press release seo

How to Build Links With Press Release SEO

Link building is essential to any strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

The goal of link building is to increase the number of external websites that link to your site. This increases your page’s credibility and results in higher search engine rankings.

If you’ve had an SEO strategy for any length of time, then chances are you’ve worked on building backlinks to your site. What you may not realize, however, is that your company’s public relations team can be a powerful resource for building links.

Let’s take a closer look at why your company should use press release SEO to build your backlinks.

The Difference between Public Relations and Marketing

Public relations and marketing teams have always had different, yet complementary roles in a company.

To put it simple terms, the main goal of a public relations expert is to build a positive reputation for the company. By contrast, the main goal of a marketer is to advertise a company’s products.

PR and marketing experts also differ in their approaches. For instance, PR folks usually focus on generating positive media coverage and public appearance. Marketers create content that directly promotes the company to consumers.

In the age of digital content marketing, it’s more important than ever for these professionals to work together.

Developing a press release SEO strategy can help your company kill two birds with one stone. With this approach, you can promote your business and increase your website’s reputation. These outcomes will help marketers generate more leads.

Why Your Company Needs a New Backlinking Strategy

If you’re a marketer by trade, you may be starting to wonder why you need to work with your company’s PR folks. Perhaps you’ve been managing your company’s SEO strategy for a long time. Why start using press release SEO?

The short answer is because SEO is always changing.

Every SEO strategy relies on the algorithms search engines use to rank search results. SEO experts work to optimize their content so that it reflects what search engines look for.

The challenge is search engine algorithms are always changing. This means that SEO marketers must adapt their approach to fit the new algorithms.

A Brief History of Links and Search Engine Algorithms

In the early days of SEO, one of the primary ways search engines evaluated a website’s credibility was by its backlinks. The assumption was if many websites linked to a particular page, then that page was likely a reliable source.

At its core, this wasn’t a bad assumption. The problem was that once marketers figured out the algorithm, they began looking for ways to game the system. For instance, some marketers would create websites that existed for the express purpose of linking to other websites.

For this reason, search engines like Google constantly tweak their algorithms. This is to make it harder for marketers to increase their rankings inorganically.

In other words, these algorithms strive to prevent marketers from taking a “get rich quick” approach to SEO. Search engines don’t want marketers to take shortcuts to increase their rankings. Instead, they want websites to increase their rankings by producing better content.

Every marketer already knows that the best way to improve their SEO strategy is to create great content and earn links organically. The problem is that achieving these goals can be extremely difficult. It’s also time-consuming.

That’s where press release SEO can become a great resource for marketers. With this strategy, marketers can earn high-quality links for their company’s website. The key is to work with the channels the PR team already uses to promote the company’s reputation.

How Press Release SEO Works

One of the main strategies public relations teams use to build a company’s reputation is securing positive press releases.

Prior to the internet, this press coverage would often be in the form of a newspaper article, a TV new clip, or a radio segment. These are great strategies for building a company’s reputation. But they don’t always directly connect consumers to products.

But the internet age has changed the way that public relations and press releases work. This opens the door for press release SEO.

Nowadays, media coverage for a company is usually published online. This can be through a newspaper’s website, or even through a popular blog. And, as any good marketer knows, any content that is published online will include links.

This is the heart of press release SEO. When your PR team earns media coverage, it’s important to make sure that the published article contains links to your company’s website. Because these links are coming from trustworthy sources, they are high

Because these links are coming from trustworthy sources, they are considered high quality. Earning high-quality links through press release SEO can help improve your website’s rankings.

Best Practices for Success

Keep in mind that earning media coverage is not a free pass to fill an article with excessive links to your page. It’s still important to follow best practices for linking.

Putting too many links in an article can backfire in a couple of ways. For one, search engine algorithms will identify multiple links in an article to the same page as link scheming. Having your content flagged this way could hurt your rankings.

Additionally, filling an article with links can trigger red flags for readers. Consumers are savvier than ever and don’t like to feel advertised to. If they see too many links in an article, they may be turned off.

Another good rule of thumb is to vary your anchor text for your links. Rather than overusing keywords, you can use your company name. You can also use a phrase that invites readers to get more details.

Effective press release SEO focuses on quality, rather that quantity. A good press release that shares interesting, relevant information will be much more successful than one that packs links and keywords.

Are you ready to get started on your company’s press release SEO strategy? Then contact us. Our experts will work to build an SEO campaign customized for your needs.

amp carousel

How the Google AMP Carousel Is Changing SEO

If you’ve Googled something on your phone lately to find out the latest scoop on your favorite presidential candidate, you have probably already noticed Google’s AMP Carousel appearing at the top of search results.

But what is AMP?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is a Google-backed open source project to help pages load faster on mobile devices.

The difference with the AMP carousel is when a user clicks on it from search results, the article loads instantly.

How instantly? It takes less than half a second on AMP enabled pages compared to the average of three seconds.

AMP does this by changing how websites structure their mobile pages:

  1. AMP HTML: This redesigned version includes custom AMP commands. They are a defined set of pre-processing tags and are limited to text formatting and image embedding.
  2. AMP JS: The new Javascript structure allows loading of external resources asynchronous (in the background).
  3. AMP CDN (Content Delivery Network): This caches AMP-optimised content for faster delivery ensuring it doesn’t need to be requested each time.

Why should you care?

Are you happy with how fast your site loads on mobile? As someone who spends time Googling everything under the sun during my daily commutes, slow mobile pages kill my soul.

It also doesn’t help that my internet speed on my phone isn’t always fast. So when both of these play up at once, it ruins my user experience and I move onto the next thing instead of wasting my time staring holes into my mobile.

I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Page speed and mobile readiness are some of Google’s ranking distinctions that determine your site’s search result position. The faster and more mobile-friendly, the more likely you will see an increase in organic traffic.

