My Best Kept SEO Secret on How to Rank for Competitive Keywords

by Jason Acidre on September 26, 2013 · 93 comments · Content, Search


As expected, SEO has gotten a bit more difficult, especially now that Google is pushing to encrypt a bigger portion of their search traffic data from Analytics (100% keyword not provided).

Knowing the keywords that really work and drive results has been a core factor of why SEO is a force to reckon with. But without it doesn’t really imply the demise of SEO as a marketing practice.

I don’t really give a sh*t if they try and keep all the keyword data to themselves, because as long as people are searching for something – we still have work to do.

Steve Webb has put together a list of the most actionable SEO advice from industry leaders this week, and I thought I’ve already given mine – until I’ve come to revisit this method that I’ve been doing since I started blogging.

The secret is simple – Create content that:

  • is evergreen
  • can be continuously updated
  • can target industry head terms

This is somehow based on Wikipedia’s content model, wherein they publish the ultimate resource about a certain subject (industry-specific terminologies) and enabling the content to be continuously updated.

Examples

To give you a better outlook of how I’ve done this tactic, I’ll share a few actual samples.

Example #1: I’ve shared this first example many times before. It’s a linkable asset that has been here on my blog for the past 2 years now – my “SEO strategies resources page”.

SEO strategies

When I created this list (of my top blog posts), I was originally aiming for it to rank for the keyword “SEO strategies”. And it did.

It’s been consistently ranking on the top 3 spots for the past 2 years now.

SERP seo strategies

That brought thousands of highly engaged organic traffic to my blog every month.

organic seo strategies

And here’s the best part, because of the content’s comprehensiveness, it was also able to rank for 779 other more search terms (like online marketing strategies, SEO tactics list, SEO marketing, etc…).

seo strategies variants

So when I realized that this approach was really driving results, I never got contented and had to try it once more.

Example #2: I then built a new resource page for “Social Media Marketing Strategies”.

social media marketing

The results were almost exactly the same. The page was ranking #1 for the keyword “social media marketing strategies” for almost a year now.

social media marketing SERP

That has also brought thousands of highly engaged visitors on a monthly basis, and was also able to rank for 271 other more keyword variations (such as social media marketing techniques, social media marketing plan, social media marketing tactics, etc…).

social media marketing variants

Factors that make them rank better

There are so many things that I’ve done to optimize them and make them more visible on search results, but the nature of these pages were also somehow enough for them to deserve the rankings/organic traffic they are getting.

  • These 2 resources pages I created were internally linking to many of my blog posts that are comprehensive and evergreen (and thematically relevant). So aside from improving the page’s activity rate (as visitors instantly click-through the list of links), it’s also passing ranking power to my site’s other pages.
  • Since these pages are focused on industry terms, I can easily build contextual links to them – through my continuous content marketing efforts (both internal and external).
  • Once these linkable assets are already ranking for the key terms that they are targeting (that are mostly informational search terms), it’s easier for them to attract and earn natural links – knowing that many of the people landing on the page are doing research about the topic.
  • The pages’ ability to be continuously updated makes room for improvement and sustainability in search rankings. The more changes/updates being made on the page, the more it becomes the best resource on the web covering a particular topic area.
  • The robustness of the page’s content also makes it more deserving to rank for multiple keyword variations – which allows it to get more organic traffic.

What to do if you haven’t invested in Content Marketing yet?

The approach I used was aligned with my past content marketing efforts, as the resources page I have just simply compiled all the popular posts I’ve written since 2010.

There are still other viable options if you don’t have enough content assets to compile:

marketing library

I guess this is not a secret anymore. Anyway, if you liked this post, please do subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Fervil September 26, 2013 at 2:50 am

This is another remarkable post Jason. It’s amazing how you give out your data and strategies which shows vivid results! Thanks for sharing man but it was not a secret until now. :P
Please keep rocking!

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Neha patel February 13, 2014 at 7:21 am

hi, The secret is simple, but it is not easy to get that. You have to be an expert some kind to write such valuable content that people likes or would love to link it. So when i started my own site mainly for personal learning and reference, your 101 seo strategies definitely get a spot on the from of home page , because it is really helpful for me and the visitors.

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Domainmonster.com@Domain Names September 26, 2013 at 3:13 am

Thanks for another great post Jason!

It’s great to see that you’ve mentioned turning one form of asset or another into the very best in the industry.

We did this with our domain name glossary, made it comprehensive, easy to use and heavily interlinked.

It’s been one of our most traffic generating assets ever since!

Plenty more for us to try from this post too!

