Tag Archives: Link Building

Do the Fields of PR and SEO Overlap? A Closer Look at How One Can Strengthen the Other

Do PR And SEO Link Building Overlap - Eminent SEO

Fresh out of college with a public relations degree, I found myself stumbling into the world of search engine optimization – specifically, link building. I wondered how the two realms would overlap, if at all.

A quick refresher: Link building is an SEO tactic that refers to the method of increasing a webpage’s number of inbound links from external sources with the intention of boosting the visibility of that page in search engine results.

There are a handful of different avenues a link builder can take, but the end goal is the same: to get a certain page or website to rank higher in the search results than those belonging to similar competitors. High search engine visibility increases the likelihood of more traffic to a client’s website, which in turns leads to better brand awareness.

Coming to Eminent SEO, this process was new to me. While I understood the general theory behind search engine optimization, I was undoubtedly a rookie, in terms of actually putting the theories into practice.

Fret not. Little did I know then just how much the strategies I picked up from my background in public relations would supplement my new career as a link builder. Before I elaborate on the advantages of how initially entering the workforce as a “PR coordinator” eventually bolstered my link-building approach, I want to relay several key differences.

PR vs. SEO Link Building

In a public relations agency, you are typically promoting a brand or a company. Exposure does not necessarily lead to a link to your brand’s website, but for the most part, any exposure or mention in the press is good.

If your client sells products or services, you’ll want to research and pinpoint journalists or media outlets who would be interested in covering or testing the product out. If you are like me and work in food public relations (yum), you’ll want to send out food samples or coupons to these media outlets in exchange for a product review. Additionally, bloggers are going to be your best friends. (Hint: because bloggers like free stuff.)

Link building, on the other hand, is a completely different ballpark. You are promoting a brand, yes, but more specifically: a brand’s website. As a link builder, you want more than just free press. You want the webmaster or influencer to link back to your site.

In many ways, link-building strategy is much harder than public relations because you need your contact to go that extra step: to link back to you, pretty please? You’re asking somebody for more using less, with no free samples or products to offer as incentive.

No Free Samples The Simpsons - ESEOThis why your creative team needs to produce great content that’s promotable and will make your life as a link builder easier – but you already know that. Bloggers are your friends… sometimes.

Getting the Right Backlinks

On the other hand, if you’re in the SEO industry, you’ll quickly realize that not all links are equal, and certain blogs have more domain authority than others. Getting “exposure” from certain websites can hurt your rankings, and thousands of spammy links is a death sentence for a growing site.

Luckily, the skills I garnered from contacting media outlets for exposure as a public relations coordinator ended up helping my transition into the daunting (but rewarding) field of search engine optimization.

Building Relationships with the Media and Webmasters

Public relations people often carry the stigma of having ulterior motives, and, unfortunately, it’s often accurate. We want to get our clients exposure! However, people hate feeling manipulated, and if you’re begging them for free press every other week, more than likely they’re going to get annoyed.

Black Sails Ulterior Motive Starz - ESEOInstead, what I used to do when I conducted my public relations outreach to various bloggers is begin with a friendly tweet or comment on past blog posts. I wanted to get their attention and have them recognize my name before asking for something outright.

Same goes with link building: In the end, you need something from someone (a link). Veer away from that mindset for a second and think long term. If we can befriend a webmaster, or at the very least give a good impression, they are much more likely to link to us in the future. Start up a conversation without asking for a link (yet).

This is counterintuitive because what I am essentially asking you is to not ask for a link – upfront, at least. It can be as simple as chatting them up about recent industry news, or letting them know you liked their latest blog post so much you passed it onto your coworkers. Once they’ve warmed up to you, you can start asking for shares, retweets and, best of all, links.

Use PR Tools to Your Link-Building Advantage

Max Monster On Computer - Eminent SEOSites like HARO give you direct access to media outlets and reporters looking for a source to quote. If you’re a journalist, you can sign up as a media contact and use the tool to get access to experts and quote them in your next article.

On the flip side, you can sign up as an industry expert and act as the highly knowledgeable source for these articles! This requires more out-of-the-box thinking because oftentimes reporters are covering topics that are only vaguely connected to your industry.

My advice? Don’t grasp for straws here. If it’s too much of a stretch and only kinda-sorta-maybe related to your client, leave it be. Every so often, however, you will strike gold and find a journalist who’s covering something extremely acutely specific to your client’s industry. The trick here is to be patient.

The biggest disadvantage is that you may have to mediate communication back and forth from the client to the media contact. So, after you’ve reached out to the reporter and confirmed their interest in your client, you’ll want to make sure the client is responsive and open to being cited as a resource or expert in their field. Once the client is included in the story, you can request that the journalist to link back to the client’s website upon publishing.

Of course, this strategy works optimally on media contacts who publish their articles or blog posts in reputable online publications.

Use Each Client’s Story or Mission to Enhance Your Outreach Efforts

Meg With Heart - Eminent SEOBecause you represent the client, you need to align yourself with their story. Keeping in mind the “soul” or “heart” of the client’s message will naturally give your outreach more of a voice – and therefore help you differentiate yourself from the rest of the leeches asking for favors.

In the world of public relations, we called them “pitches,” and it’s crucial for your pitch to be well-written and unique to the client. This can get tough when you’re in food PR and you have multiple gluten-free bread clients. How many different pitches can you really write about bread? If you study each client’s backstory and convey their enthusiasm effectively in your writing, the answer is very many.

Outreach as a link builder follows a similar concept. Many webmasters have their inboxes piled up with requests. To distinguish your outreach from others, abandon the boring, soulless email template and draw a clear distinction between your client and their competitors.

To Wrap It Up

While I am still quite new to search engine optimization, I was relieved to discover that what I learned in a public relations agency could be applied to link acquisition. A key variance was that I could no longer offer bloggers or journalists free stuff in exchange for a review (hello, high ROI) and easy exposure.

