SEO Articles

The evolution of search: succeeding in today’s digital ecosystem – part 1

The world has fundamentally and irreversibly changed; since the launch of the smartphone, technology has enabled on-demand access to information and opened a Pandora’s box full of anything our hearts desire. This is challenging for marketers to find new ways to connect with audiences. For search engines, this was a turning point in the services that they offer.

Where before, “web search” brands – the likes of Google, Yahoo, Bing and Baidu – were consumers’ first port of call, they are now rapidly losing share to new competition (particularly Amazon, WeChat and Facebook) and formats (primarily from voice and apps).

Personalization has become a key battleground too, as customers don’t just want quick results, but tailored suggestions that are directly relevant to their lives. Search engines are having to adapt to stay relevant, bringing a much-needed change in dynamic between SEOs and the major players in the space.

Adapting search engines to the mobile-first user

Before discussing how to react to the change, it’s important to consider how and why we are in the situation we find ourselves in. With the launch of the App Store in 2008, users have been able to connect directly with the brands they love. But historically, this was only valuable if you knew exactly what you wanted and, more importantly, unhelpful if you sought to browse products from multiple providers.

With users turning to search to fulfill their needs, the apps evolved. While search engines gave customers choice, they were not able to provide a recommendation.

There was a growing user need for the ability to aggregate and tailor information; to provide choice, but save time browsing – and it was in this space, coupled with the increasing ubiquity of mobile technology, that Airbnb, Amazon and other brands started to thrive.

These platforms have become synonymous with the services they provide. We no longer want to browse across different websites to find the products we need, when we can look in one place – and so the balance shifted from search more towards apps.

Search engines are evolving to counter this challenge. A great example of this is Google Maps, which (albeit still an industry-leading service) has massively improved the features it offers to business (e.g. through Posts) and agencies via its Google My Business platform.

But there is a clear change in approach from Google around this; where before the focus was on collating information and limiting the customization options, this has shifted to providing marketers (and small businesses) with an extensive set of tools through which to enhance their listing and stand out from the crowd – and, importantly, increased support and guidance on how to use these.

The theme of search engines working more closely with search marketers is important, as this is both a necessity for both parties – and an opportunity.

Taking the step from ten blue links to “position zero”

Customer attention spans are dropping to seconds. This is a behavioral change that will underpin all future developments in the search space. As customers’ appetite for knowledge grows, we provide more information and the technology to allow for faster, more informal ways to consume this content.

I believe that as humans, we’ve passed the critical moment from which we cannot return; our brains are now fundamentally hardwired to continue looking for the next thing, and to succeed, marketers need to consider this as a broader psychological change. One that alters the way we do everything, not just create more content to slake our perennial thirst for more.

But what has this got do with search? In short, everything – and we’re already seeing the output of this change. As users seek to click less, the number of featured snippets showing for queries is rapidly increasing and there is an ever-growing number of rich result formats being launched into the wild.

These not only provide answers directly to searchers but, in many cases, offer a similar experience to the apps that search engines are losing out to. And yet, for some, “optimizing for position zero” has become the new “build a responsive site”, pre-Mobilegeddon.

A well-intentioned idea, but one that will not be executed upon until it is too late. This is ultimately the wrong approach and one that will cost your brand, business or clients dearly if you wait.

Unlike mobile, optimizing for answer queries is difficult. To start with, the latest stats put the number of new, unique queries seen every day at around 15%. The optimist will say this is an opportunity and should be a key area of focus for growth. However, the realist will rightly ask how you can create a response to a query that doesn’t yet exist.

This comes down to a broad change in mindset. Often, we are limited in thinking only about how to keep customers in the conversion funnel, or “customer transaction management” as Martin Newman of Practicology recently referred to it.

This approach will yield a good return, if you can make it work, but the space will be competitive (unless you have a truly unique product or service) and it’s likely someone will have already beat you to the punch.

Rather, we need to do true “customer relationship management” and think about the touchpoints you could have with your customers, based on what they need, outside of your brand.

Here, you’ll find searches that are yet to be owned, in places your competitors aren’t even looking – but your customers are.

A world in color, not two hundred ranking factors

Identifying the opportunity is, however, only part of the challenge. You may now have a better understanding of which area to target, but appearing in that space is another matter entirely.

When optimizing for the traditional ten blue links, search marketers often revert to the original concept of 200 ranking factors. This breaks down into themes of focus – accessibility, relevancy, authority, etc. – but the basis of our strategy is to satisfy a predetermined list of items we believe (through industry-wide testing and experience) have an impact.

However, I believe this is a limiting view, although that’s not to say that this approach doesn’t still work – it does – but it’s the difference between watching a film in black and white versus full color. In both you’ll see what’s happening: in color you’ll notice the detail, and this will add to your knowledge of the plot and the world the story is based in.

Google uses an algorithm to rank its results; this is the first thing SEOs learn when starting out. We also know that it uses machine learning to power parts of this and to test new features.

However (and this is key to understanding how to optimize for position zero), Google has access to trillions of data points around search and we know that, since 2012, it has mapped these out into “things, not strings”. This isn’t something we consider when focusing on our core 200 factors, but the information it receives clearly comes from somewhere and where there is a process to collate, there is an opportunity to optimize for this.

Google lists three steps to how search works – crawling, indexing and serving – but there’s a fourth. If crawling is “finding” the information, indexing is “cataloguing” and “storing” it, and serving is deciding how to display this back to users, we’re missing a step around “understanding” the information; often referred to as “parsing”. This is the part we know (definitively) the least about, but is fundamental to showing as an answer result.

This concept was deftly explained by Gianluca Fiorelli in the 2016 revision of his “Wake up SEOs, the new Google is here” post. Over the past 18 months, one thing has become clear – this is truly the future.

However, many still believe that “knowledge graph optimization” still centers around adding structured data. Undoubtedly, this is important, but as Gianluca states, “semantics (or the links between concepts and language) is more than structured data” and that we need to consider both the code itself and the website architecture.

To succeed in today’s digital ecosystem, we must build well-structured repositories of knowledge that crawlers can use to quickly engage their time-poor, information-hungry audience.

We must look to the user journeys and touchpoints our customers want to take, not the ones we think we should create for them. To again quote Martin Newman, “we must become customer-obsessed or die”.

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Server Side Rendering For Dummies (& Non-Technical SEO Decision-Makers)

Server Side Rendering For Dummies (& Non-Technical SEO Decision-Makers)

Your engineering team just mentioned they are rolling out a new type of product landing page built with REACT or Angular or some other hipster tech name you may have seen out of the corner of your eye on your Twitter SEO feed. Your gut says this could be an SEO problem, and your gut is probably right. You search Google for “React SEO Issues.” etc. and you get a lot of smart bloggers giving you way too much information on how this technology works, when you really just need a few bullet points that you can hand to an engineer so you can move on with making that sweet pitch deck for the C-Suite.

This one’s on me*:

A lot of modern sites use “Single Page Applications” (SPAs) which have performance/UX benefits
SPAs usually return an empty HTML file initially which screws your SEO. Google is getting better at figuring this out, but I wouldn’t trust it.
When you render the app on the server first (using pre-rendering/server-side rendering) the user (and bots) get a fully rendered HTML page which = SEO


*There is a lot of detail beneath the surface in terms of how to best implement this stuff, how to test and troubleshoot it, etc., but for now you just need the dev team to fully render the HTML on the server before it gets fetched, and you need them to think you are not totally clueless. Now go knock out that pitch deck, Killer…

The post Server Side Rendering For Dummies (& Non-Technical SEO Decision-Makers) appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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Key takeaways from Google’s latest algorithm update

Key takeaways from Google’s latest algorithm update

On August 1 2018, Google rolled out a new algorithm search update, targeting broad searches across the globe.

