Sites that use a SSL certificate show a lock in the address bar in the Chrome browser.
SEO is a fast paced industry with a lot of conspiracies and useless advice. Lately, certain strategies and tactics have been proven to positively influence your website. In this article, I will recap what I and many other full-time internet marketers have been using to funnel a strong channel of organic traffic to our sites. I’ve picked out 5 tactics that I believe are not taken seriously enough by the general public. Each point is linked to research or resources to help you learn these extensive subjects, as they are too much to cover in a single article.
Secure Sockets Layer
Since originally announcing it back in 2014, Google has been considering SSL a rising factor in SEO. Not all SSL certificates cost hundreds of dollars per year. Some non-profit organizations are now offering SSL certificates for free. While SSL certificates are not really needed unless you’re transmitting sensitive data, Google likes to see sites encrypting their user-submitted data. A dummy-proof way to check if your competitor has a certificate is to check if the URL starts with HTTP or HTTPS. If it’s HTTPS, then they have a SSL certificate.
Long Tail Keywords
The first website I remember who full took advantage of long tail keywords was Mp3 Skull. They built their URL structure in such a way that user searches would index in Google. Generally, websites use URL parameters in a query string in their search function. However Mp3 Skull built their URLs in a way that made it look like every search was a static URL for an HTML page.
Schema.org rich snippets are becoming a huge factor in Google. Google does not only value sites which use Schema.org structure, but also the click through rate will be higher since Google will display your website in a different and more attractive style than the other results. For example, if you run a site that displays events, Schema.org has a style you can use. If you have a site that displays reviews, Schema.org has a style to display the average review stars for each product. View the getting started guide on Schema.org.
SERP CTR has been tested by many people, even Moz’s Rand Fishkin. Rand tweeted, asking for people to search a keyword and click his SERP. His ranking moved from #7 to #1. However, this doesn’t always work. Search Engine Land ran a study and didn’t have a similar positive experience. Like link building, you have to hold your work to a very high level of quality. Low quality links don’t work, and neither will low quality SERP clicks. Manipulations that involve proxies or fake clicks will not work. One option is to use a SERP CTR click exchange site or start a social movement that urges people to Google your keyword, like Neil Patel did.
When it comes to ranking for a keyword, parasites have never been more powerful. It’s been documented, that parasites can rank quickly in churn and burn campaigns. For example, page 1 of Google can be obtained in less than 2 weeks for 100,000+ monthly searches keywords. Parasites are properties like YouTube videos, Weebly sites, Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles and other popular websites that allow user generated content. They ride off the domain authority of the main domain, and because of this, you can send a large number of backlinks to the parasite without risking heavy penalty.
By using these 5 tactics, you can pivot your SEO strategy to a modern approach that will show itself in your organic traffic reports.