Archive for the ‘backlinks’ tag
Writing solid content is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to marketing a successful blog. It’s important to advantage of search engines by building link equity, flattening your blog, and using other SEO tactics to make sure your content is getting the attention it deserves. These seven SEO tips can play a major role in pushing your blog up the search engine totem pole, allowing you to rank higher and therefore garner more visitors to your site.
1. Make sure your pages link to each other so your link equity is spread out
If you have a blog article with 100 backlinks and another page with 3, the page with 3 backlinks is going to have a much harder time ranking on Google, unless those backlinks happen to be cnn.com, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. However, if your page with 100 backlinks links to the less popular page, it will share link equity, thereby helping it to rank better. Re-linking all your articles to one another can be a tedious process, but fortunately WordPress has plugins for automated internal linking, such as “SEO Auto Links & Related Posts”. Check it out.
2. Flatten your blog
How information is organized into categories, pages, and subpages on a website, and how they link to each other is called site architecture or information architecture. Site architecture tends to fall into two modes: flat site architecture and deep site architecture. Deep sites tend to waste link equity, partly because the search engines see the higher level pages as more important.
The graphic below demonstrates a deep site, with four layers. Google is going to assume the category pages are the most important, because from the home page, Google’s webcrawlers will encounter the category pages first. If the majority of your content is 3 or more clicks away from your home page, the search engines will see these “lower” pages as less important, and may not even index them. The flatter your site structure is, the better its opportunity to rank well, and it will insure your pages remain in the search engine’s index to be found by searchers.
3. Nofollow links to sites with which you don’t want/need to share link equity
Large sites like Wikipedia don’t really get much of a search engine ranking boost when you link to them, so you may as well save your precious link equity by using a nofollow link, which tells the search engines not to follow the link (and therefore not to transfer any of your link equity to that page). Making a link nofollow is easy: you just add rel=”nofollow” inside that link’s HTML code, like this: <a href=”http://address.com” rel=”nofollow”>My Site</a>. If you’re using WordPress and would rather not deal with the code, check out the “Nofollow Link” plugin by Alex Jose, which makes the process a single button click.
4. Noindex pages that must be on your site, but do not need to rank
5. Delete old articles that don’t rank
If you have articles that are more than two years old, are seldom read, and have little link equity, delete them, unless you have some sort of sentimental attachment to them. In that case, noindex them so they don’t dilute the link equity of other, stronger articles.
6. Put your most valuable keyword as the beginning of your post title
The title tag is the most important on-page element to keyword optimize, so your post has the best chance of ranking for a given keyword if that keyword appears at the beginning of the title tag (often the post headline). Also make sure other posts linking to this post use this keyword as their link text (what SEOs call “anchor text”).
7. Kill your reciprocal links
Reciprocal links have zero net SEO value, because they return exactly as much link equity as they receive. If you have any, delete them unless they are there for goodwill’s sake. You could nofollow them, but then you’d be tricking the person you made the reciprocal link agreement with (which most people would agree is a “gray hat” move). Some of the best quality links you can get are run-of-site links like blogroll links (as long as the sites are relevant to your blog), so get those if you can.
For more information about setting up your site architecture, check out my article Plan Your Site So It Ranks Online [Marketing Consulting Series] at Digital Marketing Blog.
How many of these tactics are you using on your blog? (note from Jay: we’re doing 1, 2, 6 at Convince & Convert. We’re working on 5, and should tackle the rest, too).
About the Tony Ahn:
Tony Ahn is Chief Digital Architect at Tony Ahn & Co., a hybrid marketing agency in Manila, Philippines that practices both traditional PR and digital marketing. Clients include Fortune 500 companies and major local corporations.
Tony Ahn is Chief Digital Architect at Tony Ahn & Co., a hybrid marketing agency in Manila, Philippines that practices both traditional PR and digital marketing. Clients include Fortune 500 companies and major local corporations.
A guest post by Amanda DiSilvestro.
SEO can sometimes get overwhelming. Requiring keyword research, backlinks, and images, SEO isn’t something that you can do in 10 minutes.
