If you want your website to rank on Google and receive lots of targeted traffic, you need one thing!
As time passes, SEO is evolving and what worked 5 years ago does not necessarily work anymore. If you want to be successful, it is very important for you to know what to focus on in order to optimize your website to achieve great rankings.
In the list below, I did NOT include backlinks even though they are the #1 ranking factor looked at by Google.
For the sake of this article, I preferred to only focus on 18 tips and tricks you should use right now on your website if you want to explode your traffic in 2019.
1. Pick a Good Webhost
As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.
As shown above in the quote from the Google Webmaster Central Blog, site loading speed is one of the most important SEO factors for Google. Therefore, you need to make sure to lay solid foundations for your website with a reliable host.
Having a bad web host could cause your website to be slow or even worse it could be down if the hosting service is not reliable.
There are many hosting companies available on the internet and you will be fine with any of the big players such as Bluehost, Siteground, Hostgator, Namecheap, WPEnginge or GoDaddy when you first start out.
As your website and your traffic grow, you might want to upgrade to more robust hosting companies or simply upgrade to better plan within your existing host.
Personally, I have been using Bluehost and I am very happy with their customer support and my websites performances.
On top of that, they are very cheap, as you can start with them for as low as $3.95 per month and it comes with a free domain name.
That plus the one click WordPress install make Bluehost the perfect hosting for your first website.
2. Use a SEO Optimized Theme
As a WordPress user, you will have plenty of choices available to you when it is time to pick a theme.
Obviously, you want to pick a theme that allows you to create a website that you like but you need to keep in mind to pick a SEO optimized theme.
Don’t worry! You do not have to pay to get a great looking and well optimized theme. Even though it is true that paid themes tend to more SEO optimized than free ones. There are many options for you to pick from.
Related: 10 Free Themes To Explode Your Traffic
3. Create Comprehensive and In-Depth Content
Content is king!
You can have your page optimized to the fullest, the best theme, a super fast website etc… but it will not matter much if at the end of the day the content of your website is garbage!
You should have a clear content strategy.
Nowadays, search engines are big on search intent instead of plain old keyword research.
People tend to ask questions in the search box more than simply write few keywords.
In order to keep up with these changes, you should definitely adapt the way you create your content.
Now, let’s see why topic clusters help you keep up with the changes!
That strategy helps you create better content that will be more thorough and help search engines understand the content of your website and boost your ranking.
You see, instead of focusing on keywords and write one article per keyword and run the risk to write lots of similar articles and have a website that seems to be repetitive.
Focus on one big topic and write a pillar article about it. That article should be very thorough and touched on a lot of different subtopics.
Then for each subtopic, you will then write an article that you will link back to your pillar article.
That way, you will write many articles focusing on sub-niches that will all link back to your pillar articles. It is great for SEO but also for your visitor experience as they will be able to find lots of comprehensive info about the topic they have searched for.
The sub articles will also focus on long tail keywords which will make them easier to rank and bring some link juice back to your pillar articles.
Watch the video below from Hubpost where they explain in a little bit more detail what topic cluster is all about.
Please see video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOGxyw9DSa8
4. Maximize Internal Linking
What is internal linking?
It is very important to leverage the power of internal linking because it will boost your rankings by showing the search engines that your articles are related to each other but also because it will also help visitors to navigate through your website.
Using the topic cluster content strategy, you will utilize internal linking to the fullest and make sure that every article you write points back to at least one page of your website.
5. Optimize on Page SEO
This used to be quite difficult a few years ago for nontechnical people.
But don’t worry! It is now very easy and quick to optimize your on page SEO on WordPress by using SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO or All in One SEO.
I personally use All in One but either or will be completely fine.
The other good news is that you don’t need to go premium for any of them, the free versions are completely fine to use.
I won’t bore you with the detail of how to use each plugin but I am leaving one video tutorial for each plugin under so you can get set up and start using one of them ASAP if you are not already doing so.
Yoast SEO Tutorial
All in One SEO Tutorial
6. Optimize the Images on your Site
As mentioned earlier, the speed of your website is a very important factor to get your website as high as possible in the search rankings.
Therefore it is very critical to make sure that the images you’re using are as light as possible.
Luckily for you, there are some plugins such as Smush that will make sure that every image you load on your WordPress site is as compact and as compressed as possible.
You can also use a website speed checker website such as GTmetrix to check if your images do not penalize your website loading speed.
Once your website starts to gain some traction, you can also start a using Content Delivery Network also known as CDN in order to make your site speed even better.
This option is a little bit more costly but with a CDN, a copy of your website will be loaded on different very fast servers throughout the world making it light speed to load from anywhere in the world.
