Category Archives: SEO and Link Building

seo traffic generation

Bring on the Traffic: How SEO Traffic Generation Can Make Your Business Soar

Your new website looks like the real deal. But what good is that if no one can find it?

Search engines have replaced phone books for nearly two decades. Now, more than 70% of consumers surveyed say they learn about a company from their official website. On top of that, Google now processes more than two trillion searches per year!

The data is clear, so what are you waiting for? Stop putting off your optimization and make your business soar with these benefits of SEO traffic generation.

Supercharge Your Traffic for Free

Who doesn’t love the word, “free?” This is one of the most undeniable benefits of organic SEO.

But, first. What’s organic SEO anyway?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Think of this as a big umbrella term for all the methods used to optimize a website for search engines.

Organic, in this case, refers to any web traffic generated from search results, not pressed juice. If a Google user clicks on one of your links on a search page, this counts as organic SEO traffic.

The challenge is to get your website in front of the visitors’ eyes. This means you need to get on the first page of Google each and every time. That’s what SEO is all about.

To kick-start organic SEO traffic generation, you’ll need to know a few on-page optimization tricks:

  • Choose the keywords (search phrases) you want to rank for
  • Optimize your website content with your keywords
  • Optimize your H1 title tag with your primary keyword
  • Optimize the meta description that appears in search results

Ideally, your website should have at least 50 web pages as well. This will help you rank for more relevant keywords in your niche.

The best part is that you can do all of this for free! But if you want this grunt work to go a little faster, there are paid SEO tools and consultants that can help.

The Benefits of Paid SEO Traffic Generation

The other side of the coin is paid SEO traffic generation. This is done through pay-per-click advertising, otherwise known as ‘PPC.’ Popular PPC services include Google AdWords, Bing Ads, AdRoll, and Facebook Ads.

Like organic SEO, you also want to select and optimize your website and content with the right targeted keywords. However, with PPC, you make ads that target them.

Notice those search results marked with the word, “ad”, next to them? That’s an example of an AdWords ad. Notice how the title and copy are optimized for a particular keyword.

Unlike optimizing for organic SEO, which is free, you have to bid on keywords with PPC. This means, every time someone clicks on your ad, you’re charged for that click. Hence the name, pay-per-click.

The Cross Benefit of SEO and PPC

Both PPC and SEO target the same consumer base. Not only do you receive above-the-fold traffic, but PPC can also improve your organic SEO traffic generation as more visitors drive traffic to your site. This only helps you rank higher for your target keywords.

PPC can also give you that surge of traffic you need without having to wait. Organic SEO takes time, but PPC can provide a more consistent traffic source as you continue to optimize for organic SEO. Since you pay as you go, PPC can be a cost-effective solution to getting your rankings up.

PPC also has invaluable data to draw from. Especially, Google AdWords. Not only do you have access to a free keyword planner, but you can view the analytics behind each click.

Brand Awareness

Brand new businesses greatly benefit from SEO traffic generation. The first page of Google is an indispensable tool for brand awareness. This is especially helpful for new brands on a tight budget.

For example, if you’re a new essential oils site, ranking on page #1 for the keyword, “what are essential oils?”, is a good way to get your brand out there and establish yourself as an authority on essential oils.

This type of keyword attracts a broader audience looking for information. You can also narrow it down to “decision keywords” for audiences who are trying to make a decision. Keywords that compare items are great for this.

Not every niche is served by PPC and social media marketing either. That’s why many businesses rely on organic search results for brand awareness.

If you’re optimizing for awareness, make sure your web page titles and meta descriptions are clear with call-to-actions.

Search Engines Love Social Media

Feel more comfortable with social media marketing than SEO? Give yourself a little credit. You’re more of an SEO pro than you think!

Google loves social media. Meaning, it factors social media activity into their ranking algorithms. This is great for social folks who love building tens of thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Followers consistently share, retweet, and mention their favorite websites.

But social media also creates valuable backlinks which Google loves. While social media links are usually tagged as “no-follow”, you can still build high-quality do-follow backlinks by regularly promoting your content on social media.