Instead, I had to rewire my thinking to view the website as the “free stuff.” What makes the website unique? How does it impact consumers? How can I create great resources for the website to draw organic traffic? What can my website offer that competitors cannot? Most importantly of all, what is the most effective way to promote this website and convince people to link to it?

Having to transition from promoting a tangible, material product (such as bread) to a website forced me to ask these questions before beginning any outreach.

Incorporating skills I’ve gained from both the search engine optimization and public relations fields has only strengthened my outreach methodology. A sound link-building strategy, when executed skillfully, will no doubt draw from many aspects of effective public relations.

Nicola Yap

Nicola grew up in San Ramon, CA and graduated from Boston University with a degree in public relations. As an Organic Marketing Strategist, Nicola focuses on developing and implementing outreach campaigns for Eminent SEO’s clients in order to generate organic traffic.

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Is Keyword-Rich Anchor Text No Longer Necessary?

Is Keyword-Rich Anchor Text No Longer Necessary - Eminent SEOAsk any SEO specialist about anchor text, and you may unwittingly spark a lively debate. It’s often a source of both angst and confusion.

With the Google Penguin series of algorithm updates, knowing anchor text best practices is even more important. Here, let’s look into all about anchor text, its role in SEO, and how to make it work for you.

Anchor Text Defined

Anchor text is simply any text that is clickable on a webpage that links to another place on the web. For example, in the phrase, “Eminent SEO can help improve your email marketing strategy,” the anchor text (“Eminent SEO”) links back to our website.

If this link were featured on another website, then you have an example of a process called “link building,” and it’s good for SEO. However, the phrasing can either help your search engine rankings or harm it. The difference is in how you approach your own website’s anchor text, as well as that on other sites that link to yours.

Different Types of Anchor Text

Five Types Of Anchor Text - Eminent SEOSay we’re trying to rank for the keyword “marketing strategy.” There are several types of anchor text that other websites might use to link to ours:

Exact Match

An exact match only anchors the exact keyword we’re looking for:

Example: Eminent SEO can help you hone your email campaign, an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Partial Match

A partial match (also known as a phrase match) anchors the keyword in a phrase:

Example: Eminent SEO can help you hone your email campaign, an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Branded

Branded anchor text would link back to our company, Eminent SEO:

Example: Eminent SEO can help you hone your email campaign, an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Naked URLs

A naked URL has no unique anchor text, just a web address:

Example: Eminentseo.com can help you hone your email campaign, an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Generic

Generic anchor text provides instructions, but does not include any branding or keywords.

Example: Eminent SEO can help you hone your email campaign, an essential part of your marketing strategy. Click here to go to their website.

How Anchor Text Influences Search Rankings

Search engines such as Google use anchor text as a factor in determining a page’s topic and how it should rank. In other words, using the anchor text “marketing strategy” should indicate to Google that the page on the other end of the link is a good fit for that search engine query.

In theory, the more times we score a backlink with the anchor “marketing strategy,” the higher we should rank for that query. But SEO is rarely that simple.

The Problem with Early Anchor Text

When Google’s search algorithm was less refined, the search engine relied heavily on anchor text, perhaps too much so. Around 2008, the company explained that it thought anchors provided more accurate descriptions of websites than the sites themselves. While the practice was sound in theory, it proved to be too easy to manipulate.

SEO specialists could easily cheat the system back then and tie certain adjectival phrases to a specific group or individual. Fair or not, two of the more famous “Google bombs” prior to 2010 were the association of the search phrase “miserable failure” to George W. Bush and “worst band in the world” to Creed.

Google’s Crackdown on Some Keyword-Rich Anchor Text

As a result, the search engine giant began to crack down on the way people could use anchor text for search engine optimization. The largest shift came in 2012, when the first Google Penguin algorithm update released. Its aim? Punishing low-quality and manipulative practices for link building.

Anchor text was one of Penguin’s primary targets, and companies who pursued exact match anchors aggressively saw their Google rankings plunge overnight. The Penguin update was a sort of Black Tuesday for SEO practitioners, who then had to come up with another way to put their websites at the top page of web results.

Companies, too, became twitchy about anchor text, some believing that only branded anchor text was allowed – and that all others would be punished by Google.

How Does Google Punish Anchor Text?

Original Google Penguin Update Affected 3 Percent Of Websites - Eminent SEODoes Google punish everything but branded anchor text? In a word: no. But there’s a right way and wrong way to include anchor text.

Over-optimization of anchor text, for example, is frowned upon. Search engines such as Google and Bing want backlinking to occur naturally. In other words, links should only be in your content if they make sense or if they lead to relevant content. If you have too many links, or if your links look contrived, the Penguin filter could demote the page.

While this sounds harsh, in reality, the original Google Penguin update only affected some 3 percent of websites. If own your content contains links in less than 50 percent of the copy, chances are you will not be affected by Penguin.

What About Link Quality?

Penguin also punishes links that don’t lead to authoritative websites. This discourages rank inflation. Quality backlinking to reliable information ensures your page is relevant. Don’t use anchor text just to grab a keyword. It looks unnatural to Google and will hurt your ranking.

Exact and Partial Anchor Text Still Wields Influence

So, does Penguin punish exact and partial keyword anchor text? A study by Ahrefs sought to find the answer. The study involved analyzing 51 keywords in competitive niches from finance to health, both exact matches and partial matches. Ahrefs found that both exact and partial keyword anchor text continue to have some influence on the top spots in Google searches.

The key here is density. For exact keyword matches, aim for it to be in no more than 1 to 2 percent of all anchor text. Partial matches are more forgiving: 30 percent of anchors containing a keyword phrase are safe from Google penalties.

Anchor Text Best Practices

Google Has Over 200 Ranking Factors - Eminent SEOThe (not-so) final word on anchor text: It continues to influence the top spots in Google searches, especially in competitive niches. But … it’s not as heavily weighted as it used to be since Google now has more than 200 ranking factors.

