Keywords Research Checklist

Is Your Keyword Research Checklist Missing Something?

93% of all online activity begins with an entry into a search engine.

But if your website’s keywords aren’t where they need to be, you’ll fall in the search engine rankings, and users will find your competitor’s site before they find yours.

Nobody wants that to happen.

Before you get into other SEO tactics like generating social backlinks, you need to master keyword research.

To make sure your keyword research is effective, current, and won’t get your website on a blocked list, we’ve created this article, giving you the ultimate keyword research checklist.

Your Keyword Research Checklist: What You Need To Know First

According to a recent survey of over 350 marketers, almost everyone is increasing their SEO budget on at least a yearly basis. This means that as SEO research and industry profits grow, Google and other search engines are getting wiser to those that are just trying to game the system.

This means that if you engage in keyword stuffing, are essentially plagiarizing another site’s content, or haven’t entered your keywords exactly as they need to be entered, your site won’t rank as high as it could.

But finding the right keywords depends on the quality and frequency of the research you’re doing.

Keyword Research Checklist: The Basics

Step One: Get A Spreadsheet.

This will help you to properly organize your keywords. Have cells for keywords, volume, competition, difficulty, and another cell for any internal notes you’ll want to leave yourself.

Don’t forget to freeze your top row, so that your spreadsheet’s header won’t count as data.

Step Two: Start Brainstorming

Ask yourself when creating your keyword research checklist, “What would I type into my search bar if I were looking for this content?”

Think about possible phrases and word order. Decide in one sentence or phrase what your post is about.

Then, Google your main phrases or keywords and see what else comes up in Google’s suggestions. This isn’t where you should stop, of course, in your research process, but it’s a great way to get additional ideas.

Finally, look into online synonym lists on sites like and enter those into your spreadsheet as well.

Step Three: Generate Your List Of Suggestions

If you haven’t hired an SEO industry professional to help you with your keyword research, programs like UberSuggest can be a valuable sorting tool when it comes to figuring out your top keywords.

Start by putting in your shortest and most general keywords into the program, then add your findings to your spreadsheet.

The People Part of Your Keyword Research Checklist

Step Four: Find Out How People Really Talk

You know that there are tons of ways to find the answers to whatever questions you have online.

Checking out places like Quora will really help you to find the right keywords because you’ll have access to how exactly everyday users and your target market are talking about your keywords and topics.

They’re talking as they normally would about subjects they’re interested in. As a bonus, Quora will also help you to create ideas for web content.

Search a couple of your top keywords or phrases in the search bar, and see what comes up.

Step Five: Know Your Competition

Of course, if you want to rank higher in Google search indexes, you’re going to need to know what it takes to get there.

Enter in your most popular keywords and phrases in Google and take a look at the websites on the first page of results.

From there, you can head over to the Google Keyword Planner tool and select “Find new keywords and get search volume data.”

Then, in the “your landing page” field, just paste in your competitor’s, that showed up on the first page of Google.

Then, you’ll get a perfect list of the keywords that you know have helped a website make it to the coveted first page of Google.

As an alternative, you can also use Ahrefs Site Explorer to get your competitor’s keywords and other valuable information in the same way.

Fine-Tuning Your Keyword Research Checklist

Step Six: Generate Long-tail Keywords

There are lots of tools out there that can help you with this, as well as tools for a variety of SEO purposes. Basically, use your main keywords to generate longer, more complete phrases that people type into Google.

Then, add them to your spreadsheet, which should be really growing by now!

Step Seven: Use Keywords Explorer To Get More SEO Keywords

This is a great way to get your own, ready-made keyword spreadsheet. Enter in your keywords in the search bar, select your target country, and hit search.

Then, you get a generated list of popular keywords, along with their Difficulty ranking (this tells you how hard it will be to “outrank” people on the first page of Google.

Step Seven: Narrow Down Your List and Paste

Now, remove any duplicates, then paste your edited list into Google Keywords Planner.

This will help you to eliminate the most unpopular keywords from your list.

Then, do a manual read-through of your keywords to make sure that your list doesn’t include anything too obviously unnatural or words you’ve never heard used.

Also get rid of low volume keywords, and keywords that are just too competitive (with a high Difficulty ranking.)

With that, you’re ready to start writing content with the best keywords out there! You’ve completed our Keyword Research Checklist, now just don’t cheapen the effectiveness of your content by engaging in keyword stuffing.

We Can’t Wait To See How Your Site Ranks Now!

With so much effort going into the planning stages of keyword research, it can be easy to forget something.

Thanks to this checklist, you won’t accidentally skip a step ever again.

However, if you feel like you still need a little bit more help, or if you just have more specific questions you’d like answered when it comes to keyword research of SEO in general, please feel free to reach out to us.

We’re always here to help you figure out exactly what it takes to land on the coveted first page of Google search results.

Dofollow Backlinks

What Dofollow Backlinks are and How Your Business Can Use Them

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there are some common terms for particular practices that any business should know about. Dofollow backlinks are one of these words that is imperative in the book of SEO.

If you’re not totally clear about what dofollow backlinks are, however, don’t worry–we’ve got your back.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this all-important link building process.

What Are Dofollow Backlinks?

There are two major types of backlinks that differentiate in their ability to pass on link juice. These types of backlinks are the dofollow backlinks and the no-follow backlinks.

As far as dofollow backlinks go, link builders will create this type of backlink for SEO purposes. Let’s take a closer look…

How Dofollow Backlinks Work

Dofollow backlinks allow Google, or whatever search engine is being used, to follow them and reach your website.

Basically, these are links that will pass on the SEO benefits of the website where it is built from to the hyperlinked website.

Dofollow backlinks created from high PR and high Domain Authority sources will pass on the link juices towards a hyperlinked blog. This will improve its ranking position significantly in search engines.

This means that when doing SEO, it’s important to concentrate your link building activities on sources that allow you to build these kinds of links.

Dofollow backlinks will remarkably enhance a business’s link profile and improve their page rank–what more could you ask for?