The best way to attract backlinks through social media is to create content that’s highly shareable. For example, a recent study about Facebook content found that posts that were light, heartwarming, or inspiring are more readily shared. That’s why travel photos, exciting vacations, and ‘adventures’ do so well on social media.

The study also found that quizzes don’t garner the amount of engagement they used to. But life hacks and cute cat videos are still going strong!

If you’re relying heavily on social media for marketing and SEO, make sure you’re spending your efforts on the right content.

Next Stop, Optimization!

Feel a little less mystified about SEO traffic generation?

What’s great about SEO is there are so many ways to go about it. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan, but there’s a lot of room to get creative.

Use this article as a beginner’s guide as you optimize your site for search engines. Or talk to an SEO specialist to start ranking right away!

guest blog

Be Our Guest: How to Guest Blog to Boost Your Rankings

Does traffic seem sparse and stagnant lately?

We’re not talking about traffic on the roads. We’re talking about your blog’s traffic. And if you’ve exhausted your SEO tactics and still aren’t ranking, you may be wondering where to go from here.

Have you ever heard of guest blogging?

It’s a practice that helps blogs go from slow-moving to hustling and bustling. And if your blog is in need of a serious ranking and traffic boost, you may want to consider writing a guest blog.

Here’s how.

Why Guest Posting Matters

What’s a guest post, anyway?

It’s a blog post that’s published on someone else’s blog. You’re essentially a guest on their website and get to feature a link to your blog.

By doing so, you’ve created what’s known as a backlink, or an inbound link. These not only funnel incoming traffic from their website to yours. They can transmit “link juice” in the process, which adds value to your website.

Guest posting basically creates the following cascade of effects:

You direct traffic from a popular source to your blog. You gain more exposure and the chance to attract new readers and clients. You bolster your own authority, as a brand and as a web domain.

This all equates to higher traffic numbers and higher rankings on the SERPs. And who doesn’t want all that?

Now, we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of how to write a guest blog post and how to reap all the effects!

Understanding Where to Post

Does your blog experience a consistent flow of traffic but still doesn’t rank high? Are you trying to break into a new niche? Or are you looking to convert site views into more subscribers and actual sales?

You may want to accomplish all of the above. But first, narrow in on your immediate needs and how guest posting can help with them. 

Every guest post needs a purpose. And each post you create should appeal to your audience so much that they share it.

Start Perusing Websites

Once you know why you want to guest post, you may be wondering where to do it. First, look for websites in your niche or industry. These should be sites where your ideal reader or client would visit.

If your blog isn’t relevant to them and their audience, site owners will likely ignore you. It should also be obvious that these websites are well-established, too.

We’re not only talking about sites with high traffic and loads of subscribers. These websites should have a wealth of trendy, share-worthy content. And a dialogue of comments to go with it. 

Additionally, they should have a strong social media presence. Because you’ll definitely want to hone in on some of that supplementary promotion. 

How do you go about finding the best websites to guest post on?  

Do Your Research 

Not all websites accept guest posts.

So, to save you some time, take your query to the search engines. Search for keywords like “submit a guest post” or “sites that accept guest posts.” 

Browse for the top blogs in your niche. Run their domain authority in an analytics tool. You may even come across articles written by people who’ve already done this research for you.

Check out websites where big players in your industry have published blog articles. You can do this by searching their name + “guest post.”

Or, you can scope out their social media pages and see if they’ve promoted any guest posts recently.

Dig Deeper

Once you know where to guest post, get to know their content a little better.

What is there content generally about and who do they write for? Are posts formatted as listicles, tutorials, or standard blog posts? Which topics do they blog about and what is their general tone throughout?

Study the guest posts they publish. Who is writing them and what are they writing about? What do they do well at in their posts? 

Don’t forget to read and understand the site’s guidelines. You’ll leave a bad impression if it’s evident you didn’t read them over.

