Category Archives: SEO and Link Building

organic seo

11 Organic SEO Tips for Your Website

Google is one of the most lucrative brands in the world. As of Feb. 2017, it was worth $109 billion.

So why are we sharing this information with you?

Because the company’s search engine processes billions of queries per day. And you want to drive as much traffic from those queries to your website as possible.

How, though, can you optimize your site to capture the traffic you’re looking for?

Here are 11 organic SEO tips you can try today to generate traffic:

1. Use Header Tags

There are two major reasons to use header tags when writing online content:

  1. Readability
  2. Scannability

Readability is one of the most important features of any piece of online content. When people type their queries into search engines, they’re looking for fast answers. For this reason, they prefer content they can easily digest.

Scannability is closely related to readability. It describes a piece of content’s ability to be scanned by its readers.

And how do header tags improve readability and scannability?

They break the content into neat sections that are easy on the eyes. As an added bonus, search engines recognize keywords in header tags and use these keywords to help rank your site.

2. Prioritize Readability

Here’s another tip about readability:

Stop writing blog posts as if they’re dissertations.

Yes, great writing and analytical skills are important if you want to produce amazing copy. Even so, few people will read your content if it’s just a wall of text.

That said, try breaking your content into small paragraphs and using more header tags to break up the content.

3. Optimize Your Graphic Content

There’s more to SEO-friendly content than high-quality images. The off-page elements of your graphic content matter as well.

But what are these off-page elements?

The file sizes and format are just a couple of examples of off-page aspects of images. If your images are too large or are poorly formatted, your pages’ load times will increase.

You should also use keywords in your images’ titles, descriptions, and captions. Even the files’ names should include the keywords you’re targeting.

4. Try Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique

The skyscraper technique is SEO expert Brian Dean’s brainchild. The idea behind the technique is curating content and elevating it.

Imagine, for instance, that there are tons of blog posts about how to choose the best cable provider out there already. Now ask yourself:

How can I add to that conversation? How can I write about choosing a cable provider while providing additional information that no one else has thought to add?

We also recommend putting together “ultimate guides” that touch on every possible aspect of a subject. These comprehensive guides tend to perform well.

5. Check Out the SERPs

Before you create something new, you should always find out what already exists.

So if you want to create better content, head to the SERPs to see what good content is already out there. Once you’ve located this content, figure out why it ranks so well and implement some of the strategies you uncover.

6. Don’t Neglect Keyword Research

We all know that keywords are important. But some people underestimate the power of keyword research.

Keyword research’s usefulness extends beyond unearthing the terms people are using to describe your product or service. Keyword research also alerts you to new trends and allows you to think about how you’re branding your service.

7. Use Secondary Keywords

Let’s say that you sell custom-made sports caps. Because you sell these sports caps, you decide that you want to target the following keyword: custom-made sports caps.

But here’s the problem:

Your target audience uses more than one keyword to search for your product. Further still, there might be other, related keywords they usually use in conjunction with your target keyword.

Some customers, for example, might also search for “custom-made sports caps New Jersey.” Others might search for “custom-made sports gear.”

Both keywords are related to your primary keyword. As a result, you can use them as secondary keywords (if they apply) and enjoy some of the web traffic those keywords provide as well.

8. Increase Your Site’s Speed

Have you ever visited a site that took forever to load? If so, how did you respond?

Our guess is that you didn’t stick around for long.

You should expect each customer to behave just as you do when they encounter slow pages. Consequently, prioritize increasing your site’s speed. Doing so will help you decrease your website’s bounce rate.

Here are a couple of tips for increasing your site’s speed:

  • Optimize your images. Large images, for instance, can take forever to load.
  • Have someone take a look at your web pages’ code. Clunky code can increase your pages’ loading times.

9. Avoid Duplicate Content

Let’s be clear:

Taking inspiration from another website isn’t a crime. In fact, some of the best work is inspired by other work.

But duplicating content isn’t equivalent to taking inspiration. Search engines regard it as plagiarism, which is why they punish sites for posting duplicate content.

Of course, sometimes duplicate content accidentally makes its way onto sites. Some of us forget to deindex obsolete pages. Others forget to use quotation marks where they’re needed.

In any case, always make sure that you’re producing original content. And if you need to, run your copy through an online plagiarism checker.

10. Link to High-Quality Websites

Bloomberg. CNN. The Hill.

All of these online publications have at least one thing in common: authority.

People generally trust the information they find on these websites. And search engines recognize this.

But they also recognize sites users don’t trust. So if you link to one of these sites, you’re going to hurt your sites’ reputation in the process. In the world of Google, a bad reputation means less web traffic for you.

11. Build Organic Backlinks

Listen carefully:

Please refrain from buying links. As a grey hat technique, purchasing links isn’t as bad as most black hat techniques, but you can still get in serious trouble for doing so.

And here’s another tip:

Don’t buy web traffic. Doing so will only temporarily inflate your traffic. And you’ll receive a penalty if you get caught.

Our best advice to you?

Try building organic backlinks by doing outreach and producing great content.

Want More Organic SEO Tips?

Well, those are our best organic SEO tips for you at the moment. They’re actionable and can be put to good use today by any company.

inbound links

The Ultimate Guide to Earning Quality Inbound Links

Did you know that without backlinks, you have very little – as little as 0.8% – chance to rank in Google?

According to Moz, one of the leading marketing SAAS (software as a service) providers, it is!

This means that if you don’t use inbound links, you may not see your website (or webpages) appear in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) at all.

At the same time, it doesn’t mean that all links back to your content, such as from random sources, will do your marketing campaign good. This would endanger your SEO campaign, not to mention put your site at risk of penalties.

But what exactly are backlinks in the first place? What value do they have?

All these questions are most likely running through your mind now. Don’t worry. That’s why we’re here.

Let us show you the correct steps on how to hyperlink with this ultimate guide!

Google and Inbound Links: The Strong Link Between the Two

You may have noticed in the intro how we put the emphasis on Google. Don’t get us wrong. High quality, relevant links are as important a ranking factor to other search engines.