AMP is a solution to the problem by standardizing web pages. Here’s how you take advantage of this latest Google update and use it to boost your SEO game at the same time:

The Good News:

1. AMP Optimised Pages Are Getting A Boost in Search Results

AMP pages show up at the top of search results in the carousel, meaning users do not need to scroll down. It’s an easy way for websites usually at the bottom of the first page results to jump the queue, claim a spot at the top and get more traffic as a result.

If you haven’t’ optimized for AMP, you’re missing out on prime above the fold real estate, and you’ll more than likely see a drop in clicks, impressions, and engagement as a result.

2. It Can Increase Engagement and Reduce Bounce Rates

After getting people to click through to your site, the next hurdle is getting them to stay. With AMP loading much faster, users can engage with the content quicker and are less likely to bounce.

Ezoic analyzed results from various publishers and discovered one site saw bounce rates decline from 76% to 63% a month after implementing AMP.

Their research also found that sites which saw a decrease in bounce rates also saw time on site improve as well.

3. It Can Benefit Your Mobile Keyword Ranking

With AMP designed especially for mobile users, you will probably see an increase in your mobile keywords results after optimizing for it.

This means you can expect a slight boost in organic mobile traffic, and while this isn’t guaranteed, it makes for an excellent reason to jump on board the AMP bandwagon.

The Bad News:

1. Your Link Building Efforts Are At Risk

A crucial part of SEO is building up links to increase your website’s (DA) domain authority. Your DA predicts how well your site will rank on search engines and is calculated by the number of linking root domains.

One of the negative effects of optimizing for AMP is your site will see a fewer of these valuable links. This is because the root of the URL is still google.com and is not linking to the publisher’s domain name.

For example: https://www.google.com/amp/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/35800232#

But this might have to be the small price publishers pay to see an increase in other metrics such as UX, engagement and improved visibility.

2. Only News Publishers Benefit from the Carousel

Wait, what?

If you have a website on how to look after your pet tarantula, it’s not going to show up in the AMP carousel. News publishers benefit the most from this update and are now at the top for almost every story they report on.

But, it does not have a strong effect on their organic SEO. Your pet tarantula site can still reap from tangible, organic search results benefits by optimizing for AMP.

Users Want Speed

It’s no secret that page speed is a ranking factor for Google.

The fact that they have developed their own way of displaying content faster shows just how important this factor is to the search engine giant.

More than 50% of searches happen on mobile globally, nearly half of mobile users expect a site to load in two seconds and will only wait 3 seconds before abandoning it. With this in mind, it’s no surprise Google is throwing a lot of support towards this latest venture.

If site owners want faster speed, increased visibility, and user experience, optimization is the way forward. Otherwise, you are in danger of not meeting mobile users expectations, losing conversions and increasing your bounce rate.

All of this just from a few seconds difference.

Google’s AMP is a simple solution to boost your site’s loading time, meet mobile users expectations and make subtle, but powerful improvements to your SEO game.

Are you going to be left behind? Find out how our backlinking services can help make up for any losses you may experience with AMP, schedule your free consultation today.

latest seo updates

The Latest SEO Updates That Could Impact Your SEO Efforts

Even tech giants like eBay haven’t been able to avoid losing hundreds of millions of dollars for failing to understand the latest SEO updates.

That’s because changes to SEO rules can turn a great strategy into something that your business is penalized for.

And after you get a search engine penalty, your conversion rate and traffic may never recover.

Instead of banking your business on old strategies, take a look at this article to know what’s changed for search engines and how it affects your bottom line.

Which Are the Latest SEO Updates?

The most dramatic set of SEO updates in the last decade right now happened due to Google’s newest updates focused on link quality.

Until recently, one of the most effective ways to improve your SEO rankings was taking advantage of private blog networks (PBNs).

PBNs are a notorious black hat method with a name that betrays their indecency.

Really, they’re large, soulless databases of links designed to do nothing but serve an SEO purpose.

Not only is using a PBN something likely to come back to bite you due to changes to SEO, but it also makes you look childish to your customers.

The links you choose reflect on your brand. Allowing yourself to be associated with PBNs connects your brand to boring spam instead of the dynamic and engaging content you could be using your SEO strategy to take advantage of.

Today, we’re experiencing what may be the death of the PBN. But that doesn’t mean PBNs are the only type of link building abuse Google is cracking down on through the latest SEO updates.

Google is cracking down on any sort of unnatural link building.

What this means is spammy SEO link building strategies such as putting links to your content on unrelated websites and focusing on links that don’t serve the needs of any real customer or web browser will no longer be a dirty part of the business of success in eCommerce.

How Will They Affect Me?

When it comes to running a business, it’s incredibly true that knowledge is power.

If you don’t know what you’re doing with your SEO strategy, you could already be being punished.

Have a free SEO consultation with us to make sure you don’t have any avoidable link penalties holding you back, and find out what your needs are.

For most people with some idea of what they’re doing, the latest SEO updates aren’t the end of the world, but they’re completely worth taking a look at.

The reality for most business owners active on the internet is that the latest set of SEO updates aren’t going to take them down. But they will need to reconsider how they go about buying links in the future.

Here are a few helpful tips for your link building strategy.

Know What a “Natural Link” Is

The truth is that the term “natural links” has become kind of meaningless in the SEO world. But it also carries a lot of weight.

For SEO purposes, your priority should be putting your content somewhere that it genuinely fits.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy links. Link building is an important part of any SEO strategy, and not playing an active role in it can kill your digital marketing performance.

But when you build links, build smart. Put your links somewhere it can not just belong, but thrive.

This will benefit you in two ways.

First, the latest SEO updates punish brands for the content of their links.

Buying links that draw genuinely interested eyes to your brand is a safe way to build links.

Second, good links draw good clicks.

