All posts tagged link building

Rank your site higher and it’ll receive more traffic; obtain more visitors and it’ll rank higher on results pages.

Landing on the top positions in the results pages is becoming harder by the day. Or should be we say with each algorithm update? Some search engine optimization (SEO) consulting services try, trick and test Google. They do so using black hat techniques. But, these tactics only bring in immediate, short-term results. Also, that’s not the goal of optimization. Instead, the ultimate goal is to come up with strategies, techniques, and tactics that will produce long-term results. These results are higher ranking, bigger traffic volume, higher conversion rate and higher profits.

Interestingly, the traffic and ranking connection seems like a never-ending cycle. Rank your site higher and it’ll receive more traffic; obtain more visitors and it’ll rank higher on results pages. However, it often starts with appearing on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Now, how will you make your site appear on SERP? Here’s how.

tips to rank higher in google

The importance of backlink

Off-page optimization is as important as on-page optimization. In fact, some experts even think that the latter contributes about 80% to making the SEO campaign a success. Off-page optimization basically refers to the processes that allow getting the most number of backlinks possible.

A backlink is an incoming link from a website, web page to another website or web page. Just so you know, Google loves backlinks. For it, a website that receives lots of backlinks can be considered as an authority site. It’s because a backlink is deemed as a vote to that site. It means that the site contains unique and valuable information that can’t be found elsewhere.

The question now is – how will you earn more backlinks?

Ways to obtain backlinks

1) Competitor analysis

One of the simplest ways to earn backlinks is to copy what your best competitors are doing. Where do they get their backlinks? What sites are linking to them? Which of their contents are receiving the most backlinks? Why? When you do this, link building opportunities available to you will reveal themselves in the process. Perhaps, your competitors are not yet tapping the power of .edu and .gov sites. You can explore these opportunities to surpass their ranking results.

2) Guest blog

Guest blogging is not dead if you want to ask the question. But, the guest blogging that we are doing now is different from the guest blogging we do five years ago. Of course, we still write the content that will be published on a particular website or blog. The idea is to gain links from these established websites. Google gives more weight to this since these links are rather difficult to acquire. But, Google warns the content writers that if obtaining link is the sole purpose of doing guest blogging then, you are doing it wrong. This is the common pitfall. Instead, think of how you can add value to the readers of that blog. In this way, you’d deserve the backlink endowed to your website.

3) Web 2.0 sites

Web 2.0 sites publish user-generated contents. These sites often have social features. Examples of these sites are StumbleUpon, Reddit, and HubPages. Although Google constantly looks into backlinks created through these sites due to possible spamming, the links are highly Google-friendly. The best way to navigate through these sites is publishing 100% unique contents that target one keyword. Integrate multimedia like an image or video. Some sites only allow a backlink to your website once you reached the required number of published articles. Hence, write as often as you can.

4) Testimonials

Business partners and suppliers and other stakeholders that you do business with can also help you in ranking higher in SERPs. You may offer a testimonial to any of them. The beauty of this is that testimonials are published directly on the website. Often, a website allows the person to provide details of his or her company to show the visitors or readers that you are a real person. This means free backlinks for you. Double plus is the website where the testimonial will be published is already an authority site.

5) Link reclamation

From the name itself, it means reclaiming previously linked mentions that are no longer active now. The necessary first step is finding websites that mention your company and its products. Focus on those sites that don’t link back to your website. You may use tools like BrandMentions or Mention.net. Then, contact the website reminding its administrator to add the link to your company name, for instance. A friendly reminder will do. Remember, when contacting the website, give the full details. Include screenshots, so that the person may easily track the unlinked mention.

6) Blog aggregator

A blog aggregator is a website that lists blogs in various industries and niches. The majority of these aggregators offer a dofollow link for free. You need to submit your website for review, however, before the aggregator will include your website in the list. You will be given a unique HTML code to determine that you own the site you are submitting. Upon approval, you will see your website in its appropriate category. Also, there are blog aggregators that focus on specific niches. Make sure that you are submitting your website on the right aggregating site.