Why concentrate on making Google happy then?

Here’s something to put things in perspective:

If we were to ask you how much of the Internet does Google make up, what would you answer?

  1. 10%
  2. 20%
  3. 30%

If you gave an answer from any of the multiple choices above, then surprise, surprise. The right answer isn’t there.

Because Google makes up 40% of the Internet!

The search engine giant processes – at the very least – a shocking 2 trillion search queries every year.

All these numbers already tell you that your SEO campaign, powerful and effective link building included, should revolve primarily around Google. Because if you don’t, you stand to miss out on nearly half of your potential target market using this search engine for their consumer-related activities.

Where to Start

First things first: You need to have a basic understanding of what internal links, hyperlinks, or backlinks are all about.

Let’s break that down further with this links definition from Searchmetrics:

Backlinks are links external domains (websites other than yours) use to point to your domain’s web pages. Basically, they hyperlink keywords or key phrases relevant to the web page on your domain they point back to.

A good example is the link we used (above) to link back to Searchmetrics. See how the words “from Searchmetrics” are in blue and clickable? When you do click on it, you’ll find yourself looking at the company’s definition of links.

In this case, we, as the external domain, act as the “referring domain.” It’s important that your own backlinks come from trustworthy and reliable referring domains since this plays a crucial role in strengthening your backlink profile.

Here’s an easier-to-digest example:

Say your business is all about pet supplies, toys, etc. You have great content that talks about taking care of them in more detail.

Now, Forbes Magazine decides to create a post about how dogs really benefit humans. At one point, the post will feature a section about how people should take off their furry family members.

If they see that your content is really of top-notch quality and can help readers who want to take better care of their dogs, then they may link back to one of your web pages.

See where we’re getting at?

Basically, Forbes here is the referring domain, since they linked back to your site. Seeing that Forbes is a high-ranking, well-trusted domain, then Google (along with other search engines), will take that as a sign you’re credible too.

Thus, your SERP ranking increases. More people will see your site. And the more visitors you get, the higher your chances of generating leads and transforming them into paying customers.

Where to Start?

Before you can start building your backlink portfolio, you first need to curate outstanding content. For the simple reason that it’s your content you’ll link to!

Whether you’re link building for an eCommerce site or creating a backlink portfolio for scholarship sites, your backlinks have three primary criteria to meet:

  • Strength
  • Relevance
  • Diversity

So, strength here refers to the overall credibility of the external domain hyperlinked to. Relevance, as the term suggests, pertains to the relationship between an anchor text (the hyperlinked keywords) and what that external page contains. The more diverse the backlink portfolio, the greater the number of places (referring domains) linking back to a website.

All these said, the key to developing a strong, relevant, and diverse backlink portfolio is first having content that other websites can link back to you.

Curating Content Consumers Crave

The more links pointing back to you, the higher chances you have of ranking better in SERPs.

The thing is, Google is so powerful it can easily figure out which links are bad and which ones are excellent.

Simply put, you want your backlinks to come from not only various but authoritative referring domains.

That’s why the first step to getting those inbound links is coming up with top-of-the-line content. Content that consumers need and they constantly look for. But, it should remain aligned with what your brand is all about (remember the above example of the pet business).

The more satisfying your content, the more people will want to come back for more. The more authoritative websites (again, like Forbes), will link back to you.

From here, Google will consider the link’s anchor text, and if meets the criteria, award your content with higher relevance. This then leads to higher chances of better SERP ranking.

Start Getting Those Backlinks Now

In a nutshell, inbound links, or backlinks, remain an important factor to rank in SERPs. Believing otherwise can really do a number on your web traffic and ultimately, your revenues.

So, if you haven’t started your backlink building campaign yet, there’s no other better time than now to do it. And we can help you with this.

how to link

How to Link: 9 Link Building Tips for Better SEO

In the ever-changing world of SEO, many strategies that were once impactful are now obsolete. But link building, even though it has been around since the very beginning of SEO, remains one of the most important SEO strategies there is.

Of course, link building itself has gone through some changes since the beginning. It’s possible your link building knowledge isn’t up to date.

That’s why we’ve come up with this link building 2018 guide. Read the tips below to learn how to link build like a pro.

Ask Your Friends

Chances are, you already know some people who have websites.

If the websites of your friends and family members are relevant to your niche, see if they will link to your site. They could post a review of your site or use you as a source in an article.

Reach Out to Influencers

“Influencer” is fancy SEO-speak for an authority in your niche. Building relationships with influencers will get the people who trust them to also trust you. So get your schmooze on.

You can contact influencers to ask if they will post a review of your product or service. “Unboxing” videos and product comparison videos are popular review types you can pitch to them. But the easiest way to get an influencer backlink is with a guest post.

Guest Post

Guest posting is one of the best link building tools you can use. It’s easy, it’s legitimate, and Google won’t get mad at you for doing it.

Guest posting for backlinks means writing a post on someone else’s site and including a link back to your website. However, as easy as it is, there are still rules. Follow these tips for maximum backlink effectiveness/not getting rejected by the website or Google.

First, be sure your post is high-quality. Second, use ONLY ONE link back to your site. Stuffing your post with several backlinks will make the host site, the readers, and Google hate you.

Third, choose your anchor text wisely. You’ll need to do some keyword research for this. You want your backlink/anchor text to:

  • sound natural
  • be relevant
  • use highly-rated keywords

Backlinks with proper anchor text are like rocket fuel for your search rankings.

You can easily contact certain websites in your niche to find out if they’ll let you write a guest post. Or, even more easily, guest post on sites that actively invite guest bloggers. Huffington Post and are good examples of guest-post-friendly sites.

Write Awesome, Shareable Listicles

One way to get tons of backlinks is creating awesome content that people will want to link to. List-style articles are great for this purpose.

For one thing, listicles are hugely in right now. People are addicted to listicles and click/share them like crazy.

