content marketing tools

10 Essential Content Marketing Tools for the Savvy Digital Marketer

Content marketing can seem intimidating if you don’t know how to do it. Having a general knowledge of what marketing is and why you do it isn’t enough.

To really get your website noticed, you’ve got to market strategically. There are way too many other websites out there vying for the same attention.

So how can you market successfully without spending all your time doing it? Keep reading and we’ll show you how. Here are ten content marketing tools you’ll wish you’d never lived without.

1. BuzzSumo

Social media is so important when it comes to successful marketing. But how do you know if the content you’re sharing is helping you or not?

That’s where BuzzSumo comes in. It shows you what’s hot and what’s not on social media. Once you know that, you’ll know what content to create a share.

Simply enter a topic you’re considering posting about and see how it pans out in the results.

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is totally free, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be taking advantage of it. This tool provides important information about your audience.

Who’s visiting your site, and from where? Google Analytics will tell you. Use this information to plan where your blog will go from here.

Once you know who your main audience is you can cater to them directly.

3. Inforg.am

If you ever need infographics, Inforg.am is the place to go. You’ll have what you need in no time at all and you’ll be able to share or embed it.

Infographics help your audience visualize information. In some cases they’ll communicate information better than words, so don’t pass this up!

4. SimpleReach

Would you like to know how your content is doing across multiple sites at once? Simplereach allows you to do that, and more.

Whether you’ve used blog posts, videos, or something else, SimpleReach will show you how they’re doing.

Conveniently gathered to one place, you’ll have all the analytics you need without using multiple tools. And SimpleReach goes beyond providing data–it gives you data that you’ll actually use.

5. Google Search Console

Google Search Console (also known as Google Webmasters Tools) is another free tool provided by Google. It helps you see what keywords you rank for and how far up or down the ranks your site appears.

You may add keywords to each post, but that doesn’t mean that Google chooses to show your site instead of someone else’s. Google Search Console helps you see how well you’re doing.

This tool can be incredibly helpful if it’s used correctly. You’ll find out what keywords people are searching for, which will help you create content that will get your site seen.

6. Quora

This forum-based website may not seem like a marketing tool at first glance but think again. Quora’s a gold mine when it comes to finding out what people want to know.

Choose some keywords you want to use, then run a search on Quora. You’ll quickly see what people want to know about those keywords. In other words, you were just handed a whole bunch of topic ideas.

7. Animoto

Do you post videos to a Facebook page? If you don’t, you definitely should. Video is powerful, even if viewers aren’t using sound.

However, if you aren’t using text to show viewers what’s going on or being said in your video, you may be missing out on a lot of traffic. Facebook scrollers often watch videos without sound. Will viewers get the point of your video with the sound off?

To help remedy this issue, Animoto allows you to add text overlays. Those overlays allow viewers to fully engage with your videos, even if their surroundings require them to watch without sound.

8. Sumo

Are you looking to build your email subscription list? Then Sumo is the tool for you.

You’ll love its Welcome Mat feature. This pop-up will help you gather email addresses and grow your subscriber list in no time.

Beyond that, Sumo also helps you create social-sharing buttons, which are ideal for encouraging viewers to share your content.

9. Hemingway App

The content you post has to be easy to understand. Most people don’t spend a lot of time on a post or website, so your posts need to be clear.

Hemingway App helps you see where your content can improve. It points out passages that are too complicated, lets you know if you’re too passive, and more.

If you’re looking to say what you need to say in a better way, try Hemingway App. You’ll never go without it again.

10. Biteable

If you need help creating simple video content, you need to check out Biteable. With this tool, you can skip hiring actors, editors, a film team, and everything else.

Imagery, characters, illustrations, and animations are yours to create and use. Simply drag and drop as you create your storyboard. There’s no simpler way to bring your ideas to life.

Try These Content Marketing Tools Today

These ten content marketing tools exist to make your life easier, so what are you waiting for? Try one, or all of them, today.

Great marketing is half the battle when it comes to getting traffic. Don’t do things the hard way and try to figure it out all on your own. As you use these apps, you’ll continually learn marketing strategies you’ll use now and in years to come.

One of the best ways to get your site noticed is through SEO, and that’s what we specialize in. Schedule a free SEO consultation with us today to see how you’re doing.

keyword search volume

The Truth About Keyword Search Volume Will Surprise You

Are you using keyword search volume as part of your SEO strategy? You should be. However, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about Google’s keyword search volume. In this guide, we’ll separate the truth from the myths.

Search volume is among the most important measures for SEO tactics, and it’s one of the most commonly used, too. Some businesses build their concept around a single Google search term and have found a lot of success that way.

However, new keyword research tools have recently entered the market to meet this demand. You might notice that different search volumes crop up, depending on what tools you use. And, most importantly, those tools often show totally different numbers from Google Keyword Planner.

Are these tools accurate? What other information might you be missing? We’ll break it all down right here – keep reading to learn more.

What is Keyword Search Volume?

Keyword search volume measures how frequently people search for a given keyword. When you find a keyword that more people are searching for, you’ll want to target content to that term, since that makes it more likely that those searchers will find your site.

How Keyword Tools Get Search Volume Data

When you’re trying to figure out what keywords to rank for, keyword search tools become your best friend. But where do they get their information from – and how do you know it’s accurate?

Most of these tools use the above-mentioned Google Keyword Planner to get their data. They might either pull information from that service directly or use other tools that scrape and re-sell the data.

With every tool using the same source, how come different tools will show different search volumes? And how is it possible that their results don’t match Google’s when that’s where they get the information from?

First, you’ll need to know where Google gets its numbers from. The Google Keyword Planner number is actually a rounded yearly average, which gets recalculated each month.