Don’t be afraid to use keyword-rich anchor text in your own web content, though. If done well, it will help your search engine rankings. Observe some basic best practices:

Make Your Links Relevant

We talked a little bit about the importance of link relevancy in SEO, but it’s more easily understood with an example.

Say you own an aromatherapy store, and you love to blog about it. Ever eager to share your passion with others, you spend a little time each day reading about the newest in aromatherapy. You find an article about a study linking aromatherapy to increased levels of mood-boosting serotonin in the brain.

When you write a blog about this later, you could link back to the study in a couple of different ways:

“To read the study, click here.”

OR:

“A study outlines the effect of aromatherapy on the brain.”

SEO best practices dictate the second phrase (“effect of aromatherapy on the brain”) is more effective, because it is relevant to the topic at hand. Remember, search engines are interested in producing results that are beneficial to the user.

Vary Your Keywords

Google is wary of keywords and anchor text that appear over and over again. If your site’s backlinks all contain the same keyword-rich anchor text, it’s usually a sign those links weren’t acquired naturally.

Shoot for a variety of keyword anchor text, and don’t use the same one each time. This is where the statistics for partial match and exact match keywords come in. In general, try to earn only a few exact keyword matches. Partial keyword phrases are more forgiving, but variation helps in each phrase or term.

And when you’re linking internally or externally, don’t make your anchor phrases too long. Best practice dictates that they should be eight words or fewer for maximum benefit.

For example, if your aromatherapy store is the only store in Atlanta selling sustainable, ethically sourced essential oils, you might want others to link to your website with the keyword phrase “sustainable essential oils in Atlanta.” However, you want the keywords to be varied so you can avoid Google penalties. Similar phrases like these might help:

“Here’s a great site for sustainable essential oils.”

OR:

“Buy quality sustainable oils in Atlanta.”

Each anchor phrase carries pieces of the original keyword, yet they’re varied enough to pass the Google algorithm’s muster.

Bottom Line: Don’t Disregard the Power of Anchor Text

Although dwindling to a degree, anchor text continues to carry weight for current search engine algorithms. Early over-reliance on anchor text has led to a crackdown on the way we use anchor text for SEO purposes. Your mission is to keep earning relevant backlinks with varied keywords, which will help your site earn a place near the top of Google’s rankings.

Search engine optimization is essential for the success of your website. Eminent SEO can help optimize your content (including external links) as well as review your backlink profile. Just call 800.871.4130 if your company needs help with better content and earning stronger backlinks.

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 49: Eminent SEO is Moving, Google My Business Shakeup, November Roundups

Eminent SEO News: We Are Moving, New Hire

Eminent SEO Office

Entrance to Eminent SEO’s new Mesa, AZ office

One month after our sixth anniversary, we signed a lease and got the keys to a bigger and better office space! We’re currently in the process of moving just few miles down the road, and Mesa, AZ will continue to be our home base. If you’re in Arizona, be on the lookout for an open house invite to our new office near Country Club Drive and Baseline Road.

In other Eminent SEO news, we hired a new member to our team: Steven Russo, Fulfillment Associate. As we upgrade our office space, we’re going to be looking to add a few new members to our staff. Keep an eye out for those announcements in the next couple of months. In the meantime, welcome, Steven!

Steven Russo | Eminent SEO

Steven helps manage Eminent SEO’s inventory assets as well as clients’ website and marketing orders. He assists with on-page optimization, website content, link building and various other digital marketing tasks on behalf of Eminent SEO and its clients.
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What’s New in SEO: Major Changes to Google+ and Google My Business Pages

The redesign of Google+ appears to have left local business pages as a casualty. According to multiple reports (and simple observation of current Google+ pages), Google’s social network no longer supports several features on businesses’ pages. The following features, among others, have disappeared:

  • Reviews
  • Stars (ratings)
  • Maps
  • Directions
  • Hours of operation
  • Phone numbers

Some features, however, like reviews and hours, can still be seen if you come across a business in Google Search. A Marketing Land report speculates that Google appears to be giving up on encouraging small businesses to maintain a presence on Google+.

Unless your business has gained measurable traction on the the platform, you may not have to worry about continuously posting to Google+ from now on. However, all we have is speculation at this point when it comes to the future of Google+. It IS clear, however, if you have a local business (a place of business with a physical address other than a P.O. box), then a properly optimized and managed Google My Business page is needed if you want to rank higher on the search engine result pages for local search queries.

For more on the changes to Google+ business pages, check out Marketing Land’s report.

November Social Media Roundup

In November, we paid homage to the month’s many big events, good and bad: Daylight Saving rollback, Veterans Day, Friday the 13th, Paris attacks, Thanksgiving and more. We also chimed in on Twitter’s switch from stars to hearts (aka “favorites” to “likes”) that left many users fuming. Check out the best of our November social media shares from our various accounts:

Believe The Fall Hype Type | Eminent SEO

Praying for France. Praying for peace. Praying for love. #prayingforfrance A photo posted by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

Give Thanks | Eminent SEO

November Marketing Blog Roundup

Looking for some marketing advice that will help boost your business, particularly in the areas of social media, marketing during the holidays, and developing your brand identity? We’ve got you covered! If you missed out on the November posts on our Eminent family of blogs, check out the “best of” below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the Eminent SEO blog so you don’t miss out on upcoming offerings.

How to Market During the Holidays in 2015

Get some ideas here on how to make your business stand out during the holidays and tap into the spending craze. But first, take a look back at the holiday numbers of 2014 to get some ideas on where to focus your efforts this year.

How to Optimize Your Business’s YouTube Videos for SEO

Is your business on YouTube? For one, it should be. Secondly, did you know there’s a process to help your videos show up higher in YouTube’s search tool (and even on Google)? Find out how to optimize each and every one of your videos in this article.

