Browsing articles in "link building"

SUBREDDITS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AND SEO

Aug 10, 2012   //   by Abel   //   internet marketing, link building, SEO, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  16 Comments

Reddit has been continually rising in popularity since first emerging on the scene back in 2006. Today, it is one of the most popular social news sites of its kind, proving to be a great alternative for those who have grown tired of competitors such as Digg and StumbleUpon. Reddit often calls itself the front page of the internet to play on its growing reputation as a digital newspaper of sorts. And just like newspapers have categories and sections, this site has something similar known as subreddits, a feature that can come in handy for the savvy social marketer.

Screenshot from reddit.com

A subreddit is essentially a category or subcategory that has a community of reddit users built around a specific topic or area of interest. These categories are finely targeted and can be set to either public or private by the creator. Examples of popular subreddits, as chosen by the user community include:

- Askreddit

- Gaming

- Pics

- World News

- WTF

These examples represent broad general interests, of course, but the subcategories on reddit go much much deeper. For instance, you can find subreddits on specific topics such as World of Warcraft, Indie Gaming, and even presidential hopeful Ron Paul. While each area of interest has its own moderator, community members are able to contribute by submitting and rating content from around the web that is related to the topic at hand. For everyday users, subreddits provide an easy way to quickly access the content that matters most. For marketers, they provide a way to generate visibility and meet business objectives.

Benefitting From Your Own subreddits

Perhaps the best thing to like about subreddits is the fact that anyone can create them. There are numerous benefits to setting up your own, starting with the community aspect. If fellow redditors share your interest, it could easily lead to a situation where users are commenting, sharing, and engaging in other ways that keep the community alive with activity. The site has millions of active users, all interested in something. What this means is that unless your area is built around an obscure topic like “overhanded Bolivian bowling techniques”, there is a great chance that you will be able to attract others who share your passion.

subreddit for seo anchor text
Anchor text is “Lil Wayne quits music” under “Music” subreddit

The big payoff to having your own subreddits is increased traffic. All that activity combined with solid content means it is highly likely that people will want to pay a visit and learn more about what you have to offer. Make sure your newly created subcategory is listed on the subreddits page, pass the word along to your connections on the site, and the possibilities are endless.

Summary

Some observers have gone as far to say that subreddits are what have enabled reddit to surpass Digg in the social bookmarking arena. This is not as farfetched as it may sound considering it is one of the platform’s most important features. Whether it is streamlining content discovery or building a community around your own, social marketers can make great strides by putting this essential element to use.

Abel

Abel is a writer, online marketing expert, and advocate for email marketing software company, Benchmark Email.

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CASE STUDY: How to Attract More Blog Traffic via YouTube (Even If You’re No Good with Videos)

Searching for ways to increase the number of your loyal audience/subscribers and daily earnings for your blog? Well, I continuously get more and more targeted viewers for my blog and keep it at the top of search engine results using the power of YouTube marketing.

As a result, my earnings increased a lot. You may ask me: Isn’t it that YouTube marketing is already an Internet buzzword or one of the most common ways of promoting/advertising various products, services and stuffs like that? Definitely! However, there are other ways of doing things the other way to get the results you want, and this blog post is just all about that.

Dominate a Niche with Long Tail Pro

Using LTP, I was able to dominate a particular niche by. It helped me discover topics for my online YouTube marketing video. What I often do with LTP is enter multiple seed keywords, and soon enough, I find exact match domains with low competition yet profitable keywords.

 

 I use both domain and keywords, and as a consequence, I get more and more subscribers as well as increased page rank for my marketing video. As a more specific example, using exact domain names and long tail keywords is much better than competing with the fiercest (or most competitive) keywords for YouTube videos.

This way, my YouTube video made it to the second page of search engine results within 5 days, that is, I was able to dominate a particular niche about driving traffic to my site. I simply cannot ignore the power of LTP marketing for my YouTube video marketing.

Do Things the Right Way Using Video Marketing

I am now getting more targeted traffic, higher/massive views and a larger number of subscribers with my YouTube marketing video: entitled, Drive Traffic to Your Site by Offering Irresistible Gifts. My Youtube visitors get hooked on watching the video in order to learn more about the offers.

