Search Engine Optimization Tips – Jeff Lenney’s SEO Manifesto For Exponential Organic Traffic Growth!
Before we begin, let us address one important thing…
Why Should You Listen To Me?
I do SEO full time and have built dozens if not hundreds of highly successful websites. I’ve also run successful SEO Campaigns for multiple 8 and 9 figure per year businesses, and got paid quite handsomely to do so.Edit
I’ve spoken on stage on SEO and Digital Marketing in Washington DC, Las Vegas, The Disneyland Hotel (Marketing Convention), and even Dublin Ireland.
(YES – that’s the same hat in both pictures, it’s my favorite hat, don’t judge!) 🙂
SEO is how I make a living…and a very good one at that. Now, let’s get to the point….
The Golden Rule Of SEO is this:
The Best Place to Hide a Dead Body is the 2nd page of Google. 🙂
Think about that for a second… how often do YOU go past page 1 in the Search Engines? Probably NOT all that often…
With that being said, I’m going to go into some pretty stellar tips on ranking your website on page 1, where it can get eyeballs on it.
Search Engine Optimization Tips:
There was a time when keywords were the most important aspect of on-page SEO. Web masters created content with a keywords stuffed into the content, and ranked ‘like that’
♩ ♪ ♫ The Times they are a changin… ♬ ♭ ♮
Well, keywords in your content are still important but their overall level of inclusion has beed reduced. Having said that, you should still focus on incorporating the right keywords in your domain, meta tags, titles, permalinks, blog posts, categories and so on (more on that later). But this is not enough…
In order to be search engine friendly, your website needs to be ‘sticky’ and ‘intuitive’.
The quickest definition of this: A sticky website encourages the reader to stay and look around. It does this by minimizing ads, click-able feeds from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, badges that link to other sites, quiz results that link to other sites, etc. In other words, it doesn’t have a bunch of links and images that lead the reader away. (Credit for the Definition)
It’s still important to link to other websites, when relevant, just don’t overdo it.
With that in mind, These 10 SEO optimization tips will help you achieve just that.
1) Page Load Time:
This is something I see most affiliate marketers and business owners neglect and it’s one of the first things I fix when taking over a website, or starting work for a new client.
Your website should be lightning fast. Even if there is a one second delay in page loading, it will have an adverse effect on your conversions. People totally hate having to wait for a page to load. Once they sense that your website is slow, they’ll get frustrated and shut it down!
You won’t even have a chance to showcase the awesome content that you probably worked so hard to create. A high bounce rate is detrimental to your page ranking as it tells the search engines that your website is not ‘sticky’. In other words, it’s just not good enough to keep visitors engaged.
Just having a fast loading website will not ensure a large influx of visitors to your website. However, it will definitely prevent the people who are already on it from leaving.
Using a good host wins you half the battle. Other ways to improve page loading time is to avoid large sized images, background audio, flashy sliders, auto-playing videos and so on.
Type anything into google and open the first 2-3 websites. I guarantee you that none of them have a congested appearance and a ‘spammy’ vibe. They all have simple, clean lay-outs and are very easy on the eye. The focus is on the content rather than appearance.
Check your website speed here: https://tools.pingdom.com/ – test it 2 or 3 times, if it’s loading under 3.5 seconds, time to take action!
More on this topic here: 5 Simple Steps to Speed Up Your WordPress Site
2) The ‘Basics’ of On-Page SEO:
Most people should be somewhat familiar with these already. If you’re not, check out my On-Page SEO Checklist.
You’ll want to pay special attention to things such as your Meta Title, your URL itself, your H1 Tag, your Meta Description and others. Again, see this link for a full rundown on that.
Meta Title’s should include both your keyword, and a brief call to action, or “why” people should click on your result in the SERPS (search engine results pages).
Meta descriptions are those snippets of info that are visible before a person clicks on the search engine page result.
You have to make them enticing without coming across as fake. In order to do this – put yourself in the mindset of the reader and ask yourself, “What am I looking for?”.
Are there any specific things, phrases, words that come to mind? Use them in the description.
Pro Tip: Words like guide, awesome, steps, proven, latest, Numbers make your links a lot more clickable.
If you want help automating the whole process, WordPress Plugins such as Yoast SEO (free version is just fine) are easy to use even for beginners as they are very user-friendly.
Watch my Video here for a LIVE breakdown of my SEO Checklist![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWpq_L0yXok]
3) Create Human-centric Content:
Imagine that you are a search engine. Your job is to provide the most relevant and HELPFUL results for search terms. If your results are inaccurate, unhelpful and baseless, your overall credibility as a search engine goes down!
So basically, if you can keep real humans happy by creating content that is truly unique, interesting and helpful; you will automatically keep the search engines happy.
Yes, you need to have analytics in place as it helps you to gauge the popularity and potential profitability of keywords. Technical analysis definitely aids in attracting, hooking and converting traffic but good content is the backbone of good SEO.