As a search term decreases in popularity, the annual average will gradually start to go down, month by month. Any keyword search tool using Google Keyword Planner to get its numbers will need to update its own numbers each month to give you more accurate data, coming from Google.

However, these tools often have millions or billions of keywords in their databases, so these frequent updates become very difficult. That’s why each search tool has differing numbers – they don’t update the numbers as frequently as they’d need to for the results to be accurate according to Google. It’s just too much work for too many keywords.

Is the Adwords Search Volume Accurate?

If your keyword tool showed the same numbers that Google Adwords did, you’d probably be satisfied with that. However, many industry professionals now question the data coming from Google, too.

How does Google put together its numbers, anyway? Let’s take a closer look.

Annual Average

Google’s annual average is an interesting piece of the keyword puzzle.

For example, take a seasonal keyword like “Halloween.” Google will likely show a very high search volume for the term. However, if you look closely, you’ll see that in the annual trends the search volume for most of the year is low. But as October approaches, the search volume will peak.

With so many variables, how useful can an annual average really be? This is a pretty extreme example, but it shows a common problem that can through Google’s data off. Few search queries have a search volume that stays consistent throughout the year. The annual average can hide numbers that vary greatly from month to month.

The annual average isn’t just an average – it’s also rounded off into buckets. This throws the average numbers off even further.

Variant Search Terms

As you work keyword optimization into your SEO strategy, you’ll quickly become aware of the importance of variant search terms. “Search engine optimization” and “search engine optimization” are close variants of the same term, but they’re recognizably different. One is likely typed by an American, while the other might come from someone in England.

However, if you type these two terms into Google Keyword Planner, it will combine them into one keyword. There’s surely a difference in popularity between the two terms, but you won’t be able to find out what it is using Google. This is important if you’re trying to rank organically since there might be a big difference between the terms.

If someone is advertising using Adwords, they won’t care about the differences in terms, since their ad will show on top no matter what. Google Keyword Planner makes life easy for advertisers, but not for people trying to rank organically.

Using Google Keyword Planner Strategically

Although the keyword volume from Google isn’t quite accurate, many people still rely on it. However, there are other hidden tools you can use to boost your SEO game.

A different tool, called Performance Forecasts, might help you out. To find it, put some search queries in your plan, then click on “Review plan.” From there, you can get “impressions” data for your keywords, which gives you information for the close variants that you couldn’t see before, too. The impressions numbers will differ from the search volume numbers, giving you a clearer picture.

Google is gradually getting better at seeing and interpreting the different search queries that people enter. This is increasing the value of long-tail keywords, and rendering single words less relevant.

This means that no matter what Google Keyword Planner shows, you should work on creating an SEO strategy based on topics, not individual search terms.

Ready to Refine Your SEO Strategy?

Keyword search volume remains an important part of SEO. However, it’s more important than ever to understand how to use the numbers you see in order to build a winning strategy. Even Google doesn’t tell the whole story.

In addition to keywords, you’ll also need backlinks to drive traffic to your site. Learn more about how to get links here.

free backlinks

20 High DA Sites Where You Can Create Free Backlinks

In the market for free backlinks?

Search engines like Google still use backlinks as one of the primary metrics to calculate your site’s page ranking. If you want to rank higher, you need better backlinks.

Though it’s time-consuming, you can create guest posts on high domain authority (DA) websites. You can even use blackhat methods, like paying for high DA backlinks.

Or, you can avoid the grueling process and shady alternatives. Follow the guide below to create quality, high DA backlinks. Each will only take you a few minutes.

Read on to learn more.

1. Photo Bucket

Photobucket is a free image hosting site. You may also post short videos. Add your relevant image and a link in the description.

  • PA – 65
  • DA – 95

The free sign-up process is easy. You may use your Facebook account or email address. With it, they give you 2GB of free storage and access to everything on their site.

2. Deviant Art

DeviantArt is arguably the largest online art-work community. The site hosts a broad range of digital artwork. You may share or promote your own to their enormous community.

  • PA – 84
  • DA – 92

To make a free account on Deviant Art, you need only submit an image or infographic of your post. Then, add a link back to your post in your description.

3. Image Shack

ImageShack is an image hosting platform. It is subscription-based, and simple to use. Upload your images with the click of a few buttons.

  • PA – 79
  • DA – 94

Signing up for an account is free. Submit your pics, images, or infographics, and add some simple backlinks to your website in the description. That’s it.

4. Drop Shots

DropShots is yet another image hosting website. It’ll help you diversify your link profile. They host both photos and videos, which you can upload in under a minute.

  • PA – 60
  • DA – 70

All accounts are free. Sign up in under five minutes, and then post your image. Don’t forget to link back to your site in the description and your profile.

5. Photo Peach

PhotoPeach is a slide share hosting website. With it, you can create photos and slideshows. You may embed those in your website and share your slides with the world. They also make it easy to share via email, IM, and Facebook.

  • PA – 60
  • DA – 72

The sign-up process is easy and free. Enter your niche related images afterward. Then add some supporting text and a link in your description.

6. Scrub the Web

ScrubTheWeb is a website analyzer. Submit your site for free and receive a report on your site’s health. It’s a two-for-one deal.

  • PA– 55
  • DA – 72

It’s free to use. Submit your site’s URL and verify their confirmation email. That’s it.

7. Directory World

DirectoryWorld might be the largest human-edited directory on the planet. Choose from one of the hundreds of categories for your website. They sometimes block the free submission, so check back from time to time.

  • PA -57
  • DA– 61

Sign up is easy. Afterward, create a description of your site and a backlink.

8. So Much

SoMuch is a free online directory. You may choose from a hundred or so categories. Pick the one that best describes your website.

  • PA -51
  • DA – 57

This one is also free. Unfortunately, it can take a week or so for them to approve your link. The site says only five days, but it sometimes takes them longer.

