What types of backlinks are used for SEO?

BacklinksIf you’ve been researching SEO or actively been working on your website you’ll know that backlinks play a huge role in promoting your website. Google analyzes and uses backlinks to evaluate the authority of a site and also which keywords the site is relevant for. To do so Google is constantly crawling the web to find and analyze all kind of backlinks. The idea behind that is this:

If you have a lot of articles about “dog training” on your website and people find your website and post a link with the anchor text “dog training” then the Google algorithm will come to the conclusion that your website is relevant for “dog training” and therefore rank it high for that term. (more…)

Important things about keyword research.

Keyword ResearchWhen it comes to SEO, keyword research is without a doubt one of the most important things to get right. If you don’t pay close attention to your keyword research you could end up in one of the following situation.

Keywords are too competitive: Improper keyword research can be the reason why many website owners target keywords that are way too competitive. It is important to carefully analyze your competition for each of the keywords you intend to target and make sure that you will be able to beat them. If the keywords you target are too difficult it will either take a very long time before you see any kind of results or you never reach page one at all. (more…)

Why Backlinks Still Matter

SEO is changing all the time and many analysts are predicting that the old ways of practicing good SEO will be dead within the year. We want to make the case for backlinks.

As a brief introduction, backlinks are essentially links that connect your site to others. So for instance a site of Apple iPhone jailbreaking that is trying to increase its exposure can get links from other sites and gain traffic. We want to show you why backlinks are still relevant and how they can best be utilized.

Good Backlinks

We can split backlinks into both good and bad links.

It used to be the case that Google rewarded your site for any links that connected it to the wider web. So if you had a PR 4 site that connected to a newly formed iPhone jailbreak website such as Jailbreak Guru then this would be very beneficial to the new site. However Google decided to change the rules here. Now only relevant backlinks are effective.

So if you want to link two sites together then 99% of the time it is better for your SEO if they are within the same niche. An Apple iPhone jailbreaking website could be linked from a site talking about jailbreaking or unlocking, a site selling iPhone’s or simply an iPhone community.

Bad Backlinks

So this brings us onto what are deemed to be ‘bad’ backlinks.

Take that example of an iPhone jailbreaking website and think about this: the majority of links that are pointing to the site are from blogs that have little or no relevance to iPhone jailbreaking. Google will pick up on this and look at the content on those blogs. No doubt the links or keywords will be forced in – a site dedicated to candles for instance is going to have to shove in an iPhone jailbreaking link or at least be very, very creative – and this site will then be penalized by Google.

Indeed it has a knock on effect as the site that these links point to – the jailbreaking service – will get hit as well for having low quality backlinks.

So Only Good Backlinks Matter?

To put it simply, yes.

It used to be the case that the more links you had pointing to a site then the better this was for getting it ranked and also bringing in traffic. However the game has changed and we now advocate that you should focus on say 50 good quality links pointing to your site rather than 500 that come from low ranked resources with no relevance to your subject matter.

We have tested this theory time and time again over the past two years and it really does work on two levels. Firstly it helps to get your site ranked as Google recognizes that you are being linked to via relevant websites and on the other it brings in targeted traffic with results in sales and exposure.

SEO and backlinks have changed however, in our opinion at least, it is for the better

Keyword Research For Technology Websites

Hi again.

I’m trying to update this blog as much as possible and for my latest post I want to look at keyword research with an emphasis on technology websites. We all know how quickly technology moves. What is relevant today might not be within 6 months time and this is why getting your keyword research right is so important in this market.

As you know SEO has moved on considerably in recent years –  I have blogged about this before – but keywords are still relevant today. How can they be tailored for technology sites? I am going to use the example of an unlock for the Apple iPhone 6 to illustrate my points.

Need For Specific Keywords

The thing with ranking in the tech niche is that you need keywords to be specific. It can be tempting to aim for an iPhone 6 unlock keyword for instance however looking consider how to unlock iPhone 6  as it is much more targeted. Basically more people will be typing in the second keyword phrase than the first.

With any technology website and not just one focused on an iPhone 6 unlock there is a need for long tail keywords to be used. These are a fairly new concept in SEO however they are very effective and if you can rank for a long tail keyword – how to unlock iPhone 6 for example – then you can except a lot of targeted traffic to your site.

Search Social Media

A great way that I have found to conduct keyword research is to search on social media platforms such as Twitter.

What are people tweeting? You might see a tweet saying ‘does anyone know how to unlock iPhone 6? Help?’ and you can then assumed that ‘how to unlock iPhone 6′ is a popular way to finding an unlock for the Apple device. Social media isn’t always used for keyword research however I think that it is a criminally underrated platform to utilize. Many people simply try to advertise on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr however using them for research is just as effective and can show you what people are searching for in real time.