Where To Build Dofollow Backlinks

Before jumping in the how-to of dofollow backlinks, let’s take a look at where to build these links.

Of course, there are plenty of places you can find online if you want to build dofollow backlinks for offsite optimization purposes.

However, it’s important to diversify your link sources if you want to achieve the best results.

You can build links in places such as article directories, web 2.0 properties, forums, and high PR blogs, just to name a few.

Like the experts, you’ll want to concentrate on building your links in those places mentioned (article directories, web 2.0 properties, forums, high PR blogs).

However, do not concentrate only in one of these sources. Instead, diversify your placement.

For example, don’t simply stick to building links in article directories. Even if you create several backlinks in different article sites, you must also expand to other communities, such as forums or blogs.

How To Use Dofollow Backlinks

How To Get Dofollow Backlinks With Blog Commenting

What you probably already know is that blog commenting is a useful relationship building tool. What you might not be aware of is that it’s also an awesome link building method.

Here’s how it’s done.

1. Build The Foundation

This first step is highly important–begin with keywords or key phrases.

You can write the best content and have the highest PR dofollow backlinks pointing to it…but if no one ever searches, your content will still remain undiscovered.

Keywords are the only key to discovering your content, so don’t ignore them!

2. Create Backlinks To Specific Blog Posts

Next, you’ll want to create dofollow backlinks to specific blog posts by commenting on other blogs.

Look for blogs that are both in your niche and have CommentLuv.

CommentLuv is plugin that can help you pull a list of links from your blogs while on other blogs apart from CommentLuv.

This blog commenting system helps its users get dofollow backlinks and rank in Google.

It works by automatically pulling 15 articles from your blog when you are dropping a comment on a CommentLuv enabled blog, if you have the premium version of the plugin. (The 15 articles it pulls will be your most recent 10 in addition to 5 favorite articles).

This will help you chose which article on your blog you want to link back to.

3. Keep Comments Genuine

Beware! Bloggers can figure out if you are simply dropping comments for the sake of dofollow backlinks.

These comments will most likely end up trashed.

So, if you value the backlink, you must also add value to the post by dropping a genuine comment.

This means the more time you put into reading the articles and dropping reasonable comments, the more dofollow backlinks you’re likely to get.

How To Get Dofollow Backlinks From Article Directories & Web 2.0 Properties

The article directory is one of the easiest ways to build dofollow backlinks.

There is a wide variety of directories to choose from, however, you will want to make sure you are picking the right ones.

Since some directories have set the outbound links to no-follow, not all article directories are dofollow links. Therefore, in order to conserve your time and effort, you’ll want to avoid these directories altogether.

Need some place to start? Check out the list below of dofollow sites that you can start with.


How To Get Dofollow Backlinks From Forums

Forums are another great option for a place to start building backlinks.

However, like article directories, not all forums are dofollow links.

Maximize your efforts and concentrate your link building in dofollow forums such as those listed below:


How To Get Dofollow Backlinks From High PR Blogs

1. Get The Link To Your Home Page

This will boost your ranking big time. Start by going to and creating a free account if you don’t already have one.

2. Write Your Article

Begin by writing an article that’s at least 500 words long.

Then, use your keywords properly. You’ll want to try to make the article as SEO friendly as possible (this includes the story URL as well).

Lastly, drag and drop social media objects to make the article more outstanding.

3. Get Your Dofollow Backlinks!

This last step is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Follow the steps below to create a link that will be dowfollow from a PR8 domain.

  1. Click the Embed URL tool
  2. Enter the URL of your home page.
  3. Once the preview appears, drag and drop in your article or story.

After reading this article, surely you’re convinced that the time to start creating dofollow backlinks is now. Where will you start creating links? Tell us about your next steps in the comments!

Sell Backlinks

Make Money Online and Sell Backlinks on Your Website

You’ve heard story after story of people who make money from their websites.

$4000 a month here.

$1200 a month there.

Sick of feeling left out? Ready to learn the art of making money from your website with very little work required from you?

This article will share the secrets of how to sell backlinks on your website to make money without having to do hardly anything!

Ready to make some money?

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks are incoming links to your site.

In other words, a backlink is when a link on one website directs visitors to a page on another website.

Backlinks are all over the internet.

They are like road signs that direct traffic and route people all across the highways of the web.

When we talk about selling backlinks on your website it means that your website is the one doing the linking.

For example:

Say your site is about automotive maintenance.

Joe the Mechanic is looking to increase his Google search result ranking. He finds out about backlinking.

Because your site has loads of quality content on a relevant topic, Joe can pay you for simply inserting links from your site to his site.

Seem too good to be true?

Let’s talk about why backlinks matter so much to help understand the potential of selling backlinks.

Backlinks and SEO

There are many factors that Google and other search engines use to calculate a website’s SEO.

Per Andrey Lippatsev (a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google), the top two are links and content.

Did you get that?

The two most important things deciding how Google ranks a site are content on the site and the links pointing to the site.

Creating and sharing content is crucial.

It takes a lot of work and a lot of time.

Getting links to point to your site (especially high-quality links…more to come on that later) takes a lot less work and can make an impact much faster.

Why do links matter so much?

Links are like votes.

Every link pointing towards a website is like another vote saying, “Go there!”

10 links = Good

1000 links = Much Better

Link Quality

The sheer volume of links isn’t the sole factor that matters for website SEO.

Several other factors contribute to decide the quality of a link, which also greatly affects SEO:


In order for a link to really matter for SEO purposes, the link must be relevant to the website’s content.

A link from an article about “3 Considerations when Choosing Dog Food” to an article about “The Potential of Interplanetary Travel” doesn’t have much value.

It’s not likely to be related to the content of the article and probably won’t matter much to the readers.

It also looks out of place. explains more in depth about what relevancy is and why it matters for SEO purposes. In their words: “…it’s more the relevance of the site’s theme in regards to yours [that matters]…”

An important part of assessing link quality is remembering that actual people are viewing and clicking on these links.

Human Value

Human value is pretty straightforward.

Are real people going to like the linked content?

Will they find it valuable?

