Category Archives: SEO and Link Building

types of link building

The Ultimate Guide on the Different Types of Link Building and How to Build Them

When your page shows up at the top of the search engine, you’ll get 33% of clicks. To get to the top of the search engines, we all know that your website needs to have links, but what types of link building strategies are most effective?

If you don’t understand the benefits of the various types of backlinks, you could miss out on great opportunities. Continue reading this article to learn about the types of links and how to build them.

Types of Link Building that Work

The following link types will help you build out a well-rounded link portfolio if you use them appropriately. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Forum Profile Links

Forum profile links are pretty easy to get, but you do not want to abuse them. When building forum links, you should only link from relevant forums. You shouldn’t link in a spammy way as most forums only allow these links in your profile or in the signature.

2. Web 2.0 Links

Linking from Web 2.0 properties like Blogger and Tumblr are great tactics. You can create your own mini blog there to link back, or you can find other people that have content there and get links. 

3. Sales Page Links

If you can get in on a pre-release of a product you would like to use; you can add a testimonial. Often when sales pages have testimonials, they will be glad to drop a link to your website below your testimonial and name.

If the page gets a lot of traffic, you may get some traffic as well as the link juice that comes from the link.

4. Guest Post Links

Guest post links are powerful links, and you can build as many of them as you’re willing to reach out and grab. Guest posting requires a lot of outreach to other bloggers. You pitch them on a great piece of content in exchange for a link back to a page on your website.

If you don’t want to do your own outreach, you can work with our company, and we can secure guest posts for you. Many business owners find outreach highly time to consume and want to put their efforts toward growing their bottom line.

5. Press Releases

Press releases are very official, and as such, they can end up on some pretty authoritative news sites. If you write your press release well and submit it to a bunch of sites using a press release submission service, you can get hundreds of links with one submission.

Since news is often shared on multiple sites and is very similar, press releases usually don’t cause any problem being duplicate content.

6. Directory Links

Finding industry relevant directories to submit to will help you get in front of people that may be searching for you. Besides for getting in front of people that may be searching for you, it also tells search engines that you are relevant in this industry. 

The more signals you can give search engines on what your site is about, the easier it will be for them to figure out where to put you in the rankings.

7. Video Links

If you aren’t using video marketing, you’re missing out. Video marketing gets more attention and can convert better than textual content. When you’re using video to get attention, you can link from a video on YouTube to get more links.

You can put links in the description, or you can use cards to link to your site. If you want to link to your site from your YouTube video, you’ll need to verify your website and get it approved.

8. Bookmark Sites

Bookmark site links are another way to show search engines people care about your content. There are some of the more popular bookmark sites like Reddit and Digg, but there are other smaller sites that you might want to include in your link building efforts.

When you look at your link portfolio, you can see if you have enough bookmark links or if you can handle getting some more. Bookmark links are easy to build in most cases but make sure you don’t overdo them since it will look unnatural.

9. Resource Page Links

Resource pages are a powerful place to get your link listed. Resource pages usually are set up for people that want to buy something or use a service. If your company has an eCommerce site or a service page, you may be able to get customers directly from the traffic from the site.

One way to get links on resource pages is by using “broken link building.” Broken link building is when you scrape relevant sites to find broken links. The links should have linked to a page that is similar to the content on the page you want to build links to.

You’ll get a backlink, and they will get a good resource for their audience. They are often happy that you helped them find a broken link and glad to oblige.

10. Comment Links

Another abused source of links is comment links. If you have a website that allows comments, you’re likely to have a spam folder full of comments. 

If you don’t abuse comment links and instead offer helpful comments or questions, people are more than happy to approve your comments. Webmasters want engagement on their posts and usually, don’t mind you linking back to your site in your name.

Get More Bang for Your Link Building Buck

Tired of buying links that don’t work? Not all links are created equal. You want to make sure you understand the thought behind a link strategy.

Instead of wondering if you know that you’re doing, you can use our services to get the results that you want. Look through our pricing and details page to see which option is the best for you so you can get the results you want.

top link

10 Top Link Building Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

You know SEO is important to your website, but do you know how to create an effective SEO strategy? One aspect of SEO that confuses people involves their link building practices.

With more than one billion websites for people to choose from, link building is essential to make your site stand out. To make this strategy work, you need to create quality links. This means understanding the top link building practices and avoiding common mistakes.

So, what are the common link building mistakes? There are 10 linking practices you should avoid.

What Is Linking?