Getting interested eyes on your website is what drives a high conversion rate.

If you’re not taking advantage of link buying to do that, then the latest SEO updates will be nothing compared to the opportunities you’ve missed with your link building strategy.

Keep in mind that you have a lot to focus on when it comes to your link building strategy. Having toxic backlinks and a low link quality problem plaguing your website won’t just result in SEO penalties, but also severe damage to your domain authority.

What Can I Do About It?

Giving up on link building entirely would be a bonehead move.

Pursue a smart link building strategy that can benefit your business in spite of both the latest SEO updates and updates approaching in the future.

That means joining a community with a mutual interest in good links.

It means talking to real people and not a machine that sees you as nobody but a person pushing buttons and dispensing money.

And it means being involved with professionals who are ready to listen to your thoughts and concerns every step of the way.

Create a link buying account with us to take the first step towards controlling your SEO strategy. You will finally stop worrying about sloppy link building that might not fit tomorrow’s latest SEO updates!

Link buying accounts on our website get your links on a wide variety of sites with different categories and themes. You can either take control and hand pick the places you want your links to be, or automate the process with link building queues.

We also replace your links and make sure they’re good.

If you think we’re lying, don’t worry! We love proving just how dedicated we are to quality link building to our customers.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible about next steps and take your SEO strategy to the next level.

 

 

 

The 7 Best SEO Tricks For Creating SEO Friendly URLs

Are you trying to boost your SEO efforts? Who are we kidding, of course, you are!

You’ve created excellent content, used powerful links to build authority, and sprinkled ideal keywords throughout your website. But what else can you do?

Have you ever thought about how your URLs are impacting your SEO practice? Creating SEO friendly URLs is one of the best ways to boost traffic to your website.

Read on to learn the seven best SEO tricks for creating SEO friendly URLs.

1. Remember the human element

When you’re trying to optimize your website for SEO, it’s easy to forget that human beings are a huge part of SEO.

Often times we’re worried about the Google bots that crawl through our website, indexing pages and the like. But how humans interpret your URLs can affect your SEO.

If your page looks sketchy, or the URL is too long, humans are simply not going to click on your link. This drives down visits to your site, which also drives down your SEO efforts. Your rankings will drop like a bad habit!

Some things you should consider when you’re remembering the human element:

Domain

Have you ever done a Google search and looked through the results only to find a bunch of .net and .biz domains? You probably skimmed right past those websites. And you’re not alone!

People are more apt to click on a website they find trustworthy. The .com domain is considered to deem a website higher quality. Consider this when you’re choosing a domain.

Reader-friendly URLs

If your audience can’t read your URL, chances are they’re going to skip your website. They’re not going to a website they can’t even read.

So when you’re creating your URL, you want to make sure that you’re creating one that your visitors can read and understand. You want the URL to make sense to your website.

For example, a website that reads www.catsarecool.com is going to read a lot better than www.XYZwkdiayw@.catsarecool.++.biz.

2. Use keywords

Keywords are huge. But you already knew that. So why not incorporate them into your URLs?

By placing strategic keywords in your URLs, you’re letting your audience know exactly what they’re getting. This way, there’s no confusion.

When ranking sites, Google takes a look at whether or not you’re adding keywords into your URL. Those Google bots that crawl through your site and index your pages also find it easier to index your site when the URLs are clear with keywords.

However, you want to make sure that you’re not using repeated keywords within your URL. In fact, Google will not like this at all. So one of your SEO tricks? Don’t repeat.

3. Reduce redirection

Have you ever gone to a website page and then had to be redirected several times before you reached your destination? Annoying, right?

Google thinks so as well. So when you’re creating your URLs, you want to make sure that you’re reducing your redirection strings.

4. Shorten your URLs

Bigger isn’t always better. One of the best SEO tricks you can take away from this list is that your URLs should be shortened.

Is there a specific number of words that you should focus on? Yes. According to studies done by Backlinko, the magic number is around 50 words within your URL. So if your current URL is around this length, then you’re golden.

Your site will rank higher on Google search result pages than longer URLs. Plus, they’re easier for your visitors to read.

5. Watch out for unnecessary characters

Your URL is going to have some characters within it. And that’s fine. But there is a list of characters that won’t work well for you.

Not only will users be completely confused when looking at your URL, they won’t know exactly what the URL entails.

Even worse for SEO, these characters make it hard for search engine crawlers to get through your site and index pages. Some of the characters you shouldn’t include within your URLs:

  • The space character
  • < or >
  • ” ” or #

The question mark (?) and the dollar symbol ($) are two of the several “safe” characters that won’t ruin your rankings.

6. Reduce the number of folders in your URL

The number of folders within your URL can affect your SEO efforts.

The folders are denoted by the slash between words in your URL.

Not only will several folders within your URL make your URL longer, it will also affect how you rank in search engine results. The extra folders will confuse search engines, making them dig deeper for your pages. Plus, search engines will have a harder time determining what your URLs mean if they’re stuffed with folders.

7. Http versus Https

You’re living under a rock if you haven’t heard about online fraud, hacking, and the like. It’s huge in the internet world, and it’s something most consumers are concerned about.

And it’s also something that Google and other search engines are worried about. Google states that “security is a top priority” and they are cracking down on it in full force. They’re making sure that web pages are taking security seriously, as well.

In fact, they’re now using website safety as a ranking factor when looking at websites. This is especially true if a website is selling products or services and taking credit card information.

So how can you ensure that your website is secure? By using one of these SEO tricks. You’ll need to make sure that your website is encrypted. You’ll need to use HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) as opposed to HTTP.

You’ll need to purchase an SSL certificate to ensure that your website is safe for users. And you’ll rank higher!

SEO tricks to create the perfect URLs

For the average bear, SEO can be a tricky thing to tackle. But throw in URL optimization and your mind may explode.