This was the third algorithm update of the year, although many professionals in the SEO community have called this the biggest update since Penguin in 2012.


This week we released a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. Our guidance about such updates remains the same as in March, as we covered here:

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) August 1, 2018


The algorithm update was picked up by all search monitoring tools as we saw a spike around the beginning of August and continued fluctuations for around one week.

SERP metrics

Advanced web rankings

Which sectors were impacted the most?

Research by Sistrix highlighted that the industries affected the most were ‘Your Money or Your Life,’ known as YMYL for short, which relates to the health and finance sectors, followed by eCommerce sites. Companies that saw notable drops included Pandora (-28%) My Protein (-24%) and Wales NHS (-18%).

Which SEO techniques were penalized and rewarded?

Whilst Google has not disclosed much information on the features of this algorithm update, the SEO forums and communities have been exchanging their thoughts and have highlighted the following factors:

Mobile first-index
Content and on-site linking
Site speed.


What you can do to stay on top

Google has responded to queries on twitter by saying that ‘you should not do anything’ if you have been penalized and ‘there is no quick fix.’ But if you have been stung, why suffer from worse search results and less traffic? We highlight some key pointers below:


Mobile first: Mobile first-indexing is now fully under way, and those websites that do not have a mobile version, are not responsive or have a separate mobile site – will now face the music.

A number of sites have been complaining this month about not ranking for their brand name – however, this has coincided by not having a mobile version of their website.

In addition to a simple mobile design, mobile-friendly sites can maximize their results under Google’s mobile-first index by:

Having clear information above the fold (whether it is an h1 tag or call to action button)
Not hiding their content – whilst most desktop content is hidden on a mobile, this is still very important and should still be included. Accordion tabs can be a neat way of presenting this.
Not covering up content with pop ups – so for cookie consent or GDPR opt-ins, you can effectively place them on the bottom of the screen, rather than as a pop up.


Content: In a world where content is king, Google has hinted for website content have expertise, authority and trust, known as (E-A-T). This is particularly relevant for the “Your Money, Your Life’ industry of health and money – where they would like medical information to be distributed by professors and doctors, rather than bloggers gaming the SEO system.

As the story goes, typing your health symptoms into Google can fill you with paranoia and anxiety – but a shift towards more authoritative content should make this a thing of the past.

But how can Google tell if an article about diabetes, cancer or disease is written by an expert or not? Whilst there are not any ‘quick fixes,’ it is common sense that bloggers are more likely to reference other websites more, since they are basing their writing on other opinions. When compared to a legitimate medical professional, they are simply writing their opinion without needing to reference.

In the case of health insurance comparison website MediCompare, they have historically used bloggers to ramp up their content and when the algorithm hit, their rankings fell like a stone.

However, a removal of all their external links, an increase in internal links and removing of heavy content, showed a recovery within 48 hours:

1st – 12th August

13th – 15th August


Speed: Site speed and loading time have been on Google’s radar for years and while it has always been a ranking factor, this is now crucial for good results. Previously we might have seen sites ranking at position 1 despite poor site speed, but this may no longer be the case.

Subsequently, SEOs and designers should now look at building websites with site speed in mind and simple ways to do this include browse caching, compressing images to below 100kb and compressing code where possible. Useful tools to assess your site speed include GTmetrix and of course, Googles Pagespeed Insights.


Overall, it appears the algorithm update is geared towards content being more authoritative and by providing users a better experience on mobile and with faster loading times across all devices. This certainly makes SEO harder than before – as ranking a site with a basic design and adding content is becoming a thing of the past. Whilst the health industry was clearly the biggest target in this algorithm update, SEO professionals must truly stay on top of the game. Otherwise we could find this algorithm update having a significant impact on all other industries and changing the face of SEO as we know it.


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How to Use REGEX Formulas in Google Sheets

How to Use REGEX Formulas in Google Sheets

Handling big sets of data to analyse is quite normal if you work in SEO. On a regular basis, either in Google Sheets or Excel, I use formulas such as vlookup, index, iferror, and the list goes on, to sort quickly through endless data. Not only are they fundamental for my survival as an SEO analyst, I often still have to refer to the Distilled Excel guide to achieve what I want. But sometimes, these functions are just not good enough. They’ll do the work, but the time it takes to set them up makes me question whether I am actually working faster.

Thanks to a recent outstanding presentation delivered by Robin Lord during a digital marketing Meetup event at Distilled, I was introduced to the world of Regex. Regex is a matching expression tool returning specific values, for example, true or false, whether it finds the expression or not. It can be used on many platforms, such as Google Analytics, Python, Java, and more, to perform searches of specific strings.

You may be thinking “oh no, another complex programming language I don’t understand that complicates things even more”. And you could not be more wrong. The good news is that you can use Regex on Google Sheets to work with your data, making your life beyond easy. That’s right, I’m all about learning tools to make my life easier and lately Regex is my favourite.

The 3 main Regex formulas you can use on Google Sheets are:




They perform exactly what they say: extract, replace, and match. Since my purpose here is to demonstrate how helpful these functions are, I won’t go too much in deep into all the Regex syntax rules. There are already plenty of comprehensive guides and resources out there so if you want to learn more Regex, here is a useful Regex guide and this is a really good debugging tool.

Below I’m going to dive right into Regex formulas for Google Sheets and examples on how to use them and what you can achieve with each one.


This is the function you’d want to use when you are digging out a certain string within a longer one. For one of my clients, I had a list of URLs and I had to extract certain words within each. For example, from the list of URLs below let’s suppose I had to extract the location:

However, I had many words I was looking for, and each URL could have included any of them and in a different location within the URL. Without Regexextract, I’d have to apply multiple filters and custom formula for each URL, extracting the word based on its position. I don’t have time for this and nor should you.

Let me get you started with a really simple Regex example. Let’s say I needed to extract the word “great” from the link “”. When you type in “=REGEXEXTRACT” in Google Sheets this is what the function requires:

The “text” part is the cell where you have something to look for, and the “regular_expression” is the expression telling Regex what to look for. In our case, the formula would become:


Here is a little syntax context: The .* before and after the word “great” tells Regex not to worry what precedes or follows the string “great”. So “great” could be anywhere in the URL, Regex will find it:

This is a Regex example of what the formula would become if you are looking for multiple values:


Here you probably noticed the use of pipe “|” which stands for “or”. The formula tells Regex to look for the word blue or green or red and so on.

Again, it doesn’t matter where the word is within the string. One additional thing to note is that Regex differentiates for capitalised letters, which can be quite handy sometimes.

The applications of this formula are infinite when you think that you can combine it with the functions you use every day. Even without combining REGEXEXTRACT with any other formulas, performing the task I show above without it would be quite time-consuming.


