Posts Tagged ‘link building’
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Monday, April 29th, 2013
Image courtesy of Widjaya Ivan/Flickr.
Google Plus is an excellent content marketing tool from both a social networking and search engine optimisation perspective. The growing user base allows you to get your message in front of a bigger audience that can also help you share your content. From the beginning, it became clear that Google was going to use Google Plus to help it determine where a page appears in search results. You can leverage these benefits by using Google Plus wisely.
If you haven’t already set up Google Authorship for your blog, you’re missing out. Google Authorship links your blog posts to your picture and profile, links all of your content together and ranks pages linked to your name higher. Have you ever noticed a Google search result with someone’s name and picture next to it? This is Authorship in action.
Enabling Authorship on your blog links your Google Plus profile to your content, so when one of your posts appears in search results, your name and picture will be next to it. This is a great branding opportunity, and it also helps with SEO efforts, since Google ranks Authored content higher than other content.
Another benefit of Google Authorship is the related content listing. When someone stumbles across one of your blog posts on a page of search results, he may also see links to other content written by you. This can help you build your brand and increase traffic to your content.
Google favors legitimate content, and it uses Google Authorship as one way to differentiate between genuine content and spammy content. Using Google Authorship will help your page rank higher as Google recognizes it as natural, high-quality content.
Build a Google Plus Audience
Just like any other social network, the audience you build on Google Plus can help you gain more traffic, which can increase your page rank. When you have a large, engaged audience that clicks on the posts you share and that passes your content on to their connections, you’ll start to see results. You can grow your audience by using hashtags and participating in Google Plus communities.
Depending on your business, you could even start your own Google Plus community to create another channel you can use to reach your target market and communicate with it on a regular basis.
Use Links and Keywords Wisely
Google Plus allows businesses to use links in their about section, an opportunity you should take advantage of. Of course, these links are very helpful for your audience, but they can also boost your rankings. Use keywords as the anchor text for links that go to your website, but make sure your content is still people-friendly and doesn’t look spammy or forced.
Your keywords should also be used in your Google Plus posts, so that your posts will appear in search results when your connections search for those keywords, thanks to Google’s Social Search.
Google Plus is a growing social network with an added advantage: it very directly impacts search results. You can optimise your content marketing tactics by using Google Plus features to gain more traffic and better search rankings.
Friday, April 19th, 2013
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
There are lots of well-known search engine optimisation tips for blogging. You know that you need to use keywords, share your blog posts, and build links to them. However, have you ever considered why blogging is such a vital part of an SEO strategy?
Blogs House Fresh Content
It’s no secret that search engines love new content. Websites that are regularly updated with new content are crawled more often, which means they often earn higher page ranks and appear higher in search results than other sites. Blogging is one of the easiest ways to make sure your site always has fresh content.
Blogs Drive Traffic
The amount of traffic a website receives is one factor that determines what kind of page rank it has. Interesting, controversial, insightful and helpful blog posts can drive traffic to your site. If you share your posts through social media accounts, RSS feeds, press releases, email marketing campaigns and newsletters, more people will visit your website.
Blogs Help with Off Site Link Building
Link building is an essential part of SEO and more recently, natural links are becoming more valued by search engines. Your blog can help you build natural links to your site as people share your posts across social media and other websites and blogs.
Blogs are a Place for Internal Link Building
It’s incredibly easy to link from your blog posts to some of your previous posts or site pages. Internal links are a powerful SEO tool that you can put to use every time you write a blog post. Add anchor texts that are keywords and you’ll see even more benefits.
Blog Post URLs are Easy to Crawl
The easier your site’s URLs are to crawl, the easier it will be to gain rankings. Most blogs have basic, understandable URL structures that make it easy for search engines to crawl and rank your site. Each time you write a blog post you are adding content that search engines can easily crawl.
Blogs Create Site Activity
The level of activity on your blog can influence your search rankings. Sites that have more comments and user interaction usually rank higher than those that do not. You can use your blog to build a community around your site that encourages people to link to and comment on your blog posts.
The ability to earn higher search engine rankings is one of the biggest benefits of maintaining a company blog. To make the most of these benefits, create an attractive blog with unique and interesting content. Then, use a content calendar, internal linking strategy and social media strategy that helps you leverage each post.
