Content Creation
  3 min read
A Guide to SEO…
SEO Tester Online
11 December 2020

A Guide to SEO Analysis of your Competitors: what it is and how to do it

In this article, we’ll cover one of the most fundamental (and often overlooked) activities in SEO analysis: the analysis of the competitors. You’ll find out how to spy on your rivals, why you should do it, and how to use SEO Tester Online’s new Keyword Explorer.

  • To obtain keyword ideas;
  • Have a deeper understanding of the SERP and the websites that you have to beat for each keyword.

Let’s dive in.

What is SEO Competitor Analysis?

The SEO Analysis of competitors is the study of how your contenders are doing from an SEO point of view. It is essential because it can give you a great headstart when starting a new project or a boost in your SEO if your already-existing website doesn’t get a proper positioning within the SERP. Most of all, it can help you understand what the strategy behind your competitor’s so-good positioning is.

Why should you do it?

You can get ideas about what keywords you should use and what you should avoid because the competition is too stark. SEO is more a matter of adaptation and strategy rather than brute force. 

With SEO competitor analysis, you can see what makes your competitors position themselves so high in the SERP and then try to outperform or get around them. 

How to do it?

Explore their domains with Keyword Explorer

Keyword Explorer Tool is not just a tool to discover keyword ideas. It is also the tool to find the ones that your competitors are using. The first thing to go to the Keyword Explorer and choose to search by the domain, write your competitor’s URL, and select the country.

SEO Competitor Analysis

Create a list and add long-tail keyword ideas

Below, a list of keywords will appear. They are the keywords with which your competitor is positioning. If you click on one, you will get, on the right, its metrics: difficulty, volume, trend, and, below, the best-positioned websites for that keyword. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

For now, let’s focus on the left side of the screen. You can spot the  long-tail keywords with low competition and difficulty your competitor is using. Check the metrics for each one and, add it to your list.

Keyword List

Explore the SERP

Now it is time to see how hard the competition is for each keyword. Select one, look on the right and check what the most popular pages within the SERP for each keyword are. Examine it with SEO Checker to see how much it is optimized. To do so, click on the three dots near each result in the SERP. If it is not optimized from an SEO point of view, it could be easier to compete with them. 

Keyword Explorer Tool SEO

On the other hand, if it is well-optimized, do a long-tail keyword search to find alternative keywords to beat your competitors.

Maybe you’d want to see with which keywords that website is positioning. In that case, select “Find keywords”.

Analyze Page SEO and Find Keywords

Study the SERP metrics

SEO metrics such as Domain Authority, Page Authority, Facebook Shares, backlinks, and Visits per Month can give critical information about how hard it will be to beat your competitor.

Metrics such as volume, competition, or keyword difficulty tell you just half of the story. Even a promising keyword can yield no results if your competitors have a good number of visits and authority. 

 

Study Competitor SEO Strategies

In this case, the keyword “iphone headphone jack” sounds promising if we limit ourselves if we look at its metrics: decent volume for a long-tail keyword low competition and difficulty. But the competitors are quite hard to beat: websites such as apple.com big boys, and it’s not wise to try to outperform them. Maybe you should look for a keyword with lower competition, such as “incase airpods”. 

SEO Competitor Check

See why it is essential to do the SEO analysis of your competitors when doing keyword research? This may avoid you competing for promising keywords that will not deliver results because the competition is too fierce.

 

The Beginner’s Guide to Skyscraper Technique

Are you struggling in positioning your content on top of the SERP? 

You may have already experienced that, sometimes, it does not matter how good you write a blog post. There’s no way to surpass your already well-positioned competitors.

The hard truth is that sometimes quality is not enough. Other websites are just too authoritative. But don’t despair; there’s a way to position your content and build your way to the summit. 

In this post, you’ll learn the Skyscraper technique. It is a mixed strategy of content creation and link building that helps you in positioning your content.

What is link building, and why is it important?

Link building is a strategy that aims to make other websites link to your content. If they are authoritative enough, link building can generate quality traffic. It will give you authoritativeness and improve your ranking.

The more reliable is the site that links to your content, the more the backlink will count as a ranking factor. 

One of the best ways to get quality backlinks is the Skyscraper technique.

What is the Skyscraper Technique?

The name, and the whole technique, are the brainchild of Backlinko’s Brian Dean.

He is the author of Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days. In his article, he explains the on-site and off-site SEO strategy that got him to write a huge blog post.