That’s because listicles always give people the best of whatever they’re talking about. They have titles like, “The 5 Best Ways to Whiten Your Teeth,” and, “The Top 10 Marketing Strategies of 2018.” Readers are promised only the most important content on the subject matter.

They are also great for listing facts that people would want to share. Example: “The 10 Most Viewed YouTube Videos of 2017.”

Use listicles to write fresh, irresistible content that people will want to link to. Use facts so people will link to you as a source.


Everything we just said about listicles is doubly true of infographics. If listicles are like internet crack, then infographics are like internet heroin… mixed with crack.

People link to infographics even more than listicles because they are even more informative. Infographics are pure, concentrated truth. They take all the top facts of the subject matter, cut out everything else, and make them even easier to read.

Repurposed Content

Here’s an even better idea: Make listicles and infographics! Who says you have to do one or the other? And then, make it a video!

The best way to maximize your backlinks is to maximize your content. And the easiest way to do that is to make your content in multiple formats. Also, you can repurpose any content you have already made into other formats.

Repair Dead Links on Other Sites

Often, a webpage will have a number of links that don’t work anymore. Using specialized software or browsing manually, you can find these broken links. Then, ask the site owner if you can help them out

Let them know their link is broken and that you have an article on the same subject they can link to instead. This is an older strategy, but it works even today.

Reach Out to Your Audience

Don’t underestimate the power of subscribers, as so many companies do. Digital marketing software and YouTube make it so incredibly easy to market to subscribers that there’s no reason not to.

It takes almost no time or money to make a 30-second YouTube video and say, “Click to subscribe.” And marketing software makes sending newsletters a breeze. And yet, keeping up with these super-easy subscriber marketing tactics will spread brand awareness like wildfire.

Subscriber marketing gives your brand a permanent address in your public’s brains. Then, every once in a while, those subscribers will give you a shoutout on their own website.

Don’t Forget About Internal Links

This has a smaller effect on your search rankings than external backlinks. But internal links are still a good (read: easy, necessary) way to boost SEO.

When linking internally, be careful to follow the same rules you did for guest post links. Post high-quality content, sound natural, use relevant, highly-rated keywords for anchor text.

The one exception is that you are fine to use more than one internal link on the same post. But you still shouldn’t overstuff your post with links or it will hurt your search ranking.

Knowing How to Link Build Makes You Number 1

Now you know how to link build the right way. Use these tips to make your website shoot to the top of the search rankings!

Want to make link building even easier?

Sign up here to buy text links to your website. To learn more about link building, check out our link building blog.

trustworthy seo company

A Webmaster’s Guide to Finding the Most Trustworthy SEO Company

On any given day, Google receives 63,000 searches per second.

Some of those are people looking for you and your products and services!

How can you get yourself in front of them? With inbound marketing… Also known as quality SEO services. Hiring a trustworthy SEO company can be a game changer for your business growth.

But it can also be scary making sure you find the perfect fit for your business and goals…

And not some bunk agency that won’t get you results.

Here is the Webmaster’s Guide to finding the perfect, trustworthy SEO company for your business.

Get Case Studies

A trustworthy SEO company will be able to show you their proof is in the pudding.

Review their case studies. Many SEO companies will have these on their website.

If not, you can always reach out and ask for them.

Things you’ll want to look for include:

  • How long it took to get results
  • What the results were
  • If the results helped the company achieve their goals

You’ll have a better idea of if it’s the right SEO company for you after reviewing these points.

You can also check out how the company is doing now. This will give you an idea of how well the SEO strategy set them up for long-term success.

Check Out Their Reputation

So you saw the case study. But what about their reviews?

This is a great time to take to a search engine yourself. Check out what other people are saying about this SEO company.

Bonus points if it’s other companies in your industry!

Look for:

  • Their star rating
  • If their customers become repeat customers
  • Specific results
  • Customer service comments
  • Any negative feedback

And don’t write off a company simply because of one negative comment. See if they replied to the feedback and look at it objectively.

Not every SEO company is right for everyone. Your only job is to find the one that’s right for you.

Ask These Questions

1. Can I have a list of your current and past clients?

A trustworthy SEO company will have no problem providing you with this list.

It can give you a great idea of how effective their strategy is. Ask yourself: “How are each of these companies ranking in search engines?”

If you’ve seen some of their content in your own search results, that’s a great sign.

2. What techniques do you use to improve my search engine ranking?

According to the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, high-quality content and backlinks are the two most important factors considered by their search engine.

A trustworthy SEO company will buy backlinks and have a strategy to help your company rank using them.

They’ll also have a plan to provide you with quality content.

3. Can you guarantee a number one rank in a search engine?

The most trustworthy SEO company will guarantee specific results.

So ask them: “Have you ever helped a company rank number one in search engines? What were the results? Can you guarantee me the same?”

They’ll stand behind their strategy 100% if they know it works.

4. How do you measure the success of your campaigns?

This is important because it’s easy to say vague terms like “We helped them improve their ranking in search engines!”

This could mean they took them to number one… or moved them from the 26th page to the 24th page of the search results. You want to know what metrics will be used to measure the success of your campaigns.

Understand these metrics, how they work, why they were chosen, and how you can monitor them.

5. How do you keep clients up-to-date?

You can’t do ‘all-the-things’ in your business. But you also want to have an understanding of what’s going on.

Ask the SEO company how they’ll report their results. It’s also good to know how often and in what way the communication will take place.

This will keep you tuned in and aware of your ROI for the SEO strategy.

Have Good Goals

This is step one before you hire a trustworthy SEO company.

Think you’ve found the one? Make sure you have objectives for one or more of the following so you and they can be on the same page.

Traffic from Specific Groups

Who are you trying to get more traffic from?

More traffic means nothing if it doesn’t increase conversions. Understand your target audience so the SEO company can do the best job possible in getting you more clients.

This will also help your SEO company do practical things like keyword research, finding guest post opportunities, and building the right backlinks.

Boost Revenue

What are your revenue goals? How much traffic, and in turn conversions, will you need to reach these goals?

Set specific smart goals in order to drive growth with your SEO strategy.