9. Jayde

Jayde is a business-to-business search engine. They provide company names, services, products, and other information.

  • PA – 57
  • DA – 59

Follow the directions to sign up for a free account. Then list your website. Don’t forget to include your relevant link!

10. Author Stream

AuthorStream is a presentation hosting platform. Submit your animations, audio narrations, and slide videos. You can even broadcast your presentation live.

  • PA – 67
  • DA – 84

Follow the direction to sign up for a free account. Then, edit your profile and drop a backlink to your website. Don’t forget to add a short bio.

11. Quora

Quora is a Q & A website founded back in 2009. Yes, you can acquire a quick, high DA backlink. You can also help generate organic traffic to your site by answering industry relent questions from other members.

  • PA – 72
  • DA – 92

The free account sign-up takes less than five minutes. Afterword, fill out your profile and include a link to your site.

12. About Me

About.me is a website on which you can create a profile page for free. Load up your photo and bio, and you’re good to go.

  • PA – 72
  • DA – 92

Sign-up only takes a few minutes. You can also send web traffic to your profile page as an added benefit.

13. Issuu

Issuu is an electronic publishing platform. It’s used primarily for magazines, newspapers, and catalogs.

  • PA -82
  • DA – 94

Sign up for a free account and publish a document. Make sure it’s original content. Make sure to include a link to your site in the document.

14. Zoho

Zoho is a CRM software. The software suite contains options for spreadsheets, presentations, databases, note-taking, word processing, web conferencing, and wikis.

  • PA – 70
  • DA – 89

Sign up for a free account. Then submit a document which includes a link back to your post. Easy.

15. Dropbox

Dropbox is a file-hosting service. On it, you can store your documents, images, and other files in the cloud.

  • PA – 83
  • DA – 94

Create your free account. Afterword, drop a backlink to your site in both your document and the description. Be sure to upload unique, relevant content.

16. I’m Faceplate

ImFaceplate is an article-based site. Add an article of about three-hundred words and include a backlink to your site. Articles typically index within a few hours.

  • PA – 56
  • DA – 72

Sign up for a free account. Add your relevant article. Add a backlink to your profile. It’s that easy.

17. Bit Bucket

BitBucket is a site for coding project. Drop a backlink into your profile, and you’re done.

  • PA -73
  • DA -92

Sign up is free. Don’t worry about adding a coding project. You don’t need one.

18. Listly

List.ly is a free list publishing website. Create a list of relevant items and publish it.

  • PA – 67
  • DA – 76

Sign up for your free account. Then add your backlink inside your list.

19. Pen IO

Pen.io is a Web 2.0 site. Don’t worry; it’s easy to set up. To get started, add an image and some text. Include an infographic with a link back to your site.

  • PA – 92
  • DA – 94

Sign up takes minutes. Building your post takes under a half hour.

20. Cheaper Seeker

CheaperSeeker is a coupon hosting website. Don’t worry; you needn’t add any coupons. Create a description explaining your supposed coupon which includes a backlink.

  • PA – 49
  • DA – 49

Sign up is easy and free.

Where Else to Look for Free Backlinks

Creating free backlinks can be simple. Use a web tool like the MozBar to calculate any site’s domain authority. Then head to sites with high DA’s that include your profile.

Throw in a backlink, and you’re done. Easy as that.

If you found this article helpful, take five minutes to browse our other articles on all things backlink related.

seo skills

Quick and Easy Guide to Learning SEO Skills

Search engine optimization is one of the few ways that you can ensure your success as a website owner.

In the sea of the internet, it can be difficult to stand out. Thankfully, there are a number of tactics that can help us improve our website traffic, and you don’t always need a professional to get results. There are a number of SEO skills that you can learn on your own to start seeing results.

We’ll go over some of the basic skills needed to get going on your SEO journey.

Essential SEO Skills for Beginners

Just like anything else, improving your website traffic is a skill. It’s something that requires a little time and effort, but it is definitely worth the work involved. Half of the SEO battle is understanding how optimization works and where you fit into the equation.

A Brief Overview of Search Engine Optimization

If you’re not already aware, search engine optimization is the process of tailoring your website to the specifications of the search engine. Search engines use an algorithm that determines the relevance of a site in comparison with the keywords that a user uses to search.

There are a lot of factors that come into the equation, but there are a few that stand out above the rest: keywords, backlinks, and quality content. These are the areas that you should devote your time to.

If you can maximize your work with these three factors, you are likely to see some significant improvements in your website traffic. But which skills are involved in working with these aspects of the algorithm?

1. Competitor Analysis

Before you begin stuffing your site with keywords and thousands of random links, look at the world of competitors within your niche. Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of ways to get insight into your competitors.

The first thing that you should do is find the most successful and popular sites within your niche. Go through their websites, read their articles, and notice their keywords. If you keep it in mind, you’ll notice frequent words that come up throughout the articles on the page.

Get a feel for how these words fit into the sentences as well as how frequently they’re used. Additionally, try and notice how the website flows, considering how easy it is to navigate the site. Once you do this, use a competitor analysis site to get some real metrics.

These sites allow you to see keyword usage, demographics of the audience, and much more. These factors will give you a lot to work with in terms of your own keywords and phrases.

2. Communication and Collaboration

Backlinks are an essential element of search engine optimization. Links, in general, may be the most important element needed to get a healthy following on your site. However, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Link-building is a collaborative process by nature. You want your links to be placed on popular sites that hold authority within your niche. That way, you’ll have more relevance in the eyes of the people and the search engines. But how do you get those high-powered links?

You need to communicate with website owners and offer them a service in return for their valuable links. Whether this is a guest-post, favor, or whatever, you’re going to need to branch out and start talking with people. Even asking for advice from a successful site owner will give you insight into the ways of the web.