You simply CANNOT trick the search engines into thinking that your website is awesome if it does not appeal to humans.
So yes, pay attention to the spiders but create content for humans.
4) Know Your Niche & Audience:
You should have a very clear idea about the central theme of your website. I know that some websites/blogs cover a wide range of topics and are still super successful. But it really really helps if your website focuses on a specific niche or topic. For example: If your website is about dogs, it’s best if you don’t post about personal finance on it.
This website, Jefflenney.com is about online marketing. Being a dad to two kids, I’m deeply passionate about parenting but I don’t parenting advice posts on this site. I’ve created another website for that, and yes – it’s doing quite well! 😉
Sure, feel free to cover your niche from all angles, don’t just stray too far from it. It is much easier to achieve a high search engine page ranking if your niche is tight and not overly broad.
5) Use Internal Linking like a “MoFo“:
I can’t stress this one enough! This enhances the overall user experience and tells the search engines that you are an authority in your niche.
Interlinking makes your website ‘sticky’. It subtly encourages visitors to stay a while longer and interact more with your awesome content. Combine interlinking with the other tips in this article to create a very strong and compelling funnel.
6) Link to Other Reliable Websites/Resources:
I do SEO for a living and often get questions about outbound links. Many people seem to think that they are counter-intuitive and damaging to the business. I mean, why would anybody want to send a customer away? It seems borderline insane…BUT it’s not.
Consider a hypothetical situation:
Carlos is a promoter in Vegas trying to get people to visit a certain restaurant. While chatting up a group of people, he tells them about a very cool nightclub that they have to visit since it is the best in town. (It also happens to be close to the restaurant that he’s promoting *wink*).
People take up Carlos’ advice and go to the Nightclub. They have one hell of a time and as he’d promised, it was indeed a smashing good time!
In their mind, they now consider him to be a trustworthy source. So, they are much more likely to go to the restaurant that he was promoting for a late night binge or breakfast. Since our guy was right once, it’s very pretty darn likely that he’d be right again.
Of course, it would be foolish to recommend another restaurant. But in this case, a nightclub is not a direct competitor and people usually do get hungry after a night of partying.
Moral of the story: Definitely link to other highly rated and trustworthy sources as long as they are not competitors. It’s also a trust signal with Google, and shows them you want to give your readers the best experience, even if they go to another website to get a part of it.
If you look close, you’ll see a few external links (to other websites) already in THIS post – BUT I always have them open in another tab, so my website is not closed when somebody clicks the link. 🙂
7) Get other people to link to you:
The websites that link to you also have to be good though 🙂
Getting people to link to you is easier said than done because essentially, you’re asking them to put their reputation on the line. If you’re going to attempt it, you already need to have a bunch of cool content and a bit of an online presence.
Some websites are huge and need to produce content 24×7 in order to keep visitors hooked. You can get them to link back to you by guest posting on their platforms.
See My Blog Post on that, here: How to Guest Post for High Traffic Blogs (with Video)
First, develop your own website a bit – make it look professional. Then create a compelling proposal about a HOT topic in your niche. Send this proposal to at least five different editors every day until you are accepted to guest post on several websites mills.
(If you’ve got no idea where to start building a website, I got you covered!)
Do a really good job when you do get a break. This ensures that you keep getting more chances 🙂
8) Update your website constantly:
Good content is timeless but it also has to be up-to-date. When you keep posting new content on a regular basis. The search engines crawl it and this reinforces your authority.
Fresh content keeps your visitors/subscribers informed and entertained. If you don’t capitalize on people’s initial interest in your website, they will be drawn towards other sites that DO post regularly.
9) Conduct a Survey/Study:
Research is time consuming, boring, labor-intensive and difficult. It is the dirty work that nobody else wants to do. Which is precisely why you should do it.
Doing a study/survey will require you to do a lot of reading, talking, interviewing, referencing etc. This will add to your knowledge of the niche. However, the fun begins when you publish it. Hundreds of editors, bloggers, vloggers will link back to it – bringing you a ton of traffic!
It was easy to set up, didn’ cost me a dime, and the feedback I gained was priceless!
People like real results, hard facts, stats and numbers. You cannot just make these up in your mind. You have to derive them. This can be a bit hard but when you do it – it makes others reference and respect you. (Psst…it’s not super hard either. It’s a bit like doing a high school project.)
10) Be Prepared To Go All Out:
Your online persona should just be an extension of your real world identity.
Remember point 7 where I talk about back linking. Well, what if you do a Facebook Live, a Podcast, or even speak at a live event INSTEAD of just doing guest postin. Sure, you’ll probably get a backlink out of that – but the potential to reach your target audience there is HUGE!
So don’t just restrict yourself to a room. Get out there and network!
Attend events, seminars, parties related to your niche or better yet, participate in them or host’em! Go all out, in every possible way. Be limitless.
I hope that you enjoyed reading about actionable SEO tips.
I kept this one fairly simple and didn’t go into anything too advanced, so I hope you liked what you read!
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! 🙂