URL optimization can be daunting, especially if you’ve never considered it before. You want to ensure that your URLs are appealing to both users and search engines.

Have questions about SEO that you can’t find here? We’re here to help you 24/7! Contact us for any questions you may have.

The 9 Best Off Page SEO Strategies You Need to Use

off page SEOThink off page SEO means links, links, and more links?

Think again.

Off page SEO reaches further than links. Successful bloggers begin with on-page search engine optimization. But they never stop there.

Your rankings on Google depend just as much on what happens away from your website as they do your on-page SEO strategy.

Do you spend enough time thinking about your off page SEO strategy? It’s not enough to care about your brand or your website. You must care for and work hard to enhance your reputation.

Doing so makes others want to visit your website and learn more about your brand.

Not sure where to begin?

Let’s discuss the ins and outs of this type of SEO. From there, we’ll dive into the 9 best off page SEO strategies you can use to bolster your brand.

What is off page SEO?

Off page SEO refers to the optimization that takes place away from your website. You optimize your brand through content, relationships, and links.

Great off-site SEO leads to an increase in positive brand mentions and reputation, search rankings, conversations about your brand, and traffic to your site.

People seek out brands after they form opinions based on reviews and testimony from family and friends. No one gets out of bed and decides to interact with your company.

The goal of off-site SEO is to gather as many positive mentions and interaction for your brand as possible. These lead to an overall 9 gain for your company.

The benefits? Brand mentions, positive reviews, and, yes, links!

How can you optimize your brand outside of your website? Let’s move on to the 9 best off page SEO tactics.

The 9 Best Tactics to Add to Your Off-Site SEO Strategy Now!

Where should you begin when tackling your off-site SEO? Think about the places where you began your business: your customers, product, and brand.

1. Craft a Solid Brand Message

Your brand message communicates your value proposition to customers.

Brands that follow their core values resonate with customers. A strong brand message makes penetrating your target market easier.

How can you craft a solid brand message?

  • Determine your brand’s defining characteristic. Focus your energy there.
  • Create resources that offer the best, thorough answers to the questions your customers are asking

2. Create a Top of the Line product

When your product is best in its class, SEO becomes a breeze. People online and offline will champion your brand. This leads to improved website traffic, positive reviews, and increased sales.

Where can you start?

Existing products need to focus on the features customers find most beneficial. Consult any and all feedback you find online about your product and your competition.

New products should focus on the problems you can solve for your potential audience. Focus on the benefits your product provides consumers that address those needs head on.

3. Practice Great Customer Service

Customers comprise the core of your business. Without customers, you cannot continue to operate.

Make your customers feel appreciated and special. Poor customer service makes reputation management an expensive hassle.

Ensure that every person who comes into contact with your brand and those associated with it feels as though they experienced the best possible interaction.

Use your customers’ names. Customer-facing staff should champion a positive attitude and willingness to help any customer in need.

4. Keep in Mind a Web Searcher’s Intent

Products and services fail when they don’t meet the needs of a company’s target audience.

In terms of content, pay special attention to keywords. The keywords you use should reflect those your audience uses to find similar products or services.

Do your research. Focus on where customers share and discuss content.

Talk to people. Read discussion threads. Exercise empathy for your consumers online.

Interact with them about the questions they need answers to.

5. Responsive Social Media

Make yourself available to consumers.

They search for information because of unmet needs or questions that need answering. Once they’ve conducted a Google search, their next step is to take to social media.

Social media proves one of the most important and irreplaceable components of any SEO strategy today.

Make sure someone monitors your social media accounts. Answer questions or feedback as fast as possible.

Engage in genuine conversations online. Don’t shove your brand down a customer’s throat. Instead, think long-term relationship building.

Unresponsive social media results in decreased brand loyalty increased negative feedback, and users more willing to switch to a competitor.

6. Build Influencer Connections

Influencers maintain huge online reach. They bring name recognition, throngs of followers, and connections with high-ranking websites with them.

Enlist the help of influencers to boost your off page SEO.

Get to know them in person and online. Put yourself on their radar. In the future, they may recognize your brand and share your content.

Fostering a relationship with an influencer could lead to collaborations on content.

7. Frequent forums, discussion boards, and comment sections

Visit the popular blogs and social media platforms in your industry.

Leave thoughtful comments. Get noticed for your knowledge, and your empathy in furthering a discussion. This drives traffic to your website or blog.

8. Guest Post for the Right Reasons

Use guest posts to build your rapport with influencers and other brands.

Don’t guest post for links. The links will come in time.

Remember your website is one of many in your industry. Connect with others off-site in meaningful ways to grow your reach. This type of interaction drives traffic to your site.

9. Use Multiple Content Types

Content goes beyond words on a page. Use images, videos, and infographics on and off your website.

Video content will account for 80% of shared content online by 2019.

Using different types of content humanizes your brand. Customers will share this content, driving more people to your site.

Conclusion

There you have it! The 9 best off page SEO strategies right at your fingertips!

Approach your off page SEO strategy with care.

Remember that relationship building is a huge part of off page SEO. Interact with your audience and influencers. Your rankings will mirror your efforts.

You’re ready to craft a full-proof SEO strategy. Put these tools to action today to improve your SERP!

seo checklist

The Best SEO Checklist For Startups

Starting your own business is exciting–you’re taking your ideas and putting them out into the world to try to help others while building a legacy for yourself.

At the beginning, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially with search engine optimization, or SEO.

You might wonder if you can just skip SEO for now, but the truth is you can’t afford to. There are many ways to market your business, and SEO should be one of your top concerns.

This is because SEO now touches on every aspect of digital marketing. If you plan to have a website, and you hope to draw customers or clients with that site, you need SEO and you need it from the start.

