Tag Archives: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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When link building, many SEO practitioners face the question: Should I focus on getting thousands of backlinks, or a few quality backlinks? The answer is you want to get as many quality backlinks as you can. Building tons of links might sound like the most effective means of improving your visibility in the search engines, but quality is and always has been more important.

Think about it like this:

Backlinks are like human citation on the web. The way we link out to sites expresses how we feel about them: better sites get more links from more authoritative sites. Just as an expert’s opinion on the news is held in higher regards than your average Joe, a link from an expert site is respected the same way. If you were looking to lose weight, whom would you trust more: an experienced dietician or some random guy you met at the supermarket? Just like we trust those with more credibility and experience in our day-to-day lives, Google trusts sites that display experience and authority more as well. This principle applies directly to link building and how we practice it.

Let’s say you’re the guy from the supermarket earlier, and oddly enough, you actually know your stuff. No one is going to necessarily believe what you have to say without further proof or evidence. But what if there was a health expert nearby that verified your opinions? With the support of an expert, your opinion would now be held in higher regards by others. Similarly, you have a small niche site on health; Google isn’t going to see you as much of an authority. But if you got a link from an authoritative health site…I think you get the idea.

If you are getting a ton of backlinks from non-expert, non-authoritative sources it is going to take a lot of links to achieve anywhere near the results you want. You can improve your rankings somewhat effectively with these types of links, but it takes a ton of them. To compare backlinks with real life again; how many people would it take to convince you of a stranger’s opinion if none of these people seemed qualified to make judgments about said stranger’s opinions? 5, 10, 200, 1,000? In other words, you would probably demand the support of many people if none of them were experts in order to trust this stranger. In the same fashion, Google is not quick to trust and increase the rank of sites with just profile links and other non-authoritative links. However, each one does count a little bit, and I mean a little bit.

We always want to aim for quality over quantity. Vast quantities of low quality backlinks can help, but the core of your link building strategy should revolve around acquiring high quality backlinks. These quality links also often send traffic to your site which is a huge added benefit. You’re not going to get any additional traffic from profile backlinks which is going to leave you entirely reliant upon Google and the other search engines. Most people find a balance in their link building efforts between the two. Find what works for you, and stick to with it until you hit the top.

Guest Author: Ben Jackson is an SEO expert/enthusiast and founder of www.seodiscovery.org.

 

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It’s easy to take the idea of search engine optimization for granted. Yeah, the marketing landscape is abuzz with all things SEO today, but did you even know what the term “search engine optimization” meant ten years ago? The term has no doubt covered a lot of ground in a short period of time.

But let’s forget about SEO for a brief moment (gasp!). Trust me, it’ll be OK.

We spend a lot of time and money trying to make our businesses look good to Google. Maybe it’s time we listen to what Google already likes about our business and do something about that.

"What the hell does that mean?" Let me explain via a personal experience.

Shortly after I started blogging a few years ago, I experienced a less-than-optimal situation at my local gym. With one post, I ranted about it. Soon thereafter, I decided to try to be a small part of the solution instead, so I wrote a post filled with my own gym marketing tips. It was a short-lived and somewhat related departure from my normal topics (namely, marketing leadership), so I immediately returned to my regularly scheduled programs.

Here’s the deal: I’m not a gym marketing expert. I have expertise in certain areas of marketing, and I have frequented lots of gyms over the years, but I’ve never really combined the two. I was simply just giving my unsolicited advice on how gym owners could make things work a little better.

However, Google doesn’t quite see it this way. In Google’s eyes, I’m an authority on just about any phrase related to gym marketing. I get a minimum of 20 visits a day from people looking specifically for gym marketing tips. It wasn’t my plan, and it wasn’t on purpose. I’m not sure if the post is constructed well or if it’s simply a void niche, but Google has decided what I have to say on this topic matters.

Which got me thinking ….

