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Sure, there are a million and one ways to accomplish the same task, but despite the fundamental differences in approach there is a sequence that is repeatable, evergreen and transcends topical search engine algorithm revisions and works time and time again regardless of the topic, market or competitors. All techie SEO jargon and nomenclature aside, I will attempt to keep this as straightforward as possible to ensure that there is something for everybody from newbie to SEO expert.


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    Organic SEO Tips to Grow

    Traffic, Sales and Rankings

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    There is nothing I love more than researching a market,

    unearthing lucrative keyword verticals and building out a site.

    Crash Course in Organic SEO

    Sure, there are a million and one ways to accomplish the

    same task, but despite the fundamental differences in

    approach there is a sequence that is repeatable,

    evergreen and transcends topical search engine

    algorithm revisions and works time and time again

    regardless of the topic, market or competitors.

    All techie SEO jargon and nomenclature aside, I will

    attempt to keep this as straightforward as possible to

    ensure that there is something for everybody from newbie to SEO expert.

    These are the annals of tried and true methods I have

    used over the past 14 years to conquer competitive

    verticals time and time again. So, I hope you appreciate

    them as they represent years of testing and over the

    years, these methods have made millions for us and our clients, and it can do the same for you.

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    LEGAL NOTICE: Before you scroll down and read anything in this guide, you need to be made fully aware of the following things... Rankings and Page Rank Disclaimer: This document contains business strategies, search engine strategies and other business advice that, regardless of our results and experience, may not produce the same results (or any results) for you. We make absolutely no guarantee, expressed or implied that by following the advice below you will make any money or improve current profits, increase page rank, increase search engine rankings. There are multiple factors and variables that come into play regarding any given business and the competitive landscape. Primarily, results will depend on the nature of the product or business model, the conditions of the marketplace, the experience of the individual, and situations and elements that are beyond your control. As with any business endeavor, you assume all risk related to investment and money based on your own discretion and at your own potential expense. Liability Disclaimer: By reading this document, you assume all risks associated with using the advice given below, with a full understanding that you, solely, are responsible for anything that may occur as a result of putting this information into action in any way, and regardless of your interpretation of the advice. You further agree that our company cannot be held responsible in any way for the success or failure of your business as a result of the information presented below. It is your responsibility to conduct your own due diligence regarding the safe and successful operation of your business if you intend to apply any of our information in any way to your business operations. In summary, you understand that we make absolutely no guarantees regarding search engine rankings as a result of applying this information, as well as the fact that you are solely responsible for the results of any action taken on your part as a result of this information.

    Terms of Use, Personal-Usage License This document is FREE if you have paid for this Ebook, please send us the details in an email to: [email protected] so we can send this information to our attorneys. Furthermore you cannot use this Ebook in whole or partial as; a bonus offer, blog post, or anywhere online or offline without our expressed written consent. We will ensure appropriate legal action shall be taken to preserve our brand, and to ensure that we preserve the exclusive nature and value of this product in the interest of our proprietary information.

    Brought to you by: Jeffrey L. Smith SEO Design

    Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved

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    You should put as much work into finding your market

    or niche as you do building it out. Neither should be

    taken lightly since time, energy and money are at stake and ROI is the ultimate objective.

    Remember, you are creating a potential long-term asset

    for passive recurring revenue. So just keep in mind,

    based on what you put in, you will get out. The key is

    efficiency and repeatability and to work smarter not harder on the way up.

    Realize that nothing happens overnight for a new

    domain. Search engines are programmed to ignore

    websites that lack the proper ingredients of trust, citation or relevance.

    However, if you give search engines what they want

    (content, strong site architecture, internal links, deep

    links, citation from multiple sources), they respond in

    kind with keywords rising on the horizon sprouting into

    the top 10 results (which is the proving grounds for

    continuity, message match, user engagement and conversion).