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Beth September 26, 2013 at 5:20 am

Thanks for sharing! I am looking forward to creating content that needs continual updating and seeing what impact this has!

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LJ September 26, 2013 at 5:22 am

Some great information and advice here. Thanks for the links on content marketing, they have been a great help – excellent examples. The idea of keeping content evergreen has made the workload a lot easier to manage too.

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Grant Merriel September 26, 2013 at 7:02 am

Jason, this is awesome!
The amount of times that I have seen Moz posts, Search Engine Land, etc posts reference one ‘single’ location of amazing resources, rather than listing them all in their own post is astounding.

One of the best tactics that I have been looking into is going to the industries leading blogs and looking at the outbound links on the highest shared pages. This ‘generally’ shows a couple of resources that are evergreen (as you are filtering by social shares and not when the blog post was uploaded).

A couple of points I would add / re-cover:
- Always update the post (once a month, a quarter, etc), nobody likes outdated resources
- If you can add some flare (as your covered) via design, downloadable items, etc, it makes it extremely hard for competitors to replicate
- Don’t just focus on a generic keyword, focus on keywords that will bring you leads, sales, etc, as you outlined “SEO Strategies”, etc
- Always remember to optimize your content, rather than just list URL’s, why are they good, how are they good, how are they relevant, etc.
- Lists and FAQ’s are the EASIEST ways to do it, as they look unbiased to the reader and most likely to get linked to, bookmarked and you can even get given suggestions for updates

All in all, you manage to bring the easiest strategies into plain sight bud!
Awesome post!

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Brian Dean September 26, 2013 at 7:10 am

I really love this post, Jason…mostly because I approach SEO the exact same way: forget chasing long tails and focus on producing amazing content that rank for head terms.

Not only does this get you more organic traffic, but the type of epic content that you need to rank for competitive keywords positions you as an industry leader.

Really great stuff!

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Abdi Mohammed September 26, 2013 at 8:10 am

Great stuff once again and I am amazed at both the simplicity and applicability (if that is a word) of it. It really does not take much brain cells to replicate this ‘secret’ across any niche.

Time to go scratch my head a bit…

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Brett Slansky September 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

Wow… you must be certainly doing something right in terms of SEO. I had some great sites on page one, but since last month, they disappeared. Have no idea what Google did again. But my lesson from this is — it is important not to put all of my eggs into one basket and not focusing only on one method of getting traffic to my sites.

Lesson learned, life continues :-)

Brett

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Jordan J. Caron@SEO Victoria September 26, 2013 at 10:27 am

Thanks as always Jason for an informative post. SEO and content marketing are definietly married together now a days.

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Vic September 26, 2013 at 10:28 am

Great stuff! Online marketing is now becoming more integrated, and content marketing will command search marketing, social media marketing and other online marketing strategies.

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Kira Permunian September 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

This post makes great sense to me and if we do right stuff from the start, we can make a greater sense in the web.

I am honestly tired of following Google’s updates. Many say everything just makes SEO more difficult. All that has been implemented in search and whatsoever were for their own benefits more than ours (ofcourse). Yes! It might be good to follow and submit to their guidelines and rules, but all just boils down to making a right stuff. How to make right stuff? We must have first, to care for our readers by doing things right from the beginning.

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Ryan September 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm

If I created a category page through Wordpress and called it “SEO Strategies” and throughout time categorized different SEO topics under this category etc, that would be pretty similar, right? I feel like people have been doing this for years, some just don’t utilize it as well as you do.

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Sef September 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Good methodologies here Jason, The factors that you’ve shared for ranking your resource pages are definitely good ones and I would try this on my blog. Hopefully this work out well for me. ^.^

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Arvin Buising September 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Solid post as usual. It also gave me an excellent idea for my next post.

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Rubing September 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm

The secret is simple, but it is not easy to get that. You have to be an expert some kind to write such valuable content that people likes or would love to link it. So when i started my own site mainly for personal learning and reference, your 101 seo strategies definitely get a spot on the from of home page , because it is really helpful for me and the visitors.

Reply

Darren Ebona September 26, 2013 at 7:34 pm

And I thought that what you said on webgnomes.org was great. This was even greater! Haha. It is like getting to know the Krabby Patty’s secret formula. LOL. Hoping to see you personally soon Jason.

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clickleadmarketing September 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

awesome post i think every one will look forward after reading this article thanks for the post

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Jackson Lo September 27, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Phenomenal post Jason. I like how you are blunt about the whole situation and you’re right in all respects “I don’t really give a sh*t if they try and keep all the keyword data to themselves, because as long as people are searching for something – we still have work to do.”.

