hierarchical clustering

What is Hierarchical Clustering? (And What Does it Mean for Your SEO Strategy?)

Hierarchical clustering has become one of the hottest – and most misunderstood – online marketing buzzwords of late. Despite the sound of its name, it has nothing to do with astrological signs or big pharma’s latest miracle drug.

It could, however, be the miracle cure that sends your search engine optimization results into orbit.

Before you can control the full power of this content strategy, you need to understand that it is a very distant relation to its complex mathematical cousin used by market forecasters and scientists in many disciplines. You don’t need to know how to construct a mathematical cluster you only need to understand the surface definitions.

Defining Complex Hierarchical Clustering

More than 61 scholarly papers have been devoted to defining hierarchical clusters and topic modeling over the last decade. Each leap in machine learning has brought even more attention and importance to understanding what these clusters can be and how they are used.

To boil all the research down to the bottom line, clustering is a way of identifying groups within a large dataset. One very common way of picturing this in action is found on your own computer.

All the files and folders that are on your hard drive right now represent a dataset or hierarchy. These clusters can be identified from the top down (divisive) or from the bottom up (agglomerative).

Breaking Things Down and Building Them Up

In a divisive clustering, you start with one massive folder, like a “My Documents” folder on your hard drive. Then you open that folder and look for ways to break the dataset down into different sub-folders within it.

To continue our example, these would be “My Images,” “My Word docs,” “My Videos,” etc. You continue to open each folder and break each down into smaller pieces until you get to the final, individual file level.

The agglomerative method works in reverse of the divisive. Here you start with a pile of individual files and try to find commonalities between them to build up your folder structures.

It’s important to note that even though you may be looking at the exact same dataset, applying one method or the other can result in very different outcomes.

Google Begins Latent Semantic Indexing

In 2013, Google made a radical change to the way it read and classified web pages within its index. Prior to that, search engine optimization specialists knew that the best way to get Google to value a webpage was to build it around one keyword only.

Even very closely related topics would have separate pages built to maximize the value of that page’s focus keyword. For example, a dentist’s website might have one page devoted to “pediatric dental services” and a second page on “children’s dental services.”

Of course, many black hat SEO practitioners would take one page of content and just change the focus keyword and a few random words of text on a page to spawn hundreds of pages of content that could rank for hundreds of different keywords. Sometimes they would get the same page listed multiple times on one search result page. 

The 2013 Hummingbird update made that type of search optimization work obsolete overnight. Google had learned how to read your web pages well enough to understand what the overall topic was, not just the individual keywords within it.

Search Engine Optimizers Overcompensated

Overnight topics, and not keywords, had become the key to high Google rankings. SEO’s and business owners themselves spent the next couple of years frantically rewriting their websites to fit a new “one-topic, one-page” model.

This model was just as flawed but in reverse. Instead of having hundreds of articles on a site each outlining one of the ways you could prepare eggs for eating, for example, you now had one.

That one page didn’t just cover ways to cook eggs. It also covered every different type of egg available, where they could be found, all the different ways you could dye eggshells or make decorations from eggs, the health benefits and allergic reactions people can have to eggs and more.

Whew! No wonder both human visitors and search engine spiders became even more confused and disappointed in search results.  

Topic Clustering for Real Results

Hierarchical clustering for search engine optimization offers a middle ground approach to building a site’s content.  A good clustering strategy can be used on your website, your blog, one or more of your social media sites. It can even be centered in one of these places and spread to encompass all of the others.

Let’s take another look at the topic of “eggs” and how it would be handled under today’s best clustering practices. First, take a divisive view of the overall topic as it appeared on the one page, one topic model. There were these sub-topics identified:

  • Ways to cook eggs
  • Different kinds and where they can be found
  • Ways to decorate with eggs
  • Health benefits and ailments associated with eggs.

Each of these sub-topics could be covered in a single, usually long and detailed piece of content. Frequently these are found on blogs rather than category level pages on a site where they are called “pillar” or “cornerstone” posts.

