SEO for Beginners: 7 Proven SEO Tips to Rank #1 on Google in 2019
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SEO for Beginners: 7 Proven SEO Tips to Rank #1 on Google in 2019

– Hey in this video, I’m going
to show you how to do SEO, even if you’re a beginner. And you’re gonna learn
seven proven SEO tips that any beginner can have success with. So if you wanna rank number one on Google and get more organic search traffic, then please keep watching. Also tip number four is
the most important concept for an SEO beginner to understand. So make sure you watch
this entire free training. Let’s jump right in. (upbeat music) So before we get started, make sure you subscribe to this channel because you’ll get
notified whenever I publish new videos just like this. So the first SEO beginner tip
is to perform an SEO audit. And don’t worry, auditing
a site doesn’t require super technical skills. In fact, you can complete
a professional SEO audit using nothing but free tools. So the question is, why should you even do an SEO audit in the first place? Well, the reason is because
it will uncover all issues that may be holding your
SEO performance back. Think of it this way, you
can create content all day acquire tons of backlinks, but if your website is
on a shaky foundation, you won’t see the results you really want. So you have to understand
that getting consistent SEO results requires an
all encompassing approach. And in other words, you need to have all the pieces in place, or your website won’t reach
its full SEO potential. So the question is,
what are you looking for when you actually do an SEO audit? Well, I like to break the process down into six primary categories. Number one is technical. Number two is user
experience, also known as UX. Number three is content. Number four is backlinks. Number five is local, and
number six is reputation. Pretty much every facet
of SEO will fall under one or many of these categories. Now I can’t cover every
microscopic detail of an SEO audit, but you can uncover 99.9% of issues using the following tools. Number one is Screaming Frog SEO spider. You can use this tool for free, but I highly recommend
upgrading to the paid version because it’s so incredibly powerful. And to get the most out of
Screaming Frog SEO spider, I recommend integrating
both Google Analytics and the Ahrefs API. This is really powerful,
because you’ll be able to see the key performance indicators of each individual page on your site. And more importantly,
you’ll be able to see how many backlinks each page has and how much traffic
each page is receiving. This is critical information when you’re performing a content audit. So here’s how you do it. Open up Screaming Frog SEO Spider, make sure you have the URL copied. And then what you wanna do is over here on the right
hand side under API, and they’ll probably
look like this initially, go and click on API. And then we’re gonna actually connect the Google Analytics to Screaming Frog. And this is super important. So let’s go ahead and do that. So as you can see here,
you’ll be able to choose the accounts that you have. And so in this case, we
wanna do story track. And we want the segment
to be organic traffic, because that’s gonna
be the how we determine whether these pages are
worth keeping or not. So the next thing you
wanna do is depending on whether you’re using
Majestic or Ahrefs or even Moz, you’re gonna wanna connect
whichever one you have. So in this case, I’m going to use Ahrefs. So once you click the gear icon, it’s gonna take you to
this little pop up window. And what you wanna do is click Connect, and then it shows that it’s
connected and we’re good to go. So now at this point, Screaming Frog is going to crawl the entire site. And it’s also gonna pull all the data from Google Analytics and Ahrefs for every single URL on their website. So once you have prepared the API’s, just go ahead and click Start. Okay, so the analysis is complete. And so when it’s done, what you can do is you can actually just do a full analysis just from this internal tab, but it’s a lot easier if you export and then you’ll be able
to get an Excel file. And then you’ll be able
to actually filter things and be able to sort things a lot easier. Okay so I’m in the Excel file, obviously, this looks very overwhelming. And a lot of this really isn’t important. So what you wanna do is
first we want to go ahead and add a filter to this. So just click the filter option. So what we wanna do is
want to delete some columns that are not necessary
for the content audit. So now what we wanna do is go ahead and start with the indexability column. And basically what we
wanna do is wanna see if there are pages that are indexed that shouldn’t be indexed, or pages that are not indexed
that should be indexed. And so the best way to do that is we’ll just go ahead
and use this filter. And we’ll start with the non-indexable, ’cause usually that’s where
some issues come into play. And we’re only focused on text HTML, ’cause these are really the
pages that are most important. This is where we’re gonna
do a lot of content pruning. Alright, so now this is the super fun part because we get to look
at each individual page and determine whether we
should keep these pages or we should do something with them if they’re not up to the
standards that we’re looking for. So there are a few things
we’re gonna be looking at. First we’re gonna look at the total organic search traffic to each page. We’re gonna look at the total amount of backlinks going to these pages. And then we’re also gonna
look at the word count for these pages. And so those three things, if you can just look
at those three factors, you’re gonna pretty much be able to determine whether pages should continue to exist or have to be deleted, 404ed or even redirected. And then also, the other
big thing we’re looking for in a content audit is if there are keyword cannibalization issues. And just looking at this right
