How to Get More Traffic in 2019 (Without Any Backlinks)

By | August 21, 2019

– Hey in this video, I’m going to show you how to get more organic search traffic without any new backlinks. Let’s jump right in. (happy electronic music) So before we get started, make sure you subscribe to this channel, because you’ll get notified
when I publish new videos, just like this one. So the SEO industry is
obsessed with backlinks and link building. Just go to any popular SEO
blog, forum, or community where SEOs geek out. It’s almost always the
topic of discussion. And that’s because
backlinks are fundamental for ranking well on Google, because of the original
page rank algorithm. And backlinks are literally the basis for Google’s algorithm. But let’s imagine we’re living in a world where backlinks don’t matter at all. (funky electronic music) How would you do SEO? You would need to tap into
the lost art of optimization. Now let’s not forget what SEO stands for, search engine optimization,
SEO is optimizing a website for search engines, not
optimizing for backlinks. Backlinks only matter because Google is the
biggest search engine, and because they matter
to their algorithm. Don’t forget that. Now before we go any further, let’s define what optimize actually means. According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the definition of optimize
is to make as perfect, effective, or functional as possible. But for me, I think the
right definition of optimize, for an SEO should be to
make as perfect as possible. Perfection is the standard that we should be trying to reach when it comes to optimizing website for organic search performance. And that’s exactly what
I’m going to show you in this video. I’m going to pretend
that links don’t matter, and I’m going to show you some methods for optimizing your website
better than your competitors. (energetic electronic music) So let’s jump right in. So there are five categories you need to optimize your website for. Number one, keywords. Number two, site architecture. Number three, content. Number four, UI/UX. And number five, technical. In this particular video, I’m going to focus on site
architecture and content. (dramatic music) Let’s start with site architecture. Now, say architecture is a lead
domino for SEO performance, because it impacts so many
other facets of the process. For example, a well
designed site architecture can help search engine crawlers navigate through your site better, which leads to better indexation. Also, an effective site
architecture can drive link equity to your most important pages, which’ll help them perform
better in organic search. So how you attack structuring
your site architecture will depend on the type
of website you have. I’m also going to assume you already have a large list of keywords you wanna tackle. And if you don’t, watch
my video on this channel about keyword research. So for this example, I’m going to pretend that I have an E-commerce
website that sells coffee. So the first thing you need to do is map out the site architecture. So now let me show you how
I go about actually mapping these pages on the website,
and for the site architecture. Okay, so I’m on my computer,
and now what I wanna do is I wanna show you how I would map out the site architecture
for a coffee business. So I know this might
look super overwhelming, but just bear with me and
it will all make sense. So, this of course is not a real business, this is just a mock business,
because I wanted to show you how I would go about,
and my thought process when mapping out a
particular site architecture. So I would probably target the home page with the keywords buy coffee
or coffee subscription. And these are like real keywords that I actually went and found. So then what we wanna
do from the home page is we wanna link to the products page, and this is basically going to be the hub for driving all the link
equity and authority to our most important pages. So this would likely be in the navigation, and what you would do is a products page would then link to your category pages. So these are light roast
coffees, medium roast coffees, and dark roast coffees. And so in this case, you probably have different coffee blends in each category, but in this case I just
did one blend per category. So now what you need to think about is what are the objective of these pages. So in this case, it’s probably unlikely
that this product page is going to be something that you’re gonna actually try to rank, but it’s still a really important page for the overall architecture, because it’s going to be the hub for driving link equity and
users to these important pages. So the products page will
link to your category pages, which will of course
have the products listed, and what you’re trying to do is you’re basically just
trying to build authority to each of these pages, without having to put them super
deep into the architecture. So you’ll see, from the home
page, the category pages are only one click from the home page, which is really, really good. And typically you don’t wanna go beyond three to four clicks. But I’ll talk about that in a second, when we get into best practices. But really we are trying to do is keep this architecture
as lean and not super deep. Now there is some nuance
here that’s pretty important, so it’s a good idea to cross-link as well, so you may wanna link from your light roast coffee category page to your medium roast,
and to your dark roast, and have these all linking together, because then you’re gonna continue to flow users to these pages. And most importantly, crawlers. (dramatic music) Google’s crawlers will be able
to get to these pages easier, so just making them as
accessible as possible is really important. And then one thing that I
love to do with E-com websites like this is to focus on
a reverse silo method. So I don’t have this set up
in a traditional reverse silo, but this is still the same concept, and so really what it is is we’re building out
content assets on the blog, and what we’re doing is we’re gonna be linking
to the category page, we’re gonna be linking
to the product pages. I didn’t link here, but we
link into the category pages, and we’ll be linking to
these more important pages, where we can actually drive sales. But really the big part
of the reverse silo that makes it so powerful is
that you’re using your blog to build your site’s authority. And really the goal with E-com is to just build massive,
massive site authority, ’cause that’ll make ranking
for your category pages and your product pages much easier. And really, the fastest way and the most natural way to do that is through your blog content, because it’s much easier to acquire links to content rich assets
than it is to acquire links to a boring category page
about medium roast coffee. So this is a much better strategy. But as you’ll see here, I have backlinks hitting the home page, I have backlinks hitting the product page. I have backlinks hitting
the category page, backlinks hitting the product page, and most importantly, backlinks
hitting the blog posts. But I would say that the
majority of your links, I’d say probably around 80% of your links should be going to these content
rich assets on your blog. And this will help you build authority in a totally natural way. And most importantly, it’s gonna
help you do it really fast, because people are just much more likely to link to valuable content assets. So this is how you map
