Category Archives: SEO and Link Building

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

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.

Cost-Efficiency

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.