Internal and external links are nothing to scoff at, though. These are viable ways to improve your results, but there’s no getting around the fact that backlinks are your best friend. Try reaching out to website owners within your niche.

See if you can write a blog post for them, or ask them if they could write a blog post for you. Even if you’re not a huge site, they might be feeling generous that day and give you the boost you need to start getting some results.

3. Creating Fine-Tuned Content

Now we move to the actual substance of your website. Your site is nothing if the content you have doesn’t actually do anything for users. You should strive to have a steady stream of relevant, optimized content that is appealing to search engines.

This means that you should understand how to place keywords organically, and know how to write a paragraph that flows reasonably well. That’s right, you may have to bust out those old writing skills! Additionally, you should strive to spread your content around in the form of backlinks, and give nods to your niche by linking to them.

The idea is that the more content you have, the more likely you are to be linked and noticed. You’ll also start developing valuable SEO skills as you create content and get acquainted with the way that things work. The most common way to do this is to write a blog.

Blogs are perfect ways to boost your SEO. They provide an opportunity to release regular, quality, optimized content that will work in your favor. The subject matter of your blog doesn’t need to always be about your product or service. So long as the topic relates to your niche, you are going to benefit from its presence on your site.

If you aren’t totally blog-savvy, you may not need to create this yourself. You have the option of hiring a service that will create quality, optimized content for you. The nice thing about this is that they can create more content than any one person could. You will, however, have to pay a nominal fee for the posts that you are given.

In Need of a Boost?

If you’re a site owner with a wealth of content, or you’re someone who’s looking to build their SEO skills up, there are options out there for you. We have a number of services that allow you to build backlinks, either buying or selling them to your benefit.

If you’re interested in link building, we have everything you need.

mobile friendly site

Why Your Mobile-Friendly Website May Be Hurting Your SEO

In just the last couple of years, mobile browsing definitely surpassed desktop browsing for the first time. As mobile usage continues to grow, it’s important that you have a mobile-friendly website. However, if you’re not employing the best tactics for displaying information, loading ads, or organizing your pages, you could be losing out.

Here are five reasons why your mobile-responsive site could be getting the way of your success.

1. Not Enough Content

When you prioritize mobile-optimized content on your site, you’re often accounting for a smaller screen size. You need to be ruthless with editing when you’re putting together content for a mobile-ready website. However, when your customers open your site up on their desktops, they might not find there’s enough content to capture their interest.

This is a good reason why you should have a blog on your site. When people open up a blog link, they expect to be reading for a while. No matter how much scrolling they have to do on their phone they’re not unaware that they’re reading on a phone.

Put lots of content on your site, but when you find it will be too much for the average mobile browsing session, direct users to a blog post.

You need to offer lots of content, including images and videos on your site. Just because your visitors are viewing you on a small device doesn’t mean you should send them a small amount of content.

As video will account for more than 80% of all traffic in the next few years, visitors are going to want to see video content. Give them what they want and let them deal with the connection that they do or don’t have.

2. Scrambled Text and Images

When you design solely for mobile, you design for a small, narrow, and tall screen. If you don’t have the right code in place to reshape your site when it gets displayed on a desktop, the elements could show up strangely in a bigger window.

When the text and images on your site are scrambled, you’re going to present something messy to your audience. It’s important for them to be able to read and understand your content and when it displays awkwardly, they’re incentivized to move on.

It’s hard enough to get people to your site. If you present them with something they can’t decipher or is hard to read, they’ll find another site where it’s easier to get what they need.

Also, if you’re telling a narrative with images or videos and your images are out of order, you’re doing a disservice to that narrative. Maintain clarity of data and information on your website by maintaining and pruning both your mobile and desktop sites. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with a high bounce rate and a low SEO ranking.

3. Using Headers Wrong

With the latest and most up to date algorithms from search engines, headers and page organization can now be accounted for as part of the ranking. If you’re using headers incorrectly or you aren’t organizing your page well, you’re going to suffer when it comes to SEO.

Using HTML headings makes sense in your source code and using the different types of headings can ensure that your site looks well organized. Search engine indexing tools, or web crawlers, will take into account the types of headers you use and how many times you use them per your word count.

Using more than one H1 tag as the heading for your page can make your site look unnecessarily large.

Stick with more H2 and H3 headings so that you can give your readers a hierarchical view of your information. If your site is on a mobile device, having multiple H1 headings can crowd your page and make it hard to read and difficult to load.

4. Your Site is Too Slow

The speed of your site’s load time is a ranking factor that Google and other search engines take seriously. As they’ve rated it, more than half of users will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. That means if you’ve got a mobile-friendly design that’s jumping through hoops to either load on phones or translate to desktops, you’re going to lose users.

You need your code to be tight and efficient, with rendering times sitting somewhere under one second long.

Whether you’re designing for mobile or for desktops, you need to keep the code and the media on your site nice and clean.

5. Ads Are in The Way

Recently, search engines released reports announcing that their terms for what they considered a page that was easily accessible. When a user is forced to transition between their click on a site to closing an ad window, then back to the site, that’s considered an obstruction. Sites that use these kinds of interstitial ads are considered not easily accessible.

If your mobile site has popups and interstitial ads that cover the screen, you should rethink your design. Even if you’ve got a strong CTA, that could be getting in the way of ranking as high as your site deserves.

There are still some interstitial popups that are considered okay. Ones that are legally required, like for age verification or privacy notices are still kosher. If you have a banner that takes up less than 20% of the screen size at any point, that’s considered okay with search engines as well.

A Mobile-Friendly Website Needs To Be Tested

You should never put out a digital product without going through rigorous testing. That goes for your mobile-friendly website as much as anything else. If you haven’t tested your site on every major device and every popular screen size, you should hold off your next major update.

