Top 10 Advanced SEO Techniques for 2021
Advanced SEO simply is any set of techniques that requires expert technical SEO knowledge. There comes a time when basic on page and off page optimizations have already been bringing in steady results. And at this point, regular SEO requires a thrust. Advanced SEO techniques devised by experts after years of search engine experience is what delivers this boost. While standard SEO is an ongoing process, advanced SEO techniques work intermittently. Websites with high competition can maximize traffic & get an edge over competition through advanced SEO practices. There is no training or course for advanced SEO, since it is just an extension of basic search engine optimization.
Here we will discuss top 10 advanced SEO techniques in 2021 that can bring a significant growth in website traffic.
Table of Contents
1. Content – Audit & Optimize
Quality content is the foundation of successful SEO. Keyword cramming for SEO objectives is possible even in an average low-quality content. However only quality content ensures great user experience.
Creating new content and updating regularly is a tried and tested SEO strategy. But this strategy does not reduce the importance of old blogs, articles & subject literature already posted on the website. The existing content also requires Auditing from time to time to check for relevance and performance. Every page on the website has to serve an SEO objective. If the page is falling short on its objective and not performing, then the content needs reviewal. There are numerous content audit tools available online. These list out the performance of URLs on metrics like traffic, sessions, time spent and bounce rate. A spreadsheet comparison will bring out the pages that require improvement.
The next step is to Optimize the nonperforming content by
-Updating outdated facts, trends, data and dates. All statistical information requires updating to current dates otherwise content becomes obsolete.
-Incorporating more topics integrating those search queries that have led nominal traffic to the page. Google Search Console analysis will the list of search queries triggering impressions. This list will have queries leading to high, medium & low impressions for the website in search results. The search queries with low impressions can be further worked upon to get increased traffic. These queries are bringing some traffic. A little focus can strengthen these keywords to gain more. This will show an immediate increase in impressions and traffic.
2. Create Content Hubs of Pillar & Cluster Pages
Present day SEO is all about ranking on topics and not just keywords. Subject expertise is not just limited to blogging nowadays. Single page blogs cannot provide the content edge anymore. A content hub is the central page where the reader can get maximum information on a topic. It primarily consists of the pillar page & the cluster pages. Pillar page covers the topic broadly on multiple aspects and leads to numerous cluster pages. The Cluster pages deal the subject in detail. This is the page where readers get in depth topic analysis.
While content hubs enable information structuring thus enhancing overall user experience, for SEO too they have distinctive advantages. They facilitate organic interlinking on the websites leading crawlers to multiple pages. Also, content hubs hold the visitors on the website by directing them to other pages of similar interests. This boosts average session time and decreases bounce rate.
The latest google algorithms put a lot of weightage on structured & clean site experience. Thereby the rewards of strategizing the content in hubs is seen pretty fast in SEO & search results.
3. Inter Linking on Website
A good interlinking strategy is extremely helpful in SEO. Interlinking is connecting different website pages with one other through anchor text links. This is one of the most underrated advanced SEO techniques.
Most of the SEO effort goes into home page while many other pages of the website are left unindexed. Interlinking enables the search engine crawlers to discover these site pages & gets them indexed too. This boosts the overall search engine optimization & rankings of the website.
A visitor immediately returning to search pages after clicking a website is seen very critically by the RankBrain google algorithm. Interlinking gets the visitors to navigate through the website making them spend more time exploring.
Interlinking also evenly passes on the link equity to different website pages enhancing the page authority. Strategized link juice spreading is one of the biggest advantages of this advanced SEO tactic.
4. Featured Snippets Strategizing
Google answer boxes have been around for years. But they do not show the source of information while answering a query. The Featured Snippet formally came in 2016 and it also displayed the source website. For websites already showing in the top results of google searches, featured snippets is a low hanging fruit. Optimising such content by keyword research and aiming at answering questions can lead to appearing in Featured Snippets. This is easier for search queries where the website is already ranking high.
Appearing in Featured Snippets increases the CTR by 9 % . Meanwhile the CTR also decreases equally for the websites appearing below the snippet box. Thus, for pages that cannot compete in the race of featured snippet, the better strategy is to Un-target it completely. This technique can be simply termed as targeting keywords without featured snippets. A simple search in google to check whether a keyword triggers featured snippet or not would do the trick. Most of the keywords generating featured snippet are in the form of questions. The key is to avoid such keywords or questions.