now without even scrolling, I can tell there’s just
a lot of content here, a lot of pages. And so there’s a very high probability that there is some keyword
cannibalization going on here. And so we will dive deep into this and I’ll show you whether
that is happening or not. So if you wanna learn how to
do a professional SEO audit, then I highly recommend checking out my extensive SEO audit
template and step by step SOP. I’ll have a link below this video. So the second tip is a mistake
that many SEO beginners make and that’s creating tons of thin content targeting the same or
similar keyword phrases. And this is what leads to
keyword cannibalization and generally makes your SEO campaign harder than it needs to be. And that’s also when the cake
technique comes into play. In short, the cake
technique is the process of consolidating similar content assets into a single mother asset. So going through this
process has a wide array of benefits such as number
one increased word count, consolidating assets
will naturally increase your word count which often is correlated to better rankings. Number two is deeper content, spreading your knowledge
across multiple posts usually produces thin content. So consolidating your assets
produces the opposite effect. Number three is it eliminates keyword cannibalization issues. Keyword cannibalization
when two or more pages target very similar keywords forces Google to choose which one is best. So why would you even
want to take that risk? It’s much better just to
consolidate similar assets to eliminate this
possibility all together. Number four is it consolidates authority. You’ll be 301 redirecting
your other assets, which means your mother asset will inherit all the existing backlinks. And that will turn your mother asset into an authoritative powerhouse. Number five is it actually
makes content promotion easier. It’s easier to acquire backlinks to and to promote a single content asset, plus people are more likely
to link to a super valuable and in depth resource
than a thin content asset. So here are the steps to
executing the cake technique. First, identify content assets
that are targeting the same or closely related keywords. Second, decide what content asset is going to be your mother asset. Third, map out how you’re going to combine these content assets into a single piece of content. Fourth, consolidate the content. Fifth 301 redirect all
the supporting assets to the mother asset. And six annotate your
actions in Google Analytics to measure the performance
of your new asset. And I’ve used this exact technique with many clients and even on Gotch SEO when I consolidated a few different assets around the topic of backlinks. I had individual blog posts on what is a high quality backlink? How to build tier one backlinks. How to build tier two backlinks. How to build tier three backlinks, and how to earn backlinks. And this was borderline
keyword cannibalization, so I decided to consolidate
them into a single asset which became my backlinks guide. And as a result, Gotch
SEO currently floats around number one for backlinks and we’ve grown this page’s
organic search traffic by almost 300% since 2016. So the third SEO beginner tip is to choose the right keywords. So here’s a funny fact
about keyword research. Anyone can find keywords,
but it takes skill to know what keywords to actually target. So how do you know what
keywords are worth going after? Well, the most basic rule is that you should only target keywords that your website is actually
capable of ranking for. So one of the fastest ways to do this is to use Ahrefs’ keyword difficulty tool. Here’s how you do it. Copy a keyword you want to rank for and open up Ahrefs and click
on the keyword explorer option. And Ahrefs will then show
you what they believe is the keyword difficulty
for your target phrase. They make this estimation
based on how many links you’ll need to rank. And the good news is that
you can beat your competitors on many other fronts not including links, but it’s still a good 30,000 foot metric to help you weed out keywords that are probably going to be too hard and expensive to rank for. So after a keyword passes the
first qualification stage, it’s time for the second level
of keyword qualification. And I call this the 10
second competitor analysis. In my opinion, this is
one of the fastest ways to prioritize a huge list of keywords. So here’s what you do. First, download the Ahrefs or Moz toolbar, and then go to Google and enter one of your prospective keywords. Now all you need to do is scan the results and look for positive or negative signs. And here’s some good
signs you wanna look for. Number one, there are
low authority websites. Any page ranking with a DA or DR lower than 50 is a good sign. Number two is there
are you YouTube videos, and this is another good
sign because YouTube pages usually aren’t content
rich but that’s not all. The other awesome thing
when you see this happen is that not only can you rank
in Google’s organic search, but you can also rank in YouTube search which means you actually get two listings for that target keyword and that means even more exposure for your
brand and your website. Number three is their sub domains. Web 2.0’s are usually low
quality and very easy to beat. Number four is there are
forum or Quora threads. These pages can be content rich, but the information is unorganized. I consider this a good sign
when I see these results. Number five is there are press releases, ease-in articles, eHow
articles, hub pages et cetera. Any general article website or press release website is a good sign. Number six is there are
limited SERP features. So less SERP features means
more SERP click through rate for you in most cases. Number seven is there are Google ads. If advertisers are willing to invest money in your perspective keyword,