If you need a good list of CDNs, make sure to check this article from TechRadar where they share all the best CDN providers.
7. Shorten your posts URL lengths
When you write a post or an article in WordPress the URL will most likely look something like that:
This URL is not SEO friendly because it is hard to read for both humans and search engines.
With the help of an SEO plugins like I mentioned above the URL will be changed to something like this:
It is much better than what you had originally but still not optimal for SEO purposes.
You need to tweak your each of your URLs so they contain the keywords you are targeting and maybe an extra 2 to 3 words just like I did for this post URL:
That way it is clear for both humans and search engines to know exactly what your content is all about and it will help you boost your rankings.
8. Understand and Master RankBrain
Rank Brain is now of the 3 most important factors to get your website ranked according to Google.
Now, you might be wondering:
What is Google Rank Brain?
RankBrain is a machine learning system that allows Google to determine the rankings of their search results. To make it simple, RankBrain measures how Google users interact with the search results and then tweak the rankings give their users the best experience possible.
Now, let’s look at an example: Let’s say you have two websites, website A ranks first and website B ranks 5th on Google first page.
Let’s say website B gets 150 clicks per day while website A gets 50 clicks per day. Over time, Google would notice that users are more interested in website B because more users click on it.
Therefore to improve their users’ experience, they would move website B up in the ranking while they would website A done.
Another scenario would be users clicking on Website B and staying on it for an average of 2 minutes while users staying on website A have a dwell time of 30 seconds.
Google would realize that and would favorite website B over website A because users dwell time a key for Google.
The same goes for bounce rate, the better bounce rate a website has over its competitors in the ranking, the more chances that website has to move up the rankings against the other websites.
Google RankBrain is all about analyzing users intent and adjusting the rankings to make sure its users have the best experience as possible.
9. Optimize your CTR
As Rank Brain becomes more and more important. you will need to be able to improve your click through rate in order to move up the rankings.
The first pages are also becoming more and more crowded with ads and featured snippets at the top, making it super important to optimize your title and meta description if you want to get a share of the clicks for a particular search query.
To get a good CTR, The goal is to make your article stand out so more people click on your website.
I am not telling you to straight up use clickbait tactics by making false claims just to get clicks because the users bounce rate and dwell time are two other key factors.
But you need to catch users attention with catchy headlines that trigger emotion or curiosity.
If you want to learn great ways to create a great well optimized title and meta description, make sure to check out this infographic made by Brian Dean from Backlinko and Larry Kim from Wordstream.
Tip: Look for the title and meta description of the ads running on the front page for the keyword you are targeting. If there are no ads for your exact keywords, look for similar keywords to see some ads. If ads are running, it means that people are paying money to display their ad and therefore, they have tested titles and meta descriptions to get a CTR as high as possible.
10. Use Shareable Buttons to Make your Content more Shareable
Having a social media presence is now key to be successful online and explode your reach.
The content from your website needs not only to be shared on different social media platforms, but it also needs to be shareable by your visitors.
That’s the reason why you need to use shareable buttons to make it very easy for anybody who likes your content to share it with their friends.
There are many plugins available that will help you insert this type of button on WordPress.
I personally use the free version of Social Warfare and it is great. It even shows your visitors how many shares a post has which create great social proof!
If you don’t use any shareable button you are missing out on some extra traffic and potentially backlinks if your content goes viral!
11. Target the Featured Snippet
Based on a SEMrush Sensor study, 11.3% of all search results now have a Featured Snippet.
The Feature Snippet is the box on top of certain search results in which you have a summary to answer the search query.
When you are ranking on page 1 of Google, you need to find a way to get featured because it is the first result users will see when they do a search.
You do not have to be ranked number #1 on the first page to be featured so you need to focus on creating content that can be used as a snippet.
To put the best chance on your site, you need to create a clear and concise answer to the search query. Based on a large scale study from SEMrush, the average length of the Featured Snippets range from 40 to 80 words.
Even though summaries are the most popular type of content featured, you could use a list type or a table type of content.
In that case of a list, make sure to use h2 and h3 tags for every item on your list to signal Google the structure of your content.
If you create a table, make sure it is well formatted so Google can pull the info it needs from it.
Tip: Anytime you have an article ranking on Google first page and there is a feature snippet. Make sure to go back and tweak your article to get it featured.
12. Create and Use Video Content
If you are not creating videos, you are already late to the party!
You need to use video content on your website.
You do not have to create the videos right away but you should make sure to try to have at least two or three videos on each of you post if possible.
Tip: At first, you can use videos from experts in your industry such as Brian Dean or Neil Patel for the SEO niche. Using experts, you know the content is great and valuable for your users.