How to Leverage Surprising Inbound Keyword Phrases

Let’s face it: expertise is in the eye of the beholder. If Google thinks I know what I’m talking about, and comments and emails and other analytics confirm that I know what I’m talking about, then maybe I know what I’m talking about. But how do I take advantage of such an unexpected gift?

I don’t know the answer to this question, but my pondering has led me to these six options, and I’d love to hear more.

  1. Accept advertising for the specific post. Any niche is going to have its major players. If Google’s looking to you when it comes to certain keywords, then these top dogs probably should, too. If you’re entire site isn’t dedicated to the topic, then run-of-site advertising probably doesn’t make sense to them. But an ad per post probably would. Email them and make them aware of the traffic you’re pulling for specific keyword phrases, and then give them a price. You could do banners or simple text links. This is probably the easiest and most immediate way to leverage this traffic. In my example, I could go find software programs for gyms or even authors who write on the topic of gym marketing.
  2. Build your list. Forget cash, at least directly. Build your email list or subscriber level with a special, targeted call to action within the post. Or set up an autoresponder that expands on the specific topic. Then, hopefully, your delivery of valuable content over time will build trust, which in turn could lead to business.
  3. Create an information product. eBooks, white papers, videos, automated presentations, video, podcast, whatever. If your ideas on the niche have legs, let ‘em loose by creating a more robust information product. You could give it away and leverage the list-building and linking to your site as your form of currency, or you could sell these items at a reasonable price. Just be sure to link the title of the product to the keywords that are most often bringing people to the site. Might as well give them exactly what they’re looking for.
  4. Use affiliate links that make sense. Whether you’re keeping it easy with a simple Amazon.com affiliate program or something a little more robust with a service like Commission Junction, affiliates oftentimes take a lot of the grunt work out of selling. Find some products that fit your niche and just post them. Or you could find creators of products that would make sense for you to peddle and offer to set up an affiliate program for them. Then everybody’s winning.
  5. Manufacture your own hard good. Go ahead and go old school. Make an actual, tangible product, be it a book, a widget or whatever. No need to feel confined to the online space if an offline product is what people are looking for.
  6. Build a company around it. If you’re really feeling ballsy, and if the niche is really ripe for the picking, and if you’re passionate about the niche, then maybe there’s a business waiting for you here. Just be careful: opportunities like this are great at taking your focus off of what you’re really good at it. Make sure you enjoy centering your business around this new niche, or else you’ll be miserable.

Remember to harness and harvest the gifts that Google gives you every single day. Google will let you know where you really stick out. If you can figure out a way to leverage it, you’re a step ahead.

I have no idea which of the above ideas I’ll move forward with, if any. If you were me, what would you do? What other ideas do you have for ways to leverage surprising niche keyword traffic?

Guest Author: Brett Duncan offers common sense for marketing leaders at his blog, MarketingInProgress.com. He spends his days as Senior Director of Global Online Solutions for Mannatech, and his nights chasing a crazy little boy around the house in between brief moments of cheering on the Texas Rangers. He lives in Irving, Texas. Sign up for his free newsletter now if you like practical, thought-provoking marketing tips.

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After a partnership agreement was signed exactly one year ago, Yahoo! has finally started testing organic and paid listings from Microsoft Bing this week. Yahoo! states if all goes as planned, users should expect Yahoo!’s organic search results to be powered by Bing around August/September.

The organic search transition will happen automatically. However, if you perform SEO on your site and ranking high in these search engines is important to you, I recommend keeping a close eye on any updates and tips from both Yahoo! and Microsoft.

Yahoo has already provided its users with three valuable tips:

1. Compare your organic search rankings on Yahoo! Search and Bing for the keywords that work best for you.
2. Decide if you’d like to modify your paid search campaigns to compensate for any changes in organic referrals that you anticipate.
3. Review the Bing webmaster tools and optimize your website for the Microsoft platform crawler, as Bing listings will be displayed for approximately 30% of search queries after this change, according to comScore.

I also found the Yahoo! FAQ page to be extremely helpful in answering some the questions I had.

Here’s to a smooth transition!