The 9-Step SEO Strategy for 2019 [NEW]

At present I’m going to point out a VERY efficient search engine optimisation technique for 2019.


In reality, I not too long ago used these precise steps to rank #1 in Google for “Video search engine optimisation”.

And “key phrase analysis instrument”.

Let’s dive proper in…

Step #1: Discover an “Alternative Key phrase”

Let’s face it:

A #1 rating isn’t what it was.

That’s as a result of Google retains including stuff to the search outcomes.

For instance, take a look at the key phrase “search engine optimisation Instruments”:

SEO Tools – SERPs

Like most search outcomes, you’ve received advertisements on the high of the web page.

Plus, a Featured Snippet:

SEO Tools – Featured snippet

A “Individuals additionally Ask” field:

THEN you get to the #1 end result:

SEO Tools – Number one result

That’s why you wish to deal with Alternative Key phrases.

Alternative Key phrases are key phrases with a excessive natural click-through-rate (CTR).

How about an instance?

I not too long ago created a submit optimized across the time period “search engine optimisation Audit”:

SEO Site Audit – Post

And “search engine optimisation Audit” is an Alternative Key phrase.

Positive, there are advertisements:

SEO Audit – Top ads

However that’s really a superb factor.

(Extra advertisements=increased business intent)

Aside from advertisements, there isn’t quite a bit to distract folks from the natural search outcomes:

SEO Audit – Organic results

You may as well estimate natural CTR with Ahrefs.

Ahrefs homepage

For instance, once I put “search engine optimisation Audit” into Ahrefs, it says that the key phrase will get 4.1k searches monthly.

However extra necessary than the uncooked search quantity is the truth that 61% of searchers click on on a end result.

SEO Audit – Ahrefs

Not unhealthy.

Which leads us to…

Step #2: Analyze Google’s First Web page

OK, so that you discovered an Alternative Key phrase.

Now it’s time to see what’s already working for that key phrase.

To do this, simply kind your key phrase into Google.

Scan the highest 10 outcomes:

And jot down any patterns that you just discover.

For instance, the SERPs for “search engine optimisation Instruments” is PACKED with lists of instruments:

SEO Tools – List post highlights

So that you’d wish to jot down: “a lot of listing posts”.

Then, transfer onto step #3…

Step #3: Create One thing Totally different… Or Higher

In terms of search engine optimisation content material, you’ve received two choices:

Possibility #1: You may create one thing totally different.

Possibility #2: You may create one thing higher.

Right here’s how…

Totally different

Typically you wish to create one thing larger and higher than what’s on the market.

(aka The Skyscraper Method)

However generally you’re higher off with content material that’s utterly totally different.


As a result of it helps your content material STAND OUT.

For instance:

A couple of months in the past I sat down to put in writing a chunk of content material optimized round: “Cell search engine optimisation”.

And I observed Google’s first web page was suffering from listing posts, like: “X Methods to Cell Optimize Your Web site.”

Existing mobile SEO content


I may have created a BIGGER listing submit like: “150 Methods to Cell Optimize Your Web site”.

However that wouldn’t make any sense.

As an alternative, I created one thing completely totally different.

Particularly, I printed an final information to cellular optimization.

Mobile SEO Guide – Post

And since my content material stood out, it received a ton of shares:

Mobile SEO Guide – Shares


Mobile SEO Guide – Comments

And most necessary of all, backlinks:

Mobile SEO Guide – Backlinks


This can be a lot extra simple.

All it’s essential to do is locate out what’s working…

…and publish one thing WAY higher.

For instance:

Some time again I observed that almost all content material about “search engine optimisation instruments” solely listed 10-20 instruments.

And I knew that publishing one other listing of 20 instruments wouldn’t work.

So I made a decision to create an inventory of 188 search engine optimisation instruments.

SEO Tools post

And it did GREAT.

In reality, it now ranks within the high Three for the key phrase “search engine optimisation Instruments”:

SEO Tools – Backlinko SERPs

Step #4: Add a Hook

Right here’s the deal:

If you wish to rank in 2019, you want backlinks.

