This post originally appeared on neilpatel.com
Google makes over 3,200 algorithm changes per year.
That’s a lot of changes.
Just think about that for a minute… and let that sink in. It’s roughly 9 changes per day.
So how can you beat this gigantic company at their own game and rank high? Especially when you consider that they generate over $100 billion+ per year in ad revenue?
You could follow their advice on how to rank well but that won’t do much for you.
The real trick to rank well is to leverage technology.
See, although Google has made things harder, there are things you can do now that I couldn’t when I first started. For years now technology has evolved, which has made your life easier as an SEO.
Here are 7 advanced SEO strategies that I’m implementing as we speak and you should too.
Advanced SEO Strategy #1: SEO A/B Split Testing
To improve your rankings, what do you have to do?
You have to go in and manually make changes to your site. And if you aren’t sure what changes to make, just put in your URL into this SEO Analyzer and it will spit out a report like the one below.
But there is one issue with making changes manually, and I know this because I own an ad agency and I do the SEO for my own website.
It takes forever to make changes.
Heck, I can barely keep up with the changes I need to make on NeilPatel.com as I have far too many pages.
I know that sounds crazy, but think about what I just said.
You no longer have to make changes to your site.
You are probably wondering how right?
So why can’t the same be done for SEO? Why do you have to manually make changes still?
The cool part about tools like ODN or Rank Science is they can make the changes automatically, which is really useful if you have thousands of pages.
Here’s how they work:
This way your site can always be SEO-friendly without you having to make any of the adjustments yourself.
Advanced SEO Strategy #2: E-A-T
In the SEO world, there has been an acronym that has been thrown around a lot and it is E-A-T.
It stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Google no longer wants to rank just “good” content. Now, they are worried that a piece of content that ranks is inaccurate and can hurt the potential searcher.
For example, let’s imagine you are giving medical advice on your site. You have a ton of links and all of the right signals to rank well but your content is inaccurate. Now imagine someone injures themselves after taking your advice… well, that would be bad.
In the SEO world, you see sites in the health space or financial space having more issues with Google algorithm updates because their information may be inaccurate and Google is looking for sites to prove their expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
But my hunch is, over the next year or two, they will crack down on many more industries.
If you are going to rank a site, everyone these days can manipulate SEO signals, but it is hard to manipulate things like expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Especially when you combine all three.
One thing I’m focusing on in the next 12 months is to increase what I believe will help boost my rankings in the long run.
How you may ask? Well, I’m going to leverage a handful of tactics:
- Guest post – guest posting on popular industry and news sites should help increase my brand recognition over time. I used to do this more frequently in the past and I will kick this off again. If you don’t know how to guest post, check this out.
- Speak at conferences – I’ve slowed down on this a bit, but I will pick it up for the same reason above. It should help with E-A-T. If you haven’t spoken at many events, the key is to just apply to a lot of them and eventually some will accept you.
- Awards and recognition – continually apply for more awards. I used to do this when I was much younger and I’ve gotten lazy about it these days. The same goes for publishing more books… I already have one New York Times bestseller, why not go for a few more?
A simple thing that you can do if you believe you have been negatively impacted by some of the more recent Google updates is to include an author bio box on every piece of content you write. And, of course, use author schema markup.
A good example of this is my author box…
Using this should help boost your long-term rankings.
Advanced SEO Strategy #3: Host HTML Files From a CDN
We all know that speed impacts rankings. It also impacts conversion rates. Walmart, for example, boosted their conversion rate by 2% for every second of load time they reduced.
And nowadays more Google searches happen on mobile devices, hence load time and speed really matter.
I already have a faster server… my hosting bill is a bit more than I would like.
And it’s actually going to get a bit worse.
Currently, I have a server where my site is hosted. That server is somewhere in the United States… I believe the east coast.
That means if someone wants to visit my website from let’s say New York City, it should load fairly fast. However, if someone from São Paulo, Brazil wants to visit NeilPatel.com, it would take a bit longer as they are further away from my server.
To solve this, I’ve been using a CDN. A CDN is a content delivery network.
Services like Cloudflare cache your images and static content and server it from the closest server to the person visiting your website.
So now when someone from São Paulo visits my website, they are usually served up cached content from a server in Brazil. This makes their experience load much faster.
But as your content changes, and with things like WordPress blogs where you are constantly getting comments and going through page changes, not all of your content is served up through a CDN.
My team is now making a tweak to improve my load time even more. So instead of serving up my HTML pages from my server, we are now going to serve them up from a CDN.
In other words, we are trying to serve as much of our site from a CDN.
As you can see from the Trello list above, that’s all of the stuff we are working on serving up from our Cloudflare account in order to speed up our site and eventually boost our search rankings and conversion rates.
I wish I can walk you through how to do it step by step, and maybe that could be a future blog post, but the easiest is to just find a developer from UpWork to do it for you.
Advanced SEO Strategy #4: Multi-lingual Title Tag Tests
Similar to Rank Science, there’s a tool I currently use to test my title tags.
It’s called Clickflow.
That way, you don’t have to manually keep changing things.
And Clickflow has worked well for me for over the past year… really well. Just look at my month-over-month growth from the past couple of months.
Just in the last 31 days, I saw an increase in organic traffic by 96,723 just through title tag split tests.
