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5 Traffic-Boosting SEO Tricks From Industry Experts
The most surprising takeaways from BrightonSEO Conference

How about some unconventional-but-proven-to-work SEO tips for your website?

We hope you're in! The SEO PowerSuite team is just back from BrightonSEO (one of the most exciting digital marketing conferences in the UK), and we are full of SEO knowledge that we simply can't leave to ourselves!

This September the conference gathered over 50 SEO and digital marketing experts, and we've put their priceless insights into a list of 5 SEO ideas you may not have thought of before today.

No banal SEO axioms — only the hottest and truly actionable SEO ideas you can implement today to boost your website's rankings, traffic and conversions. Enjoy!

1. Site Architecture
Fix internal linking — or you'll be losing your site's hard-earned PR

Expert opinion:

Tomas Vaitulevicius
Tomas Vaitulevicius
Head of Digital Marketing at JustPark, @earnedmarketing
"Crawl your site to make sure you're not linking to URLs that redirect or canonicalise to other URLs."

What we've learned from Tomas's speech:

While it's true that Google is getting more and more sophisticated in evaluating site quality, link juice (and hence PageRank) is still the core element in the algorithm, having a huge impact on your rankings. And that's exactly why you're striving hard to earn those precious links.

But... If you're not paying enough attention to internal linking, you are probably wasting the hard earned PageRank — and letting it flow to a "dead end" instead of distributing it efficiently among your most important pages.

Consider this simple example: if we assume that 1 unit of PageRank arrives to your home page and cascades to deeper pages through the internal links, the ideal PageRank distribution may look like this:

But by adding internal links to pages that are unnoticeable to Google (blocked in robots.txt, canonicalising to other pages, and so on) or using nofollow internal links, you're sending your PageRank to a dead end instead of pushing it forward to the important pages on your site. Coming back to our example, just 2 "dead-end" links on the way from home page to your deepest page will make it 75% weaker with only 0.15 of the home page's PageRank.

Inefficiencies like this may be killing your site's SEO, as pages with little PageRank may not get crawled and indexed at all, and obviously won't get any search traffic.

And even if some of these "dead-end" links are a necessary element in your site's navigation, it makes perfect sense to revise your internal linking and get rid of any unnecessary links that don't play up to your site's usability but simply waste your hard earned PageRank.

SEO PowerSuite how-to:

In SEO PowerSuite's WebSite Auditor, go to the Content Analysis module, and select a page to analyze (it's a good idea to start with your home page). The software will get a complete list of internal and external links on the page. Look through the list and locate the internal links you can painlessly get rid of, thus passing more PageRank on to the important pages.

2. Local SEO:
Pick the right strategy for listing your local business address

Expert opinion:

David Whatley
Founder and Managing Director of MiShop.local
"There are 4 distinct types of local business listings. Choosing the wrong one can confuse Google and damage your local rankings."

What we've learned from David's speech:

All local SEO experts agree — NAP consistency (which means that the exact same details/format of your business's Name, Address and Phone number are listed across the whole Internet) is one of the most important factors for your site's performance in local search.

But there's another crucial factor in play: your business' type. That's right: the nature of your business as it determines the way you should list it.

The types of businesses we can distinguish are:

Type 1 — Retail: A separate physical location where your customers come for your goods and services and where no other businesses are located.

Type 2 — Concessions: A physical location within a concession store — where your customers come for your goods and services — and where many other businesses are also located.

Type 3 — Service area business: No physical location to visit — you visit your customers yourself.

Type 4 — Mixed type: When you are both serving your customers at a physical location and visit them yourself.

And while everything's more or less clear when it comes to Retail (you list your business with your address) and Service area businesses (you list your business with your address hidden), many concession stores and mixed type companies make mistakes while listing their biz. And two thumb rules here are:

1) For concession stores, it's absolutely necessary to clearly differentiate NAP & URLs for different Brands and Service Lines at the same address:

Concession Store X Concession Brand A Concession Brand B Concession Brand C
Different Name Store X Brand A Brand B Brand C
Same Address 1 High Street

A Town SW1 1AB
1 High Street
Store X

A Town SW1 1AB
1 High Street
Store X

A Town SW1 1AB
1 High Street
Store X

A Town SW1 1AB
Different Phone Number 01273
Different URL

2) For a business of mixed type, you need to have 2 separate NAP listings:

Store X Service X
Different Name Store X Service XYZ
Same Address 1 High Street

A Town SW1 1AB
Different Phone Number 01273 121212 01273 232323
Different URL
Different Type Retail Service area business
Different Category Retail Service

Once you've listed your business the right way according to its type, it's time to get down to NAP consistency and clean all your business citations from out-of-date info, misspellings and inconsistent formatting.