Test Out A Few Keywords

Finally I want to share some of my own techniques with you. Make sure that you aim to test a few keywords and key phrases on your website. If you put all your eggs in one basket so to speak and only focus on one keyword then you are setting yourself up for a fall.

I have been involved in keyword research long enough to know that it takes a lot of trial and error before you get it right. This is the same for everyone from the big corporate company to a sole trader just starting out. For our iPhone 6 unlock example look at several long tail keywords and phrases to see how they perform. You can then take the best performers and focus exclusively on them.

Hopefully this has helped some of you out with your SEO.

Any questions just send me an email!

SEO Tactics For Men’s Cologne Website

Giorgio Armani has been one of the premier men’s perfumes thanks to their ever-lasting reputation and the quality of the products that they provide. However, another tactic which they used successfully to boost their popularity was their websites. They designed them in such a way which encouraged people to go on them and they have also nailed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perfectly. Here are some of the ways they were able to perfect the SEO art.

The first main essential thing in designing a website is making it user-friendly which is exactly what the website designers of the Armani website did. There were no annoying adverts which might deter consumers from staying on the site for an extended period of time and everything was easily accessible from a simple tablocated on the home page which kept everything nice and simple, and ensured that visitors to the site could navigate it easily. This naturally moved the website up the rankings as it began to garner a reputation as being an easy site to use which naturally attracted more consumers to the site, whether that be through online or face-face recommendations.

However,in addition to making the site easy to use, the web designers had to use a wealth of other tactics to make the site SEO friendly. The first thing that they focused on was the domain name and making sure that it contained the name of the brand. If a website is to be visited several times on a repeated basisthen the domain name needs to be memorable and easily associated with what is being marketed. This is the tactic which Giorgio Armani have employed to maximum effect.

The home page is the first place that consumers visit when they log onto the site. This means that it should be in good working order and contain the required jargon to make the page website friendly. It makes sense that Giorgio Armani put their brand name all over the home page so it linked effectively with the algorithm that search engines use to sort websites. However, they also ensured that they put primary keywords on the home page too, which are words that are associated with the field of the market that the company is operating in. So for Giorgio Armani this entailed words such as ‘perfume’, ‘scent’ and ‘men’. Secondary keywords which were more to do with the semantic field of consumers are also necessary and this again something that Giorgio Armani made use of. Typical words that they used included ‘customer’, ‘purchase’ and ‘market’.

The other thing that Giorgio Armani did to maximise their visitors is have eye catching images on their homepage and dispersed throughout the website. These were normally high-definition images of the perfume complete with some positive slogans which carry positive connotations.There were also pictures of male models sporting the perfume and emphasising its sophisticated nature which obviously captivated numerous females and males.

Essentially, Giorgio Armani exploited SEO tactics to the hilt and were ultimately successful in their marketing and thus became one of the best mens cologne.

Key Steps To Approaching Industrial Specific Keyword Research

When doing keyword research for industrial clients such as the warehouse storage equipment research I did this week, the first thing you need to consider is that this is a very localised market – when storing your products in a warehouse obviously you want them stored as close to your business premises as physically possible.

So, attach your location to the keyword, such as “location warehouse storage,” with location being where you live or need the storage.

Next, you need to think about what type of storage you need. For example, if this is for a business, you could attach your business niche to the keywords “warehouse storage” in order to find storage that is more related to your needs.

If you’re not looking for storage but in fact trying to find the right customer who needs the type of storage you offer, you can see how niche tagging applies.

Now, to provide an example, take a look at this keyword phrase “industrial warehouse storage Columbia SC.” This is just an example of how location and a more identifiable niche can be tagged to a keyword in order to find more information or index better with the search engines.

Another part of the keyword research you should pay attention to is size. How much space do you need, or how much space are you offering? It’s not going to do you any good to find keyword search results that do not match your needs, so attach the size.

Also, as you think of different related keyword search terms, they do not all have to be included in the same keyword phrase. You can then start to mix and match keyword search terms to provide different results. For one thing, if you’re the site owner promoting these keyword phrases, interchanging different keywords provides you with a better view or your analytics when it comes to search engine rankings.

As a person searching for warehouse storage, you can interchange different terms to help you find a better variety of results. Now, whether you’re the buyer, renter or seller, you can attach one of these keywords to get the results you need from the search engines as well.

Other ideas include boat storage, document storage, car storage, manufacturers warehouse storage, climate controlled warehouse storage, secure warehouse storage and more. You can attach all kinds of keyword phrases for your search or to help customers find what your space when searching.