Is it what they are looking for?

If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you’ve got yourself a valuable link!

Authority & Trust

Higher weight is given to links to authoritative sites.

These sites are the “big players” in the space. Sites with lots of traffic, long histories, good reputations and so on.

A link from a trusted site is like a shoutout from a famous person. It shows you’re hanging out in the right circles.

If your site specializes in a particular area and has consistently high traffic, your site might be considered an authoritative site – allowing you to charge more for backlinks.

The Golden Opportunity

The above facts about the importance of quality links are pretty common knowledge.

And that is why selling backlinks are such an incredible opportunity to make money with your website.

In fact, Entrepreneur goes so far as to say that,

“When it comes to improving how your business turns up in searches, cultivating links from other websites that point back to your own site is too big an opportunity to pass up.”

Selling backlinks is “too big an opportunity to pass up.”

This huge opportunity is there for the taking.

Let’s talk about how you can actually take advantage of it and start making money.

How to Sell Backlinks

The beautiful thing about selling backlinks is that it’s incredibly easy to do.

Do you have a well-established site?

Do you have quality content that readers find value in?

Congratulations, you’re a prime candidate to make a lot of money through selling backlinks!

The easiest way to get started selling backlinks is to use a service like Check out our FAQ for details on how the service works.

At a high level, it’s a simple process:

  1. Sign up with
  2. Insert the code snippet we provide into pages where you’d like to sell links
  3. Set any specifications regarding who can buy backlinks from your site
  4. Sit back and wait for the money to start rolling in!

Exactly How Rich Will I Become?

Great question!

There are a number of factors that actually determine the amount of money you can make through selling backlinks on your website.

Some of these factors were touched on above:

  • Is your website viewed as an authority?
  • How much traffic do you have?
  • How many backlinks do you sell?
  • How highly-ranked is your site?

Higher quality sites have potential to make far more money via selling backlinks.

In other words, while we sell backlinks on your site to make you money, you keep focusing on building an awesome website.

Want specifics? Check out this page to estimate exactly how much money you can make through selling backlinks on your website.

Get Started!

Your website is a potential goldmine.

There are all sorts of ways you can make money through it.

To sell backlinks is virtually the easiest way to get recurring income from your site.

It involves almost no work on your part and has been proven to help buyers.

The market is huge.

So why wait?

Click here to sell backlinks and start making money through your website today!

social backlinks

The Easy Way to Generate Social Backlinks

Suffering from stagnant search rankings? It’s probably time to reassess your social backlinks strategy.

However, increasing that SERP ranking through social media requires more than just signing up for a free account.

In fact, it’s not the pages themselves that help you rank. It’s every share, like, comment, and the mere mention of your website on social media that pushes you up the ranks (otherwise known as social engagements).

Most importantly, you want people to engage with your social backlinks to keep that link juice flowing.

You don’t want to waste your time on social backlinks tips that don’t work, so let’s take a look at some cold hard data to get you started on the right path.

How Google Ranks Social Media Engagements

To Google, these engagements are processed as “social signals” to increase your ranking.

Take a look at the following social signals from Google’s top 200 search ranking factors:

  • Total number of tweets where your website is mentioned.
  • Total number of Facebook page likes.
  • Total number of Facebook page and post shares.
  • Popularity or “page authority” of your Facebook pages.
  • Total Number of pins on Pinterest.
  • Total Reddit upvotes on posts that mention your name or website.
  • Total number of “+1’s” on Google Plus.
  • Your social media page “age.” The older and more active your pages are, the stronger your social signals are as well.

As you can see, it’s all about engagement.

This means driving engagement should be the primary goal of your social backlinks strategy.

Encouraging this engagement isn’t as hard as you think either. Keeping this data in mind, let’s discuss the easiest way you can generate social backlinks that churn out signals.

Promote Your Website In Every Social Profile

Let’s start with the easiest social backlinks tip in existence.

The first thing you need to do is to add your website and company name to every social media account you have for your business.

Every social media network, from Facebook to Pinterest, has “about” sections that let you clearly feature your website.

Remember how Google uses social media “authority” as a ranking signal?

After you add your website, you will need to verify your website link with that social network to further boost your social media “authority” with google.

All four social media heavyweights, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest, have options for website verification.

How To Improve Your Content To Generate Social Backlinks

People engage with content that inspires them. It’s that simple.

Does this mean you have to be a Pulitzer prize-winning writer or an oscar-winning director to create high-quality content that gets shares? Not in the slightest.

In fact, sometimes less is more.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Just look at Twitter. While you’re limited to only 140 characters, this doesn’t stop people from retweeting, liking, and embedding your tweets on their blog.

If your Facebook posts read more like novels, try cutting them down to just 40 to 140 characters long.

When sharing a piece of content, think of your social media post as a “pitch” to your audience. Ask yourself what the most attention-grabbing aspect of the content is. What is the over-arching message of the content?

Share Lots of Visual Material

When it comes to marketing, whether it’s online or traditional, visual content is king.

People are more likely to remember your brand if you published visual content, and we have the data to prove it. Check out these findings from recent studies published in Fast Company and Psychology Today:

  • 65% of people are visual learners.
  • Our brains actually prefer visual storytelling over plain lists of facts.
  • Visual material is “processed 60,000 times faster than text.”
  • Tweets that contain visuals are 94% more likely to be shared.
  • Content that contains visuals are 50x more likely to land on the first page of SERPS.

There are several types of visual content formats to choose from to increase your social backlinks.

Social media makes it so easy to generate visual content too. For example, when you share a post from your blog on Facebook, an attractive “link card” generates automatically to grab the attention of your audience.

To help you diversify and prioritize your visual content for maximum exposure, consider these findings from Business2Community and Social Media Examiner’s latest industry trends report:

  • Go live with your content: More than 50% of content marketers are upping their social media content with live video streaming.
  • Keep creating videos: videos continue to be a major generator for social backlinks, and marketers are expected to increase video content by 73%.
  • 63% of marketers surveys are expected to expand their YouTube Marketing strategies.
  • Infographics demand skyrocketed by 800%!
  • Infographics are shared 3x more on social media.
  • 42% of markers are expected to increase their use of Pinterest
  • Blogs with visuals are the second most popular form of content for social media marketing.