For one of my clients, I had a long list of title tags and I wanted to capitalise the first letter of each word except for words like “the” “in” “for” “a”, you get the point. With the formula PROPER you can capitalise each first letter of a word:

But this didn’t solve my problem. Regexreplace came to the rescue:


Similarly to Regexextract, the “text” part is the cell you want to modify, and the remaining part is a simple instruction telling Regex what to replace:

Here is an example of Regexreplace combined with itself:



Regexmatch searches for a value in a cell and returns a TRUE or FALSE. For me, this became useful when I was checking whether the URLs in my list contained certain words and I didn’t want to go through endless filters.

Here is a simple Regexmatch example, looking for the word “blue” within a URL:


Here is an example showing how Regex differentiates for capitalised letters:


Again, here you can use multiple values to look for within the same formulas:


The applications for Regexmatch are many and you can combine it with any other function on Google Sheets.

As you may have noticed, the potential of these three simple functions are endless. Let’s not forget that there are more of syntax rules on Regex that you can use to achieve different things. Here is an additional debugging tool for those of you who want to get into coding with Regex.

Regex has made my life a lot easier and my data a lot more interesting to work with. I’m sure you’ll find it extremely useful and surprisingly easy to learn. Feel free to comment if you have any questions about the formulas or further suggestions. Keep calm and REGEX on!

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45 Quick Traffic Hacks That Will Boost Your Website

45 Quick Traffic Hacks That Will Boost Your Website

I always advocate the idea of taking a step back to see the larger picture. When it comes to digital marketing, this is a crucial step – as it can easily point out what is currently missing from the approach you’re implementing for your website.  



Always make sure you’ve got the big picture in mind, however complicated this may seem sometimes. While keeping this in mind, today’s post is going to offer you a series of tips that can boost your traffic, and don’t interfere with your current strategies. This article will present you an extensive list of hacks that you can implement on your website to drive more traffic to your website – with minimal work and immediate results.    


Drop the Retargeting Pixel on Users Who Engage with Your Content
Use a Content Delivery Network to Promote Posts Based on Users’ Locations
Focus Your Efforts Only on Social Media Platforms that Work for Your Business
Offer Deals to Universities to Get Listed on .edu Sites
Use Schema Microdata to Facilitate Website Indexing
Check out Unexploited Social Media for a Reinvigorating Marketing Approach
Debunk a Common Perspective in Your Niche and Prove It’s a Myth
Post Evergreen Content from Your Blog to LinkedIn Regularly
Join Niched Twitter Lists to Spread Your Message to a Targeted Audience
Repurpose Long Form Content into SlideShare Presentations
Tag & Quote the People that Comment on Your site on Social Media
Make a Creative Unboxing Youtube Video of Your Product
Transcribe Your Video Content to Target a Broader Audience
Use Alltop (or Other Blog Aggregators) to Get Listed as an Authoritative Source
Reschedule Popular Tweets in Your Industry on Buffer
Suggest Your Content on a Popular Scoop It Page to Get Colossal Targeted Exposure
Self-Publish Kindle Books and Link to Your Site
Upload a Screencast Product Demo on Your Website to Hook First-Time Visitors
Use Tooltipster to Make Every Fragment of Text Easily Shareable
Write Testimonials for Popular Products in Your Niche for Authority Links & Exposure
Turn Your Infographics into In-depth Articles & Rank on More Keywords
Use a PR Prank as a Link Building Tactic
Optimize Your TTFB to Improve User Experience
Create an Instagram Photo Contest to Exploit a 200 Million Users Network
Pin Tweets that Address Your Reader’s Needs, Not Your Marketing Strategy
Address a Complementary Niche with Similar Interests to Your Read#ers
Get Yourself Featured on Product Hunt for Expert Feedback
Send Personal Webinar Registration Emails to Unengaged Prospects
Use List Posts as Much as Possible – They’re Easy to Read & Tweet
Use LinkedIn Groups to Announce Improvements to Targeted Audiences
Involve Readers in Your Content Marketing with a Crowd Sourced Post
Rank for Video Content Posting Optimized Youtube Videos Regularly
Make People Curious About You & Boost Your Traffic with a Funny Product or Landing Page
Feature Influencers in Your SlideShare Content to Get It Shared
Tag Influencers on Twitter to Let Them Know You Mentioned Them
Find a Unique Personal Tone that Nobody in the Niche Has Adopted Yet
Marry Evergreen Content with Trending Posts to Boost Visibility
Get a Column on an Industry Publication
Find Partners in Your Industry
Tell Your Brand Story Through an Honest Appeal to Emotion
Pitch Your Business to Influencers on Hacker News
Post Questions that Make People Use Their Pride/Creativity/Ego
Have Social Media Buttons in Your Email Newsletter
Grow your Email List on a Daily Basis
Write a Response Post to Something/Someone Popular in the Niche

1. Drop the Retargeting Pixel on Users Who Engage with Your Content


Retargeting can be used both very rightly and very wrongly, and the difference makes all the money (also literally). Whenever you drop pixels on users, try to make sure that you take the bounce rate into consideration. This way, your custom audience will be more targeted and your overall results will be better, after just one little change, as Claire Pelletreau did. It is as simple as adding code to your website.



Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot of energy on people who had no interest in your content in the first place. So maybe you should wait for a few seconds before dropping the pixel to generate the retargeting process.  

2. Use a Content Delivery Network to Promote Posts Based on Users’ Locations


There are numerous benefits to be technical. In this context, they’re mostly blocking SQL injections and malicious bots. However, there’s a marketing advantage to this as well. Brian Jackson offers more than these two reasons. Its main marketing purpose is being able to live to the expectations of your never-settling customers. He said that when delivered quality content based on location, he experienced increased website traffic thanks to the improvement in responsiveness, which is an evergreen technique. 



Your website will be more optimized and it will work faster, contributing significantly to the overall user experience which, as we can all agree, is something to aim for.  

3. Focus Your Efforts Only on Social Media Platforms that Work for Your Business


There’s a place and a time for everything. So the question remains: what do you do if you’ve done everything possible by the book to promote your page and it still doesn’t work? You kill it. Copyblogger did it with their Facebook page. After all, it’s not strategically appropriate to invest a huge amount of time and resources into something that refuses to comply with the rules of ROI.



In her article, Erika Napoletano said something I can only agree with: fan numbers don’t mean anything if they’re not accompanied by engagement. So focus on what works, instead.  

4. Offer Deals to Universities to Get Listed on .edu Sites


Authority links and brand mentions contribute a great deal to a business’ reputation and visibility. It’s a lot easier to get notoriety when you’re featured on reputable websites. And universities are a great networking source at the same time, the links from an educational website have a very powerful authority. From young, creative minds who deserve an internship to associate lecturers full of academic insight, universities are the place to be.



Here, the possibilities are endless. How you choose to materialize this tip depends both on your business model and financial possibilities. The easiest way is asking the university you graduated from to mention you as a successful alumnus, now active in the entrepreneurial field.


Not everyone is going to be able to give away scholarships (we’re not all Google), but most of us could easily create a course for students who would like to learn about case studies in your niche. The academic mediation between the theoretical field and your practical experience works best together when it comes to the educational experience.  

5. Use Schema Microdata to Facilitate Website Indexing


Schema is a type of microdata that helps search engines parse and interpret the info on your website in a more effective and contextual manner, helping both you and the potential customers/readers who perform search queries. Using schema microdata can help you appear in the knowledge graph, gain beta releases and having advantages in AMP, Google News, etc. and help Google to show contextual results from your website. And as a result to all that, it increases the traffic to your site.



