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The Best of the SEMrush Blog in 2014

Kathleen Garvin
The Best of the SEMrush Blog in 2014

Hello, dear blog readers!

I can't believe another year is in the books. 2014 was my first complete year as the SEMrush blog editor, and it's been a pleasure to manage this space.

This year we featured some big-name contributors and many up-and-comers, saw our community grow, and experienced a 59% growth in sessions on the blog in the last six months alone! You — the contributors, readers and commenters — make the blog what it is, and I'm so grateful to be part of it.

Winding down on the last day of the year, we wanted to share with you 10 of our most popular blog posts for the year. Enjoy, and see you in 2015!


6 Ways to Uncover Profitable Long Tail Keywords by Robbie Richards

Robbie Richards, Digital Marketing Strategist at Royal Jay, shows you numbers 1-6 of his list of 12 ways to uncover profitable long-tail keywords.

So, we know that long tail keywords should be the core of any online marketing campaign. But, how do we find these profitable long tail keywords? That’s what we’re about to cover.

  • How to unearth hundreds of profitable long tail keywords
  • How to assess the commercial intent of long tail keywords
  • How to determine keyword competition
  • How to leverage your competitors for profitable long tail keywords
  • How to do it all without spending a penny

Lets jump in.


13 Easy Ways to Build Links by Christy Kunjumon

Creativity was the name of the game for link building in 2014! Christy Kunjumon shares 13 ways you can build links.

We are aware that getting a link from a high authority domain will have a greater impact in ranking than getting a link from a low quality or new website. But getting quality links is not an easy job. This blog outlines 13 easy ways to build links in 2014.


Semantic SEO: More Answers, Less Clicks by Dean Cruddace

Dean Cruddace took a look at semantic SEO on the blog.

Semantics, structured data and, intriguingly, sometimes no structured markup at all. If you are not up to speed on strings and things then it won’t hurt to start getting your head around it.

So how does it work? Or less precisely, what’s triggering it?

What? Why? How? When? seem to be the triggers, so I dug around to see if I could replicate it. This is the absolutely non-scientific-in-any-way look at a few variations.


How to Use Google Analytics to Craft Content by Pat Marcello

Pat Marcello explores how to use Google Analytics to write relevant content for your audience.

Yes, believe it or not, if you pay attention to certain metrics (and if you’re not doing that, why not?), you can produce exactly the type of content that your niche members want to read.


Make sure you have demographics set up in Google Analytics. Yes, it’s really that important. There is a wealth of information there that you could be overlooking, and if you’re smart, after reading this article, you’ll be running to set this up. So…

Let’s explore!


The SEO-Friendly Way to Migrate a Website from HTTP to HTTPS for Free by Andrea Pernici

SEO Expert Andrea Pernici of GT Idea shows you how to successfully migrate a site from HTTP to HTTPS for free.

Getting a valid TLS / SSL certificate without spending a penny is very simple. To do it, you just need to visit Startssl.com (for non-commercial use only). ...

Before you do this, however, I’ll show you how to install everything you need, because merely obtaining a valid certificate does not make us safer. I also recommend you to use a non-SHA1 certificate cause Chrome is going to kill the support to it soon. In this tutorial, I will focus on one possible configuration for an Apache environment; and I’ll show you what to do with a WordPress website at the application level.


How to Use Excel to Create a Keyword Strategy by Sergio Aicardi

Sergio Aicardi shows you how to use Excel to create a keyword strategy using concatenation.

Everyone knows keywords are a big part of SEO, but I feel most people don’t really appreciate the work that goes behind setting up a strategy that is based on keyword performance.

Maybe it’s because most people don’t understand what measures are taken to create large SEM campaigns with thousands of keywords that need to be strategically selected. When dealing with large pay per click campaigns in AdWords, using the right keywords means everything.

Since there are great tools out there like SEMrush and Google Analytics, we can get great keyword data from our competitors or our websites that we manage easily. But managing that data can be tricky at times (especially with e-commerce data). As a member of a PPC management company, it’s important that I am efficient and strategic when selecting keywords for our clients.

I wanted to share some of the ways I use Excel to create a keyword strategy very quickly using simple concatenation in a not-so-simple way.


How Shifting Your Focus to Revenue Generation Will Make SEO & Social Worthwhile by Robyn-Dale Samuda

Don't try to reach everyone! Robyn-Dale Samuda of InboundJunction says you should focus your social media and SEO on direct customers to increase revenue.

While traffic generation is incredibly important to this end goal, spending all of your time only focusing on traffic doesn’t always equal sales. What small companies are missing is that balance — you can do both.

Below are a few of the main aspects of online marketing and how you can change your strategy to focus on conversions and revenue generation.


How Ditching Traditional Link Building Got Us More Traffic by Gael Bretton

Gael Breton of Authority Hacker shows how his team abandoned link building and watched their traffic grow. Check out this case study.

One thing that many folks using “scalable” link tactics don’t realize is that this war is a war they cannot win in the long run. There are certainly plenty of tactics working today. But with time and money, Google will uncover them one by one and patch them out of the system.

... So what do you do when you can’t beat them? You join them. From that day on with my business partner, we decided not to spend any minute on a project that couldn’t last at least 10 years.

This is how we started building authority sites and sites that people love and promote. In this post, I’ll show you what we learned about switching from being a glitch hacker to an authority hacker.


SEO Checklist: 13 Quick Wins for Any Website by Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal of PageTraffic provides a comprehensive SEO checklist to help you optimize your website.

It is not easy to build a high performing website and get top rankings on all the search engines. Winning the SEO game is not just about enabling the search engines find your pages, but also ranking them at the top of the search results page.

You can optimize your website to improve its performance in the SERPs, but this optimization requires continuous maintenance, testing and monitoring. Below is a list of some quick fixes to use at the start of any new campaign.


Google Authorship Is Gone: How Do You Establish Authority Now? by Dominique Jackson

Is there life after the demise of Google Authorship? Dominique Jackson of Nova Advertising says, yes! Learn other ways to establish clout in the industry.

The benefits of GA for content creators, marketers, and businesses were plentiful. But what it did for building authority and credibility was probably one of the top benefits. Now that authorship is gone, how in the world are you supposed to establish yourself (or your clients) as an authority in your industry?

Keep reading to find out.

Thanks for reading the SEMrush blog and supporting our contributors! Feel free to share your thoughts on the posts, or offer up content suggestions in the comments section.

Kathleen Garvin

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Kathleen Garvin is an online editor and analytics wrangler for The Penny Hoarder, the largest personal finance blog. She's also a contributing writer for I Want Her Job and started a beginner-friendly digital marketing blog, The Maroon House. Kathleen is the former blog editor at SEMrush.
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