Linking Binds the Clusters

Other, more specific blog posts would be planned around each pillar post and have a tighter keyword focus on the page. For example, you could have several blog posts each covering different breakfast egg recipe. You could also have separate posts on preparing eggs for entertaining including one on egg dishes for the Fourth of July and another on cooked-egg casseroles for a crowd.

Not all of these sub-topic posts need to be placed on your site to help you with this strategy. You could offer to do a guest post on any one of these topics for another blog or site in a field related to yours and it will still help.

The linchpin to this strategy is linking. Each of those specific blog posts would link back to the pillar post. In that way, they increase the authority of that pillar post for that topic and the overall authority of your site on the topic.

Get Started Today

Once you understand the strategy, it’s relatively easy to see how it could be applied to your products and services. The hardest part of actually implementing the strategy may be in deciding whether to begin working from the top down on each topic or the bottom up.

The hierarchical clustering content strategy can take a long time to set up. One pillar post and five to ten supporting blog posts can take months to write.

It frequently takes more than six months to begin seeing the results of your effort as well.  You can speed up results today when you buy a package of links that point to your pillar post.


Dofollow vs Nofollow Links: Which One Is Right for Your Business?

When it comes to nofollow vs. dofollow links, many people are still in the dark.

You don’t have to be. Instead, you’ll need to learn about both types of link if you’re looking to get anywhere with your SEO campaigns.

Looking to learn the difference and what place they have in getting you up on the SERP?

Read on, and we’ll show you what both types of link are and exactly how to use them in order to keep yourself climbing the rankings.

Distinguishing Nofollow Links From Dofollow

Back in the early days of Google there was no such thing as a nofollow link. Instead, each link to a page was counted towards the SEO “score” of a page.

This was problematic to say the least, you could begin to rank quite easily through the use of spam in blog comments, forum posts, and other areas. This was the main reason for the implementation of nofollow.

Back in the old days the comments section for most blogs was a joke. They were filled with people trying to spam in order to get their coveted backlinks. This still happens to some extent, although it’s not as bad as it was in the old days.

Basically, nofollow links exist solely to curb spam.

Many places will automatically tag any outbound links as nofollow. WordPress, for instance, immediately places everything in blog comments as nofollow. Wikipedia does as well.

You won’t get any SEO power from them. We’ll see in just a moment what this means for using them.

Dofollow links are normal backlinks. If you get SEO power from the link in question then you’re working with a dofollow. They’re the standard for backlinks, making them invaluable for any kind of SEO effort.

They’re the default mode for hyperlinks, so you don’t have to tag them in any special way. As a general rule, your dofollow links are going to form the backbone of your SEO strategy.

So Which is Better?

For an SEO campaign, nofollow links aren’t going to be a big help. If you’re focused solely on your SERP then you probably aren’t going to want to spend a ton of effort building them up.

And, no matter what you’re planning, your SEO campaign is going to revolve around getting high-quality dofollow links if you’re serious about coming up the rankings.

For most people, dofollow links are going to be much more important than their nofollow links.

So I Shouldn’t Bother With Nofollow Links?

Don’t get ahead of yourself here. Nofollow links still have some use, mainly in referral traffic. In other words, people directly clicking your link.

That’s why comment spam isn’t quite dead yet. It’s just evolved, since the important thing now is to get people to click the link rather than just making sure that it’s placed out in the open.

Most traffic campaigns are going to be built with both kinds of link. Your social media links, for instance, are generally going to be nofollow. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as you can get plenty of people to click if you have a sizable following.

Nofollow links contribute to traffic, but not necessarily to SEO.

So Dofollow Links Are Better?

For SEO purposes, Dofollow links are exactly what you need.

More than that, you need to make sure that you have high-quality links and that you monitor them to make sure you’re not getting linked from a “shady neighborhood.”

When it comes to your place on Google, these are the links which really matter. Any good campaign will be multi-pronged, however, and direct or referral traffic can be just as valuable as your place in the search engines.

Integration of Dofollow and Nofollow Links

When you’re preparing a new marketing campaign you should always take a look at as many traffic sources as possible.

For most people, that will mean a balance between link types. Building up nofollow links in a spammy way isn’t going to do you any favors, but no one is going to fault you for linking to a relevant blog post.