The practice helps the search engines crawl more efficiently and your visibility can register a boost after introducing it. One very honest white-hat strategy, this hack works best for the long term of your business, just like in the example below from Dan Shewan. This way, the information on your website is better parsed and interpreted by the search engines, and you are most likely to see a boost in the overall visibility of your website.  

6. Check out Unexploited Social Media for a Reinvigorating Marketing Approach

StumbleUpon, Taboola, Launchbit, and Outbrain, Pinterest – they’re all great ideas for content promotion. These social media websites may not be as popular as Twitter and Facebook, and maybe this is why they work so great when it comes to marketing objectives – because you can address more specific niches, with a higher informational intent and which are more prone to be convinced that your business is worth giving a try.



Take the example above of an article published on StumbleUpon. If you’ve got catchy articles and high-quality pictures, Taboola and Outbrain are the ones you should use. They are not like any other social media website, they offer behavioral targeting to help publishers make their content noticed. They can be used very easily to syndicate your content. If you decide to use this technique, the platforms will share the organic content on other websites and it might appear in different sections such as sponsored content or recommended content. 


7. Debunk a Common Perspective in Your Niche and Prove It’s a Myth

Some things we take for granted. We’re so used to hearing them that not only won’t we try to contradict people who state them, but we’re starting to slowly accept them as truths. And the reader does the same. That’s a great start for a traffic idea, right? When everyone’s started to accept something as being true, the voice of those that don’t believe it will soon stand out. Some time ago, we documented on the topic regarding the SEO industry being dead. Everybody has been talking along the years about it, and even some authoritative sources were starting to drift away.



We wrote an article to publicly state the opposite. Of course, you should keep a neutral voice in order to be reliable as a source, and moderation is the key to any long-term feasible approach. But, the article wasn’t just shared across social media, it also had almost 40 comments. This proves once more, that conflicting opinions bring visibility and creates viral content.

8. Post Evergreen Content from Your Blog to LinkedIn Regularly


Dorie Clark admitted being a big fan of this tip in a roundup post. If you think of it, LinkedIn is a pretty natural environment for evergreen content, such as in the example below.



It’s the place where people will always look for specific information. And evergreen content can be a constant source of traffic. That happens because the articles have a better value than your generic blog post you find on the web, being directly related to the professionals who documented them. Making yourself visible on a website where everybody has the same goal and getting in touch with relevant people in the industry, means a lot when it comes to your future targeted traffic. So start small, and make changes that will echo in terms of visibility even years from now.


Posting evergreen articles on LinkedIn increases your website traffic because it connects organically the content you published with the professionals behind the ideas.  

9. Join Niched Twitter Lists to Spread Your Message to a Targeted Audience

There are few things that can motivate us more than being in the right place at the right time. However, most of the times, for us marketers, this is not something that luck is responsible for. We have to make it happen. And one of the places where things happen with a vicarious rhythm are Twitter lists. Being a part of them allows you to see what happens in your niche and to share (relevant!) content with a highly niched audience, who will probably take interest in your cause.



Kevan Lee told the story of Twitter listing and all the amazing results you can achieve when you take all the variables into account. For instance, there’s this Social Media list from, Adweek with millions of members and fans. Imagine you have the possibility to share content with 2, 3 or 5 million people interested in your niche, just because you’ve created one powerful connection with the person who put you on that list. How great of an opportunity is that?  

10. Repurpose Long Form Content into SlideShare Presentations

Another great example of traffic generators is repurposing long-form content into presentations. According to Lena Prickett, an idea turned in 15 ways around the interests of the readers is as valuable as 15 ideas, assuming you’re doing the promotion responsibly. SlideShare has a huge audience and less than 1 percent of marketers manage to address their audience, which makes it all the more available as a source when it comes to spreading your content.  


Take the Coschedule example above.



The original article had 170 social shares. However, the SlideShare presentation brought another 100.



It’s almost always appropriate to repurpose website content, and it makes working on an in-depth piece more profitable, as it gives you the chance to actually get substantial and relevant traffic for the time you’ve spent documenting your posts.


The time difference of repurposing content is small enough to make it worth every minute, as it doesn’t even come close to the amount of time it takes to create new content that appeals. Of course, this means that maybe it’s time you started thinking of your topics as ideas that have to fit into more than just one universal presentation form.  

11. Tag & Quote the People that Comment on Your Site on Social Media


Tagging people that commented on your site on social media brings you easy traffic. Think of it. People who’ve commented have spent enough time on your blog as to have a few unanswered questions. It means they’re already engaged. They know about your brand, are interested in the content you’re providing, and they’re always striving to be documented on what’s happening in the niche.  



Kevin Duncan calls this the ‘howdy, neighbor’ technique, and it basically means that you should be friendly with you acquaintances online. Just like people from the small towns that welcomed a new neighbor. It doesn’t involve more than saying thanks once in a while and welcoming people properly.  




The results from his experiment were astonishing in terms of engagement.



Try it out and see the results for yourself!  

12. Make a Creative Unboxing Youtube Video of Your Product


It’s not necessary to have a material product when you’re considering creative unboxing. IKEA had a great idea of the book, where they presented their catalog – a hardcover book – as a gadget.



The entire purpose of the unboxing video is to have as many views as possible and increase your brand memorability, even if it’s a little complimentary to your product instead of an unboxing of the product itself. But make it easy to understand. Needless to say, if you do have a material product as part of your business, the unboxing video is going to be even easier to make and will serve informational needs.  

13. Transcribe Your Video Content to Target a Broader Audience


It’s only appropriate to make sure that all kinds of prospects with very different schedules will be able to follow your content. The form in which your content is presented is only an instrument that’s meant to facilitate interaction, not to block it.



Transcribing your video content may come in handy, especially for that type of audience that doesn’t have enough mobile data to access your video on the spot (and can forget until they get home) or is in a very boring meeting and cannot play it out loud, but would be able to read it. Be prepared for these kinds of situations. Not to mention the ranking. You can get higher rankings, as you help the search engine contextualize the content of the video and the complexity of your endeavor.  

14. Use Alltop (or Other Blog Aggregators) to Get Listed as an Authoritative Source

Alltop is an authoritative source where people browse information, sorting it in a manner that’s dedicated to displaying the most recent news. The reason why people use it is that it’s practical and it filters the authoritative sources that would usually come up in a search engine, providing its users with fresh articles. It is a great source for driving traffic. 




As a publisher or a site owner, as Donna Maria Coles Johnson puts it, you’d like to be listed on a blog aggregator because it helps promoting your content and it will bring a lot of traffic, in time. The advantage is being part of a network where people come to look for information, which is why it’s advised to maintain relevance.  

15. Reschedule Popular Tweets in Your Industry on Buffer


Nobody likes to follow a leader who keeps yapping about himself. Keep this in mind when you’re posting on social media. Curating information that you find essential, funny or provoking is equally important as creating new content. Sometimes, it’s even more important.



Start a blogger outreach campaign. Associating yourself with influential people creates a slippery slope from which you may be getting out with hundreds of new followers, who noticed you on the influencer’s page with the retweets, and have decided to see what you’re up to. Never underestimate the potential of networking done right, and be patient when starting it.  