7) Broken link building

A broken link refers to a link that is not working, rendering a 404 error message (i.e. Page Not Found). When you find a 404 page that is relevant to your website, you may contact the owner of the site regarding the broken link page. Offer to write content for that page in exchange of a backlink. If you want to do this method in full swing, you might as well install the Check My Links Chrome extension.

A backlink is a strong ranking factor. Your website will not rank in Google without inbound links. If you are wondering if these will work, the answer is YES. Even the experts are doing these simple tactics. While backlinks are not the panacea, no one can underestimate the boost they can do for your ranking. It’s either you do it or your competitors will do it at your expense. It’s your call.

Humans are without a doubt, the most visual creatures on earth. Nothing entices us more than anything that is pleasing to look at–eye candies if you may. In fact, the human brain processes images approximately sixty thousand times faster than ordinary written text.  Now, here’s a fact that may blow you away: We retain only about ten percent of what we hear and twenty percent of what we read and a whopping eighty percent of what we see. Now, should you be a wise digital marketer, you would find ways to creatively exploit this human quirk or trait.

Suppose you are an online marketing agency specializing in link building services, this fact alone should send idea pings and signals to your head. As it is, most, if not all digital marketers would want their content seen and above all, shared. For social media specialists and marketers, this means one thing: Peppering your posts with eye-popping images would almost guarantee you more shares as more shares denote better engagement. In fact, it has been shown that visual content largely dominates social media, much more than written text. By now, you should have an idea of just how significant the usage of images is, but as there is profusion and a multitude of options when it comes to images, it begs the question: What sort of images should you use?

Well, a recent survey has shown that despite the influx of videos, infographics and illustrations lately, people would still prefer the classic take by reading posts laden with a variety of photographs.  However, if you include animated gifs into the mix, then photographs pale in comparison as animated graphics seems to dominate the charts when it comes to the total social shares by blog post image type. Instagram and Twitter already has an avenue for animated gifs to be played, while Tumblr has always been littered with posts teeming with animated gifs. It seems that only until recently Facebook was left out of the loop. But late last year, the social media juggernaut has finally allowed GIFS to be playable in their news feed making this image type a formidable contender in being the preferable image platform.  As bloggers and content writers, this is a welcome opportunity for you to widen the scope of making your posts more engaging.

USING ANIMATED GIFS

By utilizing GIFS, your audience is not limited to seeing stills and photos nor are they constrained to watch a video. This makes the image platform a welcome compromise to the dilemma of wanting to watch a video without the lengthy interval as gifs are relatively short and quick to view—nothing more than a few seconds of your audience’s time. And that is not all; GIFS are quite easy to use as finding the appropriate one for your post does not take much of your effort other than scanning through available and existing gifs in Giphy.com which is offered for free. However, should you not find anything suitable; you can easily create one for your own with the online tool gifmaker.com. Quite easy to use, very straightforward and engaging, these attributes are precisely why gifs have been dominating social media platforms all over the web.

USING ILLUSTRATIONS

You may think that utilizing illustrations is a bit old-school and outdated. Although this may be true, it is unbeknownst to most, illustrations give your content, blogs and posts that personal feel that would give your readers the impression that you considered giving your write-ups enough effort to go the extra mile of making them a lot more personalized and detailed. Additionally, personalized illustrations guarantee your posts a sense of peculiarity and inimitability at some degree. Graphs made by excel will never be at par to graphs made with artistic skill and given a touch of personality. How is this achieved? Simple, you utilize your own handwriting and your own skills in drafting graphs. You do not need to be in possession of calligraphy skills and artistic panache, but you do need to make sure your handwriting and drawings are understandable enough to your readers. Your sketches may look nothing more than doodles to you, but you can be assured that they attract and hold the attention of your readers and since they are created by hand rather than by a machine, it gives the illustration a certain edge above the others.

Apart from illustrations giving your posts a personalized color, it also allows the poster for humor to pervade his or her post. Let us face it, humor can hardly be achievable with rigidly stiff lines and graphs drawn on excel. Squiggly lines and haphazardly drawn graphs are incomparable to computer generated shapes and charts.