Linking is the practice of creating links to your content on other websites and pages. This helps build your site authority and increase traffic.

Link building increases website traffic in two ways. First, the backlinks from other sites help Google rank your content as more relevant, moving you up in the search results. Plus, the links drive traffic from these other sites to your content.

Link building is a slow process. It can take up to 10 weeks for a backlink to affect your rankings.

Top Link Building Mistakes

While the process is slow, once the backlinks start affecting your ranking, the results will only improve. If you get frustrated and start making mistakes with your link building though, you will negatively affect your rankings.

It’s important to make sure Google doesn’t suspect your site of black hat SEO practices. These are the disreputable practices that seek to trick search engines and users with false keywords and content. 

To avoid even the appearance of deception, it’s important to pay attention to how you build those links. This means avoiding those mistakes that can put you on Google’s bad list.

1. Poor-Quality Content

Poor-quality content decreases your chances of getting backlinks. It also hurts your rankings in the search results.

If people don’t find your content informative enough, they may refuse to link to it on their site. This decreases the number of links built on authoritative sites.

Content without value also increases your bounce back rate. This will cause Google to move you further down in the ranking.

Make sure your content answers a real question. You want to include enough detail that you add something to the topic. You don’t want so much detail that you drown out the point though.

2. Only Linking to Your Homepage

Google looks for natural links when ranking you based on backlinks. If you only link to your homepage, this looks like you’re just buying links to your page. 

You need to link to different pages on your website. Diversify your link building strategy so your backlinks look natural.

3. Only Using One Type of Link

You also want to diversify the types of links you use. Diversity gains ranking. If you only link to the same type of material, it looks fishy to Google’s algorithms.

Make sure you link to different pieces of content. Pick several pieces of content that you want to rank. Spread out the use of these pages so your links appear more natural.

4. No Diversity in Anchor Texts

If you use the same anchor text for every backlink, Google could see this as a link building scheme. They will penalize you in the rankings for this.

Make sure you use different keywords when building your links. Try using your brand name and variations of the brand name. Also, try using variations and connected terms for your major keywords.

5. Using Useless Anchor Texts

You also want to avoid anchor texts that have nothing to do with what you want to rank for. Linking to wording like “check out” or “learn more” does nothing for your site ranking.

You want to do research to find a selection of keywords that fit with your niche. Mix these keywords for different backlinks so you can show relevancy to a particular topic.

6. Backlink Sprints

A handful of backlinks from authoritative websites to high-quality content brings more value than hundreds of links using the same anchor text linking to thin content. Plus, if you suddenly have a big jump in the number of backlinks, this can come across as another linking scheme.

Make sure you spread out your backlinks. This means spreading out the number of sites that link to your content. It also means spreading out the content you use for links.

7. Trading Links

It might sound beneficial to do a link swap with another website, but this is a no-no with Google’s algorithms. If you’re caught swapping links with websites you will lose your rankings.

Make sure people are linking to your site on their own. This doesn’t mean you can’t link to someone who’s linked to you. It just means don’t make this your way to get links on other sites.

8. Links from Low-Quality Sites

Part of your Google ranking involves the quality of the sites that link to your content. In fact, there are some types of sites you want to avoid altogether if you can. These sites include

  • Pages with little content
  • Unsecured websites
  • Directories
  • Sitewide links
  • Sites irrelevant to your niche

If you have too many low-quality backlinks, your pages won’t rank. Make sure you link to websites that bring value to your links.

9. Building Up Nofollow Links

Some websites will link to your content, but they’ll add a nofollow tag. This tag tells Google that the link is irrelevant to its ranking algorithm. You want to make sure that you have plenty of dofollow links on other sites.

This doesn’t mean nofollow links are worthless. You can still gain traffic from these sites. Just make sure that’s not all you have.

10. Not Tracking Backlinks

Link building isn’t just throwing the links into the world. You need to track how those links perform. Tracking links helps you identify which links work and which don’t.

Tracking helps you know which links you need to capitalize on. This also helps you determine which links to update or retire. Plus, this helps you know which websites are working best for your link strategy.

Link Building and Beyond

Building up top links to your website is just one step in the SEO strategy. You want to make sure you have a full strategy in place to get the best results. If you need help with this, contact us for a free SEO consultation.

what is keyword

What Is Keyword Stuffing and How Can It Kill Your Business?

Can’t seem to get a higher rank for your webpage? Have you experienced getting a penalty for your website? One of the reasons may be keyword stuffing.