16. Suggest Your Content on a Popular Scoop It Page to Get Colossal Targeted Exposure


We all get attached to the content we’re writing. It’s part of the job description. It is mostly because we’re passionate about our work. But not all of it is always relevant for some people’s informational needs. However, there are situations where parts of our content could be cured into something that addresses a slightly different audience than ours.



The great news about this tip is that it only takes a few minutes. Some of the Scoop It pages have hundreds of active followers, who represent niched audiences, as Gabriella Sannino also suggested in her post. She suggests content that it is appropriate and related to the subject of the community because that type of content will be generating traffic for your website, not to mention networking opportunities. 

17. Self-Publish Kindle Books and Link to Your Site

It’s not uncommon to have a lot of old (but still reliable) content that doesn’t generate too much traffic anymore. Along with actively promoting it on social media from time to time, you can also turn it into a book – maybe add a few updates to the case studies you were writing two or three years ago, and then publish it.




And I’m not just suggesting this because of the link to your website, or the profile description that is going to position you better on the web, although they’re pretty good points, as David Kudler advocates. Most of the people who are actively interested in reading on a niched topic are also more and more devoted to materials that lack the hyper-connectivity that makes the web so popular. that happens because it helps them focus.


In other words, you may not be a Kindle bestseller, but you’ll know two things about the audience you’ll attract: you share the same passion and they have the patience to read, all of these while re-engaging old content in the marketing scheme.  

18. Upload a Screencast Product Demo on Your Website to Hook First-Time Visitors


Visuals draw our attention and everybody agrees with that. Instead of letting your prospects roam around your website aimlessly, you can just upload a screencast on your website and let them have the information delivered in an eye-candy manner, that will also increase the memorability rate.



As Epipheo did, and they had over 50,000 Youtube views, which is a great number for a company with an average of 7,000 Twitter followers.  

19. Use Tooltipster to Make Every Fragment of Text Easily Shareable


Tooltipster is a handy tool you can use whenever you wish to make HTML improvements in your blog’s functionality. Many times, the reason why people don’t share useful content is because they’re discouraged by the layout of the website. After you took care of this, you can install the Highlight and Share plugin extension to encourage sharing with your readers as well.



This is why your blog should be a sharing-friendly environment, where you display the numbers of shares on different social media platforms and you encourage even more sharing through a tool that will allow sharing easily. If you’ve just published a piece of content that you’ve been working on for a week, maybe you wouldn’t like to see it lose any kind of traffic and engagement after a few days, maybe fewer than it took you to create it.

20. Write Testimonials for Popular Products in Your Niche for Authority Links & Exposure


Endorsement is powerful. It will always be because it works on a principle that’s guiding us all through life, credibility transfer. Of course, the more authoritative and competent the source is in the industry that it endorses, the more credibility it transfers. However, this works wonders in reverse as well. The endorser becomes endorsed by the product, in our case.



This is, again, a psychological positioning trick. Whenever you access the website of a product or service and you reach the testimonials page, you’ll think that the clients are not only the most representative the service owner has in mind, but the most authoritative as well. If you’re doing the outreach rightly and contact companies that are similar to your interests and areas of expertise, then you’ve got yourself some good, steady traffic going on, even if you’re not the most popular in the niche.  

21. Turn Your Infographics into In-depth Articles & Rank on More Keywords


Infographics are the end-medium when it comes to promoting content visually to increase engagement. Still, they will have better ranking if you boost them with content, to help the search engines associate the images with the content.



So the question becomes: what do you do when the social media hype you’ve created with your infographic starts to fade away? Clearly, you cannot just leave it at that. After all, you’ve spent a large amount of time in putting the infographic together. To not to waste the energy, you can repurpose the content of the infographic into a blog post, just like Killer Infographics suggests.  

22. Use a PR Prank as a Link Building Tactic


Duolingo is a website that’s destined to helping people learn foreign languages. On the 1st of April, they created a prank product, the pillow that helps you learn a language overnight.  




The prank was very well received on the web and it got a lot of quality links for the page.  




Not to mention that it boosted the entire backlink performance of the domain, getting the website to an entirely new high number of links/referring domains in their history.



PR pranks are useful in terms of notoriety as well, not just traffic and backlinks as they allow you to build relationships with influencers and position you as a creative agent on your market.  

23. Optimize Your TTFB to Improve User Experience

Website speed is one important factor when it comes to user experience and to visitors re-returning to your website. And organic traffic, now more than ever, is not something we can afford to take for granted.



This is when we have to get a little technical in order to make sure that we’re ranking properly. Assuming you’re reading this, probably ranking is one of your priorities. And the Time to First Bite has a contribution in ranking. Mark Scott stresses that the exact definition of website speed is quite ambiguous online, and he couldn’t be more right. Yet, even if there’s some debate going on about it, TTFB still matters and you can use instruments to measure the extent to which you’ve done a great job until now.  

24. Create an Instagram Photo Contest to Exploit a 200 Million Users Network

Someone I particularly like when it comes to Instagram engagement is the Cluse shop for women’s watches and jewelry. They’re pretty popular and always dedicated to building more search traffic and create engagement on social media.



They are collaborating with lots of ambassadors and have various giveaways on their social platforms. One of their contest created on Instagram increased the brand’s engagement, and it’s not even that hard to host it, especially when it’s crucial to have engaged followers on every social media platform that can speak for your brand. They are sharing lots of posts, engage with bloggers and fashion icons on Instagram and publish high-quality pictures with vivid colors. 

25. Pin Tweets that Address Your Reader’s Needs, Not Your Marketing Strategy


There’s something great about web, and that’s people’s availability when it comes to sharing information. You can find how-to articles and tutorials about pretty much everything. And, more importantly, you can use them in shaping your marketing strategy. For instance, the pinned tweet. Pauline Cabrera writes about this possibility in a mini-how-to article, letting you know about everything you need to know if you want to get your tweets pinned.



Don’t just use this option to promote yourself better, but give something to the community instead. Try writing about something that would instantly hook the reader instead of something you’d really like them to know about, and watch your engagement rate increase.  

26. Address a Complementary Niche with Similar Interests to Your Readers


Content expansion can be a useful tool when you’re trying to address more potential readers. The advantages of it range from a better and more dynamic audience to a dramatic increase in leads and brand recognition. Powell’s Books is a bookstore in Oregon. And people are mad about it. Aside from having an offline business that addresses a certain type of audience, they’ve been active online for a while.



Their tweets often engage the entire artistic community and everything that creates hype on the web, addressing a target who wouldn’t necessarily spend their free time reading for leisure. Plus, many of the followers don’t even live somewhere close, so they’re clearly part of a different niche, enjoying something distinctive as much as the next reader.


Being sociable and friendly can get you far, as long as you know how to adapt your strategy as to address people who wouldn’t normally consider entering a bookstore and, more importantly, speaking like a person, not like a brand representative.  

27. Get Yourself Featured on Product Hunt for Expert Feedback

Danny Postma tells the story of how he was featured on Product Hunt. It’s not easy to start your own business, and it’s harder to promote it among other people who have the same goal as you.  



New projects have the advantage of being full of possibilities and, if promoted properly, they can propel the entire startup that created them. And, of course, they’re flexible, and Product Hunt is a great place with professionals always willing to take 5 minutes of their time and give you actionable tips.



And sometimes increase traffic website, if you’re lucky.