you know it has value. So now those are all the good signs. But here are some of the bad
signs you wanna look for. Number one, there are super
authoritative websites. If all the ranking pages are authoritative with DA or Dr 70 Plus,
then it’s a bad sign. And this isn’t to say that you can’t beat authoritative websites, it’s just much harder and costly and will likely take longer. Number two is there
excessive SERP features. As I mentioned above,
your CTR will decrease if Google is serving many SERP features. Now it’s possible for your website to get into these SERP features, but it isn’t as predictable as traditional organic search rankings. Now what do you do if this keyword doesn’t pass the initial test? Well don’t delete the
keyword from your list, just push it down the priority list, because you could target it in the future when your website becomes
more authoritative. I recommend going through this process until you have five to 10 well
qualified keyword targets. And after you have five to 10 key words that have passed the 10 second analysis, it’s time to gather data to see what you’re truly up against. Now this stage of the
process will give you the intel you need to understand
what it will actually take to beat your competitors
for your target keyword. So here’s what you do. Select one of your
keywords and open up Ahrefs and click on the keyword explorer tool. Then scroll down and export the results. Open up the sheet I provided and now you’ll begin entering data and intel about these competitors. So while analyzing the competitors on a one to one basis may be helpful. The goal here is to gather averages and then use that as our guiding light. So with that said, add the URL
backlinks referring domains and domain routing information
from the Ahrefs export. And the next part of the process is time consuming but definitely worth it. Copy the first URL and
open up Then enter the URL and copy the word count and added to the words column. (upbeat music) The next step is to get
the page loading speed for each of your competitors. Now this step isn’t totally necessary, but it helps identify
weaknesses in your competitors. So just copy your competitors
URL and open up Pingdom and then copy the site’s speed and add it to the speed column. (upbeat music) The next column page type
requires a manual analysis. So there are only a few different types of options in this case. It’s gonna be a homepage, category page, product page, blog post, or other. And this is super important because we’ll wanna model the page, type that Google is showing
for the target keyword. And the final stage of this process is to gather metrics for your page if you’ve already attempted
to rank for this keyword. Now the beauty of
gathering metrics like this is that it gives you clear targets. For example, you’ll know approximately how many backlinks you’ll need to compete for this keyword phrase. And of course, not all
backlinks are created equally, but it still gives you
a target to aim for. So that’s all you need
to know about finding and qualifying keywords. So the fourth SEO beginner tip is to understand search intent. Now I believe that
understanding how to satisfy search intent is a fundamental SEO skill. In fact, you can have Stephen
King write an article for you and it still wouldn’t rank if you don’t properly
satisfy search intent. That’s how important it is. Not only that what you’re about to learn will dispel the generic advice that every page you wanna rank in Google needs at least 1800 words. Slapping 1800 words on a page
isn’t how you rank in Google. In fact, a page with the high word count is practically worthless if it doesn’t satisfy search intent. And no, it will not matter
how many backlinks you get if you get search intent wrong. Now here’s the good news, it’s easy to figure out how
to satisfy search intent. The first part you need understand are the different types of search intent. So here are the primary
categories of search intent. The first type of search intent are going to be informational queries. So all informational search queries are usually at the top of the funnel. Some examples include, what is SEO, or how do you build backlinks. Searchers at this stage of the funnel are probably not ready to buy. So that’s why you need to
create educational based content that satisfies this type of intent. The second type of intent
are for comparison queries. Searches at this stage are
deeper into the funnel, and they’re trying to figure out what solution they wanna choose. So an example would be Nike
shoes versus Adidas shoes. The third type of intent is transactional, which means the searcher is at the bottom of the funnel and ready to buy. And an example of a
transactional search query is buy Nike baseball cleats. And the fourth type of
intent is navigational. Which means a searcher
already knows your brand or is a customer of your brand. For example when someone
searches Gotch SEO they already know my brand
and are navigating to it. So pretty much every keyword phrase will fall under one or
two of these categories. And the next thing you
need to do is examine the top 10 results for
your target keyword. Just ask yourself what
types of pages are ranking? Let me give you a few examples. So the first keyword example is backlinks. And in this example, you can classify it in two different search intent categories. First is problem awareness
and transactional. So when someone searches backlinks, they’re either A, trying to
learn more about backlinks because they know how
important they are to SEO. Or B, they’re looking to buy backlinks. So what do you do in
a situation like this? All you have to do is analyze the pages that are currently ranking. If the majority of the pages
are informational content, then you should take a similar approach. The second keyword example
is for SEO checker. So in this example, the