If you have a business, chances are you also have a virtual space for it. As of 2018, a website is the most popular digital marketing channel for small businesses. Yet, many web pages practice this black hat SEO technique either due to lack of knowledge or because they want to get ahead of the competition.

But what is keyword stuffing and why shouldn’t you use it? How does it kill your business? Why is it considered one of the worst SEO practices?

Read on to know more about keyword stuffing. We’ve also included some tips on how you can avoid it.

1. What is Keyword Stuffing?

Have you ever experienced eating too much to the point that you feel stuffed? It doesn’t feel good and it isn’t healthy for you.

Think of keyword stuffing like overeating but for your business website.

The logic of keyword stuffing is to create content for a page filled to the brim with keywords. When this happens, the page has a chance to rank high in search results. When that page ranks high, odds are it will have more traffic.

It sounds great in theory but it doesn’t work that way anymore due to updates and changes to Google’s algorithm. We’ll talk about that below.

Below is a keyword stuffing example:

If you are in the market for fashionable hoodies for women, look no further because we’ve got the best fashionable hoodies for women ready to order. Our fashionable hoodies for women come in many sizes and colors too. Feel free to browse through our selection of fashionable hoodies for women here.

It doesn’t look good, does it?

Your content looks overloaded with repetitive key phrases. To the machine, your content should top the search results. To people, those key phrases make your content unappealing and your page superficial.

It may promise a burst of success in the search engine results, but it only works in the short-term. In the long run, it’s not worth your time and effort.

2. Why is Keyword Stuffing Bad?

Google doesn’t like it because it’s unethical and ineffective. Google’s updates focus on providing quality and relevant information to users. Also, keep in mind that keyword stuffing can often bring traffic to malicious or fake websites.

Another keyword stuffing SEO practice is to hide keywords on the page. These words might have a font color that matches the background, have zero font size settings, or have images placed over them. Hidden keywords are often irrelevant and commonly-search phrases.

Even if this SEO technique beats the search engine algorithm, what are the chances that your visitors won’t get tired of reading the same phrases over and over? As you’ve seen in the example above, it gets monotonous and tiresome to read the repeating words. Remember, your primary target audience is people, not robots.

What will happen if you over-optimize your website with keyword stuffing? The least that can happen is that you only get penalized. It also means your website might get demoted in rankings.

The worst thing that can happen is Google will remove your website from its index. When that happens, your site won’t appear in search results at all. That’s your time, effort, and money gone.

Apply keyword stuffing and there is a big chance that the traffic to your website may disappear.

Don’t know how to check for your website traffic? Use Google Analytics, their in-house program to monitor your site’s performance. It also ranks as the biggest third-party domain on the web.

3. How to Work Around Keyword Stuffing

So how do you rank up your webpage without resorting to keyword stuffing?

Focus on your audience. As a reader, imagine what you would like to see in a webpage that offers what you’re looking for. You want to give them quality content, not a boring one.

That is not to say that you should use only one keyword throughout your page. Keyword stuffing is different from the responsible usage of keywords. With many things in life, use keywords in moderation.

A safe way to insert keywords is to look at your keyword density. Keyword density at 2-5% is your best bet. Don’t forget to insert your keywords into the content in the most natural way possible.

Another way to get around keyword stuffing is to use synonymous phrases. This is helpful if you’re finding it difficult to not overuse your keywords or key phrases. Paraphrasing key phrases is another good option.

If you want to be more creative, use long-tailed keywords. They will feel more natural to your readers. Also, they are wonderful choices for hitting the right keyword density.

If your keywords might have other meanings in a different context, then you might attract the wrong visitors. A customer looking for a sewer to hire might find a page for sewer drains instead. To avoid this, add other terms or words related and relevant to your content.

You can look up popular keyword searches for your products or services. Note that a high keyword search volume for your product can also mean more competitors. This is where your awesome and creative content comes in.

Recreate your Keyword Stuffing-Free Page

What is keyword stuffing? Hopefully this guide helped you understand how dangerous this practice is for your online business.

Don’t do it because as explained, Google’s algorithms will penalize you for it. Users will not enjoy your content and will bounce out of the site.

Putting those two issues together and soon enough your pages will rank down instead of going up. Focus instead on proper keyword optimization.

Did you enjoy the read? Want to know more? Read our other blog posts for even more information on SEO, link building, and backlinks!

