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10 SEO Techniques for More Traffic

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10 SEO Techniques for More Traffic

Getting more traffic to your website from organic search can be done in three ways.

You can either:

  1. Rank higher for existing keywords
  2. Rank for more keywords
  3. Get more clicks

The SEO techniques below all help you do one or more of those things.

1. Learn from your competitors

Competition makes life harder, but your competitors can also be a source of topic ideas.

To find your competitors’ most trafficked pages, you can use the Top pages report in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

For example, if we plug a competitor of ours into the tool, we see its guide to Magento SEO gets a fair amount of search traffic.

Top pages report results, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

We haven’t yet covered this topic ourselves, but it looks like it could be worth doing so.

You can also use the Content Gap report in Site Explorer to find keywords your competitors rank for that you don’t.

Here’s the process:

  1. Enter your domain into Site Explorer
  2. Go to the Content Gap report
  3. Enter a handful of competitors
Content Gap report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

For example, SEJ, SEL, and Moz all rank in the top 10 for “seo content strategies,” but we don’t because we haven’t covered this topic. So it’s probably worth adding to our content calendar.

Content Gap report results showing data on "seo content strategies"

2. Prioritize low-difficulty topics

It’s worth prioritizing low-difficulty topics if your site is new because you’ll probably struggle to rank for competitive topics out the gate.

You can find these with a keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. Just search for keyword ideas then filter for those with low Keyword Difficulty (KD) scores.

Matching terms report results, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Old content needs updating periodically because rankings don’t last forever, especially if you’re targeting time-sensitive topics.

For example, here’s the estimated organic traffic to our list of top Google searches over time:

Line graph showing organic traffic dips and spikes of an Ahrefs article

Each dip occurred when the content lost its freshness. Searchers wanted an up-to-date list of the top Google searches, but ours was old. That’s why rankings tanked.

Each spike occurred when we updated the content.

You can find pages on your site that may be due for a refresh in Site Explorer. Just plug in your site, go to the Top pages report, set the comparison mode to “Previous year,” sort the report by traffic change from low to high, and look for topics where freshness may be the issue.

Top pages report results, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

If you’re a WordPress user, you can find pages that no longer perform well by running a free content audit using the Ahrefs SEO plugin.

List of no longer well-performing pages, via Ahrefs' SEO plugin

Our study found that if a page ranks #1 for a keyword, it ranks for almost 1,000 more keywords in the top 10 on average.

Many of these keywords will be different ways of searching for the same thing. But some will likely represent subtopics you’ve covered in your content.

For example, our guide to submitting your website to Google ranks in the top 10 for “submit url to google.”

Organic keywords report result, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

That happens because we’ve covered this subtopic in the post.

Table of contents of an Ahrefs article

However, we have plenty of posts that almost certainly miss important subtopics. If we can find these and fill the gaps, our page can likely rank for related keywords and get more traffic.

Here’s a simple way to find content gaps:

  1. Enter one of your page’s URLs into Site Explorer
  2. Go to the Content Gap report
  3. Paste in a few top-ranking URLs for your main keyword
  4. Sift through the keywords for content gaps

For example, HubSpot and Neil Patel rank in the top 10 for “what are guest posts,” but we don’t.

Content Gap report results, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This happens because we didn’t cover that subtopic in our guest posting guide, whereas they did.

Not only could covering the topic in more depth help us rank for more long-tail keywords, but it could also serve the user better with information they might want.

Content hubs are interlinked collections of content about a topic.

For example, our beginner’s guide to SEO is a content hub. It has a pillar page about SEO that links to and from subpages about how search engines work, SEO basics, keyword research, etc.

Pillar page of our beginner's guide to SEO

The main benefit of content hubs is that link equity flows to and from all the pages in the hub via internal links. In other words, if one of your subpages gets lots of backlinks, they all get stronger and potentially rank higher.

If you already have content on your website, the easiest way to create a content hub is to reorganize related pages around a new “hub” page.

Flowchart showing how existing content can be reorganized

If you want to create a new content hub, one of the easiest ways to find topics is to look at your competitors’ top subfolders.

For example, let’s plug DietDoctor into Site Explorer and go to the Site structure report. We see 30 pages under the /low-carb/keto/recipes subfolder that get an estimated 143K monthly search visits in total.