Referral traffic can be a powerful tool. It can also provide an immediate boost in traffic, while your dofollow links will slowly snowball into a powerhouse of SEO power.

For your actual SEO efforts, however, you’re going to be focusing on standard backlinks and their quality. Link-building is always going to be necessary for your SEO efforts but SEO can take months to go into effect.

There’s also some debate on whether or not nofollow links directly affect SEO potential at all. Some people insist they do, quoting Google as saying “In general we don’t follow them.”

As with everything SEO, there’s something of a cloak of vagueness put in place while Google protects its algorithm to avoid direct manipulation.

You’ll need to use both types of link to get ahead, just be careful what you spend money on since nofollow links don’t really loan you a whole lot of SEO juice.

Keep Building Links

Both dofollow and nofollow links have their place in your traffic generating strategy. Tying them together will give you better results than going with either type alone.

If you’re wondering which type is best for your business, we can confidently say… both. Diversify your traffic generating sources and you’ll end up with more solid, reliable traffic.

Are you interested in learning more about link building? Luck you, we’ve got a whole section of our blog dedicated to helping you move forward with your next effort.

internal links

How to Crack Open Your Competition’s Internal Links Strategy to Maximize Your Site’s SEO Power

SEO first came to life somewhere around 1991 and ever since it has become increasingly important for marketers and webmasters. 

Understanding how to link your content properly is important. If you haven’t thought about how to build internal links, you are missing out on a simple ranking strategy.

Continue reading this article to learn how to spy on your competition and use their internal linking strategy to beat them in the search engines. Learn how to rank higher through the use of internal linking best practices.

Cracking the Code of Internal Links

If you aren’t building internal links on your blog, the thought of going through and figuring out how to link could be overwhelming. 

Where do you start?

What are the best practices?

Instead of having to guess, you can look at your competition (the ones who are outranking you) and see what their linking strategies are. You can start with being as good as them, and then you can level up and overtake them in the search engines.

You’re Going to Need Some Tools

If you try to re-engineer internal linking manually, it is going to take a while. Instead of spending hours trying to figure out what your competition is doing, grab a tool like Screaming Frog that will crawl the website and show you what is going on.

You can use Screaming Frog to see all of the pages on the site. When you see all of the pages on the site, you can use this tool to see what the internal links are to each URL and what the anchor is. Another thing to look for is where the keyword is placed since some people believe having it within the first 100 words of your content is important.

Another tool you’ll want to have is a backlink checker. When you use a backlink checker, you can see how strong your competition is. You’ll be able to know how important their internal links are to their SEO strategy.

Your goal is to find clues as to why the website is ranking for the term you want to rank for so your site ranking for those terms instead. If you don’t know what you’re up against, you aren’t likely to win.

Key Things to Focus On

Now that you know how important internal links are, it is time to put a strategy into place. Part of your overall strategy is cornerstone content. Cornerstone content is content that is in-depth and high value. 

When writing cornerstone content, you can focus on a more difficult keyword to rank for. Once you have this content in place, you need to think about articles you can write around that topic so you can link back to your cornerstone article.

The extra content you write is likely to be less in-depth on the overall topic but instead on a specific part of your cornerstone content. When you link to your cornerstone content, you want to use the anchor text like your competition used it so you can get the same results.

When you are interlinking, you should know that your content needs to be as good as or better than your competition’s content. If your content is low-quality, even if it outranks your competition for a little bit, it will go back down again.

Create High-Quality Content

While link building is important, your core content needs to be focused on the web visitor. If your content ranks but it doesn’t solve the challenge in the query, you aren’t going to get the results you want. Here are some key things to remember when you are creating content.

1. Focus on the Visitor’s Solution

When writing the content, instead of focusing on keywords, you need to think about how your content solves the visitor’s problem. When a reader knows your content will solve their problem, they are more likely to stay on the page.

2. Write Content that is Easy to Read

Even if your site solves the reader’s problem, they may click away if your content is hard to read. Content may be hard to read if it is written in large blocks, with complicated language or if the text is too small. Look at your website on various screen sizes and see how it looks to make sure everyone has access to your message.