This post has motivated and inspired me on a few things that I will be incorporating onto a new site that I will be launching not too long from now.

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Adrian Hayman September 28, 2013 at 7:30 am

Thanks. It was interesting learning about Linkable Assets.

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hiren September 29, 2013 at 6:40 am

hi Jason
nice article every blogger want to know that how get ranking in google with specific keyword. very informative post for me thanks for sharing.

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Kate Simson September 29, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Thank you for sharing this Hidden secret. I hope it works for me too.

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Foursteps September 30, 2013 at 8:19 am

Hi

I think I understand the approach but would appreciate a little more explanation on your comment that
“Since these pages are focused on industry terms, I can easily build contextual links to them “. Why is it easier to build contextual links to these sorts of pages – is it just that you have such a wide range of different keywords to choose from?

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Zenelia September 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Nice Post Jason…
That is truly inspiring and encouraging one…and the tactics showed by you… will be going to surely help me a lot…Thanks for sharing such valuable post alwayss

Keep Posting

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Lisa October 1, 2013 at 10:08 am

I have definitely seen the benefit to linking more within my own site. The more relevant informational content I can put out and keeping linking as much as possible to relevant pages within my site, the better my site seems to rank on Google.

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Jenna Palmer October 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

This is a freaking epic post that can help a lot of people get tons of more traffic if they apply themselves! Before I read this post, I was actually worried that I had taken the time to go through many articles so I could interlink the ones that were relevant to each other. It took me two days but i did it and it has, without a doubt, helped improve traffic.

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James Dazouloute October 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Great Share Jason! And I couldn’t agree more that as long as your content is unique, evergreen and can be updated, then you will always be ranking well. Evergreen will always be relevant. Thanks Again, James.

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Jonathan Scott October 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm

This was a really great article and information I needed right on time. I plan to do this with a site I just launched. I believe I can create some great resources with the information and having them in one spot to link out to the other posts just makes sense. Thank you for revealing your secret :-)

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Chayan Das October 5, 2013 at 4:29 am

this article is really helpfull to all seo guys.

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John October 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Thx for sharing your expert-knowledge; I also made the observation that it really helps you rank higher when you update existing content every now and then. As long as Google notices continuous updates on the website, it will be easier to get higher rankings in the SERPs.

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Adoga Godwin October 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

This probably means that anyone else who wants to rank for taken keywords like “seo strategies” must work extra smart, new stuff come out every day but content is still king

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mikemilton October 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm

yup man this is good article about SEO secret but you forget to tell about relevant backlinks.. it is about new humingbird updates..
must think about it

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Jacksmith October 7, 2013 at 3:44 am

Thank you Jason for revealing the secret with us. I will be researching on some keywords now got the easy way reading your article. Thanks for explaining it in a very easy manner.

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SEO Nic October 8, 2013 at 2:34 am

Hi Jason,

An excellent read and an interesting take, I think this will vary subject to other contributing factors, such as the changes the likes of Google continually make…

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Paul Beswick October 8, 2013 at 7:08 am

It’s my first time to visit your blog site Jason and I am impressed about your knowledged about SEO and I actually love to try this seo secret you have shared. Thank you!

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George October 8, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Thanks for sharing. It certainly is getting tougher out there on the Google Search homefront.

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Veronica Welch October 9, 2013 at 5:03 am

Hey Jason,
Such a great and helpful post. Your way of writing is amazing.

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Sandie Peyton October 9, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I found myself reading this post over and over just to make sure I got everything right. I think I got it! It has not been easy for me to gain rankings for my keywords so far, even after a year, and I have used everything from Market Samurai to the Google Keyword planner. If it works for me, I’ll be the first to let you know!

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Dustin Heap October 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Nice post Jason. I think part of the inherent value (and even more so in the future) in these types of posts is that that they answer the users’ query. G and the other engines want to do this for searches, so by providing comprehensive guides/evengreen pieces you not only have something that lasts but something that will answer questions perpetually. You essentially get a bunch of “long clicks” plus links. SEOs should do the same with their clients or companies.

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Sagar Nandwani October 12, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Good blog post Well writtien, great information and easy to understand and implement! Most people think SEO is too complicated but its not really and you did a great job of explaining the process.

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James October 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Great stuff, Jason. While I’ll agree that SEO is a complicated beast that is always changing, there are smaller strategies that you can implement tomorrow to instantly boost your rankings. Sometimes, doing something unbeknownst at the time develops into an effective strategy in the future.