While many practices like social media are important, and in fact can influence SEO, search is the top factor in driving traffic to websites, outpacing social media by 300%.

However, even though you can’t ignore SEO, this doesn’t mean you have to tackle every aspect of it right away.

We’ve put together this SEO checklist to help you focus your initial efforts where you’ll get the most benefit. Start out with these five SEO tasks, and you’ll be well on your way to developing healthy SEO practices for your website and business.

SEO Checklist for Startups

SEO involves so much that if you try to focus on it all, you might miss opportunities. Scaling your SEO practices with your business growth is a better idea. Start with these five tasks:

  • Technical Optimization
  • Backlinks
  • Content
  • Security
  • Analytics

Let’s delve into some more detail with each one to give you a better idea of their importance for your startup.

Technical Optimization

This tops our SEO checklist because if your website doesn’t operate properly, no one will want to use it. User experience is important to SEO because it’s important to the people browsing your site. What are some technical goals for your website?

  • Speed. Your site needs to deliver information as quick as lightning or users will lose interest in waiting.
  • Flow. Your users need to be able to navigate your website in a way that makes sense.
  • Responsiveness. Your website needs to look–and function–on desktops, mobile phones, and tablets without making text tiny or skewing images.

These are great starting points to get your website up and running the right way from the beginning.

Backlinks

The main goal of SEO is to get more traffic to your website. One way to do that is with backlinks. Backlinks are hyperlinks that point back to your website.

Sounds simple, right? Getting them the right way is important. If you get your backlinks the wrong way, it can cost you. You might see increased traffic at first, but when search engines figure it out, they might penalize your site making it impossible to get decent traffic.

Getting backlinks from a reputable SEO source is crucial.

Content Is Still King

Years ago, Bill Gates coined the phrase, “Content is king.” It was as true when he first said it in 1996 as it is now. In fact, content marketing can lead to a 40% increase in revenue.

At least, content marketing done the right way can garner such results. Content can be everything from your blog to your email newsletter, to the text on your website.

Content needs to address users’ concerns. You can answer questions, provide engaging information, and build a relationship with online visitors, all with content. Research, create and market your content with the end user and their search in mind, and you’ll find more success than if you haphazardly throw some words up on a page.

Security

With the expansion of the internet, privacy and protecting financial and identifying information became paramount in the minds of users. That focus still exists and is actually stronger than ever. You need to have a secure site, especially if you’re going to sell products or services online.

Not only does a secure site save you the work of fixing a breach should one happen on a non-secure site, but it also tells users that you care about their privacy and you’re willing to take steps to protect it.

Creating a great user experience is necessary for successful SEO, so we had to include security on our SEO checklist.

Analytics

Analytics allow you to monitor your site’s SEO performance. You’ll be able to see everything from where visitors are coming from to how they behave on the site. Some behaviors you will want to track include:

  • Time on the site
  • User flow (which pages they clicked on)
  • Pages per visit
  • New versus returning visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Landing pages (which pages on your website draw users in)
  • Exits (which pages they view last before leaving your website)
  • Conversions

You might think that because your business is new, there’s nothing to track. The thing to remember about analytics though is you can’t go back in time to retrieve data from before you started tracking.

Start tracking now, even if you’re only getting a few visits each day. You might want to draw comparisons later down the line and you won’t have any data to compare to a year from now if you don’t start tracking your analytics.

Another reason to start analytics tracking now while your business is new is to learn about tracking. Get comfortable with it while you’re still new to SEO so that when your business is booming and you don’t have time to learn the ropes, you can see at a quick glance how your website is performing in SEO.

Conclusion

Having an SEO checklist when you start your business is as important as having a business plan. If you’ve already started your business and haven’t begun your SEO yet, don’t worry. You can start now.

But if you can get off to a running start with your SEO, it will only help your website–and business grow. Do you still have questions about SEO or any of the topics discussed on our checklist in this article? If so, we invite you to contact us so we can help you on your way to SEO success.

Understanding The Value of a Top Ranking in Google

When applying for a job, the most important thing is to get your name out there. You want your brand to be visible to the companies you are interested in working for. You don’t want to be another name buried in a large pile of resumes. Your best bet at landing a job is if your name is right up on top of everyone else’s, right?

A top ranking in Google works the same way.

Being on the front page of customer Google searches is obviously a good way to generate organic traffic to your website. But the benefits of being a top ranking website in search engines go beyond visibility.

Here are four reasons why being number one in Google is valuable to your business.

Getting The Most Clicks

It’s no secret that being the number one ranking in Google will get your website more clicks. But how much more does it actually get you?

Let’s break it down:

The top five google rankings receive 67.6% of all clicks. The number one slot alone takes home more than two-thirds of these clicks, coming in around 42.25%. The number two and three slots lay claim to 11.94% and 8.47%, respectively.

What if you aren’t even on the front page? All of the second page accounts for less than 4% of all clicks.

Getting more clicks will also feed back into your number one ranking status. If your site is ranked number one and consistently results in conversions, it will remain the number one rank. So as long as your products, services, and content stays the best match for the keywords being searched on Google, your place at the top of the list will continually be reinforced.

In short, being the number one ranking will get you a lot more clicks than any other position combined and ensure that your website maintains a high level of traffic.

Save Money on Pay Per Click Advertising

There is two type of clicks: organic and paid.

While organic clicks are generated by producing quality content that matches a keyword search in Google, Bing, or Yahoo, paid, or PPC, clicks are just that – paid.

A paid ad will get you on the front page. But it’s going to cost you. Moreover, it’ll show up on the front page in a special segment for PPC ads only, distinguishing it from its organic counterparts. Think the small yellow section at the top and right sidebars of Google searches.

PPC campaigns can cost a company anywhere between $10 a month to upwards of $500,000 a month. This can clearly add up fast. Organic clicks, on the other hand, are absolutely free.