Leverage The Power of Google+

Remember that it’s Google that you’re trying to please with your social backlinks.

If you want to get in Google’s good graces, it never hurts to generate engagement through their own social media project.

Remember how you learned to add your website link to every profile? Here, you’re going to take it a step further and add your link to various Google+ sections.

Getting started on Google+ is so easy. Here’s how you do it:

  • Populate your Google+ link section with your main website and all your social media pages.
  • Start or join a Google+ community so you can share high-quality content with your backlink.
  • Add your website backlink to your community’s description section.
  • Add your company website to your Google business listing.
  • Write attention-grabbing headlines for your Google+ posts.
  • Add relevant, thought-provoking comments on Google+ posts that are relevant to your niche. These link directly back to your profile.

You’re so close to increasing your google rankings with the power of social backlinks.

Let’s recap what you need to know:

  • Add your website backlink to every social media profile and about section.
  • Keep your social media content text short and compelling.
  • Boost your social media engagement with visuals.
  • Take advantage of Google+’s many publishing features to increase social backlinks.

Now, it’s your turn.

Your next step is to bookmark this super easy guide to craft a winning strategy that will generate high-quality social backlinks.

Get started today to start churning out those google-friendly signals in no time.

Local Businesses Building

5 Local Citation Building Myths You Need to Drop, Now

To rank well on Google, you will need to build out citation listings. While this is obvious, there’s still mixed debate (and confusion) over local citation building. What works, what doesn’t work.

Some strategists believe building out citations is all that a business needs to rank well. Others swear by a less enforced approach.

One thing is for sure: ignoring local citation building, as well as not optimizing your pages and Google My Business, will get you nowhere.

This post will clear the air on 5 common myths about local citation building circulating the SEO world.

Let’s begin.

Myth # 1 – Variances in your business name will negatively affect your ranking

Business owners commonly panic over minor differences in their citations, and they wonder if making minor changes to their business name will improve their ranking.

The truth is, that it won’t.

That’s because other factors play a role in the Google algorithms, factors of which have a much stronger means of getting your business to rank high.

Here’s the thing.

Google only takes changes under consideration IF your address or your phone number change. That’s about it.

To give you an example, if your citation is listed as “SEO Blog,” while somewhere else your citation is listed as “SEO Content,” Google won’t distinguish this because your address and phone number in each listing are the same.

So don’t panic. Minor differences in your NAP won’t negatively affect your score.

Myth #2 – NAP cleanup means you’ll have to edit every mismatch you see

Are you finding different versions of your business name on different directories? Is it driving you a little crazy? Don’t fret. This is a case that can be easily resolved (as well as ignored).

The thing is that many users don’t even know that having to clean up hundreds of variables of your listing name is completely unneeded, and some SEO companies know this.

As a result, they charge an arm and a leg for doing a needless service.

Searching for your business data and will naturally generate many faults, but in reality, Google doesn’t pay mind to these hundreds of small variations of your name listing.

Instead, Google identifies your business listings as being similar because the content of your NAP is the same.

So don’t panic!

Just make sure your NAP is the same, which is should be. If not, then that’s a problem!

If you’re still feeling a little worried about this, here’s what you can do.

Fix the listing on the aggregate site. That’ll take care of the many variations to your listing.

What’s important to know is your top sites (30-50) are the ones that really count, as well as your specific targeted sites.

These hundreds of variable sites with minor differences in the listings are a speck in the sand and won’t be worth the time you spend on them.

That said, you’ll save time and money if, instead, you choose to optimize other parts of your SEO strategies.

Optimizing your pages, analyzing your competitors and optimizing Google My Business should be your concern as well, not just local citation building.

Which brings me to the next myth.

Myth # 3 – Citation building is the only SEO strategy

Most small businesses and even some SEO pros have a tendency to put too much emphasis on location citation building.

The truth is that, if you’re only using citation building as your main SEO strategy, you won’t rank well, period.

Citation building is very important. We would ignore it if it didn’t play such an important role.

However, making sure every aspect of your local SEO strategy is locked in will get you higher ranks.

Being in the know of Google’s new “near me” search will certainly help as well.

That said, citations are important, but it’s only a starting point.

After you have a solid base of citations (30-50 should do it) that’s where it should end, and you will need to do a lot more than just focus on building out citations.

Myth # 4 – You should ignore citations for listings that have your number

Let’s say you share the number of a previous business. Will Google spot this and lower your score?


If Google collects enough information on many customers who are calling you, but who are actually trying to call the number of the old business, Google will mark this as a negative user experience.

The result will be a low score on Google Maps, which Google will automatically assign.

Remember: Your telephone number is the unique identifier of your business, one which Google uses to determine where you stand on Google.

Make sure you claim your number!

Myth # 5 – Local citation building is a must every time you’re asked to fill one out

So you’re a new business owner. Your website is up and running. Great! And now every directory you come across is asking for the deets of your business.

Are you suppose to share the information every single time?

I mean, it won’t kill you. But at some point, you’ll get tired of doing it.

There’s a better way.

Step 1: Analyze your competitors

Step 2: Optimize your pages

Step 3: Optimize My Business listing optimization

Step 4: THEN go about focusing on location citation building.

If you follow this order, rest assured that you’ll rank well in numerous sites.

In Conclusion

I frequently overhear and read things about local SEO strategies that just aren’t true.

My hope with this post is to debunk some of these myths that are floating around.

I believe every marketer should certainly spend some time building out citations, as it will certainly play a factor to ranking well on Google.

But just remember that you won’t move the needle further if your only concern is location citation building.

Instead, you should be targeting the other areas of your local SEO strategy.

Also, remember to pay no mind to mismatches of the business names you see on the directories.

I see many business owners and webmasters panic over this.

Just make sure that your address and telephone number are correct. Spending countless hours editing all of that information will drive you crazy. What’s important is that you make it to the top 50 sites.

