Complete SEO Course for Beginners: Learn to Rank #1 in Google

hey everyone my name is sam oh andwelcome to the seo fundamentals courseby ahrefs in this course i’ll beteaching you the fundamentals of seowith a heavy focus on execution andwhile it’s a beginner’s seo course idon’t want you to be fooled by the wordbeginner even for an eight-figurebusiness like ours we don’t do anythingcrazy technical or complicated rightfrom the start we’ve stuck with thefundamentals of seo that led tocompounded growth and today our site
google search alone making seo one ofour most effective strategies to gettraffic to our site so the course isbroken down into four modules plus thisvideo which is more of an introductionto the course as well as in seo 101 inthis video we’ll go over the basics ofseo and cover things like what it is whyit’s important and how it works you’llthen move on to module one which is onkeyword research throughout theselessons i’ll show you how to findkeywords to target that can benefit your
for the next module which is on-page seoin this module we’ll talk aboutoptimizing your pages to rank for thosekeywords the next module will be on linkbuilding this is one of google’s mostprominent ranking signals which hasproven to contribute to higher rankingsin searchfinally we’ll finish off the course withthe basics of technical seo which willmostly be about best practices andwebsite maintenanceall right let’s kick things off with the
engine optimization iswhy it’s important and how google worksseo stands for search engineoptimization and it’s the process ofoptimizing content to be discoveredthrough a search engine’s organic searchresults now let’s talk a bit about howthey work if you’re completely new toseo then it’s easiest to think of searchengines as libraries but instead ofstoring books they store copies ofwebsites and web pagesso when you search for a query the
pages in its index and try to return themost relevant results and seo helpsdemonstrate to search engines that yourpage is that resultnow you might be thinkingwhy should i focus on seo when there areso many other marketing mediums wellthere are three major things thatattract marketers to search engineoptimization and in my opinion thesethree things make seo the best trafficsource number one unlike paying for adssearch traffic is free number two
once you’re ranking high whereas othermediums like social media and emailmarketing often result in traffic spikesthat usually end up fading to nothingand it makes sense because social medianetworks are designed to surface freshcontent emails often get marked as readforgotten or land in the spam boxwhereas search traffic is a result ofusers actively searching for informationand the number of searches for a giventopic is typically consistent month tomonth and number three you have the
you wouldn’t have access to otherwise infact as of october 2019 there werenearly 4.39 billion internet usersaround the world and almost 4 billion ofthose people are google usersthis is why search engine optimizationis an 80 billion dollar industry and whymarketers from all walks of life areadopting and pursuing it today everyonewants their business to get discoveredand seo is the perfect way to do thatnow let’s briefly talk about how googleworks and there are two parts to this
these two things are what actuallyallows google to discover web pages andcreate their search index so to actuallyattain information google uses crawlersalso known as spiders which gatherpublicly available information from allover the web the spiders will startcrawling from a list of known urlscalled seedsthen they follow the hyperlinks on thosepages and crawl those newly discoveredpages and this process goes on and onallowing them to collect a ton of
data back to google servers to be addedto their search index and that’s whatpeople like you and i are searchingthrough when we key in a query in googlenow if you were to search for somethingand google returned every result thatmentioned your words on the page thenyou’d end up with really bad resultsthis brings us to the second part whichis google’s ranking algorithmgoogle has hundreds of ranking signalsand they make tweaks to their algorithm500 to 600 times per year so to be frank
worksbut they’ve given us clues and someguidelines to betterare just speculation at best but i dowant to cover a few of the mostimportant factors that you’ll need tounderstand from a fundamental standpointfirst are backlinks backlinks are linksfrom a page on one website to anotherand google has said on their housesearch works page that if otherprominent websites link to a page that’sproved to be a good sign that
the easiest way to understand the valueof a backlink is to think of them asvotes when a page receives a backlinkit’s essentially another websitevouching for the content on the page andthe more votes you get from crediblesources the higher the trust and we alsostudied the effect of backlinks onsearch traffic and found a clearpositive correlation between backlinksfrom unique websites and a page’sorganic trafficsecond is search intent which represents
if you think of google’s goal for searchtheir job is to return the most relevantresults for any given query so with thatsaid you can discover search intentsimply by looking at the top rankingpages for the query you want to rank forfor example if you search for slowcooker recipes you’ll see that thesearch results are mostly blog postswith a list of slow cooker recipes so ifyou try and rank a product page whereyou’re selling a slow cooker you won’tbe matching search intent and therefore
now if we change the query to just slowcooker you’ll see that the dominanttypes of pages are ecommerce categorypages so if you try and rank your blogpost of slow cooker recipes then youprobably won’t rank because you’re notmatching search intent this is acritical concept to understand and i’llshare a simple three-point checklist youcan use to determine search intent forany query in the next module and thirdis content depth search engines are madeup of computer programs so they can’t
you and i would nevertheless google haspoured billions of dollars into creatingsophisticated technology thatunderstands content to a certain degreebut it’s your job as a content creatorto provide context about the subject forexample if you look at the top rankingpages for the quarry how to drive a caryou’ll find that they talk about thingslike fastening your seatbeltfamiliarizing yourself with the gas andbrake pedals adjusting your seat andmirrors and other things that a first
basically you want to be able to answerthe search’s quarry the best that youpossibly can and naturally it shouldlead to content that has depthnow it’s important to note that depthdoesn’t always translate to length forexample a topic like how to turn offiphone 12 doesn’t need to and shouldn’tbe long in fact the top ranking page isonly 185 words but the content itselfsolves the user’s query from start tofinish alright so the basics are in thebook and it’s time to move on to the
hey it’s amo and welcome to the firstmodule which is on keyword research inthis first lesson we’re going to talkabout what keywords are and how tochoose them using a simple four pointchecklist let’s get started so what arekeywords in the context of seo they’resimply just words and phrases thatpeople type into search engines to findwhat they’re looking forfor example if you are shopping forrunning shoes you might search forkeywords like men’s running shoes or
now keywords are actually superimportant in seo because it sets theentire foundation for search engineoptimization the basic goal of seo is torank your pages for keywords that yourtarget audience or customers aresearching for and if you’re not rankingfor keywords that actually get searchedthen your seo efforts are kind ofmeaninglessfor example we rank number one for thequery seo checklist and this keyword isresponsible for driving around 1500
just in the usso keyword research is the process offinding keywords that people areinputting into search engines and we’llget into this process in the upcominglessonsso how do you actually choose keywordsthat are worth targeting let’s runthrough a checklist that should help youchoose keywords effectivelythe first thing to check is if yourkeyword has search demand search demandrepresents the volume of monthly
measurable with a keyword metric that wecall search volumeyou can find the search volume for akeyword by using a keyword research toollike ahrefs keywords explorer forexample the query kilometers to milesgets searched around 478000 times per month in the us alone butas you can see here in hfs keywordsexplorer 80 of searches go without aclick to a page and that’s becausegoogle has a handy calculator right herethat’ll solve the searcher’s problem so
bit misleading which is why it’s worthlooking at the second checkpoint whichis to check the traffic potential of thetopictraffic potential represents the totalsearch traffic you could get if you wereto rank at the top of google for yourkeywordlet’s look at the stats for our seochecklist page in hf site explorerso again we rank number one for thequery seo checklist and it sends usapproximately 1500 monthly search visits
but if we look at the total globalorganic traffic to the page you’ll seethat we get approximately 3 000 monthlyvisits from googleevery single month and that’s becausethis page ranks for over 200 keywordsand this page isn’t an outlier in ourstudy of three million keywords we foundthat on average the top ranking pageranks for nearly a thousand otherkeywords in the top tenso while you may be optimizing yourpages for a main keyword your page will
thousands of other relevant keywords andbecause of that the monthly searchtraffic potential of the topic seochecklist is actually higher than itsmonthly search volumethis is what makes traffic potential amuch more reliable metric than searchvolume and the way you determine trafficpotential is by looking at how muchtraffic the top ranking pages aregettingfor example if we go to ahrefs keywordsexplorer and search for submit website
a search volume of 1100 monthly searchesin the usnow if i scroll to the bottom of thepage you’ll see a serp overview whichshows you the top 10 ranking pages forthat keywordand serp just stands for search engineresults pageand as you can see our page gets anestimated 5 300 monthly search visitsfrom the us alone and we rank for over1300 keywords making traffic potentialof this keyword higher than its search
now it doesn’t always work out this wayfor example the query keywordcannibalization has a search volume of150 monthly searches but the trafficpotential is well under 100 so itbecomes more of a business decisionwhether you want to tackle the topic ornot now choosing keywords based onmetrics alone is not a good idea whichis why the rest of the checkpoints aremeant to ground youthe next point on our checklist is toassess the business potential of the
business potential simply represents thevalue a keyword has to your business andvalue really comes down to your niche aswell as your business model so an easyway to do this is by assigning scoresbetween one to three to keywords you’reresearching the higher the number themore important the topic is to yourbusinessso let’s say you have a site about golfand the way you make money is by sellingused golf clubsbringing this back to business potential
organically recommend products tovisitors would hold the highest businessvalue for example people searching forsomething like buy used golf clubs arelikely ready to make a purchase here andnowso in my books this would have abusiness value of threenow a keyword like best golf clubs wouldalso be relevant to your site people arelikely ready to make a purchase soonbut just don’t know which clubs to buybut it’s actually quite easy to plug
you recommend you can easily link backto your product pages leading visitorscloser to making a purchase so i’d givethis a business value of two now akeyword like what is a handicap in golfwould be really tough to organicallyrecommend your products but neverthelessit’s a way to attract relevant trafficto your site so i’d give this a businessvalue of one so these would hold thelowest priority and anything that has ascore of zero is probably worth ignoringbecause it’s not going to impact your
gilmore review would have a businessvalue of zero because it has nothing todo with your business other than thefact that it’s a fantastic movie aboutgolf alright the next point on thischecklist is to see if you can matchsearcher intent this is a concept thatwe covered in the first lesson of thiscourse but it’s something that i’m goingto keep talking about because it’s superimportant so again search intentrepresents the reason behind asearcher’s query and the way we
