Getting started in SEO can feel like starting out at the base of Mount Everest. It might feel like you have a never-ending journey ahead of you.
Even worse, it can feel like you HAVE to climb to the top before you start getting any traffic. If you’re a novice mountain climber, that challenge seems impossible.
You might as well give up! After all, someone out there will always have better SEO than you, right?
This guide will clue you in on 12 SEO hacks that can help you get more traffic and grow your page faster than ever before.
These SEO growth hacks will give you a practical guide to getting started with your first step. Before you know it, you’ll be looking down from the summit of Mount SEO!
In this article, you’ll learn:
How Do You Cheat in SEO?
When some people see how much there is to learn about SEO, their first question is, “How do you cheat in SEO?”
That’s an excellent question because it shows that you have a desire to learn the tricks nobody else knows to win on the SERPs.
However, it’s essential to clarify what we mean when we say “cheating.” We aren’t talking about illegal or unethical SEO tactics (which can quickly earn you a Google penalty).
Instead, we’re talking about SEO practices that are so good that it seems unfair to your competitors.
Before we get into our top SEO hacks, let’s look at 3 practices to start right now to get the fastest SEO results possible.
So fast it’s almost like cheating!
1. Track Everything
First, you should be tracking every move your ranks make on the SERPs. Just by monitoring your ranks for your most important keywords, you’ll instantly gain a leg up on your competitors that aren’t tracking.
You should track:
- All of your keywords’ ranks
- Your competitors’ keywords (more on that in a moment)
- Seasonal trends
- Each URL on your websites
Tracking will allow you to know when something changes with your ranks. Without tracking, you’re left in the dark as to how your SEO strategies are performing.
In addition, tracking will help you make better strategic decisions by giving you the tools to evaluate your current strategies.
So how do you track your ranks?
You can do it one of two ways:
- Using a tool
Manually tracking your ranks involves looking up each keyword you’re targeting and scrolling until you find your page. Unfortunately, this is an extremely slow method, and it’s rarely the best choice.
Using a tool like ProRankTracker allows you instantly to check your ranks for all your keywords and URLs from a central dashboard.
Using a tool is faster, more accurate, and much more helpful, so we highly recommend trying out a free trial to see how a rank tracking tool can help you.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Competition
If you aren’t already spying on everything your competitors are doing, the best time to start was yesterday.
The second best time is RIGHT NOW!
A good rule of thumb is that if you know something about your SEO strategy, you should know it about your competitors’ strategies as well.
- Which keywords they’re tracking
- How they’re ranking for each keyword
- How your ranks stack up against theirs on keywords that you both target
- When they add new keywords
- When they publish recent articles
- And more!
One of the reasons we so highly recommend rank tracking tools is because they make competitor analysis much more manageable. With a tool like ProRankTracker, you can add keywords for competitors exactly as you add them for your websites.
Competitor analysis will help you beat your competitors by ranking for the same keywords and stealing their traffic.
Don’t let another day go by without doing in-depth competitor research!
3. Expand Your Keyword Strategy
The last way that you can cheat in SEO is by changing the way you think about keywords.
Most people approach keywords like a fixed, never-changing list of words that they should target. But, in reality, it’s nothing like that.
The search terms you should be targeting today are entirely different from the search terms you’ll target next year. That means you need to expand your keyword strategy in 2 critical ways:
- Target the most relevant keywords for your industry.
- Keep track of the changing keywords in your industry and continue to target the newest search terms.
We’ll talk more in-depth about both types of keyword strategies in this article. For now, just keep in mind that it’s important to start rethinking your keyword strategy to help it bring you more traffic!
12 SEO Hacks So Good It’s (Almost) Like Cheating
Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to refine your SEO strategy let’s dive into our top 12 SEO hacks to blow your competitors out of the water.
One of the biggest SEO challenges is figuring out precisely what steps you should take to improve your ranks.
For example, it’s challenging to decide whether you should target new keywords, work on your site’s code, or revise your meta descriptions.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of high-priority steps you can take to boost your SEO ranks immediately.
Let’s get started!
1. Focus on the Most Relevant Keywords
One of the biggest mistakes people make in SEO (and I guarantee your competitors are making it!) is not focusing on the highest-priority keywords.
Instead, they target a ton of keywords that kind of relate to their niche with a few perfect keywords mixed in.
For example, let’s consider someone in the coffee niche. They’re targeting words like “espresso beans,” “pour over recipes,” and “coffee filters for travel.” Those are all very relevant to their niche.
However, some people start to think that they should throw in keywords for anything marginally related to coffee. So they start targeting, “white tea,” “black beans,” and “caffeine pills.”