For that reason, more and more companies are beginning to hire an SEO team or to outsource their SEO efforts to a professional agency to make sure that SEO gets done right. After all, if you make a few slipups when optimizing your website—duplicate content, keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc.—you could find yourself with months of cleanup work. The catch to all of this SEO work: Many companies are only worrying about Google.
According to The New York Times, Google controls nearly 66 percent of all searches. That makes Google the most popular search engine around, so companies obviously want to optimize their web pages for this search engine. Unfortunately, Google has a different algorithm—or different way of ranking web pages—than Bing and Yahoo do. That means companies need to optimize their sites in different ways for each search engine. That puts more work on the SEO department and spreads their resources thin.
It is even worth it to optimize a website for Bing or Yahoo?
Why Bing Is Worth Your Time
Bing ranks second behind Google. (You can get the latest stats about rankings here.) Still, the usual concern for companies is that optimizing for Bing will take away time from optimizing for a Google SERP. The truth is that optimizing for Bing doesn’t have to be time-consuming.
Below are a few ways you can begin optimizing your website for Bing.
- Domain Age—Bing puts more emphasis on domain age than Google. If you have an older domain, you’re already on your way! That was easy, right?
- Titles—Bing puts more emphasis on title tags than Google, so make sure your title includes your keyword. Once again, a solution that takes no more than 30 seconds.
- Flash—Google has never liked Flash much, but Bing doesn’t mind. If your website has a lot of Flash, you will likely have much better luck with Bing.
- Links—Both Bing and Google put an emphasis on inbound links and backlinks, so getting the basics down is essential for both search engines.
The only thing that may take a little bit of time away from your Google efforts is keyword research. You can learn how to use the Bing keyword research tool here.
So, why it is worth it to optimize a website for Bing? It doesn’t take much extra effort. Ask your team to optimize for Google first and then go back and make slight changes to help out your Bing ranking position. In general, Bing is said to bring in more targeted traffic.
Why Optimizing for Yahoo Is Easy When It Comes Third
Yahoo has certainly had a tough year with a 2,000-person layoff and continual upper-management changes. Their latest product was a few mobile apps that more or less failed when released to the public, so it makes sense that companies would question to the importance of Yahoo as a search engine.
Just as with Bing, Yahoo asks for many similar optimization techniques to be used—no duplicate content, solid backlinks, etc.—to get ranked. Experts all agree that Yahoo is headed for a downward spiral. Spending time optimizing your pages for something unpredictable might not be worth it, even if the search engine does bring in some users.
So, what’s the kick? Yahoo results are powered by Bing. If you’re optimizing for Bing, you’re pretty much optimizing for Yahoo as well. In other words, if you’re optimizing for Google first and Bing second, your third-search engine is pretty darn simple.
The Bottom Line
Whether you want to optimize your site for these search engines should really depend upon your site and the success it has with the audience who uses Yahoo or Bing. Consider trying this for a few months and tracking your results. If you see that you are getting clicks and conversions, then your optimization was more than worth it. This may sound obvious, but it’s never a bad idea to give these search engines a try.
Do you spend time optimizing your site for Bing, Google, Yahoo, or all? What helped you make the decision to put time and effort into SEO for these search engines? Let us know in the comments!
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to starting a small business. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including marketing best practices to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business search directory Business.com.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Job Search—Woman)
This guest post is by Slavko Desik of LifestyleUpdated.
Trying to understand the ways to get more traffic to your site, or even get some backlinks, you’ve probably stumbled across comment marketing.
And correct me if I’m wrong, but the first thing you probably hoped to get out of it was some links (even though most of them “nofollow”, hoping that it will still somehow boost your ranking), and also maybe get some traffic while making the blogger notice you.
Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but this is the wrong way to go.
So what are the basic benefits of comment marketing, and what should you aim to get out of it on the long term?
The benefits of comment marketing
Once you have a deep understanding of the benefits you can get from leaving comments on other blogs, you can learn the right approach to doing so. Let’s look at each of the benefits now.
Make yourself an authority in the field
The first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about how you can present yourself as someone who knows your niche, is to leave comments on other blogs that serve that same niche. The only way to make this happen is to leave good, structured comments that add value to the discussion.