Site structure report results, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

If we click the number of pages, we see all the pages under that URL structure along with their estimated traffic and top keyword.

List of pages with corresponding data on traffic, value, keywords, top keyword, etc

Many of these topics will make sense for a content hub.

Learn more: Content Hubs for SEO: How to Get More Traffic and Links With Topic Clusters

Backlinks are one of Google’s top ranking factors, but getting high-quality ones is easier said than done. It’s arguably one of the most challenging parts of SEO.

For that reason, before you start trying to build more backlinks to a page, it’s worth checking whether this is likely to help.

For example, if you plug our guide to SEO analytics into Site Explorer, you see it has backlinks from 57 referring domains (websites):

Overview of Ahrefs' guide to SEO analytics, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This page currently ranks #2 for its main target keyword:

Our guide to SEO analytics ranks #2 for "seo analytics"

But if you check the top-ranking pages for that keyword in Keywords Explorer, you see that the page outranking us has significantly fewer referring domains.

Top-ranking pages for "seo analytics," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

These numbers don’t consider backlink quality, so it could be the case that the top-ranking page outranks us because it has more high-quality backlinks. But generally speaking, it doesn’t look like a lack of backlinks is the issue.

On the other hand, if you look at the SERP for “what is seo,” you see that our page has significantly fewer backlinks than those outranking us.

SERP overview for "what is seo"

Building more backlinks is probably the way to go here.

7. Optimize internal links

Internal links are links from one page on your website to another.

Like backlinks, they transfer “link equity” from page to page. Unlike backlinks, you have complete control over where and how you internally link on your website. That’s why a popular SEO technique is to point more internal links at pages that need a boost.

To find these pages, plug your domain into Site Explorer, go to the Organic keywords report, and filter for keyword rankings between 2–10.

Organic keywords report results, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can then sift through this report for your main target keywords.

For example, we rank #7 for “off page seo.”

Ahrefs blog ranks #7 for "off page seo"

To find relevant and contextual internal link opportunities for this page, we can add it to the target page filter in the Link opportunities report in Ahrefs’ Site Audit.

Link opportunities report results, via Ahrefs' Site Audit

In this example, the report suggests we internally link a contextual mention of “off-page seo” in our on-page SEO guide.

Learn more: Internal Links for SEO: An Actionable Guide

Broken backlinks are a common problem because people often delete or move pages over time. Unless you redirect these pages to their new URLs, any backlinks pointing to the old ones will effectively point to nowhere.

Here’s how to find broken pages with backlinks on your site:

  1. Paste your domain into Site Explorer
  2. Go to the Best by links report
  3. Add a “404 not found” filter
  4. Sort the report by referring domains from high to low

For example, we have backlinks from 57 referring domains pointing to the old URL for our SEO Toolbar.

Data shows 57 backlinks pointing to old URL

Given that our “SEO toolbar” page still exists, we can reclaim those backlinks by redirecting the old URL to the new one.

Learn more: How to Find and Fix Broken Links

Ranking high on Google is only part of the battle. You also need to entice searchers to click on your result.

Here are a couple of ways to do this:

  1. Write a compelling title tag and meta description
  2. Add schema markup for rich snippet eligibility

Google often shows title tags and meta descriptions in the search results, so making them as compelling as possible without creating clickbait is important.

Example of title tag and meta description on a Google SERP

Here are a few tips:

  • Match search intent
  • Avoid truncation (use a free SERP snippet optimizer like this one to check)
  • Address the searcher directly
  • Include your main keyword

You can also use schema markup to make pages eligible for rich snippets. This is where Google shows additional information below the search snippet, such as review ratings and FAQs.

Example of rich snippet on a Google SERP

Given that these optimizations take time, it’s worth prioritizing pages with the most search traffic. You can find these in Google Search Console or get an estimate using the Top pages report in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

Top pages report results, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

10. Optimize for featured snippets

Featured snippets are short answers that show in some search results. Google pulls them from one of the top-ranking pages.

Example featured snippet on a Google SERP

You can effectively shortcut your way to the top of Google by winning featured snippets. But first, you need to find the best opportunities.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Enter your domain into Site Explorer
  2. Go to the Organic keywords report
  3. Filter for top 10 rankings
  4. Filter for SERPs with featured snippets where you don’t rank

You should now see all the keywords you rank for in the top 10, where Google shows a featured snippet from another result.