intent behind SEO checker will not require a long
form piece of content. So why is that? It’s because the searcher
is clearly looking for a tool to solve their problem. Keyword example number
three is SEO audit service. In this example, whoever is
searching for SEO audit service is clearly at the buying stage. So it wouldn’t make sense to
try to educate this person with a super long form piece of content. So this is the main point, analyze the competitors and see how they are fulfilling searcher
intent for your target keyword and follow the same strategy
or there’s a good chance your page won’t rank well. So at this stage, you understand how to satisfy search intent. So the fifth SEO beginner tip
is to create linkable assets. So linkable asset is designed
to attract backlinks. And the truth is some pages
just simply are not linkable, and those include category pages, product pages, local lead pages, or any page that isn’t really content rich and is more transactional in nature. Now sure, with some creativity, you can definitely drive
links to these pages. But it’s much harder than
just creating linkable assets, that our information rich and content rich because people are much more likely to link to these content assets as opposed to transactional pages. So in short, the goal
of the linkable asset is to add massive value to your industry. So the people who are
capable of linking to you start to take notice,
and then you can start to acquire links just because
you added so much value. Now the challenge is that not every type of SEO content is linkable. For example, you can create a
perfectly optimized homepage for a local business, or a
beautifully optimized page for a category page on
your e-commerce website. This is necessary, but these pages likely won’t attract many backlinks. And they will also be
very hard to promote. So the situation I just
outlined is why so many local and e-commerce businesses
struggle with SEO. The truth is, they are making the process harder than it needs to be. So if you’re working
on a local SEO campaign or an e-commerce website, then you need to listen very carefully, you must understand the
concept of a reverse silo. In short reverse silo is
when your content asset becomes the focal point for building your website’s authority. So instead of acquiring
backlinks to your homepage, category or product pages, you instead focus on acquiring backlinks to your information or content assets. This is by far the most
natural and safe way to acquire backlinks because your content is likely more deserving of a backlink. In short, your goal should be to build your overall website authority through creating linkable assets. Now just to be clear, there are other ways to acquire backlinks that
don’t require new content, and I’ll be showing you a few. But the most scalable link
building strategy you can use is to create linkable assets. So how do you actually
create a linkable asset? Well, all you need to do is copy one of your qualified keywords, throw it into Ahrefs keyword explorer and see if your competitors
pages have attracted backlinks. If so, you know that your target
keyword is a linkable idea. Now keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t target keywords
that aren’t clearly linkable, it’s just a nice qualifier. So the sixth SEO tip for beginners is to acquire quality backlinks. So I have a super in depth video about link building on my channel. And I’ll share the link below. But let me cover some of my go
to link building strategies. So the first method you
should use to promote your linkable asset is to
look for resource pages. Resource pages are great for two reasons. First, if your resource
page is high quality, you can land a link pretty easily. And secondly, many
resource pages are filled with broken links, which means
you can use that as leverage. So here’s what you do
to find resource pages. Go to Google and enter keyword, intitle column and then resources. So in this case, I’ll use finance intitle and then resources. And I’ll give you more search strings you can use below this video as well. And then open up each opportunity and then I highly recommend installing the Check My Links plugin because this will help check
these pages for broken links. So once you’ve installed the plugin, run it to see if these
pages have any broken links. So in this case, this article, there are no broken links. So you would just send a
traditional outreach template to get your content featured
on this resource page. On the other hand, if the
page had broken links, you’ll need to use a slightly
different outreach template and I’ll have one below. The next link building strategy
is relatively untapped, and I call it the merger technique. Now before I jump into the strategy, you must first understand
what a merger actually is. Investopedia defines a merger as the combining of two or more companies, generally by offering
stockholders of one company securities in the acquiring company in exchange for the
surrender of their stock. Now with that intense definition, let me explain it from an SEO perspective. So from an SEO perspective, merger occurs when the old brand’s website will get 301 redirected to the
acquiring company’s website. In short, the merger
technique is the process of 301 redirecting a relevant domain with a relevant link
profile to your website. And the ultimate objective is to increase your site’s authority
because a stronger website makes ranking much easier. So the strategy simply
imitates the process of a big brand acquiring
and other business. And I came up with the
name of this technique because we executed it
on one of our clients who acquires data centers
across the United States. So every time they
acquired a new data center, we would 301 redirect
the acquired brand site to their most relevant
page on their website. So for example, if they