This means that two businesses can generate the same amount of revenue using two different types of clicks. However, utilizing a PPC strategy will incur a significant amount more cost than a purely organic campaign.

Create Referral Traffic

We’ve established that when customers see your site in the top ranking in Google, they are more likely to click your website. But what about after that initial click?

Holding the top spot is an excellent opportunity to bolster internal backlinks. This is beneficial in two ways.

First, incorporating backlinks in your website’s content will keep your target audience there longer. Providing a quick and easy way to get additional information in regards to their original search will improve your audience’s perspective on your company and increase the likelihood that they will return or recommend you to a friend.

Second, Google looks as link building as part of its criteria for page rankings. Google uses bots to index a website and determine if your website is well structured and a good resource for prospective target audiences. If so, this is factored into your overall position.

Boost Business Image and Authenticity

When searching for products and services online, people want to see the best options first.

Being the top ranking in Google tells onlookers that you are, in fact, the best of the best. You are number one. And being number one is going to make your business look good.

Most people hold the belief that the top few slots in a Google search will be the most relevant to their query. So the higher you are on this list, the more authentic your company will be viewed by the people searching for your industry offerings.

Buffering business image is another added benefit of ranking well in Google. If your website holds numerous top spots in a given industry or field, then your business will begin to establish a reputation for being a leader in that vertical.

A positive rapport such as this will eventually generate more traffic simply on the basis that your company is a tried-and-true purveyor of quality information, products, and services. Consider it in the same category as building your brand and advertising your product and service offerings.

The Value Of A Top Ranking In Google

Achieving the top spot in Google isn’t easy. Nor is maintaining a spot. But the benefits for efforts directed towards attaining these lucrative slots are well worth it.

Producing high-quality content, choosing excellent keywords, and ensuring that your site alone can meet all the needs of your target customers are the first step towards winning that number one ranking. Once you’ve acquired the slot, the position will practically do the rest of the traffic-generation work for you.

Need help on where to begin? Learn more about how to make your content stand out and bolster your ratings by reaching out here. A stronger standing in Google is only a click away.

 

 

How to Achieve Higher Authority for Your Domain

The internet has lead to increased competition for both customers and views. Achieving higher authority for your domain is absolutely essential to improve your search engine performance.

This is because you cannot have customers if they can’t find you. Higher authority is the only way to guarantee eyes on your page and clicks on your CTA buttons.

Over one-third of web traffic goes to the number one search result on Google. So unless you want to keep missing out on those clicks, read on.

What Is Domain Authority?

Domain authority is a metric invented by Moz. It predicts how well your website will perform.

It does this by ranking domains on a range from one to one hundred. Domains with lower authority will have lower numerical scores, whereas domains with higher authority will have higher scores.

Older domains tend to have higher domain authority. This means it’s better to use domain authority as a measure of long-term SEO performance than a tool for SEO experiments.

Because of this, it’s also important to note that your actions will have an impact on your quest for higher authority.

This makes it essential that you do business with legitimate SEO professionals who know what they’re doing. Being penalized by search engines will damage your domain authority for a long time.

Your SEO strategy should be centered around improving your domain authority.

How Can I Achieve Higher Authority?

An element of improving your domain authority will be patience and a long-term commitment. That being said, increasing your authority is within your control regardless of the age of your site.

SEO Siren makes it clear that the three best ways to achieve higher authority are by improving on link quality, link diversity and the number of links on your site.

As you can tell by that information, links are absolutely critical to your success when it comes to domain authority. Luckily, we’ve been experts on links for over ten years and know how to use them for customers seeking higher authority.

Link Quality

If you aren’t careful, toxic backlinks will torpedo your SEO strategy.

Toxic backlinks are links to your website posted in a spammy way to generate short-term improvements in SEO performance.

In the long-run, these links will result in your site being penalized by Google and effectively destroy your chances of higher authority.

If you find toxic backlinks leading to your website, take action to have them removed. If you cannot, disavow them.

Instead of relying on toxic backlinks, you should focus on using high-quality links to generate traffic to your website.

Link quality refers to the legitimacy reflected by a website generating traffic to your site through linking to it. High-quality links come from relevant and legitimate websites with high rates of visitor satisfaction.

These traits should apply not just to the website where your link is hosted, but to your link itself. Avoid associating your website with link databases and other “black hat” SEO strategies.

The potential costs are absolutely not worth it.

Link Diversity

Link diversity refers to both the wording of anchor text leading to your website and the balance of “nofollow” and “dofollow” links. High link diversity on both fronts is essential to anybody striving for higher authority.

Having diverse anchor text is simple and is an important element of any modern SEO strategy. Unnaturally overusing keywords, in anchor text or otherwise, will lead to penalties.

“Nofollow” and “dofollow” links are links with coded instructions for the search engine on whether or not to follow them.

With a nofollow link, though the person clicking on it will follow the link, the search engine will not. This means nofollow links will not influence search engine rankings.

 

Number of Links

Along with the quality and diversity, link quantity is another measure that, if utilized effectively, will lead to higher authority.

Having a reasonable number of internal links will improve your SEO score by providing more “link juice” for search engines. In general, less is more when it comes to these.

When it comes to external links, the focus should be on providing a large number of useful links to quality sources. Don’t skimp on these in terms of quantity, but the quality is what makes these shine.

Keeping this in mind, there is still a maximum number of links beyond which your site could be penalized. Moz says that you should avoid having 100 or more hyperlinks on your page, though this still can depend on the size and depth of the page.

For instance, an in-depth guide is going to have more hyperlinks than a blog post and is less likely to be penalized for this.

 

What Else Should I Know?

Giving your website a higher authority score will be the most important element of your future business success.

Links are the most important way to do this. When using links for higher authority, don’t rely on untrustworthy “black hat” firms more interested in making a quick dollar off of you than ensuring your long-term success.