Monday, April 8th, 2013
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In general, creating links to your website is a good thing. It can help you boost your search engine rankings, drive traffic to your site and help you reach new markets. There are two different ways to get links to your site: earning them and building them.
The difference between these two strategies may seem subtle, but each can have a vastly different effect on your search engine optimisation campaign.
Link earning is accomplished when a brand earns a mention, and link back to its website, on another site or blog. This type of link can be very beneficial because it is often from a legitimate site that gets lots of traffic and may have a high page rank. It is a natural link, not forced and not on a website that is built for the sole purpose of boosting the rankings of another site.
Common link earning strategies include:
- Guest blogging,
- Social media posting,
- Blog commenting,
- Form participation,
- News article and press release placement, and
- Website or blog sponsorship.
Earned links are highly valued by search engines because they are seen as legitimate. These links can also be excellent tools to help you build your brand. As your business reaches new audiences and becomes associated with other sites, your brand will become more recognizable and you’ll have more channels you can use to share your message.
Link building is still used in some instances, even though Google’s 2012 update devalued links created with these strategies. In essence, link building is the process of creating links back to your site in artificial ways. Some link building practices are:
- Link buying,
- Article marketing,
- Exchanging links,
- Using link networks, and
- Submitting to article directories.
All of these strategies can help you gain links to your site, but these tactics are less natural. They are forced and therefore, search engine are beginning to ignore them. Most of these link-building strategies won’t get you very far with your marketing efforts either. They likely won’t help you reach your target market and won’t help you build a reputable brand.
These days, link earning strategies are bringing more success to SEO campaigns. Using these tactics can help you build relevant, natural links that search engines will favor and can help you build your online presence and brand.
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Image courtesy of Sam UL/Flickr.
Using search engine optimisation content the wrong way, or producing content the wrong way, can be detrimental to your SEO campaign. While SEO strategies and best practices are always changing, there are certain practices you should avoid.
Keyword Stuff Content
Possibly the most obvious SEO error is keyword stuffing, or the act of filling your content primarily with keywords. Keyword stuffing is viewed negatively by search engines, so your efforts won’t be likely to help your rankings. The best way to use keywords is to include them in your titles, headings and a few times throughout your article. The more naturally you use your keywords the better. Writing content for your target market, and then adding SEO elements in natural ways, is a good way to avoid keyword stuffing.
Generate Fake Reviews
Google recently announced that it was penalizing fake reviews and even removing sites with fake reviews from its index. Reviews can definitely boost your rankings and benefit your other marketing efforts, but paying for positive reviews or just creating fake ones will hurt your business in the end. Your site will be penalized by search engines and your brand will likely suffer.
Duplicate Your Content
Search engines favor unique content. This SEO rule has been around for quite some time, and remains in force. It may be tempting to reuse your blog posts by posting them on several different article directories, but this practice won’t help your rankings and will only waste time better spend on more useful strategies.
Ignore Titles, Meta Descriptions and Tags
Each of your site’s page titles, meta descriptions and tags have the power to influence your site’s rankings. Optimising these for keywords can reap big rewards. This optimisation can be done through your site’s code, or, depending on what kind of platform you use, you may be able to use a plugin or other tool to make adding keyword-rich descriptions easy.
Fail to Balance On-Site and Off-Site Techniques
Both on-site and off-site SEO techniques need to be implemented if you want to see a change in your site’s rankings. Optimise your site for keywords and meta descriptions, and also use keywords to link back to and drive traffic to your site. Both types of SEO need to be used in conjunction with, and compliment, each other to achieve the best results.
Forget to Track Efforts and Results
As you execute your SEO campaign and use different types of optimised content, it is absolutely vital that you track your efforts and results. First, tracking results can tell you when you are successfully reaching your goals. Second, keeping track of what strategies you use and when you implement them can help you understand what is working for your brand. Then, as time goes on, you can focus your efforts on strategies that bring the biggest return on your investment.
Despite shifting SEO trends, these negative practices can harm your marketing efforts. If your business is currently using any of these strategies, either eliminate them from your plan altogether or find a way to change your approach to avoid these SEO pitfalls.