The video is all about driving traffic or unique visitors to blogs through social media sites, guest posting, and a lot more (as you can see later as you continue reading this post). Also, it tells people how to avoid failing Internet marketing by using the step-by-step strategies for increased targeted traffics.

In addition, it mentions about the importance of blog traffic within the first 24to72 hours for visits to be counted as unique ones. As my YouTube viewers keep on watching the video, they are able to understand better what is in store for.

With the YouTube marketing video, I was able to direct my audience to my blog. When they do visit it, I get unique pageviews. They may read the rest of the article or explore more of it. Since their primary objective is to obtain a free copy of the e-book, they are required to subscribe first.

After they sign up, they would receive a message stating that they have to confirm their subscription. When they do confirm their registration, they will have to check their email again for the actual download of the eBook to take place.

This is actually what email marketing is all about, that is, getting long term customers with their email addresses added to my list of contacts where I can then forward them with weekly SEO tips – just as it was promised to them prior to their subscription.

I then visit problogger.net as a guest blogger. It is where I would post something like, ”Build Keyword Density the Right Way.”

This is where I recommend using search engine optimization techniques and adding appropriate keywords for high-quality persuasive copywriting. There I advise the use of naturally sounding keywords for everyone’s copywriting needs.

I gave illustrations such that video marketers would be able to learn the appropriate ways of shortening, lengthening and/or using keyword phrases with the product/service copy that they are describing.

I also added that writers have to write a copy first, go back with the keywords, and place them suitably in the copy itself (which definitely would prove very useful to them). As for my part, I was able to make a copy that really flows naturally and that appeal to a larger number of viewers and search engine sites.

Furthermore, in less than three weeks, I already gained more than 20,000 views. This is because I used referral social media multipliers and emailwire.com, a SEO press release distribution site that provides guaranteed results.

For instance, with the social media freetweettube.com, there is always an influx of tweets for my Youtube marketing channel while with emailwire, my press release about SEOArticleWriteService got the chance to be published and distributed to thousands of journalists, trade magazines, newsrooms, online news sites, major newswires, RSS feeds and major news search engines. With these strategies and tools that I used, you sure can get the results you want to achieve to make your site viral in no time.

My YouTube marketing, as of this writing, proves viral although it has just been uploaded three weeks ago. It has ranked well too considering that the other videos in the ranking were uploaded less than a year or about five years ago. You can also see for yourself that my video is only about 3 minutes compared to the other two: which are approximately 15 minutes and 5 minutes, respectively. My video is a proof of getting your videos viral too.  You only have to follow the steps or by visiting the sites that I mentioned above.

Now that you know how to precisely attract more blog traffic via YouTube marketing, it is time to present a summary of the most important lessons in this post. First, the importance of using simultaneously free exact domain with long tail yet profitable keywords for your video for you to earn more.

Second, the use of strategies and tools (such as irresistible gift offers, guest blogs, email marketing, pro-bloggers, social media networks, press releases and a lot more) for you to cash in more money.

Luckily for you, with this post, you sure can turn your viewers into loyal audience/subscribers, powerful pool of online community, or simply, target market for your blog and its updates.

Bill

Bill Achola is on a mission to help small business people get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his Affordable SEO Service for Small Business that will drive targeted traffic to your website. Be sure to follow him on Twitter

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Internal vs. External Linking: Does the Difference Even Matter?

Jun 25, 2012   //   by AmandaDi   //   link building, SEO Blog  //  17 Comments

Most business owners who have even an elementary understanding of content online know that linking is important. However, what many do not realize is that there are many different kinds of linking, all of which have different benefits and different pitfalls.  The two most basic (but important) types of linking to understand is internal and external linking. This then begs the inevitable question: Do they differences really matter when it comes to SEO?

Internal Linking 101

When someone says “internal linking” they simply mean a link that navigates between different webpages of your website. This is a great way to keep people on your site as long as possible and gives you the opportunity to help them learn more about a given topic by looking through your site as opposed to heading somewhere else. It’s hard to get all the information you need in one article, so linking internally is a huge help. Consider some of the other benefits:

  • PageRank – Linking internally can help your page rank. This will help you move up to the top of search engine pages, so it can make a big difference when it comes to trying to improve the visibility of your brand. Although this doesn’t hold as much weight in terms of PageRank as someone else linking to your webpages, it doesn’t hurt.
  • Navigation – As discussed above, having internal links can help your customers navigate your webpage. Most experts recommend having the page open on the existing page so that people will stay on your site longer, but as a reader I always prefer when an internal link opens a new webpage. You could also consider installing breadcrumbs on your website for even easier navigation.
  • Index – Lots of internal links will help search engines classify your site quicker and more accurately. This could help readers find your site easier on search engines because it will help ensure that your site is indexed in the proper places.

