Users will occasionally come to a page that doesn't exist on your site, either by following a broken link or typing in the wrong URL. Having a custom 404 page30 that kindly guides users back to a working page on your site can greatly improve a user's experience. Your 404 page should probably have a link back to your root page and could also provide links to popular or related content on your site. You can use Google Search Console to find the sources of URLs causing "not found" errors31.

Next, log into Google AdWords and click “Tools” > “Keyword Planner.” Once you’re on the Keyword Planner menu, click “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.” Complete the form that appears; to start with, search for your type of business and location. For example, if you own a hair salon in Chicago, you would want to enter “hair salon Chicago.”
Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location. Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews. Learn more
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!
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Ensure that the pictures on your website have file names which include the target keyword. Also, your target keyword should be part of your image’s Alt Text. This will improve optimization for your article and also create a clearer picture for the search engines to the relevancy of your article/page. Images are an important component of any website as they make pages visually attractive as well as informative. Optimizing your images should naturally boost your ranking. Also, your image will get a high rank in Google image search.

It’s a simple Google Chrome extension. First, you have to install the extension in your Google Chrome browser. Once installed, it will appear as a little checkmark icon beside your address bar. When you click on it, it will immediately start scanning all the links on a particular web page. If a link is broken or dead, it will be highlighted in red, and the error will be shown right beside the text (e.g., “404”).


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.
Because the act of linking to a site does not imply ownership or endorsement, you do not need to ask permission to link to a site that is publicly accessible. For example, if you found a site's URL through a search engine, then linking to it shouldn't have legal ramifications. There have been one or two cases in the U.S. that implied that the act of linking without permission is legally actionable, but these have been overturned every time.

Robots.txt is not an appropriate or effective way of blocking sensitive or confidential material. It only instructs well-behaved crawlers that the pages are not for them, but it does not prevent your server from delivering those pages to a browser that requests them. One reason is that search engines could still reference the URLs you block (showing just the URL, no title or snippet) if there happen to be links to those URLs somewhere on the Internet (like referrer logs). Also, non-compliant or rogue search engines that don't acknowledge the Robots Exclusion Standard could disobey the instructions of your robots.txt. Finally, a curious user could examine the directories or subdirectories in your robots.txt file and guess the URL of the content that you don't want seen.


Link roundups are selected and organized updates from bloggers that link out to their favorite content during a given period. Roundups are mutually beneficial relationships. It’s really hard to curate content as it involves a lot of work. The bloggers creating these roundups are actively seeking content to link to. You can land links in bunches. Over time, you will gain roundup coverage naturally. After you pitch the blogger who curates the roundup, you should connect on social media. That way, they’ll discover your future updates naturally. I’ve gained some backlinks from link roundups.


When referring to the homepage, a trailing slash after the hostname is optional since it leads to the same content ("https://example.com/" is the same as "https://example.com"). For the path and filename, a trailing slash would be seen as a different URL (signaling either a file or a directory), for example, "https://example.com/fish" is not the same as "https://example.com/fish/".
The effect of following a hyperlink may vary with the hypertext system and may sometimes depend on the link itself; for instance, on the World Wide Web most hyperlinks cause the target document to replace the document being displayed, but some are marked to cause the target document to open in a new window (or, perhaps, in a new tab[2]). Another possibility is transclusion, for which the link target is a document fragment that replaces the link anchor within the source document. Not only persons browsing the document follow hyperlinks. These hyperlinks may also be followed automatically by programs. A program that traverses the hypertext, following each hyperlink and gathering all the retrieved documents is known as a Web spider or crawler.
One of your tips is “Make your content actionable”…I feel like this is not always the case depending on the context of the blog post. If I am to write a post on, say, “35 Incredible Linear Actuator Applications”, I feel like that’s something extremely hard to be actionable about. Rather, I feel my purpose is to be informative. Both of us are going for backlinks, but your blog I feel is more aimed towards giving awesome tips & advice for SEO’s. Whereas MY BLOG is about informing people about “linear actuators and their applications”.
Unstructured citations include things like a mention of your business in an online newspaper article, press release, online job board, and other sites. Unstructured citations and links are important because they let Google know that people are talking about your business. To get the most unstructured citations, work on getting positive reviews, host events, send out press releases to the media, and engage with customers online.
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).
If I have 2 pages that are on the same topic and basically the same info re-written with the same image, but both are very popular pages, what is your advice? Over the last 9 years the 2 pages have gotten more than a million pageviews combined, almost equally between them. Should I permanently redirect one to the other, or try to improve them each and distinguish them slightly more so that they cover a different angle of the same topic?
Embedded content linking. This is most often done with either iframes or framesets — and most companies do not allow their content to be framed in such a way that it looks like someone else owns the content. If you're going to do that, you should be very aware that this annoys people. Furthermore, if you're not willing to remove the content in an iframe or the frameset around the linked page, you may be risking a lawsuit.

The document containing a hyperlink is known as its source document. For example, in an online reference work such as Wikipedia, or Google, many words and terms in the text are hyperlinked to definitions of those terms. Hyperlinks are often used to implement reference mechanisms such as tables of contents, footnotes, bibliographies, indexes, letters and glossaries.

One of my favorite ways to give content a boost is to run ads on Facebook targeting people with interests that are relevant to the content. It’s fairly low cost since you are offering a free piece of content. By targeting people with relevant interests to your content, you drive the right people to the content and into the top of your funnel. And if your content resonates with them, they’ll share, link, and engage with the content in ways that will help Google see its value.
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Another reason is that if you're using an image as a link, the alt text for that image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link. However, we don't recommend using too many images for links in your site's navigation when text links could serve the same purpose. Lastly, optimizing your image filenames and alt text makes it easier for image search projects like Google Image Search to better understand your images.
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.
Embedded content linking. This is most often done with either iframes or framesets — and most companies do not allow their content to be framed in such a way that it looks like someone else owns the content. If you're going to do that, you should be very aware that this annoys people. Furthermore, if you're not willing to remove the content in an iframe or the frameset around the linked page, you may be risking a lawsuit.
i have never read an informative post until i came across this and am hooked. Helped me recognize broken links that i had no idea where sitting there. Also right in the beginning about having link worthy site, its like you were talking to me about writing see the link "here" and the LSI was a good tip i knew nothing about. Thank you so much and all the best.

Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location. Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews. Learn more
Use LSI keywords, and answer additional questions that users may think of after viewing the content. Simply offering only the content that a user searches for is no longer enough. Pages need to supply additional information a user may be seeking. Providing additional information will help retain the user, and tell search engines that the page’s content is not only answering the search query but providing additional value that other pieces of content may not be.
The term "hyperlink" was coined in 1965 (or possibly 1964) by Ted Nelson at the start of Project Xanadu. Nelson had been inspired by "As We May Think", a popular 1945 essay by Vannevar Bush. In the essay, Bush described a microfilm-based machine (the Memex) in which one could link any two pages of information into a "trail" of related information, and then scroll back and forth among pages in a trail as if they were on a single microfilm reel.
Hi Brian! I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while and had a good amount of success. 🙂 I have a request, similar to what someone else mentioned. It would be nice to learn the HOW to the tips you give, including details like which pro designer you hired, or at least where you found them, what their credentials should be (for which tasks), etc. Example: you used a custom coder to change the “last updated” date. So how do we find our own custom coder, and what coding language would they need to know. Same thing with jump links. Also, which pro graphics designer do you use, or at least, where did you find them, and what type of graphics skills do they need?
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