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
Image courtesy of jcburns/Flickr.
Link bait, which is often used in digital marketing strategies, is content that is shared by a brand with the hope that the audience will click a link to view it and share it with others. This strategy is a way to build search engine optimisation links, create a buzz on social media and drive traffic to a company website.
The most successful kinds of link bait is content that is compelling enough for your market to share on their social media accounts or blogs. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what makes good link bait and continue to share mediocre content that doesn’t get shared as much as other types of content. Thinking outside the box and looking for, or creating, content that makes the best link bait can be extremely beneficial to your brand.
Whether you regularly do surveys to study your market or not, you can use survey results as link bait. The types of results that get shared the most are humorous, interesting or surprising statistics. If your company doesn’t have its own survey information, do an informal poll on your blog or social media profile or find some interesting and relevant findings from another source to share with your audience.
Annual Review or Report
While annual reviews may be more popular among your current customers, donors or investors, they can also interest potential customers. Annual reviews can be long and text heavy, so consider sharing just an excerpt or turning some information from a report into a visual representation like an infographic. This approach is a good fit for businesses that sell products or services or that have hard numbers to share.
Videos have the potential to be spread around the Internet in way few other types of content are shared. Instead of going with the expected funny YouTube video, advertisement or product review, give your market an inside look at your business. You can do this by taping a tour of your facilities, interviewing one of our employees, letting people see one of your processes (like packaging products) or announcing news through a video.
Who doesn’t like a free sample? Offering a free online resource, download or tutorial can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. When people hear about your free offer, they’ll likely share it with their friends. You can also maximize exposure by requiring your followers to share a link to your free offer before they can claim it. This tactic is also a good way to build a positive reputation and relationship with your market, who will begin to see you as an industry expert.
Resources for Reference
If your brand can create and share a valuable resource that your audience will want to refer back to, you’ll likely see an increase in traffic. Valuable content is shared more often and gets more views than content that lacks purpose. The content used in your resource will depend on what type of business you have, but concepts that are informational, useful, include training and are detailed are usually well received.
No matter what kind of link bait you include in your strategy, be sure to use it to drive traffic to one of your online properties: your website, blog, social media account or lead collection form, for example. Good link bait is compelling enough to entice viewers to view and share the content and is hosted on, or includes a link to, your company website.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
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Guest blogging can be a very beneficial digital marketing strategy for your business. In general, guest blogging entails having content created by your company posted on other bloggers’ websites. Usually the content will be industry related and include a link back to your website.
If done successfully, guest blogging can help you build links and gain search rankings, reinforce your brand and build relationships. By following a few steps you can start a guest blogging program at your company that will add to your marketing efforts.
Step 1: Define an Outcome
First, decide what kind of outcome you want your guest blogging program to have. Do you want to earn search rankings? Are you trying to tap into a new market? Some of these goals will overlap and some added benefits may come as a result of accomplishing other goals. For example, your goal may be to earn search rankings, but by reaching out for guest posting opportunities you will also be building relationships with other bloggers. Setting goals early in the process will help you stay focused as you begin guest blogging.
Step 2: Choose a Strategy
There are several different strategies you can use for guest posting programs. You may decide to join some blogging networks, personally reach out to other bloggers or advertise on your own site that you are willing to provide guest posts and publish posts from others on your own blog. Whatever your strategy is, keep in mind that as time goes on you may have to adjust it depending on how successful it is. You may also choose to use more than one strategy.
Step 3: Lay Some Ground Rules
Before you start guest blogging, lay some ground rules for your business. For example, maybe you will only guest post for sites with a certain page rank or maybe you will not allow guest posts on your own blog. Some businesses offer sample products to bloggers in exchange for a guest post or sponsored post and you should decide what kind of perks you are willing to offer bloggers. Remember that paying for links or coverage is generally frowned upon, so make sure you aren’t bribing bloggers into covering your business.
Step 4: Implement a Tracking Form
As your guest blogging program grows you will need a way to keep track of what’s going on. A good guest blogging tracking form will include information about bloggers you have contacted, email addresses, notes about the blogger, guest post requirements and a link to any guest posts you’ve landed. Your form doesn’t need to be elaborate, and could be as simple as a spreadsheet with notes, but it does need to be easily accessible and have the information you need to gauge your success and manage relationships.
