7 Essential Ingredients Every SEO Campaign Needs

seo elements

Aren’t you tired of reading the same SEO advice that teaches you how to optimize your meta tags? Although meta tags are important, they won’t have as much of an impact on your search traffic as some of these advanced SEO methods will.

If you are planning on optimizing your site for search engines, you need to start thinking outside the box and start leveraging a few uncommon, but essential, tactics.

So, what are these tactics? Well, let’s dive into 7 of them:

Tactic #1: Sloppy competitor link building

One way of building backlinks is to use tools like Ahrefs to see who links to your competitors and then beg those sites for backlinks. This tactic is typically ineffective because your main competitors are probably knee deep in SEO.

But have you ever tried this tactic with the sites that rank on page 10 of Google or onward for the keywords you are pursuing?

google results

What you’ll notice is that sites linking to competitors listed on page 10 or onward are more receptive to linking to you. Those links tend to be more natural; they are not bought; and they are typically from very old sites that need to be updated more frequently.

So, by emailing them and offering them to link to more valuable and updated information, you are more likely to get a yes. Plus, if the site has PageRank 4 or lower, it is also more likely to link to you as sites with higher PageRank tend to be owned by companies versus individuals.

Tactic #2: Gifographics

Infographics aren’t played out. They still work…just not as well as they used to work. A few years ago, you could pop up an ungly-looking infographic on almost any topic, and it would still get hundreds of social shares.

Nowadays, you have to make sure the data in your infographics is really good, and the graphics themselves are pretty. For example, this infographic on colors received over 800 Facebook likes, 600 tweets and 23,264 visits within 3 days. But then again, the data and the design look great.

Now, if you think those results are impressive, keep in mind that I get over 500,000 visitors a month to Quick Sprout, so it’s not too hard for me to drive traffic and social shares to an infographic.

On the other hand, guess how much traffic this infographic on how engines work received within 30 days? 350,000 visitors!

how engine works

That’s a lot considering the site that generated it barely has any loyal readers. This just shows that animated infographics (aka gifographics) do extremely well. Just look at this one on cheetahs


It has over 1,170 natural backlinks.

Tactic #3: Meta tag optimization via AdWords

There are two main elements that determine how much traffic you end up getting from search engines. The first is how high you rank, and the second is your click-through rate.

Do you know how to increase your click-through rate? By testing new title tags and meta descriptions for your web pages, right?

And although that’s correct, it’s a pain in the butt to test them. Wouldn’t it just be easier if you knew what worked so you could use similar text within your meta tags?

Luckily for you, there is a way to figure out what the most appealing text to increase your click-through rate is, without having to do much testing. See, Google AdWords has an algorithm that tends to place ads that pay the most and have the highest click-through rate at the top.

paid ads

Ads that are consistently clicked a lot tend to be placed higher in the sponsored listings section. By looking at those ads, you can see the text used there and then use similar text within your meta tags to increase your click-through rates.

Tactic #4: In-depth articles

Google released an in-depth articles algorithm update due to which its search results now feature thorough content pieces.

indepth articles

Using this tactic, we increased traffic to our KISSmetrics blog by 13.15% within 30 days.

indepth articles traffic

So, what do you need to do to get listed in the in-depth articles section?

  1. Focus on writing really good content that is at least 2,000 words.
  2. Write on broad topics within your industry.
  3. Make sure your code follows these Schema.org rules, or use this WordPress plugin.

Once you do that, just give it a month or so, and you should start seeing a bit more traffic from Google. If you don’t, it means that your content isn’t thorough enough. We found that the content that was around 1,500 words didn’t receive much traffic from the in-depth articles section of search, but when we increased our article length to over 2,000 words, we saw traffic increase from this algorithm update.

Tactic #5: Relevancy is the new PageRank

In his interview, an ex-Googler, who worked in the web spam team with Matt Cutts, mentioned that relevancy is the new PageRank.

Google is really good at spotting websites that build unnatural links, so instead of just going after them one by one, it released a Penguin update that focused on targeting sites that had irrelevant backlinks.

Most webmasters thought they could counter this by buying blog article links and by creating guest posts on topics that were related to their websites. The only issue with this tactic is that Google looks at the theme of the whole website. Getting a link to your marketing site from a blog on marketing is much more effective than getting a link from a marketing article on a business blog.

So, if you want to increase your rankings, don’t focus on PageRank or quantity of links. Focus on quality. By building relevant links, you are more likely to increase your rankings and maintain them in the long run.

