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.”
Start testing with Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, with the new mobile-first index. PWAs will deliver a mobile site if a user comes to your site from their smartphone tablet. Major brands like The Weather Channel and Lyft are already testing this, and you don’t want to get left behind. PWAs are beneficial to brands that drive revenue through ads. They are an excellent alternative to AMP.
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.

You may find that your business doesn’t appear for relevant searches in your area. To maximize how often your customers see your business in local search results, complete the following tasks in Google My Business. Providing and updating business information in Google My Business can help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps.
Hey Brian, This is my first ever comment in Backlinko. I am silent lover of Backlinko. Whenever I stuck and feel numb about what to do next for my site ranking , I always come and find peace in backlinko planet. You are awesome man. Just a quick suggestion for you, Whenever I click on “Show only Brian’s favorite tips: NO” then it also shows your favorite tips too. It might be a problem ! See I learned from you and now I am helping you 😛 LOL …. Now Give me a authority link for my site 😀 Just Kidding !

Hi Brian, a very useful post, thanks for sharing. These things turned to be very useful for us: blocking thin content/pages from Google index, adjusting meta titles/descriptions and content of popular articles, improving internal links, improving page speed, implementing schema (didn’t notice a big difference here), optimizing images and their alt tags, making sure the site is mobile friendly and there are no accessibility issues (Lighthouse in Google Chrome helped a lot), some link building activity (long term) and of course keyword research and mapping. Thanks again for providing valuable info, regards.


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.
Provide full functionality on all devices. Mobile users expect the same functionality - such as commenting and check-out - and content on mobile as well as on all other devices that your website supports. In addition to textual content, make sure that all important images and videos are embedded and accessible on mobile devices. For search engines, provide all structured data and other metadata - such as titles, descriptions, link-elements, and other meta-tags - on all versions of the pages.
Hi Brian, great list. I noticed you mentioned using Kraken to optimize your images. A couple other tools I’ve found to work really well are ImageOptim (an app that you can download for your computer) and Optimus (a WordPress plugin that will optimize them when uploaded to your site). I’m not sure what your policy is on including links in comments so I won’t link to them here (even though I have no affiliate with either one.) Hope those resources can help someone!
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.

When your business is listed in an online directory, it is known as a structured citation. These citations increase exposure and website domain authority while associating your business name with existing high-authority sites like Yelp—all of which is favorable to Google. To create an effective structured citation, include full business contact information on your directories and be consistent with formatting.


To maximize your ROI when optimizing your site for mobile search, consult with a marketing professional to make sure your SEO efforts are in order. Use Mayple to be matched with a marketing expert from your industry, so you know your second set of eyes are from a professional. Visit Mayple’s site, fill out a brief identifying your business’ goals, and receive a FREE full audit of your marketing campaigns.
Inclusion in Google's search results is free and easy; you don't even need to submit your site to Google. Google is a fully automated search engine that uses web crawlers to explore the web constantly, looking for sites to add to our index. In fact, the vast majority of sites listed in our results aren't manually submitted for inclusion, but found and added automatically when we crawl the web. Learn how Google discovers, crawls, and serves web pages.3
While most of the links to your site will be added gradually, as people discover your content through search or other ways and link to it, Google understands that you'd like to let others know about the hard work you've put into your content. Effectively promoting your new content will lead to faster discovery by those who are interested in the same subject. As with most points covered in this document, taking these recommendations to an extreme could actually harm the reputation of your site.
When your business is listed in an online directory, it is known as a structured citation. These citations increase exposure and website domain authority while associating your business name with existing high-authority sites like Yelp—all of which is favorable to Google. To create an effective structured citation, include full business contact information on your directories and be consistent with formatting.
Participate in Forums – Getting involved in online forums, such as Reddit and Quora, can help increase the number of unstructured citations for your business. To maximize the potential of getting citations here, make sure your user bio includes your business website. Also, use the forums as a way to provide helpful information and not as self-promotion.
Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for your search. For example, Google algorithms might decide that a business that's farther away from your location is more likely to have what you're looking for than a business that's closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.
Basically, what I’m talking about here is finding websites that have mentioned your brand name but they haven’t actually linked to you. For example, someone may have mentioned my name in an article they wrote (“Matthew Barby did this…”) but they didn’t link to matthewbarby.com. By checking for websites like this you can find quick opportunities to get them to add a link.
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.
This topic seems actually quite controversial. Google answered the question by what could be taken as a denial. But their answer was kind of open to interpretations. And on the other hand, there are studies (one of them from Moz) that showed linking out has an impact. So, how can you be so assertive? Is it something that comes out from your own experiments?
As the industry continues to evolve, SiteLink brings you the right tools using today's technology. We listen to our customers' suggestions to enhance and add features. SiteLink users enjoy the collective experience of more than 15,000 operators. We exceed the strict SSAE 16 (SOC 1) Type II and PCI Level 1 Certifications to deliver peace of mind. SiteLink is cloud-based so you can do business from anywhere. SiteLink lets owners build the best websites so tenants can pay, reserve and rent online, 24/7 on any device.
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.
×