Tim Cameron-Kitchen is the Head Ninja at digital marketing agency Exposure Ninja. Tim has created a business with 60 professionals across the globe and wrote the best-selling SEO book ‘How to Get to The Top of Google.’ Here, he shares his advanced tips for search engine optimisation (SEO).
Having worked with Tim (he’s also quoted in my book, Mumboss), it is a HUGE honour to welcome him to the blog!
Over to Tim…
Following on from the Beginners Guide to SEO, we dive further into SEO practices that can enable your blog to generate even more traffic and rank highly on Google. Basic SEO knowledge can help your website go from okay to good. But, advanced SEO tips can transform your website from good to outstanding.
The important thing is to remember that the worlds of SEO and digital marketing are constantly changing and developing. If you want to be at the top of the game, dedicate time each week to reading up on the latest news and updates, so you remain in the know.
The Exposure Ninja digital marketing podcast is a great way to gain weekly insights from a variety of expert guests. As it’s a podcast, you can listen to it on the go as you’re cooking, picking the kids up from school, or going for a run, giving you invaluable marketing knowledge from those who have been there and done it.
If you’ve mastered the basics of SEO like your headlines, Metas and keywords, that’s great, but now it’s time to get advanced. This stuff is a bit more technical, so grab a cup of tea and let us know if you have any questions. We promise that if you can wrap your head around it, your blog, website and business will reap the benefits!
Used Advanced Keyword Research and Backlink Analysis
The difference between being a beginner with SEO and being an advanced SEO master lies in using the very best tools and metrics. This might mean spending a bit of money, but if your blog is your business, this is 100% worthwhile. When used correctly, the tools and knowledge you require enable to earn back that investment through a more successful online presence. While there are some great free SEO tools, I’d recommend the following for more advanced analysis:
- Majestic is a great piece of software that allows you to view backlink profiles of websites (including your own) and look at their Trust Flow and Citation Flow. These two metrics can be incredibly useful. The Trust Flow tracks the perceived trustworthiness of the backlinks pointing to that website, while the Citation Flow notes the number of backlinks pointing to the website. Each metric has a score out of 100. In an ideal world, those two numbers will be as close together as possible. Getting links from high authority websites is one of the main challenges for bloggers, so read on to find out some cool ways to get very high authority links.
- SEMrush is another brilliant way to follow your ranking of certain keywords and compare yourself to competitors. It’ll show you a breakdown of all of the keywords you’re ranking for, and how many times (approximately) they’re searched for. People are often surprised at some of the strange phrases they have visibility for!
- As for keyword research, with any luck, you’ve got your keywords nailed and are using great tools like Google Trends and Keyword Tool. Another brilliant website to research which articles and topics are getting shared the most is Buzzsumo. You can search by different topics and keywords to see what is being shared the most, and it’s a great tool for researching influencers in a certain field, as well as seeing the sort of blog headlines that get the most shares.
Finding Relevant Topics
If something happens within your niche or area of expertise, try and write about it as soon as possible. People love searching for relevant topics. After caramel week in the Great British Bake Off, the number of people searching for ‘caramel recipes’ increased by 400%! Imagine if you had a blog out the day after that episode with a review of the “great British Bake Off Caramel Week Recipes”, with one of your own in there for good measure? Using the #GBBO hashtag is a great way to get noticed as well. Get as involved as possible with topical events on your blog and social media.
For e.g. write seasonal based posts. Use sites like answerthepublic.com to identify the top questions people are asking about a particular topic (e.g. “Christmas recipes”), as this can guide you towards popular questions that can help you pick up a lot of traffic.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
In 2016, for the first time ever, mobile web usage superseded desktop internet use. This trend demonstrates how many people are now using their mobile for the internet. As such, websites need to be easy to use on mobile. This isn’t just for user experience, but for SEO, too. Google uses the mobile version of your website to determine ranking. If your website is not up to scratch on mobile, it won’t rank anywhere near as high as it should, and your bounce rate is likely to be ridiculously high. It can make such a huge difference. We recently updated our website and Google’s mobile index loved it because we made it more mobile-friendly.
Previously, we spoke about internal linking, but now you need to start gaining links externally as well.
All good SEO strategies require generating a strong backlink profile. Here at Exposure Ninja, our Content Marketing Ninjas dedicate their time to finding reputable and relevant publications and writing great content for their readers. Building up a backlink profile is so important, as Google sees lots of backlinks from trustworthy websites as a great sign of authority.
However, the trustworthiness and relevance of these websites are essential. Keep a look out for reputable publications you can feature in with a backlink to your blog. Check out the #journorequest and #prrequest hashtags on Twitter for any comments you can offer to people writing articles. National newspaper journalists are regularly taking to Twitter, asking the public for comments on a variety of topics. It’s a huge opportunity to feature your blog, opinion and a backlink on some of the most reputable websites around. I’ve been featured on sites like Forbes, The Guardian, The Telegraph and even interviewed live on Radio 4, just from our team tracking these hashtags!
Conduct Comprehensive Website Audits
We spoke previously about auditing your website, and to keep on top of your SEO game, you should do this at least once a month. The term ‘website audit’ probably doesn’t sound exciting to most people (in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me “audit” meant “boring” in some foreign tongue) but it’s more interesting than the name suggests and a vital part of being an advanced SEO hero.
A SEO audit involves fixing errors and broken links, optimising images, ensuring all pages have meta tags and descriptions and updating old blog posts. These little fixes can have a huge impact on your SEO and need to be addressed. Remember that Google can’t read images, but it can read image names and alt-titles. It’s also important to have quality photos, but small file sizes. This will quicken up your website’s general speed and loading times — and the quicker these are, the more in love Google will be with it.
Create Varied Content
Can you believe that visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than text? Try adding some visual content to your website to grab people’s attention and delight their desire for design. Infographics and videos are becoming increasingly popular. You don’t need to be the next big YouTube star, but consider making a video to create more diverse content. Infographics are also a tried-and-tested visual tool for a website, engaging your audience in a different way. Again: remember that Google can’t read the infographic, so be sure to write a kick-ass SEO-friendly blog post to accompany it.
If you really want to get stuck into SEO, there are loads of things you should be doing on a regular basis. Of course, it’s impossible to do them all if you have limited time and also want to produce regular, amazing content for your blog. Start basic and then move onto the advanced stuff. I guarantee it’ll be worth it in the long run!