When is the Best Time to Post on Social Media? It’s All Relative

You’ve probably seen several infographics that claim to have the answer to the best time for your business to post to social media. The problem is many of the infographics contradict each other or, at least, the “best time to post” simply changes every few months. The solution for you is to only worry about what works best for your company. Find out what that entails.

Should Your Company Include .com in its Logo Design and Brand Identity?

Several companies, large and small, have “.com” in their official name, and many of the most recognizable brand names got their start by doing this. See the rationale behind including a domain extension in one’s brand identity, and then decide if your company is a candidate for such a rebranding tactic.

Featured Service: Organic Link Building

Even though Google has undergone several algorithm changes in recent years, the search engine still values backlinks, perhaps more than ever. However, there’s an increased focus on quality backlinks, and not the sheer quantity of backlinks.

What is a backlink? It’s when another website links to your website using a hyperlink within their content, making it easy for the user to hop from the hosting site to yours, if desired.

Why do you need backlinks? Google views links as votes, and when important sites link to you, it acts like a vote for your website. The more high-quality “votes” you have, the more of an authority you become with search engines.

Organic Link Building | Eminent SEO
Organic link building is one of Eminent SEO’s longest-running services. We have a team of experts with many years of experience in custom link acquisition, social link bait, business citations and other related link building tactics.

We don’t market your website from link farms and other low-quality domains. Instead, our team works swiftly and diligently to secure natural links from authoritative websites on behalf of our clients, which helps their sites, in turn, build authority in Google’s eyes.

Click here to find out more about our Organic Link Building Services, or just call 1-800-871-4130 today!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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How and Why to Go Beyond Basic Keyword Research When Optimizing Content

Beyond Basic Keyword Research - ESEO

When we talk about keyword research, it starts with opening up Google Adwords Keyword Planner or a similar online tool. From there, we’ll type in a prospective phrase and perhaps pick a geo-location before seeing a page of results, identifying the most appropriate keyword and then calling it a day.

OK, maybe we don’t really “call it a day” at that point. In fact, our work is often just getting started at this phase in the game. We still have to either create a new page of content or update an existing page by implementing the keyword and supporting terms.

If you think the new or updated page will automatically show up on the first page of the search engine results within a couple of months, think again. Going beyond basic keyword research is just the first step in propelling a landing page or other piece of content to page one of the results. Keep reading to find out what you need to do.

To Basic Keyword Research and Beyond!

Part of the battle in optimizing online content is being able to distinguish user intent. There’s a huge difference between search terms that are meant to learn more about an item or concept and search terms that are meant to research products or find an item to purchase.

3 Types of User Intent in Search

SEO experts generally recognize three types of user intent when it comes to search queries:

  1. Navigational
  2. Informational
  3. Transactional

Navigational searches happen when the user already has the name of a website in mind and is just trying to find the official domain. In most cases, there is only one right answer when the user is conducting this type of search.

Informational searches try to answer the user’s question or help him or her learn more about a specific topic. Relevant information can often come from several different web pages, and the user in this situation generally is agnostic to which source provides the answer.

Transactional searches mean a purchase is about to take place – or, at the very least, the user is researching a product or service that will lead to money changing hands at a later date. Like informational searches, transactional searches are often conducted without a specific website in mind. The best product and/or the best price often win out during these types of searches.

Understanding the Different User Intent Types

In Keyword Planner, you’ll often get a mix of informational and transactional search terms in your results list. The key is not optimizing for an informational keyword if you’re hoping to get search users to buy from you. The inverse is also true: You don’t want to have an informational content piece optimized for a transactional keyword, because then your content is misleading search users.

Therefore, you need to go line by line in your Keyword Planner results and be able to distinguish which keywords are informational and which ones are transactional. Make sure the type of keyword you choose lines up with the intent of the page you’re optimizing.

Do you want search users to buy a product or service from you? Go with a transactional keyword.

Do you want to lead users to and keep them on your website by providing high-quality, relevant information? Then make sure you optimize for an informational keyword.

Checking out the Competition

Many SEOs forget to check out the existing results for a desired keyword before they embark on optimizing a piece of content. They’re missing out on critical guidance in helping their content reach the first page of the results.

All you’ve got to do is take your targeted keyword and type it into Google. From there, you’ve got to click through to the results on the first and even second page. Review these individual pages for their length and presentation, including how they address the given search query.

At this point, your goal is to concoct content that you feel is much, much better than your competition, whether you’re creating something from scratch or giving an existing page a facelift. Can you go more in depth on the subject? Can you provide additional relevant information that your competitors are leaving out? Can you make the piece more visually appealing than what you’re seeing in the search results under that keyword?

If the content you’re optimizing is more informational in nature, keep in mind that long-form content does well on Google – not to mention on social media and in other arenas, too. If you’re trying to sell a specific product, especially if it’s one that other ecommerce sites carry, refer to these 10 tips for maximizing organic traffic to the desired page.

Don’t Forget to Focus on Backlinks

As you are going beyond basic keyword research and assessing your competition for a certain search phrase, you should also take a look at what kind of backlinks each of the competing pieces of content has. This is easy to do through the Moz toolbar or Majestic. These tools will show you how many other sites are linking to a page you’re currently visiting.

You can also visit the pages that link to your competitors and see the context of why they linked out in the first place. You might find that some of the results Google gave you for a search term might have been created years ago.

After Your Optimized Piece is Complete

Once your content page is finished, you may want to reach out to the sites linking to your competitor and tell them you have something that is more current and informative than the older results you found. All it takes is a cordial email or phone call. If you’re able to get a response, you may see some of those sites switch their link from your competitors to you, or they might just figure out a way to link to your site from the very same page.

As you’re checking out the links to competing content pieces, you may notice a few pages are lacking in high-quality backlinks, even though it is one of Google’s foremost ranking factors. Perhaps these competing content pages have links from low-quality sites, comment spam, etc. If this is the case, then it’s really time for you to start working on acquiring your own high-quality backlinks to your finished piece of content. Don’t be afraid to personally reach out to companies or websites that you think would find your content relevant. Use these tips if you’re unfamiliar with the process of organically reaching out for backlinks.