The Know-Hows of External Linking

External links take readers from your website to another website. Although this may seem like a terrible idea, it can potentially have many benefits for both your company and your readers:

  • Credibility – Chances are your website does not gather its own data and facts. For this reason, you will want to link to websites in order to give them credit for the information you are using. This will help readers see where you get your facts; thus improving your credibility.
  • PageRank – Although linking to another site within your article will not help your PageRank, external linking will help if it is done to you. In other words, if another site is linking to your website, your PageRank will improve. Many websites utilize guest posting on other blogs—they offer free articles in exchange for what would be an external link back to their site.
  • Traffic – Your traffic will certainly increase if you have reputable sites linking back to your site. Not only will you show up more on a Google search page because of your PageRank, but you will have new sets of eyes looking at your website.

The most important thing to remember about linking is that the links should be relevant. Linking just for the sake of linking will not fools readers, and it will most certainly not fool Google. As long as you can link, both internally and externally, in a natural way, you will find that linking is a small way to make a huge difference.

Photo Credit: thinkgeek.com

AmandaDi

Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.

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Who Will Do a Better Job of Capturing the Right Tone and Feel of Your Blog Business?

May 15, 2012   //   by Bill   //   blogging, Copywriting, link building, SEO, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  21 Comments

While press release writing is specialized work, there are many cases of businesses wanting to write their own press releases instead of outsourcing the work.

It might be that you are a new startup with a limited marketing budget (and thus want to avoid the costs), or maybe you feel that yourself or an in-house employee will do a better job of capturing the right tone and feel of your company.

Whatever the motivation, there are pros and cons to both approaches. This content will discuss the advantages of both options, and then (hopefully) help you make the right decision for your company.

Writing Press Releases Yourself

After reading through this blog post, you should have a clear idea of what is required to write a press release. In short, you need:

  • A good story.
  • Good writing skills (specific to press releases).

There are distinct advantages of writing your own press releases, and I would fully encourage you to do so if you can consistently write well (or have an employee to write for you). If you are unwilling to invest in an employee, or unsure of how eschewing a professional PR service can help you, read through the following reasons:

Cost

A professionally written press release can cost you anywhere from $200 to $500. Considering that this is just a 1-page document, which will eventually contain information that you will provide, this seems an exorbitant price.

Personalized

While press release writing services make every effort to personalize every press release, there is a distinct style for each writer and for each company as well. Personalized ‘style’ of press or media releases. A powerful example of this is Google – check Google Press for a sample of effective personalized press releases can be.

Be warned though. This is not something easy to accomplish. As press releases are terse, 1-page news items with a very big emphasis on content, it is difficult to establish a style.

Practice will help you improve, and if you feel that the identity and image of your company will be better served by writing the press release yourself rather than outsourcing it, then make sure you read many different press releases from other companies to get a feel of how to build your unique style.

Other Benefits

Being directly involved with your industry, you are in the best position to highlight the advantages of your ‘news’ to your potential consumers and competitors.

You will be able to provide relevant, current information and your insight into your industry will also help you to pinpoint which news hook will be most successful.

Verdict

Matching the expertise of a professional press release writer is a difficult task. On the other hand, in-house press release writing, especially if done by an employee, can be ‘good enough’ if due attention is paid to getting the details right.

Professional Press Release Writing

Despite the obvious advantages of writing your own press release, a professional press release service gives you specific, money-valuable benefits:

Experience

Professional press release services have the advantage of having working in this field for a lot longer than you – they have written (hopefully) dozens of press releases, and know the industry inside out.

As such, they are well placed to avoid mistakes that beginning press release writers might make and are likely to produce good, reliable press releases.