Tactic #6: More authors equal more traffic

When Google authorship was new, content sites were seeing up to 150% increases in search traffic. Now that everyone has their images next to their search results, content sites are no longer seeing as big of an increase, but they are still seeing lifts in search traffic.


Although Google typically only shows one author image per website, if you have multiple authors, you can get multiple faces next to your listings. This is how Geekwire, for example, leverages this:

geekwire authorship

Not only does this help with your click-through rate, but it helps with your social signals. It helps encourage more social shares on Google Plus, which affects your rankings.

If you want to leverage this tactic, I recommend that you:

  1. Consider adding multiple authors to your blog or website.
  2. Encourage the authors to share the content via their social profiles as it will help with social votes.

Tactic #7: Broken link building via Wikipedia

The hardest part about broken link building is finding dead pages that a lot of people link to. One of the simplest hacks to finding broken links is through Wikipedia because if Wikipedia is linking to a page, there is a good chance hundreds of other sites are as well.

So, how do you go about finding broken links on Wikipedia? You first have to run this search query in Google:

site:wikipedia.org insert keyword “dead link”

All you have to do is replace the phrase “insert keyword” with the keyword or key phrase that is related to your business. This will then pull up a list of results of Wikipedia pages that are related to your website and contain dead links.

dead links

From there, you can click on the Wikipedia articles and search for the phrase “dead link” on the page.

wikipedia dead links

Wikipedia is looking to replace those dead links with valid links. So, what you want to do is see if the URLs of the dead links were pointing to a page that is related to your website.

You can do this by placing that URL into Archive.org. Assuming it is relevant, you want to go to Ahrefs to see if at least 100 other sites are linking to that URL. This way when you email those web masters, roughly 10 to 20% will end up linking back. If you pick a dead URL that only has 10 backlinks, it will be too much work for the small number of backlinks you will get in return.

broken dead links

Once you create a related page on your site, you’ll first want to go into the Wikipedia article and click the “Edit” button.

edit dead links

Now you can replace the dead link with the URL of the relevant page you created on your website. You’ll then want to email the sites you found through Ahrefs to see if they will replace the deadlink with the link to your website. You can use this template:

Subject: You have an error on [insert their website name]

Hey [insert their name],

I noticed you have an error on this URL, [insert URL of the page that links to the dead link]. The link with the anchor text [insert the anchor text of the dead link] is pointing to a dead page.

If you want, I found another, similar page that you can replace that link with. You can find it here… the page is even good enough for Wikipedia to link to it.

Keep up the good work!


[insert your name]


The world of SEO has changed drastically over the last few years. Not that long ago, you could clean up your code, build a few links, and rank high within six months. Now, you have to start thinking outside the box and leverage unconventional tactics that will boost your rankings.

Using a bit of creativity and following Google’s guidelines, you can continually boost your rankings with a long-lasting positive outcome.

So, what other essential ingredients does every SEO campaign need?


  1. Meta tag optimization s one I’d never thought of. Cool. Sending this to my team.

  2. Shiva Guru Balaji :

    This was exactly the post which I was looking for. Feeling Great That It Reached My Inbox Directly. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Justin McGill @ Workado :

    Good stuff Neil. Finding someone talented enough to pull off those gifographics is the key 😉

  4. Parmveer Singh :

    Great Post Again !! Really a fresh approach Neil Sir.

    Gifographics – a new term for the industry introduced.

    Thanks for giving idea of getting links from Wiki.

  5. another great article, metatag optimization want to see. Many Thanks.

  6. Is “gifographic” a real term?

    I never though animated gifs would come back after 10 years of being obsolete. But ya, they do seem to work.


  7. This is kinda big deal!

  8. Great list, Neal. As Jon said, that meta tag optimization is a great tip to keep in my SEO pocket.

    Those Gifograms look amazing as well, can’t wait for a post “5 awesome tools for making gifograms” haha

  9. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for another great piece. In my humble view, link-building as we know it – with auto tools and even ‘knocking on peoples doors’ (manual outreach) will all be algorithmed out within 10 years.

    I can’t see anything ‘natural’ about asking someone for a link 🙂 If you have to ask people for a link, then there has to be something seriously wrong with the content you’re producing. Have a great day..

    • Steve, I don’t really see it that way. I feel it’s a great way to network. Share for a share 🙂

      • Agreed. Everyone is so busy building their own links & content, sharing wouldn’t occur without the ask.

        Info & gifo-graphics are can be time consuming (if they’re really relevant and valuable) and aren’t gate-able but can be good for traffic. Any ideas or info on ROI from them?