Getting to Page One

Understanding the different types of keywords and sizing up your competition will be crucial to crafting content that deserves to be on page one of the search engine results. Once you see what your competitors have done, you’ll get ideas on how to do it better.

Everyone behind the content that’s featured on page one has likely moved on to other affairs, such as other web pages that are targeting other keywords. Using the advice you just read will help your content ascend to page one of the search rankings while your competitors’ backs are turned, meaning more web traffic for you.

Eminent SEO can help when it comes to creating a new page or optimizing an existing page on your website. We conduct throughout keyword research and deliver high-quality content, as well as follow-up organic link-building efforts. To find out more about our Website Marketing Services, click here or call 1-800-871-4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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Understanding the Future of SEO: What to Expect in 2016 and Beyond

Understanding the Future of SEO

Search is an ever-changing landscape of different variables that quantify what makes a website strong enough to rank. As we approach the end of 2015, some of us may be wondering what to expect in 2016 for SEO. My team had the opportunity to attend the Pubcon event in Vegas recently, and I’m happy to share what we learned in terms of the future of SEO.

A lot of businesses owners are still behind the times and are really going to feel it this coming year. If your business has yet to implement a responsive design, semantic markup, and a website that speaks to users, now is the time to implement those things. Otherwise, wait and fail because the future of search isn’t about the older demographic, but millennials and how they’re buying.

Focus on Mobile or Fail

We need to start looking at mobile optimization first since mobile search has finally reached a tipping point and has surpassed desktop search. Because of that, there are now mobile-specified algorithms that focus on mobile location and providing fewer results to the mobile user, but more qualified results than ever before.

As business owners and marketers, mobile optimization strategies need to speak to the mobile audience. This encompasses mobile voice search, mobile website design, mobile apps, and mobile website usability.

Mobile Effect for the Future of SEO

Optimizing for Mobile Voice Search

Traditionally, websites have been optimized for important key phrases because that’s how users would use a search engine. Now, with mobile voice search services such as Siri and Google Voice, users are approaching search in a different way. Google’s Hummingbird update directly speaks to voice search users, which allows the search engines to interpret full questions.

Instead of only optimizing websites with important keywords, start thinking about your audience and what questions they may be asking when your product or service will provide the solution. Simply adding a FAQs section to your website that answers these questions with well-researched answers would help optimize the site for voice search.

Optimizing Mobile App Traffic Sources

Since millennials are using their phones for more than just texting and searching Google, we need to be forward thinking when it comes to how they are searching within other apps. Social apps alone are a huge data source for search. Think about Pinterest. Have you searched for recipes on Pinterest? It has become its very own search engine. Therefore, businesses need to be optimized on social apps as well.

Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Users

When designing and optimizing a website, mobile design needs to be the first thought, since it’s where the majority of your traffic is going to come from. If it hasn’t happened already, it inevitably will happen soon. Optimizing the following website considerations will help provide a better mobile user experience:

  • Optimize website speed times.
  • Javascript, CSS, and image files should not be blocked from search engines.
  • Use Schema.org structured data to enhance the rich snippets for mobile.
  • Prevent the usage of pop-ups.
  • DO NOT use any Flash, since mobile devices cannot read Flash.
  • Make sure buttons and navigation are designed for big, fat fingers.
  • Localize your footer with the correct Name, Address, and Phone Number for local search.
  • Make sure the content reads well on mobile by optimizing headers and calls to action.

Use Responsive Design

Responsive design allows your website to scale to fit all devices seamlessly. There are still certain tweaks that need to be made to make sure the content is optimized correctly for mobile, but the website is pretty much the same on mobile as desktop, whereas mobile-specific sites may only show mobile users selected areas of your website, not the entirety of the site.

Mobile Optimization

Include Schema Markup in Your On-Page SEO Strategy

Schema markup can enhance your presence in the search engine results by telling search engines exactly what your data means. When search engines understand what the data means, they can provide valuable rich snippets of your content right in the SERPs.

There are different schema markup types available for different content types, including: local, restaurants, products, reviews, recipes, ratings, events, articles, apps, and more. Implementing schema markup will help increase your website CTR, which can lead to higher rankings. We’ll talk more about that later. Take advantage of Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to determine what schema to use for your site.

Optimize Content for Long Clicks

A valuable metric which I’m sure is overlooked by many is the average time on site and whether a user is bouncing off a specific page right away. Long clicks influence rankings, which was once a speculation but now is reality, per Rand Fishkin at Pubcon.

Answering Your Users’ Direct Questions

This can be done by having an interactive website with user-engaging content that walks visitors through the funnel, page by page. This also goes back to optimizing for voice search. Having a solution to a problem will help keep visitors on your site and engaged with your content longer. Directly speaking to your audience with your content is CRUCIAL!

Social Platform Sharing and Headline Optimization

How else can long clicks be established besides from the search results? Social signals can also be a huge advocate for creating long clicks on your blog posts and website content offers. For so long, we’ve been focused on the amount of shares, when in reality, it’s the amount of long clicks your content receives from social that will be the breadwinner in achieving higher rankings for that article you spent so much time on.

To do this, your headlines must match your content and be straight to the point. That way, users aren’t surprised when they click on your article to find that it is completely irrelevant to the title, causing them to bounce off.

Storytelling with Your Content

Instead of writing some plain, boring product description, use storytelling to explain that specific product and how it can relate to your consumer. Ask yourself this, if your content was removed from the web, would anyone miss it?

Be Creative with Your Link Building Strategies

In a recent blog post, we spoke about how you can create valuable content that will increase backlinks. This is the future of link building and what every site needs to have in order for high quality sites to link back to you. Other ways to generate quality backlinks include:

  • Scraping competitor backlinks, sorting out low quality sites and going after high quality sites.
  • Crawling competitor sites to find broken links. Now look at the links pointing to that page and outreach to those sites with your page that’s not broken.
  • Discovering new sites by utilizing Twitter and other social platforms in your niche.
  • Creating infographics that speak to your audience and share them until they go viral. Once your infographic goes viral, you will see the backlinks increase.
  • Creating content on your site that speaks directly to a site you would like a link from.