Forget about writing “Great post”, or “I completely agree”. You are putting your name out there, so you’ll want to make every comment count. That way, you will grab the attention of those who are really interested in whatever goes in your niche. And those people are usually the key players now, or will be so in the future.
Grab the attention of the blogger
That’s probably one of your main goals here, right? I mean, you probably wouldn’t be leaving your opinion on another blog post if it wasn’t at all important to you. And leaving a comment that adds value to the discussion is the right way to do it.
You can either agree with what the blogger’s is saying, and offer some of your own similar views on the matter, or you can take a different side (something that is highly recommended if you want to grab the attention) with arguments that support your claims.
The word “arguments” is very important here. You can also grab the blogger’s attention by being offensive, or offering some highly subjective opinion—sure. But you probably won’t achieve any of the other benefits listed here if you take that approach. If you disagree with the points made in the post you’re commenting on, make sure to say that in a dignified, respectful way by offering strong objective facts that support your view on the matter.
In any case, if your comment’s strong, you will probably eventually spark a conversation between yourself and the blogger, so be sure to check back on the post after you submit a comment. Most of the comment systems nowadays have optional subscription for replies, but even if the blog doesn’t, you’ll want to return to the post to check out the replies and other new comments.
It’s really a no-brainer when you understand the points above, but making those connections with the blogger, as well as the other readers, is so important that it must be mentioned separately.
Connect not only with the influential people in blogs’ comment sections, but also give your attention to those who are new, and not that experienced in the niche. Because note this: Your blogging peers now may one day grow to become A-list players in your niche.
Also, the “natural link building” which is so many times mentioned as the ideal way to gain backlinks, is not so “natural.” If you check the link profiles of some of the most authoritative sites in your niche, you will surely find that a large amount of links come from sites that are very well connected with the sites that they link to. By making connections with other bloggers, you’re passively attracting future links from them.
Just ask yourself who you would rather link to: a person you know pretty well, a person whose blog you love responding to and leaving comments at, or a person you don’t know anything about? The answer is pretty obvious!
Gain some search rank juice
This takes is such a small consideration in light of all the reasons why you should leave comments on sites, that I’m not sure if it’s worth mentioning. But here it is anyway.
If you’re thinking about boosting your site’s backlink count—and thereby search rank—by leaving comments on blogs, you’re probably hoping to find those blogs that allow “dofollow” links back to your site. So you go over there, write a sentence—or maybe two if you are in the mood, pack your name rich with keywords that you are hoping to rank for, and hope for the best.
Sound familiar? It’s all right—many, if not all, bloggers go through this stage at one point or another. However, the link value that’s passed even through those “dofollow” links is almost not worth mentioning at all compared to other methods of link building (and of course there’s none available through “nofollow” links).
On the other hand, if you leave blog comments under a name that’s rich with keywords, chances are that search algorithm updates like Penguin will make sure to greet you appropriately—that is, by penalizing your blog to some extent.
I should probably mention that there are still some sites in some niches that rank or ranked pretty well using this gray-hat SEO strategy in the short term, but it’s just not a viable long-term solution for your brand or your blog. Also by doing that, you’re just begging to be outed by someone out there.
Familiarize people with your brand and yourself
This point is similar to the first, except that this one deals with making a positive impression whenever someone sees you and recognizes your brand anywhere online. That’s why I strongly recommend having only one name, and one avatar associated with all comments you leave. Choose whether this will be your own name, some nickname you go by, your secret ‘net alias—whatever, as long as it’s something you feel comfortable with.
It’s widely accepted that the best option is to use your real name and your headshot, but you should probably decide for yourself. The thing is that this is how people will recognize you, so once you decide, it’s better to stick with the name and image you’ve chosen than to change these details.
For that reason, be sure to choose the picture carefully. You will be surprised how important this is—even at such a low resolution. Choose a professional-looking picture, and try to make a positive impression by smiling. Using Gravatar is a great way to make sure your picture is the same all over the web. This can go long way to build that trust and connection with people.