For example, it’s silly to submit a 2,000-word article when their guidelines call for no more than 1,000 words. It would also look silly if you wrote the post using “I/you” when their entire blog uses the third person. 

The takeaway? Know their guidelines and probe deep into their content. As a guest in their online party, so to speak, you want to know how to fit in so you get that invite to post.

Write the Perfect Guest Blog Pitch

The topic you write about should be relevant to their website and the target audience.

If you pitch an idea that’s of no relevance, the website won’t accept it. And even if they did, their readers wouldn’t find your topic interesting, anyway. It would be like going to a party and talking about something that none of the party-goers knew or cared about.

It takes time to strategize a good topic for a guest post. Browse the trending posts on the website you’re guest posting on.

See what people are talking about in the comments. What’s new and happening in your industry? Take your research to Quora, Reddit, or other messages relevant to your niche.

Once you have the perfect topic in mind, it’s time to make that pitch.

Nail the Pitch

When it comes to pitching an idea for a guest post, keep it brief and intriguing.

Use a professional email that’s associated with your blog. Personalize the email as much as you can. Try to figure out who the editor is or who is in charge of guest posts.

You already know how guest posting on a particular website will help you. Explain how will it help them and their readers.

Then, introduce yourself, but be brief. If you’re more of an entrepreneur than a blogger, introduce yourself as the ladder. Some websites may not want to feature someone whose sole interest is selling.

Most importantly, why should you be the one to guest post on their blog? Show them work of yours that triggered good discussion and lots of shares. And, of course, link to your blog and any published work elsewhere.

Take Your Blog to the Next Level

Knowing how to guest blog can do more than boost your traffic and rankings. It can further establish your blog and help you spread your influence.

It’s among one of the top marketing practices right now – and it isn’t going away anytime soon. If you’re looking to make 2019 your year as an up and coming blogger, it’s definitely a practice worth trying.

But why stop there? Take advantage of these major SEO trends in 2019 and come out on top as a successful blogger!

seo practices

Bad SEO: 10 SEO Practices to Avoid

There is a lot of misinformation about SEO practices.

SEO is a collection of website and search engine sculpting best practices. Yet, the specifics of Search Engine Optimization is generally unknown. We can only guess what’s effective because Google doesn’t reveal SEO signals.

SEOs gather data from Web projects for smart guesstimates of what works. A lot of the SEO Google ranking strategies are derivative of these guesses. Unfortunately, some information gets lost as it’s repeated like the childhood game, telephone.

What are the results of SEO misinformation?

You get Webmasters applying harmful SEO strategies, further hobbling search ranks. This, in turn, forces heavier investments into SEO to catch up with prior ranks… costing many sales in the process.

Here is what you need to know about bad SEO. Plus, the better alternatives for those wanting best practices for search rankings.

10 Unethical SEO Practices for Webmasters Wanting to Poison Their Search Rankings

Hopefully, you’re not in agreement with this headline.

Good rankings pose a challenge but there are no true shortcuts. Thrilling strategies today could moot efforts when Google rolls out an algorithm change. A smart Webmaster learns from SEO mistakes, so they stick to beneficial strategies.

Here are the 10 bad SEO practices you need to avoid.

1. PLR and Article Spinning

Content fulfills two things:

  • A reason why people visits a site
  • A signal letting Google know what the site is about

Many using PLR and spun content change very little of the source material. The result is a jumble of illegible text, having no value.

Google’s AI and RankBrain is powerful enough to understand content context. It’s also a signal when people back out of the site. The PLR/spun content is actually lowering your site’s quality score.

Do this instead:

  1. Learn what your audience wants
  2. Create great, insightful content
  3. Get the community contributing

2. Toxic Link Building

Toxic link building involves gaining backlinks from questionable sources. This could include irrelevant domains to those linking out to everything. You may place your link among others pointing to scam websites.

Examples include:

  • Link spamming via profiles and comments
  • Buying links on thin-content websites
  • Cloaking links or abusing doorway pages

Google associates the bad link “neighborhood” with your website. This lowers link quality score and total SEO value.

