A 6-Step Recipe for SEO Success

Travis Bliffen
by Travis Bliffen 12 May, 2015

As many of you know, Google constantly changes its algorithm and as such, many methods that used to work great will do little to help your site in 2015.


Today, we are going to look at past tactics and talk about the ingredients you need for SEO success. 


1. On-Page Metrics


Don't over complicate this! Here are some questions you should be asking about your website:


  • Can Google access my website?
  • Is there content (text, video, podcast) that sufficiently explains my unique selling position? If the site is educational - do I provide actionable and complete guidance to my readers?
  • Are people spending much time on my site? Viewing multiple pages?


If you do not have Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics setup, you need to do so for your site so you can easily find the answer to those questions.


What Makes a Good Back Link?


Regardless of what you hear, links still have a lot of influence on how well a website ranks. The age old question is "What does a good link look like"? Here are some simple rules to find quality links:


2. Trust Flow


Trust Flow is a metric tracked by Majestic SEO that judges the quality of a page by looking at its linking relationship with other trustworthy sites. Basically, the more trusted your site is, the less likely you are to get slapped with a penalty. Combine strong trust with some of the following metrics and you are on your way to building an authority site. When possible, stick with sites having a trust flow of 15 or higher.


3. Topical Relevance


For several years private blog networks (PBNs) built on sites with high Page Rank dominated. PBNs are still a very powerful ranking tool but general themed networks are not working like they used too. That is because Google now places an increased emphasis on the topical relevance of the page. Simply put, if you specialize in grooming Yorkshire Terriers, getting links from a site about grooming Yorkshire Terriers is the best-case scenario. From there you can scale down the relevance to "dog grooming" or "caring for dogs." When looking for links you need to think about how relevant the site really is to your topic. 


4. Authority


Since Google no longer updates Page Rank, authority is one of the primary metrics being used to gauge the quality of a website. Using tools like the free Moz Toolbar will allow you to easily view the authority of a site you intend to acquire a link from. If you want your authority to increase, seek links from sites with higher authority than your site. Eventually your authority will increase too. 



5. Referral Traffic


If you run across a site that you are not certain of, think about referral traffic possibilities. Blog commenting, forum posting and guest posting are a few common ways to get referral traffic. If the site does not have strong authority of trust flow, do not be afraid to get a no-follow link. The referral traffic sent to your site will result in numerous link opportunities and more importantly, can result in conversions. Long story short, blog commenting and forum posting is still OK in 2015, just don't try any of the rich anchor text linking strategies from a few years back!


6. Social Activity


Regardless of what Google says, I have seen firsthand the impact social signals can have in conjunction with link building and on-page SEO, even though some of the impact is indirect. At minimum, you should se tup social profiles to go along with your website, if for no other reason, it shows Google your site is an actual brand, not just another spam-filled affiliate site. Google is also very good at identifying user-generated content. Even something as little as quality interaction with your readers through comments can be viewed as a positive social signal. Lastly, if for some reason you still don't have social sharing buttons on your site, add them.




As you can see SEO doesn't really have to be all that confusing once you understand the core factors that influence how well your site will rank. Steering clear of bad advice is every bit as important as following good advice, so today I want to leave you with two of the worst pieces of SEO advice I have recently heard!


1. The SEO you paid us to do is not going to work unless you make a commercial and get your face on TV. 

2. That website has "too many content-rich pages" they need to get rid of those pages and only add content to the blog.


Just for the record...You do not need a TV commercial to rank better on Google and feel free to have all the unique and valuable content you would like on your website, if nothing else, you are going to gobble up a ton of traffic from long-tail keywords.


Over to you!


What is one of the worst pieces of advice you have ever been given about SEO?