20 Nov Favorite Hacks of Top SEO Practitioners Revealed
Are you an SEO analyst? Do you have a process when you do website optimization? Most likely when you do SEO, you follow a process. This is most likely the process you are most comfortable with and most likely to work for you. This could be your favorite hack.
Of course you may have arrived with this through trial and error or through your experience with SEO. Would it be interesting to know the favorite hacks of other SEO practitioners as well? Wait no more! These SEO professionals shared with us their favorite SEO hacks!
1. Kent Lewis is President and Founder of Anvil, a consultancy specializing in measurable marketing that moves businesses forward. Under his leadership, Anvil has been recognized as an Inc. 5000 fastest growing private company as well as most admired, most philanthropic and a fastest growing company by and Portland Business Journal.
Lewis’s industry recognition and awards include Portland Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, Top 25 Most Influential Pay-per-Click Experts and American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year.
I don’t believe in “hacks” or short-cuts in SEO, but I will say that branded, optimized content posted on social media profiles/platforms ranks quickly and consistently.
Best Digital Marketers for sure. SEO like Marketing, is a numbers game. Once one figures the leading and lagging indicators for each channel like Nick Eubanks, the rest is easy. It's simply a matter of figuring out how the tactics map to each channel and business objective.
4. Danny Cave is a data driven digital marketing and Web analytics expert and leader.
Having spoken at events across the UK and USA on topics of data driven SEO, data journalism and growth marketing he is a proponent of holistic digital marketing, innovation in SEO and high growth marketing. You can read his blog growthbydata.com or follow his tweets at @dancave.
Getting internal ‘Buy In’. Sorry if this sounds like a cop out, but doing one simple presentation about SEO internally is the best thing you can do because, Ten heads are better than one. If you convince everyone in your company how important your organic traffic is, and how well it performs, they will start coming up with SEO Hacks for you; you will have a bucket full of ideas ready to go at a moment's notice. The way to achieve that is getting ‘Buy In’ via an internal presentation with some nice wins included in the deck. When it comes to content SEO, a nice trick is to simply appeal to ego. If you can get a quote from an industry expert or three within your content, then you are pretty much guaranteed they will share the content with their audience, and help spread it far and wide. Much like will be putting this post in my newsletter, on reddit, on twitter, on linkedin etc…
I don't really have hacks or tricks. The last commercial project I worked on was for the Westfield Corporation. We increased their annual traffic by a significant amount, over a million visits a year and that's probably a modest estimate. I look at every piece of media as unique and implement optimisations based on what I have previously learned has been effective. I don't see SEO as being about Facts or knowledge. It's a tacit discipline.
I guess calling it a ‘hack’ is debatable, but I love using Screaming Frog to get an overview of everything (from an on-site SEO point of view) when I start a project. So, so handy.
“Hack” is such a dirty word when applied to SEO – you can’t (or shouldn’t) cut corners when it comes to doing quality SEO work. You need to be prepared to take care of all the small details to generate substantial, lasting impact. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to improve the ease or speed with which you can accomplish SEO tasks – a great knowledge of Excel and formulae goes a long way to accomplishing a lot quickly but there are also a lot of tools out there now that help do the job. So I guess my hack would be “great Excel skills”!
8. Logan Lenz is a serial entrepreneur that innovates within the music and web industries. His first company is called Endagon Enterprises, which is a full-service web agency that also builds its own web properties.
He also owns and operates a humor t-shirt website called Iced Tees and have helped to start a handful of other businesses.
Site speed. We all say we optimize this, but it’s a never-ending obstacle that can always be improved further. The faster your high-quality site loads, the more respected it will be compared to your competitors’ sites.
He has been working in various digital roles across Europe since 2007, working for B2B, B2C, in-house and digital agencies. He has expertise in SEO, social and digital change management and is passionate about web analytics.
I don’t use any “hack” as such. SEO is hard work, and sticking to best practices can take a bit more effort but the long-term effects are more rewarding. Where I try to specialise though is in web analytics. Not sure if I’d call that a “hack” though.
10. Lars Bachmann has been working with marketing and SEO for over 10 years. The first couple of years in the advertising business, and later on, 7 years as an SEO consultant and entrepreneur.
