Good stuff, Brian. The tip about getting longer (4-line) descriptions is awesome. I hadn’t noticed that too much in the SERPs, although now I’m on a mission to find some examples in my niche and study how to achieve these longer descriptions. I also like the tip about using brackets in the post’s title. One other thing that works well in certain niches is to add a CAPITAL word somewhere in the title. Based on some early tests, it appears to improve CTR.
These are all great. I am working on implementing most of these. My biggest issue is my site is brand new (2 months). I am ranking for a lot but seem to be limited because, I am assuming, google will not give enough trust to a new site. What should I be doing to overcome the newness of my site? I buy houses in the Dallas Fort Worth area and if you are not number 1 on google then you might as well be on page 10! Any advise would be well received and please keep up the great work!
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Stellar post as always Brian! For marketers who have the time and budget we can do all of these things, however for most people who run small/local businesses they simply don’t have the time to do most of these things, and then it’s not cost feasible to pay someone to do this because that would require a full time position or paying an agency $xxxx/month which they can’t afford either. It’s a quandary of a position they find themselves in and makes it almost impossible to compete in modern day search against established giants. I wish Google would place more emphasis on relevancy and what’s actually on the page versus domain authority. Maybe one they’ll move towards that, but for now, all I see in the serps is giant sites then comes relevancy.
Hi Brian – I couldn’t agree more on the tip “delete zombie pages” to raise rankings. We’ve been blogging for 11 years now, and have been through the dark times when you were supposed to publish 400-600 blogs posts per minute in order to rank. Needless to say we had a lot of thin content… A few years back we embarked on a journey to cut out the dead wood, combine the good stuff, and create the long form content you espouse on your website. And guess what? Over those 2 years, traffic us up 628%. We’re down to around 72 pages / posts and couldn’t be happier. It gives us time to update the content when necessary and keep it fresh, rather than scratching our heads trying to figure out what new and exciting way to spin divorce mediation!

I did want to ask you about the section on “Don’t Focus on Long Tail Keywords”. This is topical for me as I actually have a tab opened from a recent post on the MOZ blog from Rand Fishkin that details reasons why you should focus on long tail keywords. I know you have said that “they have their place”, but as I say as a newbie to all of this, ever so slightly differing opinions from two authoritative people in the industry (that’s you and Rand of course 🙂 frazzles my brain somewhat and I’m not sure whether to turn left or right!


I am blind myself and run a disability community and many of our users have different accessibility issues and needs – eg I can’t see your infographic, deaf people can’t listen to your podcast without transcript or captions. Adding this text will benefit Google and your SEO but also make life much better for people with different disabilities so thanks for thinking of us!

Ranking highly on Google is achieved by strategically using keywords and design elements on your website that are favored by Google. Learning how to rank on Google will help give you the ability to capture the top organic and local results. Every business should be consistent in their efforts to increase and/or hold their top position on Google, as online searches are a primary way for customers to find companies and products.
Keep resources crawlable. Blocking page resources can give Google an incomplete picture of your website. This often happens when your robots.txt file is blocking access to some or all of your page resources. If Googlebot doesn't have access to a page's resources, such as CSS, JavaScript, or images, we may not detect that it's built to display and work well on a mobile browser. In other words, we may not detect that the page is "mobile-friendly," and therefore not properly serve it to mobile searchers.
If you’re updating the whole post, I think bloggers should create a brand new post and link the old to the new. I know, you’re starting over with no “link juice,” but at least it’s clear to the reader that the post has gotten a makeover. I remember reading a new post of yours a few months. I was about 25% through it and thought “man this sounds familiar.” So I checked it out on archive.org and realized that you had updated and republished it.
Keep in mind that the number of average monthly searches for each suggested keyword is an estimate. However, it does represent the popularity of that keyword or search term. This makes a difference when doing your keyword research, as it gives you insight into what people in your market are searching for. Understanding what they want allows you to better position your business to provide them with relevant content and information.
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