Once you’ve optimized your design, follow our guide to rolling out a strong PR campaign to attract an audience.

disavow links

How to Disavow Links From Your Backlink Profile

The importance of backlinks to good search engine optimization (SEO) never changes even as search engines update their algorithms. The more links to a specific page on your website, the better that page ranks.

Some professionals estimate that backlinks account for almost 25% of Google’s ranking algorithm.

Be aware. Not all backlinks to your website will boost your rankings. Some may even hurt your SEO.

Read on to learn why you may need to disavow links to your web page and how to do it correctly.

Why Do I Need to Disavow Links?

Search engines penalize websites when they think the page owner tries to drive traffic to their site dishonestly. Google and Bing use penalties to encourage website owners to stay true to their brand and be honest with their marketing attempts.

When spammy or off-topic websites link back to your web page without your knowledge, it still hurts your ranking. Both Bing and Google offer specific tools to get rid of these bad backlinks.

Disavow these low-quality backlinks to improve your inbound link rankings. Disavowing the links blocks them from the search engines’ list when evaluating your web page. This helps regain the search engines’ trust in a similar way to how good backlinks build it.

Sometimes you may even discover instances where competitors or others have referred to your business in a negative light. Disavowing links from these negative articles also increases your overall SEO.

How to Disavow Links from Google

You do not need to be a computer wizard to disavow links from your backlink profile on Google, but it does take some time. Follow these 4 easy steps to delete harmful links back to your web page.

1. Identify All Backlinks to Your Page

The first thing you need to do is identify what backlinks Google connects to your profile. Do this by logging into your Google Webmaster Tools.

Choose “Search Traffic” and then “Links to Your Site.” Download both the latest links and sample links. Combine all your backlinks into a navigable spreadsheet in whatever program you feel most comfortable using.

2. Decide What Links to Disavow

Once you organize your backlinks, go through every one and decide whether or not to keep or disavow the link. Disavow links if:

  • They look as though the user included it for SEO purposes only.
  • There is no chance a client would ever find you through the link.
  • They come from a press release or advertisement where someone paid for the advertising link.

You should disavow any other links that do not seem to naturally connect to your web page, products, or services.

3. Make a Disavow File

When making a disavow file, it is better to list links so the disavow occurs on the domain level and not just the specific backlink. You cannot be sure how many other places the link may occur on the offending website. It is safer to simply disavow the entire domain from linking back to your page.

A disavow file must only include the basic URL link without the beginning “http://www.”. You can remove these within your spreadsheet prior to compiling your disavow file. Simply use the find and replace feature to locate all the URLs with “http://www.” and replace them with “domain:”.

The disavow file must be in .txt file formats 7-bit ASCII or UTF-8. You can copy your “domain:examplelink.com” from your spreadsheet and paste it as plain text in the .txt file. Feel free to use any other way you feel comfortable making a text file so long as it results in one of the correct two formats.

4. Submit the Disavow File

Finally, login to your Google Webmaster Tools again. Use the Google Disavow Links Tool to submit your file disavow file.

Select your website from the drop-down menu. Click the “Disavow Links” button then select “Disavow Links” again. It will then give you an option to choose a file. Upload the .txt file you created with the “domain:examplelink.com” links.

Common Errors You May Encounter

The moment you upload your disavow file, Google will apply the directives to each link you selected. An error message will pop up if you do not complete the disavow file correctly.

The error message should list the parts you need to change, and here are some common mistakes made when uploading to the Google disavow links tool:

  • Do NOT include “http://www.” when listing a domain such as “http://www.error.com”. Only include “error.com”.
  • Do NOT include attached ports with colons on your domain names. If you find a domain on your collected list that looks like “domain:example.com:1010”, simply remove the attached “:1010”.
  • Do NOT upload backlinks from domains with atypical characters like fractions, accented letters, or symbols. The domains never end up resolving.

Other errors may occur, so be sure to thoroughly read the error message.

How to Disavow Links from Bing

Businesses marketing to wealthy Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 should already know that this demographic uses Bing for online searches much more often than Google. In fact, all businesses benefit from keeping Bing happy as well since it generates more than 12 billion search requests every month. Follow the below steps to use Bing’s Disavow Links Tool.

The biggest difference between Bing and Google’s disavow tools is that Bing does not require a .txt file. You just manually enter the domain or the URL for each link.

  1. Access your Bing Webmaster Tool page.
  2. Choose “Configure My Site.”
  3. Pick “Disavow Links.”
  4. Use the drop-down menu to select from disavowing a domain URL, directory, or a page.
  5. Enter the URL of the page and choose “Disavow.”
  6. Check the list underneath the tool that the link added along with the date you disavowed it.
  7. To remove an entry and allow the link, choose the checkbox next to the URL and click “Delete.”

Build Better Backlinks

Removing bad backlinks should immediately improve your SEO. However, you need to do more than just disavow links. You also need to build better backlinks.

Building great backlinks takes time and energy that you may not have. But they still remain a vital part of your business’s online marketing strategy.

Partnering up with a dedicated backlink brokerage firm like us can help!

off page seo checklist

The Ultimate off Page SEO Checklist

SEO can be a challenge.

Especially if you’re not sure where to start.

But, if you want to stand out from the other billion or so websites on the internet, it’s important to get your SEO right.

With your website, there are things you can do both on and off each of your web pages to optimize your search rankings. You might be familiar with many of the on page techniques, but off page SEO is often just as important.

If you’re trying to improve your rankings, keep reading for a look at the ultimate off page SEO checklist.

Why Off Page SEO Matters

When you think about SEO, a few things probably come to mind:

  • Keywords
  • Content
  • Proper formatting and tagging

There’s more to it than that, but those are a few of the things that need attention if you want to improve on page SEO.