This will help your team create a plan that will get you the profits you want. That’s what it’s all about, after all!

Get More Downloads or Free Trials

Maybe you already have a killer sales funnel that you know converts. Your problem is you need top-of-the-funnel traffic.

Set a specific goal for freebies, opt-ins, or trials if this is the case.

And voice it to your SEO company. This is where you’ll want them to be driving your organic traffic.

Increase Brand Awareness and Sentiment

When you’re first starting out in business, sometimes it’s just getting your name out there that counts.

If this is your goal make sure you and your SEO company are on the same page. Choose KPIs and a strategy that will measure the success of your brand awareness campaign.

Next Steps to Find a Trustworthy SEO Company

The majority of marketers, in fact over 60%, say improving their SEO and inbound marketing are their top priorities.

You’re not alone if you’re looking for a trustworthy SEO company to help you do the same.

organic seo

3 Tips to Improve Your Organic SEO Ranking

Organic traffic is a critical metric of digital marketing. It plays a role in your lead generation and conversion tactics.

Organic leads are valuable because they have an implied interest in your business since they already searched for your keywords on Google.

In order to increase your organic traffic, you need to practice SEO.

By getting better organic SEO tips, you’ll attract more users and leads to your site.

SEO is an inherently flexible practice. You can always adapt it to your given industry by adjusting certain aspects of the strategy. In other words, every business in any industry needs to practice SEO.

The good news is you can tailor a strategy to fit your exact needs based on your goals and target audience.

Here are 3 organic SEO strategies you could implement in your business.

1. Write Content Using Long-Tail Keyword Phrases

Everyone knows at this point that blogging can be essential to growing your online presence and getting recognized in your industry.

Blogging expands your website’s topic coverage and gives your audience more ways to find your content and discover your brand.

Content can be very general, or it can be highly targeted. One of the best ways to drive traffic through SEO is through writing posts that engage your audience and are focused on long-tail keyword phrases.

What Is a Long-Tail Keyword Phrase?

Any word or phrase that’s an extended version of your target keywords.

For instance, if “generating website traffic” was your website’s primary keyword phrase, a long-tail version of this keyword phrase would be “using long-tail keywords for generating website traffic.”

Why Use Long-Tail Phrases for Content?

It targets your content toward a very specific question, or search, that your audience will be performing.

When they have a specific query like this, the results that show at the top are the ones that provide a specific answer.

Long-Tail Keywords Are Easy to Research

Keyword research is often misjudged as a difficult and time-consuming process, partially because Google has made the Keyword scanner accessible only to Adwords users with an active account.

However, there are plenty of alternative tools and even the Keyword Planner is still great for long-tail research if you have an Adwords account with a dummy campaign loaded.

To find long-tail phrases, you first have to use a keyword research tool to locate commonly searched target phrases. Once you have, simply search these phrases in Google and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you will find a “Searches Related To” section.

Here, you can often find long-tail phrases as recommended searches.

2. Do Customer Reviews Affect SEO?

As a small business owner, there are many questions you must ask yourself. One important question is, “Do customer reviews affect SEO?”

The answer is a definite yes. Here’s what customer reviews are beneficial for.

Google Maps

This is perhaps one of the most important reasons for businesses to have positive customer reviews.

Although Google takes many factors into account for its map rankings, positive reviews that rate the business highly greatly improve its ranking.

Business Search Results

When people search Google for information about a certain industry, a number of local businesses will appear next to the search results.

Again, which businesses will appear depends on a number of factors, such as the proximity to the searcher, but customer reviews play an important role as to which businesses will come up.


When people search for businesses on Yelp, they often choose to filter the results so that the highest rated businesses appear first.

Organic Search

Customers leaving reviews on your website can greatly improve its page rank. This is because Google highly values websites that receive comments or reviews from readers because it shows Google that the site is active, up-to-date, and authoritative.

It’s not for nothing that websites such as the BBB and other review sites have a very high Page Rank.

3. You Need To Optimize For Voice Search

Most SEO strategies focus only on text-based searches. But in 2016, 20 percent of mobile queries were vocal.

Google is even emphasizing giving customers better results when they use vocal features. If you’re not optimized for voice search, that means missing out on a huge chunk of your customers. Don’t fall behind the competition.

Instead, understand why vocal optimization is important, and what you can do about it.

Voice Matters

Voice is changing the face of SEO. The majority of past competition has been over text results. Vocal searches will be a new battleground for digital marketers in 2018.

You need to start now to win.

This is most important for small businesses. Over one-fifth of voice searches are for local results. This makes sense when you consider that most of them are coming from mobile devices.

People want fast information about nearby services.

Voice Search Optimization Tips

There are a few things you can do to boost your vocal performance. If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to jump to the top of voice rankings.

The most important thing is using conversational keywords. That means using long keywords based on the way people ask about your business. Voice searches tend to be full sentences, so expect to use long, natural phrases.

To find them, keep track of what people ask when they call your business, and how they phrase it.

It’s also a good idea to build a strong FAQ page. This is both an opportunity to turn search terms into questions and a place to inform your visitors.

If you’re a local business, you want to make sure to claim your Google My Business listing. People use voice search to find your name, address, and phone number.

Implement These Organic SEO Tips

Customers reviews, voice search, and long-tail keyword phrases are a must when it comes to the organic SEO of your business.

The amount of business you receive from online sources depends greatly on your organic SEO.

While organic SEO may seem difficult at first, the right keyword tools can take you a long way and make your journey to success a lot easier. Are you struggling to get your small business off the ground? Let us help you with organic SEO tips.

black hat vs white hat seo

Understanding Black Hat Vs White Hat SEO

When you’re trying to rank your website in Google, most businesses want the fastest and most efficient way to get to number one, and often the cheapest way.

It’s already been confirmed by Google that the most important signals to help rank in Google search results are:

  • High-quality content
  • Link building

These two factors are the most important in the eyes of Google to understanding the quality of your content. When deciding how to rank in Google then, you can face a decision of using black hat vs white hat SEO.

