Thanks for sharing these tips, Brian. Agree with all of these, except maybe #3 Delete zombie pages. A better strategy would be to update these pages with fresh content and convert them into a long form blog posts/guides. Deleting them entirely would mean either setting up a 404 or 301 redirect – both of which can hurt your organic traffic in the short run.
One of my best pieces of advice when it comes to SEO for small businesses is to truly spend some time understanding your audience and their intent. Even if your website is perfectly optimized, if it’s done for the wrong audience, you will not see good traffic. Google is taking audience intent into account more and more, as updates like RankBrain try to understand the semantics of a search query and not just the literal definition of the words. If you can comprehensively answer the questions your audience is asking, your site will rank highly in Google organically.
Ha! I love this post, which took an entire evening to read, because I needed to follow up on a lot of the links that branch out from here. I am a beginner but I was delighted to see you last section on how succint, strong, active and snappy writing helps to reduce bounce rate 😉 I think you might add using humor to the mix. You use it a lot, too. (And I’m only half joking).

Brain I got a question. I will be glad if you could answer it. So, you said that it is important to use keywords in the title and headings. But sometimes I observe that plugins like Yoast will recommend us to insert keywords in more and more subheadings. For example on a long post if I have 50 subheadings and 8 of them have my target keyword. Yoast is actually not happy with it and it wants me to add keywords into more number of subheadings. I felt that 8 itself is a bit too much. Does Google also looks at my content in the same angle of Yoast?. Ideally, as a good practice how many subheadings should have the target keyword?.
I am reading your emails from long time and tips and techniques are always wonderful, I have used many suggestions and also highly suggest others using the same, really seo is like playing with search engines and keeping your eye on everything going on and the changes and even implementing our own sense of humour while preparing metas, sometimes guessing what users will use to search products or services.
Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result. While there's no minimal or maximal length for the text in a description meta tag, we recommend making sure that it's long enough to be fully shown in Search (note that users may see different sized snippets depending on how and where they search), and contains all the relevant information users would need to determine whether the page will be useful and relevant to them.
You can confer some of your site's reputation to another site when your site links to it. Sometimes users can take advantage of this by adding links to their own site in your comment sections or message boards. Or sometimes you might mention a site in a negative way and don't want to confer any of your reputation upon it. For example, imagine that you're writing a blog post on the topic of comment spamming and you want to call out a site that recently comment spammed your blog. You want to warn others of the site, so you include the link to it in your content; however, you certainly don't want to give the site some of your reputation from your link. This would be a good time to use nofollow.
Paid search results are those in the top and bottom of the results page, indicated by the small “ad” icon. These are placements that businesses pay for to show up when users search specific keywords. Google Ads can be a very effective way of utilizing ad spend for those who are new or struggling to compete against businesses that rank higher in organic search results. It’s also great for businesses targeting keywords with high revenue potential.
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