Data, Data, Data: You Gotta Have It

The final important SEO factor for the future and now is accumulating as much data as you possibly can. At Pubcon, we learned that “data is the new oil.” It’s that important.

Data Capturing for Marketing

So, what kind of data should you be collecting? All of it.

Audience-Specific Data

Data-driven marketing starts with understanding the consumer and audience. Collecting this information up front is crucial to the content strategy, since you’ll want to know whether to tailor content to a specific gender, age group, geographic area, etc. Develop your ideal buyer persona based on current audience data, which can be collected from social platforms and Google Analytics.

Identify Patterns in Data Sets

Patterns tell a story with the data. There are different types of data that can provide different patterns. For example, when running a crawl report on your website, look for patterns in page types. Start by collecting the page data via crawl, identify footprints, and then sort/filter/pivot by page type. Page types can include: blog posts, archive pages, static pages, paginated comments, attachment pages, etc.

Once filtered, what do you see as the majority page type? If there’s a huge amount of a certain page type over all the other page types, chances are something is off technically with the site. You probably wouldn’t know that existed without identifying the pattern.

Other SEO patterns to be keep a lookout for may include:

  • On-page link to content ratios
  • Footer links with exact match keywords
  • Off-site anchor text exact match percentages
  • Duplicate pages and content

Use Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics

Understanding your audience can be two-fold: the buyer and the learner. In order to understand their separate ways of navigating through your site, you must use custom dimensions in Google Analytics. Once you’ve tagged a visitor as a buyer or learner, you will be able to identify patterns in how each user follows the funnel. This data is extremely important because you can better optimize for each audience, which will help increase your conversions.

Takeaways

In order to keep up with SEO, you must have these big factors in play. SEO is NOT dead, nor will it ever be dead. It’s just gotten a lot more complex. Basically if your website isn’t mobile friendly, has minimal content for users, and you’re not tracking your success, you will eventually fail. You can’t have a SEO plan without any of these factors in play. We’ll leave it with this closing quote from Pubcon:

“SEO success is adaptation. Data is critical to growth.” – Duane Forrester from Bing

If you’re overwhelmed by what goes into SEO today, don’t be. We are here to help. Give us a call.

Eminent SEO Max Swag Pubcon 2015

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That Lay Out The Foundation For Any Online Marketing

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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How Content and Links Work Together for Better Organic Marketing

This entry was posted in Content, SEO and tagged , on by .

content and links

Link building has dramatically changed in the past couple years with all of the Google algorithm updates. With the changes a lot of people started thinking that content marketing is the new SEO. That isn’t true, but SEO has changed to include a lot more content in the strategies. Both are needed to build a strong organic marketing strategy.

The Difference

Content marketing and link building work together, however, they are totally different techniques. Link building includes seeking out relevant websites and sources related to the primary keywords that the website should rank for. Content marketing is more of an inbound marketing technique used to attract target customers and guide them through the sales funnel through content..

How They Work Together in Your Organic Marketing Campaigns

Quality content can acquire natural backlinks, while quality backlinks can create conversation and more content. Same goes for each landing page on your website, the content needs to answer the end user’s problem in order to have a high conversion rate. Here are some more ways these two work together:

It All Begins with the Right Keyword Strategy and Website Content

Keyword research is is a must if you expect to attract the users who are looking for a solution your company can offer. Whenever we put together a custom strategy, we always include an initial research phase that helps set us develop the on-going organic marketing strategy and that phase includes keyword discovery and research.

After researching appropriate keywords and laying out a sold strategy, the keywords need to be implemented in the website content and on-page SEO.. Each page should have a primary root phrase along with supporting phrases that are integrated into the meta data and throughout the content so that it flows naturally.

Once the page of the website is optimized for the selected keywords, it is appropriate to write a blog post to promote that page and link to it internally, also using the same keyword strategy.

With today’s link building tactics, it looks unnatural to have only anchor text links pointing to a specific URL within a website. This is why the keyword strategy within the content of the website is so important. Links still need to point to the page for it to rank, but the content is how search engines are going to determine the keywords that page should ran for.

Users Naturally Share and Link to Quality Content

Another way you can get content and links work together is by producing quality content that users will link to. In-depth content pieces are typically linked to the most, which can include: infographics, eBooks, webinars, case studies and blog posts. If the content is suitable for the buyer persona you are targeting, this is also a great way to increase leads. Capture their information with a landing page form that is required in order for them to receive this beautiful piece of content. Encourage these users and leads to share and link to your content by having social sharing icons readily available on the content and landing page.

Leverage Social Media to Target Other Top Influencers

Content marketing isn’t only blog posts and eBooks, it’s also social media. Social indicators can help build exposure and rankings for a piece of content. For the in-depth content pieces, utilize Twitter and tweet it out to others in the industry. Don’t spam people, but target a few influencers who you know would be interested in your content piece specifically. More retweets and shares means more social indicators. Social indicators not only build exposure, but they help other linking look more natural to the search engines. You really have to have social presence and other links coming in regularly if you want your linking to appear organic. One type of linking only can look spammy.

Link to Your Content as a Primary Call to Action on Blog Posts

When there is a specific blog post that is ranking high in the SERPs from links and shares, you want to make sure you capture those users. A huge part of SEO is user behavior. You want users to stay on your website longer, so having a primary call to action at the end of each blog post will keep users interested and wanting to learn more. This tells search engines that your content is relevant and high quality. Adding a button at the end of your blog post that links to the landing page where your eBook is hosted will not only capture leads, but keep users on your site longer. Blog posts can attract users through high rankings from links, while the call to action will nurture them through the funnel and help turn them into a qualified lead. This is just another great example of how content and links work side by side.