5. Increase SERP Real Estate
SERP real estate is the advanced SEO buzzword. Acquiring more and more visibility on the search result pages is what websites are fighting for now. The more space one captures, more clicks one gets. Not every website can get to Featured Snippet, however, here are few ways to enhance SERP visibility
- Integrating FAQ schema in the content. FAQ schema markup displays the other questions also occupying more search space.
- Adding Rich snippets which are additional information to the search results like prices, ratings etc.
- Adding videos to the content or rather creating video content on You Tube. The popularity of ‘How to’ videos on You Tube is growing at the rate of 70 % every year. These videos often feature on top in google searches.
Apart from the organic ways to gain maximum SERP real estate adwords is another medium to reach to the top pages of search engine pages.
6. Rectify 404 Links on Website
An audit of the backlinks on the website will show broken links showing 404 errors. These are not only bad for user experience but immensely hurt the SEO too. Quality backlinks require a lot of effort, but as the content expands these links are rarely checked and fixed. These links no longer enhance rankings but push the SEO backwards. Also there remains the risk of competitors snagging these links to build up their SEO. There are various Backlink Analytical Tools available that can get these links identified. The best approach thereafter is to redirect them.
7. Take Advantage of Broken links on Competition & Wikipedia
Big websites with huge content base tend to have lots of backlinks and thereby broken ones too. One of the smartest SEO tricks is to identify those broken 404 links on the competition website and take advantage of them. To identify the broken links, a backlink audit of the competitor’s website can be done. After discovering the 404 error pages, these websites can be reached out with alternative URLs with content of similar subject for replacement.
One of the most unexplored technique is to look for dead links or links of required citations on Wikipedia. Dead links can be of reference pages for a topic, and citation needing links are where a reference is required. A quick run of a backlink analytical tool can give a list of such links on a page. Thereafter, the next step is to either create new content for submission or use an existing one. Once the Wikipedia team approves the content as authentic source of information on these links, the traffic earned can drastically improve page authority.
8. Incorporate Comparison Keywords
People are constantly comparing two entities on internet to make a choice or decision. For this they use comparison keywords. Comparison keywords are the hidden gems of Advanced SEO. They compare two different products or topics.
- SEO vs Advanced SEO
- Digital Marketing vs Conventional Marketing
- Android vs IOS
Comparison keywords are low on competition with lesser keyword difficulty levels. They can ensure high rankings in short period of time. Moreover, the CTR is likely to be higher for this content since the visitor is looking for very targeted information. Other search results might not even interest the reader in this scenario.
9. Remove Thin Content
Thin content are pages just dispensing minimal required information in 250-300 words. While there is no harm by such pages in SEO, Google sees such websites in poor light that dole out information for the sake of it. Pages that appear as exceptional information centres gain in perception and rank high in Google searches. Advanced SEO suggests to either update or remove such pages.
Also stuffing keywords in thin content is spamming and gives no real SEO advantage. Recent studies have also shown a correlation between content length and search engine rankings. An analysis by Backlinko on 1 million searches found out that the average length of pages appearing on first page search results was 1890 words. The main advantage of such length being that it will organically incorporate keywords and increase rankings.
10. Target Google RankBrain Algorithm
RankBrain is an important part of Google’s current algorithm. It enables Google to first understand the intent of a search query and then display results. It uses machine learning to interpret the query before giving results. RankBrain considers factors like location, personalization, search history, etc. to come up with the most relevant results. This concept has revolutionized the search paradigm. Earlier google would only match the words in a search query to website pages, now it tries to understand beyond those words about what a searcher wants. For example, if a user is searching for nearest Apple store, here google will first identify the intent that could be for the Apple fruit or Apple Tech giant and then display the results.
RankBrain targeted SEO requires a focused strategy considering these points:
- Content needs to be user oriented. Keyword stuffing does not work for RankBrain if the content is of below average quality. The page information should address the user problem to rank high in searches.
- Good organic CTR is critical for successful SEO with RankBrain. The keywords should match the intent of visitors for a good user experience.
- Session time and bounce rates are also particularly important. Visitors returning to search results is something very damaging for websites ranking. So, it is important to make the users stay on the website.