SEO Tips for 2020: Google, Keywords, Rankings and More

I cover 20 key tips in a new piece I just did for Content Marketing Institute:
20 of the Best SEO Tips for Keyword Rankings and Google in 2020

SEO Google tips and keywords.

At the end of the day, backlinks that matter the most. Sure, you need quality content. But well-written text doesn't guarantee top Google rankings for your favorite keyword phrases.

My CMI article looks at:

  • Ranking factors
  • BERT, the natural-language-processing algorithm
  • SEO complications and opportunities related to changing SERPs
  • E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness)
  • One-and-Done Syndrome
  • and more...

The article cites several studies, including this ranking factors survey by SparkToro:

I mention SparkToro data in Tip #5 as well:

Don’t expect relief from buried organic pages on search engine result pages (SERPs)

A No. 1 organic page ranking is not necessarily a cause for celebration or a traffic increase. In the past few years, I’ve seen website pages with high rankings lose traffic.… Read more

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Speaking at Content Marketing World – Sept. 3-6, 2019

I'm looking forward to leading a 3-hour workshop on SEO at Content Marketing World next month.

My presentation is Sept. 3: "SEO Essentials: Tips, Tools, and Tactics to Crush the Competition."

I'll have tons of tips, tools, and insights to help marketers protect their top organic positions while making major headway on other keywords that should rank higher.

Register today (use promo code MURRAY19).

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Get A Grip on SEO and Domain Names

Earlier this year, I came across a successful business owner who also has a bad habit of dreaming up useless domain names.

Owning a domain name makes sense if you're going to tie it to website content or to protect it so no one else acquires it (i.e. variations of your company name or brand).

One of my friends, an adviser to his business friend, asked for guidance. Here's what I suggested:

  1. Owning domains is great if he's trying to protect them so no one else gets them.
  2. Some people buy and sell as investments. Maybe he spends a lot each year to keep them. But maybe he gets a "return" as he sells them (Note: Turns out that's not the case - no selling).
  3. Beyond that, domains have no value (until they're used for websites of any size or sold to the highest bidder).
  4. Domains that sound good have no value unless they've been tied to past content with backlinks.
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Keyword Selection Tips for SEO, Google

Too often, keyword selection can be based on desire or a best guess. But choices should involve many variables and data.

I’m an advocate for focusing on your keyword “sweet spot.” Let me explain. You should assess how well you’re ranking now for keywords and their estimated search volume on Google. You can see Google search data when using Google Ads ( and with tools like SEMrush ( Look at how you’re ranking today for keywords in the top 10 positions on Google.

If you don’t have top 10 rankings, you should go for keywords with the lowest monthly search volume – like 10 searches a month. You can always revise your SEO efforts and pursue more competitive keyword phrases down the road.

Hopefully, you have some keywords that are ranking in the first 10 positions with some search volume even if it’s only 10, 20 or more searches per month.… Read more

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Don’t Wing It with SEO and Keywords

Time and time again, I hear about website marketers shooting blind with keywords. Or, more specifically, they wing it with keyword selection.

Picking keywords that sound good and seem relevant is only part of the game. You can aspire to hit the mark along those lines. But what if you rank #31 at the end of the day? What good is that? So what if you chose relevant words?

I've long said that you need to know what your website brings to the table? Is it worthy? Does it rank for anything? Are you doing an overhaul? Will the new design hurt or help rankings? Who is creating the new content? Will it reinforce some themes so the website establishes or builds on its authority?

And that's just the start.

Keep the following in mind while you earnestly think about the choose your keywords:

Keyword selection is a tricky business.

I focus on relevancy and possibly searcher intent words like "firm" or "buy" or "service."

I suggest thinking about these factors and more...… Read more

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