Tag Archives: Link Building

Why Tracking Your Organic Search Rankings Will Drive You Insane

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Anyone who uses SEO techniques to increase their organic search engine visibility and traffic should be measuring their results. However, HOW you measure and WHAT you measure should depend on your specific business goals.Organic Rankings

SEO is tricky stuff, especially with Google and their insane amount of algorithm updates and data refreshes. SEO techniques that used to work a few years ago are practically obsolete now. You really need to perfect your marketing strategies if you expect to make money online. It’s no longer about mass quantity. Everything is about quality…. especially when it comes to traffic and leads. It’s too time consuming and costly to simply target anything and everything relevant to your business. It’s better to research and test very specific topics so you can better understand your user behaviors and market to your future prospects more precisely.

I mean, who cares how much traffic you get to your site if none of it converts!

It’s easy to get caught up in your website rankings and traffic, but the real number you should care about is your bottom line!

If your marketing campaigns are resulting in conversions, it shouldn’t matter where you rank specially for any one particular keyword phrase on any given day. Besides, rankings LIE!

Let me break it down for you:

Your location matters.

Go to Google right now and type in something general, like “SEO”. I’m in Mesa Arizona. Guess what I see? Arizona SEO firms. Not because they are the top SEO sites in the world, but because I am searching from an IP in Arizona! The search engines aren’t stupid. They know where you are and they are giving you results based off of your current physical location. This is especially apparent when you search for something local, like a restaurant or a daycare. Google and Bing want to give you local results as much as possible, and you will see varied organics depending on where you are when you search.

Note: This is why having a Google + Local Map and a Bing Map is so important for any business that wants local, geo-targeted traffic!

Your web browsing history matters.

You’ve heard it before, websites and search engines store cookies in your browsers and use this data to determine what they should serve you. When you visit a website frequently, Google will start to assume you want to see that site in your search results, and the site will start to appear higher when you search organically.

If you want “real” organic results, you can clear your web history and cookies or try using a Proxy server to search instead.

Personalized results are influenced by social signals.

Bing is integrated with Facebook, so when you are logged in to both, guess what you see when you search? If you search for a topic related to something your Facebook friends have liked, shared, or otherwise recommended, you will see it in your organic Bing results.

The same thing goes for Google. Google wants you to be logged in at all times, encouraging you to use their free services for almost everything you do. When you are logged in to your Google + account, anyone with you in their circles will see your +1 recommendations in their organic results.

Sure, you can log out and your results will change, but many people don’t even realize they are logged in and therefore social indicators are heavily influencing search.

Technical aspects play a huge role.

Google has hundreds of data centers, when you query Google (or Bing) you are pulling data from one of hundreds of data centers that houses information. You could be searching for the same thing I am from across the room or across the country and see different results.

Also, websites can re-index day to day; many variables can change the way Google decides to index and display a site at any given moment. A site can add content, change content, remove pages, add pages, update their on-page SEO, gain new links, loose links, etc etc. All of these factors play a role in how Google will choose to rank a site and it can vary day by day.

Bottom Line:

If you Google yourself (your business, your keywords, your brand) too much, you are asking for an anxiety attack! Of course you want to know IF you are ranking, but you will know how well you are doing when you look at your organic and referral traffic. If your analytics show traffic is coming from the engines, you know you are ranking. You don’t need a rankings report to tell you that!

Remember, you need to track traffic (where it’s coming from – source and keyword) and how that correlates with conversions. If you are investing marketing dollars, you need to know how that money translates into sales.

Don’t drive yourself insane measuring results that don’t matter. Focus on traffic and sales and let your marketing team worry about the rest.

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Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). 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 focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.

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Organic Link Building Post Penguin

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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.

Avatar for Jenny Stradling

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). 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 focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.

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Internal Linking – The Best Of What’s Around

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If you own a website that’s not getting much traffic, you may need to rethink your internal linking strategy. Internal linking refers to the practice of placing hyperlinks that direct users to the same domain as the domain of the initial link… in essence, a link that is pointed at a page located on the same site.

What’s The Point?

Think this sounds a little silly? You’re not alone. In fact, internal linking is one of the most commonly misunderstood SEO and site development practices. Though, when the practice is implemented properly, the benefits include improved site usability and search rankings. Call it your very own dirty little secret.

Best Practices

1 – Make a point to utilize text-based links alongside proper link structures.

2 – Every link should include keywords in the link text.

One aspect of the rankling algorithm includes looking at the link text and comparing it to the page being linked. Do your best to avoid using links like “home” or “Click here” as text links, as they will be disregarded.

3 – Each and every page on your site should be linked from your home page.

Smaller sites consisting of 10 pages or less can generally use their home page as an effective site map. Sites that are a bit larger will require a separate page to help users navigate. If you use a sitemap page, make sure to include content other than links.

Sitemaps are valuable for a number of reasons, including:

–           Google will be able to locate and crawl various site pages faster

–           Your customers will locate what they’re looking for in a more efficient manner

–           Your PageRank will be distributed to other pages of importance

4 – Make certain that each page includes a link to at least one other page.