The trouble for most people is they have no idea what the difference is between white hat and black hat SEO. The difference can be huge, and it’s important before you begin your link building campaign to understand what those differences are.

This article will help you understand the difference between white-hat and black-hat SEO.

Why is Black Hat Vs White Hat SEO Important?

Google is a huge search engine, they receive over 63,000 searches every second, on any given day. With such a huge amount of traffic coming through Google, it’s the perfect place to expose your business to a fresh audience.

Coming up in the search results in Google is easy enough, the challenge is finishing first in the search rankings. The first page of the results is a holy grail for marketers, as it receives as much as 75% of click-throughs.

Ranking first in the search engine results can give you some serious traffic to your profile, but there are two different ways in which you can try to improve your Google ranking. White hat SEO and Black hat SEO.

If you want to work with a link-building company, it’s a good idea to know the difference.

What is White Hat SEO?

White-hat SEO are techniques that follow Googles guidelines for SEO. They also are very low-risk to carry out and will usually fall well within the guidelines of Google and other search engines.

Using these techniques means you are very low-risk of running into problems with the search engines.

White hat SEO is good as you don’t have to worry about penalties or spam issues. But you do have to focus on the long-term results, rather than short-term gains.

This means white hat SEO can sometimes take longer to have a big effect.

Examples of White Hat SEO

To help you have a better understanding of the different types of white hat SEO, we’ve outlined some examples below.

Quality Content

One of the best ways to gain amazing SEO over time is through creating quality content. Google is aiming to rank websites higher who give valuable content to their readers.

This means if you can create amazing resources which answer questions for users, Google will reward you.

The general process is to create great content and then organically have high-authority websites backlink to that piece of content. This shows Google the content is valuable and they then choose to rank it higher because of this.

Titles and Meta Data

Providing your pages with proper titles and metadata is crucial. This helps Google to understand what your website is all about.

Titles carry a lot of weight with the search engines when you’re ranking your content.

Keyword Research and Effective Keyword Use

You want to be producing content for your website with keywords in mind. Doing proper keyword research allows you to identify keywords with low competition and high search volumes.

You want to use the keywords and key phrases throughout your website then. Assign each page 2-3 keywords you’ve identified that you would like to rank for.

Quality Inbound Links

Gaining high-value inbound links is crucial to your ranking success. It’s essentially a vote of confidence from a higher authority website that your content is useful or valuable.

The amount of quality links you have to your website is a huge factor to how well your website performs in ranking.

What is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat is originally a term coined for computer hackers, black-hat has become synonymous with techniques that violate Googles search engine guidelines.

These techniques aim to exploit loopholes in the algorithms of the search engines and will usually rank websites higher than they deserve.

These tactics never seem to work in the long-run because the search engines are always looking to learn more over time and stop them. This means that traffic and rankings can plummet pretty much overnight if you’re caught using these tactics.

Examples of Black Hat SEO

Here are some examples of how you can use black hat SEO.

Hidden Content

Hidden content is one of the oldest black hat SEO methods. The idea is that within your code you stuff content with keywords. This content isn’t visible to the user of your website.

Search engines frown upon all of these techniques, and if they find out your website is using them, they will penalize you because of it.

Meta Keyword Stuffing

You have a few meta tags that help the search engines figure out the content of a page. They are between the tag of a page, and when used incorrectly it’ll alert the search engine that your site is using spam techniques.

Meta Keywords

Meta keywords are a short list of words that inform the search engine of the main focus of the page. Meta keywords have been so abused in the past that search engines rarely see them anymore, and if they do they will no doubt punish you for it.

Link Farming

Link farms are free for all web pages that have only one purpose, to list links to unrelated websites. They don’t provide you with traffic, and you run the risk of having your site banned for getting involved.

Don’t do it.

Which Technique Will You Use?

If it isn’t already clear, black hat vs white hat SEO is a pretty clear argument. White hat SEO is far superior and especially as Google becomes more intelligent and it’s algorithms develop, you’ll easily get caught out.

grey hat techniques

Bad SEO: Black and Grey Hat Techniques to Avoid

Trying to get a page to rank high on Google? Ever thought of using a shortcut, rather than following the traditional, analytical process to succeed in organic searches?

On-page content, link-building, and keyword research count as the most effective SEO tactics today. That said, there are ways to work around the traditional, organic methods to get quick and dirty results.

These are black and grey hat techniques. Some are only frowned upon by the community while others are downright discredited by search engine giants like Google and Bing.

Which SEO strategies will end up hurting your rankings instead of helping? Here is a quick dive into 9 shady tactics you should avoid.

Buying Backlinks

Purchasing a backlink is among the most common grey hat techniques out there. It’s not as bad as some of the other methods listed here but it can lead to severe penalties once discovered by the Google Penguin algorithm.

The issue here is that you didn’t earn rank points by providing good content. You paid someone so they would feature a link to your landing pages on their site.

On the same note, selling backlinks is also a grey hat method. Don’t offer to feature links to other sites only if they bribe you with cash payment or a “free” product.

Spam Content

SEO spamming is arguably one of the worst techniques to utilize. Every now and then you’ll spot it in the comments sections of a video on YouTube or Facebook.

These are comments that have nothing to do with the video. They’re nothing but links to a landing page and more often than not it’s quite obvious that they’re copy-pasted content.

In the worst occasions, bots and other black hat SEO apps post these instead of people. This reduces the manual labor and makes them even less related to the original content.

Duplicate Content

Plagiarizing the content of one site and then posting it on yours is a quick ticket to getting more penalties. Google’s algorithm updates constantly work on identifying plagiarized content. The search engine giant won’t rank you higher because you’re trying to leech off the hard work of someone else.

The Google Panda update will identify plagiarized content and flag them down. Search engine crawlers will ignore these pages and your overall ranking will decrease.

Invisible Keywords

Another black hat template is to hide keywords in plain sight.