Takeaways

Content and links work together to produce increased website viability. Search engines LOVE fresh content and so do users. When a piece of content is keyword-rich and has quality links and shares pointing to it, it not only increases your organic presence, but you can capture leads at the same time. The other perk is people will naturally link to and share content that is high in quality and useful for them which, in turn, helps build your organic presence naturally. And let’s face it, that is ultimately what the search engines want anyways.

Need help with content creation and organic marketing? Call today and we can help: 800-871-4130

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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Organic Link Building Post Penguin

Penguin taking a leap of faith

With the Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates there is a lot of question as to what is going to be an effective strategy for organic marketing moving forward. Let’s just clear this up right now. Links are more important than ever before – but the right kind of links.

It’s not about volume, it’s not about high PR, it’s not even just about quality – it’s about what appears to be the most natural OVERALL link strategy. What does this mean? Let me break it down for you:

  • Only all higher PR, authority links in your backlink index looks unnatural.
  • If no one is talking about your website socially, but lots of websites are linking to you, this looks unnatural.
  • If no one is reviewing your site, mentioning your business name, but linking to you with a “keyword” as the anchor text, this looks unnatural.
  • If too many people are linking to you with specific keywords that have higher search volume in your specific vertical, this looks unnatural.

Yes, Google has changed their algorithms – but people have changed the way they use the internet too. People live on Facebook, they share like crazy on Pinterest, they rant on Twitter, they comment on their favorite blogs… people are more social than ever before and they naturally share, link to, comment on and “like” what they see on their favorite sites.

You still need to have a solid keyword strategy. You still need to have a properly optimized website. You still need fresh, quality content. You still need to optimize your website for a great user experience. You still need to build a great navigation for better indexing. You still need to have a site that loads quickly…. You get my point…

BUT, without a good linking strategy, you shouldn’t expect any organic rankings with Google, Yahoo or Bing.

So now what?

Get links. But, get the “right links”.  Of course this requires strategic planning that can expert link building team that can properly execute the plan. However, here are some things you should consider:

  • Social – Google +, Facebook, Twitter, etc
  • Video – YouTube, Vimeo, etc
  • Dedicated Blogging – Links from “SEO Friendly” blogs that talk about you in their blog copy
  • High End Press Releases – Quality, newsworthy content – submitted to the RIGHT places
  • Local – Maps, directories, local business review sites, etc
  • Authority Websites – News sites, relevant sites in your industry that have trust with Google, etc

Of course you also have to consider HOW you place your links, not just WHERE. Too many anchor text links looks artificial. So, you have to focus on your brand, your website URL, reference links, business citations and variations of your root target phrases. If you already have too many links for any one keyword, you have probably already hit the radar and you should avoid getting more anchor text links in the future and focus primarily on your brand and variations of your website URL.

Lastly (but not least-ly *ha*)– consider link velocity. Sure, great content, announcements and website specials can create a bump in linking, but overall Google is looking at the link trends and if you have too many links coming in all at once followed by no links for a long time, this does look artificial. You want a link trend that can be trusted over time. Slow and steady wins the race here.

Looking for a post Penguin Marketing Package? Gimme a call: 800.871.4130 ex 1 – We have you covered.

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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Organic Search Engine Optimization Services and the All-Important Backlink

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You may think your do-it-yourself approach to SEO is working just fine and you’ve got no reason to worry about outsourcing your online media marketing solutions, but have you considered your website back-end? The search engines do – in the form of backlinks. So just what exactly is a backlink? Simply put, it’s a link from another website that links back to yours. All search engines, especially Google, include backlinks in their algorithms for rankings. Basically, the higher the number of quality backlinks a website has, the more relevant it becomes in a search query, and the more traffic it’ll get. Easy, right? Maybe not. Read on to learn more about what constitutes a quality link, and how Eminent SEO can help your website get more backlinks.

A naturally-built link profile will prevent your site from fluctuating in rankings on Google and other search engines. Backlinks will also enable your site to rank for keywords that you haven’t even considered optimizing for yet! Search engines prefer a varied and wide-ranging diet of links, so natural appearing Google link building should stem from a fairly large assortment of sources. Blogs, social bookmarking sites, directories, forums, YouTube, social media sites – the entire gamut. Having a link profile which appears to be naturally-built over time by a variety of sources is the ultimate key to getting those high search engine ratings every business is after.

Another way to look at it is to imagine each link to your site as a vote of confidence of sorts – a wide variety of links reinforce your authority – not just among the search engines, but among users and potential clients as well. If your site has indexed backlinks from a large assortment of sources, collected over time, it makes you look, well, legit.

As with all things SEO, the key is consistency and patience. Unfortunately, for the busy business owner, both items may simply be in short supply. Lucky for you, you’ve got Eminent SEO to help you with the process and build quality links for you in a natural way.

Contact us today and get started building those all-important backlinks today!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Link Building FAQ’s – A Twitter Chat

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Thanks again to those of you who participated in our very first Twitter Chat.

What’s a Twitter Chat?

Oh, you remember the days of on-line chat rooms… similar to an on-line chat room, a Twitter Chat is when a group joins together at a specified time on Twitter.com and discusses a specific topic. The initiator (in this case our corporate Twitter account: @eminentseo) sets the date and time and invites you to join using a specific #hashtag (in this case we used #ESEOChat). Anyone on Twitter who wants to participate simply needs to search for #ESEOchat and in the results will be served a feed displaying all Tweets that include the specified #hashtag. Check it out here: #ESEOChat

In order to keep some structure, we believe there should be a series of questions presented, and an expert brought in to answer them. There are no rules or restrictions and anyone who chooses to follow along can simply search and stay on the search, refreshing as new Tweets are populated, or join in by using the #hashtag. If they want to also ask the question to the expert – they should @ the Twitter handle of the expert as well.