How long is the warehouse space going to be available? Is it for rent on a short-term basis, long-term basis, or for sale? What type of security is provided or needed?

The idea here is whether you’re the customer or the company, your keyword research is the same. Customers are going to search for what they need out of a warehouse storage company, and businesses must match the same search terms to find their customers. It’s a reciprocating relationship.

That is how keyword research is made easier for a company. You must think like the customers that are interested in warehouse space. You want targeted customers coming to your site, and you want to be found right?

Doing SEO For Boring E-Commerce Websites

I get a lot of questions here from people wondering how to write SEO articles about boring products for their or their clients websites. I give the same two part answer every time: tell a story and give the product a personality. Let’s look in depth what I mean by that and look at an example of a recent project I completed that took advantage of this tip.

Telling a Story in Your SEO Articles

Stories are memorable and create imagery within the readers brains. Even if the story is about weird old women that ride broomsticks (witches) the story that creates images stick in the reader’s brain. So when you have a boring product like a sump pump that prevents your basement from flooding during a storm you can tell a story about how a man’s basement once flooded and because of that he lost all the treasure he kept hidden under the floorboards in his basement. As long as the reader can imagine and visualize the story it will be interesting and they will read on.

Give the Product a Personality

Humans tend to humanize things. Think about it. People treat their dogs like humans. People go to the zoo and look at an alligator as if it was supposed to act like a human. And so give your boring product human traits. Compare it to other similar products like you would a human. Call it the Michael Jordan of backup sump pumps, if we’re using the sump pump example still. Another way to do it would be to call different styles of your product by human traits. So if the sump pump is the first line of defense call it the customer service pump or the lineman pump. If it’s the pump that always breaks down call it the clumsy kid or the accident prone little one. People find it easy to identify if you do this type of writing for your SEO clients.

Case Study Example Sump Pump Website

The best way to measure if this method of SEO writing works is to look at the analytics of your site. Specifically look at the average time on site and pages viewed per visit. The more time and more pages each visitor spends on the more effective your articles are. For the sump pump client we wrote a total of 10 SEO articles based on the keyword research we performed. One month later and the average time on site went from 1 minute 36 seconds to 2 minutes 24 seconds. And the average number of pages visited went from 1.61 to 2.85. There was a clear effect. We didn’t change anything else on the website accept adding these 10 articles written as described above.

I think we can conclude that telling a story and giving your boring products human features and personalities allows people to identify with them and they enjoy your website more. So next time you’re writing about a boring product for a client ensure you think of a compelling story for the product to shine and try to describe as if it was a human. You’ll see a huge improvement!

Local Optimization in the Home Technology Space

Local Optimization in the Home Technology Space

The home theater and automation business revolves around installing the latest and greatest hardware and software into client’s homes. Everything from lights, shades, music, and even the pool and spa can be controlled from a tablet or phone. But often times these technology guru’s websites are completely lacking when it comes to efficient design and search engine optimization.

One of the biggest draws of the home audio video business is a big screen and big sound. Homeowners want a theater system that looks and sounds like the equivalent of a true movie theater. And while showcasing these sorts of systems is important when trying to generate leads, on-site optimization and an efficient website with high conversion rates is much more important than a ton of pictures.

The owners of home automation and theater companies tend to fall into the trap that more is better where their website is concerned. But when it comes to ranking well within the search engines, you need good content, good speed, and good visitor metrics. Sites that are bogged down with large pictures and flash programming do little to attract the attention of Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

This is a lesson that many integrators have already learned within their own businesses. For many years the trend in home controls was to have flashy graphics and bulky user interfaces. They were often beautiful to look at, but many of them were lacking in intuitive design.

Over the past 5 years, many of these integrators have been taking cues from one of the best in the world at intuitive design. Apple has spent thousands of man hours and millions of dollars designing their GUI (graphical user interface). It has gone through several versions. And the most recent trend is for a more basic look. Less graphics requires less CPU power, and increases the speed of the interface.

And while integrators have taken these changes to heart in their touch panel and remote control designs, they have yet to update the look and functionality of their websites. Of course this is only a small part of the battle when it comes to SEO.

Content on many of these sites is lacking as well. As previously mentioned, many of these sites continue to use flash. And while it looks cool, it provides search engines with almost zero information in terms of ranking the site.

This is one of the biggest adjustments these sorts of businesses need to make in terms of their websites. Finding creative ways to incorporate all of the information they need to give potential clients an idea of what they do, as well as helping their rankings in the search engines. Things such as having address information, brands, services should all be completed in standard HTML format so that it is easily recognizable and ranks accordingly.