ranking pages for the keyword we want torank for for example let’s say you havea recipes blog and you want to rank fortoaster ovenlooking at the top ranking pages you’llsee that almost all of the pages areecommerce category pagesthis tells us that the intent of thesearcher is likely to buy or at least toshop around for different toaster ovensso unless you can actually satisfy theintent of the searcher it’s unlikelythat you’ll be able to rank high for
search intent in the next lesson thefinal point on this checklist is todetermine whether you can rank for yourkeyword search volume traffic potentialand business potential mean absolutelynothing if you can’t rank for yourkeyword in the not so distant future andunderstanding the level of difficulty torank for a given keyword takes a bit ofanalysis and practicethis is why i’ve created an entirelesson on assessing ranking difficultybecause mastering this process will help
i’ll save that for a later lessonnow actually choosing keywords comesdown to finding a balance in thischecklist you have to ask yourself doesthe topic drive enough traffic and havebusiness value to make it worth theeffort and this is the question youshould ask yourself before you createpages with the intent to rank in searchand these five points in the checklistare exactly what we’re going to divedeeper into throughout the rest of thismodule
second lesson which is on search intentand i touched on this in the firstlesson on seo basics but i really wantto take some time to unpack what it isand how to use it in keyword researchreason being if you can’t match searcherintent then you probably aren’t going torank for your target keywordsso again search intent represents thereason behind a searcher’s query andmatching search intent is one of thosemust do things to show search enginesthat your page will fulfill their goal
any given query and while it might soundlike you’re trying to satisfy googlewhat you’re actually doing is learningwhat you need to do to satisfy thesearcher’s intentidentifying search intent is usuallyquite easy all you have to do is searchfor the keyword you want to rank for andthen analyze the top ranking results andthe top ranking results are a greatproxy to understand search intentbecause google understands whatsearchers want probably more than anyone
now analyzing is kind of a jargony wordbut i have a simple three prong formulayou can use it’s called the three c’s ofsearch intentthe first c is content typecontent type can usually be categorizedinto blog posts videos product categoryand landing pagesfor example the dominant type of pagesfor the quarry best golf shoes are blogpoststhe second c is content format and thisapplies more to blog posts and landing
see are how to’s step-by-step tutorialslist posts and opinion editorialsfor a landing page that might besomething like a tool or calculatoragain for the quarry best golf shoesyou’ll see that all of the top resultsare listicles which makes sense becausethe word best implies that a comparisonneeds to be madeand the third c is content angle whichoften depicts the benefit it’s basicallyyour hook as to why someone should clickand visit your page for best golf shoes
a freshness angle which is evident basedon the current year being in the titlesin my opinion this is the leastimportant and often least consistentamong top ranking pagesnow this is just one example of searchintent for a keyword let’s go through afew more examples to really drill inthis conceptthe first example is for the query howto swing a golf club the dominantcontent type is clearly blog posts butyou’ll also notice that a youtube video
this tells us that it may be worthcreating both a blog post and video topotentially get two different spots inthe search resultsas for content format they’re clearlyall how to’s and seeing as the nature ofthe topic would require a step-by-stepprocedure that’s probably the routeyou’d want to go to and you can confirmthis by actually visiting some of thetop ranking pagesnow with content angle it appears asthough for beginners or basic seems to
the second example is for the query golfclubs looking at the serp you’ll seethat they’re all ecommerce categorypages which tells us that when peoplesearch for this query they’re likely inshopping modenow seeing as content format appliesmostly to blog posts and landing pagesit wouldn’t be applicable here sincewe’re looking at ecommerce categorypages as for content angle it seems tobe mostly about deals so saving money ongolf clubs
something like golf bagslooking at the serp you’ll see somethinga bit different we have a mixed serpcontent type for the top ranking page isan ecommerce category page then we havea couple of blog posts on the best golfbags and we also have an outlier on howto buy golf bagsand towards the bottom half of theresults we have more ecommerce categorypagesso what do you dowell in order to make an educated
foundation work so we’ll revisit thisexample in a later lessonhey it’s ammo and welcome to the thirdlesson in our keyword research module inthis lesson i’m going to show you how tofind keywords for your website based onthe things you learn in lesson one andtwo of this module let’s get startedso keyword research is the process offinding keywords that people aresearching for in search engines and thegeneral process can be divided into twomacro steps step one is to generate
validate whether those keywords areworth going afternow this lesson is mostly about step onegenerating keyword ideas for yourwebsite and in order to do that you needa keyword research toolkeyword research tools show youinformation on keywords like theirsearch volume keyword difficulty scoresand other seo metrics plus they shouldhelp you discover potential topics worthgoing after there are a lot of tools outthere and you’re free to use whichever
be using ahrefs keywords explorernow i also understand that some peoplemay not be in a place to purchase seosoftware right now if that’s you then wealso have a free tool called ahrefskeyword generator which is a good placeto start i’ll leave links to both toolsin the descriptionall right so we’re going to be doingsome keyword research for the rest ofthis lesson so let’s say that thewebsite we’re doing keyword research foris a golf blog and the way this blog
commissions meaning they promote otherpeople’s products and when someoneclicks on one of the links and makes apurchase you’re compensated with acommissionso the first step is to come up with alist of seed keywords and a seed keywordis just a broad keyword related to yourniche so i’ll go to hfs keywordsexplorer and add a few seeds for ourgolf site so that might be golf ballsgolf clubs and golf hats to name a fewnext i’ll go to the phrase match report
any of these phrasesand just like that we have around 125000 keyword ideas with search volumesand a ton of other helpful metrics someof which we’ll touch on later now 125000 keywords is just way too much tofilter through so before we continuelet’s take a second and revisit the fivepoint checklist from the first lesson inthis moduleagain the five things we’re looking forwhen it comes to choosing keywords areone we want keywords that have search
twokeywords with traffic potentialthreekeywords with business potentialfour we need to be able to match searchintent and five we want to know how hardit will be to rank at the top of googlefor that keywordso when we’re generating keyword ideaswe’ll be able to check off the firstfour points as for the fifth we’lltackle that in the next lessonalright let’s look back at our list of
some of these boxesso first we need to find keywords thathave search demand to do that you canset a search volume filter to showkeywords with a minimum volume of atleast 300 monthly searchesand now that list has just shrunk to 351keyword ideas which will be easy tomanually filter throughthe next point on this checklist is tosee if they have traffic potential againtraffic potential is a more reliablemetric than search volume because not
end of the day we want traffic notsearchesto check the traffic potential of atopic you need to look at the topranking pages and see how much trafficthey’re getting to do that you can clickon the surf button beside any of thesekeywordsso if we do that for the quarry golfclubs you’ll see that the top page getsaround 16 000 monthly search visits fromthe usnow if you don’t have an ahrefs account
using hf serp checker toolnext up is business potential againbusiness potential is simply the value akeyword has to your business and while16 000 monthly search visits seems greatyou need to consider the fourth point onthe checklist which is to ask yourselfif you can match search intentas you can see almost all of the topranking pages are ecommerce categorypagesso searchers are probably in shoppingmode but we have a golf affiliate blog
clubs meaning we can’t create anecommerce category page and therefore wewon’t be able to match search intent soseeing as this query doesn’t fulfill thepoints on our checklist we wouldn’t goafter this keywordnow looking further down the list you’llsee the quarry best golf balls it has ahigh search volume and if i click on thesearch button you’ll see that thetraffic potential is around 5000 monthlyvisits from the uspretty good
keyword would have a value of 3 becauseour site makes money by reviewing andrecommending products so it would besuper easy to organically recommendproducts in a best of post which iassume would lead to a fair amount ofaffiliate commissionsas for search intent these are blogposts in the listicle format with thefreshness content angle as you can seefrom the titles of the top ranking pagesso this query checks all boxes andpassed our initial sniff test so i’ll
golf keyword listnow checking the serp for all of thesekeywords would be pretty time consumingso there’s a quick technique you can useto find relevant keywords and that’s touse keyword modifiersa modifier is an add-on to a basekeyword for example if our base keywordis golf hats we can modify this keywordby adding besttop or the current yearand modifiers tell us a lot about searchintent a word like best again tells us
searchers are probably looking forlisticle blog posts with variousdifferent product recommendationsnow if a word like how or what is in thekeyword then it tells us that the toppages will likely be blog posts orvideos with step-by-step tutorials orsome other informational contentso with this knowledge we can actuallyfilter this keyword list down to akeywords that likely have businesspotentialand b
intentfor example since we’re doing keywordresearch for an affiliate site modifierslike best topversus and review would likely bring uptopics where we can organicallyrecommend productsso if we go back to the keyword list wecan click on the include filter andpaste this list therenext i’ll hit the any word tab since wewant to find keywords that include anyof these modifiers as well as one of our
hit apply and we now have a list ofaround 30 keywords that are most likelygoing to have high business potentialplus we know that 99 of the time theresults for any best type keyword willbe listicle blog posts and we know thatwe can match searcher intent with ouraffiliate blognow if we switch the modifiers in theinclude filter to words like howwhatwhowhere
guide and tutorialthen we can apply the list to findinformational topics that we could writeabout on our blogand pretty much all of these keywordswill be fair game for our hypotheticalgolf blognow if you plan to use a list ofmodifiers then it’s worth noting thatyou should probably do it with muchbroader seatsfor example you’ll see that we only have10 keywords when using the search volume
informational modifiersnow if i change the c to just golf setthe volume filter to a minimum of 300monthly searchesand then paste in my list ofinformational modifiershit the any tab and click applythen you’ll see we have a lot moretopics that we could potentially createcontent around so if this is a methodyou want to try then take a screenshotof this list of modifiers and feel freeto use them in your keyword research now
33 minutes and 14 seconds i was able tocompile a list of over 190 keyword ideasin my golf keyword listnow one downside to using keywordresearch tools is that the list ofkeyword ideas will usually be limited towords and phrases that include yourseats but there are other great keywordsthat won’t necessarily include yourseedsso how do you find themwell the best way to find these keywordsis to look at pages that drive the most
because if your competitors are rankingfor keywords that are sending them a tonof search traffic then i’m sure you’dwant to get in on the action rightnow by competitor i’m not necessarilytalking about your direct businesscompetitors i’m referring to yourorganic search competitors which arewebsites that rank for keywords thatyou’d want to rank forso to find these competitors i’ll goback to ahrefs keywords explorer butthis time i’ll click on my golf keyword