We hope this myth-busting post works out for you.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

The Best Link Building Tools We’re Looking at for 2017

link building toolsSince Google’s creation, link building tools have consistently remained one of the best strategies for increasing your website’s SEO potential.

The early days of Google marked link spamming and other techniques focused on buying backlinks from low-quality link providers.

This eventually evolved into what we know today as “Blackhat SEO,” and subsequently, earned us SEO’ers a firm slap on the wrist from Google. Who knew that Google wanted readable content for their users?

Since then, Google has waged war against SEO’ers using low-quality links to increase their search ranking. In September of this year, Google won that war.

Google’s latest Penguin update, Penguin 4.0, monitors linking in real-time, ensuring that any and all low-quality links no longer increase SEO.

SEOs in 2017 must move forward and stick with linking practices that cater to Google’s new algorithm. Luckily, plenty of linking practices exist that Google won’t penalize, and some they even encourage.

We’re looking at the best linking practices for 2017 and how to capitalize on them.

Link Building Tools


It is probably beaten into your brain that content is king, and it’s true. Google values content that informs readers and focuses on more than just SEO potential.

In a survey of SEO leaders, Omar Kattan mused that the future of SEO lies not in technical signals, but in social signals that require brands to produce relevant, entertaining, useful, inspiring content.

However, have you stopped to ask yourself what kind of content is actually worth creating? Blog posts are essential to SEO, but it’s infographics that stand out.

Start by identifying a niche where your potential infographic is relevant. Next, identify the information your niche is looking for. This is easily accomplished by studying keyword trends.

Build your infographic and promote it heavily on social media websites. You can also send out “feelers” to other blogs within your niche who may trade a backlink for infographic use rights.

Though social media links aren’t authoritative, they signal popularity to authoritative websites who might link to your infographic.

The chances of creating a viral infographic are slim, but the rewards are tremendous.

Guest Posts

Guest posts emerged long ago as a great set of link building tools to generate high-quality backlinks, and it remains so in 2017. The reasons guest posting is so effective is simple.

You’re creating an article for another website tailored to increase your own SEO link juice. Handcrafted backlinks will always fare better than those from outside your organization.

But, in 2017, we’re taking guest posting to the next level.

Focus on pitching your guest posts to what we call “content syndicators.” These are websites that work with networks of other blogs to post their content across multiple pages.

For example, The Huffington Post is part of a syndication network. They repost content from other blogs on their website. If website ABC is trending within their niche, Huff Post will republish their content.

Your goal is to guest post on member blogs of these syndication networks. Not only do you gain a backlink from your guest post, but also the opportunity for exposure to a mass market audience.

This is harder than it sounds. Search Huff Post, Mashable, and other similar blogs for posts related to your niche. Then, look for a “this post originally appeared on” credit.

Your goal is to guest post on the credited websites.

Once you’ve identified your targets, pitch ideas that are niche-specific. Your target is mass appeal, but the authoritative websites want niche articles.

Don’t stop guest posting, but also keep an eye out for syndication opportunities.

Outreach Efforts

Part of building backlinks is convincing other blog owners that your content is quality. Some people may organically find your content, but it’s likely many of your backlinks will come from building a repertoire with other content creators.

Sounds easy, right? Not quite, because you’re not the only one trying to win over editors and snag a backlink.

Standing out in an inbox full of emails is no easy feat. The best way to differentiate yourself is through personalized emails. Nothing says “delete this” like a template email.

After you’ve managed to convince a few people to work with your linking practices, you’ll need to build a relationship with them. The nature of the relationship will depend on your linking strategies.

Trading guest content is a great way to build backlinks in a friendly way. Ditto for giving away free backlinks planted within each other’s work.

If your strategy involves buying backlinks, things get somewhat more complicated. The thing is, Google isn’t too keen on buying and selling links. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to trick the search giant.

Business relationships with link buying or selling clients involve staying within your niche and agreeing on the specifics of anchor text and link volume. Less friendship, and more caution, tends to stem from these relationships.

Wrapping Up

There’s no doubt in our mind that link building tools will remain an important part of SEO strategy in 2017. The SEO potential of building a quality network of backlinks is far too great to ignore.

Keep Penguin in mind, churn out those infographics, become friendly with other bloggers, and start searching for quality syndicated content networks. Stick to these trends and your SEO in 2017 should be off to a fantastic start.

We hope that with our guide, you’ll move into 2017 with all the tools you need to take your SEO to the next level.

If you’re interested in learning more about building a high-quality link profile, get in contact with us. We offer opportunities for both buying and selling high-quality backlinks to boost your website’s SEO potential.

Link Building Tools Post-Penguin: How to Keep it Clean

link building toolsNow that Penguin 4 has rolled out, are you struggling to understand where to focus your efforts to keep your website high on the Google rankings?

Link building is still extremely important to your website’s SEO rankings. Inbound links act as indicators to Google as to whether to consider your website an authority in your niche.

Links make your website visible in search results, but you’ll have to put in some effort to be high in the rankings.

Blogging consistently helps in getting quality links. In fact, businesses with a consistent blogging habit get up to 97 percent more inbound links. But to avoid being penalized by Google, it’s important to understand how to build quality links.

With Google’s extra emphasis on link building, this SEO technique may require more time, effort and money on your end. In this post, we’ll show you a few link building tools that will keep you penalty-free in Google. Read on to learn how to build links in a post-Penguin world.

What the Penguin Update Means for Link Building

It has always been that Google saw sites as more authoritative when they had more links pointing back to their site. Google would place those sites with more links higher up in the rankings.

It used to be that it didn’t matter the quality of where the link came from. More links meant better search rankings.

Since the first Penguin update in 2012, Google has been penalizing websites for containing suspicious links. When a website is hit by Penguin, it can be difficult to recover. You may lose your high ranking and your traffic.

In Google’s most recent Penguin update, released this fall, it was announced that the spam-detecting tool now runs in real time. While this makes it easier to get hit, it also makes the recovery process easier.

