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It’s no secret that SEO is a hot topic right now. In fact, many people feel that it is the key to creating a strong online presence and increasing website traffic (and therefore, sales).

Since SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is basically a mix of popular, often searched for keywords placed throughout your web content, it is possible to apply your own SEO.

However, if you are really serious about SEO, it’s more than just that. While SEO does use keywords, that is in the fundamental sense, since other factors come into play as well.

Here are 20 of the top SEO tricks that you should know, and should be using if you want to call yourself an SEO specialist.

  1. Keyword Research. Do your research and find out what are the most popular keywords and what is trending in search results.
  2. Make sure that you aren’t using the “#” in your URL — URLs with “#” listed are not supported by Googlebot.
  3. Don’t forget that content is essential, but so are backlinks. And the video is coming in as a close third. Google integrates video into Google Maps listings, which is good news for SEO. So if you’re not developing a strong video strategy start now.
  4. You should be using Google AdWords distance and store visit reports to find what geographic regions and user locations are driving the bulk of your in-store purchases.
  5. It may be tempting to build a large number of links on directories. That is not recommended. Instead, go with the higher quality sites, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Google+.
  6. Site speed is also important. Try to keep your site speed to 2-3 seconds for the user. There are tools, such as WebPageTest, that you can use to check your site speed.
  7. Reddit comes in as the ninth largest website in the U.S. Take advantage of that and grab some web traffic from there via the use of sponsored ads.
  8. Look around your website and remove any duplicate content that’s hosted internally or externally. Email the webmaster and have them remove it or put it in your disavow file.
  9. Keep track of what pages users are leaving your site by. Look into why users are going, and consider editing those pages to encourage users to stay longer.
  10. You need to create good content. When you are developing content, make sure that your spelling and grammar are correct. Errors don’t affect your search rankings, but they will have a negative effect on your users.
  11. Google increased the character limit of title tags to 70 characters, and you want to make the most of every character. Just don’t forget to check to make sure that none of the characters are cut off on mobile.
  12. For new sites, try to keep your domain name short and sweet. As in, 15 characters or less. That way, it is easier for people to remember.
  13. Search engines take broken links into account, so make sure that all your links are active. It will also improve the overall quality of your website and brand.
  14. You should never have empty spaces or half-filled pages. Find any content gaps and fill them.
  15. Consider guest posting. It’s a great way to create site content.
  16. It’s crucial that you remove pop-ups on mobile and interstitials from mobile. In January 2017, Google announced that they were going to implement a penalty on sites that are continuing to use pop-ups and interstitials.
  17. When you are making content give some thought to how you can share it on other platforms. Maybe repurposed into a video, Facebook Live, Slideshare, or something else?
  18. Try out LinkedIn ads. LinkedIn enables you to track conversions to see how many users from your sponsored content and advertisements are converting.
  19. Instagram is a must if you are an e-commerce brand. It has tons of valuable and useful shopping features, enabling you to showcase your products well.
  20. Consider creating “Shop The Look” ads with Google Adwords. This will help to encourage your mobile shoppers to convert.

If you are implementing these 20 actionable things into your SEO, then you are on the right path. It’s safe to say that you are well on your way to being an SEO expert as well as having a Search Engine Optimized business!