After all, more is better, right?
What typically ends up happening is that they target too many keywords, so they have trouble ranking for any of them.
How can you fix this problem?
This is actually an incredibly easy fix. You can use a tool like ProRankTracker’s Keyword Suggestions tool to find precise keywords in your niche.
The Keyword Suggestions tool will show you keywords in your niche that have the potential to bring in significant traffic.
Instead of coming up with random keywords off the top of your head, you can use these highly specific keywords instead!
2. Discover Keywords You Already Rank For
Did you know you might be ranking in the top 5 for some keywords without even realizing it?
People often rank for keywords in their niche without ever knowing about it!
If there were a way to discover those keywords that you’re ranking for, you could:
- Reprioritize them to take advantage of your lead on your competitors.
- Come up with similar keywords and rank for those too.
- Create more URLs targeting those keywords.
ProRankTracker offers a Keyword Discovery tool that allows you to do just that!
All you have to do is enter your URLs and the keywords that you’re currently targeting. ProRankTracker will then show you all the keywords that you’re already ranking for.
Ranking for a keyword without knowing it is a waste of so much potential. Using this tool guarantees that you aren’t missing anything.
When you discover that you’re ranking for other keywords, just click on them to add them to your tracking list on ProRankTracker.
3. Track the Same Keywords for You and Your Competitors
As we mentioned earlier, in-depth competitor analysis can be the difference between beating your competitors and losing to them.
That’s why it’s so important to know EXACTLY what your competitors’ SEO strategies look like.
One of the best ways to do competitor analysis is to track the same keywords for you and your competitors.
Just add your keywords for your own URLs on ProRankTracker, then add the same keywords for your competitors.
Using the Term View will quickly show you how your ranks for a specific keyword stack up against your competitors.
If your competitors rank higher than you for any terms, you know that you need to emphasize those keywords.
Competitor analysis should have a massive influence on your SEO strategy. One of the most important things about becoming an SEO “hacker” is learning to spy on your competitors’ strategy and beat them at their own game.
4. Automate Your Rank Tracking
We talk a lot about tracking because it’s a critical part of your SEO strategy. Without it, it’s impossible to know if your keyword strategy is working or not.
However, it can also be incredibly time-consuming.
If your rank tracking is getting so time-consuming that it inhibits your work in other areas of your business (been there, done that), we recommend automating your rank tracking.
Automating is all about having your tracking app send you 2 types of reports and notifications:
- At specific intervals (daily, weekly, monthly)
- After specific occurrences (rank change, percentage drop, etc.)
ProRankTracker offers solutions in both categories.
You can set up any one of ProRankTracker’s more than 15 reports to send on a recurring schedule.
Setting up an interval-based schedule guarantees that you’ll be able to keep up with the progress and direction of your SEO campaigns.
However, you can also set up “Trigger Notifications” to send when specific triggers occur.
For example, you might choose to receive a notification when:
- One of your ranks drops by 15%
- Your page hits the Top 10 on Google
- Your most valuable keyword drops a rank
Staying up-to-the-minute on your ranks is crucial for success, but it’s almost impossible without notifications. We recommend setting up both types of automation to see the most improvement possible.
5. Find Long-Tail Keywords
A long-tail keyword contains 3 or more words. Many people ignore long-tail keywords because their search volume is lower.
However, long-tail keywords also bring in much more focused visitors. Using long-tail keywords is a much better strategy because their traffic is more likely to click on your page..
For example, someone searching for “art” is probably just doing a school project. However, someone who searches “modern art 11×11 painting” is looking for something to buy!
That means that targeting the second keyword is exponentially more valuable for your business! Using ProRankTracker’s keyword discovery tools is one of the fastest SEO traffic hacks to find those long-tail keywords that will help you outrank your competitors.
6. Focus on Local SEO
If any portion of your income comes from local sales, you cannot afford to neglect local SEO.
About 46% of all Google searches have to do with location! That means your business can gain MASSIVE amounts of traffic and sales by reprioritizing local SEO over general SEO.
However, many people aren’t aware of the difference between these 2 types of SEO.
ProRankTracker makes it easy to track your local ranks:
- Google My Business (GMB)
- Local Finder and Snack Pack
- Google Maps rank
By using precise location data, you can use ProRankTracker to determine exactly how your page ranks for local searches.
For example, I can input multiple specific locations and my GMB data when adding URLs to track in ProRankTracker.
When using the “Add Wizard,” just input the specific cities where you want to track your local SEO data. Then, type in your GMB data.
Now, when you go to your tracking screens, you’ll automatically see the ranking data for those precise locations.