Organic keywords report results, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

For example, we rank #2 for “google operators,” but Google pulls the featured snippet from another page.

SERP overview showing Google pulls the featured snippet from a competitor

There’s no exact science to winning featured snippets, but you’re unlikely to do so unless your page has the information Google wants to see.

For example, it’s clear that Google wants a short definition here, but our page doesn’t have one.

Google SERP for search term "google operators"; notably, featured snippet shows a succinct definition

While adding one to our page doesn’t guarantee Google will choose us for the featured snippet, it will improve our chances.

Final thoughts

Getting more search traffic to your website is about ranking higher for existing keywords, ranking for more keywords, or getting more clicks. There are plenty of SEO techniques you can use to do that. These are just a few of them.

If you want more, read our list of SEO tips.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.

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4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

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4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

In a significant leap in large language model (LLM) development, Mistral AI announced the release of its newest model, Mixtral-8x7B.

What Is Mixtral-8x7B?

Mixtral-8x7B from Mistral AI is a Mixture of Experts (MoE) model designed to enhance how machines understand and generate text.

Imagine it as a team of specialized experts, each skilled in a different area, working together to handle various types of information and tasks.

A report published in June reportedly shed light on the intricacies of OpenAI’s GPT-4, highlighting that it employs a similar approach to MoE, utilizing 16 experts, each with around 111 billion parameters, and routes two experts per forward pass to optimize costs.

This approach allows the model to manage diverse and complex data efficiently, making it helpful in creating content, engaging in conversations, or translating languages.

Mixtral-8x7B Performance Metrics

Mistral AI’s new model, Mixtral-8x7B, represents a significant step forward from its previous model, Mistral-7B-v0.1.

It’s designed to understand better and create text, a key feature for anyone looking to use AI for writing or communication tasks.

This latest addition to the Mistral family promises to revolutionize the AI landscape with its enhanced performance metrics, as shared by OpenCompass.

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

What makes Mixtral-8x7B stand out is not just its improvement over Mistral AI’s previous version, but the way it measures up to models like Llama2-70B and Qwen-72B.

mixtral-8x7b performance metrics compared to llama 2 open source ai modelsmixtral-8x7b performance metrics compared to llama 2 open source ai models

It’s like having an assistant who can understand complex ideas and express them clearly.

One of the key strengths of the Mixtral-8x7B is its ability to handle specialized tasks.

For example, it performed exceptionally well in specific tests designed to evaluate AI models, indicating that it’s good at general text understanding and generation and excels in more niche areas.

This makes it a valuable tool for marketing professionals and SEO experts who need AI that can adapt to different content and technical requirements.

The Mixtral-8x7B’s ability to deal with complex math and coding problems also suggests it can be a helpful ally for those working in more technical aspects of SEO, where understanding and solving algorithmic challenges are crucial.

This new model could become a versatile and intelligent partner for a wide range of digital content and strategy needs.

How To Try Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Demos

You can experiment with Mistral AI’s new model, Mixtral-8x7B, to see how it responds to queries and how it performs compared to other open-source models and OpenAI’s GPT-4.

Please note that, like all generative AI content, platforms running this new model may produce inaccurate information or otherwise unintended results.

User feedback for new models like this one will help companies like Mistral AI improve future versions and models.

1. Perplexity Labs Playground

In Perplexity Labs, you can try Mixtral-8x7B along with Meta AI’s Llama 2, Mistral-7b, and Perplexity’s new online LLMs.

In this example, I ask about the model itself and notice that new instructions are added after the initial response to extend the generated content about my query.

mixtral-8x7b perplexity labs playgroundScreenshot from Perplexity, December 2023mixtral-8x7b perplexity labs playground

While the answer looks correct, it begins to repeat itself.

mixtral-8x7b errorsScreenshot from Perplexity Labs, December 2023mixtral-8x7b errors

The model did provide an over 600-word answer to the question, “What is SEO?”