next i’ll go to the traffic share bydomains report which will show you thewebsites that get the most searchtraffic based on your keyword input inthis case our golf keyword listso as you can see sites like golf digestgolf.com and golf wrx are getting themost search traffic from the keywordsthat i want to hypothetically rank forbut we already know these keywords sincewe created the list so what you can dois click on the caret beside a domainyou want to research further and then
pages that send the most search trafficto a websiteand check this out golf digest page ongame improvement irons gets around 5 400monthly search visits from the usthis page that ranks for what degree isa sand wedge gets around 4 700 monthlysearch visits and we wouldn’t have seenthese in the keyword ideas reportbecause they don’t contain our seedsso you can just skim through this listlook for potential topics then gothrough those four points in the
interesting to you add them to yourkeyword list and once you’ve exhausted awebsite’s top pagesrinse and repeat for the other organicsearch competitors until you’resatisfied with your list and if you’restill unhappy with your list you can tryand find other seeds within this reportthe two that stand out to me right awayare sand wedge and fairway woodsso i’ll go back to keywords explorer andtype those into the search boxand seeing as both of these are
add pitching wedge putter putting and soon and so forthbottom line there should be no shortageof keyword ideas and you should be ableto use these two methods to build asolid list of topics to keep you busyfor yearsbut here’s the thing even if you’vechecked off these four boxes on thechecklist there’s still one left and itwon’t matter if you don’t rank for yourkeywordshey it’s ammo and welcome to the fourth
today i’m going to show you how todetermine ranking difficulty for akeyword this will help you understandhow hard it’ll be to rank high in googlefor your target keywords let’s getstartedso when it comes to ranking in googleyou need to understand who you’ll be upagainst before you target a keywordotherwise you could be entering a battleyou won’t be able to winfrom an seo perspective competitors arepages and websites that rank at the top
that means your competitors can bedifferent for every single keyword youtargetso there are three main things you’llwant to consider before you decide topick a fight and those are search intentmetrics of the top ranking pages andwebsites and topical authority of thetop ranking websitesnow as we go through these points we’regoing to create a list of self-checkquestions which should help you makeinformed decisions in your keyboard
like metrics of top ranking pages youneed an seo tool since google won’t showyou data on other pages so i’ll be usingahrefs keywords explorer throughout thislessonnow if you don’t have an ahrefs accountyou can use our free serp checker toolwhich will give you data on the topthree pagesall right let’s start with search intentthe first thing you need to do is lookat the serp and ask yourself do some ofthe top ranking pages fail to closely
to find this out you can go through thethree c’s of search intent as wediscussed in lesson two of this moduleand by the looks of it they’re alllisticle blog posts using the freshnessangle so they do match italso pay close attention to the titlesand urls of the ranking pagesin general if the top pages include theprimary keyword or a variation of it inthe title and or url they’re likelytargeting that keyword for example allof the top ranking pages for the quarry
whereas a quarry like best convertiblecar seats for small cars is a bit mixedas you can see some pages have gonespecifically with the anglefor small carsas a result it’s probably matchingsearcher intent better than the morebroad posts about the best convertiblecar seats for any carthis is a sign of weakness in the serpbecause it means there’s probably a lackof rank-worthy content out there aboutthe best convertible car seats for small
now i don’t want you to take this asadvice that you must include the exactkeyword phrase in your titles and orurls with this example findingconvertible car seats for small cars isactually a very specific need for aspecific personall right let’s talk about the metricsthe first metric to look at is thenumber of websites that are linking tothe page at ahrefs we call thisreferring domainsas i mentioned in module 1 backlinks are
signals so if a page has a lot ofquality links pointing at it then it’llbe more competitive to rankso before choosing a keyword you need toask yourselfcan i get more quality backlinks thanthe top ranking pagesthe second metric is website authorityat ahrefs we call this domain ratingwhich represents the overall strength ofa website’s backlink profilevery generally speaking you should begoing after keywords where your
range as the top ranking pages or at thevery least one of the top ranking pagesshould be in the same range as yourwebsitefor example if all of the websites thatrank in the top 10 have high dr’s andyou have a dr of let’s say 10 then youmay want to consider competing whenyou’re at a similar level so let’s addthat question to our checklistis my website in a similar dr range orhigher than the top ranking websitesagain this is a very general
follow if you’re a beginner to seoto see the domain rating of your ownsite you can enter your domain in siteexplorer and see it here on the overviewpageor you can enter your domain in our freewebsite authority checker i’ll beleaving links to all of these tools inthe descriptionalright let’s move on to the third partwhich is topical authority of the topranking websitesgoogle wants to rank pages from
beyond backlinksfor example if we look at the serp 4 howto unclog a toilet you’ll see that thisdr42 site is outranking much morepowerful websites with significantlymore referring domainswell this page comes from a websitethat’s just about plumbing so it’slikely more authoritative on the topicso the question you need to ask yourselfisis my website equally or more topicallyauthoritative than the top ranking
if the answer is yes then that’s apositive thing for youthe easiest and quickest way to find outis to just look at the domain names anduse some common sense for examplelooking at the serp 4 best convertiblecar seat for small cars you’ll see siteslike experienced mommy baby centerparenting pod baby list and otherrelevant sites that talk about productsfor childrenand for domains that aren’t as easilydistinguishable like 800 buckleup.org
about page and get a general idea ofwhat the site is about in this caseyou’ll see that they talk about car seatrecalls and review car seat brands soyes it is topically authoritative on carseatsall right let’s look at our full list ofyes or no questionsas a very general rule of thumb the moreyeses you can check off the better yourchances of ranking againvery general because seo is quitenuanced with that said let’s go through
our golf site to set the scene let’s sayyou have a website that’s about golfinstruction and you also review golfequipment and your website’s domainrating is low at around 15.all right so the first example is forthe quarry best golf grips let’s startwith the first questiondo some of the top ranking pages fail toclosely match search intentfrom the looks of it they all lookdecent so i’ll check the no boxnext up
the top ranking pagesagain we haven’t covered anything aboutquality backlinks yet so for now let’sjust look at quantitymost of the sites have very fewreferring domains so i’d say this is ayesnext question is my website in a similardr range or higher than the top rankingwebsitesbased on the serp there are a few siteswith similar website authority so let’sgive this a yes as well
more topically authoritative than thetop ranking websiteswell all of the top pages are from golfsites and so is mine so let’s give thisa yes as well so based on our analysisit looks like this would be a topicworth going afterall right the next analysis is for thekeyword best putterslooking at search intent overall itlooks like the majority of pages aregood so i’ll check the no box but i dowant to touch on this page on the best
this is more of a focused post andthey’re likely ranking high for thisbecause of all of the other factors likehigh website authority lots of referringdomains and topical authority so i wouldactually exclude them from the rest ofthis analysisalright next up can i get more qualitybacklinks than the top ranking pagesagain just looking at the quantity oflinks to these pages the answer wouldlikely be a yes seeing as we’re stilllooking at about a dozen referring
that getting more links than the numberone page probably won’t happen in thenear future meaning getting the topranking spot will be toughnext is my website in a similar dr rangeor higher than the top ranking websitesthe answer is noand finally my website is topicallyauthoritative so i’ll give this a yesnow it looks like we’re at a tie betweenyeses and notes and this is exactly whyi saidas a very general rule of thumb the more
chances of rankingagain seo is nuanced plus you need toweigh out some of the other principleswe discussed like traffic potential andbusiness valueand the best way to make sound judgmentcalls is through experienceso it will take time to hone your skillsand gain a better grasp of keywordanalysisso as you can see understanding how hardit will be to rank in google will be akey skill to your success in search
because it’s the first step to gettingpredictable resultsafter all if you know what it’ll take torank ahead of your competition then itall comes down to executionand that’s what the next two modules areall abouthey it’s ammo and welcome to the secondmodule which is about on-page seo if youhaven’t seen the introduction to seovideo and the module on keyword researchthen i highly recommend watching thosefirst they’ll help you get the
get the most out of this module i’llleave links in the descriptionall right so what is on-page seo it’ssimply the practice of optimizing webpages to rank higher in search enginesand it revolves heavily aroundoptimizing pages for search intent buton-page optimizations also involvecreating and optimizing html tags liketitles and meta descriptionsnow if you’ve been exposed to thepractice of on-page seo then it’s quitelikely that you’ve heard conflicting
to discuss both what on-page seo is andwhat it is notlet’s talk about common advice you mightsee on on-page seo best practices whichjust aren’t true today and while thereare many old school tactics that arestill being recommended i want to focuson just three points to help younavigate the noisenumber one on-page seo is not aboutstuffing exact match keywordsit used to be common practice to includethe exact keyword you wanted to rank for
for example if you wanted to rank forcar dealer san diego you would stuffthat keyword throughout your pagedespite the fact it doesn’t make sensegrammatically speakinggoogle is smart enough to understandthings like connecting words synonymsand closely related words and phrasesin fact for all of these queries the top10 pages are nearly identicalunfortunately stuffing exact matchkeywords is still being practiced todaywhich can lead to poor user experience
on-page seo should not dothe second thing is that on-page seo isnot about using your keyword a specificnumber of times on the pagein our study of three million searchqueries we found that on average the topranking page ranks for around a thousandother relevant keywords in the top tennow can you imagine what it would belike if a top ranking page had tomention all 1000 of those keywords atleast three timesit makes no sense the content would be
awful user experience for visitorshere’s an example look at the syrup forthe quarry diet plan you’ll see thathealth lines article on how to loseweight ranks number one and there’s nomention of a diet plan in their title orurlin fact there’s only one fleetingmention of it on the page not even asubheading here’s another example gqranks in the top spot for classiestwatchbut if we look at the page you’ll see
neither is the word classythe third point is that on-page seoisn’t about meeting a minimum word countsome studies have shown that the averagecontent length of the top 10 results isover 2 000 words as a result many seoshave recommended that you create pagesthat are at least that lengthbut that isn’t exactly sound advice forexample our backlink checker is 628words yet we rank number one for ourtarget keyword and the page generatesaround 130 000 monthly visits from
here’s another example this page onlyhas 76 words on it the majority ofcontent are images according to hf siteexplorer the page gets over 170 000monthly search visitsnow let’s talk about what on-page seo istoday in 2021 and beyond looking at thedefinition again on-page seo is thepractice of optimizing web pages to rankhigher in search engines and as imentioned this revolves heavily aroundoptimizing pages for search intent thekey word here is search intent