You need backlinks to rank

Query is:


First, it’s essential to determine WHY folks hyperlink to content material in your trade.

(“The Hook”)

Then, embrace that “Hook” in your content material.

For instance:

Final 12 months I observed increasingly more bloggers writing about voice search.

Bloggers writing about voice search

I observed one thing else too:

When folks wrote about voice search, they linked to content material that featured stats and knowledge:

Voice search writing linked to content featuring stats and data

So I made a decision to do a voice search research that was PACKED with stats:

And it labored!

Up to now, this single submit has racked up 848 backlinks:

Voice Search SEO study – Post backlinks

And 90%+ of those backlinks cite a particular stat from my submit:

Backlinks cite specific stats from post

That mentioned:

Knowledge is only one kind of Hook that you need to use to get hyperlinks to your content material.

Listed below are Three different Hooks which are working nice proper now:

New Approaches and Methods

Give it some thought:

What do bloggers and journalists LOVE writing about?

New stuff!

And in case you create one thing new, you’ve received your self a hook.

For instance, just a few years in the past, I coined the phrase “Guestographics”.

How to Get Backlinks – Post

This was a brand new technique that nobody knew about.

And since Guestographics had been new (and had a singular title), 1,200 folks have linked to my submit to date:

Huge Guides

Whenever you publish an enormous information, your information itself is The Hook.

I’ll clarify with an instance…

A couple of years again I printed Hyperlink Constructing: The Definitive Information.

Link Building Post

It was (and nonetheless is) essentially the most full information to hyperlink constructing on the market.

Right here’s the place issues get attention-grabbing…

Each from time to time a blogger will point out “hyperlink constructing” in a submit.

However they don’t have room to cowl the whole matter.

So that they hyperlink to my information as a manner for his or her readers to be taught extra:

Bloggers link out to my guide

Very cool.

Case Examine Outcomes

Case research are GREAT for getting hyperlinks.

However to get hyperlinks to your case research, it’s essential to function a particular end result.

For instance, some time again I printed this case research:

Content strategy post

This was a SUPER in-depth case research.

However I didn’t function ONE end result within the submit.

As an alternative, I listed out 20+ outcomes:

Content strategy post – Results

Which meant my case research didn’t have a single Hook for folks to hyperlink to.

And only a few folks linked to it.

Flash ahead to some years later once I printed this case research:

Increase Conversions – Post

This time, I centered on ONE end result (a 785% improve in my weblog’s conversion charge):

And that single end result was The Hook that led to lots of of hyperlinks:

Hundreds of links from one result – Focus


Step #5: Optimize For On-Web page search engine optimisation

This step is all about keyword-optimizing your content material for search engine optimisation.

And listed below are the three on-page search engine optimisation methods which are working finest for me proper now:

Inner Linking

Yup, inner linking nonetheless works.

However you must do it proper.

Particularly, you wish to hyperlink FROM high-authority pages TO pages that want authority.

High authority pages

(And use keyword-rich anchor textual content in your inner hyperlinks)

For instance, I printed Google Search Console: The Definitive Information earlier this 12 months.

Google Search Console – Post

So I discovered a web page on my website with a ton of authority…

Google Ranking Factors – Post

…and linked from that web page to my new information.


Quick, Key phrase-Wealthy URLs

Our evaluation of 1 million Google search outcomes discovered one thing that stunned lots of people:

In terms of search engine marketing, quick URLs crush lengthy URLs.

Short URLs are better than longer URLs

That’s why I make my URLs both simply my key phrase…

SEO Checklist – URL

… Or my goal key phrase plus yet one more phrase:

Backlinks Guide – URL

Both manner works.

Semantic search engine optimisation

Lastly, I optimize my content material for Semantic search engine optimisation.

In different phrases:

I discover phrases which are associated to my goal key phrase.

Then, I take advantage of these phrases in my content material.

Listed below are the deets:

First, pop your key phrase into Google Photos.