This is so important because if your business is located in Atlanta, GA, you don’t care how it ranks in Los Angeles, CA.
Focus on local SEO starting now to ensure you don’t miss out on those valuable local searches!
7. Use Search Trends
Using Google Trends is an excellent way to stay up-to-date on the seasonal and yearly changes in your industry’s keywords. Just look up your keywords and see how search interest fluctuates over time.
For example, the term “bicycle” is always more popular in the summers. That means you should be targeting bicycle-related keywords during the summer each year (if your business has something to do with bikes).
Use the information you get from Google Trends to specialize your keyword strategy to match when customer interest in those terms is highest.
8. Track Specific Metrics
Rank tracking isn’t just about knowing what rank your pages are. It should be much more in-depth if you want it to help you as much as possible.
For example, one of the most important things you can know about your ranks is how they’re changing.
If you have a URL that ranks 45 for a keyword, that doesn’t sound too impressive. But what if I told you that last week it ranked 345?
Change over time is one of the most important metrics you can track.
ProRankTracker makes it very simple to track specific metrics like this one.
It also tracks things like:
- A keyword’s search volume
- Rank averages
- Daily change
Keep up with key metrics, and you will be much better able to make strategic decisions about your ranks.
9. Track Across Multiple Search Engines (and Devices)
We often hear that Google is the only search engine that matters because it has the largest market share of daily searches. Does that mean you shouldn’t care about other search engines?
I’m not convinced. Plenty of your potential customers are using Bing, Yahoo!, or another search engine daily:
- Bing records 12 billion monthly searches.
- Yahoo! is still the third-largest search engine in the world, with billions of monthly searches.
In other words, you can’t afford to ignore the audiences on these search engines! They represent unique demographics with unique traffic potential.
ProRankTracker also makes it easy to track your ranks across multiple search engines and search devices. When adding your URLs in the Add Wizard, just select what search engines and devices you’d like to track.
You can even track specific results from YouTube and Amazon, which both function like their own search engines.
Tracking search results from different search engines and devices helps you beat your competitors by giving you data that they don’t have.
This precise data gives you the ability to fine-tune your SEO strategy in new ways, giving you more control and more results.
10. Refresh Old Content
As we pointed out earlier, keywords and trends change over time.
You probably have articles on your website that you wrote in 2016.
You might still feel like those articles are super fresh, but let’s see what else was “current” in 2016.
- “Dabbing” was still cool.
- People were obsessed with Harambe.
- Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Oscar
Still feel like your articles from 2016 are current?
My point is that the world has changed a lot. Your articles have to get updated along with it.
The keyword landscape now is so different than it was just 2 years ago, so you need to make sure to go back and update your articles.
When refreshing your articles, keep the following in mind:
- Target newer keywords.
- Update anything that is no longer relevant (pictures, statistics, etc.)
- Fix or remove any broken links.
Refreshing your old content will ensure that your pages continue to rank without making you go through the effort of writing completely new content.
11. Create More Actionable and Descriptive Meta Titles & Descriptions to Increase CTR
Let’s imagine a scenario where your competitor ranks first for a keyword, and you rank second.
Does that mean you have no hope of getting any clicks? Should you just pack up and quit trying for that keyword?
Of course not!
This is where the importance of your meta title and description comes into play!
Your meta title is the title of your page that appears on the SERP in blue letters. The meta description is the short description of your page that viewers see before clicking through. It appears right below your meta title.
You can increase the chances that people will click through to your website by writing an excellent meta title and description.
Your meta description should be:
- Short and sweet (don’t write a novel because I won’t read it!)
- Descriptive (how will I benefit if I click on your page?)
- Actionable (tell me why I should click on your page.)
For example, a lousy meta description would be, “This article is a good way to learn why you should care about wildlife and other sea mammals because they’re important for the ecosystem and they also help you appreciate the ocean, and also they’re pretty.”
A much better meta description is, “Have you ever wondered why dolphins rescue people from shark attacks? This article explores the 10 most fascinating facts about dolphins!”
So many people ignore their meta descriptions because they spend all their time thinking about keywords. However, your meta description is the main factor in getting someone to choose your page over your competitors’ if you’re both on the front page.
KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
Our final tip is the easiest one:
Don’t overcomplicate your SEO strategy at first.
These 12 SEO hacks are plenty to get you off the ground and launch your ranks to the next level.
Once you feel like you have these SEO hacks mastered, you can start moving on to more advanced SEO techniques.
The most important thing to remember is to keep your strategy simple enough to execute it consistently.
Try ProRankTracker’s free trial to see how it can help you achieve these Google SEO tricks quickly and effectively!
You’re well on your way to becoming an SEO hacker.