acquired a Dallas data center, we would 301 redirect that website to their Dallas data center page. And within a year, we increased organic
search traffic by 256%. And although these results were awesome, I wanted to make sure it
wasn’t an isolated event. And that’s why I implemented
the same exact strategy on Gotch SEO and several
other client sites. For my site, I took an
old marketing website and 301 redirected it to
a landing page on my site, this redirect, push the target
keyword to the first page. I then did the same exact
thing for a local website and grew its organic
search traffic by 425%. And if you want an example
outside of my own experiences, then I highly recommend you take a look at Neil Patel’s link profile. He’s acquired a few different companies and merged them with This has absolutely exploded
his organic search traffic. So you get it. 301 redirects work. But wait a second, not
all 301 redirects work. And that’s why didn’t want to call this the 301 redirect strategy. The key is to find extremely
relevant businesses to acquire. These can either be expired
domains or existing businesses. And the good news is you
can use tools like DomCop,, or FreshDrop to find and filter through
thousands of expired domains. And I have videos on my channel for all three of these tools, so make sure you check those out. Now finding expired
domains is the easy part. But vetting them is where
you need the most skill. And this is incredibly important and not a step to take lightly. Because you don’t wanna redirect
a toxic website to yours. You want to make sure it’s
the highest quality possible. So here’s what you need to look for when vetting expired domains. Number one is the link profile. The domain should have high quality links from relevant websites. Number two is the anchor text, the domain shouldn’t have any
aggressive anchor text use. Meaning a high usage of
keyword rich anchor text. And the ideal situation is to find domains that have predominantly
branded anchor texts. Number three is the link stickability. Links are important but making sure they actually stick is
even more important. In general links within
the body of content are more likely to stick. But links in footer such as those you see from web design companies
or site wide blogroll links have a low stickability potential. And another way to ensure
that your link stick is how you go about actually redirecting the acquired website. If possible, you should try to redirect individual pages to the most
relevant page on your site. And this is far more effective than a full on site wide
redirect to the homepage as far as links stickability
and even effectiveness overall. Number four is the domain usage history. Just use to see how the domain has been used throughout its history. The ideal situation is that domain should have only been used by one owner and hasn’t been used since it expired. This simple process is
what led me to acquire a website called which had many inbound
marketing relevant links such as this one from HubSpot. Now the vetting process for an existing inactive business is identical. The only difference is how
you find these companies. For example, Brian Dean from Backlinko just acquired Jon Cooper’s
blog, Point Blank SEO. And this is a perfect
example of a proper merger because Point Blank SEO is
hyper relevant to Backlinko, and it has an incredible link profile. All you need to do is just start digging through your industry and
create a list of bloggers or companies that aren’t
updating their website and maybe don’t seem to be doing too well. Just use simple search queries in Google like list of topic blogs
or city niche companies. You’ll need to do a lot of manual analysis to see how active these blogs are. But one thing you can do is
use the Check My Links plugin to see if any blogs are dead when you’re going through these lists. And once you’ve identified some targets and vetted their websites, all you need to do is reach out and gauge their interest
in an acquisition. So finally, the seventh
and final SEO beginner tip isn’t actually about tactics,
it’s about your mindset, which is half the battle in my opinion. Listen, SEO is a long term game, it is not a get rich quick scheme. Making sustainable long term
income is a long term game. It is not a get rich quick scheme, you have to take action and
you have to put in the work. So if you’re looking to get
rich quickly without any work, then A, SEO probably isn’t right for you. And B, good luck with that. Because I haven’t met a
single legit entrepreneur who hasn’t done the work every single day for an extended amount of time. You need to be committed and super patient if you wanna be successful in this field. I’ve personally been running my company for over five years, and I
have worked every single day, just ask my wife. Success takes a ton of time, but it also takes a lot of consistency. And the truth is being an
entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. You have to be willing to
take action, fail frequently and be incredibly patient. And the truth is everyone achieves what they define a success
at different speeds. Some people will get there before you and that’s totally okay. You can only control your
situation by taking action. Write out your primary SEO goal and then when you write
out your daily to do list, just ask yourself if those actions are getting you closer to your goal. And if you believe that
then take action and learn. You won’t always take the right actions but approaching your day in this manner will accelerate your success. So those are the seven actionable
tips for SEO beginners. If you enjoyed this video, please like it and subscribe to my channel because you’ll get first access
when I publish a new video. And also if you have any
questions whatsoever, please leave it below and I respond to every single question. So thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you in the next video.