should be to satisfy the searcher’sintenthowwell we talked about the three c’s ofsearch intent which should help you getthe basic stuff down like the contenttype format and angle in addition tothis your content needs to address thethings people expect to seeyou’ll also want to nail the moretangible items like titles subheadingsinternal linking readability and ofcourse the actual content itself
in part two of our on-page seo modulewhere we’ll get more tactical and talkabout how you can create content that’soptimized for searchhey it’s ammo and welcome to the secondlesson in the on-page seo module todayi’m going to show you how to create apage that’s optimized for search let’sget started so as i showed you in thelast lesson on average the top rankingpage ranks for nearly a thousandkeywords for example healthline’s pageis clearly targeting the query how to
ranking in the top spotnow the traffic to this page doesn’tcome from just their target keyword itcomes from the combined effect ofranking for thousands of queries andwhen we sum up the traffic from allkeywords it makes up well over a hundredthousand monthly search visits just fromthe usin fact if we look at the page’s keywordrankings you’ll see that the targetquery how to lose weight fast only sendsthem a small percentage of the total
now in order to rank for a ton ofkeywords and get a ton of search trafficyou need two things the first is a pagethat’s optimized to rank and the secondare backlinks in this lesson we’ll coverhow to create an optimized page andwe’ll tackle links in the next moduleokay so with on-page seo there are twomain things we need to cover the firstis arguably the most important andthat’s to ensure your page satisfiessearcher intent we’ve already coveredthe three css search intent which again
type of content to create the format touse and the angle to go with but theactual content itself is what will leaveyour visitors satisfied or dissatisfiedso you might be wondering what exactlydo i write about in order to satisfysearchers the short answer is to learnfrom your competitorsthe top ranking pages are ranking at thetop for a reason google and other searchengines deem them as the best candidatesto satisfy a search’s query so they’reclearly doing something right at least
now while the content will vary fromtopic to topic the way you research acompetitor’s content will be more orless the same let’s go through anexample so let’s say that we want tocreate content that targets the quarrybest golf club setsto start i’ll go to ahrefs keywordsexplorer and search for the quarrythen i’ll scroll down to the serpoverview to see the top ranking pagesnow if you don’t have an ahrefs accountyou can use our free serp checker tool
right so looking at the serp we want topick out the top three or so relevantranking resultsand by relevant i’m talking about pagesthat match the dominant search intentbased on the three cs we’ve discussed somany times now so in this case themajority of pages are blog posts in thelisticle format with freshness as thecontent angle so that means we wouldn’tlook at pages from amazon or golf galaxybecause these pages are clearlyecommerce category pages and are
search intent we’ll also exclude thepages from golf digest and businessinsider since it doesn’t look likethey’re intentionally targeting ourquery so i’ll open up these three pagesin new tabsand what we’re going to look for aresimilarities in their contentspecifically in the subtopics and we’llalso look to deepen our understanding ofcontent format and content anglelooking at the first page you’ll seethat they’ve created a list of
so there’s best selling best gameimproving irons and so onlooking further down they have asubheading which is the make and modelof the golf club set followed by a briefreview of the clubsthe next page also has a summary basedon more broad categories like best valuepremium pick and best choiceand based on the table of contentsyou’ll see that they followed a similarstructure where the make and model ofthe clubs are used as subheadings they
clubs as well as some skimmable bulletpointsand the final page does pretty much thesame thing they use subheadings as themake and model followed by a shortreviewnow unless you’re a golfer you may nothave caught this minor but perhapsimportant detailall the pages talk about sets that wouldappeal more to beginners for examplethey all talk about callaway strata setand they all include sets from wilson’s
in my opinion these wouldn’t appeal toan intermediate or advanced level golferalright so at this point we know that weshould create a holistical blog postwith freshness as the angle we also knowthat the content should likely betargeted at beginners a couple commonsets that were mentioned in all postswere the callaway stratas as well as aset from wilson’s staff now it’simportant to note that you don’t have toinclude these in your post but it’ssimply an observation i had made we also
had top picks for categories like bestgame improvement clubs as well as bestclubs for the moneyfinally we know that the subheadingshould be the name of the club setanother thing i recommend before youstart writing is to do a content gapanalysis at the page level a content gapanalysis at the page level will show youcommon keywords that the top pages areranking for where your page isn’t butsince we don’t have a page we can stillfind common keyword rankings amongst a
content gaap toolto get started go to hr site explorerand paste in any one of the urlsnext head on over to the content gaptoolnow i’m going to take the three urls weanalyzed and put them all in the topsection of this toolso what this is saying is show uskeywords that any of these targets rankfor where at least one of them ranks inthe top 10.now if i run the search you’ll be able
rank for in the position that they’reranking itas a general rule of thumb the more urlsthat rank high for the keywords the morerelevant it’ll be to your contentso to narrow our search down a bit i’llclick on the intersections drop down andselect both two and three intersectionsmeaning only show me keywords where atleast two of our targets are ranking ingoogle and at least one of those targetsis ranking in the top 10.from here just skim through the list and
might be worth adding to your postin addition you may be able to learnsome interesting things about theaudience as well as the language theyuse so as you can see people who searchfor this quarry are mostly looking formen’s clubs people want to know the bestclubs for the money they want to seecheaper options and others are lookingspecifically for a set of ironsthese are all things you should consideras you craft your contentall right so armed with this information
post with a searcher in mind and whilethe content is the most important partthere are also a few more technicalon-page optimizations you should dolet’s go through a few of the mostimportant onesfirst is to include your target keywordin your title when it makes senseadding your target keyword to your titleshould come naturally for example ourtitle for this post is 45 best free seotools tried and tested and free seotools is our target keyword
more sense to use a close variant ofyour target keyword for example thispost is targeting the query how to getyoutube subscribers but our title is9 ways to get more youtube subscribersbecause we went for the listicle anglethe next thing you can do is to use ashort and descriptive url slugshort and descriptive urls help peopleimmediately understand what the page isabout before even visiting them justlook at these two urls they’re on theexact same topic but one is much more
this part of the url is called the slugand the easiest way to choose your slugis to use your target keyword wherespaces will be replaced with hyphensagain you should only do this when itmakes sense so you don’t need to worryabout forcing it now if you’re wonderingif you should use subfolders to describecategories that’s entirely up to youalright next is the meta description themeta description is html code that’smeant to briefly summarize your page andsearch engines often use this text right
meta descriptions aren’t used as aranking signal but they can influenceclick-through rates and for that reasoni think it’s important to add to yourpagesnow it’s important to note thataccording to our study of 192 000 pageswe found that google rewrote metadescriptions nearly 63 percent of thetime so i wouldn’t spend a ton of timeon them but you should still includethemalright next up is to add internal links
internal links are links from one pageon the same domain to anotherand they’re super powerful because theycan pass link authority to otherrelevant pages and they also help searchengines better understand a page’scontentsfor example if i had a site in thecareers niche and i was writing a postabout how to write a cover letter then idefinitely want to add internal linksfrom other relevant pages like one onhow to write a resume
learn how to write a resume wouldprobably want to know how to write acover letter and vice versato find opportunities you can go togoogle and search forsitecolon yourdomain.comand then add the topic you’re writingaboutthen visit relevant pages and see ifthere’s an opportunity to add aninternal link to your new postalternatively you can use ahrefs siteaudit tool completely free just sign up
verify your site and then run a crawlthen you can head over to link explorerto find internal linking opportunitieswe have a short but helpful video on howto do this on ahrefs product updatesyoutube channel so i’ll link that videoup in the descriptionall right next up is to optimize yourimagesin the last 28 days we’ve had over 4 000visits to our blog from google imagesearchwhile that pales in comparison to our
still four thousand visitsnow optimizing your images for seo isthree-fold number one name your imagefiles appropriatelyfor example this is a picture of a puppyif you took the photo yourself thenchances are your smartphone or cameranamed it something like img underscoreand then a million numbersinstead change the file name tosomething like puppynot exactly rocket science but accordingto google file names can give google
imagenumber two use descriptive alt textalt text short for alternative text isan html attribute that goes in yourimage tagso the syntax would look something likethis where the alt value should describethe imagealt text helps improve accessibility forthose who are using screen readers or ifthe image fails to load visitors will beshown the alt text insteadnow google recommends creating useful
keywords appropriately and is in contextof the content of the pageyes google explicitly says to usekeywords but they also say to avoidstuffing keywords as it results in anegative user experience and may causeyour site to be seen as spam meaningdon’t do something like thisnow looking back at the syntax our alttext isn’t exactly descriptive so let’schange that to something like puppysitting on a couchif you use wordpress just add your alt
the cms should do the rest alright thethird thing you’ll want to do iscompress your images compressing imagesmakes your image file sizes smallerleading to faster load times and pagespeed is a google ranking signalthere’s a free tool for compressingimages called short pixel which has botha web interface as well as a wordpresspluginand the last thing i highly recommend isto optimize for readability here arefive simple but effective tips you can
write in short sentences and shortparagraphs because no one wants to landon a page with a huge wall of texttwouse descriptive subheadings so peoplewho are skimming the article can easilyfind the things that are important tothem3. use a large enough font that’s easilyreadable on both desktop and mobile4. avoid using big words it’s moreimportant that people understand yourcontent and 5. write as you speak your
entertaining to reada free tool i recommend using is calledhemingway app it’ll give you somewriting tips as well as a readabilitygrade i’d recommend trying to keepthings at or below a sixth grade levelnow there are other on-pageoptimizations you can do like addingopen graph meta tags or og tags forshort these will allow you to customizethe titles descriptions images and otherinformation when your pages are sharedon social media networks
that helps search engines understandyour content and better represent it inthe search results for example thesepages use the recipe schema type sogoogle is able to show things like therecipe’s rating the number of votes thetotal time to make the food as well asnutritional informationif you have a wordpress site then youcan add og tags in schema with pluginslike rank math or yoastnow again the most important part ofyour content is that you’re striving to