USING INFOGRAPHICS

Utilization of infographics is the powerhouse of content with substantial information. Though, it is not as effective as it used to be, it is still shareable content that will still stomp the competition. Infographics are quite difficult to make and requires quite a bit of time, but it is possible to make them and still have your message conveyed. There is a multitude of infographic creation tools online, but there are three creation tools that are a cut above the rest. These are:

*Canva- Canva is the well-known image creator and image editor for the web. People who have no design skills will still be able to create attractive graphics fast.

*Google Charts- Although, you would still need to save the charts to use them as pieces for your infographic, Google offers you one of the best free infographic tools available.

*Infogr.am- If you want an infographic generator that is teeming with options, then Infogr.am should be your choice as it offers more options for free than most of its competitors.  Additionally, it’s built-in sharing functionality and ease of use makes this the prime choice for bloggers and content writers who want to insert infographics into their posts.

USING PHOTOGRAPHS

Though you can use photos randomly generated by stock photos or searched for in search engines, using your own photos guarantees your post a degree of authenticity and originality. However, as not all of us are gifted with a photographer’s eye, this is easier said than done. Should you have top notch standards for visual content, it is best if you consider hiring a professional photographer—one whose works are in line and appropriate for the type of content you generate. If this is not an option, use your smartphone and just give it your best attempt. In any case, your photographs may look like they have been taken by an amateur, they are still far better than photos collected from stock photos.

In conclusion…

If you want compelling content that would be shared and re-shared by your audience, let them feast their eyes on something other than a big block of text. Creating inspired images does not have to be expensive as you can even do it with a simple sketch achieved through a pencil or through an online free software such as Canva.

So, fellow bloggers and content writers, let your words paint a literal picture for you by utilizing various platforms in images. It will certainly do wonders for your SEO, and it will do wonders in granting you wide readership.

How Much Time Do You Really Need to Do SEO?

how much time do you need to do seo

Search engine optimization (SEO), which some of you dread (of course, we know), seems like a daunting task. Well, it doesn’t seem so because it is really daunting. If you aren’t doing SEO yourself, you might not understand the dauntingness (love this word) of it all. This is particularly if you are letting an SEO company to do all the optimization works for you, which is completely a-okay.

Lucky for you, but if you want to know what you are paying for the man-hours involved, here’s a simple walkthrough.

 

The simplest answer

To answer the question, you will need A LOT of time to do SEO.

SEO is a multi-factored activity. It also depends on what optimization works your company needs. For example, a website that is nowhere near the top 10 search engine results page (SERP) requires more time than a website that is already ranking on positions 11 to 20 for specific keywords. These are your factors; I haven’t mentioned competition yet. Definitely, at least one of your rivals are implementing their own strategies. Likewise, the competition against top ranking keywords is another story.

Thus, an answer applicable to all companies is difficult to come by. All we can say is… it depends.

 

The work required

There are three major opportunities to optimize a website and each opportunity involves man-hours of its own. These are on-site, on-page, and off-site.

On-site SEO

Audit

On-site optimization always starts with a website audit to determine how it is currently performing SEO-wise. Optimizers need to know how does the website appeals to both users and bots. A thorough audit will be the foundation of the future improvements on the site so this must be taken seriously.

Among others, the tasks involved are:

  • Analyzing the site speed
  • Checking the keywords used
  • Conducting a keyword research
  • Analyzing the link profile (internal and external)
  • Analyzing the navigation (if the site is intuitive)
  • Checking if the site already includes micro formatting (URL, logo, and other markups)
  • Analyzing contents including structure and duplicate
  • Identifying errors (i.e. broken links, missing pages, bad codes, heavy images, etc.)
  • Checking the sitemap
  • Checking the social media activities (i.e. social widgets installation and placement)
  • Checking the site’s mobile-friendliness
  • Checking the site’s overall security
  • Checking Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmasters Tools) implementation

Estimated time: 8 to 40 hours

* More man-hours will be needed if the website will require a redesign

On-page SEO

On-page SEO forms part of the on-site SEO. It’s just that the former is taken on the page level while the latter is considered on the site level. The tasks involved are:

  • Checking the tags (i.e. title, meta, header, image alt, etc.)
  • Checking whether each page has unique tags
  • Assigning landing pages or creating new ones for each keyword

Estimated time: 8 to 16 hours

For these on-site and on-page SEO, it would be much better to check this checklist so you’d really understand what needs to be done.

