If you took all the websites that generate the most traffic, what do they have in common? Do they actually do good in any form of SEO? Or is link building even thing for them? What makes them so successful? And how can you replicate that?
Alexa has a list of the top websites in traffic and I'm using it to draw these conclusions today. When you look at those websites, there are a few things that they have in common. And you may have been surprised by some of them and the conclusions I'm going to share with you. In order to get these conclusions, let's answer some of the questions that you're going to be curious about. When you look up, one of the main questions you're going to have do big websites actually do SEO?
Well, the first takeaway I have for you is their branding is their biggest asset. The vast majority of keywords is made of branded keywords.
For example, Craigslist is a 22nd most ranked website in the world according to Rank Ranger. It gets more organic search traffic than Apple and Netflix, Walmart and many of the other big brands. This is because a lot of their search traffic is from terms like Santa Barbara furniture Craigslist, Los Angeles apartments Craigslist.
Action at them, capitalize on your brand and try to build a big brand over time because that'll help you get more search traffic.
Takeaway number two, they've established authority already. Because their brand is so big, big companies typically don't have to work as hard as you do. They've already established a sense of trust, which is important factor for Google.
According to copyblogger, domain trust and authority represent 23.87% of Google's ranking algorithm.
Since cocoa is a household name, they can make subpar non-optimized content and still get amazing results. It's a trust factor.
So how important is a big brand? Well, brand trust impacts buying decisions. More than half of customers say they're happy to pay more for a trusted brands product or service.
So the third takeaway I have for you is, there's always social component to them, and user generated content machine that allows big websites to have new content being published at scale on a daily basis. It's no surprise that big brands have big presence on social media. It's also no secret that Google is watching social signals carefully, such as followers likes, shares, comments.
Because these brands get tons of social signals, it makes their pages look more authoritative in Google's eyes, therefore, helping them with their rankings, whether it's directly or indirectly.
Also, brands can dominate through user generated content strategy. Airbnb is a perfect example of this. In fact, the majority of their content is user generated.
Just check out their Instagram. Every day they take advantage of their work Under less following, by posting senior photos taken by their followers and tagging them for credit.
If you look at websites like Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Amazon, IMDb, TripAdvisor, Urban Dictionary, these are all examples of user generated content. It's an easy way to scale fast versus you having to pay your own writers, which is super expensive, in the long run.
The fourth takeaway, websites that don't rely on user generated content, have put content production in the center of their strategy.
The New York Times get an estimate of 59 million organic visitors per month, and they rank for about 45 million organic keywords. This is because they publish around 230 pieces of content a day. Just imagine that, 230. Whereas about a news article or blog post or multimedia pieces. They're a content production machine.
The fifth takeaway is authority. It's super important. As I somewhat mentioned above, these big brands have established authority in their space. Even if the site doesn't have a huge Content Marketing Strategy, they still hold high authority in Google's eyes, who found the company who invented serrata does virtually no marketing, when they still rank for over 5000 organic keywords of the content on that is posted on their site. It's mainly UGC, right? User generated content. Can you imagine if they did content marketing? Where would they be? Serrata needs no marketing, I guess, you know, I always have multiple bottles in my fridge, but that would probably help them really skyrocket.
The next thing you're probably wondering is, do these big brands actually build links? Well, that leads me to takeaway number six.
They don't really need to build any links. And here are some reasons on why. The first reason is newsworthy content. New York Times ESPN, right? When you're releasing news based content that's fresh, everyone's reading it, they're naturally linking to it. It builds a lot of trust, and you'll do well not just in Google Organic, but also in Google News, and Google Discover which is amazing easy way to get traffic.
This makes new sites and counter-sites easy to link to. It's a relevant, it's timely, it's factual. New York Times has almost 300 million backlinks, that's a lot. 22 of them which are nofollow, which means that 93% of their backlinks are dofollow.
When they publish in news article, a lot of websites will follow suit, linking back to them as one of their sources.
The second reason is established brand trust. Because brand trust holds so much weight in terms of brand trust and ranking. These sites get a ton of backlinks solely based on their brand, right? You're much more likely linked to Amazon, Wikipedia and New York Times just because you know, their brand. Effective link building is about trust and popularity. These sites are often popular.
People wanna link out to credible sources like WebMD versus Neil's medical blog, right? And WebMD has roughly 21 million backlinks.
So the next question you're probably wondering is how is user experience in those websites? Well, that leads me to takeaway number seven.
They deliver on what they promise. People aren't just buying products anymore, They're buying companies who represent and make these products. They're buying the brand, they're buying the experience, right? Nike creates experience.
According to Ron Girgis from Edelman, which is one of the biggest public relations companies in the world.
People aren't just buying products anymore. They're buying companies who make products, the values they represent, and what they stand for.
Brand trust is always a top priority. Just look at Geico, for example. Their motto is 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance. That line has become a marketing basis around the entire sales strategy for years. They follow through on that promise, which is why they do so well.
And that also leads me to takeaway number eight. When you think about user experience, you also think about amazing load time. This is a huge factor in Google's rankings now. And if your site doesn't load fast, especially on mobile devices, what do you think people are going to do? They're going to click the back button and go to the next site. If you're not sure how to speed up your site, go to Ubersuggest type in your URL, go to the site audit report.
It'll break down PageSpeed and how you can improve your site's load time.
That also leads me to takeaway number nine, when it comes to user experience. This is the last one. It's all about personalization and that's where the web is moving. It's a huge investment that everyone's trying to use in their website marketing.
You go to Amazon, let's say you buy a ton of dog food. Do you think they're going to keep showing you cat related products? No, because they know that you're into dog related products. With cookies and the ability for people to create accounts and companies to gather data, well it allows them to create better and more customized experiences for you.
So when I go on Amazon I see a lot of book recommendations, I see a lot of kind bar recommendations because I buy snacks from my household. So it's all about personalization. If they start showing me things for dogs or cats, I probably wouldn't come out that well because I don't have any animals.
When someone purchases from your website, keep track of it, and do it in an ethical way and let them know through your privacy terms of services will being transparent With your text. So that way you can use the data, And again, only do it in an ethical way and be transparent. So that way you can create more of a tailored experience. This will create a bigger bond between you and your customer, and help you do well and better with your SEO. Because SEO is not just about backlinks. It's about the total experience. And that's what Google wants to rank at the top, not just the biggest sites. It's about people that are providing the best experience.