But here is the kicker: I’m only able to effectively use the software for my English content. Now just imagine if I did this in less competitive markets like Brazil where I am generating 418,953 unique visitors a month.
Or what if I did that with my German blog or Spanish blog? The possibilities are endless!
Sure in English, not many SEOs are doing title tag split testing but some still are. In other regions, many marketers haven’t even heard of this yet.
So, over the next few months, my team will have to manually do this to figure out what works in these markets.
If you haven’t done it yet in English, check out this post. Here you will see some of the basic findings when it comes to boosting CTRs were:
- Title tags that contain a question generate 14.1% more clicks on average.
- Title tags between 15 and 40 characters generate the most clicks.
- Leveraging emotions can increase clicks. Meta tags with a positive or negative emotion generated roughly 7% more clicks.
And if you want something really simple, I’ve found that adding the year in your title tag can drastically increase CTR.
For example, look at a lot of the top results that rank for the phrase “how to start a blog”.
3 of the top 5 results contain the year in the title tag.
Advanced SEO Strategy #5: FAQpage Schema Markup
I blogged about this in the past, but less than .17% of sites are leveraging it.
Before I get into it, just look at my search traffic from the term “digital marketing”.
Sure the chart is bouncing up and down a lot, but I’m getting way more traffic than I was before I implemented the FAQpage markup.
In essence, what it does is add common FAQ-based questions to your search listing. Similar to the image below.
I know some people say that if you add this to your site then there is no reason for people to visit your site. And in essence, Google wins because it keeps them on their search engine.
But the way I look at it is if your website provides amazing content and helps create an amazing experience, a portion of those people will remember your URL and will come back in the future.
Plus if you aren’t in the number 1 spot, you don’t have much to lose by implementing this. Even if you are in the number 1 spot like I am for my affiliate marketing page and you add FAQpage schema…
I’ve found that when I add the FAQpage schema my traffic hasn’t dropped.
Now all I have to do is add this for another 649 blog posts that we identified that are a good fit for this on my blog. 🙁
Advanced SEO Strategy #6: Content Clusters
I bet you have content on your site. And similar to me, when you wrote the content you used tools like Ubersuggest and wrote whatever had a lot of search volume.
And if you want to get a bit more organized and move faster, you probably even used a content calendar.
But just like me, I bet over the years you never focused on clustering your content together. And because you didn’t you probably have tons of pages on similar topics if not the same topic.
This is a big problem because it confuses Google.
For example, I have so many pages on “keyword tools” and “keyword research” that Google doesn’t necessarily know which page to rank. Because of this, my rankings for some of those terms are somewhat stable, but the rank page from my site constantly changes.
A good solution to this problem and improved overall rankings is to use content clusters. A great example of a site that didn’t use clustering but now does is Hubspot.
Their content went from looking like this:
To looking like this:
The overall goal is to have sections of your site and blog about specific topics. And from there you can link and connect other articles around the same topic together. Doing this lets the search engines know which one is the main topic through things like breadcrumbs and URL hierarchy.
A good example of this is the Beginners Guide to SEO by Moz.
Within that guide, they link 8 chapters that cover all aspects of SEO. Each of those chapters links back to the main introductory article.
Instead of making them 9 separate blog posts (including the introductory page), they linked them all together and made them flow with each other.
Just look at how they set up their URL structure.
Here is the URL of the introductory page:
And here is the URL of a chapter:
Do you see what they did?
They are telling search engines that the chapter is part of the whole Beginner’s Guide to SEO and they did this through the use of folders.
And here is another chapter… https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research
As you can see, they followed the same structure. This a simple way to use content clustering to improve your rankings. Case in point, they rank number 1 on Google for the term “SEO” and have for years.
Now I just have to do this with my whole site in multiple languages.
Advanced SEO Strategy #7: Conquer the World
I’m serious when I say that by the way… I really am going after all of the major countries.
The most vital SEO strategy I ever learned came from a Google employee. And it was simple… Google has tons of content to choose from when it comes to ranking sites in English but they lack a lot of high-quality content in other regions.
So, I decided to do something simple years ago… I translated my content into other languages. That’s how my traffic has gone from this:
Sure, I have leveraged a lot of other tactics over the years as well, like building Ubersuggest into a free SEO tool. But even that, Ubersuggest has grown so fast because it is translated into 9 different languages.
Just look at the language breakdown of Ubersuggest’s traffic stats.
When you combine all of the different variations of English, all of the other variations make up roughly 40% of the tools traffic.
Now with my blog, I haven’t gone as far as translating it into as many languages as the tool, but I plan on translating it eventually into 22 languages. I pick them based on population size and GDP.
This one will take me a few years to really scale up but it provides massive gains for me.
If you want to scale globally, follow this.
This is a must if you want to not only dominate SEO but business in general. Companies these days aren’t just based in the US or UK or China… they are all going global.
No matter if you have been doing SEO for just a few weeks or even years like me, there is always more to do.
Google is constantly changing and with the new technology that’s available to you, there is still a lot of room to do well.
As you can see from the above strategies, that’s the stuff I am focusing on over the next 12 months. They’re tactics that work and provide results.
Some of them are really advanced and require engineering help, but SEO is no longer just about hiring a marketer and having them help you get more traffic. To really do well, you have to get a bit more technical than most marketers are comfortable with.
So, what do you think of the strategies above? Have you tried any of them yet?