Most web pages are white and if you make your keywords white too, they become invisible. Users won’t see them but search engine crawlers will. At first, those crawlers will think the keywords relate to the content in a natural, organic way and this means the page will rank high for a bit.

However, always remember that Google can and will spot these instances. It won’t take long for Google to notice people aren’t clicking those keywords and that they may have nothing to do with the rest of the site’s content.

Article Spinning

This method often creates unintelligible content. The original article may have been amazing but spun articles twist those words and phrases in an attempt to seem fresh and new. More often than not, however, the end result is a mixed garble of words.

Article spinning becomes even worse when people use programs to automate the process. Not only is the creativity gone but so is the cohesion that binds the idea of the article together.

Even well-spun articles can lead to penalties. If Google recognizes the concept is similar to another site or page, you’ll get flagged for plagiarism. This is why tools like Copyscape exist.

Keyword Stuffing

Gone are the days where you can stuff a keyword 20 times in a 500-word article for it to rank high. The Google Panda update and subsequent algorithm changes made sure that content creators don’t abuse keyword placement for better SEO results.

Instead, identify which areas search engine crawlers look into and place a few, select keywords in those spots. These include the title tag, meta description for the page, a few headers, and the introduction of your content. This makes it read more naturally compared to spamming the word repeatedly throughout the piece.

Link Spamming

The practice of abusing link directories faded away a few years ago but some black hat SEO experts still do this. They’ll use third-party link directories or link farms – even Twitter sometimes – to do nothing but spam links to landing pages.

Without context, engagement with the audience, or timing these posts do nothing but float on the Internet. They exist solely for search engine crawlers to find them and index them as doorways to a page.

Using a shady link generator also ties into this practice. These tools shorten your URL and change the words to bait people into thinking they’re entering a page only to discover it’s not related to their needs. Avoid this and instead, rely on a reputable link building agency to work on your backlink profile.


Of the different black and grey hat techniques listed here, this counts as one of the nastiest due how it tricks not only search engine crawlers but users as well. Cloaking is when the SEO expert presents a version of a web page to the crawlers but a different version to users.

This means Google and users don’t see the page in the exact same way. The page could rank high for a keyword like “free kittens” but in reality, it only shows pictures and blogs of cheap e-cigarettes to visitors.

Doorway Pages

Got a website that sells shirts for men but you notice the keywords you want to rank high on are too expensive or tight competition? A black hat technique is to create doorway pages and this is another horrible tactic that can lead to severe penalties.

For the example given above, this means creating a landing page that uses a keyword like “cheap kittens” instead of anything related to men’s shirts.

A doorway page is a site designed solely to bring in traffic. This means it’s over-optimized, using low-competition keywords that are easy to rank for, but the page itself has nothing useful for visitors.

Avoid Black and Grey Hat Techniques, Rank High the Right Way

Don’t resort to these black and grey hat techniques. If you want to succeed in organic searches, take time and use widely-approved methods like guest posting, reaching out to influencers, and improving site speed.

Need help building a strong backlink profile and better organic SEO results? We’ve got you covered at Backlinks!

seo link building tools

Your Guide to Expert SEO Link Building Tools

Are you ready to maximize your SEO performance?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) gives businesses an opportunity to boost their online visibility.

There are many factors that influence a successful SEO campaign. These include content, social media, and web design.

At the top of this list is link building.

Content optimized for search engine use has a healthy backbone of links. In fact, high-quality links can be the key to generating the right results with any SEO campaign.

There are a variety of SEO link building tools at your disposal when it comes to honing your SEO link strategy.

In this post, we’ll look at the tools you won’t want to overlook as you optimize your content!

1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the best SEO link building tools available to businesses and consumers. It offers businesses competitive analysis and content research. It also enables users to effectively research backlinks.

In fact, Ahrefs has the world’s largest index of backlinks. Ahrefs’ powerhouse web crawlers update this index every fifteen minutes.

What’s more, backlink research is easy and effective with Ahrefs. Users simply type their URL into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool. Once they do, they receive instant data on total backlinks and other key metrics related to site SEO.

This platform is ideal for business owners keen to perform competitive link analysis. This enables them to compare backlink performance with that of industry competitors.

In fact, with Ahrefs’ assistance, you can explore contextual link opportunities. These links are most likely to leverage your current content.

Users can also examine link quality of competitors’ sites. It is possible to analyze your own low-quality or lost links with Ahrefs, too.

Additionally, Ahrefs makes it easy to track your link building campaign. It generates comprehensive reports that show referrals and other opportunities.

Ahrefs may constitute a significant investment for users. But it is one of the more valuable SEO link building tools available to experts and amateurs alike.

2. BuzzSumo

BBuzzSumo is a critical resource when it comes to SEO link building tools. Users will love what it does for link prospecting.

Link prospecting is all about time-intensive research. It identifies publications and guest posting opportunities. These can provide a high-quality foundation of backlinks.

Some business owners take link prospecting into their own hands. But doing so can often take more time than it is worth. This is where BuzzSumo enters the scene (in flying colors).

BuzzSumo enables users to build a list of influencers, bloggers, writers, and experts. These individuals are relevant to a business’s aims.

Users track interactions with these prospects as they search for link building opportunities.

Marketers are also more likely to pitch relevant publications when using BuzzSumo. The tool allows users to analyze trending content and organize influencers based on niche interests.

BuzzSumo can be integral to any marketer’s scorecard of effective link building techniques.

3. LinkedIn

A lot of marketers overlook social media when composing an SEO link strategy. However, social media gives marketers powerful opportunities for engaging with influencers and partners.

LinkedIn is the social media giant of professional online networking. It is an ideal resource for most any professional activity, but it can also play a handy role in your link building efforts.

Use LinkedIn to easily gather contact information for journalists, bloggers, influencers, and CEOs and directly reach out to this individuals through LinkedIn’s InMail system. This can prove valuable in the link prospecting phase of link building campaigns.

Through LinkedIn, a link prospector can acquire scores of emails and use these in programmed link building outreach.