    But first, you have to build it, so here are the steps


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    Steps to Optimizing for Search Rankings

    1. Keyword Selection: the language of conversion.

    2. Site Architecture: Mapping the Nodes of the

    Website Silo Architecture.

    3. On Page SEO: Determining on page internal link


    4. Off Page SEO: Determining off page backlink / deep

    link thresholds.

    5. Timing: Allowing for website theme synergy, trust

    and buoyancy.

    6. Analytics: Observation, tracking, testing,


    7. Content Development: Staggered content creation

    and content syndication.

    8. Evolution: Finding lucrative effective keywords and integrating them into additional branches.

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    Keyword Selection:

    Keywords, aside from being the

    language of conversion, are the

    gatekeepers traffic from search engines.

    Keyword or vertical online market

    analysis / research is the most critical

    step which can either make or break

    any of the following steps. If you fail to comprehend the

    language your prospects are using when engaging a

    search engine, then you may miss the boat entirely when

    it comes to crafting expert solutions, pre-sell pages or

    authoritative industry solutions that differentiate your web property from your competition.

    Similarly, if you fail to understand which keyword phrases

    have semantic connectivity and share a high citation or

    relevance score to search engines, then your website will

    never truly enjoy the cohesion or develop the authority

    necessary to rank competitively against other websites that do understand this vital keyword DNA.

    There are different types of keywords, or rather, as

    Russell Wright from ThemeZoom has coined them, the 9

    species of keywords which you can use to entice your audience and facilitate conversion.

    Once you grasp the function of the different species and

    what they represent to your business, you wont have to

    guess which phrases to use, you will KNOW which types

    of keywords fit in their respective segments of your site

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    architecture and how to maximize them for both (a)

    destinations and (b) supporting articles to chip away at

    the more competitive, lucrative, traffic-bearing

    behemoths that are the apex, i.e. Industry-defining

    keywords, that all competitors in the space seek to capture and wield as their own.

    While markets differ, the approach is very similar. The

    way I view this is simple. I use competing pages and

    daily search traffic as a barometer to assess (1) the

    barrier to entry and (2) a rung in the ladder on the way up the vertical.

    Also, each phase of your websites roll-out represents

    certain thresholds that you can feasibly tackle. For

    example, while we have conquered top 10 results in 6

    weeks or less for keywords with 1.5 2 Million competing

    pages in exact match in competitive markets, it is not

    always the case and may take months to accomplish the

    same (depending on the market, climate and competition).

    The solution involves using a more tactful approach.

    Rather than targeting keywords outside your reach

    (which is only temporary) on the contrary, you have to

    build the topical base of your web property through

    creating a solid semantic foundation (content) using both

    educational and commercial queries while paying

    attention to whether they are long-tail queries, mid-tail

    more competitive popular queries or industry defining keywords (as they take more time to get ranked).

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    Those primary phrases are what we call the low-hanging

    fruit or less competitive keywords and that is where you

    start using intelligent, cohesive content creation coupled

    with on page and off page optimization (more on that later).

    Regarding the first steps of keyword research and how to

    implement cohesive site architecture, you can read more

    about this approach here in a post called how to SEO

    your website which I wrote previously, but the gist is simple.

    Start with less competitive keywords you can rank for

    using citation (these are keywords that rarely require

    links, but just the presence of other similar keywords in a

    cohesive category structure). As you create those

    primary articles, blog posts, etc. you sprinkle in the more

    competitive keywords (from the rung above it) as

    secondary, tertiary phrases so you can augment them

    with internal links from those supporting articles by

    linking from those supporting articles to the more competitive keyword / landing pages.

    The supporting articles serve a dual purpose (a) to

    increase spider activity to your website and (b) to provide

    internal linking opportunities for your big picture keyword/ranking objectives.

    Once you have conducted your research and understand

    the hierarchy, then you take that data and map your site

    architecture to augment the ascent through assigning

    tiers based on competing pages, search volume and time to rank/ barrier to entry and ROI.