        Good stuff! Thanks for the good info.

  10. Stop it, Neil. You give too much :). Another great post.

  11. Adithya Shetty :

    Hi Neil,
    Another Awesome piece on SEO!
    You mentioned links from a low ranked sites will look more natural and easy to ask, but if our competitor has couple of high PR links, can we still outrank them?

    • Adithya, you definitely can. You just have to focus on high quality content so you can get qualified traffic. Rankings don’t matter unless there is traffic to back it up 🙂

  12. Hi Neil,

    Just wanted to comment on your remark about infographics. How well do you find them working for your blog (the color one aside)?

    Do you tend to get more shares/interaction on infographic-centered posts rather than text-centered posts?

    JR John

    • JR, it’s a mixed batch and is usually based on the content. I will say though, infographics usually perform better.

  13. Outstanding Tips that could never be found on the Internet.You’r a blessing for us Neil.Thanks a lot, you Rock !

  14. Neil, you’re just amazing. Always giving something to think about when the time is right for it.

  15. Kenneth Neeley :

    Neil, you could possibly have the most useful blog in the history of forever. Thanks for being so generous with your brilliance.

  16. I am a huge fan of GIFs (Facebook are you listening?) and love infographs. Have not heard of gifographics until now, but they look to be infographs 2.0 and from what you shared, very effective. Like Justin mentioned, finding a good designer that can pull it off is key.

  17. Traveling Cats :

    Writing in-depth articles is great, but what if I have a photography based blog? I have lots of daily visits that come from social shares, but almost none from Google. Thanks.

  18. Great call on mining Wikipedia for dead links! Thanks for sharing.


  19. Cool tips for SEO campaigns 🙂

  20. Eugene Hennie :

    Neil thanks for this.

    What happens when you enter a niche or have a topic that is competitive but has less competitive keywords?

    If everyone is going after those long keywords won’t they become competive also?

    • Eugene, great question. Once you focus on long tail keywords they become less competitive because there is a limited space for people within that niche.

  21. Carole @ Rustic Artistry :

    Why reinvent the wheel? Checking out the metatags from the top listings is so much quicker and easier. Great tip!

  22. Hi neil ,
    You really very talent How informative your articles is ! really It is a great job of you . This tips is very rear on internet .Carry on Neil .

  23. Another excellent article Neil. These are some really great tips on how to improve your SEO. It seems like Google really wants to focus more on rewarding quality content with higher rankings in the search engine.

  24. Hi Neil
    im very happy and thanks for all good ideas i get from you
    i will soon put them in use.

  25. def got to go and try some of these out!

    I guess it depends on your niche for the Wikipedia idea, Which may have little on this subject.

    Great ideas though.

  26. Great tips Neil. The Wikipedia broken link one in particular is genius!

  27. Spectacular post. That Wikipedia technique is awesome. Can’t wait to try that with some clients. Thanks a lot!

  28. Hi Neil,

    Good to see you mentioning the animated infographics… I previously wrote about them in the Google+ SEO community (and had a site live for a while trying to promote their usage as “animinfographics”). Gifographics works great too and you’ll have a much greater ability to get the word out about them. I agree that they’re the next step in infographics until something more interactive comes along. Flash would’ve been great (and still could be I suppose) for doing interactive ones. Even webpages using Ajax, CSS or HTML5 to make an interactive onpage inforgraphic that one can spread the link to instead of the actual infographic image.

    Keep spreading the good word!


    • Jeff, I think they are great and convert really well.

      Thanks for the insights. I take it you work with them a lot?

      • Hi Neil,

        I started to back in October when I launched the site and I tried promoting their use on certain forums like Googe+ SEO Community (which I love dearly) and it was a bit difficult to get folks to get behind them but looking at the examples of really quality ones (two of which you displayed) shows that they take infographics to a whole new level.

        I think an ideal case , as mentioned, would be to build out interactive infographics and since bandwidth isn’t an issue for most anymore large size constraints are virtually non-existent. HTML5 / Canvas apparently is a potential for this.

        I see in just a short while your piece has already gotten the ball rolling far more than I was able to which I’m glad to see. I look forward to seeing what all these creative folks come up with.



  29. Yet another fantastic post by you Neil. I would love for you do a post on how to make such amazing gifographics or direct me to one if you have already done it. Thanks a bunch!

  30. James Norquay :

    Thanks for sharing the interview piece I did on the Ex-Googler Neil, even though it is 1.5 years old it is still highly relevant. Great article as well I will share it on a few sites.