Good links are still considered one of the best ways to build authority for your site.

Link Building Tools to Play it Safe

If you’re not sure where to start when building quality links, trying the following techniques:

1. Organic link building

The link building tools you use depend on the type of business you have.

B2C businesses can build links by getting product reviews. To do this, send influencers in your niche a free sample and ask them to give you a product review. Ask them if they’d like to help promote your product and offer a commission of the sales they get you.

Another way to do this is to write heavily visual blog posts and post the images to social media sites like Pinterest or Instagram. Pinterest users pin 3,472 images per minute. Posting to these sites is a sure way to get your content shared and gain plenty of links back to your site.

Posting to these sites is a sure way to get your content shared and gain plenty of links back to your site.

2. Connect with local associations

Another great practice is to reach out to local directories or associations. Partner with organizations that will provide links back to your website. Alumni directories can be seen as highly authoritative with relevant links to websites.

If your business has recently made a big accomplishment, achieved a milestone or held a charity fundraiser, this is a good time to reach out to alumni associations because they often promote success stories. When industry specific directories link back to you, this indicates to Google that you are seen as a relevant source to local searchers.

When reaching out to associations or influencers, remember to create lasting relationships and understand that it is a two-way street. You have to provide value back to those who are helping you out. Be genuine in your approach and demonstrate that you’re bringing unique value to who you’re reaching out to.

Personalizing your approach goes a long way. Show that you can be trusted and that you are not a spammer.

3. B2B link building

B2B customers have plenty of options for building authoritative links.

One great way to get quality links back to your site is to write testimonials for the people you network with. For those who helped you with your business cards or website design, write them a testimonial of how pleased you are with their services. Many times, they will post your testimonial on their own website and link back to you.

Another option is to write a guest blog post for another website in your niche. Writing an information-packed article for other sites is a great way to gain authority in your niche and get links back to your site. Several sites will accept guest blog posts from experts in their niche.

4. Content-led link building

A natural way to build quality links is to provide quality content. Always aim to relate to your target audience. Tug at their emotions or education them with an informational post.

Share useful tools and infographics. Post video demonstrations of how to perform a task. Write engaging editorials.

Of course, you still have to get out there and ask for the links to your site. But the more quality content you have, the more likely people will want to link to your site.

5. Reclaim broken links

If you’ve done all of the above and your rankings still haven’t recovered in Google, it’s time to locate the website links to your site that are broken. Inform the owners of those sites that they have a broken link, which is also bad for their own SEO. Provide a new URL for them to replace the broken link with.

Again, it is important to be genuine in your approach and provide value for the site owner.

Recovering from a Penguin hit can be difficult for busy business owners. The techniques mentioned here are simple ways to build quality links, but you still may struggle to focus on this when you know you should be focusing on your clients and your services.

If that’s the case, let us help you. Having been in this business for a long time, we have watched link strategies change with every algorithm update. We are skilled at adapting quickly to these changes. We know the best ways to get your website back to the top.

Contact us today with your questions about link building tools!

Quality Backlinks in 2017: Let’s Look to the Future

quality backlinksWhere did the time go?

2017 is almost here, and it has some surprises in store for SEO. 2016 marked the latest Penguin update and reaffirmed the importance of building quality backlinks to your website. (Emphasis on the word “quality.”)

So what do you need and don’t need to build top notch backlinks?

Let’s explore the latest and greatest from Google and learn what you need to prioritize in 2017!

How Google Evaluates Your Website

To understand where backlinks are headed in 2017, it’s important to understand the ranking factors Google uses to evaluate your website.

Believe it or not, there are 200 different ranking factors! Instead of listing all 200, here are the top seven ranking factors most crucial to link building, according to a recent survey of leading SEO experts:

  • Trust level and domain authority  – 24%
  • Number of incoming backlinks, also known as link popularity – 22%
  • Anchor Text – 20%
  • SEO Keywords – 15%
  • Registration and Web Hosting – 7%
  • Incoming traffic and click-through rate – 6%
  • Social Media – 5%

As you can see, quality backlinks are the second most important ranking factor. Furthermore, important ranking factors such as trust level, anchor texts, and social media play a significant role in link building as well.

In order to maintain the integrity of their search results, Google periodically updates their algorithms to catch and weed out the bad apples. In doing so, it’s now a lot easier to get penalized if you’re not careful.

Google’s most recent algorithm update, Penguin 4.0, is particularly relevant to this conversation because it deals specifically with links.

Why Google Penguin is Important

No doubt, Google Penguin will have significant influence over backlink strategies come 2017. This particular update specifically targets low-quality backlinks. If you haven’t already, make sure to perform an SEO audit to remove or “no-follow” any questionable backlinks.

In short, Google Penguin will flag and penalize the following link building issues:

  • Building low-quality backlinks from websites irrelevant to your niche. Building a low-quality backlink profile too fast may be seen as manipulating search results.
  • Like Google’s Panda update, Penguin will also penalize you for keyword stuffing your content.
  • Optimizing your content with too much anchor text. Anchor text is a major ranking factor, but you want to include them in the most relevant way possible.
  • Using too many exact match anchor texts. Exact match anchor text used to be standard SEO practice. Not anymore! This now raises major flags.
  • Unnatural backlinks are also flagged and penalized. These are websites that google deems as “manipulating search results.”

So what backlink trends will you expect to see in 2017?

Diversify Your Quality Backlinks

Backlink diversity will be key in 2017.

With the Penguin 4.0 release, link practices are under more scrutiny. If the majority of your backlinks are coming from the same source, Penguin may flag and ultimately penalize you.

When building your backlink profile, consider a wide variety of the following sources:

  • High-authority blogs
  • Relevant .org websites
  • Editorial websites
  • Social media pages
  • Popular video sites like YouTube
  • Relevant websites with .edu and .gov extensions
  • Online guides
  • Whitepapers

Penguin may also penalize you if the majority of your backlinks come from the same “c-class” ISP address. Having too many may be viewed as spam.