Get traffic from the other blogs, and expose yourself to a broader audience
Each time you leave a comment, make sure you include a working link back to your site. Remember, the better you fulfil the ideas we spoke about above, the greater the chance someone will click your name, and visit your blog.
I’ve heard that the commenters that get most clicks are those who leave the first few comments. You can also achieve higher CTR by leaving responses in which you (respectfully) disagree with the author—this will surely attract some attention, but you’ll have to make sure that the facts are on your side.
Guest posting opportunities
In some ways, this benefit is closely connected with the second one: grabbing the blogger’s attention. But the thing here is to consistently add value to the discussion over a longer period of time. That way, you’re sure that the connection you are building with the blogger is going in the right direction, and the chances of having a guest post offer accepted are bigger, and more real.
Using the same name and picture each time you comment should help here, because it increases your chances to be noticed by the author. That said, do should consider the number of comments on the page and the response rate of the author. If you’re commenting on a site that has a few hundred comments on every post, it’ll take eternity to get yourself noticed. By the same logic, a site on which there are a smaller number of comments, but where the author is not even willing to spend time responding to them is also a site in which you would have a hard time making yourself stand out from the crowd.
Comment marketing in practice
Building a brand and developing your persona as an expert in your field takes a lot of time, but knowing how to make the most out of the commenting opportunities on other blogs is going to help you a lot.
What are your practices when it comes to leaving comments, or better yet, have you had some experience from the other side of the fence, in the comment section of your own blog? Maybe you have some tips you want to share too. Be our guest, the comment section is right below!
Slavko Desik is writer and editor at LifestyleUpdated where he tries to blend together his passion for living full time with his knowledge and passion for blogging. Find Slavko on Google+ or the official Facebook Page.
Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Inbound marketing to attract high-quality links is a critical path to improving your website’s search engine ranking, increasing brand visibility, and gaining targeted referral traffic. It’s long been known that backlinks from respected sites within a niche can translate to greater credibility—and higher conversions—for the linked-to website. However, link building alone won’t necessarily help you achieve [...]
Too many webmasters think of SEO in terms of things you do after a website is created, whether that’s optimizing specific on-page variables in order to maximize the odds of being ranked for particular keywords or the process of soliciting backlinks from qualified sources to power off-page SEO. However, ignoring the important role that your [...]
Mike Huber answers: “What is a Backlink Audit?”
If you’ve got a question about link building, content, social media, SEO or other Internet marketing topics, just post it on the Vertical Measures Facebook page, or tweet it to us with the hashtag #VMQA.
A lot of websites have been impacted with the recent Panda and Penguin updates. We’ve had a lot of people call us, and ask what are some of the things that they can be doing to look at the impact and see what next steps they can take to improve their traffic. What we’ve been doing a lot of are backlink audits. The question today is what is a backlink audit.
The backlink audit, what we do is we look at the number of backlinks that you have in your portfolio and we try to look at those in the aggregate. What we’ve discovered is there are a lot of websites that have really, really good websites that are pointing to them, and they have good page rank. They have really good page and domain authority. They are really good sites and they are passing great links to use. What we’ve also discovered within that portfolio is that there are sites that are questionable and there are some things that web masters really need to look at.
First of all you need to look at the websites that are pointing to you that don’t have cached pages any longer. These websites have been hit by the recent updates and they’re not passing any links to you at all. The good news on that is they don’t exist any longer so you don’t really need to do anything with those.
The next thing that you want to do is a visual inspection of some of the websites that have a lower number of cached pages. You want to look at
those for commercial viability. You want to look at those for regular posted content. You also want to try to determine if there’s any social proof or social signals that these websites are passing. Really what the essence of the backlink portfolio is to determine which websites are helping you and which websites are really pulling your traffic down.
As you’re doing that backlink portfolio, one of the things to look at is the exact match anchor tags that you have with those links that are pointing back to you. One of the recent updates is actually looking at the percentage of those websites that are pointing to you, and the exact match anchor text. If you’re over optimized there it may be pulling your traffic
down as well.