Do this instead:

  • Curate link sources by pulling the site’s link profile
  • Stick to building links on quality, relevant domains
  • Avoid spam-like link building services

3. Unsecured Platform

An unsecured platform makes your website susceptible to hackers. Hackers can inject your site with dirty content and links. Google will flag your site and rankings will drop if you fail to address these issues. 

Do this instead:

  1. Install SSL and server/site security plugins
  2. Update plugins and change passwords
  3. Track content and outbound links

Use backup services if the attack is severe.

4. Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is as it sounds where Webmasters overload content with keywords. A few keywords here and there helps Google understand the content’s topic and context. But, stuffing is an obvious abuse to sculpt rankings.

Google wants to see a variety and value in the site’s content. Likewise, a stuffed article won’t read well — giving visitors a reason to back out. If people “vote” the content lacks value then Google will place better pages above yours.

Do this instead:

  1. Discover and use two to three instances of the primary keyword
  2. Use secondary and long-tail keywords in content sub-sections
  3. Increase the content’s length, stabilizing keyword density

Try keeping keywords to the intro, body, and conclusion. Google is smart enough to understand the content’s topic. Work on providing value versus ticking checkmarks next to your keyword list.

5. Open Submissions

Accepting guest posts adds free content to your website. But, you need to show some quality control and avoid open submissions. Open submission attracts low-quality content usually riddled with spam links!

Do this instead:

  1. Create a guest post guideline with high requirements
  2. Scan and edit guest post submissions for quality
  3. Publish and hold content creators accountable

6. Omitting Sitemaps and Crawling

It’s an easy oversight to forget your site is blocking search during development. Likewise, you may forget to submit a sitemap to Google in your rush to launch. Forgoing these two stops Google from discovering and indexing your site.

Do this instead:

  • Verify your robots.txt file isn’t blocking search engines
  • Submit your sitemap in Google’s Search Console

7. Lazy Meta Data

Every page should have a unique:

  • Title
  • Meta description
  • URL

Each item should include keywords but also enticing hooks to attract readers.

Your site builder may auto-generate metadata. Or, you or the developer were lazy about creating unique information for each page. Either way, it’s important and should become a top priority if you want pages to rank.

Do this instead:

  1. Research a primary and secondary keyword for each page
  2. Include keywords in the title, description, and URL
  3. Repeat for every page without unique metadata

You could outsource this task if there are thousands of pages.

8. Slow and Unresponsive

Site speed is one of the few search metrics Google has told us about ranking. A slow or unresponsive site is a worthless site because it fails in delivering info. This is usually the result of lackluster web hosting services or bloated code.

Do this instead:

  • Upgrade web hosting services
  • Reduce on-page elements
  • Use CDNs and site caching tools

9. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content could include:

  • Reposting the same content with a different title
  • Copying and pasting whole sections into other works
  • Letting Google index many instances of category/directory pages

You don’t win SEO by plastering a site with the same content. Google wants a beefy site where visitors dig around and find great information.

Do this instead:

  • Stick to publishing one article about one, specific keyword
  • Expand and update content versus creating new instances of it
  • Use 301s and canonical URLs when interlinking content

10. Dirty Link Profile

You found a great domain and bought it in a snap. Great! Unfortunately, you didn’t realize the prior owner built shady links to it. This dirty link profile weighs down your SEO efforts.

Do this instead:

  1. Pull up your site’s link profile with a keyword tool
  2. Use the disavow option in Google Webmaster Tools
  3. Build new, quality links to the domain

Get Rankings Faster (While Playing Fair)

We mentioned there are no shortcuts with SEO practices. Yet, that’s not to say there aren’t smarter ways to get ranks faster.

Building links are the crux as Webmasters lack relationships during the early stages. Our services close the gap, letting you build connections early — benefiting early. Discover one-way text links and add to your SEO efforts, today.

building link

What Do I Do?! For Starters, Learn the Basics of Building a Link with SEO

You’re always on the lookout for ways to improve your SEO standing, and you’d like to learn more about link building.