28. Send Personal Webinar Registration Emails to Unengaged Prospects


Whenever a trend catches some popularity and everybody starts doing it, it becomes harder and harder for the people actually using the strategy properly to stand out from the crowd, as ironic as it sounds. So happened with webinars. It’s almost impossible to get through a day (even Sunday) without getting at least one webinar invite.



It gets even harder when the prospects you’re trying to engage are slipping away. But it’s more challenging, at the same time. Joanna Wiebe went through the webinar-invite strategies in terms of what works and what doesn’t. Being personal is the first thing, along with writing from an individual point of view. Just mentioning names isn’t enough (although it’s a good start). But writing from your standpoint to the prospects’ helps them realize the benefits of engaging with your brand.  

29. Use List Posts as Much as Possible – They’re Easy to Read & Tweet


People like visually organized content because it helps them focus on the relevant aspects of an article, even when we skim through content. And admitting we’re doing it means admitting our readers are doing it as well.  



Lists are a quick fix to this. They are increasing website traffic, as their main purpose is to guide the reader through the content, to get to the parts he’s really interested in, the ones he’ll carefully read. You just throw in a serious writer, and a topic with a lot of potential and buzz around it. Then organize it in the form of a list, and you’ve got yourself a traffic winner.  

30. Use LinkedIn Groups to Announce Improvements to Targeted Audiences


Joshua Rodriguez explained the proper way of using LinkedIn groups. It’s not something you do in a minute, it’s true (it doesn’t take you more than half an hour to get started either). It implies checking the interests of the groups you’re part of to make sure you’re not spammy or redundant.




Depending on their informational needs and the extent to which they need to be notified (it’s enough for some to hear twice a month about your brand, while others would miss you if you didn’t post 3 times a day). Keeping appropriateness cannot be done empirically (or it can, but it’s not strategically constructive). So use spreadsheets. Write everything down and keep track of your improvements: it helps both morale and revenue!  

31. Involve Readers in Your Content Marketing with a Crowd Sourced Post


And mix them up a little. Combine powerful influencers with regular readers, to create an idea of a reliable source who is capable of seeing the message behind the popularity – and, ultimately, to gather as many people as possible with pertinent solutions to the issues you’re proposing for debate.



Sometimes it’s not all social media (I can’t believe I’m saying this myself), as there are more types of going through information. I may just find it highly useful and informative, but maybe my friends are not as thrilled about the topic as I am. However, some crowd-sourced infographics don’t necessarily bring a spike in social media, but they do increase on-page engagement and the traffic itself has a boom. Matthew Woodward tried this strategy in the example above, and the results were encouraging.  

32. Rank for Video Content Posting Optimized Youtube Videos Regularly


But in order to achieve success, you’ll have to aim high. The best solution in video ranking, just like in life, is persistence. Uploading content regularly with the only purpose of satisfying a need of your viewers. Moreover, the more descriptive and elaborate the video title and descriptions are, the better you’re going to rank (and convince), the more views you’ll have.


Take the example of Fitness Blender, a Youtube channel with fitness tutorials. Their video titles are explanatory and exhaustive using long tail keywords, while also building a sense of expectation in the viewer that they are going to satisfy, delivering precisely what they promised to. In a world where everybody went crazy about workout, this channel manages to have over 3 million subscribers organically through correct positioning that generates word of mouth.



It’s true that one hour worth of videos is uploaded every minute on Youtube, but at the same time, more than 3 billion hours are watched each month, which is about 350 thousand years. Yes, that’s how much we like video content, because it’s easy to go through and it allows us to focus on another complementary activity, making it times more efficient than reading.


There are many things that you can do to grow your reputation as an online source. Building brand awareness can face you with a number of opportunities that you just cannot miss. Ranking for video content is one of them.      



33. Make People Curious About You & Boost Your Traffic with a Funny Product or Landing Page

An interesting example of making people curious about you and getting traffic for your website was made popular by James Norquay. It’s about Virgin Mobile Australia, who launched a campaign called ‘drunk dialing’, which was for an app they made.



The soft would simply allow you to block a person that you have the bad habit of texting or calling while drunk whenever you go out and drink, only to unblock the contacts the following morning. This way, you would be sure that drunk dialing is not a problem in Australia (where the campaign origins) anymore. The campaign wasn’t only efficient for people missing their exes, but from a marketing point of view as well, increasing brand loyalty and building traffic.  

34. Feature Influencers in Your SlideShare Content to Get It Shared


Most of the times, getting noticed cannot happen easily even if you’re relevant and hard working. But you can help your website using SlideShare’s. It is a great platform at your service, as often stated in the industry. It’s partly because it’s very authoritative, partly because it has a lot of daily views and partly because its users are interested in high-quality content and are willing to come back for more if you rise to their expectations.




Promoting content on SlideShare’s a great way to start spinning the wheel. Of course, you’ll have to create a complete profile in order to be able to generate leads for more than 15 minutes after you’ve published the content. Include links in the presentations and provide the necessary contact information in order to be reachable.


The platform has a huge capacity of adaptability to your needs. It allows you to do anything, including forms that readers would have to complete to access your restricted piece of content. And that’s because it is a serious source to become popular. It would be simply wrong not to address SlideShare’s gigantic audience.  

35. Tag Influencers on Twitter to Let Them Know You Mentioned Them

Another proven strategy to increase your blog’s traffic comes from influencers. Engagement matters a lot when it comes to creating long-term relationships on social media. And it doesn’t have to be because you’re co-interested in increasing the number of followers, it doesn’t have to be a marketing objective. Sometimes you can mention them in your blog posts, and get their attention via Twitter, or send them an appreciation email. Many people in any industry already apply this as something organic, not making a big deal out of it. Take Sujan Patel, for example.



Follow people who you like reading updates from, and who inspire you. Don’t think of social media as a corporate way of making money out of the blue, but as an opportunity to connect with people who’ve got the same interests as you do. No more than 20 years ago this was impossible. How cool is it to have this chance? Just let people know when you’ve got a new crush on a niched social media celebrity. You can never know where engagement comes from.    

36. Find a Unique and Personal Tone that Nobody in the Niche Has Adopted Yet


I’m sure it’s not the first time you come across this type of advice. And it’s usually followed by a philosophy about consumers and society and what makes an article popular. Well, I’m not going to drag you to that pitfall of idealist conversations again. We’re going to be practical about this. We’re going to talk about examples.



Mark Manson activates in an industry where it’s hard to make your voice stand out, personal development. And although he publishes frequently now, he didn’t always do this. He used to post a couple of articles a year and, to his surprise, without much investment, they produced thousands of views and shares on social media.


I’m not saying we’re all that guy, it’s hardly the lesson here. But whenever I see someone who manages to rise above his overly crowded niche, I think it’s possible for all of us to do the same. Despite being about a motivational writer, this is not a motivational tip. It’s an actionable one: the differences between what the niche provides in terms of writing tone and how you can stand out are completely up to you and your dedication. It goes without saying that having a skillset in this direction helps a lot, but it’s mostly the competitive perspective.  

37. Marry Evergreen Content with Trending Posts to Boost Visibility


It’s not always possible to anticipate news, but you can work your way around the generic dynamic of your industry. Generally, the conversations around this topic make people admit there still are things they need to work on. The high number of comments on every good blog post on the matter is nothing but living proof, as Nirmala Santhakumar’s experience can confirm.