3. Naturally Insert Keywords

As you’re writing your content, naturally insert keywords instead of stuffing them into the content uncomfortably. You should also write words you want to use as anchor links to your cornerstone content. 

Even if your cornerstone content is created to rank and be linked to, it also needs to link out to other content. If you are writing cornerstone content, you need to have a strategy in place about what content you want to help rank through your cornerstone blog post.

4. Draw on the Reader’s Emotions

As you are writing your content, your goal is to connect with the visitor’s emotion. The more you connect with the visitor’s emotion, the more pull you will have on them when you make your call to action.

Understanding this when you write your content can help keep people on your site longer as well. Having longer on-site time is a good signal to Google that you are a high-quality website. This is just one of the many signals search engines use to rank your site along with the links you build inside and outside of your website.

What You Should Not Do

If you see the potential of this strategy, you might be thinking about taking it to the extreme. Before you go overboard with your interlinking, you should know that abuse of this strategy is not going to pay off in the long-run. You should always use this strategy to link from relevant pages to relevant pages.

Focusing on your visitor’s user experience shouldn’t take a backseat to ranking. When your focus on your rankings solely you won’t see the best long-term results.

Build Your Website’s Authority and Trust

Now that you understand how important internal links are, it’s time to start building. Don’t forget you still need to build external links. Learn more about getting one-way text links today to get even higher rankings.

expert seo services

Why Hiring Expert SEO Services is a Worthwhile Investment

Need to improve your website’s ranking?

You might have spent a lot of time and effort to build the perfect website, but nobody is seeing it. SEO can help you drive traffic and get those sales going.

However, SEO has become so complex that it requires a lot of dedication to get right. The solution? Expert SEO services.

With the majority of web traffic coming directly from search engines, you can’t afford to ignore SEO. Read on to find out why hiring an expert SEO firm is a worthwhile investment.

Technical Expertise

SEO is not just links and keywords. With more than 200 factors going into determining your Google ranking, you will have to spend a lot of time to get them all right.

The technical challenge of SEO is now bigger than ever, and that is why you should consider teaming up with an expert SEO firm.

An SEO firm will fill the technical gaps in your online marketing strategy, allowing you to deal with technical aspects you might not even be aware of.

Your SEO firm will also improve your website’s functionality for SEO purposes, which will help traffic in more than one ways. With better loading times, intuitive navigation, and engaging content, you will see your traffic skyrocket.


Hiring an SEO firm will cost you, but not hiring one can be even more expensive. If you have to learn all the essential SEO skills yourself, you might end up losing valuable time from other business endeavors.

If you already employ one or more IT experts, you might want them to focus on other challenges instead of SEO. Your website will need maintenance, your email campaigns will need configuring, and your software will have to be updated.

Hiring an expert SEO firm is a worthwhile investment because it is exceptionally cost-effective. You will know where each dollar of your SEO budget goes, and have total control of your campaigns.

Moreover, your SEO expert will have all the tools and technical know-how to be efficient. Investing in these tools yourself will cost you a lot, and this is money you could be investing elsewhere.

Analytics and Control

With a dependable SEO partner, you gain access to tons of data. You can leverage this data to optimize the performance of your marketing campaign and identify areas for improvement.

Analytics gives you more control over your budget and your online presence. With expert SEO services at your side, you will be able to track a ton of different metrics, including:

  • Traffic flow
  • Bounce rate
  • Geographic location
  • IP
  • Time spent on each page
  • Click through rates

And a lot more. These will give you the power to make sound business decisions on the fly and remain competitive.

With the power of analytics data at your side, you can measure your revenue and your goals more efficiently than ever before. If you aim to rank for a specific set of keywords, you will know how far you are from this goal.

In a similar vein, analytics can help you manage your e-commerce platforms, track sales, and launch email campaigns by leveraging the power of data.

Avoid Common Pitfalls

When it comes to SEO, there are more ways to get your site blacklisted than there are to rank high. By partnering with an expert SEO firm, you will be able to avoid all the common mistakes that cost in money and SERPs rankings.

