Analytics + Optimised Content + Anchor Text Links = More Traffic

Yes the title sounds obvious right? Of course optimised content and traffic equate to more traffic duh! But where do analytics fit in?

Well I have banged on enough about long tail keywords on this blog but guess what? I am going to do it again as this is a really simple technique for increasing traffic almost immediately by doing a little research in your own analytics.

So enough talking head over to your Google analytics and get your last month’s worth of keyword data. This will show you all the results you were found on over the course of the month but we need to do something a little extra before we begin to dig a little deeper.

Scroll to the analytics filter below the keywords;

Analytics keyword filter

Select advanced filter and choose visits. What we want to do is check out visits that brought us 20 visits or less over the month. These will probably be very long tail keywords that we rank for and with a little bit of tweaking we can increase traffic on them.

Let me go through an example, I have filtered the results on SEO wizz and have come up with the following;

keyword filter result

Like most people long tail keywords drive around 60% of my total search traffic, as I look down the list one immediately stands out;

seo content writing

A quick rank check on an incognito window shows I rank 4th for the term “writing seo content”, I am probably only receiving around 5% of the traffic on this keyword and with a little optimisation I can probably rank second or first, remember there is a huge difference between ranking first and anywhere below;

search share on google

Information from SEOmoz’s recent post;

As you can see ranking second will double my traffic on this keyword and ranking first will increase it nearly 9 times!!! So I currently get 19 visits but can probably add 20 to that a month with 30 minutes worth of work. If I carry out this sort of optimisation on all long tail keywords I can probably increase traffic from 5749 to 40,000 a month.

Now don’t get me wrong this is very labour intensive but just imagine the benefit if you do a couple of hours per week? You could be increasing your traffic significantly every month. Next steps?

Find the keywords > Optimise the page > Fire a few internal links with anchor text > Fire a few external links with anchor text!!……. Easy :)

Just a quick note to everyone that has emailed me in the last few weeks, I have been run off my feet at branded3 hence the lack of responses; however I still love you and will reply asap.

Google SEO Report Card: Some Important Take Aways

With all the focus clearly on links and link building in the search engine optimisation field it easy to forget about the importance of focused keyword content and a clean site architecture.

On page optimisation often gets left behind in the online marketing discussions but thankfully Google have given a huge and in my opinion very effective reminder.

Google have recently released an SEO report card based on improving the optimisation of their product pages.

Within the report are some vital insights and reminders to us all about page optimisation and URL structure.

If you want to read the report please download it here: Google SEO Report Card

I thought it would be a good idea to run through some of the points within the report as they are useful to both bloggers and webmasters in general.

Title Tags

I know you have heard it all before but here are few things you may not have heard of:

  • Only the first 60 characters of a title tag give any real ranking benefit
  • Sometimes users click links based on brand, so use your brand name in the title tag
  • Google wants you to use keywords users will search

I know the last point is a little lame, but there are still some ‘keep it natural’ fundamentalists out there. Just write it for users, don’t use keyword tools. Keep it natural.

News flash! Google wants you to use searched keywords. This is not writing for engines because who ultimately invents these terms?

Google go through the usual reminders about being descriptive and keeping the title tag accurate and to the point, but you’ve heard all that before.

As it’s only the first 60 characters that count it is important when writing blog posts to make your first 6 – 9 words as optimised as possible, or if you use thesis you can customise the title tag of each post.

Meta Descriptions/Keywords

Google made it official that META keywords don’t count at the end of last year, however they have now confirmed that the description is also a waste of time for ranking purposes. However, I and many other SEO’s always recommend using your main keywords in the description tag as they are bolded and this increases the chances of clicks.

Site links

These are the little links that appear below your main link in Google like so;

Please note that your site will only get these once Google trusts the domain and classes the info as authoritative

Google gives us some nice suggestions for optimising the type of site links we have appear in Google;

  • Use a strong hierachial Structure
  • Make use of descriptive anchor text
  • Avoid deep directories

Let’s talk about each of these points a little;


This is fairly straight forward, if you want an important/relevant page to appear as a site link in Google then you need to link to the page from your strongest pages, normally this means your top level domain. An ecommerce site should look to optimise their best selling product pages in the site links.

If you still find low quality pages are being used as site links, you can remove them directly from webmaster tools.

Descriptive anchor text

I have been shouting about this for years but it always gets brushed under the carpet, probably because it has a low ranking value.

The fact is that internal descriptive anchor text may not pass link juice but still pass relevance. I spoke some months ago about using descriptive internal linking to create indented listings and proved it with my ‘bing seo‘ page.

Don’t go silly with these and stuff target keywords in but try to use them whenever appropriate, Google clearly clarifies that “read more” and “click here” links are worthless and this is something the search giants do not recommend.

Deep Directories

Very simple don’t bury your best content in a deep file.

/file1/file2/file3/file4/my-great-content/ – Never going to be a site link

301’s vs 302’s

Ok if you have ever got in the world of redirects you will know there are a few different ways to do it.

301 = Permanent Redirect

302 = Temporary Redirect

You should always try to use permanent redirects, if not and you use a temporary redirect Google will consider both URL’s to be of use and index both. This can provide a bad user experience and cause duplicate content issues.

