“There was a brief time in SEO history where you could build thousands of spam links and watch your site climb to the top of the first page 2. Those days are long gone. SEOs that do well today dedicate serious resources (time, money, and skilled labor) towards their link building campaigns.” – Brian Dean, CEO of Backlinko
Nearly every SEO tactic today falls into one of three categories; white hat, black hat, or the nebulous gray. White hat tactics are those recommended by Google and other search engines which take a straightforward approach to reaching the top of the SERPs. Black hat tricks, on the other hand, are methods that are considered unethical in the world of SEO. Yet no matter how you slice it, there are plenty of strategies that fall into the gray.
The SEO cheats presented here are neither black nor white; they just are. Some may consider them to fall on the black hat side of things, but that’s only a misconception. Keep reading and you’ll see.
If you are seeking genuine SEO tactics to give you a rise in the SERPs, look no further. Here are three SEO “cheats” that will deliver impressive results.
1. Targeted Outreach with Google Keyword PlannerMost leverage the Google Keyword Planner simply for AdWords purposes and keyword research. This tool, however, is far more powerful than its implied uses. The Keyword Planner is a stellar tool for identifying outreach opportunities for your site to benefit from.
When conducting an outreach campaign, it is vital to focus your efforts on those who are already discussing similar products or services. Anything broader and you are likely to waste massive amounts of time getting turned down. To find the most relevant sources, focus on those who are already incorporating your long-tail keywords into their mix. You can locate these bloggers by simply loading your keywords into the Keyword Planner and filtering the results for low search volume keywords. Once you have your list, export it.
From here, begin plugging your long-tail words into Google individually while actively searching for blogs or articles that cater to these topics. With this list in hand, you can begin reaching out; you will likely have far more success with your campaign as these folks are already engaging in your industry’s conversation and will be far more apt to respond.
2. Building Links through Building ConnectionsThis method involves persistence and patience, but it will pay off if you remain steadfast in your efforts.
The typical route for many SEOs is to employ tools that will automate and scale their efforts for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The rationale here is fairly solid, granted that the right elements are scaled. For this approach, however, we are going to take a seemingly counterintuitive path and refrain from scaling.
Much of the online world revolves around relationships, and this is exactly what you are aiming to build. This is the sweet spot on how you will earn your links. When reaching out to potential partners, you may have to contact them a half dozen times before making your pitch. Cold pitches are rarely received well so playing the long game is essential for this to work.
Additionally, with this tactic you have to be willing to go the extra mile and do something that 95 percent of SEOs won’t do; pick up the phone and call people.
It may sound absurd calling someone to ask for a link, but the power of human-to-human connection is something that should not be underestimated. Next time you find yourself inspired by someone’s post, locate their contact information and give them a call to thank them for the information and share your feedback with them. As this is an uncommon practice, you are going to stick out in their memory. And in many cases, that will pay off big.
By connecting to various voices, authorities and influencers in your niche in this manner, sharing and interacting with their materials will feel natural and they are more likely to take notice. This amps up the possibility of them linking to you exponentially because they know who you are.
3. Comment on Blogs – A LotCommenting on blogs is one of many tactics that is perceived to be black hat. This is simply not true. Google’s Matt Cutts has been a proponent of this strategy for a long time and has even gone on record stating that he does this as well. In reality, blog commenting is a fantastic way to acquire more traffic, gain visibility and even drive revenue. Since very few people leverage this strategy, it becomes all the more powerful.
The key to gaining the benefits of blog comments lies in ensuring your statements feel natural; automating this process will ultimately backfire. Your comments need to be organic and useful to the overall conversation.
Approach this by compiling a list of reputable, high-quality blogs within your industry. Then narrow things down by entering the URLs into the Moz Domain Authority tool; only keep sites that have a comparable domain authority to your own. Once you have your list, start engaging and driving people to your site. Just bear in mind that most sites have an approval filter for comments. To ensure that yours passes, make sure that it looks natural and adds to the conversation in a valuable way. If it doesn’t achieve these two aspects, you are just spamming someone else’s blog. While this strategy is no quick fix, it is quite effective.
If you are trying to reach the top of the SERPs, you can’t just follow the same practices and tactics that everyone else is. You have to think outside the box and employ strategies that others won’t. By breaking away from the herd and forging your own path to SEO prosperity, you gain a much more solid foundation to your ranking status.
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