Set-up

Setting up the SEO campaign starts with the implementation based on the results of the audit. The tasks involved are:

  • Implementing recommendations based on the analyses

Estimated time: 16 to 40 hours

Monitoring

After completing the initial setup, period checkups must be implemented. Adjustments must be made based on the results of each checkup. If any issues arise (major and minor), troubleshooting is required as well. Specifically, the tasks involved are:

  • Checking Google Analytics and Search Console
  • Measuring the campaign
  • Analyzing for improvements
  • Troubleshooting based on the recommendations
  • Preparing ranking and traffic reports
  • Drafting new recommendations based on the reports

Estimated time: 4 to 8 hours per week

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO are optimization efforts performed beyond the site. Nevertheless, this aspect of SEO comes in various forms and completely depends on the extent that you want to invest on it. These are tactical and yet technically optional. The tasks involved, but are not limited to the following, are:

  • Building and earning links
  • Promoting contents on social media
  • Doing other peripheral SEO strategies

Estimated time: 12 to 24 hours per week

Content development

Content creation is another daunting task and an ongoing one at that. Writing a blog post, press release or article may seem easy, but it is not. The amount of research involved alone may discourage you. Alternatively, you can outsource content writing to a service provider. In this way, you may focus on other more important things to do.

Estimated time: 4 to 16 hours per week

 

A basic caveat

In every task, you may use a tool, but be careful what you use. Basically, the use of tools is subjective. There are hundreds to thousands of SEO tools and apps online; it’s up to you to choose which one you think is the right fit to your purpose. [Notice that I said 'the right fit' not 'the best tool' because all of them claims to be the best. Pun intended.]

For best results, try using Google’s products (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, etc.). They’ll tell you what to do exactly. We use this tools for our audits as well as other tools online such as Screaming Frog and Moz.

 

The plausible timeline

Month 1 – Audit and analysis

An entire month will be devoted to analyzing the website and its current strategy. Recommendations must be made based on the analysis. It is possible to conduct the analysis and technical changes within a month.

Month 2 – Technical SEO

Again, the technical changes may have already been implemented by this time. If the website requires more than just simple coding tweaks, this can go on for at least 2 months. That’s why it is advisable to consider SEO when developing a site from scratch or during a redesign. Nevertheless, while technical SEO is on the works, building contents and links may start now.

Month 3 – Content development

Once everything’s implemented, the foundational works such as creating contents may start now. An entire month might be needed, but this will still depend on the types of contents that you want to be created. If you’ve started publishing contents on the second month, you might be seeing results on the end of the third month.

Moreover, the succeeding months must be devoted to ongoing content creation, link building and technical optimization. You have to do this to improve your search performance to the tune of #1 position. Yes, aiming for that position is hard, but no one says that it’s impossible.

To put things in perspective, you need to invest 32 to 96 hours to do the groundwork and another 20 to 48 hours per week to do SEO. So, that’s really a lot. Again, you may do it yourself, hire an in-house SEO specialist or outsource to a local SEO company. It’s your call.

 

Inc | Hobo | SEOMark | Forbes | Search Engine Watch

company mentions on social mediaThe link building services that we know today are very different from those offered 5 years ago or so. Nowadays, link building is all about indicating how useful the site is and making the website more trustworthy. One of the ultimate measures of a site’s success is the growing number of company mentions, which make it a worthy to consider as part of the services portfolio.

 

What is ‘mention’ exactly‘

Mention’ is often referred to as company, brand or social mention. Simply, a mention is the remark made about the brand and its products and services. Mentions mostly occur on social media hence the allusion ‘social mention.’ For instance, even before it started, the World Cup had already generated over 19 million mentions on various social media platforms.

Technically, Google refers to ‘mentions’ as implied links. In its Panda Patent, Google highlights that ranking in the future will be about links and mentions. These can be express or implied link or both. Express links are hyperlinks or links that are included in the source resources users can follow when navigating to the target resources. Implied links, on the other hand, are references to target resources such as citations wherein users cannot follow when navigating to the target resources. Hashtags are good examples of mentions.