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    The more competitive the keyword, the more supporting

    content, internal link citation and deep links (backlinks)

    you will require from other websites to cross the tipping

    point. However, the more keywords you work on

    simultaneously exponentially expedites the entire process

    to toggle what we call keyword stemming where the

    website gains its own momentum and starts to rank for

    dozens, hundreds and eventually thousands of keyword

    variations based on the synergy of signals gleaned from the methods we are about to share.

    Site Architecture

    Using the analogy of tiers simply

    envision a cascading progression of

    champagne glasses stacked on atop

    the other with one on the top, two

    under that, three under that row and so on.

    Tier 1: The first tier represents your websites theme.

    This is the homepage and often will serve as the apex for

    your most challenging industry keyword. There is a

    reason for this (1) the homepage will garner the most

    link-flow and link-equity naturally as a result of being

    included in any other URL for any other page

    ( as a result of being in the

    root or rather being the root of the website, it naturally

    has the potential to magnify any of the topics stacked under it.

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    Page Rank and link-flow always move up from sub folders

    into the root folder, so, you will always want to keep your

    tier 2 pages (primary landing pages) in or as close to the root folder as possible.

    Tier 2: Tier 2 pages (as mentioned briefly above) are

    your category / silo landing pages. They serve as the

    designated landing page for your most competitive

    keywords. Each competitive keyword should have its own

    landing page. This way, when the website becomes an

    authority site, you can have a specific page ranking for

    the keyword of choice rather than something generic (like your home page ranking for it).

    Since rankings are by the page, it is much easier to

    develop dozens of tier 2 landing pages to capture

    keyword-specific rankings from internal links and deep links from other websites.

    To provide an example of a tier 2 page for a website

    about health that houses multiple topics would be where there may by multiple topics

    in the site like or in either case, the

    landing page in the root folder would be the recipient of

    any internal links for the keywords (diet tips, sleep

    disorders or healthy eating habits) from any other page in the site.

    Then, since each of those phrases is competitive, they

    will still require layers of nested supporting articles. So,

    while they are landing pages, they also represent

    categories for nested content such as

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    healthy-meat-alternatives.html, etc. By adding this

    nested content in layers under the category/silo, then

    buoyancy occurs for the more competitive apex / terms

    the silo is based on. That silo landing page (in the root)

    then using contextual links and navigational links to tie

    itself to the tier one primary home page and the home

    page reciprocates by linking to the tier 2 landing pages either through navigation of contextual links.

    Once you break away into a category/silo, those page

    can have their own navigation structures that are more

    conducive to the topic (health, diet, exercise, etc.) and

    then they are all tied back through the home button in

    primary navigation, sitemaps or contextual links (so

    getting to any category from any other category is possible within 3 clicks).

    Tier 3: Tier 3 pages are unique articles (in the case of a

    content rich site), blog posts, or products in the case of

    an eCommerce site. While you can create additional

    cascading tiers of relevance and site architecture, keep in

    mind that the further you go from the root, the more diffused the ranking factor becomes.

    This is ideal if you want to tactfully create more buoyancy

    for your more competitive keywords, then keep adding

    nested content in the category and build internal links

    contextually (link from the editorial portion of the page)

    instead of through navigation, sidebars, images, etc.

    while accruing deep links from other websites to those

    tier 2 silo landing pages with a mixed semantic theme of

    anchor text.

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    On/Off Page Thresholds - Panda and Penguin

    If you have control over your link

    building (which you should or will need

    to in order to compete) youll want to

    limit the use of the exact match anchor

    text to not more than 5-10% of your

    backlinks. (It becomes more or less

    important to keep this anchor % low

    based on the level of (over) optimization

    present on the website, so educate yourself about over optimization.)

    To establish and/or maintain the theme (topic), 20-30%

    of your anchors should be a shingle or variation of the

    primary phrase (an overlapping keyword variation) or LSI

    (synonyms and other related terms), and the rest a mix

    of your brand name variations, and/or generic keywords, such as Click here or More information.