But there’s another side to search optimization: off page SEO.

Off page SEO includes all of the little things you do outside your website that affects your rankings. In some cases, off page search optimization is just as important, if not more so, than on page SEO.

Off page SEO is, essentially, how your brand is viewed by others and the degree of visibility you have across the web and other channels. It can include anything from backlinks to your customer service reputation, to social media activity.

Improving your image of the page can improve your brand’s image and awareness, making potential visitors more familiar with your organization.

Links are Still King

One of the most important things you can do for your SEO is to start building a robust catalog of backlinks.

Links to your website from others are a key ranking factor with Google and other search engines. But backlinks have an important effect on off page SEO too.

The great thing about getting backlinks through guest posting or other types of mentions is that they help build awareness of your brand and give you credibility in your space.

If you’re not building links, it’s time to get started.

Build a Network

Another great way to improve off page SEO is by networking with other players in your industry.

Much like link building, creating a network can help you gain recognition and authority in your industry. Building a network and being visible can help set you up as a recognized player in your space.

Tap Into Social Media

Though social media doesn’t have an immediate, direct effect on SEO, it does have some very positive long-term benefits.

The personal nature of social media makes it a prime place to directly connect with your audience, establishing relationships that are tough to build through a website or other means.

Being present on social media also lets people know you’re there and you know what you’re talking about. And, the more familiar people are with your product or service, the more likely they are to look you up when they have a need you can meet.

Be Present on the Web

Think about some of the biggest brands out there … Coca-cola, Nike, McDonald’s … what do they all have in common?

Everyone knows who they are.

While you probably don’t have the budget to run Super Bowl ads and show up just about anywhere your customers might appear, you can be present and visible on the web with relatively little investment.

Forums like Reddit and information hubs like Quora are great places to connect with potential customers and establish yourself as a known player with quality products and services.

Customer Service

You don’t have to look far to see how disastrous poor customer service can be for a company.

Unfortunately, organizations with great customer service don’t seem to make the news quite as often, but their customers sure know who they are. Seven out of ten consumers are actually more likely to spend more money with a company that has good customer service.

Customers that have a good experience also tend to share their experience, getting the word out about your brand and raising awareness of how great your service is.

Tap Into Other Content Types

While words are the backbone of the internet and a vital component to SEO, they’re not the only form of content out there.

Video and images are an increasingly important part of the content on the web. Video of all types has exploded in popularity over the past few years.

Tapping into the popularity of video on popular platforms like YouTube and Facebook is an excellent way to raise awareness of your brand and drive traffic back to your site.

If you’re just getting started, don’t over complicate it, creating video content is easier than you think.

Cultivate a Great Brand Image

Your brand’s image is vital to your success with SEO, both on and off the page.

The more customers who know and trust your brand, the more business you’re likely to attract. The fact is, most consumers are much more likely to do business with companies they know and trust.

The same goes for being found and recognized online. The more familiar potential customers are with your name, the more likely they’ll be to navigate to your site.

Your Off Page SEO Checklist

SEO takes time and effort. Success doesn’t come overnight.

Whether you’re trying to optimize on page elements or off the page factors, it’s important to put in the work and be consistent.

This off page SEO checklist is a good place to start, but there are many more factors that may give your rankings a boost too. Don’t be afraid to get creative, experiment and start your own checklist.

Check out the rest of the blog for more tips and tricks on SEO both on and off the page.

marketing trends

6 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Take Note Of

2018 is seeing the rapid emergence of several striking content marketing trends. Live video is adding an entirely new dimension of immediacy and authenticity to the content marketing landscape.

SEO experts are placing as much focus on customer experience. More emphasis is also being placed on backlinks and keywords this year.

There is a continuing shift toward the high-quality, long-form content that users and search engines prefer. This is bringing in-depth blog posts and articles to more content marketing campaigns.

On the rise in 2018:

1. Live Video

Live video refers to the process of digitally broadcasting a live event without edits. It made a big splash in 2016 and gained momentum in 2017. Live video marketing may make its greatest gains this year.

You can use live video for a key product launch or an influencer Q&A. Live video brings with it the atmosphere of high excitement, authenticity, and immediacy that only a live platform can.

2. Customer Journey Mapping and CRO

Content marketing campaigns in 2018 are continuing to evolve toward greater specificity. There is an accelerating stream of prospective customer data available to site owners and marketers.

This transition is now reaching new heights of precision. Emergence of customer journey mapping and conversion rate optimization is a confirmation of this.

Customer journey mapping involves creating visualizations, often in the form of infographics. The visualizations track the entire path or journey that customers take on their way to a sale.

CRO, which goes hand-in-hand with customer journey mapping, focuses on the onsite leg of the customer journey. CRO employs sophisticated analytics.

CRO can isolate the most common and effective click-paths that customers take as they navigate your site on their way to a sale.

Customer journey mapping and CRO reveals alternative ways to organize a site’s content, links, and pages. They can match customer needs while increasing conversion rates.

3. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

No one expects the typical digital ad in 2018 to plunge you into a virtual world of the product or service at hand. However, there is every sign that AR and VR will begin to make real headway this year.

Site owners and marketers can no longer ignore the sheer wealth of possibility that AR and VR present. And no one wants to be playing catchup when these two new modes of marketing take off.

The more technically feasible AR may take the lead with mobile ads that use the idea of surfacing content.

But don’t be surprised if you also see a few bold, experimental VR marketing campaigns this year, one or two of which may become breakout successes.

4. Privacy-Conscious Campaigns

There has been a rapid rise of ad-blockers in recent years. This is due in part to the increasing discomfort that internet users are experiencing as an ever-increasing number of ads. Sites seem to know (or think they know) users’ interests based on their past activity on other sites.