Here’s a post to help you deal with traffic and revenues drop. One of the reasons may be a core update of a search engine like Google. Our guide will help you recover from an algorithm update.

link advantage

5 Powerful Link Building Strategies That Will Give You a Competitive Edge

When most people think of search engine optimization, they think of on-page SEO. We’re talking about meta tags, keyword-focused content, and the like. One of the most common mistakes companies make is ignoring off-page ways to boost your traffic.

Of all the off-page SEO techniques, backlinks are among the most crucial. A backlink, or a link from another site to your site, tells search engines you’re a reliable and referral-worthy source.

The challenge, of course, is getting other sites to link to yours. If you aren’t sure where to start, here’s your guide to getting the link advantage.

Your First Step: Great Content

Before we talk about direct ways to get backlinks, we need to start with underlying key: your content. First things first, your content needs to up valuable. It should be genuine, original, and informative.

You’ll notice most of the tips below are ways to get your content out there to inspire backlinks. This effort will go to waste if other sites’ curators look at your content and see no reason to direct their readers to it.

If you aren’t confident that your content is up to snuff, now is the time to give it a makeover. Write new content like new blogs, or hire someone to do so. When you have plenty of great content to share, you can move on with backlinking techniques.

How to Get the Link Advantage with Backlinks

There are plenty of ways to get backlinks if you know where to look. Start with these top strategies.

1. Guest Posts

Guest posts are among the most genuine and useful ways to get backlinks. Writing a guest post involves writing a blog for another side and including a link to your site within the post.

For example, let’s say you have a dermatology office. You may offer to write a guest post for a beauty blog about wrinkle reduction treatment. The content is relevant, original, and brings genuine value to the beauty blog while giving you a great backlink. It’s a win-win.

In the process, though, be careful not to overload your guest blog with links to your site. One will do the trick, and it will avoid making your post look like spam. Make sure your content is high-quality too so you get invited to do future posts as well.

2. Social Media Sharing

Social media marketing is valuable in its own right, but it’s also a great backlinking technique, too.

Throughout your social media marketing, be sure to share your best content from time to time. Paid ads can give your content more exposure.

The posts themselves are backlinks which can help your SEO. In addition, though, they spread your content throughout the web which could bring you even more backlinks.

Make sure you don’t focus your entire social media profile on your own content, though. Follow the 70/30 rule: 70% of your posts should be sharing others’ content while 30% should be your own content.

3. Press Releases

Another great way to build your web presence with backlinks is through press releases. When you publish a press release, always include a link or two to your site because these links count as backlinks.

Many companies neglect press releases but backlinks are just one way they can boost your business. The key is to publish a press release when you have something newsworthy. This could be a new product or service, an award, or an upcoming event.

On top of offering its own backlink, a press release is one more way to spread the word and establish yourself as a resource. When you post a press release, make sure you reach out to local media about the news too. If they respond and ask for an interview, there’s nothing wrong with asking that they include a link to your site in the story on their website.

4. Blog Commenting with Caution

Chances are you’ve seen at least a few of those spam comments on others’ blogs or even on your own. They sound something like, “Want to lose 20 pounds in 7 days? I did it with this miracle pill!” They always end with a link.

If you’ve seen them, you’re probably groaning at the very idea of commenting on others’ blogs. If you do it right, though, it can be a great link building strategy.

Follow blogs in your industry and comment with genuine, thoughtful input. It’s a great way to establish yourself as an expert and develop a relationship with the blogs you’re commenting on.

Those relationships can lead to organic backlinks, but should you post a link in your comments? You can, but don’t do it in a spammy way. For instance, end your comments with a professional signature including a link to your site.

5. Getting on YouTube

Chances are you’ve already heard how helpful video marketing is. It’s engaging and a popular way your audience loves to get information. There’s another way it boosts your business, though: with backlinks.

Dedicate part of your marketing budget toward creating informative, creative videos in your field of expertise. Post each of them on YouTube, and include a link to related content from your site in the description.

You can get even more backlinks for your videos if you add transcripts to each video. Within the transcripts, include links on relevant keywords. In addition to the backlinks themselves, these videos will also help you generate more notice and more traffic overall.

Backlinks as Your Site’s Backbone

As any marketer knows, there’s no magic formula for a successful business. It takes a variety of tactics that you continue to maintain and revitalize time and time again. SEO is no exception.

Backlinks are crucial for your site’s performance, but it’s an ongoing project. As helpful as it is to build a structure of backlinks, you need to keep using the techniques above for years to come to get fresh links, too.

If you’re ready to get the link advantage for your site, get started by buying great links today.

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 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.