send a bunch of emails asking for a backlink.

However, there is a link-building strategy that can help you attract high-quality backlinks naturally.

It’s called Reverse Outreach and it was coined by none other than Brian Dean, of Backlinko.com.

In a recent YouTube video, he outlines the process:

  1. Create a specific type of content that other bloggers and journalists love
  2. This is content that other bloggers want to link to such as industry statistics or fact-based posts
  3. Choose low-competition keywords so your articles rank higher in search results
  4. Sit back and watch the backlinks roll in

This strategy starts to work when other bloggers are creating content and researching statistics or facts in their industry.

They then use the information you’ve provided in your post and cite you as the source, with a link to your article.

It’s that simple.

You can check out Brian’s video here:

13. Perform a technical SEO audit

Technical SEO refers to fixing or enhancing the technical elements of a website.

These can be things like site speed, crawling and indexing issues, and site architecture.

One of the most common technical SEO issues is broken internal links or a lack of internal links on your site.

We already mentioned the importance of internally linking to supporting content. This will help search engine bots crawl and index your site better.

However, even if you have a lot of internal links, they can often break, causing drops in organic rankings.

Finding broken links in WordPress is easy if you’re using the Link Whisper plugin. Simply check the broken links report on the main dashboard.

Broken Internal Links Report in Link Whisper

Another tool you can use is Screaming Frog. This will give you a list of all broken links on your site.

However, this tool will only provide you with a list of broken links and you’ll need to go in a fix these manually.

Overall, performing a technical SEO audit helps you see where your site needs improvements and Link Whisper can help with some of these issues.

14. Regularly Track and Analyze SEO Performance

This is one of those SEO tips that’s easy to forget if you’re an SEO novice.

But expert SEOs know how important it is to monitor organic rankings. Without tracking SEO performance, you’ll be left in the dark.

The best way to know where your pages are showing in Google results is with a rank-tracking tool.

One we highly recommend is Rank Logic. This is a tool developed by Spencer Haws, who is also the founder of Link Whisper.

Adding both of these plugins to your WordPress stack will save you so much time and help you make easier decisions.

To analyze SEO performance, Rank Logic logic connects to your Google Search Engine data and then presents it in a user-friendly graph.

The graph shows total clicks, impressions, CTR, and average positions of your keywords.

Furthermore, you can track how the changes you make to your content affect rankings with the Event Tracking feature.

This is a huge benefit, as you’re able to see which updates have more of an impact, guiding you in an optimized SEO strategy.

15. Optimize for CTR in SEO

Making changes to the meta title is a simple technique that can bring quick results in organic traffic.

Why?

Because it can improve your organic CTR, which is the percentage of users who click through to your site from search engines.

For example, if your article shows up in position 7, you can expect a CTR of around 3.9%.

SERP CTR Percentages
Credit: Backlinko.com

That means that if your primary keyword has a search volume of 1,000, this can generate around 39 visits to your site per month.

However, if you change the SEO title to be more appealing, more people will click on it, which could change the default percentage.

Furthermore, if you get a significant boost in clicks, Google can move this article up the rankings.

Then if your article moves up to position 3, your average CTR can jump up to 11%, resulting in 110 visits, instead of only 39.

There are many ways to optimize the SEO meta title, but one of the best ways is to include a positive sentiment or emotionally charged word.

These are words like:

  • Exciting
  • Amazing
  • Healthy
  • Stunning
  • Inspiring
  • Captivating

And so on.

Doing so has shown an increase of as much as 4.1% according to Backlinko.com.

16. Fix Orphan Pages

Orphan pages are pages on your site without internal links pointing to them.

This is a problem because it prevents search engines from finding and indexing your content.

Ideally, you need at least one internal link pointing from other relevant pages.

For example, let’s say you have an article titled “How to repair a bike puncture”, you could link to this post from content about taking care of bike tires and tubes.

Doing this manually, however, can be time-consuming.

To do this using Link Whisper, navigate to the Orphan pages report to see if you have any.

Orphaned Posts report in Link Whisper

From here, you can see a list of inbound linking suggestions.

Simply selecting the most relevant articles and clicking the Add Links button will clear up any crawlability issues.

17. Add Media to Articles

By now, you might have seen a recurring theme with these SEO tips.

That is to provide an engaging and valuable experience for your website visitors.

Another way this can be done is with different types of multimedia, such as:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Slideshows
  • Screenshots
  • Charts and graphs

Incorporating such media into your content makes it more appealing, memorable, and sharable.

Plus, it sends a positive signal known as ‘Dwell Time’, indicating to Google that people like your content.

Conclusion

Mastering the game of SEO isn’t something that’s achieved overnight, but these SEO tips will certainly help.

The key is to find a balance between what your audience needs and optimizing for search engines.

Whether you’re new to SEO or a seasoned expert, remember to practice SEO basics and have patience and faith in the process.

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