Then, he made the backlinks to it to skyrocket, and the organic visits to his website doubled within 14 days.

But continue reading, we added extra insights from the content creation point of view.

How it works: a Guide to Skyscraper Technique 

The Skyscraper technique is, in a nutshell:

– discover what content gets the most backlinks in your niche,

make a better version of it

– ask relevant websites to backlink your blog post instead of the other.

Why is it called so? In the words of its inventor:

Have you ever walked by a really tall building and said to yourself:

“Wow, that’s amazing! I wonder how big the 8th tallest building in the world is.”

Of course not.

It’s human nature to be attracted to the best.

And what you’re doing here is finding the tallest “skyscraper” in your space…and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.

All of a sudden YOU have the content that everyone wants to talk about (and link to).

It is about creating great blog posts delivering updated, useful, and well-designed content. But let’s have a look at all the three phases of the Skyscraper technique.

Find content with a lot of inbound links 

On  Keyword Explorer, choose a general topic that can interest you. Let’s take, for example, “SEO strategy.”

Skyscraper Technique

Click on Filters and set a minimum keyword difficulty of at least 10. In this way, you’ll get the very best-positioned content for every related keyword. The reason is that the presence of backlinks increases the difficulty. By selecting only high-difficulty keywords, you’ll be filtering the content with the most backlinks. 

Keyword Research

Now, choose the right keyword in your niche and check what content is top-ranked. You can check how many backlinks each result has under “links.”

In our case, the most ranked page is no less than on the SERP’s zero position, with 8.6K backlinks. 

Also, on Keyword Explorer, you can check both domain and page authority. You’ll find them under DA and PA.

Of course, also use reasoning. If the content is too well-written, designed, and updated, choose a different topic. 

In this case, you can opt for a different keyword, a long-tail one. What about the keyword “SEO strategy for small business”? 

Export the SERP list by clicking on the button and then check the articles that get more links. They will be the base of your skyscraper.

Create even better content

Now, you have to start building the other floors. There’s (almost) always room for improvement. And this is where you come into play. 

For example, you can write a better article than the starting one. You can rely on the SEO Copywriting techniques you’ve learned on this blog. Flawless language, an engaging rhythm, and a well-dosed keywording will make the difference.

You can also add long-tail keywords as secondary ones. They will help you reach more search intents than your competitors. In general, you can follow these three strategies. 

1. Add more details to your skyscraper

Make your article a long-form. 

Brian Dean wrote about the 200 ranking factors, much more than any other article. You can do the same here. As you browse the Keyword Explorer SERP for “SEO strategy for small business,” you can see results such as:

  • “5 Top SEO Strategies for small business”, 
  • “7 Effective Small Business SEO Strategies And Ideas”, 
  • “Top 10 SEO Strategies Small Businesses Should Follow”,
  • “6 Small Business SEO Tips for Time-Strapped Entrepreneurs”. 

There are a lot of numbers here, and each article has its list. Why don’t you write a blog post that gathers all of them?

It means you’ll have to write a Roastbeef article filled with information. It will take you a lot of time writing it and doing research, but quality always pays. Who does not love to find all the information in one place?

Link Building Activity

2. Add data-driven content

As Pawel Grabowski points out, data-driven content will increase your credibility. Remember Brian Dean’s story about he increased by 110% the organic visits? It is data. People love it because you give them a magic number that will stick in their heads. 

In our case, you can do the same with your article about SEO Strategies for small business. You can show a case study that shows how these strategies increased the ranking.

3. Create a catchy headline 

Now it’s time to write a compelling Headline. As we pointed out in our guide to SEO copywriting, they’re the first (and often the only) thing your audience reads. It means that it must anticipate the topics of your article. It will give you a good head start if it sticks to one of these categories.

  • Benefit promise («Increase your income with this one simple rule»);
  • How-tos;
  • Numbers («the ten rules to…»);
  • Questions («Do you want to become rich while sleeping?»);
  • Empathy/a shared problem («I know how it feels when you are single and broke»);
  • Promise entertainment («Try not to laugh!»)
  • Avoid pain («You don’t have to get stuck in a job you hate»).

If you write in English, here’s a great tool

In our case, why don’t you use a title like “20 super-effective SEO Strategies to boost your small business?”

4. Spy your competitors

Spying on your competitors’ SEO strategy can give you valuable information. Back on Keyword Explorer, choose the competitor you want to spy on the SERP. 