Again, additional instructions appear as “headers” to seemingly ensure a comprehensive answer.

what is seo by mixtral-8x7bScreenshot from Perplexity Labs, December 2023what is seo by mixtral-8x7b

2. Poe

Poe hosts bots for popular LLMs, including OpenAI’s GPT-4 and DALL·E 3, Meta AI’s Llama 2 and Code Llama, Google’s PaLM 2, Anthropic’s Claude-instant and Claude 2, and StableDiffusionXL.

These bots cover a wide spectrum of capabilities, including text, image, and code generation.

The Mixtral-8x7B-Chat bot is operated by Fireworks AI.

poe bot for mixtral-8x7b firebaseScreenshot from Poe, December 2023poe bot for mixtral-8x7b firebase

It’s worth noting that the Fireworks page specifies it is an “unofficial implementation” that was fine-tuned for chat.

When asked what the best backlinks for SEO are, it provided a valid answer.

mixtral-8x7b poe best backlinks responseScreenshot from Poe, December 2023mixtral-8x7b poe best backlinks response

Compare this to the response offered by Google Bard.

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIMixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIScreenshot from Google Bard, December 2023Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

3. Vercel

Vercel offers a demo of Mixtral-8x7B that allows users to compare responses from popular Anthropic, Cohere, Meta AI, and OpenAI models.

vercel mixtral-8x7b demo compare gpt-4Screenshot from Vercel, December 2023vercel mixtral-8x7b demo compare gpt-4

It offers an interesting perspective on how each model interprets and responds to user questions.

mixtral-8x7b vs cohere on best resources for learning seoScreenshot from Vercel, December 2023mixtral-8x7b vs cohere on best resources for learning seo

Like many LLMs, it does occasionally hallucinate.

mixtral-8x7b hallucinationsScreenshot from Vercel, December 2023mixtral-8x7b hallucinations

4. Replicate

The mixtral-8x7b-32 demo on Replicate is based on this source code. It is also noted in the README that “Inference is quite inefficient.”

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIScreenshot from Replicate, December 2023Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

In the example above, Mixtral-8x7B describes itself as a game.

Conclusion

Mistral AI’s latest release sets a new benchmark in the AI field, offering enhanced performance and versatility. But like many LLMs, it can provide inaccurate and unexpected answers.

As AI continues to evolve, models like the Mixtral-8x7B could become integral in shaping advanced AI tools for marketing and business.


Featured image: T. Schneider/Shutterstock



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OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

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OpenAI Investigates 'Lazy' GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT a little over a year ago, has recently taken to social media to address concerns regarding the “lazy” performance of GPT-4 on social media and Google Reviews.

Screenshot from X, December 2023OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

This move comes after growing user feedback online, which even includes a one-star review on the company’s Google Reviews.

OpenAI Gives Insight Into Training Chat Models, Performance Evaluations, And A/B Testing

OpenAI, through its @ChatGPTapp Twitter account, detailed the complexities involved in training chat models.

chatgpt openai a/b testingScreenshot from X, December 2023chatgpt openai a/b testing

The organization highlighted that the process is not a “clean industrial process” and that variations in training runs can lead to noticeable differences in the AI’s personality, creative style, and political bias.

Thorough AI model testing includes offline evaluation metrics and online A/B tests. The final decision to release a new model is based on a data-driven approach to improve the “real” user experience.

OpenAI’s Google Review Score Affected By GPT-4 Performance, Billing Issues

This explanation comes after weeks of user feedback about GPT-4 becoming worse on social media networks like X.

Complaints also appeared in OpenAI’s community forums.

openai community forums gpt-4 user feedbackScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023openai community forums gpt-4 user feedback

The experience led one user to leave a one-star rating for OpenAI via Google Reviews. Other complaints regarded accounts, billing, and the artificial nature of AI.

openai google reviews star rating Screenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023openai google reviews star rating

A recent user on Product Hunt gave OpenAI a rating that also appears to be related to GPT-4 worsening.

openai reviewsScreenshot from Product Hunt, December 2023openai reviews

GPT-4 isn’t the only issue that local reviewers complain about. On Yelp, OpenAI has a one-star rating for ChatGPT 3.5 performance.