Step 5: Foster Relationships
Guest blogging is all about relationships. As you land posts and reach out to bloggers, keep in touch with them. These relationships can lead to more guest posts, product reviews or sponsorship opportunities. Keeping in touch can be as simple as sending a blogger an email every so often or leaving a comment on a recent post.
With some dedication and strategic efforts, guest blogging can help your company reach its digital marketing goals.
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
By now, most people have probably heard of Google Authorship. Even if you haven’t heard the term before, you’ve likely seen it being used when a page of search results displays a person’s picture next to a link.
In short, Google Authorship is a way to link content to a personal Google+ profile page, which can help your site get better rankings. Google likes to emphasize quality content and when brands use authorship they are signaling to Google that their content is deserving of high rankings.
So what’s the big deal? Why is connecting your content (both behind the scenes and for readers) so important?
More Clicks from Searchers
Pages with Google Authorship may get more clicks. If users see results with a face next to them, they may deem them more trustworthy or more authoritative than other sources. If your brand is big enough and your have a recognizable profile, searchers who come across your authored results may be more likely to click on them because they already trust you.
Faster Results than Other Methods
Some experts have seen Google Authorship results almost instantly. After you set things up with your Google+ account and on your website or blog, your pages will immediately begin showing up in search results with your picture next to them. Most other search engine optimisation tactics don’t begin to pay off until several months after implementation, so this is a big benefit of authorship.
Extra Link Listings
In some cases, pages with Google Authorship gain some extra link listings. If one of your pages shows up in a search, some of your other authored pages could show up under the primary link as “related” results, since all the pages are by the same author. More links means more traffic.
Benefit All Your Websites
Interestingly, the extra link listings Google Authorship can provide are not confined to one website or blog. So, if you have several different sites or contribute to multiple blogs, you could link them all to your Google+ profile, add authorship to each site, and get related links from different websites listed in search results. In other words, Google sees each of your pages as connected by your Google+ profile, not the domain name.
Google +1 Button
When you actuate Google Authorship on your Google+ profile, you’ll also need to activate the +1 button. Doing this means that you can add a +1 button to your content (that is linked to your profile), allowing readers to recommend your blog posts. Of course, this can create a social buzz and bring more readers to your site, but it can also benefit your SEO efforts.
Google Authorship is one of the biggest SEO tools of the future. By connecting your website to your Google+ profile, you’ll be tremendously benefiting your search rankings and even helping your brand.
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
In many industries, infographics are all the rage. All kinds of businesses use infographics on their websites, blogs, social media channels and even traditional marketing tactics. The hashtag “#infographic” was used on Twitter 56,765 in March 2012 alone. Infographics are becoming more and more popular, but should your company join the ranks of those tweeting about them?
Find the Right Opportunity
Creating infographics just for the sake of creating them won’t get you very far. To really take advantage of the medium, you need the right opportunity to use it.
Infographics excel at sending a message, or sharing lots of detailed information, in a very short amount of time. Instead of including a marketing message or awareness-raising details in a text-heavy blog post, you can include them in an infographic that your audience can glance at and grasp your message.
Knowing this, the right “infographic opportunity” will be one that has both the right message and the right audience.
Combining Audiences, Goals and Messages
Different audiences will respond differently to infographics. For example, if the goal of your infographic is to create a buzz on social media, you’ll need to target your market that is most likely to be online. You’ll need to make sure the message and topic of the infographic resonate with that same market.
Remember that each infographic needs to somehow add to your overall digital marketing strategy. Infographics can be extremely useful if used as part of a strategy, and not just used at random.
It’s all in the Details
If you want your infographic to work as link bait, something that your market will want to share across the Internet, you’ll need to make sure it is interesting, mind-boggling or exciting. Boring infographics that share statistical information about your company might not make the cut when it comes to infographics with potential to go viral.
Infographics that highlight interesting statistics about something well known or that categorize bits of information in a fun way are more likely to be shared. You can adopt a topic that is interesting and then find a way to relate it to your brand. A good way to do this is to leverage current events and pop culture trends.