This practice will help your customers navigate your site easier and help Google crawl your site more quickly. Pages that have links to but not from them will not receive nearly as much traffic.

5 – Limit your links!

Now that you know the drill, you may feel inclined to throw a little link party. Unfortunately, this practice is frowned upon.

Most search engines adhere to a 150 link limit per page before they quit crawling other pages found linked-to from said page. While this limit is known for it’s flexibility, to be safe, it’s best to limit the links on most pages to 150 or else risk losing the crawl.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is… the little stuff still counts. By taking the time to master the basics, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got a solid foundation to build from. But hey, if this sorta thing ain’t your style, your pals at Eminent SEO are ready and eager to help!

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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)

Avatar for Jenny Stradling

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). 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 focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.

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Link Building for SEO – A Few Tips

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Everyone can agree that link building is key to search engine optimization, but it’s much easier than it sounds. To be honest, the easiest and most sure way is to hire a web marketing company and have them launch a cohesive link building campaign on your behalf. Some people like to do things the hard way, so here are our tips. If it doesn’t work out, and you find yourself in need of a internet marketing firm after all, just give us a call!

A great place to start is curating. You don’t need to be an expert or a terrific writer to create linkworthy content. Usually it’s websites that aggregate other people’s original content which people find themselves visiting religiously. Just remember to give proper credit where credit is due. If you’re a decent, somewhat entertaining writer, another thing you can do is do a little guest blogging. Everyone who has a blog likes to take a day off here and there, and let someone else do the work creating content. Research has shown that it takes eight views of a brand name or logo to have it stick in a person’s memory On the web, your name is your brand, and guest blogging helps you get it in front of people’s eyeballs and into their brain. Guest blogging not only gets you links, it also can lead to more subscribers for your blog. Also for the writers, create a beginner’s guide in your area of expertise. No matter your field, there’s some newbie who’s looking to learn the basics. If you can manage to teach someone something, often, they’ll end up repaying you in link backs. The most difficult, but most rewarding in terms of links is simply to be ahead of the curve. It often involves sheer luck, but if you’re one of the first people to report some new development, or pass along fresh information, anyone who covers the topic and uses you as a source will refer back to you.

So, let’s say you’re not a great writer. Your content is boring and your audience is waning. If you’ve got some dough to spread around, consider sponsorships and/or partnerships. You’ll get link love on all related websites and materials, and fresh eyeballs on your brand. It’s a bit of a cheap shot, but you might also consider dropping a name here and there. Research some up-and-comers in your field and develop a list to include them on. Make it flattering. People love to see their names in print (even if it’s only on the web) and will usually blast the link to your content out to their own networks. If all else fails, try a contest. Companies who produce the products that moms use, have to pay dirt using this concept.. The second they announce a contest, the mommy bloggers link to it and millions of moms join in the linking fray. If there’s one thing people love, it’s free stuff.

If this all sounds too complicated, or you’ve tried (and failed) already, then there’s no doubt about it – it’s time to call in a professional. Get in touch with a SEO consultant here at Eminent SEO. We’ll have your business climbing the search engine rankings in no time flat. Link backs optional!

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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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Let’s Talk SEO

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SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The search engines are looking at a LOT of things, but one primary way to ensure your site gains authority and ranks for the keywords people are searching for to find your site – is to build links. So, we thought we would give you a few Link Building Tips:

*Tip: Use longer tailed and geo targeted keywords in your link building for better conversions!

It’s important to understand your client base and what they are searching for, but it’s more important to target keywords that will CONVERT than those with just the highest search volumes. Many times the long tail keyword phrases (think: “bankruptcy lawyer in Phoenix Arizona”) are much better for conversions than the root term (ex: “bankruptcy lawyer”) even though they have lower search volumes. Also, long tail keywords are generally much less competitive and therefore much easier (and less costly) to rank for!

*Tip: Use variety in your keyword selection to avoid an artificial backlink portfolio! (Panda Update says so!)

It’s always been important to target multiple keyword phrases and pages within your website, but after the Panda update it’s become even more important. Google is sophisticated enough to detect a pattern in the keyword usage. So, if you want to rank for an important term, use it – but also use similar supporting terms in a variety of ways to ensure Google doesn’t flag your new links as potentially phony. Example: Want to rank for “Nike Shoes”? Build links using terms like: “Buy Nike Shoes”, “Buy Nike Shoes Online”, “Discount Nike Shoes”, “Mens Nike Shoes”, etc

*Tip: Your links should come from many different types of websites for a more natural looking portfolio!

Sure, there are high quality sites, strong in the key elements that make it an ideal site for hosting your link (think: higher Page Rank, Aged Domain, Strong in Relevancy, etc) but if every link pointing to your site uses the “perfect” criteria, it actually creates suspicion with Google. Not everyone that would naturally chose to link to you would come from high quality sites. Mix it up and make sure there is variety in your backlinks. The more diverse, the more natural the link building efforts appear.

Need links? Just call us! We are awesome at keyword discovery, research and link building: 800.871.4130

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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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