The complaint:

yelp openai chatgpt reviewScreenshot from Yelp, December 2023yelp openai chatgpt review

In related OpenAI news, the review with the most likes aligns with recent rumors about a volatile workplace, alleging that OpenAI is a “Cutthroat environment. Not friendly. Toxic workers.”

google review for openai toxic workersScreenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023google review for openai toxic workers

The reviews voted the most helpful on Glassdoor about OpenAI suggested that employee frustration and product development issues stem from the company’s shift in focus on profits.

openai employee review on glassdooropenai employee review on glassdoor

openai employee reviewsScreenshots from Glassdoor, December 2023openai employee reviews

This incident provides a unique outlook on how customer and employee experiences can impact any business through local reviews and business ratings platforms.

openai inc google business profile local serps google reviewsScreenshot from Google, December 2023openai inc google business profile local serps google reviews

Google SGE Highlights Positive Google Reviews

In addition to occasional complaints, Google reviewers acknowledged the revolutionary impact of OpenAI’s technology on various fields.

The most positive review mentions about the company appear in Google SGE (Search Generative Experience).

Google SGE response on OpenAIScreenshot from Google SGE, December 2023Google SGE response on OpenAI

Conclusion

OpenAI’s recent insights into training chat models and response to public feedback about GPT-4 performance illustrate AI technology’s dynamic and evolving nature and its impact on those who depend on the AI platform.

Especially the people who just received an invitation to join ChatGPT Plus after being waitlisted while OpenAI paused new subscriptions and upgrades. Or those developing GPTs for the upcoming GPT Store launch.

As AI advances, professionals in these fields must remain agile, informed, and responsive to technological developments and the public’s reception of these advancements.


Featured image: Tada Images/Shutterstock



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ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

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ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

ChatGPT Plus subscriptions and upgrades remain paused after a surge in demand for new features created outages.

Some users who signed up for the waitlist have received invites to join ChatGPT Plus.

Screenshot from Gmail, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

This has resulted in a few shares of the link that is accessible for everyone. For now.

RELATED: GPT Store Set To Launch In 2024 After ‘Unexpected’ Delays

In addition to the invites, signs that more people are getting access to GPTs include an introductory screen popping up on free ChatGPT accounts.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Unfortunately, they still aren’t accessible without a Plus subscription.

chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlistScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlist

You can sign up for the waitlist by clicking on the option to upgrade in the left sidebar of ChatGPT on a desktop browser.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

OpenAI also suggests ChatGPT Enterprise for those who need more capabilities, as outlined in the pricing plans below.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Why Are ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Paused?

According to a post on X by OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman, the recent surge in usage following the DevDay developers conference has led to capacity challenges, resulting in the decision to pause ChatGPT Plus signups.

The decision to pause new ChatGPT signups follows a week where OpenAI services – including ChatGPT and the API – experienced a series of outages related to high-demand and DDoS attacks.

Demand for ChatGPT Plus resulted in eBay listings supposedly offering one or more months of the premium subscription.

When Will ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Resume?

So far, we don’t have any official word on when ChatGPT Plus subscriptions will resume. We know the GPT Store is set to open early next year after recent boardroom drama led to “unexpected delays.”

Therefore, we hope that OpenAI will onboard waitlisted users in time to try out all of the GPTs created by OpenAI and community builders.

What Are GPTs?

GPTs allow users to create one or more personalized ChatGPT experiences based on a specific set of instructions, knowledge files, and actions.

Search marketers with ChatGPT Plus can try GPTs for helpful content assessment and learning SEO.

There are also GPTs for analyzing Google Search Console data.

And GPTs that will let you chat with analytics data from 20 platforms, including Google Ads, GA4, and Facebook.

Google search has indexed hundreds of public GPTs. According to an alleged list of GPT statistics in a GitHub repository, DALL-E, the top GPT from OpenAI, has received 5,620,981 visits since its launch last month. Included in the top 20 GPTs is Canva, with 291,349 views.

 

Weighing The Benefits Of The Pause

Ideally, this means that developers working on building GPTs and using the API should encounter fewer issues (like being unable to save GPT drafts).

But it could also mean a temporary decrease in new users of GPTs since they are only available to Plus subscribers – including the ones I tested for learning about ranking factors and gaining insights on E-E-A-T from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

custom gpts for seoScreenshot from ChatGPT, November 2023custom gpts for seo

Featured image: Robert Way/Shutterstock



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