Enter keyword into Google Images

And Google will provide you with phrases and phrases they think about closely-related to that matter:

Google Images – Related terms

Second, kind the identical key phrase into regular Google search. And scroll right down to the “Searches associated to…” part.

Searches related to

Lastly, sprinkle a few of these phrases into your content material:

And also you’re set.

Step #6: Optimize For Consumer Intent

In different phrases: The Skyscraper Method 2.0.

I’ll present you the way this works with a fast instance.

A couple of years in the past I wrote a submit about getting extra site visitors to your website.

Increase Website Traffic post – Older

It did OK.

But it surely by no means cracked the highest 5 for my goal key phrase (“improve web site site visitors”).

And once I analyzed Google’s first web page, I spotted why:

My web page didn’t fulfill person intent.

I’ll clarify…

Many of the content material rating for “improve web site site visitors” listed bite-sized site visitors ideas.

However my submit gave them a high-level course of.

Backlinko – Increase website traffic post – High-level process

This wasn’t the person expertise search engine guests needed. So I rewrote my content material to match this key phrase’s Consumer Intent.

Particularly, I turned my course of into an inventory submit:

Increase Website traffic is now a list post

And now that my content material matches Consumer Intent, it ranks within the high Three for my goal key phrase:

Which led to a 70.43% increase in search engine site visitors in comparison with the previous model of the submit:

Increase Website Traffic – Organic traffic boost

That mentioned:

You may as well publish Consumer Intent optimized content material proper out of the gate.

In reality, that’s what I did with my latest submit: The Final search engine optimisation Audit.

SEO Site Audit – Post

I noticed that a lot of the content material rating for “search engine optimisation Audit” listed out non-technical steps.

SEO Audit – Existing content – Non-technical steps

So I included easy methods that anybody may use:

SEO Audit – Strategy examples

I even emphasised the truth that my audit was non-technical.

SEO Site Audit – Non-technical emphasis

(This hooks folks in order that they don’t bounce again to the search outcomes)

And this Consumer Intent optimization (and my website’s Area Authority…extra on that later) helped my submit crack the primary web page of Google inside a month.

Step #7: Make Your Content material Look Superior

Design is THE most underrated a part of content material advertising and marketing.

You may have one of the best content material ever written.

But when it appears like this…

Bad website

…it’s not gonna work.

That’s why I make investments A LOT of money and time into content material design.

For instance, you’ve in all probability seen considered one of my definitive guides:

Google RankBrain SEO – Post

These guides are designed and coded 100% from scratch utilizing WordPress.

(Which makes them tremendous costly to make)

That mentioned:

Nice content material design doesn’t have to interrupt the financial institution.

In reality, listed below are Four forms of visible content material which are tremendous simple to drag off.

Graphs and Charts

These work so effectively that I attempt to embrace at the very least one chart in each submit.

Include at least one chart in every post


As a result of they make knowledge EASY to grasp.

For instance, take this stat from my cellular search engine optimisation information.

Stat as text

I don’t learn about you, however I’ve a tough time picturing 27.Eight billion ANYTHING.

So I had our designer create a pleasant chart.

Stat as graphic

As a bonus, folks will generally use your chart in a weblog submit… and hyperlink again to you:

Graphic used by site with link

Screenshots and Footage

You might need observed that I take advantage of LOTS of screenshots in each submit.

Brian uses lots of screenshots in every post

In reality, this single submit has 78 screenshots:

SEO Checklist post – Screenshots

To be clear:

I don’t use screenshots only for the sake of utilizing screenshots.

I solely use them if it helps somebody implement a particular step.

For instance, these screenshots make the two steps from this information dead-simple to observe:

Easy to follow steps using screenshots

That mentioned:

Screenshots solely make sense whenever you describe one thing technical.

What in case you’re in a non-technical area of interest… like health?

Nicely, photos serve the identical function.