4. BuzzStream

Once link prospecting is underway, it’s key to actively manage your outreach efforts. For outreach management, BuzzStream is one of the better SEO link building tools available.

If you’re still prospecting, BuzzStream enables users to quickly and effectively research prospects. But it is best known for its ability to handle outreach without having to configure multiple emails and campaigns.

Use BuzzStream to easily manage bulk emails and track campaign performance. With BuzzStream’s help, marketers can also gather contact information from domains, which immediately get imported into contact lists.

BuzzStream’s campaign performance metrics enable users to hone existing campaigns based off of clickthrough and open rates.

The best part about BuzzStream’s outreach is how personalized you can make your efforts. Bulk emails through BuzzStream aren’t likely to come across as spam.

In fact, BuzzStream claims that its outreach management is “relationship-based.”

5. Majestic

Majestic offers much that Ahrefs and SEMRush provide users, but it should still be on your list of SEO link building tools.

This is because Majestic specifically addresses SEO professionals, developers, and media analysts in the tools it offers. You can trust link-building platforms that keep SEO at the fore (because that’s what links are all about).

Majestic can back up any link indexing you’ve already performed with its extensive link database. Detect backlink history, gather URL Search Scores, and analyze link intelligence API.

Majestic users will appreciate the platform’s ability to identify relevant domains and also rank their trust factor. This can aid in link prospecting optimization and targeted outreach.

Much like Ahrefs, Majestic enables business owners to get a glimpse of their competitors’ linking strategies. This can help them step up their own link building game.

Your Guide to Expert SEO Link Building Tools

Link building is an integral part of any SEO campaign, and should not be taken lightly. When crafting your link strategy, be sure to rely on competitive SEO link building tools.

Ahrefs, in particular, consistently wows marketers looking for competitive link building opportunities. Majestic offers similar capacities with its domain index, backlink profiles, and URL search scores.

Don’t neglect BuzzSumo or BuzzStream for link prospecting and outreach. LinkedIn can be effective at gathering prospect contact information.

At, we offer link building experts of all industries a fast and effective means of establishing link equity today. Improve your SERP’s with high-quality, one-way text links.

seo rank checker

PageRank vs. Domain Authority: Why PR Isn’t the Best SEO Rank Checker Anymore

Anyone who’s into SEO knows about PageRank and Domain Authority. As far as you know, these terms are very important and worth considering when developing your optimization strategy.

But if you’re like most people, you’re a bit confused about what the two are. We all know they have something to do with ranking websites. And since SEO is all about reaching the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), it makes sense to care about anything to do with page ranking and authority.

These two were frequently used as an SEO rank checker to determine the effectiveness of your online marketing. However, if you’re still confused about what PageRank and Domain Authority are and what place they really have in SEO, then continue reading.

We’ll uncover some of the similarities and differences between the two, as well as why PR should no longer be your go-to SEO rank checker.

So What is PageRank?

PageRank is nothing more than an algorithm created by Google. It was written up by Larry Page (hence the name PageRank), which is designed to measure links and link equity.

The way it measures a site is by determining how many links are pointing to it. Then it goes and measures the authority of the sites linking to the site. This is to prevent link farms from abusing the system.

The higher the quality of the inbound links, the higher your PageRank. This was a goldmine for many SEO heads who took full advantage of this new algorithm. And for a while, it worked. At least, until Google decided to stop updating PR data.

Before this happened, webmasters and users would determine the trustworthiness of a site based on its PageRank.

Today, PR updates very infrequently – about two times a year. We only expect for it to phase out completely in the near future.

Of course, this tool is still beneficial to Google’s internal algorithm, but it’s become useless in the public domain.

And speaking of domains, let’s move on to what is Domain Authority.

What is Domain Authority?

Since Google fell through on its PageRank tool, decided to create its own version of a page ranker. This tool is a metric that determines the value of websites using logarithmic calculations to identify authority.

The top rank you can have is 100. However, you’ll find that rising up from 30 to 35 is much easier than it is to go from 80 to 85. Unranked websites have a DA of 0.

There are various SEO tools you can use that show the Domain Authority of websites.

Now, one difference about Domain Authority as an SEO rank checker is that it has a wider range of metrics.

Let’s review.

The Metrics Domain Authority Uses as an SEO Rank Checker

Next, we’ll go into the various metrics that Domain Authority uses to rank websites.

The Number of Quality Inbound & Outbound Links

As we already discussed, the quality of the links pointing to and from a site will determine its page ranking. It’s the same with DA.

Domain Registration Info

If the site owner has 10, 20 or 30 sites and uses those for backlinks, then it will hurt their site’s authority. This is a blackhat method and you’ll get penalized for it. Once DA detects this, it will demote your ranking.

The age of your domain is also important – the longer your site’s been around, the better.

Link Diversity

Here’s where quality over quantity comes into play. It’s better to have a few links pointing to your site from a wider array of valuable sites than to have a bunch of links coming in from just a handful of sites.

Temporal & Valuable Distribution

DA also looks at how much traffic your site receives over time. It doesn’t count if you get a sudden influx of traffic one day – DA will determine if this was due to a viral piece of content or purchased traffic.

Then if your site has lots and lots of web pages, it will determine the value of them. For instance, if 75 of the 100 pages have moderate value (determined by traffic and links), it will rank higher than a site with only 10 pages of the 100 with moderate value.

Traffic, Hardware & Software Metrics

This includes how many return visitors your site has, the pageviews per visitor, how long they spend on pages and your bounce rate. The better the engagement, the better it is for your ranking.

Then for your hardware and software, DA looks at your server response times, uptime, page errors and broken links. Website maintenance is key if you want to impress Domain Authority.

Which is Better as an SEO Rank Checker?

