The amount of competition for attention online these days is nothing short of cutthroat. SEO is more critical now than ever, with everyone needing an extra inch. You’ve got your basics covered when it comes to growing visibility in organic search results, driving traffic and enhancing your visibility – but what should you do when you’ve exhausted all (or most) of the conventional approaches? Below are six slightly less common tactics to give your SEO efforts a boost.

Target long-tail keywords of low search volume daily

Long-tail keywords have a very high conversion rate. The reason behind this is the more complex the search, the more the engaged and knowledgeable the consumer is, with the highest levels of product knowledge being highly correlated to product sales.

For example, you wouldn’t expect someone searching for “shoes” to be well on their way to making a purchase.

However, someone searching for “Men’s Shoes Size 10.5 Blue Suede Loafer BrandX” is probably ready to put those on his feet.

This same logic applies in retail as well, a consumer that knows what they want is your easiest sale. In a retail setting, the sales person would be able to run into the back and return with the exact shoes the customer has asked for. In the digital world, Google is our shopkeeper and we’d like to be the first result when that highly motivated consumer appears.

A good strategy here is to target those searches, called “long-tail searches”, specifically those with a daily search volume of 30 or less, and write a blog post on each every day around that phrase. So long as the keyword matches your blog post will be quickly picked up by Google with a high result for that query.

You might think there’s no sense in targeting those low search volume long-tail keywords. After all, they are low-search for a reason. But bear with me for a moment and do the math.

Each of these posts will be generating a small amount of new traffic for you, but like a credit card that interest compounds and like a credit card the total gets large quite fast. If you wrote a short blog post daily for a year, weekends and holidays off, of course, you’d end up with around 250 posts. At 30 searches a day per keyword, by the end of the year you’d have an additional 7,500 motivated customers coming to your website a day.

Alright, I know. A blog post a day seems a lot, but these needn’t be 5,000-word articles, 500 would suffice. I guarantee you that you write at least that much about your products in emails daily. Spend the same 30 minutes and write a short piece about how the long tail query relates to your business. Just like when you pay off your credit card early, your future self will thank you.

NOTE: Don’t forget to optimize your content! Put the keywords in the title, the first paragraph, and twice or so in the body, and other metadata fields. Plus, tag your sections with h tags correctly.

Borrow good PPC copy for your page description

You probably know the rule: use the same target keyword in every metadata field of a page to score higher in Google with results something like this:

Let’s be honest here folks, that does not look interesting. It may succeed in getting placement for the keyword but it’s very unlikely to generate clicks to your site. People know you provide SEO services after seeing the title of the page. There’s no need to remind them as many as three times. Yes, even if you just want to make sure.

Forget about this tactic.

Instead, take a look at meta description on PPC websites similar to yours. PPC page descriptions are slightly higher stakes than regular websites, thus they are thoroughly vetted for ROI by other marketing teams. PPC advertisers know that they can’t squander their paid position atop Google’s results with poorly constructed copy.

A few things you’ll likely see:

  • Concision – zero superfluous wording
  • A unique value proposition
  • A carefully formed call to action
  • A high degree of relevancy

Because of this (and more than a few other reasons), looking to PCC copy as something to emulate can be a great tactic for your results – and it’s one of the quickest ways to lose that amateurish look cited above.

Increase the ranking for your internal pages

Most everyone is already aware that only the top handful of results on the first page in Google search are ever clicked. The statistics here are cruel. The second page of results gets less than 5% of traffic, compared to 90% of the first page.

In a typical organization, most of the SEO effort and attention is paid the new, top level or campaign distinct pages that are top of mind and budget. If you’re like most organizations, your site has a large backlog of pages that are nested several levels deep and generally forgotten by the marketing teams. By tweaking your internal page linking to those hidden pages, you can easily enhance the ranking of your pages that didn’t get to the first results page and are stuck on that second or third page.

Here’s how:

  1. In Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools, identify and write down your pages that rank on the second, third, and fourth search results page.
  2. Using MOZ’s Open Site Explorer, check the Domain Authority and Page Authority score of all of your pages in the Top Pages tab on the left; the higher the score, the better.
  3. Once you’ve found your best sites in Open Site Explorer‘s DA and PA ranking, incorporate links to your pages from the second, third, and fourth search results page inside them. This will increase their ranking. But be smart about this step – be cautious with the amount and put the links somewhere within the content so that they look and feel natural.

NOTE: Make any changes to your internal linking slowly. Always wait for results of your first changes before going any further.

Discover the power of newsletters

No, I don’t mean having your own newsletter, which I assume you have. This is about something else entirely.

When you send out your newsletter does it receive a lot of attention? Do any of your readers write his or her appreciation of the content it contains?

Okay. Stop sulking. It’s common that they don’t.

It’s your chance to use that to your advantage.

Compile all of the important websites in your niche and sign up for their newsletters. You might want to configure your email software to automatically put those emails into a separate folder to make the sorting and processing easier, and also to save your inbox.

Now, every time you receive a newsletter hit reply and thank the writer for that wonderful content, fresh ideas, etc. Don’t be shy to share the newsletter on social media, and at a minimum tweet about their work.

In time, website owners will notice your engagement and appreciation of their efforts. Once a rapport and relationship is built, you can send the owners a blog post pitch and ask whether they’d be alright with publishing it on their site. As a writer, you’re always after good content and clever topic ideas, believe me, you will have a receptive audience who will help you in your efforts.

Passive aggressive referral traffic generation.

Referral traffic is great and highly coveted, and believe it or not, it’s relatively easy to get it by using this little simple tactic below.

Write a post with a list of websites you consider valuable (both for your traffic and readers; remember, users can smell spam from miles). Always invest in good and engaging content. Pay extra for it. It’ll pay off.

Examples, “The top 5 sites with camera reviews,” “Best shops to buy books from,” etc. Make sure your HTML no-follow attribute doesn’t get in the way here (some CMSs will automatically configure your links to have no-follow attribute). It’s alright to have it on some links, never on all.

Next step calls for some guts, but if you want the referrals, guts you need have. Send out emails, tweets, use contact forms etc. to contact all website owners you’ve included in your list post. Don’t fret about it. We’re all brewing in the same pot, so when you show your appreciation of their site, they’re most likely show their appreciation by providing you with a niche-related backlink.

SEO is still the key to getting more traffic, even if content is king. Most of the tactics above, especially those that require social involvement on your side, will work even if your page is in its infancy. No website owner will risk ignoring you if you have the potential of growing big. Because you do, right? Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this up until the very end.

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Author image: Joshua Goldfein
About the author

Joshua Goldfein is the Founder of WPHelp Center and CEO of Mercury Digital Agency. Joshua has over 15 years of experience helping businesses the world over strengthen their digital brands and improve customer experience.

Joshua Goldfein CEO / Founder mercury creative