Today, you're gonna see my 15 absolute best SEO tips ever. I've used these exact strategies to rank on the first page of Google for keywords like on-page SEO, keyword research, and link building. The best part, all the tips I'm gonna share with you are insanely actionable. I'm Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, and in this publication, I'm gonna reveal my favorite keyword research strategy, what I learned from analyzing one million Google search results, and a new SEO technique that's crushing it right now. Stay tuned. Before I reveal tip number one, a quick word of warning: The tips I'm about to share with you aren't the here today, gone tomorrow strategies that stop working after a few months. In fact, I've used some of these techniques since way back in 2012, and they still work great. Why? Because my SEO tips give Google what it wants. So whether you're watching this today or three years from now, you can use the techniques from this publication to get higher rankings and more traffic. So without further ado, let's dive right in with tip number one, which is to use short URLs. When I first started with SEO, I'd use the first URL that popped into my head, and that led to long, ugly URLs like this.
Today, I make sure to only use short URLs, why? Because all things being equal, short URLs rank better than long URLs. In fact, I recently analyzed one million Google search results, and we discovered that short URLs rank best in Google. Let's move on to tip number two, which is to use Amazon for keyword ideas. Did you know that you could use Amazon for keyword research? Well you can, here's how: First, find a popular book in your niche on Amazon. Next, check out the book's table of contents. Each chapter is a potential topic or keyword idea. Finally, pop the chapter titles into your favorite keyword research tool to see if they get searched for on Google. Now it's time for our third tip, which is to optimize your title tag for CTR. I probably don't need to tell you that you should include your target keyword in your title tag, but what you might not know is that you also wanna optimize your title tag for click-through rate. Why, two reasons: First, when you improve your CTR, you get more traffic without needing high rankings. For example, let's say that you rank number four for your target keyword. If you double your CTR, you double your traffic.
Second, Google recently stated that they use CTR as a ranking signal, and this makes sense if you think about it. If lots of people click on your result, it sends a clear message to Google that this page is a great result for this keyword, and they'll give you a rankings boost. Bottom line: Optimize your title tag not just for keywords, but for CTR too. I'll show you exactly how to boost your click-through rate later in this publication, but for now, let's dive into tip number four, which is to publish content that's at least 1,890 words. Remember that ranking factor study that I mentioned earlier? Well, one of our most interesting findings was that longer content tended to rank better than short content. In fact, we found that the average first page result in Google contained 1,890 words.
Yes, this goes against the idea that people online have short attention spans, but the data proves this clearly isn't true, because the fact is this: When you create a high-value resource, people will want to read it, even if it's really long. For example, I have a post on my blog called E-commerce SEO, The Definitive Guide. This post is over 5,000 words, and it ranks in the top three of Google for my target keyword: E-commerce SEO. Bottom line: If you have a page that you really wanna rank, make sure it contains at least 1,890 words of awesome content. Let's dive right into tip number five, use title tag modifiers. Believe it or not, but most of your search engine traffic comes from very long, very specific searches. For example, someone searching for a new pair of slippers might search for something like this As you might expect, insanely long keywords like this aren't gonna show up in any keyword research tool. If they don't show up in a tool, how can you possibly optimize around them? It's easy, just add modifiers to your title tag. Some of my favorite title tag modifiers are the current year, best, review, free shipping, and checklist. So you wanna make your title tags look something like this. With a title tag like this, you'll rank for your target keyword, fluffy slippers, and dozens of long-tail keywords too. Yes, my fluffy slippers just came in the mail.
With that, it's time for tip number six: Use keyword-rich URLs; this is a simple one. Whenever you create a URL for one of your pages, make sure it contains your target keyword. For example, here's a page at Backlinko optimized around the keyword SEO Tools. As you can see, the URL is short which is the tip I showed you earlier. And you can also see that the URL contains my target keyword, it's that simple. Let's jump into tip number seven which is to use numbers in your title tag to boost CTR. Remember a few minutes ago when I said that Google uses your site's click-through rate as a ranking factor? If lots of people click on your result, it sends a clear message to Google that this page is a great result for this keyword, and they'll give you a rankings boost. The question is, how do you improve your CTR? One of the easiest ways to get more clicks on your result is to add a number to your title tag. According to our a recent industry study, titles with numbers get 36% more clicks than titles without a number. That's why I make sure to use a number in almost every single one of my titles.
Moving right along here, we're already onto tip number eight: Use two-step email outreach. I probably don't need to tell you that to rank in Google today, you need to build backlinks, but not just any backlinks, white hot backlinks from authority sites in your industry. The question is how do you do it? In my experience nothing beats old-fashioned email outreach. That said, there's a right and wrong way to do email outreach. You see, most people send out hundreds of spam emails begging for links. In fact, that's what I did back in the day. It didn't work back then, and it definitely doesn't work today. Instead, I recommend two-step email outreach. Let me explain how two-step email outreach works with a real life example: A Backlinko reader named Mike Bonadio was promoting an infographic for one of his clients. At first, Mike would ask for a link in his initial outreach email, but it wasn't working, so he decided to try a two-step approach, so in Mike's first email, instead of asking for a link right off the bat, he asked if the blogger or journalist would like to see his infographic.