Now Lars Bachmann works as Online marketing manager at Cykelpartner.dk which is Denmark's largest webshop in the bike industry.
You can visit his blog in Danish at www.larsbachmann.dk
What's better than a good link? That’s a link you “steal” from you competitor. By using tools as Screaming Frog or Xenu I like to find broken links on pages and then reach out to the webmaster and notify them that they have a link that ends in a 404. And then I suggest a page on my own site they can link to instead.
11. Matt Antonino is one of the young-minded old guys of digital marketing. He started marketing his own businesses in 2003 and has been deeply involved in the SEO & marketing community ever since.
Matt worked at one of the largest SEO agencies in the world as a senior manager and helped over 2500 businesses grow and improve their marketing.
Recently, Matt opened his own agency, Stack Digital, where the focus is entirely on providing exceptional business growth results to clients using multiple marketing channels.
Trying to get a new business off the ground, Matt doesn’t sleep much these days.
Ha, ok … so I’ll answer this with a real website “hack.” This one’s tricky, so people may need to read it a couple times. Some website builders don’t give you FTP access, a way to add Analytics or any access for Search Console claim code. Without some sort of hack you can’t claim Search Console or setup Analytics. So what I found was that if you use the custom meta tag sections (the boxes for title, description and keywords) what happens is the CMS basically creates the<meta name=”keywords” content=” (CMS BOX HERE) “> So I found out that if you put into the keywords section this code: “> <whole Search Console or Analytics tag> <meta name=”keywords” content=” Then the CMS would (usually) interpret that as TWO meta keywords tags (one is blank) and your whole analytics & search console tag would be placed into the header code. BAM, hacked
12. Dan Crean is a Texas based SEO and Internet Marketing professional. He has been in the field since 2000 and has seen many changes in the industry over the years. He considers content marketing to be his greatest strength.
Buying an old small site on the cheap and operating it as it was. Inserting a few links to your target sites. Also, not a hack, but making your sites meet accessibility criteria for the disabled has benefits in search positions in the long run.
13. David Vallance is a writer who fell into digital marketing after he got bored brewing, tasting and writing about beer.
He marries a pragmatic approach to link building with a focus on genuinely valuable content to drive long term growth for online businesses.
David joined the newly rebranded agency Digital Impact in 2014 and set about defining a brand voice and iconic content style across its various platforms.
Today he balances an intensive internal marketing strategy with a number of client campaigns.
He has had articles featured on SEOmoz, Search Engine People and is a regular contributor to TechWyse.
Politely asking for links. It doesn’t sound that revolutionary but it works. I use Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique quite a lot and you’d be surprised how many website owners will happily link to genuinely valuable content if you ask them nicely.
Chris has been with the company since March of 2002 and has over 20 years’ experience in marketing, sales and communications.
Over the years at WebRanking, Chris’ role has evolved to include overseeing the SEO strategy for a majority of WebRanking’s accounts, along with providing content strategy, social media consulting and social media paid advertising for their clientele.
Chris also heads up WebRanking’s business development efforts and customer satisfaction efforts.
I personally don’t like the word “hack”; to me it implies that there are shortcuts to SEO success. I think this is what often separates the great SEO agency from the ordinary agencies, taking the time to do the research, to be hands on, to go the extra mile for the client. It is through the processes we have in place as an agency that we truly learn about the client, their online industry and the SEO landscape for their industry.
Gravity’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, entertainment, B2B, e-commerce, and non-profit. Couzin and Grappone co-wrote Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day (Wiley, 2006, 2008, 2011) and Five Stars: Putting Online Reviews to Work for Your Business (Wiley, 2014).
Gradiva lives and works in the SF Bay Area and enjoys eating KitKats.
16. Colin Cheng is the Senior Marketing Manager at MintTwist – a full-service digital agency in London. Colin works on several digital marketing projects from local search campaigns for boutique businesses to international campaigns for multi-national brands.
He has worked in digital marketing since leaving university but has been building websites and running blogs since he was 11. Colin’s main digital marketing interests are SEO, digital advertising, analytics and content creation.