But what is a web link, exactly?

Furthermore, what are the best ways to improve your own linking strategy? What’s the difference between internal and external linking, and what in the world is backlinking? 

These are all great questions – and ones that we’ll certainly answer below. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know when it comes to the basics of building link profiles for your website. Then, learn about where you can get professional help with making it happen. 

What Is Linking?

What does building link portfolios and creating link building strategies mean, anyway? 

There are two basic types of links you can include in your content: internal and external.

Internal links refer to the content of your own website. It might be a past blog post you’ve written. It could be a product page, a link to your testimonials page, or even a “contact” page. 

External links are links you include in your content to web pages outside of your own. When possible, try to avoid linking to just the homepage of another site. Take the time to find an external link that truly fits with what you’re writing about. 

Let’s talk more about how to do just that – and much more – below. 

Keep It Relevant

It might sound obvious to some, but the most important thing to consider when you’re getting into a link building strategy is to keep your links relevant to the content at hand. 

Especially once you get deeper into the world of SEO, it’s easy to become obsessed with the idea of “link juice” and prioritizing the rankings of the pages you include over everything else. 

But don’t think for a minute that Google won’t notice that you’re cramming irrelevant links into your content in order to boost your page views. Not only will they know what you’re up to.

They’ll also penalize you for it. 

The golden rule of including links in your site to do business is to make sure they relate directly to the content at hand. Think about including things like statistics, scientific studies, or even opinion pieces related to the topic you’re writing about. 

For context, let’s say you’re writing a piece about what to look for in delivery services.

Including a link to the “get a quote” page of your courier service is relevant. A link that’s from a well-read blog but that’s on the topic of dog shows or shoe styles for the new season isn’t. 

While we’re on the topic of links to avoid? Never link to your competitors’ pages. That’s just taking business away from your own company and giving it to them. 

Go Organic

No, we’re not talking about your food (though that might be a good idea, too). 

Instead, we’re talking about your linking strategy. After all, you’re working hard to include internal and external links in your content. But that’s really only half of the battle. 

You also want to make sure that you’re creating content that other people want to link to when they write blog posts and other articles. 

This is what’s known as the process of getting organic links. These are links that you don’t pay for. 

Instead, these are links that you legitimately earn by crafting awesome and informative content. 

So, what makes you more likely to get these organic backlinks (when people link back to your website)? 

Let’s talk more about that now.

Getting More Backlinks

You’ve learned about internal and external linking, and even know all about backlinks now. 

All that’s left to do is craft awesome content that everyone will want to share on their own sites. This is how you build your linking profile. 

First of all, never be afraid to ask for links, and to let sites know that you’ve linked to them. Everyone does it, and often, when you let someone know you’ve linked to their site, they’ll return the favor. 

You should also think about creating “linkable” content. In most cases, that’s data and statistics. 

After all, everyone is looking to prove the claims they’re making in the posts they write. Providing someone with a research study and hard numbers that do just that pretty much guarantees you links. 

Start doing some serious market research, and share your findings on your blog. 

Another way to get content that everyone wants to include on their own?

Conduct interviews with industry heavy-hitters. After all, everyone wants to know what the best minds have to say. 

You should also write guest posts on popular industry blogs. This is a great way to link back to your own website and increase your overall readership. 

Finally, consider buying backlinks. Especially if you’re a newer site or a younger company, this is an amazing way to get your name out there. The same thing goes if you’ve had a serious uptick in your number of competitors lately. 

Building Link Strategies? Let Us Help!

So, now that you know more about what building link strategies takes, it’s time to start thinking about your next steps. 

Whether you’re interested in buying links or selling them, we want to help make sure you get the most out of your linking strategy. Get in touch with us to learn more about how our process works. 

Ready to grow your influence, increase your conversions, and watch your profits soar? 

We look forward to helping you work to ensure that this year, it finally happens. 

Schedule your free link building consultation to start coming up with ideas and getting ready to dominate the search engine results. 

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.