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!

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?.
You may not want certain pages of your site crawled because they might not be useful to users if found in a search engine's search results. If you do want to prevent search engines from crawling your pages, Google Search Console has a friendly robots.txt generator to help you create this file. Note that if your site uses subdomains and you wish to have certain pages not crawled on a particular subdomain, you'll have to create a separate robots.txt file for that subdomain. For more information on robots.txt, we suggest this Webmaster Help Center guide on using robots.txt files13.

Killer post, Brian. Really want to know how to create those charts you keep using throughout your posts. I searched Google for them but couldn’t find them so I’m guessing they’re custom designed but with what tool is the question… Would love to see a flat architecture diagram for blogs and non-ecommerce sites. Look forward to your upcoming Blab with Dmitry.
The most valuable tip I give small business owners who are looking to improve their ranking is to optimize their website for voice search. As of January 2018 alone, there were an estimated one billion voice searches per month. This number has grown exponentially over the past year and it will continue to grow in 2019. Optimizing their sites now will give them an edge in all aspects of their marketing.
Can you offer any commentary that is more specific to web-based stores? I definitely see the value in some of this and have made a few positive changes to my site, but I’m not a blogger and am ideally looking to direct more traffic to the site through other means. As it stands, we get only a few orders/month, and I’d like to dive deeper into how we can simply (though not necessarily easily) expand our market.

If you've never been on Product Hunt before, it's like a daily Reddit feed for new products. Products get submitted to the community and they're voted on. Each day products are stacked in descending order based on how many votes they've had. Ranking at the top of the daily list can result in thousands of conversion-focused traffic to your site, just as the creator of Nomad List found out.
Many blogging software packages automatically nofollow user comments, but those that don't can most likely be manually edited to do this. This advice also goes for other areas of your site that may involve user-generated content, such as guest books, forums, shout-boards, referrer listings, etc. If you're willing to vouch for links added by third parties (for example, if a commenter is trusted on your site), then there's no need to use nofollow on links; however, linking to sites that Google considers spammy can affect the reputation of your own site. The Webmaster Help Center has more tips on avoiding comment spam40, for example by using CAPTCHAs and turning on comment moderation.
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.
Entrepreneurs hoping for strong SEO (search engine optimization) rankings might take a lesson here. They can create a checklist of their own to make sure everything is perfect for their next website article. No, an SEO checklist won't protect you from crashing and burning. But it will help ensure that your post has the best chance it needs to rank high in Google. 
A few links down and I've noticed that Brian has a link from WordPress.org. Not bad! Turns out that his content has been referenced within one of WordPress's codex posts. If I were to reach out and offer some additional insight, citing one of my articles, there's a chance I could bag a similar link, especially considering they have a 'Useful Resources' section.
Additionally, the title must also be interesting enough that people will actually want to click on it! A good example of this would be PT from PTMoney.com, who wrote a great post about "making extra money." However, rather than a boring title, like "Make Extra Money," he titled it "52 Ways to Make Extra Money." Now that is something I would want to read.

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.
Local results favor the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches. Make sure that you’ve entered all of your business information in Google My Business, so customers know more about what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you. Provide information like (but not limited to) your physical address, phone number, category, and attributes. Make sure to keep this information updated as your business changes. Learn how to edit your business information
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.
2. It could be easier to get a backlink with a jumplink especially to your long article/page, as it is easier to create/add linkable content to your current long page. Instead of creating a totally new page. And for the site who would link to you it would be more relevant if the link goes directly to the part of the page where they are referring to in the backlink.

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.

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The first step that I take is to do a quick Google search to find pages on my domain where I've mentioned the keyword in question so that I can add an internal link. To do this, I'll use the following search query, replacing DOMAIN with your domain name (e.g. matthewbarby.com) and KEYWORD with the keyword you're targeting (e.g. "social media strategy"):
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.
Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure. Make sure all of the pages on your site are reachable through links, and that they don't require an internal "search" functionality to be found. Link to related pages, where appropriate, to allow users to discover similar content.
Thank you Brian. This is SOLID stuff. I appreciate your mindset for SEO and SEM. What’s the use of SEO and all of this backlinking effort if it can’t stand the test of time? Plus these back links are like little promotions, little ads throughout the internet vs. just a backlink. Plus it makes a lot of sense to maximize promotion efforts to have our on page stuff liked by search engines but also have our on page stuff maximize clarity to what the user is looking for getting them excited to share and link back. Man I’ve got a lot of work to do! Thank you!
After you hit “Get ideas,” you will see the number of average monthly searches for the term you entered, plus other related search terms that you may want to use as keywords on your website. Create a list of the keywords and search terms you want to rank for, and fold them in to your website copy and content as naturally as possible. As Google sees your website using these keywords, it will view your site as a relevant and quality search result.
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