out a site architecture for an E-com business, but this really applies to any business. And in fact, I use the reverse silo method for any type of business, doesn’t matter whether
it’s an E-com business selling physical products, or a local business that’s
trying to sell services. I always use this strategy, ’cause it’s so incredibly powerful. And most importantly, it’s natural. And truly do believe
that it’s the best way to build your site authority. So once you’ve mapped out
your site architecture, you need to go through the
process of optimizing it. So here are some general rules of thumb about building an effective
site architecture. First thing you need to
understand are votes. So just like external links, you should think of your internal
links as votes for a page. The second thing you need
to understand is coverage. Every page on your site should
be accessible for crawlers, unless intended otherwise. Number three is prioritization. Understand that all
internal links on your site are valued differently. For example, internal
links on your homepage, and your site wide menu are valued more than links in your footer or sidebar, or even within a blog post. Next think you need to
understand is depth. So all of your pages should be no more than three to four clicks deep. And this will ensure that your pages are getting crawled and indexed well. In general, the deeper a
page is on your website, the less valuable it is to Google. Just remember, less clicks more value, more clicks less value. The next thing you need to
understand is anchor text. So you should always use
exact match anchor text with your internal links. Just be careful with site
wide navigational links, because they can cause issues. And it’s better to create a category page, and then link to the other pages, than to jam it into the menu. And so the main reason is because of anchor
texts over-optimization. So if you have 1000 internal
links for dark roast coffee, and then you acquire 100 external links with that same anchor text, it could lead to over-optimization. The next thing you need to
understand are breadcrumbs. So if you have a large website, you may wanna consider
using breadcrumbs schema, because this will ensure proper coverage. The next thing you need to understand is a mega menu, so you can use a mega menu if you have a large website. And lastly, you need to make
sure you have a site map. So now let me show you a
couple different websites that have excellent site architectures, and you can model them. So the first site architecture
I wanna show you is So if you ever wanna learn how to build a really great site architecture,
just study this website. It is one of the best site
architectures you’ll find. And you can spend really all day analyzing their architecture, but you’ll see a few things right away that the way that they
structure their home page is very deliberate, it’s very smart, and they are trying to drive link equity and authority to their
most important pages. You’ll see that they’re
really always trying to be as deliberate as possible about what goes on in this home page. And typically, what’s gonna happen is they really wanna isolate their most important
pages on this home page. So what I highly recommend
you do is just go through their homepage and then
go through their site, and just act like you’re a user, but also look at it
from an SEO perspective. So we’ll go up here, and we’ll start with
the restaurant section. And then of course Yelp
is going to show you geo-targeted results, so
you’re gonna see restaurants that are near you based
on your IP address. And that part’s not as important, but what’s important is the way that they structure these pages, so that their most important pages are not super deep
within the architecture, and so they can keep them very
high up in the architecture, and have very little clicks to get to the most important pages. So you can start to go through these, and start to see that they
really have structured this in a very intelligent way. And more importantly,
when Google’s crawlers go through this site, they’re
able to crawl these pages, they’re able to index them, they’re able to rank them appropriately, because it is able to crawl
their website so efficiently. So I highly recommend you
model Yelp site architecture, and just take an hour or two, if you can, and just go through their site, and really analyze
everything they’re doing, ’cause you will really learn a lot. So the next big factor
that you have to master if you wanna rank without
backlinks is content. So now you know how to
structure your website, so let’s tackle the content
optimization component. First, let’s define what content is. So content refers to any page that has words, images, videos
or et cetera on your website. And it includes your
homepage, category pages, products pages, and blog posts. And the reason I need to
clarify this is because most people think of blog
post when I say content, but it really applies to
every page on your website. So the first action you need to take before changing or
creating any new content is to perform a content audit. And I do have an in depth
video on my channel, showing you how to conduct a
content audit, step by step. And I’ll have the link below this video. But there are a few objectives
you’re trying to achieve with the content audit. So you wanna identify duplicate
content, thin content, keyword dilution, which is
similar to thin content, but is essentially when
you’re targeting long tails. that could’ve been targeted on a more comprehensive rich page. You also wanna identify
keyword cannibalization, which is when two pages are competing for the same keyword phrase. You also wanna identify just
generally low quality content, which is going to be content
that doesn’t any unique value. It’s full of grammatical
and spelling errors, has poor user experience,
or all of the above. And you also wanna identify
poor on-page optimization, by examining URLs, titles,
meta descriptions, headings, and the content itself. So one question you might have is how you find these issues? well the best way is to use
Screaming Frog SEO Spider. So now you might be
wondering how you go about actually fixing these
content related issues. Well the solutions are simple
with most of these issues. For duplicate content,
you’ll need to go through and create unique content for each page. For thin content or low quality content, you can either improve the page by adding more unique quality content or consolidate it with another page, or simple just let it 404, and let Google remove it from the index. For keyword cannibalization,
consolidating the content is usually the best strategy. And then for pages with
poor on-page optimization, you need to optimize the pages better. Now there is some nuance
that you need to consider, if you decide to make
any of these changes. If you consolidate pages, or change URLs, make sure you have proper
301 redirects in place. So that is how you optimize
your site architecture and content for SEO performance. These are the two most important facets of effective on-site SEOs, so make sure you review
this video multiple times, and most importantly, act on
what you’ve learned today. Even taking a small step
forward is progress. So 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, just like this one. And also if you have any
questions whatsoever, please leave it below, and I will respond. So thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you in the next video.

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