Well, we’ll let you be the judge – let’s take a look at the differences that really set DA apart from PageRank:

  • Domain Authority is actively used, PageRank isn’t
  • DA ranks individual pages, not the entire site like PR
  • Google calculates PR, DA is a 3rd party
  • PR doesn’t directly influence your SERP ranking, DA measures that relationship
  • PR only measures the influence of links, DA uses a variety of metrics
  • PR doesn’t update, DA updates multiple times monthly
  • PR measures sites 0 to 10, DA measures sites 0 to 100
  • DA’s algorithm continues to evolve, PR is diminishing in value

Hands down, DA is the winner when it comes to checking SEO rankings. Your DA ranking is determined by many of the same factors that determine your position in the SERPs.

It measures your SEO, engagement, and popularity. If you can get all around great metrics, then your Domain Authority will increase.

In a nutshell, DA is active and uses a more comprehensive metric system. This makes having a higher DA more impressive than a high PR. Google is already putting PR on the shelf, maybe it’s time we do the same.

Get Quality Backlinks for Your Website

Now that you have a better idea of Domain Authority and PageRank, it’s time to start building backlinks that’ll boost your DA score. It’s the ideal tool to verify the performance of your link building strategies.

Much of this may be new to you and you may not have the time to learn the ins and outs. This is where we come in. At BackLinks, we help businesses build links using automation methods.

If you’re interested in quickly building quality links to your site, then contact us today!

scholarship link building

8 Steps to a Successful Scholarship Link Building Campaign

EDU websites are the holy grail of link building, but how easy are they to get?

Typically, you can earn backlinks through online publishing platforms, blogger outreach, the broken link method, infographics, and even Wikipedia links. But earning an EDU backlink is a different type of challenge.

So what’s The solution? Scholarship link building. Follow along as we walk you through your first EDU backlink.

Step #1: Don’t Forget It’s a Real Scholarship

Authenticity is essential for scholarship link building. If it’s obvious you’re creating a scholarship for DA scores, you can kiss your EDU link building campaign goodbye.

You’re creating a real scholarship for students. Put effort into crafting a legitimate, authentic reward that aligns with your brand. If your niche is marketing, you could create a scholarship for aspiring marketers, web designers, or business professionals.

Step #2: Make it Official

Again, authenticity is key. That’s why you need a professional landing page for your scholarship.

Your landing page should include:

  • A detailed explanation of your scholarship
  • The scholarship reward amount
  • Legal terms and stipulations for scholarship recipients
  • Scholarship application requirements

Optional content ideas include an animated explainer video, frequently asked questions, and applicant surveys to improve your scholarship link building efforts moving forward.

It’s critical to be as precise as possible with this step. Colleges and universities will scrutinize your scholarship information with a fine-toothed comb.

Step #3: Reach out to Financial Aid Offices – All of Them

Once you have your scholarship, shop it around. For this step, you’ll need to gather financial aid contacts to create a massive email list.

First thing’s first: who’s in charge? You need to get in touch with decision-makers. Do your best to gather contacts for financial aid directors, assistant directors, and directors for scholarships and grants.

If there are no top-tier contacts available, try managers, coordinators, and administrative assistants. Most financial aid offices have a general email address available as well.

Step #4: Build Your Financial Aid Contact List

List-building can be a massive undertaking, but with the right tools, you can cut your time in half or even more.

Here are several tips, tools, and tricks to make your life easier:

  • Email scraping tools
  • Crowdsource your contact research
  • Scrape the web for college and university websites
  • Gather contacts via social media

Don’t forget to keep your contacts organized in a spreadsheet for future scholarship link building campaigns.

Step #5: Email Your Financial Aid Contacts

This step is so important because you want your scholarship approved as quickly as possible. However, you may need to perform two or even three rounds of outreach to successfully have your backlink posted. This is another reason why you need to create a legitimate scholarship with substance.

If you faithfully follow steps 1 through 3, chances are good that your scholarship will pass muster. Plus, you don’t have to spend a lot of time personalizing each outreach email. Since you’re presenting the same scholarship to each institution, you can use a template!

Make sure your scholarship requirements are clearly visible and easy to find on your landing page. Don’t write a long email either. Keep it short, to the point, and include a bullet-point list description of your scholarship’s benefits.

Step #5: Email and Track

Scholarship link building requires a high-volume contact list, so tracking your progress is essential. You don’t want to keep bugging an institution that’s already posted your backlink!

Make a spreadsheet of all your EDU link prospects, along with DA scores, contact information, outreach dates, and backlink progress notes. Don’t forget to regularly check your backlinks to make sure they’re still there.

Step #6: Pick Your Scholarship Recipients

Once your scholarship is posted, expect a flood of applicants. You should also create a spreadsheet containing the applicants’ names, schools, transcripts, scholarship essays, and other pertinent information. This will help you choose your recipients wisely.

Remember, trust and credibility are huge factors here. You don’t want to go into these decisions lightly. When worthy applicants don’t receive scholarships, you run the risk of damaging your scholarship’s reputation online – and that’s a whole other SEO problem to deal with!

Calling your winners personally with the good news goes a long way as well.

Step #7: Reap the PR Rewards!

Scholarship link building is great for your DA score, but it’s also a public relations win. Why? 90% of American consumers trust brands that give back to the community over those that don’t.

So make sure to broadcast your scholarship (and winners) loud and clear on your blog, social media, and local publications. Great PR will lead to even more backlinks, so it’s a win-win.

Step #8: Analyze Your Scholarship Link Building Campaign

No link building campaign is complete without analysis. You need insight into where you went wrong, what you did right, and link building opportunities to pursue.

You may have to tweak your outreach email, reassess your scholarship terms, or redesign your landing page. Don’t be afraid to up your social media game either.

Before you get to work on your scholarship link building, let’s recap all eight steps:

1. Brainstorm a trustworthy and relevant scholarship idea
2. Create an official landing page for your scholarship
3. Reach out to financial aid offices
4. Build an organized contact list
5. Create your outreach email template
6. Inform the winners
7. Look for extra PR opportunities
8. Analyze your results (and watch those backlinks like a hawk)

What’s Next?

As with all SEO campaigns, the more you do it, the easier it will become. Don’t wait too long to get started on your link building, as algorithms can change at a moment’s notice!

For more even tips on improving your backlink profile, check out our latest posts on email link building and development.