For instance, my pal Steve Kamb at Nerd Health makes use of photos to point out you do workouts the suitable manner:

Picture used to demonstrate an exercise

Weblog Publish Banners

Not like graphs and screenshots, weblog submit banners serve no sensible function.

They simply look cool 🙂

Relying on the submit, I both use a right-aligned 220×200 picture…

Square post image example

…or a large banner on the high of the submit:

Banner post image example

Graphics and Visualizations

Graphics and visualizations are sort of like charts.

However as a substitute of visualizing knowledge, they visualize ideas.

To be clear:

These DON’T should be fancy.

For instance, on this submit I clarify how all Four variations of your website ought to redirect to the identical URL:

Visualization redirect example

This isn’t rocket science.

But it surely’s exhausting to image this concept in your thoughts.

So our designer made a easy visible that makes this idea simple to grasp.

Redirect visualization

Step #8: Construct Hyperlinks to Your Web page

Now it’s time to actively construct hyperlinks to your content material.

Particularly, we’re going to faucet into 3 hyperlink constructing methods which are working GREAT proper now.

Damaged Hyperlink Constructing

Right here’s the place you discover a damaged hyperlink on somebody’s website…

…and provide your content material as a alternative.

For instance, that is an outreach e-mail that I despatched to a blogger within the advertising and marketing area of interest:

Outreach email to blogger

(Be aware how particular I’m. I don’t say “Please think about linking to me in a weblog submit”. I’ve a particular place on a particular web page the place my hyperlink is smart)

And since I helped the individual out BEFORE asking for something, they had been completely satisfied so as to add my hyperlink:

Blogger – Happy to add Brian's link

Competitor Evaluation

This technique is old fashioned.

But it surely nonetheless works.

First, discover a website that’s rating for a key phrase you wish to rank for.

For instance, I’m attempting to rank for the key phrase “search engine optimisation Audit”.

So I seize this end result from the primary web page…

SEO Audit SERPs with Ahrefs highlight

…and take a look at their backlinks.

Ahrefs – Page backlinks

I can see that this web page has hyperlinks from 160 domains:

Ahrefs page – Referring domains

So I ought to be capable of get at the very least a handful of the identical hyperlinks they’ve.

To do this, I’m going one-by-one by means of their backlinks.

Go through backlinks – Ahrefs

And discover pages the place my hyperlink would add worth.

For instance, this submit mentions the Ahrefs content material by title:

Post mentioning Ahrefs' content by name

There’s no motive to hyperlink to my submit there. So I moved onto the following alternative on the listing.

And I got here throughout this submit:

Good candidate post

This time, the hyperlink to Ahrefs is a part of a giant listing of assets.

Link to Ahrefs – Part of a resource list

An inventory that may be even BETTER and extra full with a hyperlink to my search engine optimisation audit submit.

Evangelist Technique

This technique is much less about hyperlinks… and extra about getting your content material in entrance of the suitable folks.

(Particularly: folks that run blogs in your area of interest)

I’ll clarify how this technique works with an instance…

Some time again I needed to advertise a brand new Skyscraper Method case research.

So I used BuzzSumo to see who not too long ago shared content material about The Skyscraper Method.

BuzzSumo – Recent Skyscraper Technique shares

And emailed everybody a variation of this template:

Outreach template

And after they replied “certain, I’ll test it out”, I despatched them a hyperlink to the submit:

Outreach template reply

(Be aware how I DON’T ask for a share. This can be a Judo transfer that makes your outreach stand out)

Which led to dozens of shares to my model submit:

Resultant shares of template use

Step #9: Enhance and Replace Your Content material

That is working amazingly effectively proper now.

You might need learn concerning the time that I used The Content material Relaunch to spice up my natural site visitors by 260.7%:

Content relaunch post

And I’m completely satisfied to let you know that this method nonetheless works.

For instance, final 12 months I relaunched this listing of search engine optimisation strategies.

SEO Techniques – Post

However I didn’t simply re-post the identical content material and name it “new”.

As an alternative, I went by means of and eliminated previous screenshots and pictures:

Removed screenshots

Added new methods:

Added new strategies

And deleted methods that didn’t work anymore:

Deleted old strategies

The end result?