Then, click on the three dots. You can choose either:

  • “Analyze page SEO” to see the grade of optimization of the page (and the areas in need of improvement you can exploit); 
  • “Find Keywords” to look at all the keywords with which that content is ranking. 

Write optimized content

5. Make it updated

Sometimes, the most linked articles are also outdated. It makes them reliable, but with time it may miss some newer – and critical – updates. 

It is good news for you because it means there’s a lot of room for improvement. Search the internet for the most updated information and add it to your article. 

Also, be sure to sign up on Google Alert for the latest updates about the topic. 

6. Work on content design

Believe it or not, you need to please your reader’s eye, too. A better-designed content will keep people reading your content and share it. Bloggers want to please the sight of their readers with good-organized, good-looking content.

You may enrich your blog post with customized images and infographics, banners. You can also add a menu like the one you found at the beginning of this article. 

It can build a loyal audience, and it also helps link building. 

Let people know

Now it’s time to make website owners link your content. The goal is to find those who backlink to the blog post(s) you used as a starting point for your skyscraper. 

Then make those website owners aware that newer and better content is in town, and they should consider linking it.

First of all, let’s check the backlinks that point to the starting articles. We’ll use Monitor Backlinks

Build the best content

Now clean up the list from forums and platforms like Quora, leaving only the blog posts. Here you have the list of blogs you’d want to contact to make them to backlink to your article.

Be kind and convincing. You can use a mail like this:

Hi [NAME],

I’ve read your blog post [title] at [url], and I loved it!

I noticed that you put a link to the article [title]. I read it too, and I found it very interesting, even if a bit old. For this reason, I’ve written an updated version of it. 

You can read it here: [URL]

Maybe you could use it as a more up-to-date reference?

Keep up the good work!

Now, customize the template for each recipient and click send. 

Of course, most of the time, people won’t even reply, but Dean had an 11% success rate, which is a lot.

Have you tried the Skyscraper Technique?

Now it’s time to go to work. Remember: you have to find an article with a lot of backlinks, improve it and then reach the right people.

Have you tried the skyscraper technique already? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section.

 

How to Find Long-Tail Keywords

How to find the right ideas to create content that is easy to position high in the SERP? Long-tail keywords are keywords with low competition and low search volume that can help you in your mission. Let’s see what they are, how to find them, and how to use them.

What is a long-tail keyword?

A long-tail keyword is a search term consisting of 3-5 words on average. They are very specific and therefore express precise research intent. Thus, they have a lower search volume, as well as the number of results for that keyword.

How a long tail keyword looks

To understand what are the main features of a long-tail keyword, let’s start from its opposite. 

A so-called “broad keyword” (i.e., a short, one-two word and very generic search term) is something like “pizza.” 

This keyword can be the outcome of many types of search: someone can use it as a query to find out when pizza was born, or how to prepare it. Another user could be hungry and looking for pizzerias in the area. 

Then there are the “middle-tail keywords” or “keyphrases.” These are sentences consisting of 2-3 words. A phrase like “pizza Margherita” is more specific than the mere “pizza,” but still too generic. It means that the competition is lower, but so is the possibility of obtaining conversions. 

On the other hand, a long tail keyword can be something like “eating pizza Margherita in Milan.” Whoever types it is looking for a specific thing. Such a keyword does not have a large number of searches, but it’s specific. What does that mean?

The advantages of the long tail keyword

Long-tail keywords make up the bulk of Google searches

Long-tail keywords often (not always!) have a meager number of searches. Nonetheless, keywords with little search volume are 92% of the total searches. Also, 29.13% of searches with a volume higher than 10,000 consists of long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords have less competition

The main advantage of long-tail keywords is their specificity. If you want to position yourself to “eat pizza Margherita in Milan,” you will have to compete with seven million results, which is not a high competition when you compare it to the five billion you get by typing “pizza.” 

Long-tail keywords are conversion-oriented.

Their specificity allows long-tail keywords to intercept a search intent much closer to conversion. Your keyword will be searched for by fewer people, but they’re looking for a thing that you can give them. 

How to find the right long-tail keywords for you

First of all, keep in mind that finding the right long-tail keywords is to find a niche of topics. They have little competition, and it’s easy to position yourself on the SERP with them. With this premise, let’s get started!

Make a list of general topics that affect your activities

The first thing to do is brainstorm the general topics you cover and create a list. “Pizza,” Calzoni,” “Italian Cuisine.” These are the “broad keywords” we mentioned at the beginning.