  31. Amelie Bachtar :

    Great tips Neil, shows how creative you can get with sep, loved the wikipedia strategy and meta tag optimization which is so simple but genius!

  32. Great tips Neil. The Wikipedia link tactic is great and something I’ve never used. Will be using for one of new client who is in London Waste Removal niche. Quite a boring niche though.

    • Same here, have not tried it as well! Neil, love how you are attacking Broken Link Building with the Wikipedia angle. Trying this one out now, see if I get better conversions.

    • Paththage, please let me know how it works out. Also, if you need any suggestions shoot me an email 🙂

  33. Once again, epic article. Great job Neil!

  34. why i can not share this by email?

  35. Christopher Pontine :

    Hey Neil,

    Awesome Post!!!! Great point on the Meta, I personally have just left it as something simple, but I am going to try and measure a few methods to see if this help converts better.


    Christopher Pontine

  36. Neil you’re awesome! Using Adwords to optimize your meta tags and descriptions is a brilliant idea. I am going to implement this strategy on my next blog post. Thanks for all your amazing content.

  37. thank you
    your post always teach something new

  38. Barbara McKinney :

    Another great article coming from the SEO wizard:) Thanks for sharing this Neil. I really love the gifographics above.It easily catches my attention.

  39. The only hard part on the Wikipedia tactic is getting your account accepted I guess?

    Who would have thought GIF could be used on infographics. I only see those things on 4chan nowadays.

    Great Neil

  40. Brodey Sheppard :

    Nice write up!

  41. Another great post Neil,

    “Meta tag optimization through Adwords” is going to be my favorite.thanks

  42. HI Neil,
    Awesome post man cheers for the wonderful post.I have one doubt with respective to the wikipedia dead link section. In that you have mentioned about sending the mail how to get their mailid because I tried using this technique but I got stuck up with the email sending section. Please advice me in getting the mail or sending the mail or anyother ways of contacting the blog writer

  43. Anoop Srivastava :

    i love for wekipedia link building method. I have search for my industry and find 30 to 40 dead links. So now i am going to write quality content based on dead links and replace it with my links. Not in 1 day and i have make plan for it in next 3 months. Thanks Neil.

  44. I didn’t understood the concept of dead links ” How to replace deadlinks with our url”
    can you please help me out neil.


  45. Hi Neil,

    I was already following some of the tricks defined in this wonderful article. I’ve experienced the benefit of Adwords inspired Meta Tags and would love to see how your tip about “Sloppy competitor link building” helps.

    Thanks a lot for compiling such great stuff together at one place.

  46. The idea “How to get link from Wikipedia” is awesome. I try this thing and will expecting the nice results…:)

  47. Hey Neil.. Today I learned about how the cylinder works.. Thank you for sharing how to get links from wiki and one truly unique way of link building..

  48. Peter Kortvel :

    Cool, I haven’t heard of gifographics… and it doesn’t need to be so much more work to make them…

  49. Great tips Neil


  50. Hi Neil

    Tried the dead link method on wikipedia and added a link that was similar, seems to have been accepted.

    Is it best to just do this once or find more to edit?

    Thanks Dan

  51. Hey Neil,
    Killing it as always. Do you have a company you can refer for the Gifographics?

  52. I tried the wikipedia method, got banned straight away :(.

  53. Nora McDougall-Collins :

    Perfect timing! It’s perfect for one of my students who just completed his website for his engineering business and is now working on SEO.

  54. Thanks for this post, I am lucky that I am following the right guy that is Neil Patel.

  55. I was not aware of the wikipedia dead link method. Thanks neil for sharing it.

  56. Hi Neil,

    I really enjoyed this article. In particular I appreciate the advice on finding dead links on Wikipedia. Very valuable info, thanks so much for sharing!

    You are awesome dude, keep it up.

  57. Great post again neil, I love your tips specially “Broken link building via Wikipedia ” and “Meta tag optimization via AdWords”.

    Here i want to ask one thing how can i ask backlink from any webmaster ?

  58. Thanks a lot NEIL PATEL for great article on SEO till now. I have read so many things but this is amazing.

    Can you share beginner guide for SEO so i can share it with my colleague.

  59. Hey Neil loves this infographic post. This is awesome man. but can;t stop my self to srop a question in comment. Before few day I and my colleague discuss about meta tags. He read some where on internet that Google spiders are not read the meta keywords and he said I am not used the meta keywords anymore. Does he right??? I mean having wordpress blog including all in one SEO plugin now it gives the textbox to add meta keywords. So, Who is the wrong??? Plugin or my colleague?