An 62.60% natural site visitors increase to that web page:

Organic traffic increase result

Bonus Step #1: Enhance Your Area Authority

That is the last word search engine optimisation superhack.

When you’ve gotten a excessive Area Authority, search engine optimisation will get A LOT simpler.

For instance, let’s take a look at the key phrase “search engine optimisation audit”:

In keeping with Ahrefs, you want backlinks from 108 web sites to rank for this time period:

Ahrefs – Backlinks needed to rank for term

However my content material cracked the highest Three inside weeks…

Backlinko content cracked top 3 for

…with solely 38 web sites linking to me:

Ahrefs – Only 38 sites linking to Backlinko's top 3 content

That’s the facility of Area Authority.

Listed below are Three methods to extend your Area Authority:

Content material Partnerships

Partnerships can 2-5x the variety of shares and hyperlinks that you just get out of your content material.

For instance, my pal Larry Kim and I co-created this infographic:

Brian / Larry Kim – Infographic

And we each promoted it to our audiences on the identical day:

Brian Dean / Larry Kim – Joint promotion tweets

Which received our infographic in entrance of hundreds of individuals.

In reality, I nonetheless get hyperlinks from this co-branded content material… 2+ years later:

Cobranded content still gets backlinks years later

Publish Research and Knowledge

I touched on this in Step #4.

But it surely’s value repeating.

In reality, in case you take a look at my website, Three of my high 5 most linked-to posts are research or data-driven guides:

Most linked-to posts are studies or data-driven guides

Visitor Posts, Interviews, Talking Gigs (and Sure) Roundup Posts

In different phrases:

Get your title on the market… and the hyperlinks will observe.

In reality, once I first began Backlinko, I visitor posted like loopy:

Brian guest posts from when Backlinko first started

I went on any podcast that may have me:

Brian went on many podcasts

And I spent hours flying to nations like Romania and the Czech Republic to talk at conferences:

Brian speaking at a conference

Even that wasn’t sufficient…

I used to be so decided to advertise Backlinko that I added an “Interview Me” web page on my website:

Brian – Interview me page

(That “Interview Me” web page didn’t work. However at the very least I attempted 🙂 )

Mainly: I hustled to get my title on the market.

It didn’t occur in a single day.

However over time, all this work resulted in a ton of publicity… and hyperlinks.

Some time again Google mentioned that feedback will help your search engine rankings:

Comments can help your rankings

To be clear:

I’m not satisfied that weblog feedback are a direct Google rating issue.

However I am satisfied {that a} group not directly helps with search engine optimisation.

(For instance, group members usually tend to share your stuff on social media)

With that, listed below are 2 fast ideas for getting extra feedback on each submit:

Be Choosy

That is counterintuitive.

However stick with me…

Think about you simply learn an AWESOME submit.

And also you wish to go away a remark together with your two cents.

However whenever you hit the feedback part, you see this:

Spammy comment

Are you continue to going to go away that remark? Most likely not.

That’s why I’m SUPER choosy concerning the feedback I let by means of.

And this pickiness fosters nice discussions, like this:

Great discussion in the comments section

Reply To Feedback

I reply to 90% of the feedback that are available in.

And contemplating we have now 24,189 whole feedback on the Backlinko weblog…

Backlinko – Total comments

…that’s roughly 21,000 replies.

Wow. That’s numerous replies.

And I’ve ZERO regrets about replying to so many feedback.


These replies present folks that I care.

Which turns random commenters into energetic members of the Backlinko Neighborhood.

Now I’d Like To Hear From You

There you’ve gotten it:

My 9-step search engine optimisation technique for 2019.

Now I’d like to listen to from you…

Which technique from right now’s submit are you able to strive first?

Are you going to replace and relaunch older content material?

Or possibly you wish to strive Damaged Hyperlink Constructing.

Both manner, let me know by leaving a remark under proper now.


About the author: Aarian Marshall
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