Thereby, mentions are essential in maintaining positive online reputation. Online reputation is the main difference between traffic that will look into your brand and its products and services and traffic that don’t care. No one wants to be overlooked on the webosphere!

 

Generating more mentions on Facebook, Twitter, forums, etc.

Now that billions of people are actively participating on social media, the next best thing is to get them to talk about your brand and offers. It isn’t enough that you control and monitor your Facebook page, but you also have to streamline mentions beyond your Facebook walls. Here are some ways to do so. The recommendations below are the results of a study analyzing 1 billion public company mentions online.

1) Communicate on Tuesdays to Thursdays

communication social mediaWhile Thursdays reported to witness the most company mentions at 15.78%, you should also communicate with your public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 15.68% and 15.52%, respectively. Saturdays and Sundays have the fewest number of mentions.

What do these figures tell us? You can interact with your target market during the weekdays. However, don’t forget to give them something to ponder on weekends. Develop contents that are scheduled to be published on weekends, so that your market will have something to mention during the week.

2) Communicate promptly

Although only 8% of your Twitter followers have over 500 followers, you need to enforce 1:1 connection. This only means to communicate with those who directly mention your brand and products and services. Answer a tweet in an hour or less.

Answer the tweets directed to you as well as those tweets about your brand. This guides people’s mindset about the level of service quality you can provide them. Speed and relevance are concrete differentiators between you and the rest of the brands in your industry.

3) Communicate on the right platforms

social media company mentionsPlatforms have their own strengths and weaknesses. Nonetheless, Twitter dominates with 66% of all company mentions analyzed. Bottom-line, reach your target audience and create a brand voice that everyone can recall and relate to be it in Twitter, Facebook or other platforms. For example, if analytics reveal that your target market engages with your brand more on LinkedIn, then treat LinkedIn as your main platform.

Add depth, realness and openness to each platform so that people may discover your brand more. Post constantly and analyze the results. Then, you can identify opportunities that you can capitalize on further.

4) Communicate in different languages

communication in different languagesAbout 64% of the mentions are in English, and the rest is in different languages. If you are a global business, you cannot underestimate the power of non-English company mentions. If you are a local business, you might as well use English and the language that most of your target audience is using.

Build the impression that you want to achieve by answering the questions of your audience in the same language that they use. They will think that your company is always ready and willing to help – an invaluable impression that is important in nurturing the company culture.

 

Tools to help you in monitoring mentions

There are two commonly used mention tracking and monitoring tools online: Mention and HootSuite. Users are notified whenever a site, page or user mentions your brand name, allowing the company to respond to inquiries and questions directly and promptly. Other tools to consider are:

TweetBeep

tweetbeepTweetBeep notifies users whenever someone mentions the company in as short as 15 minutes. It also tracks domain mentions. TweetBeep still notifies the users even when the user used shortened URL in the tweet, so you’d stay in top of most conversations. Users can also see whenever someone shares the blog post or any link from the site. This is a free service.

 

 

BrandWatch

brandwatchBrandWatch monitors and analyzes brand mentions as well as the mentions of your relevant keywords. The tool archives data and conversations on social media so users can track and analyze their online presence. BrandWatch is a paid service.

 

Google Alert

google alertGoogle Alert monitors both reputation and competition. It also allows users to conduct quality backlink opportunity identification in addition to competitor research. The service allows users to track up to 1,000 alerts. Google Alert notifies the user through an email. This is also a free service. Create your first alert here.

 

 

Social Mention

Social Mention searches keywords across various platforms. It also shows which online users are tsocial mentionalking about your brand and their general sentiments. The tool also breaks down average mentions in an hour and reach. However, it mostly mine old mentions, so the mentions are not as relevant and accurate compared to other tools that offer real-time mention monitoring. Social Mention notifies users through an email or RSS feed. This is yet another free service.

 

The last thing that a company wants is to be overlooked on the web. Tracking, monitoring and analyzing mentions are important in building and maintaining a progressive online reputation. Assessing competitors, analyzing campaigns and tracking trends is now possible with communicating more effectively and using tools that can help you achieve the purpose.

Optimind offers guaranteed first page ranking on major search engines or your money back.