SEO PowerSuite how-to:

There are quite a lot of useful tools for citation tracking and management out there, but if you don't feel like purchasing another software subscription at the moment, this little hack will help you find your site citations with… LinkAssistant!

To do that, just follow the steps bellow:

1) Open LinkAssistant and click "Look for link partners".

2) Pick the "Find sites by keyword search" option and make sure to tick the "Enable expert options" checkbox in the bottom right corner.

3) Enter your business' name as a keyword.

4) Pick your target search engines and specify the number of citations you'd like to find.

5) Skip Step 5. At Step 6, leave only the "Try to acquire partner information" and "Get complete URLs" checkboxes marked.

6) And run the search!

LinkAssistant will find URLs of all pages that mention your brand. More to that, it will also collect webmaster contact info. Thus, in case you need to contact webmasters to ask them to fix your NAP, you can do that quickly and easily right from LinkAssistant's in-built email client.

3. Conversions:
Don't invest your time and money into SEO till you've tested your keywords with PPC.

Expert opinion:

Yauhen Khutarniuk
Head of SEO at SEO PowerSuite, @hutor04
"It's not enough to rely on search volume or competition — you need to test drive your keywords with AdWords."

What we've learned from Yauhen's speech:

Thorough keyword research is crucial for any SEO campaign, and that is especially true if you are on a low SEO budget and can't afford losing time or money.

To be on the safe side, you need to make sure you've picked the right SEO keywords. The ones that will bring you the desired results — lots of search traffic and high conversions. And, ideally, you need to do that before you dive into a full-blown SEO campaign.

How do you do that? Well, you can get an idea of your keywords' traffic potential from the keywords' monthly search volume. But how do you test their conversion potential?

Yauhen's idea is to test-ride your keywords in Google AdWords. And, if bidding on AdWords is something you can't afford, you can get some of the paid AdWords traffic for free — with the coupons that both Google AdWords and Bing Ads offer to new advertisers.

These coupons vary in value from $50 to $100, which is perfectly enough to run a test campaign in most niches. To get the coupons, you simply need to register a new Google Analytics account, Google Webmaster Tools account, or Bing Webmaster Tools account — in a while, you'll get the coupons sent to your email. Also, very often people who don't need the coupons give them away at webmaster forums, and it's a good idea to monitor those.

So why miss out on this opportunity? On the one hand, you'll get valuable keyword insight; and on the other, chances are these ads will earn a bunch of new customers.

SEO PowerSuite how-to:

After you've built up your keyword list using Rank Tracker, you can get a quick idea of how expensive it would be to test the keywords with AdWords. If you're using a coupon, this info will help you see how long your coupon will last.

In Rank Tracker's SEO&PPC Research tab, update KEI to see the following PPC metrics calculated for your keywords:

Expected Ad Clicks — amount of ad clicks you are likely to get for the keyword;

Cost Per Click — the approximate amount you'll pay for an ad click for this keyword;

Estimated PPC cost/mo — the approximate cost of your PPC campaign for the keyword per month.

4. Content
Make sure that your rankings aren't being damaged by content thieves

Expert opinion:

Jon Earnshaw
CTO and Co-Founder of Pi Datametrics, @jonearnshaw
"In many cases Google is unable to tell stolen content from the original, and the stolen copy outranks the original. "

What we've learned from Jon's speech:

37% of global marketing budgets are spent on online content. But with content being so important, why are we often satisfied with simply pushing it out and forgetting about it once and for all?

One of the things that can happen when you turn your back on your content, is that it gets stolen. And what is more, this stolen content can damage your site's rankings or even outrank your original page.