However, many sites are now blocking ad-blockers, leading to a tense stalemate. In an effort to offer both users and site owners a way out, Google is in the process of adding a new feature to Chrome.

The feature gives users the option to pay the site owner a small fee through Google Contributor to browse their site ad-free.

Many site owners and content marketers will make adjustments this year to make their ad campaigns. They will be seeking to reassure users that they don’t need an ad-blocker to address their privacy concerns.

It’s also worth considering the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. It is bound to impact the content marketing landscape by limiting consumer data collection in certain contexts.

5. Customer-Experience Centered SEO

There was a time when SEO was all about keyword-density and backlinks. Site owners struggled to pack as many keywords as they possibly could into their pages while using any means possible to get backlinks that would bump up their PageRank.

Eventually, it became clear to Google the cream was no longer rising to the top under this approach. Google discovered searchers weren’t always finding what they were looking for, great content.

This is not to say that Google has now ceased to hold keywords and backlinks in high regard.

Most SEO experts agree that Google’s algorithms have begun to penalize ‘keyword stuffing.” Google is rewarding sites and pages that provide an excellent customer experience. They are looking for content that includes rich, long-form, naturally flowing content.

Guided by Google’s gradual transition, site owners and digital marketers in 2018 are continuing to adjust their approach to SEO.

6. Data-Driven Content

Data-driven marketers are adopting new solutions to respond to consumer demands.

Despite all the new marketing models, two of the most enduring digital marketing mainstays are holding their ground as they continue to evolve.

Google’s algorithms are placing more focus than ever on customer experience, and SEO experts are following their lead.

The content marketing space is continuing to shift its focus toward long-form blog posts and articles. There is more focus on a wide spectrum of naturally occurring keywords. This is inspiring content that speaks to the richness and complexity of in-depth treatments of important topics.

Content Marketing Trends to Look for This Year

As highlighted above, several striking digital marketing trends are taking hold this year. There is increased demand for the immediacy, authenticity and sheer excitement of live video. The demand is driving greater demand for live marketing events.

Customer journey mapping and CRO are helping streamline sites and apps. They are helping businesses to match their customers’ precise needs and purchase-paths. The future promise of content marketing is inspiring bold.

seo trends

Major SEO Trends to Look Out for in 2019

SEO continues to be the single most important marketing factor to be aware of in order to build a brand online.

And why not?

Google is fielding almost 5 billion searches a day on its engine. Beyond that, search engines direct nearly 70% of all traffic any given website will get.

That means that making sure your content is up to snuff with what platforms like Google, Bing, and others want to see is paramount to your success.

The tricky part is that SEO is a moving target. Every month it seems like Google is making adjustments to its algorithm and by year’s end, we find vastly different things websites should be optimizing around in comparison to the year before.

To help give you stable SEO footing in the new year, below, our team has compiled a list of SEO trends for 2019, you should pay close attention to.

1. Being Integrated with Google’s Products Will Win You More Favor

There’s no bigger name in the search engine game than Google. Because of that, it’s important to play nice with the search behemoth if you’re hoping to rank well in 2019 and beyond.

Low hanging fruit that could win you some favor with Google, particularly in the coming year, is getting integrated with its product suite.

Is your brick-and-motor store registered with Google My Business? Do you have a Google Plus Page? What about a YouTube Channel?

Really taking the time to get your brand in nice and cozy with Google’s umbrella of products will score you more brownie points as Google continues to push the importance of its tools.

2. Video

Video has been a 2018 SEO smash! And guess what? It ain’t slowing down in 2019.

If your company doesn’t have video built into its content marketing plan yet, start building! People are watching billions of hours of video a day on YouTube, millions on Facebook, and countless more across Instagram and Twitter.

Not only does that mean tremendous opportunity for your brand to engage organically with customers, but it also means that Google is going to be keeping a closer eye on your brand’s video presence and rewarding those that are delivering content in the mediums that internet users prefer.

Not sure where to get started with your videos? Keep things simple and just repurpose your existing blog content into short video content that communicates the same information. You can then build your video plan from there.

3. Voice Search

Voice search started getting its legs this year but will probably be among the biggest SEO trends to contend with in 2019. Not only are more people using devices like Alexa and Google Home to search the web but the way they phrase things with their voice is vastly different from the way they type them out.

What does that mean for you?

It means that if you’ve been optimizing all of your website’s content around keyword metrics that are built on how users type, when they switch to voice search, the value of those keywords you’ve built around will go down and new, similar keywords will go up.

That could mean needing to revamp your whole SEO strategy.

4. Social Media Will Start Get More Love

Google has been publically wishy-washy in how they look at social media to help determine the relevance of your brand.

While we still don’t have concrete direction on how Google weighs your social presence into its algorithm, we do have a strong suspicion that as mobile use goes and social media adoption continue to explode, Google will need to weigh social presence more heavily.

To get ahead of that trend, start investing some time in building your brand’s presence on social media channels relevant to your audience. Then, share interesting content that provides value consistently.

You’ll find that if you do that and interact with your followers, your social media traction will start building fast.

5. Paid Search Will Start Gaining on Organic Search

Web users are smart and to that end, have gotten very good at ignoring paid placement Google throws at the top of its search engine.

That’s bad news for Google because their bread and butter is serving ads. That’s bad news for you too because if you’ve relied on organic traffic, you should expect that Google is going to look to fix its paid advertising problem at your expense.

Watch for Google in 2019 to get more aggressive with its paid placement. It could end up dominating more of search engine page’s real estate and could even start blending in better with organic results.

6. Trying to Find Value From Position 0

The most coveted spot you can have on a search engine results page is position 1. After all, position 1 gets about 33% of all traffic around a particular keyword. Almost double what position 2 gets.