    By doing this, you make your link building efforts appear

    more natural and will avoid tripping any filters and

    getting punted back several pages in search engines as a result of over optimization.

    Aside from mapping each category according to its

    purpose, and for all of you visual types, feel free to read

    more about that here in a post called how to easily create

    silo site architecture, you will need to understand simple on page requirements such as:

    Put your keyword first in the title.

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    Keep titles short

    Use the H1 tag for the keyword that page is

    designed to rank for.

    Use H2 tags for close cousin synonyms

    Mirror the keyword in the URL (so if the page is

    about diet tips, dont call it page1.html name it

    Create at least 400-750 words of unique content for

    each primary tier 2 landing page.

    Limit the number of outbound links on pages, the

    less links leaving the page (internally or otherwise)

    the more concentrated each link becomes.

    Vary navigation on themed categories to avoid

    boilerplate templates.

    Remove navigation on pages with less content and

    use contextual links to get link flow in or out of those pages.

    Aside from this, you should understand what internal link

    thresholds keywords have and how many deep links you need to provide buoyancy for that keyword.

    Be Realistic About Timing

    Like anything, quality takes time, so,

    invest in your websites and

    understand the matrix of frequently

    asked questions (FAQs) you should

    address, should ask questions

    (SAQs) you should have covered,

    and span commercial and

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    educational queries to garner social media engagement

    to get more shares rather than using dry, lackluster content to build out your website.

    Remember, after the Panda update, Google can read and

    it knows quality (algorithmically to some extent) as a

    document classifier. If your pages score a dud as far as

    quality score and relevance, the game is over before you even get started.

    As an example, you can use this guide as a barrier to

    entry for exact match typing a keyword in quotes in a

    Google search to determine how many competing pages

    you have in phrase match to compete with. From there,

    the timeline looks like this (using competing pages as a barrier to entry).

    Competitive Keyword Index Ranking / Timeline

    0-50K (easy to rank) long-tail keywords 1 month

    50-100K Competing Pages Popular Keywords 2-3 months

    100-300K Competing Pages Category Keywords 3-4 months

    300-500K Competing Pages Mainstream National Keywords 4-6 months

    500-1MM+ Competitive Keywords that Require

    Development 6-8 months

    While you could use baseline metrics such as this, you

    also have to take other factors into consideration such as

    the age of the website, Page Authority (PA) and Domain

    Authority (DA), as well as the trust of the links coming to

    the site, Trust Flow (TF), Citation Flow (CF), and most

    importantly, Topical Trust Flow (TTF).

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    These factors will impact the SERPs and individual

    keywords based on their relative values. For example, as

    a site becomes more authoritative, the need for off page

    ranking factor diminishes. Also, the correlation between

    indexation and these other factors flows through the

    connectivity of the site architecture.

    Content Development

    Content development and managing

    content development is an ongoing

    endeavor. Try to drip at least one

    page or post a day for new sites for

    the first 4-5 months 120-150 posts.

    This will help the site to (a) increase

    spider and ranking activity and (b) gain more trust and authority.

    Once you have trust, you can see posts get indexed and

    rank in minutes rather than weeks or months and all the

    while, each internal link aid on page and each new page

    is a new opportunity to syndicate and gain new backlinks with.

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    Evolution is the goal and by

    using analytics, seeing which

    keywords convert and staying

    active with content

    development, syndication

    (such as RSS aggregation,

    social media and editorial links) ROI will eventually start to roll in.

    Building sites in this manor will ensure that authority is

    the result and it is scalable, hence the bigger the budget,

    the more nodes you can fire at the same time to devour your market or niche.

    If you like what you read, pass it along and share with

    other. As always, we appreciate you taking the time to

    stop by the SEO Design Solutions Blog where you will

    find SEO tips, tactics and strategies to define your website in search engines.