As we said above, Google’s algorithm has more than 200 factors and gets updated more than ten times each week. This can open up new risks for your website. Your SEO partner will be able to predict these risks and take the appropriate measures to keep your rankings trending up.

Free Up Internal Resources

If you have an internal IT team, your SEO partner will allow you to allocate them to other tasks. By freeing up internal resources, the SEO expert will effectively give your IT team more bang for their buck.

Moreover, your SEO partner will help coordinate your IT team when it comes to optimizing your web pages and getting those juicy backlinks that will drive traffic back to your site.

Allow You to Focus on Growth

As a business owner, you have tons of things to do already. Getting SEO off your plate can be a huge relief. Hiring expert SEO services is a worthwhile investment for business owners who wish to focus on growth and not spend time managing SEO campaigns.

Your competitors are already using SEO experts to get ahead, so you can’t afford to lag behind. You have your business to run, and that is why you might have to entrust your SEO efforts to a proven expert.

Online Reputation Management

Your SEO partner will also help you manage your online reputation. Negative search results are a real threat to your traffic, and there isn’t much you can do about it unless you are an SEO expert.

In addition to negative publicity, your SEO partner will help you maintain a consistent and strong online presence. This will boost your branding and marketing efforts.

A Trustworthy Advisor

Finally, your SEO partner will be available during business hours to help you make the right decisions. When it comes to driving traffic, you will never be alone. Your success means more business for your SEO partner, so they will do their best to see you grow.

Leverage the Power of Expert SEO Services

Now that you know the power of expert SEO services, it is time to get serious about link building. Here at BackLinks.com, we can help you get the backlinks you need to drive traffic.

With over a decade of link building and more than 100,000 satisfied business customers, we are one of the first link automation platforms.

Our system makes buying and selling links easy by automating tasks like placement, payment, monitoring, and replacement. Come on in and see for yourself why we are the #1 choice when it comes to link building!

guest posting

How Guest Posting Can Drastically Improve Your Website’s Ranking

Quick question: when was the last time you hit the “next page” button on Google?

Your answer is probably something like, “never.” Or maybe even, “there’s a next page button on Google?”

As a business owner, you already know the importance of ranking high on the SERPs. You’ve probably already even started a blog to draw traffic and catch keyword crawlers.

Blogging on your own site is to increase your website’s ranking, but if you want to make it to the top, it’s not enough.

Guest posting is a great way to boost your SEO and gain traffic to your own site.

Here’s how.

What Is Guest Posting?

First things first: what is guest posting?

In simplest terms, it’s when you write a blog on someone else’s website. You are blogging on their site as a guest.

You’ve probably been browsing a website and noticed a post that featured another company’s service or product. Some of these are reviews, but many are guest blogs written by that company.

Guest blogging has exploded in popularity the last several years because it’s such an effective way to grow your brand and get traffic to your website.

Here are a few of the ways it can help you.

Exposure to New Readers

How many regular readers does your blog have? “Not enough,” you’re probably muttering.

We all know how important a blog is, but if you don’t have any readers, it can seem like a lesson in futility.

So how can you get more readers? Sharing and resharing to social media can help attract readers from your existing network, but it’s still limited.

But let’s say that another blog has hundreds of daily readers. If you write a guest post on their site, those daily readers will see your post.

And if you include a link to your own website, there’s a good chance that some of those readers will follow you back to your own blog.

If you get a few guest posts on some high-traffic websites, you can gather readers to your own site in a hurry.

For example, Leo Wildrich, the founder of Buffer gathered one hundred thousand users in nine months through guest blogging.

Increased Brand Authority

As a business owner, you probably already know how important brand awareness is. In order for your business to be successful, people need to know it exists.

But it’s not enough for people to be aware of your brand. They have to trust it.

Blogs are a great way for you to offer rich, authoritative content. And when you pair that with the new exposure that guest blogging gives you, it’s even better.

Most readers might not become customers, but many of them will recognize you as someone who knows what they’re talking about–provided you do know what you’re talking about.

And as your brand authority grows, so will trust in your brand. And that leads to more sales.