This is often a more difficult battle than one would expect. Many of these integrators have invested thousands of dollars into their website, not realizing that it is what it says and not what it looks like that attracts the most visitors.

One home theater and home automation integrator that is taking these ideas to heart is Innovative Sight & Sound. They have offices in Destin and Clearwater Florida. They have embraced the changing world of SEO in order to leverage the leads it can bring in.

 

SEO can make a difference in your wallet

I’m a very motivated person as it comes to money. When I see a chance to make some money I take it. That is why in the early days of the internet I already followed the newest trends. However in the beginning the internet was slow and working behind a lagging internet connection was not that fun.

I have sold a Facebook page about travelling to a travelling agency that was interested because it had a high amount of likes. So I felt there were possibilities to make some good money online. This motivated me to continue.

So I’ve begun to make a wallet site. I don’t sell directly, but through an affiliate. However I do earn a commission when someone buys a wallet or other item.

In the beginning I had no clue on how to optimize my site for search engines. This is something I learned during the process. Making good content was 1 thing, but it will only get you so far. SEO is important to make sure your website attracts organic visitors. Without doing proper SEO it will be difficult to reach an audience.

After reading some of the top 10 SEO tips I started to review my site about wallets. I noticed that I didn’t use my main keyword in my title. This is that blue link that you will find in Google when searching. Adapting this also made sure that the content of my page is more relevant with my page title. Users will click away less when the page they land on corresponds with what they were looking for.

The second thing I did was adding a metadescription. This is important because in Google it’s below the blue link. It convinces users to click through to your site. It’s like having an ad saying “click me because of these reasons”.

I also looked at the heading for my posts. It’s important that my main keywords are in those headings. These were some basic SEO things I implemented on my site. As a result the amount of traffic I received on my website doubled. So this was great.
So for now I only spoke about on page SEO. There’s also off page SEO. But currently I’m not working on it, but it could be the next step.

Another one of the sites I made is this leather briefcase site.. Why? Because I have a leather briefcase myself and it’s really a handy thing to have. Lots of space and easy to carry around are 2 reasons to go buy it.

On this site I also earn by commission and I did the same things as above. The only other thing I did was changing the look and feel to Amazon. I also added some call to action buttons. This is not SEO, but more UX design. The experience a user has on your site is another important factor which can contribute to the amount of goods you will sell. For this reason this last site is converting really well for me. On page SEO has been done and some off page SEO.

The thing I learned from this all is that you should stay motivated and continue to learn. Eventually you will reach your goal!

The Music of SEO – Turning A Trade Into An Art

I’ve never told you all about the other major passion in my life. As well as being a long time SEO enthusiast I’ve also been a musician since I first picked up a guitar at age 15.

In fact, search engine optimization was something that I did to allow me to express myself through music. The simple fact is that it’s not very easy to make money as a singer songwriter. Working hard in an office job and still finding the time to make music is a very difficult thing to do. So it was because of my love of music that I first turned to SEO to try to make websites that would earn me money while I was kicking back with my instrument.

Because of the income from SEO I’ve been able to find the time to learn home recording from guys like Arnold Clavell and Steve Burns. What I wasn’t prepared for what the similarities between these two seemingly different disciplines. While I went looking for a simple way to earn a living I found within SEO not just a job but another art form.

Let me explain, when you first pick up an instrument you can’t do anything. This is when most buddy SEO’s simply give up. They can’t even get the fundamentals of the art form. Every SEO campaign they create is a noisy, messy, cacophony of techniques without form or structure. Like a child banging on the guitar strings without really understanding what they are supposed to do.

This is the 1st stage of learning SEO. Suck like only a totally novice can suck.

Then a budding guitarist starts to take things a little bit more seriously. They learn the fundamentals and start to copy other players. The novice SEO does the same. They find someone that they can learn from. They get some moves and start to copy them.

Many SEO’s never get past this stage; it’s the equivalent of being a guitarist that can only play cover songs. At this stage you are making music, and the SEO is running successful campaigns and ranking sites but they are not doing anything revolutionary. There is no shame is this, if this is your level then I congratulate you, most don’t make it so far. In the music world these guys are the jobbing session musicians or music teachers. Highly valued and respected but it’s not the pinnacle of the art. There is a place beyond.

The next stage is where you move from being a mimic to a real artist. The most amazing SEO’s lead the line with innovative techniques nobody else is doing. They don’t copy, they invent. When there is a google algorithm change it’s the SEO artists that start to get creative to find new ways to play the game and win. And like a musician these guys are not just respected they are revered.

What stage are you at in your SEO journey? Do you play like Eric Clapton or are you more like my old gran? I’d love to hear how you are getting on!