Prior to his BrightonSEO speech, Jon has run a number of tests to see how easy it was to disrupt another site's rankings by copying their content.

And the surprising outcome showed that in most cases Google is unable to tell stolen content from the original. And as soon as the stolen copy gets indexed by the search engine, rankings of the original page go down (or keep fluctuating, with the stolen copy constantly changing positions with the original).

For you as a website owner, it means you've got to protect your content from being scraped. How?

1. Keep a close eye on your site's rankings not to miss an unusual ranking drop that may be caused by someone else using your pages' content.

2. When your rankings go down, check whose rankings go up, and search their pages for chunks of your own copy.

3. Take the appropriate action. This may be contacting the website owner to ask them to remove the copied content, or using Google's content removal form.

SEO PowerSuite how-to:

As usual, LinkAssistant is your go-to tool whenever you need to conveniently reach out to a number of other website owners.

If you've found a number of content thieves that you're planning to contact, you can add them to your LinkAssistant project (you can add "Scraped content" as a tag to your records for convenient sorting). LinkAssistant will then find the content info on the offender websites and you'll be able to contact the webmasters right from the tool using its in-built email client.

5. Keywords
Start making better use of the good old Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Expert opinion:

Gianluca Fiorelli
Senior SEO and Inbound Marketing Consultant at @gfiorelli1
"Use Keyword Planner is to discover what keywords Google considers most relevant in relation to a page we want to optimize."

What we've learned from Gianluca's speech:

"Keywords and keyword research are dead after the Hummingbird update!" You've probably heard that a million times before. But wait, lets dig a bit deeper into what Google Hummingbird update really was.

Hummingbird was a "semantic" update. It let the search engine focus more on the meaning rather than the keywords. And, by grouping lots of keywords by their common meaning, Google was able to streamline its search mechanism — now giving a common answer to a number of "different-in-keywords" but "same-in-meaning" queries.

And for us SEOs it means that:

— No, randomly inserting your target keyword across your entire website won't let you lure lots of Google traffic now;

— But, yes, keyword research is still extremely important for your SEO success — now helping you optimize your site on a semantic level (segmenting your site into thematic sub-areas that are relevant to your site's general theme)

And this is where Google's Keyword Planner comes in handy. And the real reason to use this tool is no longer to check keywords' search volume, but to discover what keywords Google considers most relevant in relation to the page you're planning to optimize.

To do that, in Keyword Planner, select the first option in Tools (that is Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category) and:

1) Indicate a keyword that's related to your product or service (e.g. "Vietnam");
2) Indicate the URL of the page you want to use Google to suggest keywords for;
3) If possible, indicate the category of your product/service (like "Travel and Tourism");
4) Refine the targeting, if you want to target only specific languages or regions.

The result is what we see in the screenshot below.

Different Ad Groups here (which are groups of semantically related keywords) tell us which keywords to use/consider when we want to optimize a page for given semantic environment.

SEO PowerSuite how-to:

SEO PowerSuite's Rank Tracker has a powerful keyword research module that combines 17 different keyword research tools (from AdWords Keyword Planner to Google Related Searches and SEMrush).

And using its Google AdWords — by Target Page option you can get all keywords that Google considers relevant to your page (the mechanism described by Gianluca Fiorelli) quickly and easily inside your Rank Tracker workspace.

We were glad to meet you in person!

Apart from the amazing speakers we heard at BrightonSEO, the event was a great opportunity for us to see a lot of old friends and meet new ones. Thanks to all of you for taking a moment to stop by the SEO PowerSuite booth to say hi!

Didn't make it to Brighton? Here is where you can find us in the coming weeks:

— SMX East (NYC: Sept. 29 — Oct. 1, 2015)

We are already here, at SMX East's Jacob Javits Convention Center, waiting for you at booth 429!

— PubCon (Las Vegas: October 5-8)

From NYC, we're flying to Las Vegas to meet you at PubCon at Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall.

— US Search Awards (Las Vegas, October 7)

The U.S. Search Awards 2015 organizers recently announced the shortlist, and we were delighted to see that SEO PowerSuite has been shortlisted in the 'Best SEO Software' category. Want to say "Congrats"? We'll be happy to meet you during the awards ceremony at the Paris Las Vegas hotel.