Here at Backlinks, we’ve been helping business professionals succeed in the digital age by harnessing the power of links boldly and intelligently. We’ve been in the industry for over a decade, and in the process, we’ve helped over one hundred thousand professionals reach higher authority and achieve greater success.

We would love to make you one of the many professionals who has been helped by using backlinks. Set up a buyer or seller account on our website and give your website the domain authority it needs.

If you’re still skeptical, that’s great! We’d love to hear your concerns, wants, and needs and come up with a link-buying strategy that works for you. Schedule a free link building consultation with us so we can talk!

 

design a logo

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hire Someone To Design A Logo For You

Need someone to design a logo for you, but don’t know how you’ll pay for it?

Hiring a graphic designer can cost anywhere from 50 to 300 dollars an hour.

A lot of people don’t have that kind of money.

But did you know you can just design a logo yourself? You can create your own design for whatever you need your logo for.

If you’re starting a small business you definitely need a logo. With a great design, your business will be more recognizable to everyone.

Research shows that even 3-year-olds can recognize businesses by their logo!

Maybe you don’t have a small business but are starting a non-profit. Perhaps you just want a unique letterhead.

Lots of people need a personal or professional logo these days.

You might think that you aren’t creative enough to design a logo. Maybe you are, but you don’t have any of the computer software.

If you buy all the equipment, it ends up costing the same as hiring a designer.

It turns out, you don’t need talent or software to create an eye-catching logo.

You can make your own logo and forget about hiring a designer. A free logo maker will do all the work for you.

Now you can take that money you saved and spend it on something else.

Need more convincing?

Lots of people immediately think to hire someone when they need a logo. However, here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t hire someone to design a logo for you.

1. There’s not much freedom to change things when you hire someone to design a logo for you

Huge businesses change their logos all the time.

Why shouldn’t they? What is hip and in style always changes.

Companies themselves are always growing and changing.

Hopefully, yours will too!

The difference between their big corporation and your small business? They have an unlimited budget.

If you don’t have a lot of cash you will only have one shot to get the perfect logo.

That’s a big gamble!

What if you can’t make up your mind on what colors best represent your brand? The color is one of the most important parts of a logo. It has to be perfect.

There are so many fonts to choose from, too. What if you regret the one you chose six months from now?

Without the money to go back to a logo designer, then your logo is like a tattoo.

You’re stuck with it.

Not if you design a logo yourself. Then everything is in your hands. You can make all the logos you want, whenever the inspiration hits.

Say you have an online store with company merchandise. You can create all different designs for hats, t-shirts, and mugs.

You can tailor the logo for sweatshirts for adults, and bibs for babies.

If you’re presenting at an industry trade show, you can have a few different logos for all your different signage and pamphlets.

It’s all up to you and your imagination. You don’t have to limit yourself based on your budget.

2. When you don’t like the final product, you still have to pay the graphic designer

You might think a logo designer will keep working until you are happy.

Unfortunately, that is only true if you have a huge budget.

Graphic designers will jump through hoops if the price is right.

If you don’t have the money to spare, they will only work so much.

The cost to design a logo includes how many times they’ll fix what you don’t like.

Once you’ve hit the limit, that’s it. You’re stuck with it.

No matter how unhappy you are, you still have to pay the agreed upon price.

There are no negotiations after the work has been done.

At the end of the process, you could be out hundreds of dollars. Maybe even thousands.

With nothing to show for it.

It’s just one more risk you take whenever you hire a logo designer.

When you blow your logo design budget, you’ll have no choice but to do it yourself.

You might as well save the money in the first place and use a free logo maker.

That way you can keep working on it until it’s perfect.

3. If you don’t want to compromise on the design of your logo, you might bump heads with the designer

When you hire a designer, you aren’t hiring a mind reader.

You can explain what you want in detail. It still won’t look exactly as it does in your head.

There’s more to keep in mind if you’re very particular:

When you hire a designer, you are also hiring an artist.

Artists have lots of opinions on what they think their work should look like.

They won’t be shy about telling you their thoughts. Which is fine, if you have no vision for your logo.

However, if you know exactly what you want, you might bump heads.

It causes problems if your logo designer doesn’t agree with your ideas.

They may be a great graphic designer, but they didn’t go to marketing school.

They sometimes think they know what is best for your logo because they are the “expert.”

But you are the expert when it comes to what is best for your company.

If they think you’re wrong, it will be hard to get them to do exactly what you want.

That means you will constantly have to send the design back for edits.

Even if you eventually get the perfect logo, the process will be a headache.

And, again, if at the end you aren’t happy with the product, you still have to pay.

It’s just one more reason why you shouldn’t hire someone to design your logo.

4. When you find a logo you like, a designer won’t recreate that for you

When you hire someone to design a logo for you, it’s not like seeing a hairdresser.

You can’t bring them a picture of a logo you like and say, “I want that style.”

You’d think whatever the client wants the client gets. That’s not the case.

Like we said before, the designer considers themselves an artist.

It’s not like you’re asking them to completely copy it or anything. You just want them to do something similar.

That probably won’t matter.

They will want to “wow” you with something completely original. Recreating another design isn’t any fun for them.

Maybe you will love their completely one-of-a-kind work.

Another possibility is that you will hate it. How annoying is that?

You knew what you wanted the whole time, and they wouldn’t give it to you.

You might as well just design a logo yourself since you’re already inspired.

A vision is half the battle of creating a design.

All you have to do from there is use a free logo generator to make your vision real.

5. You should save money where you can

Small businesses and organizations take a lot of money to get up and running.

Research shows that the average cost can be upwards of $30,000.

There are all the bills that you can’t compromise on.

A florist shop has to have electricity. An in-home daycare center needs to have snacks and toys.