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Robert A. October 16, 2013 at 6:19 am

Thank for sharing your secrets, but for me is -> first I must come on first Google page with my site where is very strong competition:)

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Roy Mount October 17, 2013 at 2:36 am

Thanks for seo tips. i am seo executive and want to know some new strategies and tricks in seo to get traffic on my website. it helps to bring my keywords on search engine

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Kathleen October 17, 2013 at 11:55 am

Thanks Jason! You’ve put out some great information in this article. I am going to have to rethink some of my strategies and integrate yours with them.

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Arunkumar Gudelli October 18, 2013 at 2:31 am

Thank you for sharing your secret.. I hope it will work for me also..

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Misha October 18, 2013 at 2:40 am

Hi Jason,
Nice posting. I like the way you handled the data in this post to prove your points. Keep it up and helping the new bloggers like me……..

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Mike October 21, 2013 at 4:04 am

Hi Jason,

Comprehensive and definitely informative! Thanks for sharing this. I’m thinking of trying out some of the stuff discussed here and let’s see what happens…

Regards,
Mike

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Zac Pagin October 21, 2013 at 5:17 am

i’m sure this is a great analysis of digital marketing and SEOs. Maybe, I’ll be able to make more sense out of it if it could be more precise and less lengthy (or its just my musics to distracting atm). Thanks though I learned a thing or two.

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Jim Brad October 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Good post Jason. SEO seems to be changing and ever green content is the key as you said. No one can beat you if you have relevant and good content.
Jim

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Abrar Mohi Shafee October 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm

First when I saw the post title, I thought you are just kidding. But reading the whole, I became amazed. How is it possible. Because it is really hard to rank on high competitive keywords. Thank you so much for your experience sharing.

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Leo Newbiesup October 29, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Lesson learnt. Thanks Jason.
I will try to implement this easy method to one of my sites and see how’s the result come out.

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Mao Na Roda November 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Great Article. I really trying hard to get our website ranking#1 but it is very thought. Will try your guidelines in this post. Greatly appreciated.

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Tom November 10, 2013 at 11:20 am

Another nugget of inbound gold, thanks for sharing these fly on the wall tips & techniques Jason, your SEO stragegies resource page is an absolute link magnet.

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Nathan Brook November 10, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Awesome Post. I also like long tail keyword and to find keywords from Google suggest. Ultimately it’s content that matters, for whom we are writing and how that content benefits others.

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Janna November 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Thank you so much for the great seo secret I’ll Surely keep it on my head.

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Bryan Knowlton November 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Hello!

This is Bryan Knowlton over at the Daily Blogcast for Internet Marketing.

I just wanted to let you know we discussed your blog post on our show and would love if you could help get the word out to your readers!

http://dailyblogcast.net/2013/11/04/001-welcome-to-the-daily-blogcast-we-discuss-hummingbird-the-twitter-ipo-google-algorithm-updates-mobile-advertising-and-more/

We found the article to be well written and decided to feature it in this episode. If you woud like to provide any additional comments, you can do that directly at the bottom of the page listed above.

Since this is a Daily Podcast, we will definitely be visiting your blog from time to time to find more great articles to discuss. If you would like to leave us a comment, question or a voicemail, you can do that on the right side of the page at http://dailyblogcast.net

Again, thank you for the blog post! Without it we might have not had much to talk about! :)

You can subscribe (or let your readers they can) at http://dailyblogcast.net/itunes.

Thanks again!

Bryan & Mark
http://dailyblogcast.net – Because reading is hard…

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Reginald November 13, 2013 at 3:00 am

Hey Jason,

This is crazy. Full list of how you did that? Oh wow! Thanks for sharing.

Shared!
~Reginald

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Amal Rafeeq November 13, 2013 at 5:13 am

Great post. And it really did forced me to feature this post on my new article.
Take a look into it please – http://www.bloggerdoc.com/brilliant-seo-strategies/

Thanks and Cheers!

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Shiv Saroya November 13, 2013 at 11:09 pm

This is great post Jason, i think Controlling the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) of your targeted keywords depends largely on your on-page optimization, Indeed, the site ranking on Google’s first page for such competitive keywords consisted of just one page site with NO content, well thanks for this helpful article.

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Sumit Dawas November 20, 2013 at 12:26 am

Really Great post i like your simplicity Thanks man !

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Anirban Pathak November 22, 2013 at 2:04 am

Great post. i’m sure this is a great analysis of digital marketing and SEOs. You essentially get a bunch of “long clicks” plus links. SEOs should do the same with their clients or companies.