Of course, there is also a chance that the press release might not be what you are looking for – maybe the writer gets the tone wrong, or underplays certain features that you wanted to give prominence to.

The added experience will also ensure that the writer will be able to judge better whether the information you’ve given him is enough, not enough or too much. In addition, there is the value of having an ‘outside’ perspective. Outsourcing your press release to an independent PR service will:

  • Allow them to present the news in a more realistic light.
  • Discourage you from making a press release without having effective content.

Be careful about putting too much faith in the press release service to tell you what is right or wrong, however. The responsibility of ensuring that there is enough ‘newsworthy’ information in your press release is yours, not of the service.

Time

A press release can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a day to write, revise and get just right. If you are part of a fast-paced company where you measure your time in hundreds of dollars, then spending that much time on a press release might seem expensive especially since you can get better results by outsourcing the press release.

Do not underestimate the time required to write a press release – for your news to be a full-blown success, every little detail has to be just right.

Verdict

It’s just a 1-page document. Why does it cost so much?

I’m faced with that question every day. Considering that you will still have to provide a lot of the information to the press release service, it seems ridiculous to pay over $200 (and up to $500) for a press release. But in the end, it’s the results that justify the costs.

A professionally written press release will always have a better chance of being accepted for distribution, and the experience of a professional PR service will serve you will in making your press release successful.

Another factor working in the favor of professional press release services is their ‘package deals’ – a promise to distribute your press release at a discounted rate if you have your press release written by them.

Costs vs. Expertise

I’ve been saying this throughout the content, and I say it again:

Your press release is (almost) worthless without newsworthy information. Keep this point in your mind as you make the choice between writing the press release yourself (using the advice in thisblog post) and outsourcing it to a professional press release service. Where will that newsworthy information come from? From you.

In fact, even if you outsource the press release, the bulk of the information put in the press release will come from you, either as part of the original specifications presented, or from the questions that the writer will ask you to help him write the press release.

So what are you really paying them for?

Their experience – press release writers have considerable, battle-field knowledge of writing press releases – the kind that only comes through time. You are also paying for their language and marketing skills, as writing a press release requires a specific writing style that does not fit into traditional sales copy.

Don’t hire a sales letter writer to write your press release until you are sure they have experience in writing successful press releases.

However, if you are willing to learn and apply the knowledge from this content (or have an employee as a suitable candidate), in-house press releases can be just as successful as those from a PR service. The key is to do two things repeatedly:

  • Ensure that you are fully prepared.
  • Differentiate between traditional sales copy and press release writing and make the effort to write ‘in a reporting, unbiased style’.

Choosing the Right Service

While this content goes a long way towards helping you write your own press releases, the primary aim is to guide you into preparing the best press release for your company, each and every time.

And sometimes, a company does not have the time, or the technical skills, to dedicate resources towards in-house press release writing.

In such cases, outsourcing your press release requirements becomes necessary. This section, although concise, will help you in picking the right service for your company.

Hiring a PR service

If you are looking to hire a professional press release service, make sure that you complete the following checklist.

  • Does the service have a portfolio or a client’s list? Make sure that you can see visible results, and don’t be afraid to ask for proof.
  • Compare costs and services between different PR companies to make sure you get the best deal.
  • Understand the fine print. Some PR firms may not allow for more than 1 revision, and some also don’t allow for free consultations – which essentially means that if the PR firm decides that your ‘story’ is not newsworthy, you would have ended up paying for nothing.
  • Don’t automatically jump for combined packages (press release writing and distribution). Make sure the investment is worth it, and that you see a list of the media contacts (at least their names, if not their contact information) that your press release will be distributed to.
  • Themed distributions are very different in impact to generic distributions, so don’t fall into the trap of paying less and actually getting something that is worth nothing to your company.
  • If you like the company’s portfolio, try to negotiate a discounted package in return for bringing all your press release business to them. PR firms would normally not refuse long-term business relationships, and the promise of continued business can possibly lower your long-term costs as well.

Hiring a freelance writer

Of course, if the cost is a really serious issue, and you cannot have the press release written in-house (for various reasons) then you may be better served by outsourcing to a freelance writer.

There are several online freelance websites from where you can hire good writers – Elance and RentACoder are the most popular, and most effective.