yes the technical things are importanttoo but they’re more like the icing onthe cake so here’s a full on-page seochecklist take a screenshot and let’smove on to the next module which is onan seo strategy called link buildinghey it’s ammo and welcome to the thirdmodule in our seo course for beginnersthroughout the next five lessons we’llbe talking about arguably the mostimportant and most challenging seostrategy it’s called link building andto kick things off we’re going to talk
the mindset you’ll need to have to besuccessful at it let’s get started sowhat is link building by definition linkbuilding is the process of getting otherwebsites to link to a page on yourwebsite and these hyperlinks are calledbacklinks now while the end result mightmake sense conceptually and seem simplethe part that most people don’tunderstand and can’t seem to get rightis thisthe processand this ultimately boils down to
them to link to you now let’s take aquick second to talk about how strangeand kind of awkward this might sound solet’s go through a few scenarios andthen we’ll revisit this definition oflink buildinglet’s say that you have a marketing blogand you write about seo and digitalmarketing now if some random personlet’s call her sally sent you an emailand said hey can you link to my post onfacebook ads it’s really good would youlink to her
wouldn’t even reply or click the link inher email to actually check and see ifher content is as good as she claimsnow let’s flip the script a bit let’ssay that you’ve been following ahrefsyoutube channel and blog for some timeyou’ve implemented some of thestrategies we’ve shared and gotten somegreat results for your site on top ofthat you’ve been using our seo tools forthree yearsnow an email pops up in your inbox fromme samo a name and face you might
our channel and in that email i’ve askedyou to link to our free backlink checkerfrom your page that lists the 15 bestfree seo tools would you link to memaybenow the final scenario let’s say yourmentor who helped you get started indigital marketing sends you an email andshe asked you to link to a page on hersite from a relevant page on yours wouldyou link to herdefinitely she helped you get started indigital marketing you obviously trust
bend over backwards for her the point ofthese scenarios is to show you that theprocess of link building is actuallyvery relational and can sometimes takemore time than you might likewith sally you don’t know her you don’towe her anything you don’t trust hershe’s blindly coming in almost invadingyour inbox and asking you for a favorwithout offering any kind of value inreturnin the second scenario when ihypothetically emailed you you knew who
you were a user of a product for yearsso while we may not have a real-liferelationship we’re still connected insome way so the chances of linking to meare probably higher than linking tosallynow when your mentor asked you for alink there’s a real relationship therethere’s a sense of trust respect andgratitude so of course you would link toher now while you can’t and shouldn’ttry to become friends with everyone justto get links you’ll find that your best
relationships that are sparked fromemail outreach so let’s redefine linkbuilding and set the tone for the restof this module link building is theprocess of building relationships withother relevant site owners who want andwill link to your content because itenhances theirsso this definition isn’t just about yougetting something it includesrelationships relevance and a valueexchange all things we’ll touch on laterin this module now since effective link
why it’s worth the effort in shortbacklinks are used by search engineslike google to help rank web pages andit’s been this way since 1998 whengoogle created page rank page rank is amathematical formula that judges thevalue of a page by looking at thequantity and quality of other pages thatlink to it and google confirms theimportance of backlinks on their housesearch works page under their rankinguseful pages heading they state if otherprominent websites on the subject link
information is of high qualitywe also found a clear correlationbetween organic traffic and backlinksfrom unique websites in our study ofover 1 billion web pagesso while getting backlinks may be harderthan let’s say creating a blog postthey’re absolutely critical if you wantto rank for competitive phrases andcompetitive phrases are usually the onesthat will drive the most traffic andrevenue for your businessnow we briefly touched on the main way
can or will be obtained through outreachso in the next lesson we’ll talk aboutthree methods to get backlinks as wellas the level of difficulty andeffectivenesshey it’s ammo and welcome to the secondlesson in our link building module inthis lesson we’ll talk about three linkbuilding strategies to get backlinks nowbefore we get started it’s important toset the expectations right for thislesson and talk about the differencebetween a strategy and a tactic to me
that it outlines the scope of the planswhereas tactics are more micro and oftenfocused around smaller stepsso the strategy sets you in the rightdirection and the tactics kind of definehow you get there and we’ll get into afew link building tactics later on inthis module alright so when it comes tolink building there are three mainstrategies to get backlinks you cancreate thembuy them or earn them let’s talk aboutwhat each method looks like their level
first method is to create backlinkscreating backlinks means to manually addlinks on one domain back to yours thiscan be done by adding your website todirectories leaving comments on blogposts or adding your website’s url toyour social media profileanyone can do this with minimal effortso like almost all easy things in lifethey’re generally not that effectivefrom an seo and ranking perspectivenow buying backlinks is exactly as itsounds you pay webmasters or authors a
page on your site now this is againstgoogle’s webmaster guidelines and canpotentially result in a penalty thatmight be anything from losing rankingpositions or even worse getting yourpages removed from google search indexalso buying links isn’t exactly cheap wecontacted 250 websites to ask if theysell links and we found that the averagecost of buying one was nearly353 dollars and of course we didn’t buyanyin terms of level of ease if you have
it’s just the transactionnow in terms of the effectiveness iwould think that they’re highlyeffective unless or until you get caughtand in my opinion the risk isn’t worththe reward especially if you want tobuild a business that’ll stand the testof time the final way to get backlinksis to earn them and there are threecommon ways you can do this the firstand most common are links that areearned through email outreach this iswhen you email other website owners and
another way to earn backlinks is bybecoming a source for an onlinepublication or media outletfor example if a journalist referencesyou in an article they’ll often link toyou and or your social media profilesand the final way is to earn backlinksorganically for example if someonevisits your page from a link on socialmedia organic search word of mouth orwherever and decides to link to you thenthat’s an earned linknow even though 100 organic links may
don’t want you to bank on that thesekinds of links are typically lessconsistent unless you’re an extremelywell-known brand with extremelywell-crafted content and you’re alreadygetting significant exposure it takestime to build a reputation that’s welltrusted and for those organic links tocome in on a regular basis and if you’rejust hoping and waiting you’ll likelyfall behind because your competitorswill actually be busy building links byreaching out to other website owners
obtain a link the more valuable it’ll beand for that reason we’ll be focusing onstreamlined tactics so that you canbuild a steady stream of backlinks toyour page and get more traffic from seonow not all links are created equal somewill propel your pages to the top ofgoogle while others can actually hurtyour site so what makes the linkactually goodthat’s what we’ll be talking about inthe next lessonhey it’s samo and welcome to the third
we’re going to talk about the attributesthat make a backlink good or highquality as i said in the last lesson notall backlinks are created equal forexample if you spammed forms with linksto your site those wouldn’t andshouldn’t hold more weight than let’ssay a link from the new york timesotherwise backlinks would just be a gameof quantity and google search resultswould reward the biggest spammersfortunately ranking on google doesn’twork that way and quality backlinks are
that said let’s talk about the fiveattributes that make a backlink good thefirst attribute is relevance imaginethis for a second you’re going to visitgreece for the first time next month andyou need recommendations for placesworth going tonow you have a friend that lived ingreece for their entire life andobviously knows every nook and crannyyou also have a friend in the u.s whohates traveling and has never beenoutside of the states whose opinion
obviously your greek friend in the sameway links from a website about travel orgreece would hold more weight than linksfrom sites about technology or marketingbecause they’re more topically relevantand authoritative for example you’ll seethat this page is ranking number one forthe query how to devein shrimp if welook at their backlinks and also filterby one link per domain we can see theirbacklinks from different websites now ifyou don’t have an ahrefs account thenyou can still see backlinks pointing at
tool which i’ll leave a link to in thedescriptiongoing back to the backlinks reportyou’ll see this page from wikihow whichis called three ways to peel and deveinshrimp so the link is on a very relevantpagescrolling down a bit you’ll see thislink from a page called shrimp withgarlic sauce which again is relevant atthe page level but you can also see thatit’s relevant at the domain level toojust by looking at the domain name
both of these links are great from arelevant standpoint whereas a link likethis one isn’t very relevant at all thepage is about firefox 3.5 which is a webbrowser it comes from a site about videogames and computer hardware so an ideallink would be contextually placed withinthe body of the content where someone isquite literally recommending orreferencing youalright the next quality of good qualitylinks is authoritativenessif you’re unfamiliar with authority in
represents the so-called link power aweb page has and this relates to howgoogle page rank worksas we discussed before both the quantityand quality of links matter so the morequality links a page gets the more pagerank it earns and the more page rank ithas the more authority it can pass toother pages through hyperlinksfor example let’s say that page c hastwo links one from page a and one frompage bpage a is stronger than page b and also
information into the pagerank algorithmand you get the page rank of page cnow this is obviously a simplifiedversion of how pagerank works but thekey point here is that getting linksfrom high authority pages will likelyhave the greatest impact on yourrankingsnow while google doesn’t provide pagerank or website authority scores we havetwo metrics at ahrefs that try toquantify it domain rating is our websiteauthority metric and it represents the
profile an url rating is our page levelauthority metric which represents theoverall strength of a page’s backlinkprofileand you’ll find both of these metricsthroughout most of our tools giving youinsights on referring pagesnow we’ve covered two very importantparts of good quality backlinks but whatwe haven’t talked about yet is theactual link itselfso let’s break down the anatomy of ahyperlink and talk about how the
here’s what a link looks like to yourwebsite visitors and if we look at thehtml code then it would look like thisnow there are three basic parts to alink that matter in seo the destinationurl anchor text and the rel attribute orlack of onethe destination url is simply the urlthe person will visit when the link isclicked the second part of a link is theanchor text the anchor text is theclickable word phrase or image attachedto the link so in our example site
name of our competitor analysis toolgoogle uses anchor text to betterunderstand what a page is about and whatterms it should rank for but buildinglots of links with keyword rich anchorsis an example of a link scheme and mayresult in a google penalty as it looksunnatural for example if you had a poston the best golf balls and had 100 linkspointing to it where the anchor textswere all best golf balls then it wouldlook and be quite unnaturalpeople often use anchors such as the
page the url or phrases like click hereand here’s some proof if we look at theanchors of backlinks pointing to ourdata study on featured snippets you’llsee varying anchor texts like ahrefs oldstudies hr study research and evenspecific stats like 12.3 percent ofsearch queries and 99.58 percent and soon in fact there are only 16 websitesthat have linked to us using the anchortext featured snippetwith most earned links you have verylittle or no control over the anchor