Now, open a new spreadsheet and create five columns: keyword, volume, competition, difficulty, search intent

Use Google!

Now, enter these topics on the Google search bar, you will get lots of ideas.

Related searches

You can find the related searches at the bottom of the SERP. Most of them may be other broad keywords or middle-tail keywords. Click on the most interesting ones. For example, if you searched for “Pizza,” click on “pizza delivery.” There, among the related searches, you will find, for example, “pizza delivery near me,” or “pizza delivery near me order online.” 

Repeat the operation all the times you want and put the keywords you like in the spreadsheet.

An alternative is Soovle, which collects related searches from platforms like Google, YouTube, Ask.com, Amazon, etc.

Google autocomplete 

Another method may be to use autocompletion. On the search bar, next to the starting keyword, add a letter: “pizza a,” “pizza b,” and so on. 

If you are looking for “pizza a,” and you find the suggestion “pizza and wings near me.” You can repeat the procedure and type in the search bar “pizza and wings near me a.” You will find “all you can eat pizza and wings near me,” which, with only 496,000 results, is an excellent low-competition long-tail keyword with which to position yourself.

Repeat the process as many times as you want and also put these ideas into your spreadsheet.

People asked…

Sometimes the section “people asked …” may appear in the SERP. It is another excellent source of ideas as questions are long-tail keywords, so enter them in your Excel.

What if the section doesn’t appear? In this case, you can use Wondersearch, an excellent alternative service.

Answer the Public

Answer the Public is another excellent source of ideas. Just select the country and language, type the starting topic, and click on “Search.” Answer the Public will provide you with hundreds of ideas, sorted by keywords starting from prepositions (“pizza without tomato sauce,” “pizza for delivery near me,” “pizza near me open now”), comparisons (“pizza vs. marinara sauce,” “pizza like pizza hut”) and much more.

Forums

Forums and discussion platforms such as Quora or Reddit are excellent resources for understanding people’s search intents. Search on Google “(your topic) + forum” to discover the most popular questions and answers.  

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is an underrated tool when it comes to finding ideas. Take a look at the queries that lead to your site going to “Performance” and searching for “Query.”

You can discover that many people find your site when looking for “light pizza Margherita.” You can create a blog post about it to attract visitors. 

Google Trends

Google Trends can tell you how popular a search term is over time. Search for Trends topics and find what’s trending. Below, among the “related topics,” you will find a lot of suggestions for long-tail keywords. 

Google Keyword Planner

The Keyword Planner is a tool Google Ads designed for paid ads, but it can turn handy for SEO. It can give you many ideas, like synonyms you should use and many other related keywords.

Use the Keyword Explorer Tool

With the new Keyword Explorer, you can do much more! You can find new ideas already equipped with metrics. You can also add them to a list and check the trends and competitors for that keyword. Once you have added all your keywords, you can export it to a CSV file with all the metrics you need.

For example, you can search for “pizza” on the keyword explorer.

How to find long tail keyword

So, select a long tail keyword that interests you, in this case, “pizza nearest me”. Click on the “+” to create your list and add the keyword.

Keyword Short Tail

You can now search for ideas starting from that long-tail keyword you have found and maybe use a filter to search for those with low difficulty.

Keyword Explorer Tool

You found a lot of ideas for your SEO and for your business, too. For example, you can position yourself for pizza delivery in Lambrate. Or for gluten-free pizzas. You can also immediately see trends, competition, volume, and the difficulty of positioning. 

Keyword ResearchFinally, download the list of your long-tail keywords.

Go to “my keywords” at the top, near the star. Select your list and then click on the search button (the magnifying glass). Select the keywords you are interested in and download the CSV, and you will have all your keywords sorted. 

Finally, download the list of your long-tail keywords.

Go to “my keywords” at the top, near the star. Select your list and then click on the search button (the magnifying glass). Select the keywords you are interested in and download the CSV, and you will have all your keywords sorted. 

 

What to do next?

OK, now you have your list of long-tail keywords and, if you have used Keyword Explorer, you’ll also have the metrics you need. 

If you haven’t used it yet, now is the right time. Type the long-tail keyword in the search bar. You’ll get all the metrics you need. Now, add them to a personalized list and repeat the operation for all the keywords you have found. 

Now, you just have to export the list and check the data. If a long-tail keyword has a fair number of searches, low competition, and the difficulty is little, it is the right one. 

