Featured Snippet Changes; Semantic SEO; Search Spam; Homepage SEO; Emojis In Titles; GA4 Guides; Internal Linking Strategies; and Much More!
"Stop letting the fear of judgement hold you back. The truth is nobody cares. They are too wrapped up in themselves, and what they’re doing. I still remember thinking that after I hit publish on my first blog post, all these people were going to text me and tell me what a loser I am. How ridiculous is that?"
That's a quote from one of the Michael X. Donovan, one of the Niche Creator interviews this week. I love this tip!
That's one of the things that really rings true if you're like me, someone who's always at home building niche sites. You don't go to an office and have a traditional job.
Whenever I meet new people, I never quite know how to explain what I do. Affiliate marketing can get rather long-winded, so if I'm not in the mood to answer many followup questions, I often just say I develop websites. I don't talk about monetization because it's just an easier conversation.
But if I'm in a good mood, I'll say that I'm an Online Publisher managing a portfolio of websites. Then I'll discuss affiliate marketing and display ad monetization. I'll add on my coaching/consulting work and other revenue streams I might have coming in.
It doesn't really matter what they think of me and what I do. My approach now is more about how I'm feeling and how much I want to talk.
It wasn't like that initially though. When I was just starting this journey, I do remember that it was always an awkward conversation about "What I do," because of what they might think of me.
Then, when I stopped thinking about what others would think, I was able to go hard at building niche sites and keep myself energized (coffee helped too!).
People will judge, that's human nature. It's especially true of those who are jealous of your success or just don't understand. That's how it goes. You can't appease them or make them understand.
Drown out the noise and GO.
This week's two Niche Creators are very active in sharing their knowledge. They are both very active on Twitter in sharing their journey.
Check out their interviews:
Marco Giordano at Level343 has written a comprehensive guide on using Semantic SEO to take your content strategy to the next level.
This is a good overview of Semantic SEO and understanding how it can help you achieve topical authority.
This is a good overview of breadcrumbs. Learn when to use three types of breadcrumb trails, the SEO benefits of breadcrumbs and best practices for UX and mobile.
Site architecture is one of the more important things when building a site for me. It drives topic clusters, internal linking, and URL structures.
SEO benefits of breadcrumb navigation and structured data include:
Higher ranking, SERP clicks and organic sessions
Niche Pursuits comes up with their list of the 39 best tools to help you write and optimize your content! Tools are in these categories:
AI Content Writing Tools
Content Optimization Tools
Content Writing Tools for Spelling, Grammar, and Readability
Keyword Research Tools
Content Writing Tools for Generating Headlines
Creating Images for Your Content
Content Writing Tools: Plagiarism Detectors
Content optimization helps you get more out of your content efforts, but you don’t necessarily need to make the same optimizations as everyone else. It depends on your goal.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to optimize content for SEO, conversions, and social shares.
What content optimization is
Why content optimization is important
How to optimize content for SEO
How to optimize content for conversions
How to optimize content for social shares
Internal links are a powerful tool in any website manager’s toolbox. Anna Uss at DeepCrawl takes a look at internal linking works and 5 internal linking tactics that can help improve your search engine rankings to drive more traffic to your site.
Identify pages with strong external backlink profiles to link from
Identify outdated pages with strong external backlink profiles that you can redirect
Identify relevant internal pages to link from
Check for keyword cannibalization
Fix broken (404) and redirecting (301, 302) internal links
Adam Steele at Loganix shares 8 methods of getting backlinks:
Set Up Brand Mention Alerts
Leverage Existing Referring Domains
Practice Guest Posting
Take Advantage of Your Expertise
Create Linkable and Share-Worthy Content
Apply A Broken Link Building Strategy
Keep an Eye on Competitor Websites
Put Together Testimonials
Do you want to increase your guest posting outcomes and get high-quality backlinks? Matt Diggity shares how to get real results from guest post link building with 3 techniques:
Re-write Their Old Content
Pitch Rankable Content
2-for-1 Guest Posts
Effectively using topic clusters is an excellent way to improve your website’s search visibility and lay the foundation for a strong internal linking framework. Breton Towler at Salt Agency shares a good beginners look at topic clusters:
What are topic clusters?
Why do topic clusters matter?
How do you create topic clusters?
What are internal links?
How do topic clusters affect performance?
A homepage can rank for relevant non-branded keywords and help other pages on your site to rank too. You can find proof of that all over the web. Here’s one from Squarespace’s homepage:
But SEO is not the only or primary aspect of a homepage. So in this article, you’ll learn how to optimize your homepage for search engines in four steps without undermining your homepage’s primary purpose.
Choose the target keyword
Create content for your homepage
Build high-quality external links
Add internal links
Building an email list might seem like a pipe dream for many website owners, especially if you’re just struggling to get by and make ends meet. Anthony Moore shows how easy it is to build an email list, all the technology involved, and how to start monetizing your list in the Ezoic blog.
Step One: Find an Email Software
Step Two: Create a Landing Page and a Call-To-Action
Step Three: Make an Indoctrination Sequence (5 days of automated emails)
What To Do With Your First 500 Subscribers
This is a good collection of Google Analytics GA4 how-to guides and more. Most are blog articles, but there are also a few that point to courses.
If your website is like most others, there is likely a mismatch between the content you provide, and what your prospective customers search for on Google.
This article is about understanding your potential customers and their conversation with Google by using the customer journey mapping method to provide them with the best content.
Even if you're not running an ecommerce site, the content you create is all a part of the customer journey. It'll help you see where your content fits in the customer journey and how you can better optimize the content depending on what part of the journey it is.
What metrics can you use to gauge the success of your WordPress website? What trusted tools can you use to make sure you’re getting an accurate picture of your website’s performance?
Mariya Moeva takes a look at translating real-life business goals into online metrics for tracking the site's traffic and how to make improvements. She also discusses how Google's WordPress plugin, SIte Kit, can make the process efficient.
Define goals and translate into online metrics
Find the right tools for each metric
Analyse, analyse, analyse!
Take action and repeat
She uses an example of a Travel Blogger and CTR on affiliate links and other services.
Site Kit has added new features since I last used it. They have a new Question Hub now to show unanswered questions on Google. I stopped using Site Kit a while ago because it was slowing down my sites, even though it was an easy way to sync everything with Google products.
Google takes a look at fighting spam in 2021. Some highlights:
In 2021, SpamBrain identified nearly six times more spam sites than in 2020.
Major reduction in hacked spam (70%), which was a spam type commonly observed in 2020, and gibberish spam on hosting platforms (75%).
We launched a link spam update (July 2021) to broadly identify unnatural links and prevent them from affecting search quality.
They worked hard to reduce low quality content and ranking manipulations by fighting behaviors that attempt to narrowly avoid violating their quality guidelines, but are still manipulative in nature and degrade the user experience.
SearchPilot did a test to see if emojis in the title would impact organic traffic positively or negatively.
Spoiler Alert - there was a negative result.
Check out the study and see how they did it and what happened with traffic.
Google is testing some significant changes to featured snippets. Both will give searchers a more diverse set of sources in the coveted featured snippet position.
From the web. A typical featured snippet features text from, and a link to, one website. In this From the web test, Google shows brief excerpts from two or three different websites, linking to each source separately. Google also includes the site’s favicon.
Check out the article for screenshots of examples.
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Have a great week taking your niche sites to another level!