The great thing about the #hashtag becoming a search query is you can save it and return to it at your convenience, so if you miss a Tweet Chat or have to leave early, all you have to do is return to the search and you can still see all Tweets using that specific tag.

#ESEOChat Dec. 21st 10-11AM MST, Topic: Link Building

Today, @eminentSEO asked me, @dayofjen, a series of questions related to Link Building. For those of you who missed it or found it hard to follow along, I promised a recap on the corporate blog. I was surprised at how few questions I actually got to answer (the hour flew by!), so below you will find additional questions that we didn’t get to today.

From the Twitter Chat:

Question 1 –“How much of SEO is link building?”

My Twitter answers:

  • Google is looking for 2 things – content and links. So, you need fresh, up to date content and enough backlinks to outrank your competition.
  • If you have a fully optimized, beautifully designed, content rich website and no links, you have no rankings.
  • After you have optimized your website, in order to rank organically in the SERPS, you need one way, inbound links – and lots of them.
  • SEO can be broken down into 2 parts: on-page and off. Links are the off page SEO that help your on-page SEO rank.
  • Links increase your search engine visibility. Links help you gain authority. Links help the engines know what to rank you for.

Question 2 – “Why do I need Link Building?”

My Twitter answers:

  • A website without links is like a store with no address. Sure, it’s there, but how is anyone going to find it?
  • Link building is like a voting system, the more votes your site gets using a key term, the higher the engines will rank you for that term.
  • Links increase your search engine visibility and ensure your website gains the authority it needs to rank.
  • Your competition already has links – so, you need links too, otherwise they will continue to rank, you won’t.

Question 3 – “How does a new business/mom and pop shop compete with the big guys when it comes to link building?”

My Twitter answers:

  • We can help a website rank with any budget. So, if you have a lower budget, we find your niche and we start there.
  • There are still “low hanging fruit” opportunities in ANY vertical – it’s our job to find those terms and start there.
  • Once a client has success in a smaller niche, we expand their keywords into tougher, higher searched terms.
  • After a client has gained momentum on a smaller scale, they need to reinvest some of their ROI to see more growth.

 

More Link Building FAQ’s that didn’t make it in today’s chat:

Question – What are the most effective types of links?

  • It’s not about link TYPE alone, it’s about creating a natural looking link trend that can be trusted.
  • This generally includes a diverse strategy that integrates links from a variety of sources.
  • The “perfect” link would be from a relevant, high PR authority site with tons of indexed backlinks & little to no other outbound links.
  • But having “perfect” links only is actually bad. You want diversity; Google is looking for organic link trends.
  • It’s easy for Google to detect a paid linking campaign – so you have to mix it up in order to see the best results.

More on my thoughts regarding link building here

Question – How can you be sure that your link building strategies won’t get my site banned or penalized?

  • All link building comes with a risk. The key to outsourcing is to work with a reputable company who understands those risks.
  • We have been building links for over 7 years, we know the algorithm and we know what the engines are looking for.
  • When the algorithm changes, we adjust. Over the years we have never had a client banned or permanently penalized.
  • Link building can be grey – but the results speak for themselves. Without links, you don’t have traffic anyways.
  • We take care to ensure links are safe AND effective. We have strict criteria and we follow that strategy.

Question – Can you determine an estimated number of links and of what type of links is needed to get to the top of the rankings for any given niche?

  • Yes. We do extensive backlink comparison reports to see what the ranking sites are already doing so we can suggest what you should do.
  • Your competition isn’t always who you think it is. We need to discover what keywords you should rank for first.
  • Once we know who your true online competitors are, we can see what they are doing to prepare a strategy to outdo them.
  • This can be by link type, volume, keyword variation, pages linked to, etc

Question – What can I expect to spend on Link Building services?

  • Small businesses spend anything from $250-$10K in links a month to achieve their website traffic goals.
  • Link building budgets should be determined based off of the keywords you want to rank for.
  • Difficult keywords are going to take bigger budgets to rank for. If you don’t have a large budget, you have to go for less difficult terms.
  • As a general rule, we tell people you should be spending 20% of your goal revenue on marketing every month to reach your goals.
  • You want to make $200K from your website? You need to spend at least $40K per month in marketing (more than just links).

Question – Are there any guarantees with Link Building services?

  • No. There’s no telling how the engines or your competition will react. Anyone offering a guarantee is bogus, or works at Google. LOL…
  • But seriously, links are powerful, but there are many other variables that need to be considered when looking for results.
  • If your website is not optimized properly, if your strategy isn’t aggressive enough, etc, than the links aren’t going to be as effective.
  • At the end of the day, you still need fresh quality content, properly optimized on page elements AND links (the right amount and type).
  • We can make educated projections but we can’t say Yes, Mr. Client, I guarantee you will be #1 in Google if you spend X amount of $’s – it just doesn’t work that way.

Question – How do you measure ROI with Link Building? / How do I know what you’re doing is actually helping?

  • Link building is all about targeting specific keywords. We benchmark those terms and then track your rankings month by month.
  • We also gain access to the website analytics and track the click throughs, the time on site, conversions and other key performance metrics.
  • Our efforts are all results based – so the plan is to start with a well thought out strategy and then modify it as we go according to the analytics.
  • For call centric businesses, we can even install call tracking metrics and ensure the calls are quality AND they convert.
  • When link building is part of a more comprehensive marketing strategy we offer custom reporting and goal setting.
  • All of our services are results based. We want to see steady improvement in your organic rankings AND website traffic.
  • Your increased website traffic should be converting into an increase in sales. If not, there’s a website problem that needs to be fixed.

The list of Link Building FAQ’s goes on and on – so look out for a Link Building FAQ blog part 2 coming soon. If you have a specific question you want answered, you can always send me an e-mail: Jenny@eminentseo.com and I will be sure to respond to you directly and/or include your question in a future blog post.

And, if you really want to chat about what links can do for your website, call me: 1.800.871.4130 (ext 1)

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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