Create new content or modify existing ones

Now, you have many ideas to create content with which you can position your website within the SERP.

Do you have other ideas on how to find long-tail keywords? Or do you have experiences you want to share with us? Let us know in the comments!

 

Guide to SEO Copywriting

So, you have decided to become a Copywriter. An SEO Copywriter no less

Good for you! Are you ready to work on editorial plans, on keyword search? Are you prepared to make your way through title tags, headings, and editing?

Excellent. But read this article first, you may learn a thing or two about the craft. 

A definition of SEO copywriting

SEO copywriting is the activity of writing content for both humans and search engines. No, not just search engines. We said both. If you write for humans and provide them with useful information – you’re already writing for search engines, too. You only need to pay a little more attention to some details.

But you may ask: what makes my articles optimized SEO-wise? 

Well, ask no more! We’ll parse through all phases of a good SEO copywriting. Let’s begin with the things you must do before starting to write.

What to do before writing

So, are you thriving about writing your first blog post? Hold your horses a little bit longer. 

Before starting to write, you should do a little bit of research about what you should write.

You should ask yourself a few questions. 

  • What your public could find exciting reading? 
  • What are the hottest topics in your industry? 
  • What are your competitors writing about, and how? 
  • What is your uniqueness? 

We don’t have the answers for you, but we can teach you how to find them yourself. And that’s what we’re going to do. Ready? You’re about to learn how to:

  • prepare the brief;
  • do the keyword search and create the editorial plan;
  • choose the right tone;
  • build the structure.

How to do the brief

Whether you’re working for a customer or your brand, there’re a few questions you should ask your client (or yourself). These questions make the brief, a document that will guide you in creating the editorial plan:

  • In which industry you’re working?
  • What is your target?
  • Why should someone choose you over a competitor?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What are your business goals? (increasing leads, conquer another market share, rebranding.)
  • What goals do you want to hit through the blog?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the unique features of your product or service?

If you work for someone else, it could be quite a task to get information, because some companies have no idea of what they are and where they want to go.

Then you have to choose what do you want to write. Once having decided on the general theme, you need to find the topics for single articles. In brief, you need an editorial plan.

What is the editorial plan?

The editorial plan is the list of the topics and the articles that are going to tackle them. It is an essential tool for your SEO copywriting job. It is a reminder of who you are, who is your audience, and how you are going to keep it close and interested in your content. 

How to create it

The most common way to create an editorial plan is to open a new spreadsheet. There, you put the primary and secondary topics of each blog post. 

How to find the topics?

First of all, keep in mind who your audience is. What could interest your target? Now you have an idea of the general topic. How to get more specific?

Then, ask yourself the search intent you want to intercept.

Also, keep in mind the pros and cons of broad, middle-tail, and long-tail keywords

Now you’re ready for keyword research!

How to do keyword research

SEO copywriters can count on a good number of useful, free tools to do their keyword research.

  • Google Search and related search: start with writing the topic you’re interested in on Google’s bar. The search suggestions can give you a hint of the long tail keyword you may want to use. Also, the related searches can provide you with a good number of secondary keywords.
  • Ubersuggest: can tell you how much volume and competition a keyword has.
  • Answer the public: can provide you with new keyword ideas, in the shape of questions.
  • Google Trends: with this tool, you can discover the interest of a given topic or keyword over time. In this way, you can determine if the blog post you are about to write tackles a hot topic or not.

Use the Keyword Explorer!

You can use all the tools mentioned above, and that’s great.

Or, you can use SEO Tester Online’s Keyword Explorer. 

 

SEO Copywriting keyword research explorer tool

It brings the functions of these tools in one place. With it, you can discover your primary and secondary keywords in a fraction of the time. 

Write with taste: choose the format

Now you have to decide the very nature of the article you are about to write. What is its format? Is it going to be long and full of information? Or is it going to brief? Hubspot’s Rick Burnes has the perfect recipe.

  • 🥣 Raisin bran posts: useful, brief posts with high engagement and a daily publication, like recipes. Be sure they’re useful and engaging;
  • 🥬 Spinach posts: articles that make you an opinion leader. Most of the times are thoughts about the changes in your industry;
  • 🍖 Roast posts: very long posts filled with information. They take much time to write and read, like this one. They can boost your reputation and get you much traction. 
  • 🌶 Tabasco posts: they spice up the conversation by launching controversial and often divisive messages. They have, most of the time, a bold, incendiary title. 
  • 🍫 Chocolate cake posts: light-hearted articles. It consists of funny stuff with videos and cartoons. They aim to entertain the reader and add some levity to your editorial plan.