Then there are all the unexpected costs that come up.

When an oven in your bakery breaks down, you either fix it or close up shop.

You should find ways to cut corners.

Then you’ll be able to save money for the surprise disasters and monthly bills.

Of course, a logo is something you need to have.

It is also something you don’t need to pay for.

It’s possible that you have the money to hire a logo designer right now.

Then after writing the check to your graphic designer, your catering van breaks down.

You’ll wish you had that extra few hundred dollars lying around.

Maybe you don’t even have a small business.

You just need a logo for your personal website or blog.

In that case, you’re not even using your logo for profit. It’s silly to sink cash into hiring someone to design a logo if you’re never going to make that money back.

It wasn’t always an option to design a logo for yourself. Now with some great technology, it’s really easy.

You might as well just save your money where you can!

Are you considering making your own logo?

As you’ve read, there are a lot of great reasons to design a logo yourself.

Luckily, because of free logo generators, there is no risk to trying it out.

Check out our Online Logo Maker and see what we’re about.

Still not feeling confident that you can figure out how to make your own logo?

We have a tutorial to show you all the tips and tricks. It’s easier than you think!

You might really like what you come up with!

Have you ever tried to design a logo for yourself?

What was your experience like?

Please let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear how you liked it!

How to Conduct a Quick Backlink Audit

You likely already know that backlinks are key to good SEO rankings for your website. They drive new visitors to your site and boost your rankings in Google.

But have you ever considered the importance of a doing a backlink audit?

Backlinks boost your site only if they are high quality. Harmful backlinks can actually lower your site’s SEO rankings, doing the opposite of what you want.

You might even be penalized by Google for having too many unnatural or unhealthy backlinks. That would mean you have to work extra hard to recover from the penalty and get your SEO back on track.

Avoid these backlink pitfalls by doing an audit. Don’t wait until you’ve received warnings in your inbox: start right now.

In fact, a backlink audit can even open up new opportunities for your site. You will easily see how you can get more high-quality links to your site once you learn how to do a backlink audit.

In this simple, step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how.

Conducting a Backlink Audit

1. Understand the link audit

Many people don’t fully understand the power and purpose of backlinks, much less how a backlink audit works.

That’s fine: we’re here to show you what you need to know.

The first step is understanding what the link audit does.

A link audit will evaluate how well your current backlinks (or link profile) are working for your site. If there are any bad links to your site, they will be revealed by the audit.

Many companies charge a lot of money to get this valuable information for you. However, it is possible to do a link audit yourself with these next steps.

2. Find current backlinks

You need to know what links are bringing people to your site when you get ready to do your backlink audit.

Fortunately, Google Search Console makes this task easy. Sign into Google, go to your Dashboard, and click on “Search Traffic” in the lefthand sidebar.

Under “Search Traffic,” click on “Links to Your Site.”

This will give you a total number of backlinks, as well as other helpful information, like what anchor text was used and which sites link to yours the most.

3. Perform the analysis

If you think you have the time for it, you can do this, the hefty part of the audit, by hand.

This means you would click on each link and evaluate it yourself. If there are only a few links to look at, this is reasonable. However, you might have large numbers of backlinks to go through.

If this is the case, use a link analysis tool instead. There are several free online link analysis sites, so choose one that works for you to make the work faster.

If you evaluate your links by hand, you’ll want to make sure they work and aren’t “dead,” and come from real, reliable websites.

4. Look for penalties

It’s important to make sure none of your backlinks have received penalties when you do your backlink audit.

The link penalties you might get come in two forms: algorithmic and manual.

An algorithmic penalty happens when Google’s algorithm, Penguin, catches something in your link profile that shouldn’t be there.

A manual penalty happens when a person on the Google team was manually reviewing your link profile and found an issue.

Either one of these penalties will cause a Google ranking loss for your site.

You will usually be alerted to manual penalties with a message from Google Webmasters. An algorithmic penalty comes from an automated system, so there is no alert.

However, if you see a sudden drop in organic traffic to your site, there’s a good chance the cause was an algorithmic penalty.

5. Fix any issues

If your backlink audit showed that you have problematic backlinks, it’s time to make a plan to fix them.

Maybe just a few of the backlinks were bad. Maybe all of them were. Either way, it’s important to do something about it, and add quality links in their place.

Remember: the best audit in the world is worthless if you don’t act on that information.

First, figure out how to remove the bad links you found. Links that don’t work or links to spam sites or penalized sites should be removed.

If the link is to a spam or penalized a site, reach out to the website’s owner with a friendly, professional request to remove the bad links.

If the link is dead (or doesn’t work), you can disavow that link. Deadlinkchecker.com is a free resource that can help you do this.

6. Replace with quality links

Once you’ve removed the bad, it’s time to add in the good. Quality backlinks will be relevant to your site and should come from another relevant site.

They also should offer value to anyone who clicks through. If someone is reading about architecture, a backlink to your page about cooking probably won’t be of interest to them.

Seek out these high-quality links. More backlinks aren’t necessarily better if they go to bad or irrelevant sites. It may take more work to get the good links, but it’s worth it.

Conclusion

You will want to perform audits regularly to get the most use out of this information.

The more often you do a backlink audit, the less time each audit will take. Doing this work every six months is a good plan for most websites.

If your link profile had issues, there’s no need to panic. The solution is easy: get rid of the bad links and add in good ones.

There are many creative ways to get those good links. Maybe you’ll use social media sites like YouTube as a way to get more links. Maybe you’ll find other strategies that work for you.

It’s important to have a link building strategy. But if that strategy doesn’t address what to do with bad links, you’re not doing your site any favors.

Look at the places where you removed bad links. Now you can see the potential for good backlinks there. Reach out for those high-quality links, weed out the bad ones, and know that you won’t have too many surprises when it’s time for your next backlink audit.