Assess The Page and Domain Authority of Your Links

Knowing where your backlinks are coming from is crucial for staying penguin-friendly. That’s why when building your profile, you need to extensively research the backlinks you want to pursue.

In the old SEO days, Google’s PageRank was used to measure the authority of websites. However, since Google retired PageRank, other tools have risen to take its place.

One of the most popular methods for assessing websites is domain authority and page authority, otherwise known as your PA and DA scores.

PA and DA scores use a 0-100 ranking system. Therefore, the better the score, the more authority that site has with google. For example, Facebook has a score of 100 because it’s such a mega-popular network. When building your backlinks, try to aim for websites with reasonable scores of 30 and above.

2017 Is All About Intent

Forget the old ways of SEO. It’s no longer cool to target keywords and backlinks that have nothing to do with your niche. Remember, links and anchor text are supposed to help visitors engage more with the topic, not detour them completely.

For example, suppose you run a pet niche website. You find that a tire review website is linking to your article, “Top 7 Tips For Making Your Own Dog Food”, in their blog post on Luxury Car Rims. That backlink has nothing to do with the intent of the blog post, and in turn, that backlink could get flagged.

So what do you do in situations like this?

If the tire review website didn’t add a “no-follow” tag to your backlink, reach out directly to the website to remove it. You should also run a detailed SEO audit to identify troubling backlinks that need to be removed and work with your SEO consultant to purchase only relevant quality backlinks.

Build Contextual Quality Backlinks

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “content is king”, but this philosophy also extends right into your link building methods. Moving forward into 2017, backlinks within content will have more value than stand-alone links and those listed on sidebars. These are called contextual backlinks.

Remember, it’s all about intent!

When building your backlinks, make sure to focus on websites that produce substantial, well-formatted articles and blog posts. You also need to analyze how backlinks are used.

Ask yourself this:

  • Do their backlinks match the intent of the content?
  • Do they direct visitors to relevant, useful web pages?

One way to find quality backlinks is to perform backlink research on your competitors and the backlink websites you’re considering.

You can’t take any chances with Google in 2017, and the last thing you want is to waste time getting rid of bad backlinks.

To start the year off strong, receive an SEO audit to see where your backlinks stand, do away with outdated SEO practices, and speak with an SEO consultant to make sure you’re building quality backlinks the right way.

Backlink Builder for Local SEO: Link Building for a “Near Me” Search

backlink builderNeed some backlink builder tips for local SEO? We got you. Here’s what you need to build links that will help nearby customers find you when they need you.

These tips are tailored specifically for local businesses who are navigating their SEO strategy in a “post-Possum” Google age.

In case you missed the news, Google has changed their algorithm (again, yes) to better serve the “near me” search.

Not to worry–we’ve got all the backlink builder tips you need to get ranked in “near me” searches.

Let’s get into it!

Get in the news.

As the old saying goes, any press is good press when it comes to local link building.

You can easily reach out to local reporters and editors to offer expert perspective on current news items or to inform them of newsworthy developments at your company.

Most articles posted online are linked to the author’s contact information, or you can just call up the local newsroom.

Pitching yourself as a local expert can develop into an ongoing relationship with the local news teams!

Enter local contests.

Most cities nowadays have some version of an annual “Best of” contest.

Be sure you’re throwing your name in the hat for any categories your business is a fit for.

Not only does this build awareness among your local customers, you can turn a contest nomination into social media or blog content for the entire voting period. Bonus points if you’re able to snag a trophy!

No category for your business? Contact the contest organizers and pitch them on why your niche deserves recognition.

Organize a meet-up.

Thanks to social media and email lists, it’s easier than ever to organize regular meetups and get-togethers with like-minded locals.

This can be based on your business’s services or just a “pro-bono” hosting of a social group.

Here are a few ideas of free groups to host or organize:

  • Book club
  • Run/walk club
  • Bridge or bingo night
  • Networking group

Join community events.

Local governments, schools, and civic groups hold events throughout the year.

Contact your local institutions and learn how you can get involved with the next festival, fair or summit.

Be sure to ask about website listings and confirm your business’s links are listed on the event page.

Sponsor local groups or events.

Many local events or groups are in need of additional funding through sponsorships.

While this requires some of your marketing dollars,  sponsoring a local kids’ sports team or a beloved community event is not only great for your reputation among your community, it’s also a great way to get more links on local sites.

When negotiating your sponsorship package, make sure your request your links to be included in as much online collateral as possible.

Offer discounts.

Depending on your target demographics, can you offer a discount?

Student, teacher, first responders, military and senior discounts are not only very appreciated by those who can take advantage of the deals, but also give you the chance to be listed on local sites and deal round-ups.

This tip is especially effective if you have a college or university nearby.

Create a local resource.

Does your business have coveted tips and advice that your community needs? Why not condense it into a one-page resource or guide?

You’ll be positioning your business as the local expert on all things local and have the chance to pitch the resource to local sites and influencers as a valuable asset.

Get links from manufacturers or wholesalers.

If you sell any type of product that comes from a manufacturer or wholesale, check out your supplier’s website to see if you can be listed as a distributor.

Build relationships with local influencers.

This is going beyond your daily newspaper.

Again, depending on your target demographic, an influencer for your ideal customer might vary. Local influencers tend to be bloggers or even local social media stars. There might even be some hybrid blog/news/event sites that are frequented by your ideal customer.

Establish relationships with these key players to ensure you’re included in roundups or that your news/events are listed on their sites.

Make sure you’re listed in local directories.

This one tends to be so easy it’s overlooked.

Do you have a local business directory, online “phone book” or Yelp/TripAdvisor page that you should be included on? Make sure all of your information is up to date on these sites, as well as including up to date and working links.

Post open positions on job boards.

When you have a position open, be sure to include your relevant contact info and your website in your postings on job boards.

This can include places like Monster, Indeed, Craigslist, etc. If you don’t want your main contact info flooded with applicants, set up a specific email address and phone number for hiring purposes only.

Hire an intern.

Not ready to take on another paid employee? Internships are a great way to serve your community and get additional local links. The same tips apply as the previous tip for job boards, feel free to set up separate email and phone accounts for internship applicants.