So, what kind of articles you should write? Our advice is a bit of each; only you know the right quantity for each ingredient. Be careful with all that tabasco, however.

You can also update your spinach and roast posts with new information instead of writing new ones. In this way, you have your pillar articles.

Structure

There is the last thing to do before starting to write. That is, to prepare the structure of your article. It may seem a waste of time, but it helps to save a lot of it. 

The structure is a simple text document where you outline what you are going to write. 

  • Start with the Call to Action if you have one. It’s an excellent way to put your writing in the right direction.
  • Make a list of paragraphs. Use the titles you want to use in your article. Since we are talking about SEO Copywriting, specify the heading tag you are going to use.
  • Outline the topics you want to deal with under each paragraph title.

Here’s the structure of the article you are reading:

What to do when writing

If you didn’t give up with the preliminary work, we have good news: it’s time to write.

In this paragraph, you are going to discover what makes excellent SEO copywriting, from titles to the right use of keywords.

Anatomy of an SEO-friendly title

We already write about titles and headings in SEO. Here is a quick reminder. 

  1. Ask first: “what is my goal?” “Who are my readers?” “What are they looking for?”.
  2. Heading tags should include your main keyword or related ones. They must make sense to humans, too.
  3. Avoid keyword stuffing. It is the excessive repetition of the same keyword.
  4. Heading tags follow a decreasing order: start with an H1 tag, and go on with H2, H3.
  5. Use just one H1 tag. 
  6. Always consider keyword prominence and keyword proximity.
  7. The SEO title must be less than 70 characters and 12 words long.

Also, some characteristics make titles more compelling. 

  • Benefit promise («Increase your income with this one simple rule»);
  • How-tos;
  • Numbers («the ten rules to…»);
  • Questions («Do you want to become rich while sleeping?»);
  • Empathy/a shared problem («I know how it feels when you are single and broke»);
  • Promise pleasure («Try not to laugh!»)
  • Avoid pain («You don’t have to get stuck in a job you hate»).

Avoid keyword stuffing

SEO Copywriting is not just a matter of writing the right keywords as much as possible.

SEO Copywriting is about writing well. And use keywords, sure. 

But you must focus on producing something useful and easy to read. Search engines prize this. Not the repetition of the same phrases again and again. 

Instead of doing keyword stuffing, use synonyms. Google recognizes them. And it penalizes keyword stuffing, by the way.

Language!

We hope we stressed enough the importance of writing well. But what can you do? Here are some tips by Stephen King himself in his book “On Writing.”

Use simple vocabulary

There is no reason to dress up your language with pompous, pretentious words. Whatever you are writing, your goal is to communicate, after all. And it’s easier to do it when you use words that anyone can understand.

Use simple grammar

The same goes for grammar. Whatever is your confidence (and your reader’s) with it, it’s probably too late to make significant improvements. 

So, stick with simple grammar. You can write most of the blog posts with simple tenses and using straightforward phrases. 

All you need is two things: a subject that performs and action. The verb expresses the action. That’s it. 

It worked for Hemingway, and he won a Nobel prize. It can work for you, too. 

Write short sentences

You can also write longer sentences, of course, but try to keep them short. Every clause must contain just one piece of information.

Break your text into paragraphs.

And keep them well separated. Try to look a block of text without any white space between paragraphs. You don’t even need to read it to know it is going to be quite a challenge. 

Use the active form to give your sentence more action. 

Mr. King writes: «Two pages of passive voice […] make me want to scream. It’s weak, it’s circuitous, and it’s frequently torturous, as well».

Avoid adverbs

As well as passive voice; they make your language weak. Also, they’re often unnecessary and make the reader think you’re not sure about what you’re writing. 

Try to rule out all the adverbs from any text. There is a good chance that the meaning would not have suffered any loss.

Ordered lists

they make the reading more comfortable, and Google likes them a lot. Think about how featured snippets look.

Circularity

You can use a metaphor or any other image at the beginning of your article. Then use it all through your blog post: a bit in the middle and especially at the end. It works as a theme and makes reading engaging.

What to do after writing

Now you’ve finished writing. Ready to publish? Assuming you’ve done excellent proofreading, there are still a few things left.