I wouldn’t call it a hack, but really taking the time to analyse your competition can lead to some great opportunities that you might have missed. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of doing SEO in isolation – the client wants to rank for these keywords, so that’s all we’re going to work on. But a day analysing your competitors can help unlock lots of new potential. I’d also stress the importance of semantic SEO and correct site structure. Having a poorly structured website with a messy internal structure can negate any gains you may be making elsewhere. Make sure your foundations are solid.
It’s not really a hack as such, but so many people are creating content for the sake of having content and not worrying about the quality of it and then wondering why they aren’t seeing results from their efforts. At Louder Online, we ensure content we are creating already has a hungry audience before creating it which ensures that the content gets the desired results driving links, social traffic and search traffic.
Definitely using Google Sheets (Google Docs’ version of Excel) as a site crawler using the importxml and importhtml functions. When I first found out this was even possible, it blew my mind! I admit, it’s not the most efficient solution to use on a large enterprise-scale site, but the beauty of it is that you can add your own rules to easily check your commonly-used SEO tags. You can quickly see if any anomalies get flagged up, for example if a canonical tag that you would expect to be self-referencing (pointing to itself) is incorrectly pointing somewhere else.
My favorite hack is to use creativity to solve SEO problems. Most of the time you have to think outside of the box, especially when it comes to activity sectors where there is a lot of competition and you have to stand out. One good example is the way you get good links nowadays – good creative content is the best way to do this, but this kind of content is hard to produce unless you have the right people to do it.
20. Michael Cottam is an independent SEO consultant based in Portland, Oregon. He’s also the founder of Visual Itineraries, a service for travel agents to help show a destination, hotels, sights, etc. to a client.
He’s also a Moz Associate, helping with questions in Moz Q&A and contributing posts to the main Moz blog.
In his free time, he enjoys motorcycles (racing, touring, and watching MotoGP), scuba diving, traveling, and photography
Using small, subset sitemaps and feeding them to Google Search Console to help troubleshoot indexation issues.
I think if the on-page and the technical factors are implemented correctly then half the battle is won.
Having worked for many years for Yell Group, provider of Yellow Pages in the UK, he set up Aqueous in 2010.
He has an MBA from Henley Management School, has been a Chartered Marketer for the past decade and is a Certified Adwords professional.
Jonathan is also a public speaker on SEO and Digital Marketing and regularly lectures and trains on all aspects of Digital Marketing.
Writing better content, and more of it. I always write as if I’m talking to the person who may want that product or service and richer deeper content not only ranks well but can really help to drive purchase and engagement.
She has more than 10 years experience in the digital marketing and software development industry.
Carla is originally from San Diego, California but lives in Argentina as an Expat.
Using PPC data to target lead generation keywords. Schemas.
He is also the developer of a small iOS app called Write365, which gives users creative writing prompts. He occasionally writes on his own site here.
I like things that save me time, especially when it’s a mundane task. I recently put together a bookmarklet for myself and the team I work with that lets us copy the page URL, Title and Description for a page we’re on very quickly so we can paste it somewhere else. If you’re interested in trying it, you can get it here.
25. Adam J Thompson has 10 years of experience in digital marketing and internet business, having owned several online business ventures and worked with clients from a variety of industries across the globe.
Adam founded RYP Marketing in 2006 with the goal of providing highly effective online marketing services to small and medium sized companies.
Today he plays an active role in running the company, with a special focus on SEO strategy and helping clients increase website conversion rates.
Adam specializes in the following areas:
– Search Engine Optimization
– Conversion Rate Optimization
– Web Analytics
I usually avoid most things that would be considered a hack or shortcut. Shortcuts usually come back to bite you later.
26. Eric Pratum is a digital strategist with a background in analytics, SEO, digital media, and nonprofits.
For the last five years, he’s focused specifically on nonprofit fundraising – having launched websites, CRO campaigns, and digital media programs that have generated returns often unseen in this space.
Prior to that, Eric managed eCommerce websites, built an online auction system, and engineered a social media analytics program back when social media monitoring was the wild west of the online data space.
I wouldn’t call it a hack, but frankly, it shocks me how many people don’t understand the value of prop URL rewrites, 301s, and canonicals. Nearly every site I look at has some issue with these.
Tara is a prolific content creator, having written thousands of blog posts, small business websites and other inbound marketing content through the course of her career.
Tara enjoys blogging about SEO copywriting, content management, corporate culture, personal branding, networking and LinkedIn.