“Link Research Tools”, probably the most advanced SEO and link building tool, built by CEMPER.COM scored again! With the new metrics CEMPER Trust™ and CEMPER Power ™ they obsolete a lot of other link metrics you may know and still use. The new “Power*Trust keyword cloud” is again a whole new way to visualize backlinks and the [...]
With the recent launch of Google’s “Penguin” algorithm change – which aims to cut webspam detected through a number of different avenues including low value backlinks and keyword stuffing – deploying proper keyword optimization across your websites will become more important than ever. Now, when I say “proper keyword optimization,” I don’t mean, “pick a [...]
You’ve heard the legends before: Create a tool, get it out in the internet and hordes of traffic will come in. Alternatively, create a tool, distribute it among webmasters and get thousands upon thousands of backlinks. If only reality were that easy.
Yes, it’s absolutely possible to get thousands of backlinks and visitors using tools and widgets. You’ve seen it before as you browsed plugin sites, template sites and tool sites. This tactic really works.
However, the side you don’t get to see is all the webmasters who’ve taken this path and failed. For any webmaster who’s created a tool and successfully gotten a lot of traffic, chances are there are dozens of webmasters who did the same thing and saw no results.
How can you make sure your efforts are rewarded rather than ignored?
#1 – Better or More Original Than Any Existing Tool
This is the first and most important rule. If you’re creating a tool, make sure it’s either better or more original than anything else out there.
For example, if you’re creating a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator, take a look at all the other calculators on the market. Can you create something that’s better and more original? Can you create a calculator that gives them more stats than other calculators?
If not, then don’t do it. Your tools won’t rank in the search engines and won’t rank in tool or widget distribution websites of if you’re not original.
Don’t do “me too” tools and widgets.
#2 – Make Your Tool Viral Friendly
Make it simple and easy for people to share your tool with their friends.
Put Facebook likes and Twitter retweet buttons right on your website. Put an embed code for your tool at the bottom of your page, so anyone can embed it.
Ask people to share your content. Make it easy to invite their friends. If you can give them some sort of incentive to invite their friends, such as the ability to compare results, you’ll increase the virality of your tool.
#3 – Target Webmasters
Give your tool away to other webmasters, who can then republish the tool on their site. Do it for free.
This model strikes a lot of people as counter intuitive. After all, you’ve spent dozens if not hundreds of hours building the software. Or you’ve spend hundred or thousands of dollars getting it off the ground. Why should you give it away for free?
If you charged for it, chances are you’d make a few sales to hardcore developers, true fans or people who really need your widget. The reality is however, selling tools and plugins are very difficult.
On the other hand, if you gave it away for free, you could easily get hundreds or thousands of backlinks to your site. Make sure a link is embedded in the plugin.
These links will help you get ranked in the search engines. They’ll help you get thousands of other visitors to your site who could eventually end up buying from you.
#4 – Duplicate it on Other Platforms
Make your tool available on as many platforms as possible.
If you have it working in just plain HTML right now, write a version that other developers can use in WordPress. If right now you only have WordPress, expand to Drupal and Joomla.
If your tool is getting extremely popular, write a version for the iOS. Then write a version for the Android store.
Each time you write your tool, you tap into a different, brand new audience. As long as your tool is truly useful and original, it’ll spread, get traction and build a following no matter what platform you’re on. Each time you’ll get more backlinks, more buzz and higher rankings.
Using tools and widgets to build backlinks and get traffic is one of the most powerful yet overlooked methods of generating web traffic. It takes some experimentation to get it right, but once you do the efforts will more than pay off.
4 Tips to Build Backlinks and Traffic Using Tools and Widgets is a post from: We Blog Better. © 2011. Share it freely, but please link back to this source.
I’m also available for blog startup, content writing and consultation services.
Visit my other blog, Highly Favored for Christian inspiration and church newsletter tips.
Become a Better Blogger
Trying to keep track of backlinks is one of the most miserable elements of being a guest blogger. Relying on the blog owner not to remove, edit or cancel backlinks in posts and bylines, you often have recourse if something goes wrong. This is not due to any malicious intentions by the blog owner, but [...]
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