something you really need to worry aboutand the last part of the link we’ll talkabout is the rel attribute some linkscontain a rel attribute which isintended to tell crawlers about therelationship between the linking pageand the linked pageand the three rel values that you shouldknow about when it comes to linkbuilding are nofollow ugc and sponsoredhistorically nofollow links told googlethat the linking page would rather notassociate themselves with the linked
transfer authority through those linksbut then google added a couple other relvalues ugc which stands for usergenerated content and sponsored whichsignifies an ethical paid linkthey also announced that going forwardthey would look at these link attributesas hints meaning they may pass valuethrough them at their discretionnow if a link doesn’t have any of theserel values then it will be called afollowed link meaning the link can passpage rank and help boost your rankings
i’d recommend focusing on buildingfollowed links although that’s onlypartially within your controlnow it’s important to note that nofollowin ugc links aren’t bad it’s just thatfollowed links are proven to passauthority one final thing i want totouch on is link placementprominent links are more likely to beclicked and it’s believed that googletakes this into account when determininghow much authority a link transfersfor instance an editorial link is more
footer so all else being equal theformer will be better than the latterso to summarize an ideal link would comefrom a relevant and authoritative pagewhere the link is followed it would havea descriptive anchor and be placedcontextually within editorial contentbut the truth isa lot of this is out of your controlwhat is in your control is how you spendyour time building links by using thesefive attributes to help qualifyprospects or people that are worth
building links that will actually movethe needlenow the easiest way for a beginner tostart building links is to use tried andtested tactics and we’ll be covering afew of them in the next lessonhey it’s ammo and welcome to the fourthlesson in the link building module todaywe’re going to talk about thestep-by-step process to build backlinksas well as three cookie cutter linkbuilding tactics that are tried testedand completely beginner friendly let’s
link building there are three generalstages in link building prospectingvetting and email outreachwhen prospecting you’re searching forrelevant pages and websites that mightlink to you these might be people whoare linking to a similar page as the oneyou’re going to create those who haveinfluence in your industry or people whoare passionate about the topicthe main goal isn’t to find a perfectlist of people this stage is aboutfinding as many people as possible that
criteria is usually dictated by linkauthority metrics as well as relevanceas a result you’ll usually be workingwith large and very unperfect sets ofdatathe vetting stage is where you start torefine your list of prospects these arethe people that you’ll be contacting soyou’ll need to visit their websites andvalidate that they are indeed peopleworth contactingfinally is the email outreach stage thisis when you finalize your pitches and
now depending on the link buildingtactic you use the way you prospect vetand craft your email pitches will differand this is actually quite difficultwhen you’re new to link buildingfortunately there are a few dead simplebut super effective link buildingtactics that are completely newbiefriendly but before we can get tacticallet’s revisit our definition of linkbuilding because there are three mainparts in it that will help you withprospecting vetting and email outreach
building relationships with otherrelevant site owners who want and willlink to your content because it enhancestheirsnow i want to highlight the three mainparts from this definitionrelationships relevance and a valueexchange we already talked about therelevance part in the last lesson nowwe’re talking about mainly the valueexchange and what that looks like insome common link building tacticsso let’s dig into a few easy link
each stage of the link building processlooks like in detail plus i’ll outlinethe value exchange for each tactic togive you a better idea of what i meanalright the first link building tacticis to get free pr using herohero or help a reporter out is a freeservice that connects journalists withsources and sources with journalistsjust sign up as a source and select thecategories where you’re qualified toanswer questions you’ll then get emailsfrom journalists from various media
topics and these aren’t just yourrun-of-the-mill publications in just asingle email you’ll see publicationslike parents.compopsugar and the houston chronicle toname a few just skim through the topicsand if you find something where you canadd value respond to the journalist withyour expert opinion and if they use youas a source they’ll usually link back toyour site and social media profiles nowthe value exchange here is simple you’reexchanging your expert knowledge for a
authoritative sitefrom my personal experience i’ve gottenlinks from places like reader’s digestinc magazine forbes and the huffingtonpost to name a fewnow looking at the three stages of linkbuilding the prospecting part is as easyas it getsyou sign up for a free service andjournalists are actually looking foryour help not the other way around whichmakes harrow super beginner friendly asfor vetting you can simply scan through
can be time consuming a simple tip youcan use is to create a gmail filter soonly relevant emails will surface inyour inbox just log into gmail and clickon the caret to bring down the searchoptions next set the from field toharrowhelperreporter.comthen you’ll want to set the subject toharrow within square brackets since allof their emails include that in thesubject line finally set the has thewords field to any keywords you want to
search operator to include multiplekeywords or phrasesclick search to see the results yoursearch filters would include and checkout some of the emails to ensure you’regetting relevant resultsif everything looks good click on thecaret again and then click create filteryou’ll then have the options to applylabels mark it as important or forwardit to another team member to take careofnow as for the email outreach part
will then be forwarded to the journalistso just respond to the given emailaddress and write your responsenow obviously you’re not going to be theonly person emailing the journalist sohere are a few tips you can use toimprove your hit rate number one keepyour emails as short as neededjournalists get tons of emails and ifthey see a huge wall of text theyprobably won’t even give your response achancenumber two go after topics where
multiple sourcesfor example this query from best life isseeking medical experts as in the pluralform of expertthese kinds of requests will usually beyour typical listicle-styled posts sothe more responses they accept thehigher your chances of getting mentionedand linked tonumber three respond as quickly aspossible journalists on hero will oftengive a tighter deadline to givethemselves time to actually put together
believe that people who respond fasterare better sources don’t believe mehere’s what a journalist from reader’sdigest said to me the deadline was justto make sure i get people to respond ina timely manner i actually have the restof the month to put the story togetherwhich is nice i find the tighter thedeadline i attach the better theresponse is because the only people whogo to the effort are ones who reallyhave something relevant to offerobviously this doesn’t apply to every
all right tip 4 is to prioritizequestions where you are an expert anduse it as the first line in your pitchthere will be days where you can’trespond to every relevant request soprioritize the ones where you have thehighest probability of getting sourcedfor example popsugar is looking forexperts who can talk about why catsscratch furniture and how to stop themfrom doing it if you’re a vet then youmight start your email with somethinglike hi jenna my name is sam oh and i’m
and a board member of the cat allianceclearly i’m not a vet but you get mypointwhen you immediately qualify yourself asthe right person to answer the questionyou’ll likely get their attention ofcourse you should be 100 honest so iwouldn’t claim to be a vet when i’m notand finally follow all directions intheir query for example this one saysplease be sure to include your full namepronouns title and credentials and thewebsite you’d like linked with your name
is guest posting or guest blogging samethingguest blogging is when you createcontent for another website and thereason why this strategy works isbecause there’s a clear value exchangethey get great content for free andalmost always they allow you to linkback to your site whether that be withinthe content or in the author bionow guest blogging also provides anothergreat benefitaside from a potential backlink you get
someone else’s audience they’ve alreadydone the hard work in building thataudience you just have to writesomething that’ll impress their readersnow when you’re prospecting you’ll needto get a list of websites and there area few ways you can do that the first wayis to use google search operators justgo to google and search for somethinglikein title colon write for us wrapped inquotes and then a keyword that’s relatedto your niche
us pages that include the phrase writefor us in the title and have the wordgolf balls somewhere on the page andthis is a common footprint that websitesuse to attract guest writers now becauseyou’ll want to write for sites with somekind of link authority you can useahrefs seo toolbar to see link authoritymetrics right within google searchresults and if you don’t have an ahrefsaccount you can use our free websiteauthority checker to see the domainratings for these sites
is to use ahrefs content explorercontent explorer is a searchabledatabase where you can find pages on anytopic along with both socialand seo metrics to get started justenter a topic that’s related to yourniche and run the searchnext you’ll want to set some filters toensure that a you’re getting relevantresults and b that you’re reaching outto websites that have some kind of linkauthorityso first i’ll set the language filter to
i’ll be able to write inthen i’ll set a domain rating filter andset it to a range like 30 to 60.now if this is your first time guestblogging then you may want to set alower range like 10 to 30 to getpractice before pitching moreauthoritative sites or if you’re aseasoned guest blogger then you can trysomething like 40 to 70.alright so next i’ll enable this filterone page per domain which will narrowour results to one page per website and
because there’s no point in pitching thesame website numerous timesnow with around two hundred thousanddomains you might be wondering whichones allow guest posts the truth is youwon’t know until you ask but there’s away to improve your hit rate and that’sto look at websites that have previouslyaccepted guest authorsto find those sites just click on thewebsites tab and make sure that yourresults are sorted by the number ofauthors
more probable it is that they acceptguest postseither that or they have a big staff ofwritersfrom here you can export the results andthen move on to the vetting stageat this point you’ll want to do a quickcheck to make sure that the websitesdon’t look spammy and that they’reactually relevant to your sitefor example golfballs.com is clearlygoing to be relevant and it’s not spammyat all seeing as it’s just a regular
as for metricscat.com the domain doesn’tlook like it’s about golfand if you visit the site you’ll seethat it looks like a software company sowe’d exclude this domain from ouroutreach listnow another thing worth checking is thedomain’s site-wide organic trafficto do that go to site explorer andsearch for the domainnext click on the organic search tabif the site is getting consistent searchtraffic like this then it’s a good sign
google domains that have an organictraffic like this is probably somethingyou’d want to exclude when vetting sitesreason being this huge decline in searchtraffic is telling us that google mayhave penalized the website so youprobably wouldn’t want to associate yourdomain with theirs now when you’revetting you’ll likely want to findaround 10 times the number of posts youcan write in a week for example if youcan write two posts per week then tryand find 20 vetted sites reason being