5 Ways to Build Backlinks to Your Website

In the world of SEO, back links are gold. If you’re just starting a website and want to make quick money, try building a couple of back links. It would hasten your ability to make money.

Back links can be built with money, time and energy. If you can afford it, you can outsource this task but it pays to learn the rudiments by initially committing to this task. Here are 5 ways to build back links to your website:

* Leave comments on relevant blogs.

Just search Google for ‘your niche + leave a comment’, a couple of blogs related to your niche would come up and you can leave valuable comments on them with a link back to your website. Avoid comments that do not add value. For you to leave a valuable comment, you have to read the entire article. For instance, if you are running a website on hair clippers, you would look for relevant websites and leave sensible comments on individual grooming and beard trimmer articles.

* Submit Press Releases.

Press releases announce the launch of your blog. If done well, press releases can land you interview opportunities with some media organizations whose websites can give you a link or two. There are free and paid press releases. If you can afford it, you’re better off with a paid release submitted to Webwire.com or PRweb.com. Make sure the release is well-written before submission.

* Submit Your Website to Directories

There are paid and free directories (depending on your budget and preference). Submitting your website to both general and niche directories will get your website a couple of backlinks. And these backlinks are useful for diversifying your backlink profile. It is usually helpful to get backlinks from a variety of sources. Gaining backlinks from one source can land your website in trouble with the big ‘G’. I suggest you use DirectoryMaximiser.com if you want to outsource your directory submissions.

* Submit Infographics

Infographics break a complex subject into a simple message. It costs above $150 to outsource (depending on your taste and preference). You can get a willing provider on Odesk.com. When done, you can submit this infographic to infographic sharing websites and allow other website owners to use on their website. If it is very well done, infographics can land you natural links from other webmasters for a long time to come.

* Submit Slides to Slide-sharing Websites

Aside long articles, you can repurpose your content into slides and submit to slide-sharing sites like slideboom.com and slideshare.net. They not only give you quality backlinks, they also give your content more eyeballs.

Before I go, let me quickly say there are forced and voluntary back linking methods. Forced back links come about when you submit an article, a slide or piece of music to make another webmaster link to you (forcibly).

Voluntary links, on the other hand, occur when a webmaster genuinely likes your content and willingly links to it. These kinds of links carry a lot more weight in the eyes of Google as the Search Giant believes it’s a vote of confidence.

When building links watch how fast you build. Building too many links for a new website could be counterproductive. With backlinks, you can build a highly profitable website and live the kind of life you desire.

Case Study: Lawn Mowers Niche Website

I recently finished up some work on a lawn mowers niche website. The website owners rang me up to perform some keyword research, get them some backlinks and work out a social media strategy. I worked on it part time and it took me a few weeks but, here’s little case study of what I did and the results we are having so far. Enjoy.

Goals

Like I mentioned above the goals of the project for me were to do some keyword research to identify content that the website could optimize around. Get some backlinks from related websites to help grow the traffic and authority (and side benefit of referral traffic from these related sites). And then to devise a social media strategy for the website.

Those were my specific goals but I also needed to get an idea what the website goals were. After a 1 hour Skype call with the owners we decided that the goal of the website was to help users find their lawn mower quickly. Every article had to help do that or it was useless.

Okay, so let’s look at what I did.

Work Completed

It wasn’t my job to complete any content creation but I knew that would be key in getting these guys more traffic and authority. The first task I completed was to send them a list of the 15 best keywords to create articles around. They immediately got to work and completed a page listing the best electric for around the home mowers and a page focusing on a great rear engine riding mower option for large residential lawns. Those are just examples of pages we worked on together and as you can see there are a lot more pages on the website now – as it has been a few weeks.

Next up I went to work contacting fellow lawn mower sites and tried to start a relationship with them so that my clients could begin a mutually beneficial relationship with these website. It took a lot of “massaging” of these website owners but we managed some quality links from related sites. Huge win!

As far as the social media strategy that is more of a work still in progress. We are looking at creating some ‘How-To’ videos with good sound and video and then paying to promote the page on Facebook. We’ll see how that goes as time goes on.

Results So Far

Going from a nothing website to a 20 page website with 20 quality links in 2 months is a great result. The website owners, if nothing else, were more motivated to put in hours while I was being paid to put in hours… They created all the content I simply provided the framework for them to do so.

The website traffic has steadily increased from 0 visits per month to about 25 per day. Obviously, the key to continue increasing that traffic is to continue adding more traffic and to continue to build relationships with other websites in the lawn mower niche and with the users of the website. All in all it was another enjoyable project and a great success so far!

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