Videos are awesome because they are much more engaging than plain text and they will tend to keep the users on your page longer which is perfect to improve your users dwell time.
The best way to not fall behind the video content apocalypse is to start a YouTube channel.
You should try to create at least one video for each article you write. Then, start to create video content only for some subject.
Make sure to always link your videos between each other and back to your content anytime it makes sense.
That way, you will build backlinks and grow your authority.
And lastly, building a successful Youtube channel is a great way to grow your social presence, funnel traffic back to your money pages and make money via ads.
13. Create Fresh Content Frequently
Google and other search engines love fresh content. The more articles you create, the more authoritative your website is going to be.
Now, you don’t have to create new content all the time.
You could look for older articles on your website and update it. That way you can kill two birds with one by eliminating a dead page on your website but also by creating relevant content users will benefit from.
You should also to make sure to do the same with social media in order to keep your audience engaged and growing.
14. Optimize your Blog’s Social Media Profiles
Another great way to improve social presence is to make sure to create great social profiles and engage with your audience.
Depending on the type of website you run, some platforms might be better than others.
In order to create a optimize your blog’s social media profiles, you need to clearly understand who your audience is.
Once it is done, make sure to create accounts on the platforms where your audience hangs out.
On each on your profiles make sure to provide great information about you and your blog as well as a link to your website.
Being active in delivering great content on the right platform in front of the right people is the perfect recipe for success when it comes to social media.
Tip: When you start, I would recommend sticking to one social media at a time until you perfectly understand the platform and start to be successful. Then, move on to the next one.
15. Optimize for Google Mobile First Index
Mobile searches make up for more than a half of the searches on the internet already.
Google now considers your mobile website as your main website when the algorithm checks your website.
Therefore, you need to make sure that your mobile website is well optimized and works properly.
To check how good your mobile website is, it is very easy. Simply use the Mobile-Friendly tool from Google.
This tool is very useful and will tell you exactly what needs to be changed if a problem is detected.
As mentioned above, you should definitely use a good responsive theme for your website. If your theme is not responsive and you have two versions of your site, one for desktop and the m. version, you need to change your theme quickly.
16. Optimize for Voice Search
Voice search is growing in popularity!
So guess what!? You need to follow the trend and adapt your website to stay relevant and searchable by voice.
So far Voice search results do only look at the results in the top 3 already for that particular query so this optimization is only for people with articles ranked on the first page of Google.
But it is fair to assume that more and more searches will be done by voice and that your website will need to be optimized for that type of search in order to be searchable.
Based on a study from Backlinko, 40% of the voice search result comes from Featured Snippets. It makes sense when you think about the goal of displaying a clear answer to a certain query via a snippet.
It also reinforces the idea to try to be featured in the snippet anytime you can.
And obviously your content needs to have a question and a clear answer to have a good chance to appear for voice search results.
Tip: FAQ pages are a great way to create content well optimized for voice search
17. Fix any Broken Links
Broken links can penalize you so you need to make sure to not have any on your website.
With the plugin called Broken Link Checker it is super easy.
Simply scan your website, and the plugins will tell you what links are broken. All you have to do is fix the issue and do a recheck.
This tip may not be the most advanced tips of the list but it is something easy to check and easy to fix in order for your website to be as optimized as possible.
Tip: You can also use the Online Broken Link Checker website to scan websites you would like to get backlinks from and do a check. If you find any broken links, simply get in touch with the website owner and ask if you could get a backlink as a reward for your help.
18. Focus on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
On August 1st, 2018, Google implemented a new “core update” to their algorithm with a new emphasis on E-A-T this year.
We expect most websites to have some information about who (e.g., what individual, company, business, foundation, etc.) is responsible for the website and who created the [content], as well as some contact information
Google General Guidelines (updated July 20th 2018)
To make it simple, Google wants to make sure to display content from trustworthy sources.
For certain niches in the health and wellness categories, it is now very hard to be trusted if you are not a doctor or someone with credential working in the medical field.
Once again, Google is trying to offer the best user experience so they can not afford to display false and potentially dangerous content, especially in the medical field.
For other niches, it is not that serious but you will still need to establish yourself as trustworthy in your niche.
Make sure that your website has
- A thorough about page
- An easy to find contact page
- References and external links to sources
SEO is key if you want to receive organic traffic to your website.
As times passes and algorithms update, it is very important for you to keep up with the changes in order to rank your website as high as possible.
Make sure to follow the 18 SEO tips and tricks that I share with you guys and you should able to improve your rankings and gain extra traffic very quickly in 2019.
If you have any questions or want to share extra tips and tricks make sure to comment down below!
If you want to get a free guide to learn how to make money building a website make sure to click here