Let’s talk lifespan. Trending content can bring you thousands of visits in the first few days, only to fade away less than a week later, while evergreen content is a constant and consistent source of traffic for years to come. These two work best in a complementary content marketing strategy, alternating the types of information you’re sharing with your audience to build both visibility and long-term engagement.


You have to strike a balance. A huge part of this is knowing your industry’s cycle, from the times of the day when people have time to go through long reads to the most important news they’d be interested in monitoring no matter what. Start from there!  

38. Get a Column on an Industry Publication

It does have a great impact when you’re personal with your audience, but you have to make sure that this doesn’t stop them from seeing you as a professional. It’s crucial to maintain a balance between being perceived as a credible, reliable source and keeping your contact with prospects on a personal level. As Matthew Barby mentioned, pitching is something you have to do scaling the opportunities. You can use BrandMentions for this step. Then, there comes the pitching itself!



Getting a column on an industry publication (or a publication with an industry topic) is something that’s multi-beneficial for your traffic. First, because it associates you with the press, which is always flattering for those who read your emails and see you engaged in personal conversations. Second, because it increases your exposure towards prospects you haven’t yet achieved and, of course, third, because it is a position that favors an increase in leads.  

39. Find Partners in Your Industry


The condition is basic and it implies that you have a quality audience, and you’re of a similar popularity level with the ones you’re going to close the partnership with. Otherwise, it’s really not worth it to create a blog today and write the Wall Street Journal tomorrow for an exchange of traffic sources.



Consequently, the partnerships will have to be done taking the needs of the readers into consideration as well, not just to pump up some Analytics numbers. We all know it takes more than that to build a strong brand with increased loyalty. So proceed with care, like Entrepreneur and Unbounce did.


Fresh sources of traffic can be a huge bummer. Fortunately, there are lots of positive examples that could inspire you to create effective strategies. One of these is finding partners in your industry and it isn’t that complicated to pitch since any other business would be highly interested in increasing their own traffic.  

40. Tell Your Brand Story Through an Honest Appeal to Emotion


Tom’s Shoes did a great job following this marketing rule of thumb, with an emotional video that presents their brand story through the eyes of their social responsibility. For every pair of shoes sold, the company gives one away to children in need, and generally people with unlucky financial situations in 60+ countries, including the United States.



The company has 50.5k Youtube followers, 1.97M Twitter follows and the video had over 3.9M views. Something must have been done properly, right? Don’t be afraid to use emotion into making your brand more human, your potential customers will empathize. You don’t always have to be rational whenever presenting a product to an audience, and it seems as I cannot say this often enough.


When you give people rational arguments exclusively, they will immediately think of counterarguments. This is how the human brain is wired to respond to rational stimuli, with other rational reactions. However, when you offer your audience a more complex marketing product, with both rational arguments to adhere to your brand’s values presented with an emotional pitching proposition, people will treat it as an experience, not as a theoretical dispute.  

41. Pitch Your Business to Influencers on Hacker News


Tung Tha told his story of a successful posting on Hacker News, by accident. He co-founded and created the TablePlus, a modern, native tool with elegant UI that helps you simultaneously manage multiple databases. They managed to receive 400% daily active users in one day and half of that number still remains until today. Not to mention, they managed to increase their revenue up over 200% compared to the previous month.



There are some things to take into consideration when it comes to the style of writing, every platform has its secrets and this one is no different from this point of view. You’ll have to be clear and straightforward, without rushing people into information, but without any copywriting-orchestrated delay.


When it comes to honest information and pitching, being the one to prolong things unnecessarily could even cause more harm than good. So be clear and bold, and don’t forget to be honest about the competitive advantages. In their case, it worked: relevancy and honesty had a lot to do with these numbers.  

42. Post Questions that Make People Use Their Pride/Creativity/Ego

Ego bait has always worked, especially when you make it stand out. People love to be appreciated for their work, since they put a lot of time and effort, all with the only purpose of being better professionals who inspire others around them. Of course, there’s also money, but mostly the ego thing.



So it always helps when you treat someone as an authoritative source of information. And if you also ask them to be creative while at it, you’ve got yourself a winner. Jason Acidre asked influencers what were the most creative ideas for link building that they had ever implemented and the roundup had over 40 people giving advice.  

43. Have Social Media Buttons in Your Email Newsletter

Andrea Kinloch wrote a how-to article to help you include social sharing buttons in your signature.



People don’t really tweet the content of emails, or they rarely do. However, sometimes newsletters are worth sharing with people, especially because they provide unique content to which only some people have access. Creating a connection between you and the reader, a social media button will direct the prospects to a personal page (not a brand profile), where people will be able to create an association between the brand and the awesome guy or chick behind it.


Don’t be reluctant to share some things from your private life with your readers, such as your love for psychological movies or your spirit of adventure. In the end, it’s what makes them loyal, being able to associate a brand with an experience and, further, with a person they like and can empathize with.  

44. Grow your Email List on a Daily Basis


Email marketing has a lot to do with the signatures you’re using, as they’re a great way to propel your reputation and notoriety when performing outreach strategies. For every outreach email you’re sending, you should be able to incorporate a call to action that’s subtle. Make sure you’re attracting only people whose intent for your products or services is powerful enough to stick through time. For instance, this example from Sumo explains it well:



You cannot access a larger audience exclusively through the prospect you connect to on social media, it takes more than this to build long-term relationships with your prospects. Email lists are a more consistent way of engaging with leads, as it serves as proof of their intent when it comes to your product or your content.  

45. Write a Response Post to Something/Someone Popular in the Niche


For instance, when everybody was praising Google’s new logo, there was a New Yorker article written by Sarah Larson, that had something to say about it, and it was massively popular because it treated something against the stream.  



Google’s new visual identity was expected for a while now, and the Serifs made it look old-fashioned and too traditional for the values it stands for. However, this awesome article brought arguments for the old version of the logo and people loved it!


Every time when something’s gaining a lot of momentum, there will be people disagreeing with it, whose voices will not be heard because of the popular chanting around them. You can always take the time to be that voice for them, but don’t do it unless it really represents your position, otherwise, it could backfire later!  



There is no such thing as a recipe, and constant traffic is one of those formulas that need to be adjusted and re-adjusted in order to work best in your interest. But tips and detailed guides are always welcome. Follow our 45 proven strategies to increase the number of visitors to your website. Just make sure that they align with your marketing strategy, otherwise, they might do more harm than good, despite the occasional traffic spike. So, which of these tips do you think would help the most?  


The post 45 Quick Traffic Hacks That Will Boost Your Website appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

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Yoast SEO 8.0: Introducing the Yoast SEO Gutenberg sidebar & a revamped meta box

Yoast SEO 8.0: Introducing the Yoast SEO Gutenberg sidebar & a revamped meta box

Please welcome the Yoast SEO Gutenberg sidebar! Update to Yoast SEO 8.0 and you’ll see our first steps to the – Gutenberg – future. If you’ve activated the Gutenberg plugin you’ll find a brand new version of the Yoast SEO meta box, in the sidebar! Not on Gutenberg yet? We’ve got good news for you too: we gave the existing Yoast SEO meta box a more intuitive design and a cleaner appearance so it’s easier to use for everyone. Here, we’ll explain everything: what you’ll encounter in this update if you’re on Gutenberg and what if you’re not. On top of that, we’ll share a glimpse of what you can expect from us shortly! 