Build Traffic to Landing Pages

One of the biggest advantages to guest posts is directing traffic back to your own site.

But if you just direct them to your homepage, you could be missing out on a lot of conversions.

If you’re smart about where you send your readers, though, you can see a huge boost.

Directing readers to a landing page can lead to more conversions than linking to a homepage or blog page.

We wouldn’t want to say that most internet users are lazy, but they appreciate it when you make things easier on them. The more pages they have to click through to give you their money, the less likely they are to pay you.

Linking a guest post to a relevant landing page is a great way to turn readers into customers.

Valuable Backlinks

And now, we have the meat of why so many people are interested in guest blogging: building backlinks.

When search engine crawlers go out into the internet to gather results, there are a number of factors that they look for.

One of the most important factors is site authority.

The great thing about the internet is that anyone can start their own website. But that doesn’t mean those sites offer valuable content.

To make sure that a site is trustworthy, search engines take a look at the site’s relationships with other websites–namely through linking.

If a website that Google trusts–let’s say Forbes.com–links to another website, Google sees that as a sign of the other site’s authority.

If you can get a wide variety of sites with high authority to link to your site, it can go a long way to boosting your own site’s authority.

And do you know what the best ways to build organic backlinks to your site is? You guessed it: guest posts.

The Trick To a Great Guest Post

Guest blogging can give your site a great boost. But if you want to make sure it’s effective, there’s one thing you have to keep in mind.

You have to create valuable content.

If your blog posts don’t offer something useful to your readers, no one will be interested in anything else you have to say.

We’re all inundated with ads and spam all day long. The last thing anyone wants is to read a guest post that’s just a long ad.

Avoid spammy content. Create something that readers actually want. If you can make it shareable, that’s even better.

So don’t just write a guest post thinking about how your business can benefit. Think of how you can benefit the reader as well.

Backlinks and More

Guest posting is a great way to build valuable backlinks to build your site’s authority.

But it’s not the only way. To learn more about SEO methods that can boost your site’s ranking, read this article on SEO skills.

seo solutions

8 Smart SEO Solutions to Put Your Website on the Map

We all know that SEO is important. What most business owners don’t understand is how to implement SEO so that it works.

There are a lot of SEO solutions to choose from. And Google makes it harder by constantly changing their rules. It almost feels as though you need a Masters degree just to attract attention to your website.

Rather than getting frustrated and giving up, keep reading. We’re sharing with you a way to build your SEO skills. Here are our eight favorite SEO tips to help get your website on the map.

1. One of the Easiest SEO Solutions is Claiming Your Google Business

If you haven’t already, claim your Google Business Listing. It’s easy and it’s free. It’s also the most effective strategy of all localized SEO tips we’re sharing.

Make sure to fill out all of it. Don’t forget to add your address and phone number so people can easily find you.

Add photographs of your business as well. And if you have a blog, start sharing your blog articles on your Google listing.

Once it’s built, you can then start asking customers for Google reviews. This is a simple way to get a lot of traffic directed to your site.

2. Find Your Best Keywords

Another one of the basic SEO strategies that are fairly easy and free for you to accomplish is finding keywords to direct more traffic to your site. There are a few ways to determine which keywords to use.

Figure out how fast you want to see results. Keep in mind, SEO is a long-term strategy, it may take a while to see results. And your keywords will and should change over time as your goals change.

Your keywords should be focused on who you’re trying to attract. If you have a specific niche audience you’re trying to reach, your keywords should reflect that.

Lastly, figure out the types of traffic you’re seeking. Your keywords will be different depending on whether you want people to buy products or build brand awareness.

3. Engage in Guest Posting

One of the easiest DIY SEO tips we’re sharing is to find people to write guest posts for your blog. However, make sure that the content they’re sharing is actually relevant.

Google does penalize websites if the guest posts are not relevant. In other words, if you’re selling customized quilts and there’s a guest post about how to get rid of your junk car, there’s a problem.

One subject has nothing to do with the other. Make sure the content your guest poster is sharing has something in common with your website.

Not only will Google penalize you, but your readers also won’t be impressed with your confusing and irrelevant information.