    • Bhavesh, I would disagree with him. I would advise you always optimize for meta tags. The anchor text within your description does matter when people are searching for your product. It guides them as to what you are selling.

  60. Hi Neil,

    Another nice post – great.
    Wiki dead link tactics is excellent – thank you for your advice.


  61. Thanks neil for a helpful resource seems nature of seo is changing too fast now 🙂

  62. A great article, thanks very much. I’d say infographics are dead, but gifographics are certainly the way forward. Anything which is bright and moving is going to grab someone’s attention – social media shares aplenty as a result.

    I also think the era of asking for paid backlinks is gone – you shouldn’t be doing this. It’s very spammy. Just look at what Matt Cutts said the other day; sites (and Cutts himself) are fed up of being pestered by SEO sorts who are only interested in backlinks. Marketers need to apply a more individualistic, unique approach to their efforts. Spamming isn’t such a method.

    • Alex, gigographics definitely are something that attract eyes.

      Great points on backlinks. Gone are the days of buying links and spamming people.

  63. Steven J Fromm :

    Neil, #7 blew me away. What an interesting strategy. I think I can try this for tax articles with broken links. This is my next project. Neil your blog is really amazing. I have only read two posts but you really go all out. All the best to you and I will be stopping back. Gonna try and like your Facebook page now.

    • Steven, glad you liked the tactic. Thanks for the kind words of support. I look forward to speaking more with you 🙂

  64. Gron Rowlands :

    Thanks Neil once again. 🙂 Hope all is well. Some great advice & info as per usual! Iv done so much reading lately my eyes are hurting ha

  65. tactic #7 never wouldve thought of that!!!



  66. Really interesting post.
    Now I see, there’s a great point in adding infographics
    Thanks for sharing, you are cool bro!

  67. Very interesting read – am definitely going to try an animated infographic for my industry. Thanks

  68. Neil,

    You’ve nailed it with this hack! This is the reason i continue to read all your blogs because you always seems to deliver quality tips.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ~ Rick

  69. This is an outstanding article with a large amount of valuable information about SEO. Infographics can deliver hundreds of thousands of visitors if they are unique, get posted all over the social media networks and contain colors and designs that naturally draw people to them and encourage individuals to read through the text on the infographic!

  70. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

    Neil, thank you.

    When in doubt-read a post on quicksprout.com.

    I do have a quick question though, if archive,org does not have a page to show you, should you just move on to the next dead link?

  71. Wow fantastic article Neil, i just started following your blog and i must say that your every article is extremely informative.

  72. Great post, i like it ..success Neil
    Thank you

  73. Hi Neil Patel,
    I like blogging, too. However, I am still questioning why I cannot attract many audience after using many tips to improve my blog. Sometimes I was disappointed and wanted to close my blog.

  74. Tactic #1 seems brilliant. It’s so simple and obvious, yet it never crossed my mind until I read it here. I’m going to give it a try today. Thanks!

  75. Hi Neil,

    I appreciate your valuable blog. The types of quality you put into your blog, i dint find these quality others blog.the point you mention here these is really helpful for other blogger to understand what kind of quality mentions for good blog.

    Once again thanks!!!!!Keep it up to share valuable information.

  76. Rajneesh PAndey :

    Hello Neil,

    This is one of the very informatics post and for me specially it’s very important, I was searching few interesting ideas for the new technique of SEO, but after searching a lot I was unable to find any helpful idea but after reading this particular post suddenly I got what I wanted, The point you have mentioned here these are really very helpful.

    You are really so talented “Neil”.

    Keep spreading the good word!

  77. joanns fabrics coupons :

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  78. Elliot Suiter :

    Great article. Love tactic #5….that’s it scroll back up and take a look 😉

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  82. I will definitely try making animated infographics. 🙂

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  84. Hey I think Gifographics it’s a very interesting stuff for work and explain a difficult topic, but where can I find it ?

    Thank you and greetings from Colombia 🙂

  85. These are good strategies on improving SEO, Neil! I like Tactic #5. I always want to be connected with matters at hand.

  86. Anthony Tornambe :

    In 2016 SEO has created a confusion, which is good SEO techniques & which is bad.

    • What specifically are you confused about Anthony?

      The fundamentals of SEO remain the same and the demand for high quality content has gone up!

  87. Hi Neil,

    I want to ask, Web 2.0 OR Guest blogging which is best?

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    please share your excellent thoughts.


    • Guest blogging works really well.

      Anchor text are powerful, but you’ll want to make sure you build a healthy blend

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