alone respond to you alright let’s moveon to the next stage which is emailoutreachnow when you’re pitching websites for aguest post ideally you want to come upwith a good reason as to why they shouldaccept your postfree content is great null but it’s notnecessarily so convincing that everyonewill accept it so take some time to doyour research on the site see how yourexpertise can be helpful for theiraudience or business
golfballs.com you’ll see that they havecontent on the best golf balls for kidsand after searching through their site ifound that they have another guide onthe best golf balls for the longestdistance now they’re missing out on alot of these best golf balls for blankand seeing as they’re in the business ofselling golf balls i could easily pitchthem topics on something like best golfballs for high handicappers whichaccording to ahrefs keywords explorergets searched around 800 times per month
and say something like hey whatever theeditor’s name is i was digging throughyour site and saw that you have a coupleof posts on the best golf balls for kidsand for a distance but i was prettysurprised to see that you don’t have onefor other types of players i.e seniorsbeing a high handicapper myself i spenthundreds of dollars on balls andcountless hours on launch monitors tofind the best ball for me if you’re openi’d love to write a post for you abouthow to find the best golf balls for
share all the data and stats which ithink will help people make an informeddecision as they shop through your storeis that something you’d be open tocheers samnow with this outreach email i’m showingthem that i’ve done my research on theirsite i’m a golfer myself i have someunique data which i spent time and moneyto get and i’m also showing them how myposts could help them get more saleswe’ll talk quite a bit about outreach inthe next lesson so let’s move on to the
technique the skyscraper technique is alink building tactic where you findcontent that has a lot of links createyour own version on the topic butimprove on it and then reach out tothose linking to the popular post andask them to link to yoursnow if we were to go through theprospecting vetting and outreach stagesthis lesson would be extended anotherseven to eight minutes so instead i’lllink up a video which will take youthrough the entire process step by step
dedicated to link building tacticsstrategies and processes so i highlyrecommend watching that toonow prospecting and vetting are prettystraightforward but the hardest part oflink building and the part that makeslink building challenging is outreach sothe next lesson is dedicated to craftinghighly effective outreach emailshey it’s ammo and welcome to the finallesson in our link building module todaywe’re going to cover how to do bloggeroutreach that leads to backlinks and
lesson in this entire module becausenearly all link building tactics requiresome sort of email exchange so todaywe’ll cover the primary objectives ofblogger outreach two common approachesand i’ll break down the anatomy of agood quality outreach email let’s getstarted so the primary objective ofblogger outreach is to convince thosewith large targeted audiences to talkabout you and from the perspective of anseo you want them to link to yourwebsite now outreach doesn’t mean
sending every single person the exactsame email like you would through emailmarketing for example this outreachemail that i got is what typical bloggeroutreach looks like todayfirst of all i can see that they didn’teven take a second to check what my nameis when literally two-thirds of allpages on my personal site have my fullname on them instead they stuck with thegeneric there used it in the massmailing software and broadcasted it outto hundreds maybe even thousands of
of a dealsecond this is clearly a generictemplated email with zero considerationfor the recipients the person says i’mwriting because i saw your post herethen they didn’t even take a second toproofread the email and theirjustification for me to link to them isbecause it fits well in my poston top of that the person followed upwith me three more times with nearly theexact same email all sent within thesame 30 minute period
and the results of these kinds of emailslead to nothing the page the personwanted me to link to got a total of twobacklinks and both of them areirrelevant and look like they’ve beenpaid for and those backlinks aren’tmoving the needle since the page getszero organic search visits these kindsof emails along with hundreds of othersin my inbox are prime examples of whyyou need to write good quality emailsotherwise you’ll just blend in with therest of the spam people get on a daily
after all these are unsolicited emailsnow to be clear it doesn’t mean that youcan’t use some sort of template to senda lot of emails efficiently for examplei literally just got this email in myinbox and it says hey sam i justpublished a roundup post about the bestpersonal blogs to read and i featuredyou in it and that’s a link to his postthen he explicitly says but i’m notlooking for a share or anything likethat i just wanted to say thank you forall the inspiration you’ve brought to
world best of luck in your endeavors andkeep up the good work on ahrefs youtubechannelthis email didn’t come to my ahrefsemail account it came to the one on mypersonal site so he clearly did a bit ofdigging before sending the email and i’msure he sent a similar message to all117 people he featured so you might bethinking what’s the point of this emailif he’s not asking for anything we’llget to that later in this lessonnow the first email that i just showed
blogger outreach it’s called the shotgunapproach where you build a broad list oftargets load them up into an outreachtool and then blast out emails to anyoneand everyone the opposite approach tothis is the sniper method this is whenyou choose targets carefully based on atight set of criteria and then sendpersonalized emailsof the two methods we recommend goingwith a sniper approach becauseshotgunning emails to anyone andeveryone is a surefire way to burn
that reason the rest of this lesson willbe centered around the sniper approachso before we get into actually craftingyour outreach emails let’s quickly talkabout who you should be contacting andhow to find their email addressesin general you’ll want to contact theauthor of the post if they work for thewebsite for example this is a postwritten by joshua hardwick on the ahrefsblogseeing as his profile states head ofcontent at ahrefs you know he works
on the ahrefs blognow for this post by josh there wouldn’tbe any use in contacting him because hedoesn’t work for sitepoint in this caseyou’d want to contact the editor of theblog to find who that person is you cancheck places like the websites about ourteam page their write for us page ifthey have one or their company’slinkedin profilenow to actually find the person’s emailaddress the easiest way is to checkcontact in about pages this works best
websites that have multiple peopleinvolved like sitepoint or ahrefs youusually won’t find individuals emailaddresses on their site so to find theseemails you can use a tool like hunter.iogo to their email finder tool and justsearch for their first and last name aswell as the domain hunter will then giveyou their best guess in this casethey’re wrong but the success rate isgenerally quite highalright so if you’ve done the work forthe lessons in this module to this point
three tactics i outlined created a listof prospectsvetted your list and found some emailaddresses so it’s time to actually writethe pitchnow while there isn’t exactly astreamlined formula for every outreachemail you send i want to talk about theanatomy of a simple outreach email thathas been effective for me for many yearsnow and there are five main parts to atypical outreach email first is thesubject line the goal of the subject
email otherwise there’s no chance atgetting a response but you don’t want toclick bait them because that’ll onlyleave a bad impression so when you’rewriting a subject line you want tobriefly and accurately describe whyyou’re emailing them and ideally evokecuriosityif we look back at my guest bloggingoutreach email from the previous lessoni showed you a hypothetical pitch wherei asked if i could write a post for agolf site and share data i have on the
i might use a subject line like new databest balls for high handicappersin my opinion the new data part evokescuriosity and the rest of the subjectline explains the topic of the email thenext part is the introduction and whilethere are numerous ways to write anintro i think it’s best to start bytelling them why you’re emailing themand the goal of this part is to get themto read the next part of the emailfor example with our guest postingsample email i said i was digging
a couple of posts on the best golf ballsfor kids and for distance but i waspretty surprised to see that you don’thave one for other types of players i.eseniorsnow i will admit that the first sentencecould definitely be stronger but i’mbasically saying that you’ve done thisand this but looks like you’re missingout on an opportunity herethe next part of the email isqualification and justificationsimply asking someone for a favor and
is naive you need to show them whyyou’re qualified and justify the pitchthat we’ll get to in a secondfor example if you’re contacting someoneto guest post then explain why theyshould accept your post over potentiallyhundreds of other submissionsif you’re asking them to add your linkto a page on their site give them anactual good reason why they shouldso in our guest posting sample you’llsee that i said being a high handicappermyself i spent hundreds of dollars on
monitors to find the best ball for meso the fact that a i mentioned i’m ahigh handicapper and b i’ve testednumerous balls and gotten factual datafrom launch monitors qualifies andjustifies what i’m about to pitch whichagain is a guest post about the bestgolf balls for high handicappersnow to really drill in on the concept ofqualification and justification let’slook at an example email for theskyscraper techniquea little while back we did some outreach
statistics so we email people with anemail that looks something like thishi name i saw you mentioned how 93 ofonline experiences begin with a searchengine on your page about how to dokeyword research that’s our reason forcontact we then went on to say that statis actually 14 years old more recentresearch suggests that this number hasgone down to 68i think it’s lower because social andother sources now account for around onethird of traffic
justification for what we’re about topitch and obviously the next part of theemail is the pitchthe pitch essentially includes your askas well as your value proposition andgenerally speaking the stronger yourvalue proposition the higher the chanceof getting a link so for a guest postingexample i said if you’re open i’d loveto write a post for you about how tofind the best golf balls for hackygolfers like myself and here’s my valueproposition i’m happy to share all of
help people make an informed decision asthey shop through your store so not onlyare they getting data for free but i’mshowing them how that can bring value totheir bottom line now it’s not alwayseasy to think of a solid valueproposition for example in our seo statsemail our pitch was we publish this anda few other fresh seo stats here notsure if you’re actively editing postsbut might be worth an update if you areno pressure so what exactly is the valueproposition we’re helping bloggers keep
didn’t even directly ask for a link yetwe were still able to pick up 27backlinks we actually have a fullthree-part video series on this exactcase study so i’ll link that up in thedescription and i highly recommendchecking it outalright the last part of the email is asimple one-liner to keep theconversation rollingsimply putyou don’t want to end your email with acold hard pitch the purpose of your
conversation so you might say somethinglike is that something you’d be open tois there anything i missed what do youthink do you agree with our conclusionor whatevernow this is just a basic template youcan use as you start blogger outreachbut i don’t want you to limit yourselfwithin this box all you’re really doingis talking to people and starting tobuild some kind of relationship justthink about it like an in-personencounter you wouldn’t go to a party and
drink you might strike up a conversationconnect with them on a common interestand maybe buy the first round of drinksexpecting nothing in return and as aresult they might want to reciprocate byreturning an act of kindnessagain the goal of the very first emailyou send is simple start a conversationand this brings us back to this outreachemail that i gotthe person who mentioned me on theirsite specifically told me that he’s notlooking for a share or anything like
thank you so what did that accomplishnumber one i actually read his emailnumber two i responded to him and saidthanks for the mention and number threeshould he email me again i’ll probablyopen it because i’ll recognize his nameso while there will be times where itmakes sense to ask for the link or guestposting opportunity right away there area lot of times when it makes more senseto just start that conversation and seewhere it leadsthe final tip i want to leave you with