4. Internal and External Linking

No SEO tips article is complete without mentioning internal and external links. Internal links help you back up the information you’re sharing without writing duplicate content.

It can also help drive more traffic to areas of your website that doesn’t get much traffic.

With external links, they’re used partly to back up your content. They also are helping to build up trust and set you up as an expert in your field.

But you need to use relevant external links. If you’re writing an article about how to be less stressed, linking to a site containing pornography won’t make you look like a professional.

If you don’t want to scour the internet looking for relevant backlinks, you can buy them.

5. Get Listed on Review Sites

Online reviews are quickly becoming vital to every business with a website. 97% of consumers are looking at online reviews before they purchase.

And 85% of consumers trust an online review as much as they trust a personal recommendation. Get your business listed on as many review sites that you can.

The more sites where your information shows up, the higher you’ll rank in searches.

6. Fix Your Website’s Errors

This is one of those SEO suggestions where you may need a little extra help. Not everyone knows how to look for and then fix their website mistakes.

But you should review your site for errors and fix them at least once a year. Google penalizes for these errors and it hurts your SEO.

Check for things like broken links, overstuffing keywords, and poor content will affect your online search ranking. Your customers also won’t be impressed if your site is riddled with errors.

7. Write Great Content

Content is king. It always has been and it always will be.

And these days, content isn’t just about the written word. While you should focus on creating written content that’s relevant and interesting, you can also use photography and videos as content.

By 2021, 80% of all internet traffic will be for videos. Make sure to use the same basic SEO strategies you’re using for written content as you do for photographic and video content.

8. Get More Social

As for DIY SEO tips, joining social media sites is extremely easy. But you need to make sure it has the same look and information as your website and any other content you put out.

Social media is part of your brand. You can post written content, photography, and videos easily on all sites.

Make sure you post consistently. Do not try to sell. Instead, set yourself up on social media as an expert in your field. Join social media groups where you’re likely to find your target customers.

In fact, the best part about social media is that it’s so easy for you to find your target market using their sites. Facebook has billions of users and you can even begin an advertising campaign on as little as $1 per day.

Get Started Today

While we don’t have all of your SEO solutions here, we can help you get started. Our blog has great articles to help you learn the basics.

digital marketing campaign

Top 10 Must-Know Tips for a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign

Are you starting your first digital marketing campaign but don’t know where to begin? Perhaps you’re worried that your current campaign isn’t working out?

Don’t give up yet. You’ll find all the digital marketing tips you need right here.

Best of all, these tips aren’t reserved for online-only companies. Any business, big or small, brick-and-mortar or eCommerce, can maintain a successful digital campaign with these tips.

Ready to learn more? Read these 10 essential tips for digital marketing success.

1. Get Listed in Online Directories

Digital marketing success depends mostly on two things: visibility and targeting. Visibility means how many people see your message. Targeting means reaching people who actually care.

The first step to increase your visibility is to build up your web presence. The stronger your online presence, the higher your chances of being found.

Start with online directories. Getting your business listed in online directories puts you in front of thousands of Internet users for free. Before you even set up your website, take a few minutes to sign up with Google My Business, Yelp, and any other relevant directories you can find.

Another way this helps is through customer reviews. By listing your business, you can invite satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on these directories. And that’s important because 93 percent of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions.

2. Get a Responsive Website and Optimize It

A website that isn’t optimized for search engines won’t be seen much and, therefore, it won’t help much either. By using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, you’ll boost your ranking in search engine results.

Responsiveness plays a crucial role in SEO.

This means that your site must automatically detect the device it’s being viewed on and display the appropriate version for that device. In other words, your desktop users should see the desktop version of your site and mobile users should see the mobile site.

Next, get a relevant domain name (not a subdomain), and make sure it’s secure (use HTTPS instead of HTTP). Subpage URLs should match the page name. For example, your Contact Us page URL should be “www.yourdomainname.com/contact-us.”

Include an up-to-date contact page, privacy policy, and sitemap. Organize your site so it’s easy to navigate. Test your website navigation to ensure it’s simple and intuitive.

