YouTube SEO 101

Based on Alexa traffic rankings, YouTube is the second most visited site on the web, right after Google. Unfortunately, a lot of digital marketers still treat it like any other social media site. But success on YouTube isn’t about posting content, it’s about optimizing your content — just like your website.
It’s easy to find videos with millions of views and videos with almost none that are basically the same. The difference between success and failure often boils down to a few elements.
When it comes to YouTube SEO, a lot of the optimization work can be encapsulated into a process that you can apply to all your old videos and then to each video as you publish it. And you’re about to learn that process.
Here’s what you need to know if you want your content to rank number one on YouTube for the keywords you care about.
The basics
This section contains the essential background information you’ll need to understand

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8 simple ways to utilize a blog to improve SEO results

Seemingly every company has a blog these days. Unfortunately, very few organizations fully capitalize on their blog content to maximize SEO results. Here are eight simple ways a blog can improve your website’s organic visibility, traffic and results.
1. Create a compelling name for your blog
It irks me when I go to a company’s website and the name of the blog is… “Blog”! I urge marketers to be creative and more descriptive when naming the blog section of a website. Your blog name is also an optimization opportunity. Ask yourself these questions:

What is the overarching theme of the blog?
What would be a compelling description in my industry?
Can I incorporate important SEO keywords in the blog’s title or name?
Specifically, who am I trying to reach?

Coming up with a descriptive name and optimizing around a theme can lead to incremental organic traffic. For example, office supply retailer Staples has its “Staples Business Advantage blog,” which discusses topics ranging from office productivity

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How to use long-tail keywords to build your short-tail rankings

If you have a relatively new or low-authority website, then you know how difficult it can be to rank for high-volume, short-tail keyword phrases. Heck, any competitive keyword can pose a challenge, even for well-established sites.
I often hear experts talk about going after the low-hanging fruit of keywords. “Forget about the short tail,” they say.
I agree that that going after the low-hanging fruit is a good strategy, but not at the expense of those highly competitive phrases that will drive some great traffic to your site. Rather, it’s that low-hanging fruit that paves the way to ranking for those more competitive phrases.
Very few searches are truly unique
When it comes to search terms, there isn’t a whole lot new under the sun. Google says that 15 percent of all queries they get have never been used before, but that doesn’t mean it’s unique in the true sense of the word. Let’s assume, for example, that neither of the

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10 ways to generate links with online influencers

You may be thinking that no one wants to share your content, but the opposite is actually true: Because they post so often, online influencers are always looking for interesting content to share. All you have to do it research, create and position the right content opportunities to influencers so they will want to start working with you.
If you’re not sure what angle your organization should take to work with online influencers, consider the following angles: unique content sharing, product promotion, sponsorships and relationship building.
You’ll also want to be sure you are familiar with the FTC Guidelines surrounding influencer disclosures, as well as Google’s guidelines on the issues.
Produce unique content
Producing fresh content that is engaging and interesting to your target audience is what entices industry influencers to share. In addition to “how-to” posts, consider creating studies and long-form content and developing discussions that push industry issues. Because content is so competitive, it’s crucial to take an angle

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The non-developer’s guide to reducing WordPress load times up to 2 seconds (with data)

With Google’s continued focus on user experience and engagement metrics in recent algorithm updates, it’s become even more important for marketers to pay attention to how fast their sites are. Page speed has long been a ranking factor for desktop search results, and it may soon impact mobile rankings as well.
The benefits of improved load times go well beyond their impact on SEO and your site’s organic rankings, however. Consider recent Google data, which shows that “53 percent of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load,” or that “for every second delay in mobile page load, conversions can fall by up to 20 percent.”
So, how do you actually go about speeding up your site? For many non-technical marketers, trying to figure out how to improve page speed can be a daunting task. Which levers should you actually be pulling to generate a result? And how do you get those changes implemented

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How to conduct an SEO content audit

Google has thrown a ton of changes at marketers over the last few years. From major algorithm updates to voice search, all of these changes follow Google’s ultimate goal of creating the best search experience for its users.
The upshot is that it’s not enough to develop and optimize website content for just search engines anymore. As better language processing has become a major focus for improving search results, your brand’s site content is no longer speaking to search engines alone, but to actual people.
To appeal to both people and search engines, brands must evaluate their site content through an audit process to discover what may (or may not) be working and determine where to improve. A website content audit is the cornerstone of your entire content strategy.
When done right, a content audit helps to determine whether your website content is relevant to not only your brand goals and marketing objectives, but also to the customer’s needs. Audits

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SEO case study: Zero to 100,000 visitors in 12 months

You need more traffic.
More visitors on your site means more impressions, more signups, more purchases — more revenue.
But how do you capture more traffic from search results that are becoming more crowded, more diverse, and evolving in the way they are delivered?
With SEO, of course!
Today, I want to share a process we’ve developed at Siege Media to earn links and visibility, and to increase web traffic for our clients. I’m going to walk through how we built a site’s SEO strategy from the ground up — growing from zero visitors to 100,000 — and share key takeaways that you can apply to your own strategy.

The general outline of our strategy was:

Start slow and take advantage of “easy wins.”
Focus on securing a handful of strategic links to important pages.
Establish passive link acquisition channels to build momentum.
Be intentional about content creation and its impact on search.
Level up over time, and target higher-value opportunities.

Let’s dive into the case study.
Note: We had control over

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Small business SEO: Your questions answered

Being a small business is tough. Many businesses fail in the first year, and many more will not make it to the five-year mark. But even established businesses can fail if they are unable to adapt to changing times.
Marketing is difficult — digital marketing even more so. And the black-box nature of SEO can make it the most difficult form of marketing your business. Yet when done well, there is little that can compete with strong, organic search engine visibility to promote your small business. Organic listings build trust with local customers, and all the best business relationships are built on a foundation of trust.
In this article, I want to look at SEO as a marketing tactic specifically for small businesses. I will share everything we have learned working on hundreds of small business SEO projects. My intention is to arm you, as a business owner, with the knowledge and power to make the right decisions when implementing an SEO strategy —

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Setting up and testing AMP for WordPress: A quick 7-step guide

In today’s mobile-centric world, having pages that load quickly is essential for satisfying the user. Not only that, but the effects of slow page speed have been correlated to a decease in overall revenue and an increase in page abandonment.
Users have come to expect mobile sites to load just as quickly as their desktop counterparts. In fact, Amazon, one of the largest online retailers, concluded that even a one-second lag in page load speed accounted for a $1.6B decrease in annual revenue.
Accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) are quickly becoming the standard for how a fast-loading page should be built. Using a pre-render, AMPs are able to load 15-80 percent faster than standard mobile pages without compromising functionality. While the ease of AMP implementation will vary depending on your CMS (content management system), WordPress can be a good test environment for previewing what your AMP page might look like.
Follow this quick seven-step guide to enable AMP for WordPress.
Note: Parts of this guide assume that you have activated the Yoast

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Weathering the Google storms

A good friend of mine and truly the best SEO expert I have had the privilege working with, Gregory Gromov, once referred to the Google algorithm updates and tests as “Google storms.” The coined phrase made all the sense in the world. Per Gregory, a solid SEO program provides the ballast to weather the storm, but if a storm hits and flips you over… well, it is time to right the ship.
A Google algorithm update is actually a rare opportunity. While in some cases it may appear to be more of a nightmare than a dream come true, understanding how to capitalize on the event is key to succeeding in SEO — and as your program matures, you will look forward to the updates.
The following is a process I have used for years to evaluate Google updates at a site level to glean new opportunities for improvement and to determine what is already working. This is a

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