sending email pitchesyou don’t want to email anyone andeveryone for every single piece ofcontent you createfor example if you had a golf site andyou created a post on a topic like whatis a handicap there’s nothinginteresting or unique about it yet it’sstill a topic you would probably want tocovercoming up with a good reason for them tolink to you on this topic will be toughplus time is finite so it’s worth doing
there’s a higher probability that it’llresult in backlinksall right so with everything you’velearned up to this point you should beable to create content for your websitethat’ll get traffic from search enginesbut there’s still one piece to thefundamentals of seo that we haven’tcovered and that’s technical seohey it’s ammo and welcome to the finalmodule in ahrefs seo course forbeginners throughout the next twolessons we’re going to be talking about
process of optimizing your website tohelp search engines findunderstand and index your pagesnow for beginners technical seo doesn’tneed to be all that technical and forthat reason this module will be focusedon the basics so you can perform regularmaintenance on your site and ensure thatyour pages can be discovered and indexedby search engines let’s get started allright so let’s talk about why technicalseo is important at the core basicallyif search engines can’t properly access
you won’t rank or even be found for thatmatter so to avoid innocent mistakeslike removing yourself from google’sindex or diluting a page’s backlinks iwant to discuss four things that shouldhelp you avoid thatfirst is the no index meta tag by addingthis piece of code to your page it’stelling search engines not to add it totheir index and you probably don’t wantto do that and this actually happensmore often than you might thinkfor example let’s say you hire design
you during the development phase theymay create it on a sub-domain on theirown site so it actually makes sense forthem to know index the site they’reworking on but what often happens isafter you’ve approved the design they’llmigrate it over to your domain but theyoften forget to remove them at a noindex tag and as a result your pages endup getting removed from google searchindex or never making it innow there are times when it actuallymakes sense to no index certain pages
indexed because from an seo perspectivethese pages provide very little value tosearch engines but from a userexperience standpoint it can be arguedthat it makes sense to be there somepeople may have their favorite authorson a blog and want to read just theircontentgenerally speaking for small sites youwon’t need to worry about no indexingspecific pages just keep your eye outfor no index tags on your pagesespecially if after a redesign the
robots.txt is a file that usually liveson your root domain and you should beable to access it at yourdomain.comrobots.txtnow the file itself includes a set ofrules for search engine crawlers andtells them where they can and cannot goon your site and it’s important to notethat a website can have multiple robotsfiles if you’re using sub domains forexample if you have a blog on domain.comthen you’d have a robots.txt file forjust the root domain but you might also
store.domain.comso you could have a separate robots filefor your online storethat means that crawlers could be giventwo different sets of rules depending onthe domain they’re trying to crawlnow the rules are created usingsomething called directives and whileyou probably don’t need to know what allof them are or what they do there aretwo that you should know about from anindexing standpointthe first is user agent which defines
the value for this directive will be thename of the crawler for example google’suser agent is named googlebot and thesecond directive is disallow this is apage or directory on your domain thatyou don’t want the user agent to crawlfor example if you set the user agent togooglebot in the disallow value to aslash you’re telling google not to crawlany pages on your sitenot goodnow if you were to set the user agent toan asterisk that means your rules should
file looks something like this then it’stelling all crawlers please don’t crawlany pages on my site while this mightsound like something you would never usethere are times when it makes sense toblock certain parts of your site or toblock certain crawlersfor example if you have a wordpresswebsite and you don’t want your wp-adminfolder to be crawled then you can simplyset the user agent to all crawlers andset the disallow value to slash wp adminnow if you’re a beginner i wouldn’t
but if you run into any indexing issuesthat need to be troubleshootedrobots.txt is one of the first places icheckalright the next thing to discuss aresitemaps sitemaps are usually xml filesand they list the important urls on yourwebsite so these can be pages imagesvideos and other files insight maps helpsearch engines like google to moreintelligently crawl your site nowcreating an xml file can be complicatedif you don’t know how to code and it’s
but if you’re using a cms like wordpressthere are plugins like yoast and rankmath which will automatically generatesitemaps for you to help search enginesfind your sitemaps you can use thesitemap directive in your robots fileand also submit it in google searchconsolenext up are redirects a redirect takesvisitors and bots from one url toanother and their purpose is toconsolidate signals for example let’ssay you have two pages on your website
domain.com bestgolfballs2018and another at domain.combest golf ballsseeing as these are highly relevant toone another it would make sense toredirect the 2018 version to the currentversion and by consolidating these pagesyou’re telling search engines to passthe signals from the redirected url tothe destination urland the last point i want to talk aboutis the canonical tag a canonical tag isa snippet of html code that looks like
its purpose is to tell search engineswhat the preferred url is for a page andthis helps to solve duplicate contentissuesfor example let’s say your website isaccessible at both http colon doubleslash yourdomain.comandhttps colon double slashyourdomain.com and for whatever reasonyou weren’t able to use a redirect thesewould be exact duplicates but by settinga canonical url you’re telling search
of the pageas a result they’ll pass signals such aslinks to the canonical url so they’renot diluted across two different pagesnow it’s important to note that googlemay choose to ignore your canonical taglooking back at the previous example ifwe set the canonical tag to the unsecurehttp pagegoogle would probably choose the securehttps version insteadnow if you’re running a simple wordpresssite you shouldn’t have to worry about
of the box and will handle a lot ofthese basic technical issues for youso these are some of the foundationalthings that are good to know when itcomes to indexing which is arguably themost important part in seo because againif your pages aren’t getting indexednothing else really matters now we won’treally dig deeper into this becauseyou’ll probably only have to worry aboutindexing issues if and when you run intoproblems instead we’ll be focusing ontechnical seo best practices to keep
hey it’s ammo and welcome to the finallesson in this module and actually it’sthe last lesson in ahrefs seo course forbeginners in this lesson we’re going togo through some technical seo bestpractices so you can keep your site ingood health let’s get started so thefirst thing you should do is ensure thatyour site structure follows a logicalhierarchy site structure is simply theway you organize content on your websiteyou can think of it like a mind mapat the top you’d have your home page
that branch out from your home page likeyour services page your blog and aboutpage then from these main topics you’dprobably have even more branches toother pagesthese branches represent internal linkswhich are just links from one page onyour site to another and they helpsearch engines understand therelationship between these pagessite structure also helps search enginesto crawl your pages more efficientlywhich is why having a logical hierarchy
now what we’ve talked about is prettybasic stuff and you may already be doingthis but it can get more complex as youadd more pages to your site like blogposts category pages or product pages wehave a full video on how to use internallinks to rank higher on google so i’lllink that up for you in the descriptionalright the second thing is to ensureyour pages don’t load slowas you may know pagespeed has been aconfirmed ranking factor for desktopsearch since 2010 and in 2018 google
speed in mobile search rankingsnow you don’t need to obsess over everymillisecond it takes for your page toload google says the speed update aswe’re calling it will only affect pagesthat deliver the slowest experience tousers and will only affect a smallpercentage of quarriesso bottom line you don’t want your pagesto load slowand there are two very basic things thati think every website should dothe first is to cache your website’s
caching is basically a way totemporarily store copies of files so itcan be delivered to visitors in a moreefficient way and most web hostingcompanies that i’ve come across havecaching featuresand the second thing you can do iscompress your imagescompressing images makes your file sizessmaller and smaller files load fasteryou can use a tool like short pixelwhich has both a web interface and awordpress plugin now if you want to take
get quite technical and complexso we actually created a full tutorialon how to speed up a wordpress websiteusing cloudflare and a wordpress pluginso i’ll leave a link to that in thedescriptionand the final thing i want to talk aboutis to do your best to stay on top ofaround 50 potential seo errorstrust me it’s not as bad as it soundsthere are potentially hundreds oftechnical seo issues that can and somewill definitely happen to your site some
broken that still have internal linkspointing at themorphan pages which are pages on yoursite that have no incoming internallinksand these are great because it can makeit tough for search engines to actuallydiscover themduplicate content issues and redirectchains to name a fewnow there’s no point in me going through50 different potential issues becauseit’ll only matter to you if you run into
scheduled website audits on your siteand a website audit will give you a fullanalysis of potential issues that couldbe harming your website’s seoperformanceif you’re an ahrefs user you can do thatusing our site audit tool and even ifyou don’t have an ahrefs paid plan youcan sign up for a free ahrefs webmastertools account which will let you crawlup to ten 000 pages on each website youownto get started go to ahrefs.com awt and
accountthen you’ll need to verify your websitemeaning prove that you actually own ityou can do that using google searchconsole which is the easiest method orif you don’t have a search consoleaccount you can do it manually justenter your domain and click continuethen verify your website using one ofthese three methods and i’ll actuallyjust go back and use the google searchconsole methodnext you’ll need to import your sites
now schedule weekly audits and i’ll alsoenable the crawl external links optionto ensure that we catch any broken orredirected outgoing linkshit import and the crawl should startrunningnow after the crawl has completed go tothe overview report in your site auditproject and you’ll immediately seethings like your health score which is apercentage of urls on your site thatdon’t have errors you’ll also see thetop issues we found on your site as well
so when you run into an issue you canclick on the caret to see a descriptionof what it means and also a shortsnippet of how to fix it and once youhave an idea of what the issue is andhow to fix it just click on the numberunder the crawled column to see theaffectedurls then it’s just a matter of fixingthem one by one or hiring someone tohelp and since you set up weeklyscheduled audits you can revisit theoverview report to see if there’s any
and that wraps up ahrefs seo course forbeginners everything you’ve learned inthis course should be enough to get youindexed ranking and to keep your site ingood technical health and i’ve linked upa playlist in the description to theentire course with all 14 videos whichwill be free forever thank you forjoining me and i hope you were able toget a ton of value from the course andmake sure to like share and subscribefor more actionable seo and marketingtutorials feel free to browse around our
leave them in the comments and we’ll doour best to get to each one i’ll see youin the next tutorial

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