  • Create an optimized snippet, with a good SEO title and a good, self-explanatory meta description with the right call to action;
  • Optimize the Open Graph
  • Use images that are coherent with the topic and use alt texts to describe what they show
  • Share your article on your social networks;

Use SEO Editor

While Keyword Explorer is your companion on the pre-writing stage, SEO Tester Online’s SEO Editor is perfect for the writing and post-writing stages. It has everything you need from a word processor, plus many tools for SEO copywriters. 

  • You can select primary and secondary keywords;
  • check how much your text is SEO-friendly in real-time;
  • Edit snippets and Open Graphs;
  • Check the keyword density.

Heading tags: what they are and how to use them

What is the first thing you notice when browsing a website or blog? Nine times out of ten, it’s the heading.

The reason is simple: the heading makes both users and Google understand the topic of a webpage.

It is crucial to use the title, h1, h2, and other heading tags the right way, so you can make your arguments clear to your readers and increase your ranking on search engines.

How to use heading tags

These are the types of heading tag you should use to organize your content:

  • H1 tag: this is the heading that more than any other is used to introduce the main topic of a page. It plays an important role when it comes to ranking, so give it extra attention: it must be consistent with the main keyword you have chosen.
  • H2 tag: this is the heading tag for single paragraphs. It must introduce its topic. Also, they must follow a logical order.
  • H3 tag. It’s the subtitle heading of a paragraph. You should use it when the title needs more explanation. Besides, it’s a good sign of credibility.
  • H4, H5, and H6 tags are less used and provide further information about the topic. 

Why use heading tags?

Use heading tags is like putting titles inside a textbook: they help the reader orient herself during reading.

However, there are some differences between reading a book and reading a webpage. These are the moment, the context, and the need.

In the first case, we have an enthusiast who reads for pleasure.

In the second case, a busy and easily distracted person, who is probably reading our content while commuting. For this reason, she needs that the information would be as organized and understandable as possible.

This is what headings are for: to make browsing easier, even for the most absent-minded reader.

How to optimize heading tags

  1. Whether you’re writing for a personal blog or a company one, you should ask first: “what is my goal?”, “Who are my readers?”, “What are they looking for?”.
  2.  If you’re writing to position your pages within the SERP, your heading tags should include your main keyword or related ones. But remember they must make sense to humans, too.
  3. Avoid keyword stuffing, which is the excessive repetition of the same keyword in titles and paragraphs: spiders would penalize your page.
  4. Heading tags follow a decreasing order: start with an H1 tag, and go on with H2, H3, etc.
  5. Although there are no official rules, you really should use just one H1 tag. You can ignore the rule when your page is partitioned into sections. In this case, every section can have its H1 tag. Be sure that all the tags follow a hierarchical order.
  6. Always consider keyword prominence and keyword proximity. 

What is <Title> tag

To create perfect and SEO-oriented titles, in addition to heading tags, you need to focus on the title tag, too. 

You can find it on the HTML code between the <title> and </title> tags. Its goal is to tell both Google and users what the page is about.

The title tag is not displayed on the page, but you can find it on the snippet with the URL and the Meta Description.

Snippet example

Differences between title and H1

Both work as page titles. In fact, they can coincide. Anyway, you should keep in mind that the tag title appears on the SERP (the search result page), while the second is visible on the page.

The title must be 65-70 characters long, so it will not appear as truncated on the snippet. Actually, Google calculates the pixel length, not the characters (i.e., an m will take more space than an l). 

Anyway, 65-70 characters sum up to the number of allowed pixels (400px circa).

For the H1 heading, in its turn, you don’t have to fit into this limit. You can add more to the H1 title’s meaning. 

To take advance of the differences between the two titles, make them different but consistent with each other. It can increase your chances to rank your page for different keywords and attract more traffic to your website. 

How to use H2 and H3

To use the textbook metaphor, the H1 is your book’s title, the H2s are chapters’ titles, and H3s are paragraphs’ titles.

It makes no sense then to ask what is more important between the two. It would be like to ask what is more effective between a chapter’s title and a paragraph’s title.

How to build an internal index of headings

An important aspect of headings is that they can be used as items of the internal menu. This can be done thanks to anchors.

You can create them by editing the page code, or by using plugins that convert titles into links. 

This can benefit your ranking in two ways:

  1. Google will make the internal anchors visible on the SERP and boost our ranking.
  2. It will make reading easier for users.