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Why a Gutenberg sidebar?What happens if you run the Gutenberg plugin?What happens if you don’t run the Gutenberg plugin?Yoast SEO in the Gutenberg sidebarThe revamped Yoast SEO meta boxWhat’s ahead?
Why a Gutenberg sidebar?

Gutenberg is coming. Step one of Gutenberg is a new WordPress editor. This new editor gives you a brand new writing and editing experience;  you’ll be editing your content in blocks, instead of the one big field you’re used to. In the classic editor you’ve always found the Yoast SEO meta box below the post editor. But because of the block design in Gutenberg, most meta boxes will fit best in the sidebar. To make our meta box fit and work in the sidebar, we had to completely rethink and redesign it. The result of that we’re presenting you today!

While we were at it, we applied some of the changes required for the move to the sidebar onto the existing Yoast SEO meta box as well. These changes improve the usability and accessibility of our meta box and give it a cleaner and more organized look.

What happens if you run the Gutenberg plugin?

Are you using the Gutenberg plugin already? If you update to Yoast SEO 8.0 you’ll see two meta boxes: one below your post and one in the sidebar. This is not a bug, but our first move to a future where you can choose between showing one of the two. For now, we’re showing you the sidebar and the meta box below your post, as not all optimization options are available in both yet.

What happens if you don’t run the Gutenberg plugin?

You won’t see Yoast SEO in the sidebar if you don’t activate the Gutenberg plugin on your website. What you will see is a revamped, collapsible meta box below your post. We’ll get back to you on the revamped meta box further down this post. First, Yoast SEO in the Gutenberg sidebar!

Yoast SEO in the Gutenberg sidebar

So let’s dive in! If you run Yoast SEO and Gutenberg, you’ll now see collapsible Yoast SEO items in the sidebar. It’ll show a selection of the optimization areas you’re used to, nicely arranged next to your post. This will give you a convenient overview, in which the green smileys for Readability and Focus keyword will confirm if you’ve done a good job optimizing:

The Gutenberg sidebar with collapsible sections. Please note that Add additional focus keywords, Internal linking suggestions and Insights are premium features.

Let’s go through the sections one by one!


As you probably know, Yoast SEO assesses the readability of your copy by checking your text for use of passive voice, sentence length, paragraph length and more. If you click on Readability in the sidebar, this section will unfold and you’ll see the assessments you’re used to, right there, next to the copy you’re creating. This prevents you from scrolling up and down a lot and makes reading and implementing the feedback on your writing much easier.

Focus keyword

If you click on Focus keyword in the sidebar the SEO analysis of your text will unfold. Here you can enter your focus keyword and Yoast SEO will analyze your content for those terms:

Are you using your keyword often enough and in the right places? Like your title, alt text and a heading? Have you added internal links? You can find these assessment here, conveniently placed next to the text you’re writing. 

Are you using Yoast SEO Premium? Then you can add possible synonyms and up to 5 related keywords! Just click on + Add synonyms or + Add another keyword, if you’d like to add them.

Cornerstone content

The next section of the Gutenberg sidebar is Cornerstone content. Here you can indicate if the post you’re working on is one of your most important articles. Marking your content as cornerstone content will help you create the best content for these posts and link often enough to them. Just move the toggle to the right if your post is cornerstone content.

If you use Yoast SEO premium, you’ll find two more sections in the sidebar: Internal linking and Insights. 

Internal linking

Internal linking can help you create an awesome site structure, which is indispensable if you want to rank high. Yoast SEO premium’s internal linking tool makes linking to your (best) posts as easy as pie! This internal linking tool used to be in the sidebar already, but now it’s integrated into a collapsable section of the Gutenberg sidebar. So all your post optimization to do’s are in one place!

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Our insights tool runs through your copy and finds the most prominent words. If you’ve written a text and you want to make sure it stays on topic, you can check that with this tool. Do you see a lot of words that you don’t want to rank for with this post? Take another look at your post, because you might have lost focus somewhere along the way!

The snippet preview and social previews

We hear you think: “So where can I find the snippet preview and my social previews now?” Well, those you can still find in the Yoast SEO meta box below your post, just like the advanced and video settings of Yoast SEO. Integrating those functionalities in the Gutenberg editor will require some more development work and will therefore be a second step.

The revamped Yoast SEO meta box

If you’re not using the Gutenberg plugin you’ll notice some significant changes too. While redesigning various sections of our meta box to fit into the sidebar, we realized the usability of the existing meta box would benefit from some of these changes too. So we applied some of the sidebar principles to the meta box as well. This resulted in a meta box with organized, collapsible sections where you can find the Yoast SEO tools you’re used to. When collapsed, they’ll provide a clear overview of the various optimization functionalities we provide for a post. Plus, the green smileys show you at a glance if you’ve done a good job optimizing:

When you unfold one, it’s easier to stay focused on the optimization area you’re working on.

So, let’s unfold them one by one:

The snippet preview

The section on top is the snippet preview, where you can see what your post might look like in the search results. Not much changed here! You can still edit the SEO title, meta description and slug. It’s unfolded by default, so when you scroll down from your post you’ll directly see its most likely appearance in the search results:


Instead of finding the readability analysis in a separate tab, you’ll now encounter it as the second collapsible section. Check whether you’ve written a post that’s easy to read here:

Focus keyword

Where to add your focus keyword? In the third collapsible section you’ll find the field to enter the term you’d like your post to rank for. You’ll find your scores in the analysis results below the field, the way you’re used to.

The next collapsible section is Add additional focus keyword. This is a feature that is only available to premium users. You can add up to five related keywords in this section. In addition to this, premium will enable you to add synonyms of your focus keyword too.

Cornerstone content

Have you written a post on your most essential topic, covering the core elements of your business? Make it your best post with our cornerstone analysis and don’t forget to link to it. Marking it as cornerstone content in the fifth collapsible section of the meta box will help you do so. Move the toggle to the right and give it a little extra!


The last section we’d like to mention is Insights. Unfold it and find the most prominent words that you used in your copy. Check if you’ve stayed on topic or digressed!

If you want to read more about the design choices we made check this post by our UX designer Tim.

What’s ahead?

As explained above we haven’t been able to move all sections of the Yoast SEO meta box to the sidebar yet. Some elements, like the snippet and social previews, require some additional development work. At the moment we’re, for instance, working on modals to be able to display accurate previews for snippets and social posts directly from the sidebar.

A sidebar for everyone!

Once all optimization functionalities are available in both the sidebar and current meta box, it’s up to you! Choose where you’d like to find Yoast SEO: below your post or in the sidebar? With a toggle you can select which interface you prefer. And by everyone we mean everyone, it doesn’t matter if you’re on Gutenberg, or not.


Now this is exciting! We’re working on our own Gutenblocks, something you’ll definitely hear more about soon. As we’ve explained Gutenberg uses blocks to build pages. A block can have its own styling, but also its own meta data, like structured data. So how awesome would it be if you could create a block with the correct structured data attached to it automatically? So Google will know instantly if your block is about a book, a recipe or a certain product?  You won’t need a developer anymore to add your data. If you think about this, the possibilities seem endless and opportunities are omnipresent. You can expect more from us on this soon. So keep a keen eye on our updates!

But first, update! Or check the changelog here.

Read more: Why you should buy Yoast SEO Premium »

The post Yoast SEO 8.0: Introducing the Yoast SEO Gutenberg sidebar & a revamped meta box appeared first on Yoast.

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