Looks and Design do Matter
Part of the appeal of infographics is that they are easy on the eyes. They are fun to look at and easy to understand. Even if your brand’s infographics are full of interesting and useful information, if they aren’t designed well they will be less effective. Make sure each infographic you distribute is well-designed and is something you are proud to put your company name on.
With the right strategy, message and planning, infographics can add something new to a content marketing, social media, digital marketing or search engine optimisation campaign.
Friday, February 1st, 2013
Guest blogging can be more than a link-building tactic. With a good strategy, guest blogging can help you build your audience and enhance your brand’s reputation. In some regards, guest blogging is more of an art than a science. However there are some general guidelines and tips that can help you make the most of each and every post.
To take full advantage of the guest posts you land, your strategy must consist of these three things:
Your Brand’s Consistent Message
Part of guest blogging entails adopting a blog’s audience and their interests. However, this doesn’t mean you should abandon your brand’s own message. The ideal guest blogging opportunity will tie into your brand, so adding your own message will be natural.
Before you even develop your strategy, decide which of your brand’s messages you want to portray through guest blogging. Then, as you execute your plan, make sure your message doesn’t get lost along the way.
Staying on message will help prevent your content from becoming spammy and will help with your overall digital marketing goals.
A Call to Action
Every digital marketing strategy needs a call to action, and guest blog posts are no exception. Use your guest posting opportunities to reach your market, or even a potentially new market, and submit a call to action.
Avoid calls to action that are too pushy or too sales-oriented, since most bloggers will ask you to take them out or edit them. Instead, go for a more subtle, but clear call like asking readers to visit your website or connect with you on social media. From there, you can send stronger, more self-promotional calls to action.
Room for Relationship Building
A big part of guest blogging includes building relationships. To land posts, you need to reach out to bloggers, pitch an idea, and sometimes work with them as you edit your post before it is published. A good guest blogging strategy will leave room for this relationship building.
Strong relationships can lead to more guest blogging opportunities, on the same blog or other blogs. As you become partners with bloggers, you may be invited to write more posts, and many bloggers own more than one domain. You’ll also build your reputation as a guest blogger, gaining references and recommendations in the blogosphere, which will propel your guest blogging efforts forward.
As you build your guest blogging strategy and procedures, you should include these three valuable components, which will help you build page rank, reach new audiences and strengthen your brand image.
The Pinterest craze made the visually appealing site one of the fastest growing social media sites ever. In just two years, Pinterest gained 10.4 million users. All kinds of brands use Pinterest to share visual posts that send a message and draw users to their site.
Pinterest is an excellent tool for raising awareness and reaching your target market. But, have you thought about using Pinterest as part of your search engine optimisation strategy?
By taking advantage of some of the features Pinterest offers, you can add this popular social media channel to your list of SEO tools. Here are some tips to get you started.
Write Keyword-Rich Descriptions
When you write a description for a pin, use SEO keywords. This sounds like a basic tip, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t follow through with this. If you are posting pictures from your website or blog, use the same keywords you want to rank for with search engines. Pinterest pages often rank highly for keywords.
Get Local Rankings
Make sure your profile page is accurate, uses keywords and lists your location. Remember, you can also use local, geographic keywords in your pin descriptions. However, don’t use your city name for pins that really have nothing to do with your city. This will result in having your account reported as spam. Instead, consider creating city or community specific boards where you post photos and information about your city, making it completely logical and helpful to use city names in the pin descriptions.
Mix Social Media Channels
You can get more visitors to your social media links, and more shares, which can help rankings if your followers click through to your site, by cross-promoting your pins. Promote your pins on other social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to add a Pinterest button to your website or blog, making it easy for your readers to pin your content.
Pin Attractive Content from Your Site
Each pin on Pinterest has two links. The first, the image, is a no-follow link. However, the second, the text URL at the top of a pin, is a do-follow link. This means each time your pins are repined, you are gaining more traffic and more backlinks. To help you with both of these goals, you’ll need to pin images that are visually attractive and that link users to helpful information.
The link at the top of each pin is a do-follow link.
By making just a few changes to the way you are already using Pinterest you can turn this powerful social media tool into an SEO tactic. Remember to use keywords and to post content that is likely to be clicked on and repined, and you’ll find entirely new ways to increase rankings and traffic.