There is a load more detail in the report including advice on;

Alt tags = Yes they are still important, keep it descriptive and keyword rich

Canonical = Use the rel=”canonical” link to help Google know your main URL’s and also make sure internal links point to the canonical URL, this helps stop duplicate URL issues and content from arising.

If you find 30 minutes you should definitely read through the report, very interesting.

Widgets, Blog Comments and Top Commentator Links

This is the first post I have had chance to write this week as I have been working on another project which has meant a great deal of research and content creation.

For those of you who didn’t know, as well as an SEO consultant I am also pretty heavily involved in ‘niche blogging’. This basically means I rank blogs on Google to generate income through ads and affiliate links, hey once you have learnt SEO why not make some money out of it and leverage your sites?

Anyway I may talk about niche blogging in later posts and my current project is not finished therefore posting at SEOwizz is going to be down to once a week I’m afraid.

What I wanted to do today is highlight a couple of things that may be obvious to a lot of my readers but thought I would highlight it for the minority.

We all have widgets we use in the sidebars of our blogs, whether its recent comments, recent posts, popular articles, friends lists, blogrolls, rss feeds or simply ads, we all have them. All these features help our readers interact with our content and our community, however recent comments and popular posts widgets also benefit us from an SEO point of view, let me explain.

Recent Posts

Yes most of us have the recent posts widget in our sidebars acting as a site wide link to our most recent pearls of wisdom, however having them there does so much more than simply helping readers find your newest material.

A common problem many bloggers face is getting their most recent content indexed quickly, now this can be down to a lack of back links or it could be that Google does not think the new page is important enough yet.

A recent posts widget puts a link to that page on every page of your blog, what could be more important than a page with a link from every page of your blog? The page will be crawled more and therefore indexed quicker.

There is another benefit to having your recent posts displayed on every page and that is, exposure. If you don’t have a recent posts widget then your post is only displayed on your blog homepage, but what about visitors that hit deep pages? They may only read the deep page and bounce, however if your most recent posts are displayed in the sidebar there is a chance one of the titles may attract their attention and WHAM!! They click through and a bounce is saved.

I still don’t think bounce rate is a ranking factor yet but it may be one day and having a low bounce rate is good for any informational site.

Popular Posts

Again having a popular posts widget is a great way to increase interaction with your readers but it is also a great way of increasing the value of your most popular posts.

Again if your most popular posts are linked to from every page on your site, Google will index them quicker and the pages will rank higher.

So you will be getting more traffic to your cracking content via search engines and obviously more traffic to the pages by having links to them on every page of your site.

What does this mean?? Well,, your content is popular for a reason, that’s because its great!! So naturally the more people that read it the more links you will acquire, the higher rankings you will get and more visitors will keep streaming through.

So in broad terms Recent Posts + Popular Posts = More Visits, More Links, Higher Rankings, More Traffic, Lower Bounce Rates.

Dofollow Blogs

Over the past month I have been experimenting by leaving comments on dofollow blogs and getting the site wide ‘top commentators’ links that give you a link from every page. All I wanted to know was, how much value does it have as a link building method?

OK…. The first bit of news is yes the links were recognised by Google and Yes my link popularity went up around 5% from 4500 to about 4800 ish.

Did this effect rankings

NO – but let me discuss this at the end.

Did it do anything in terms of SEO

YES! I noticed a significant increase in search engine traffic, in fact one day I had 500 visits from search, 2 weeks after ‘top commentator’ links were recognised on 2 sites. Unfortunately the increase could have been caused by other factors, like link age or long tail ranking increases, however the fact it came directly after the commentator links makes me believe this had something to do with it.

Now I want to talk rankings and I want to talk about it very carefully, this due to the fact I don’t want people to rush out and spam do follow blogs.

OK…. My rankings did not increase, not even one place and I believe there are better ways to build links for rank.

Anyway, I believe do follow blogs links can be beneficial for ranks if….. You use a target anchor text.

Now I am actually going to discourage blog commenting for SEO purposes for the following reasons;

A – Only the site wide ‘top commentators’ links are really worth it

B – Commenting simply for a link decreases the value of the discussion

C – The longevity of these type of links are questionable, to say the least (The blogger could remove the link or ‘top commentators’ widget.)

D – If your link drops out of the top comments widget you have to start all over again.

Let me explain point D a little better;

If you place a load of comments on a do follow blog and get a link in the ‘top commentators’ widget then congrats you have a site wide link, however…..

Google has this little aspect of their algorithm that gives weight to the age of links, what happens if you forget to comment for a while, get knocked out of the top spots and Google crawl’s the page and your link is not there?? (Most blogs are crawled daily – well the ones worth getting these links from are)

This will mean you have to go plant a load more comments and you are right back to the beginning with Google seeing it as a fresh link, I hope you follow that.

I am not saying don’t comment at all, but only do so to add value and when you really have an interest in the conversation or topic. I wouldn’t want anyone commenting here that was doing it for a link only.

Also if you are trying to build a solid link profile, these types of links are far too risky, you could see half your link profile vanish in days given the right circumstances.

Anyway these are my observations; please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.