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Mark- qessays November 22, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Truly fantastic content. I now understand why shallow strategies have not been working. I’ll employ these strategies one by one, and of course subscribe to your blog

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Anurag@Google Chrome Tips November 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I have seen this way of building rich landing and resource pages before but never knew that they work so well. Before reading this, I have seen such pages on popular blogs like MakeUseOf.

I will surely give it a try on my blog now !

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Shabina November 24, 2013 at 6:53 pm

This is the first time I am on this blog and I liked it, I have lot to read on this blog, I am a beginner in SEO, I would say not even a beginner but I have just started my blog and would like to do some SEO stuff, thanks for your great articles.

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Samir November 25, 2013 at 6:31 am

hi Jason
nice article every blogger want to know that how get ranking in google with specific keyword. very informative post for me thanks for sharing.

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Hina November 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

Thank you for sharing your secrets. I am surely try to follow the same for my blog posts.

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pia D'Alia December 8, 2013 at 11:00 pm

This is really so informative article , I have been reading your articles ever since i came to know this blog. I found every article informative. Thank you for sharing.

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Abhijit Gupta December 9, 2013 at 1:53 am

Your article inspired me. I appreciate yours explanation which you have shared. Thanks a lot for the seo secret. I’ll keep it in mind for future posts.

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gaurav December 14, 2013 at 12:15 am

Hi jason,
NIce article, this is a complete on page and off page optimization article. Highly recommended for people who are in search of optimization for their business.
BTW would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? Is it WordPress? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time selecting between WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different than most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.

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Karan Lugani December 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Producing evergreen content is really the key to loads of traffic. Google has surely made it difficult with encrypted search terms. Your “101″ post is doing really well in the search engine Kaiser. :)

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Gary Martin December 16, 2013 at 3:56 am

Excellent SEO post Kaiser!

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Alain December 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Thanks for the link to Jon’s post. It’s a great idea to so many people and obviously it’s a well linked to page as it has a PR4!

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Manpreet December 17, 2013 at 11:09 am

Nice Post Dear Jason…
That is truly inspiring and encouraging one and the tactics showed by you, will be going to surely help me a lot…Thanks for sharing such valuable post always

Keep Publishing

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John December 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

WOW! For someone for the Philiphines you have great English! Also what do you mean by “evergreen”?

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baidyanath December 24, 2013 at 3:06 am

I have read some posts from this site and this one also same taste of freshness. Those who already adopted this kind of strategy is easy to maintain. For newbie, like my content writer team, may be it will take time.

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Jon Rhodes December 29, 2013 at 11:14 am

Great article Jason. I always aim to write something evergreen then I can give and receive value from it for years to come. I have a feeling that Google like it when content is updated, as the posts that I do this with tend to get more search engine traffic.

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PeteO December 31, 2013 at 7:21 am

awesome share. thanks. I always believe great content is the best way for link building.

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Sandeep January 27, 2014 at 4:53 am

I seriously love that post, Jason…mostly simply because I strategy SEO the same way: forget chasing after long tails and give attention to producing amazing content that rank pertaining to head words.

Not merely does this bring you more normal traffic, but the kind of epic content you’ll want to rank pertaining to competitive keywords positions you as an industry chief.

Really wonderful stuff!

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Gian B. January 28, 2014 at 1:20 am

Great post. People nowadays focus so much on link building, and not enough on content marketing. Matt Cutts tells us all the time: Quality Content, Quality Content, Quality Content. About time we listen to his advice. This post isn’t so much a “secret”, it’s just regular updated quality content, what we’ve been hearing all along!

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sudhanshu February 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm

wow nice information shared, it will help me a lot in ranking in serp. thanks in advance bro

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Sunil March 10, 2014 at 6:26 am

Wow, what a wonderful explanation with the image describing the content as well. Well, thanks for the share as this post will help me a lot to rank higher in search engines.

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Joy March 31, 2014 at 10:22 am

Wow this is seriously an awesome post!! I Actually went on Google and the rankings that you have mentioned are still there!! will follow them to the T. thanks

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Arsh Kapoor April 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm

This is seriously a great post there are many useful links share in this post which are very helpful for enhancing my SEO. Thanks for this wonderful article.

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physioshah April 30, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Hello Jason, SEO strategy is changing day by day but your mentioned techniques are still effective and real for optimizing in search result.( organic result). I am learning SEO tecniques from reading and practicing your tips. Thanks Jason for your resources mentioned here.

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kumar May 27, 2014 at 2:22 am

Great article Jason !

This post makes great sense to me and if we do right stuff from the start, we can make a greater sense and I am trying my best now a days.

Reply

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