The 2014 SEOs Silver Linings Playbook
With all the discussion surrounding what’s not working quite as well in SEO – from SSL encryption, to panda, penguin and humming bird updates. I wanted to focus our attention to what’s really working for us and hence the SEOs Silver Linings Playbook!
I’d like to discuss a couple of advanced SEO tactics and analysis – that work.
Advanced SEO interlinking
Acquiring high authority links to your site and building up domain strength is great but how can you effectively leverage the strength of your internal pages to further boost pages that don’t rank as well. That’s where advanced SEO interlinking comes in to play.
Identify internal linking prospects
Export all the pages from the “Top Pages” tab – these are pages that have the highest page authority.
This method requires a lot more steps but it also provides a lot more data:
Extract all the backlinks for your root domain in to an excel file.
Use pivot tables to analyze top linked pages.
To go one step further, you could merge both Ahrefs and SEOMoz data to give one giant list of top pages on your site (don’t forget to remove the duplicates though!)
Analyze keywords with the content
So now we have pages that we’d want to link from. Next we want to identify keywords and landing pages that we’d want to link to from these top pages. Create a list of your high priority keywords that you’d want to see increase in ranks. SearchMetrics is a great tool to help you identify keywords that are currently not ranking in the top 10.
Lets assume we want to help drive up the link equity for some of these pages and keywords. We run these keywords as filters using Screaming Frog (another favorite!) to help identify if these keywords mentioned anywhere in our Top pages list.
Screaming Frog then magically spits out pages that have these keywords mentioned in them. We can then use these pages for interlining to our preferred keyword/landing pages. Quick Note: Make sure you don’t overdo the interlinking, use some longer tail variations of the targeted keywords.
Creating semantic sitemaps is extremely useful when it comes to getting a better understanding of your site and how search engines crawl/perceive it.
Instead of creating one giant sitemap with all the URLs, its preferable to break out the URLs in to categories that are similar to your website. This helps you analyze which section of the site is being better indexed as compared to other sections of the website.
If we take Allrecipies as an example – we’d want to create a sitemap that mirrors the sites taxonomy.
If the site were structured well, with clear folders that segment each of the categories – creating these XML sitemaps would be a lot easier. However, if its not then its more of a manual process. At the end, you’d want to be able to view each of the segments that have been created using Google Webmaster or Bing Webmaster tools to give you a definitive picture of how these sections are being crawled
Here’s an example of what a semantic sitemap would look like –
In the example above, we see that certain sitemaps (home-décor.xml) have a low indexation rate. This data helps us analyze further which categories and sections of our site might not be driving traffic due to poor indexation by Google.
Social Content Marketing
No SEO playbook is complete without a strategy around content marketing!
Social signals do help in increasing ranks. At AdLift we’ve done a number of tests on the impact of social links and SEO that hat proved that these help in driving up page authority and in turn rankings. This particular case study explains how social links increased ranks for keywords faster that keywords without the social links.
However, just as you need a solid content marketing strategy you also need a strong social marketing network to help drive that effort. Synergizing efforts between your content marketing and social media team is a great first start !
I hope this post was useful – If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments!
About the Author
An alum from Columbia University, Prashant Puri has over 10 years of digital marketing experience in building sites into multi-million dollar enterprises. Prashant Puri currently runs AdLift – a niche Bay Area SEO Company focused on delivering digital marketing ROI.
Prior to AdLift, Prashant was Head of Global Marketing at eBay’s comparison shopping arm where he was instrumental in establishing their footprint across 5 countries. Before that, Prashant served at Yahoo! where he worked on cutting edge technologies that focused on driving synergies between search and display.
Being an industry veteran he’s invited to speak at numerous digital marketing conferences around the world, including SMX, SES and Pubcon and as an expert in search marketing, contributed to several search marketing journals including Visibility, Website Magazine and Search Engine Journal.
You can follow him on twitter @puriprashant