With both of these tips, it’s important to remember that you can leave your openings up until you find the perfect person!

Exchange testimonials with other local businesses.

Do you regularly do business with another local business? We’re almost positive you do!

Reach out to your best local partners with a testimonial and see if they don’t mind linking your website along with your blurb.

You can easily add a “local favorites” tab to your own website to repay the favor and build community among other local business owners.

Testimonials are a great and FREE backlink builder for local businesses.

Offer free wifi and get listed.

You’re already paying the internet bill, why not get a return on your monthly investment? Offer free wifi to customers and get listed on free wifi directory sites.

Pitch guest posts to local blogs and publications.

Brainstorm some relevant topics for your local audience and pitch your ideas to local blogs or newspapers. These publications are often looking for fresh perspectives from local leaders, so why should you get your thoughts (and links!) out there?

Purchase affiliate link building packages to truly buff up your backlink builder strategy.

If you’re a small team strapped for time, one of the best and easiest ways to get your links topped up and rock the local SEO game is to invest in a link building package. With high-quality links and tens of thousands of websites to choose from, our services will help propel your local SEO strategy to the next level, without a single headache or worry for you.

Have questions about these backlink builder tips? Contact us today–we’re happy to answer any questions you might have.

Link Building Services: How Long to Boost Your Rankings?

link building servicesSo you’ve got a company and you need to increase its search engine rankings.

There are plenty of methods that you’re no doubt familiar with, like keyword lists or social media visibility.

You’ve considered purchasing backlinks but perhaps held off on pulling the trigger, thinking that Google’s recent algorithm tweak changed the effectiveness of that strategy.

Think again.

Using Link Building Services Effectively

Before, buying backlinks meant you’d purchase a bundle of links to tons of sites, effectively spamming the internet with your content.

Google adjusted for that, and who can blame them? What company wants to be associated with spam?

What really matters in the SEO field now is the quality of backlinks. Your company needs to be associated with high-ranked and valued pages.

That’s where purchasing quality backlinks really helps. Getting on reputable sites is key.

Now you’re ready to get on board and purchase backlinks but the real question is when will you see a return on your investment?

The short term answer? Up to 10 weeks.

The long term answer? Six months to a year.

If you think that sounds like a long time, you’re missing the point of growing your page’s visibility.

Let’s clarify and dig deeper into what’s needed to really boost your rankings.

Preparing The Most Effective Strategy

Every campaign needs a solid strategy. You can’t skimp on the crucial gestation period and you need to build it into your timetable.

What’s involved in realizing maximum results?

First, take a hard look at what your company offers and how you can make this into something web-friendly.

Bring your co-workers together to really brainstorm – you’d be surprised what you come up with.

Do you have definitive expertise in something? Writing an instructional blog post is one of the surefire ways to create a quality page.

Creating media like a video or an infographic is another great way to generate links organically but also create a unique post that grabs eyeballs.

To get the most out of link building services, you need to make sure you’ve got the material to present your company in the best light possible.

It can’t be stressed enough how vital it is to take time crafting quality, linkable information and resources. Make sure you account for this time when you’re planning your SEO strategy.

Implementing The Strategy – What To Expect:

Once you’ve got your pages where you want them (high-quality, clickable content), your next step is to purchase the backlinks.

The benefit of a link building service like Backlinks is that we’ve got 10 years of experience to back us up, making us one of the most trustworthy and qualified companies.

You can even browse our inventory to see where your content is going – all you need to do is register for a free account.

Search for the specific keywords and categories that work best with your brand; Backlinks will provide you with plenty of trusted partners that will boost your SEO.

Once you’ve got it set up, this is where you should expect to see that initial bump in ratings in about 10 weeks.

You might think this is quite a while to wait but you need to start thinking long-term.

While things on the web seem to go fast – it’s so easy to get the latest video or click “like” on a post – in truth, brand-building takes some time.

And it’s completely worth it.

In fact, don’t just consider this waiting period “down time”; there are things you can do in the interim to improve your rankings even further.

What Happens Next: Investing In And Growing Your Brand

Your content is fine-tuned and flawless and you have your secret weapon (a trusted partnership with a link building service) in place.

While you could technically wait around to see what happens, you should use this time to supplement your strategy.

Ultimately, think of the reason your company created an online presence and purchased backlinks – you’re looking to connect with your audience.

Make it easy for them to find you and make sure they want to come back.

There are plenty of easy ways to reach out to your target demographic; make sure you use them all to your advantage.

First and foremost is reaching out on social media.

If you’ve ever visited a company’s social media account and found it hadn’t been updated for months, then you’ll know why it’s important.

Keep your pages – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, anything that you use – completely up to date.

Link to every post you create and keep posting. This is simply the easiest way to build a connection with your customers.

That being said, don’t spam your own site.

Don’t create posts just to create posts – remember how we talked about quality before?

Clickbait is definitely out – it’s been done to death.

Your company’s website should be all about what you have to offer – not about some random viral nonsense that has nothing to do with your brand.

It’s also vital to have a mobile version of your site.

Mobile site traffic has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years. It’s probably the main way your target demographics reach you.

Remember – don’t just sit around during the downtime; if you want to be successful, use every resource available.

So, How Long Will It Really Take?

Again – remember that this is a long-term strategy and won’t yield instant gratification.

Expect to see a real difference in about six months to a year.

It’s not an automatic process and you can do things in the interim to help your rankings rise.

It boils down to the three crucial elements:

  • Crafting your perfect plan of attack – quality content and worthy partnerships are key.
  • Implementing your strategy  – here’s where you open the floodgates. You’ll see an initial bump at this stage.
  • Keeping the momentum going – While your backlinks are working for you, don’t forget to use this time to cultivate your online presence and build relationships

If you needed a reason to get started now, consider this your wake-up call.

It’s going to take a while to get to where you want to be with this strategy, but with all things in life that take time, it’s worth it.

So what are you waiting for? Put this plan in place and watch your rankings soar!