We wanted to give some quick tips on some common problems that we’re seeing that can immediately help you get better rankings.
Let’s get right to it:
Track your rankings properly
Make sure you’re actually tracking your rankings with a rank tracking tool. You need to measure your results to know where you stand and a rank tracking software will tell you exactly where you’re at at all times.
Give links time to marinate
Google can take a while to pick up links and actually make changes – so make sure you’re patient. A recent study showed that Google takes up to 10+ weeks to make changes in serp position after you build links (that’s 2.5 months!).
Sometimes changes happen much faster, but keep in mind it can take a while to see changed.
Re-visit on-site optimization
You’ll want to revisit your on-site optimization and make sure the keyword that you want to rank for is exact match in your title, meaning you have your keyword exactly like you want it in your title tag.
Fix Keyword Density
Another issue we’re seeing is too much exact match keyword density on-page.
The common recommendation USED to be that you put your exact keyword in your URL, your title tag, your description and your H1. That’s just not the case anymore as Google is in an all out war against “optimization.”
Have a look below at a case study site where we added in a bunch of exact match keywords to the page, increasing the kw density. Notice now it just dropped off the map in a matter of days. We removed the content and it shot right back up.
The Solution: Go in and switch some things up and go for synonyms!
Here’s an example of how to go about on-page:
If you are ranking a page about “Boise ID Home Remodeling” don’t just keep hammering on that. Replace instances of that phrase with synonyms like
“Boise IDAHO House Remodeling”
“Boise Home Redesign”
Google is good a determining synonyms now, so you’ll start ranking for more long tail phrases as well.
Example: Check out the graphic below of a search for “Metallica guitar tabs.”
Notice how google highlights the words “tabs” AND “chords” because Google knows that they are very similar searches, even though the words are completely different.
Make sure you aren’t hammering on the same keyphrase ON your actual site over and over again. Switch it up – keep it classy.
Don’t over-optimize your backlink profile
No matter how many times we say it, we still see people over-optimizing their backlink profiles by just building a ton of exact match anchors. Just throwing in a couple extra “click here’s” is not going to cut it.
You first need to determine what your current anchor text % is, and you can use a tool like Ahrefs.com to get a good estimate.
Solution: Build a TON of non-optimized links
We recommend that you build a TON of links that are NOT optimized so that when you do go to build your exact match anchors and variations, you don’t have as much to worry about. You want to “pad” your site with tons of these natural anchors.
What’s a good way to do that? I personally like to register a bunch of social profiles – These will link back to your site, give it nice brand signals and the links will all be naked / non-optimized.
If you don’t want to register them all yourself, you can use http://lockmybrand.com – Lock My Brand will build you HUNDREDS of un-optimized (naked) anchors from super authoritative, natural sites for cheap. These links won’t rank you, but they WILL help protect you from a Penguin penalty.
Once you’re in a penguin penalty it’s difficult to get out, which is why we STRONGLY recommend building tons of these naked & benign links.
If you make sure you’re good on these issues, then you’ll be ahead of 90% of the SEOs out there! And as always, if you have any questions, just leave them in the comments!
Clayton Johnson is the CMO of The HOTH SEO company. He has over 8+ years experience in the SEO industry and has spoken at events like SEJ Summit. The HOTH has been featured in Inc 5000, Forbes, SMX, Pubcon, Content Marketing World, Affiliate Summit, Brighton and more.