When they said yes, he followed up with a link pitch, and the two-step approach led to 40% more responses than straight-up asking for a link. Speaking of link building, it's time for tip number nine: broken link building. Broken link building is one of my favorite white hat link building strategies. Here's how it works: First, find a site that you wanna get a link from. Next, find a broken link on that site. The easiest way to find broken links is to use the excellent Check My Links Chrome extension. When you find a broken link, look for a piece of content on your site that would make a good replacement for the dead link; if you don't have something that would make a good replacement, feel free to create one. Finally, email the site owner to let them know about their broken link, and when they get back to you, pitch your link as a replacement. That's all there is to it. All right, next up, we have SEO tip number 10: Choose keywords with strong commercial intent.
Here's the mistake I see a lot of people make, and it's a mistake I made a lot back in the day. What's the mistake? Choosing keywords that have zero commercial intent, so what does commercial intent mean exactly? Commercial intent is the likelihood that someone searching for a given keyword will buy from you. For example, someone searching for premium yoga courses has a much higher commercial intent than someone searching for free yoga publications. Wait, I have to pay for this, I'm outta here. Fortunately, you can easily size up a keyword's commercial intent using the Google keyword planner. The higher the estimated bid, the higher the commercial intent. Bottom line, yes a keyword's search volume and competition are important, but before you decide on a keyword, make sure it has at least some commercial intent. Let's move on to tip number 11, which is a controversial one: Delete underperforming pages. A while back a webmaster trends analyst at Google said something very interesting: Don't create low quality and no value add pages, we think that it's a waste of resources. The other thing is that you just won't get quality traffic.
If you don't get quality traffic, then why are you burning resources on it? In other words, having lots of excess pages on your site is bad for SEO, and that's why I recommend deleting pages on your site that don't bring in any traffic. In fact, proven.com recently deleted 10,000 pages from their site, and it's one of the main reasons that their organic traffic improved by 88% in six weeks. Bottom line, delete low-quality pages from your site. You're not getting any traffic anyway, so you have nothing to lose by deleting them. In fact, in my experience, deleting these pages can help your remaining pages rank better in Google. Now, it's time for our first publication SEO tip: Optimize your publications around publication keywords. As you probably noticed, YouTube dominates Google's first page for so many different keywords. In fact 45% of all Google search results contain a YouTube publication, but that also means that 55% of Google's results don't contain a publication. Why is this important? Well, if you're trying to rank your publications in Google, you need to make sure that there are already publication results for that keyword. Otherwise, your publication is super unlikely to rank in Google.
So, before deciding on a keyword for your publication, search for that keyword in Google. If you see a YouTube publication on the first page, great. You just found a publication keyword, but if you search for your keyword and don't see a YouTube result, then you might wanna choose a different keyword to optimize your publication around. Speaking of keywords, let's dive into tip number 13: Use Reddit for keyword research. Reddit is one of my favorite places to find untapped keywords that my competition doesn't know about. Where else can you find a site where people discuss literally every topic under the sun? I mean, Reddit has an entire section of their site dedicated to otters, otters, seriously. So, how can you use Reddit for keyword research? Let me walk you through an example. Let's say that you run a site that sells Paleo diet meal replacement bars. You do a search for Paleo diet in Reddit. Then, check out any sub-Reddits or threads that cover that topic.
When you see a topic covered again and again, you have a keyword that you should look into. Pop that keyword into your favorite keyword research tool to see how many people search for that term in Google. Rinse and repeat until you have handfuls of awesome keywords. Okay, it's time for our second to last tip, tip 14: Link out to authority websites. Wanna see something interesting? An SEO agency in the UK recently ran an SEO experiment. They created ten brand new website, all optimized around the same made up keyword: Phylandocic. Phylandocic, phylandocic, how do you even pronounce that? Anyway, the 10 websites were all set up exactly the same way except five of them had one major difference. They contained outbound links to authority websites, and sure enough, the five sites with outbound links ranked above the sites that didn't have any. Bottom line, link out to authority websites in every piece of content that you publish. Okay, here's our last tip, tip number 15: Hack Wikipedia for keyword research.
Just like Reddit, Wikipedia is a keyword research gold mine. Here's the exact process that I use to find amazing keywords on Wikipedia. Step one: Type in a topic or keyword into Wikipedia. For example, if your site publishes content about coffee, you'd wanna type coffee into Wikipedia search. Step number two is to look at other articles on Wikipedia that the Wikipedia article links to. The anchor text of these links can be great keyword or topic ideas. Finally, for step number three, look at the table of contents for that article. These can also reveal amazing keyword ideas that would be hard to find otherwise. Did you learn some cool new stuff in this publication? Then, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel right now. Just click on the subscribe button below this publication.
Also, if you want exclusive SEO and traffic techniques that I only share with subscribers, head over to backlinko.com and sign up for the newsletter, it's free. Now, I wanna turn it over to you. Which SEO tip from today's publication are you gonna try first? Are you gonna add numbers to your title tag or try Wikipedia for keyword research? Let me know by leaving a comment below right now. Yeah, 'cause I just need to go boom like this. My fluffy slippers just came in the mail. (laughs) I'm not feelin' it. I'm gonna sit as long as I can. ...because, ugh. (gargling) Look at you in your chair, comfy chair.