But among 2019’s SEO trends will be Google putting more weight on position 0. Position 0 is essentially a widget that pops up above position 1 that aims to answer a searcher’s query by pulling information from your website without actually making a searcher click through to your page.

You see position 0 pop up a lot today but we anticipate seeing it pop up a whole lot more in 2019.

So how can you get value out of a keyword that’s showcasing a position 0 result, even if you’re ranked high? That’s a question marketers will need to answer to survive going forward with SEO.

7. Quality Content Will Still Reign Supreme

Rounding out our SEO trends for 2019 is a fact that’s held true for a long time now and will continue to gain momentum in the new year. That fact is that tricking Google into thinking your page is relevant to users will become even less effective and having awesome content that provides value to readers will continue to go up in stock.

So keep plugging away and making incredible, hyper-targeted content. Keep looking to get high-quality backlinks to that content.

Do that, and you’ll find success.

Wrapping Up Major SEO Trends for 2019

There you have it! 7 SEO trends we think will help define 2019’s search engine game.

Do our predictions make you worry? If they do, you’re not alone.

Fortunately, our team can help. At BackLinks.com we help businesses like yours buy and sell high-quality links that will help keep your content relevant online for years to come.

Learn more about the links we provide to our customers.

what are external links

What Are External Links and How Do They Help SEO?

Did you know that your SEO campaign depends on more than just keywords?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) gives all businesses an opportunity to take advantage of the massive amounts of Google search queries that occur every day.

The right SEO campaign can boost your website’s visibility in a powerful way. It can also send conversion rates soaring.

A lot of new SEO marketers spend most of their time honing their keywords. While keywords are extremely important, external links can also play a role in your SEO performance.

What are external links and why do they matter? In this post, we’ll answer this question and give you tips to improve your outgoing link strategy.

What Are External Links?

Nearly every website on the internet is filled with links. These links may direct visitors to other pages on that same website.

Others send visitors to outside sites. These are called external links.

In most cases, these links are designed to be helpful. External links may support evidence or facts, give visitors additional information, or advertise a specific product.

They act much like a conduit for relevant information, giving visitors the option to have a better user experience.

When you visit a website, you may not pay too much attention to these links. Or you may pay a lot of attention, depending on the types of links a website incorporates.

Whatever the case, external links can impact how your site visitors engage with your content. They particularly influence your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.

External Links and SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing technique designed to boost your visibility on search engine platforms like Bing or Google. When you implement SEO, you give your content a greater chance of earning a high Google ranking.

Higher rankings automatically boost your odds of getting more organic traffic, as searchers are more likely to click on listings that appear at the top of search results.

Many first-time SEO marketers overlook the value of links when they are crafting their SEO campaigns. But external links make all the difference when it comes to optimizing your online content.

Domain Authority

When Google assigns rankings to sites, it looks at a lot of factors. One of these factors is domain authority, a ranking signal crafted originally by Moz.

Domain authority is a number on a scale of 0-100 that rates how authoritative your domain is. Naturally, sites with higher domain authorities will rank more highly.

You can build DA by acquiring external links to your site. The more third-party sites link to your site, the greater your credibility–at least, in Google’s eyes!

In this sense, external links to your site function like votes or bids of popularity. Sites often get external links because their content is authoritative and relevant, such as a news platform or a social media giant.

Google does not look only at domain authority when ranking pages. It also assesses the value of your content and your Search Engine Optimization efforts. Nonetheless, a high DA can be your secret to earning more organic traffic.

Outbound Links

External links to your site, also known as backlinks, aren’t the only links that are valuable when it comes to SEO. The outgoing links you have on your own site play a role in optimization.

In general, it’s wise to include at least two or three external links per 500-750 words of content on your site. This is particularly important if you maintain a blog.

If you use WordPress for your website, you may have already installed the popular SEO plugin called Yoast. This plugin will urge you to include external links on specific pages (in addition to internal links).

Outbound links may not automatically boost your SEO rankings. But they can actually help you acquire backlinks, much like tagging someone on Instagram may earn you a follower.

They also support the world of SEO in general. Outbound links can associate your site with other sites. They can also expand and connect the internet itself, making Google’s job easier.

(Yoast’s motto, after all, is “SEO for Everyone”).

For this reason, it’s important to incorporate relevant, frequent outbound links into your content.

Do-Follow vs. No-Follow Links

When it comes to those outbound links on your own site, you have the option to label these as “do-follow” or “no-follow.”

In general, whenever you insert a general outbound link on your site, it is automatically a “do-follow” link. This means that Google can see it and catalog it as a backlink for that specific site.

When you embed a do-follow external link in your site, you’re essentially giving “link juice” to that site. You are, in essence, contributing to their domain authority.

Some site owners, however, will label external links as “no-follow.” This means that the links will appear, but they will not be trackable by Google. No-follow links do nothing for another site’s SEO or visibility.

In general, sites may implement no-follow links when they don’t want to give other sites “link juice.”

For example, let’s say that a site may want to reference a specific product. However, they may not have a policy for actively linking to promotional items. They would then implement a no-follow external link.

For the purposes of your own SEO, we recommend including do-follow external links only.

Final Thoughts: External Links and SEO

So what are external links?

External links are any links that send visitors to an outside site. The right external links will support the information presented on your website and send visitors to reliable outside sources.

In this sense, the external links you have on your website can boost your odds of acquiring backlinks, the type of external link that can contribute to your domain authority. In general, a higher DA can elevate your odds of earning a higher Google ranking for specific searches.

Your external link strategy should, therefore, include the outbound links on your own site as well as the backlinks directing to yours.

At Backlinks.com, we love helping all of our clients achieve the domain authority they deserve. Click here to learn more about getting more high-quality backlinks!