  • Jaya Vishwakarma

    Loving your awesome content.
    Does a site owner should directly submit a site on Google console after creating it or it should wait to write some 50+ articles and content on it, so that Google can let know what the site is all about?

  • Riyad Hossain

    This video covers all the basics I need to have a solid foundation and feel comfortable with a 7 variety of Proven SEO Tips to Rank.

  • Amol Tolbande

    Loved your daily action plan towards your SEO goal..As I am making committed by myself for writing 1 article daily.

  • Güneş ŞEN

    Hi Nathan, really great video as always. It would be so nice if you can do a short tips and tricks video about ranking e-commerce sites. Thanks very much for this and keep it up!

  • Shiva Shankar

    Hi Nathan, good video for the beginners. I have one query regarding the site audit. I have changed my old URL to the new URL and redirected in the .htaccess file. While doing an SEO audit in the screaming frog it shows status code as "301" and status "Moved Permanently". Is this is a problem or fine? What status code needs to take care to clear the issues other than 200?

  • Ajay Verma

    You are one of the few guys who I follow for my SEO education. I found your content to be always unique and not just reworded version of what's currently out there. One can easily create a paid course around your free material. I wonder what the level of training would be like in your paid course. Is there any way to take a sneak peak? Anyway, thanks for the awesome content man.

  • Trevor Tynes SEO

    Hi Everyone, I've been following Nathan for some time now and am a customer of his Academy and various products. If you're on the fence with him, jump on board. GET HIS SEO AUDIT TEMPLATE. It's incredible!

  • Sami Fab

    @Nathan Gotch – what an absolutely brilliant thumbnail! It works for so many activities … immediately reminded me of some friends who are struggling coz they're behaving like the newb in your thumbnail and they ought to know better!

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