To optimize for image and video searches, the names of files on your site should be descriptive. So, instead of naming a kitten picture on your site “IMG_00235.JPG,” name it “cute-kitten.jpg.”

3. Start a Blog

Blogging is arguably the best way to advertise your company on search engines. Even better, it’s free.

People can’t purchase products or services from your website if they can’t find it. Posting intriguing, trend-worthy articles will attract traffic whether they’re looking to buy or not.

Once they’re in, you hook them with well-written, informative content that gives them the answers they were looking for. Finally, you close the deal with a well-placed call-to-action to convert that traffic into sales.

4. Use Popular Keywords

The biggest help for your marketing blog is keyword research. This lets you know the most popular keywords related to your niche that Internet users search for.

One way to do this is with Google’s autocomplete and related searches features. Start typing a search related to your business. Google will start to autocomplete what you’re typing based on the most popular keywords people search for.

Or, input a word or phrase related to your business and click “Search.” If you scroll to the bottom of the results page, you’ll see the most popular searches related to your niche.

Sign up for Google Search Console too. There, you’ll find a keyword research tool. This works similarly to the strategies above but provides more data about the keywords.

Before you begin your blog, find a popular keyword on which to base each article. Use the keyword in the title and a few times throughout the article. Make it sounds natural and not spammy.

5. Start a YouTube Campaign with Repurposed Blog Content

Now that you have a blog, turn it into a vlog! A YouTube campaign is a must for every digital marketer. And repurposing content makes it easy.

Every page on your website is a YouTube video waiting to be created. Turn your blog articles into video presentations.

They can be as simple or complex as you like. Shoot a live-action presentation by a skilled brand ambassador, or a make simple slide-show with music and scrolling text.

Turn product pages into review videos. Product comparisons, demonstrations, or “unboxing” videos work great for this.

Best of all, you can use these product videos to enrich future blog posts. Your website and YouTube channel can link to each other to increase traffic to both. Then, monetize your videos to make even more revenue.

6. Engage Your Public on Social Media

Social media is your number one communication/customer-relationship-building tool. Engage regularly on your social media account so you and your customers can get to know each other.

Customers will see you as more human and less “faceless advertiser.” And you’ll learn the topics, questions, and concerns they’re most interested in. It’s a win-win!

7. Start Text and Email Clubs

There are three good reasons to do this. The first is that 70 percent of customers use coupons from marketing emails. That’s a ridiculously high success rate.

Second, email lists are easy to get. Simply recruit your own loyal customers.

Every customer purchase should conclude with an in-their-face email club invitation with a bonus signup offer they can’t refuse. The offer should be something amazing like a free item or $10 off a $20 purchase. This goes for both online and in-store customers.

Third, you’re only marketing to those who specifically asked to be marketed to. They want your email ad. You can’t get a better target audience than that.

8. Start Guest Posting

Link building (sound familiar?) is another SEO technique. A backlink is where someone else’s website provides a link back to yours. It increases your search ranking when your website is referred to by another site in this way.

The easiest way to increase backlinks (other than purchasing them) is by guest posting. Basically, you post an article on someone else’s blog and use a link to your website as a reference. As with keywords, make sure it appears natural.

Some sites even pay you to guest post!

9. Use Google AdWords and Bing Ads

When it comes to paid digital advertising, it’s hard to beat Google AdWords and Bing Ads. They’re very inexpensive. And since this is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you pay nothing unless people click on your ads.

Also, the ads are laser-targeted. You can use the same keyword research strategy described above to reach the most relevant audience. Choose popular keywords, and your ad will pop up in search results for these trending topics.

10. Pay Attention to Analytics

Sign up for free on Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Bing Webmaster Tools. These services make it easier to track the success of your marketing efforts.

Read their FAQs and other included learning resources so you can track and read metrics like an expert. These metrics are essential for strategizing and growing your digital marketing efforts.

Achieve Success with These Digital Marketing Campaign Tips

These 10 tips are crucial to any digital marketing campaign. Make yours successful by putting them into practice!

For more digital marketing tips, check out these six content marketing trends you need to take note of.

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.