She has over a decade of experience in digital publishing. Connect with her on Twitter @TaraMClapper.
Since I’m focused on the blog, it’s all about using SEMrush to identify and chase the best keywords for organic search. Yoast SEO is essential.
He is the former CEO of The Ocean Agency (acquired in 2014), a digital marketing agency in Chicago that worked with some of the biggest brands in the world including: Walgreens, Sprite, Toyota, CareerBuilder and BlackBerry.
He has been interviewed on NBC, CBS, ABC, Inc Magazine, Website Magazine, and Crain’s Business Chicago.
Currently, Marvin is working on SaaS startup, MySiteAuditor, a white-label, website audit and analysis tool that helps digital marketing agencies generate leads in 20 languages around the world.
Spend time upfront writing lot’s of content (2,000 words or more) on each of your landing pages. Optimized, quality content is still king. It takes some of the weight and time off hours of future link earning.
He is constantly keeping up with the latest Google algorithms and analyzing new tools to help ProFromGo’s clients succeed.
Not only does he have an eye for great marketing campaigns, but he also takes great pride in being able to track the dollar return on each one.
Chris’s love of search marketing may only be surpassed by his enthusiasm for fitness and health. He can often be found running or biking on the South Side River Trail or lifting heavy things at LA Fitness.
I experiment with Google Autocomplete when researching content ideas for our clients. One hack that I learned from Rand Fishkin is that adding “_” before and after keywords actually produces different Autocomplete results. Type in “Will Google” and then “Will Google _”. See? Different results.
Favorite seo hack: Comparison pages. For most of our clients we create several types of comparison pages. Let’s assume you sell iphones. . Compare all individual iphone to each other. Iphone 6 vs. iphone 5. Iphone 6 vs. Iphone 6s ·Then compare your products to competitors. The iphone 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 · Compare brands: Apple VS. Samsung · Basically anything you can compare that makes sense, you should. Not only does this allow you to work in the same keywords several times on your website. Those pages are conversion beasts, easy to promote and very easy to create. Win-win-win
Dan has been working in the SEO industry since 2011, working on all types of projects from large eCommerce and enterprise sites to SMB and local trade sites.
He also dabbles in videography under the name Callis Makes Films.
Content expansion to target longtail keywords. Gone are the days where people simply punch two or three words into Google and convert. Google has given people the power to become great researchers. Potential customers will scope Google for information and reviews before they decide to buy, and your business needs to be seen in every stage of the customer journey.
32. Gareth Cartman is Director of Digital Marketing at CLD, a boutique UK digital performance agency based near London.
He’s been in SEO and digital marketing for 15 years, working across publishing, HR and technology while running his own sites and blogs.
He’s also a dad of two talkative young children, and for his sins he’s an Everton and a Boston Red Sox fan. http://www.cleverlittledesign.co.uk
I hate the word ‘hack’. It was ‘hacks’ that got SEOs into trouble in the first place. But if you want to know what has really made a difference to our efforts, it’s this: be in control of everything. And if you can’t be in control, make sure it’s happening. It’s not like 10 years ago where 100 links would shoot you to number 1. Now you need to be a Head of Marketing and a Head of IT rolled into one. Don’t focus on one slither of SEO, control the lot. That’s not a hack, is it. It’s more world domination. But you should do it.
Since I’m with Ahrefs, my favorite is obviosly reverse-engineering what competitors do. We have awesome tools to spy on the backlinks they get and the keywords that they rank for. This can give you tons of insight on what they’re doing and come up with all sorts of ways to beat them on their own field.
I don’t know if you’d really call this an SEO hack, but as a writer I’ve been really pushing Quora lately. I am realizing that there is so much untapped potential on that social network to not only ask SEO questions but to get your name out there through answering. Show your authority and build credibility, and you have the opportunity to earn tons of natural links! It’s a great community, and as a writer I get some great ideas and inspiration from Quora.
I go the “quality content” route that we hear Google advocate so much. Mainly that requires sitting down each day and putting in the work. There are no shortcuts. SEO-types would do well to think about this. You don’t see us content guys scurrying around with our heads chopped off when algo updates roll out. It’s you that Google hates, not us. Get your act together!