What not to do with headers? Let Google speak

We talked about what you should do, but it’s also useful to talk about what you should not do.

In its playbook, Google says that in your headings you must not:

  1. Put useless text;
  2. Misplace heading tags;
  3. Use heading sizes that are inconsistent with the hierarchy (i.e., make h2s smaller than h3s);
  4. Use too many headings;
  5. Write too long headings;
  6. Use heading tags by keeping in mind only the text style.

Are your Heading Tags optimized?

Making sure that the headings of your web pages are correctly optimized is a best practice when you work at your On-Page SEO. You can check if the heading tags are optimized using our SEO Checker, that will generate automatically some suggestions to improve the headings in the page you analyzed.

Check if your Heading Tags are optimized for SEO.

Image Optimization: an SEO Guide

Image searches are often underrated. They have great potential for many search queries. For many of them, images are the main results that the SERP returns.

As well as text, images need to be optimized if you want the crawler to like them. If you succeed, images can boost the ranking of your page within the SERP.

There are many ways to use images to improve your positioning, as mentioned in Google’s best practices for images

These are the most important ones.

Optimize the image alt-text and filename: best practices

For now, the crawler can recognize content, any content, only by its textual content. If you want your images to be SEO-friendly, you must work on their alt text and filename.

What is the alt-text?

Alt-text is the short form for alternate text. It is the piece of text that appears on the web page when it fails to load an image. 

You would do a lovely thing for your visitors if you provided them with an accurate description of the image. And what happens if the visitor is happy? You got it. The crawler is happy. Not only because you’re helping humans, but because you’re helping it, too.

Remember? It cannot “see” images, so it needs a bit of help to understand what the image is showing.

How to optimize the alt-text

Put a detailed description of the image. Of course, it must contain the appropriate keyword. And it must be coherent with the image. Because you did your keyword research, right?

Now it is time to put the alt-text in the image. There are many ways:

image optimization seo editor screen

An example of a good alt-text

For this image, you can write «a picture of a cat,» sure. But you can be more specific. What about: «a picture of a sleeping black European cat?». Be as descriptive as you can be.

Title and description

You can also add a title and description to the image. You can use these fields to add further information to the image for the crawler. Respectively, you should use a shorter and a longer text than the one you used for the alt-text

Optimize the image filename and URL

Another way to help the crawler is to use a descriptive filename. It helps the spider understand what the image is about, too. 

Also, the image must have a descriptive URL — something like:

www.yoursite.com/images/black-cat-sleeping.jpg

How to optimize images for your web page

The first thing you should know is that image quality influences the ranking. If you cannot produce images on your own, there are a few links from which you can download high-resolution images for free.

How to optimize the image quality and size

So, high-quality images are critical for a good ranking. But so it is the page loading time, as you should know. And high-quality images mean slow loading times. 

How to kill two birds with one stone?

You can use your favorite image processing software, but you can also use one of the many online free image compression tools:

  • Kraken: can optimize the image size without virtually any loss in quality. It is a freemium solution. You can optimize up to 100MB for free. After that, you have to subscribe to a paid account.
  • TinyPNG: can convert for free both PNG and JPEG images. Sometimes it returns errors. In that case, retry.
  • Iloveimg: Many tools in one. You can convert the image format, add watermark, edit, reduce the file size and resolution, and much more. 
  • Squoosh: very straightforward. Just drag and drop the image you want to convert.
  • Optimizilla: can optimize batches of images.

There is another way to use high quality yet fast-to-load images. You can embed them directly from Instagram. 

  • Select the image you want to use on Instagram
  • Tap on the three-dot icon;
  • Select “embed” on the pop-up menu;
  • Copy the snippet and paste it on your webpage

Use responsive images

Users can view your webpage on a multitude of devices and, thus, screens of different sizes. An excellent way to speed up loading times is to use various versions of an image, so to load a smaller (read: faster to load) one on smaller devices. 

To learn how to do it, and what sizes to choose, read Google’s fundamentals for images

The Image Sitemap

We already mentioned that Google could not ‘read’ images. So we must provide the crawler with something that tells it what images are on a webpage and what they’re showing.

You can help it with an image sitemap. It is a document that tells how many and what images are on a single webpage. To create it, follow Google’s guide.

Besides the practices to optimize images for search engines, remember that they are part of your content, and it must be coherent with all the rest. 

Put your images near relevant text and, above all, always keep quality in mind!