With freelance writers, there is the advantage of saving on money – a good press release can be written for $100 or less. On the other hand, there is a risk of not getting what you really want.

I’ll not go into the details of how to ensure that you don’t get your money’s worth as there are many ”freelance hiring”guides on the Internet (some good, some bad, and some bad copies of good guides).

Just make sure that you follow the same pattern as you would when hiring a PR service – check their portfolio, and do your best to provide them with complete information.

RentACoder has many safeguards that prevent buyers (like you) from projects that go bad, so trust the system and follow their advice.

However, one bad apple does not make everyone else incompetent. Freelance websites are full of hard-working individuals wanting to earn good money – make sure that you find someone who is capable of doing the job, and then enjoy the benefits of a well-written press release for a fraction of the price.

What is your opinion on DIY vs Professional writers?

Bill

Bill Achola is on a mission to help small business people get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his Affordable SEO Service for Small Business that will drive targeted traffic to your website. Be sure to follow him on Twitter

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5 More Local Link Building Tips

Jan 11, 2012   //   by Kaila Strong   //   link building, SEO Blog  //  11 Comments

Does your site’s success depend on receiving traffic from users in the local area? Whether you have one storefront or nationwide locations, link building with a local focus is important to keep traffic numbers up. Maintaining your rankings for competitive local terms can require quite a bit of  effort. Last month I shared five tips on this very topic here on the SEM-Group.net blog, but I thought I’d give a few more. Here are five more tips on finding local link building opportunities.

Network for Links
Industry or networking events in your local area are prime places to share your business card. Why not take it to the next level and use this as an opportunity to build links? Ask people you meet locally if they have websites or blogs. Can you offer up a guest blog post for them in the future? Maybe they have a partners/link/recommended section on their site. Do research on those you meet to find link building opportunities. Write this information on the back of their business card so you can reach out in the future for possible linking opportunities. Slowly but surely you can build buzz about your company just by offering to write a few posts on a few local blogs or links placed on local sites. Additionally you get some very juicy local links along the way.

Groupon for Links
Recently I attended a Groupon presentation and it was mentioned that local search rankings can sometimes increase when a Groupon is successful and catches on. Certainly makes sense – many sites pickup deals from Groupon and post about them, often with a link back to your site. Some of these sites are specific to your local area and can be the perfect local link for your site. Its reasonable to assume you’d see some possible ranking improvements. Note: some businesses certainly see Groupons diminishing their business rather than helping, so use at your own risk. Really take the time to examine all angles to determine if offering a deal is right for your niche.

Cover Local News
Do you have the resources to blog regularly and become a content publisher? Covering the news or local events is a way some have found success in garnering local links. Who else but local folks want to share news and events in the area. They’ll share your posts and some news might even get picked up by local blogs and news sites – linking back to you as the source. Submit your blog to Google News and get extra pickup and possible traffic.

Charity Tweetup
Have a local cause in mind? Organize a Tweetup at a local bar or restaurant, invite local vendors, bring in a local band and invite the community to get together for a good cause. Even if you don’t have the time to organize one you can take advantage of a good ol’ Tweetup. Look for local tweetups in your area and see if you can become a sponsor and get added to promotion efforts – and of course a link on the site. This higher tech crowd is good to network with and some are also likely to tweet, share on Facebook, write about it, take pictures, and otherwise possibly mention the event and your brand.

Colleges, Universities & Vocational Training Centers
Places of higher education are always looking for businesses in the local area who want to partner with students to help them learn skills for the workplace. Offering an internship program through a local college, university or vocational training center can present a link building opportunity. Proactively search out schools that have an area on their site where they feature businesses offering internships or on their thank you pages with links to their websites. Everyone knows that links from .edu websites can be some of the best – plus you’ll be helping to train tomorrows workforce or get some cheap labor out of the process.

Well, that makes 10 tips for local link building. Have more to add to the list? Please share with us in the comments below!

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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5 Common Link Building Faux Pax to Avoid

Dec 27, 2011   //   by Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe   //   link building, SEO Blog  //  26 Comments

how to build better linksIf you have been in the link building business over the past years, you must have noticed that things don’t work the same way any longer.

Generating tons of search engine traffic by slapping a few reciprocal links on your page simply does not work.

Before you embark on your SEO link building quest, it’s useful to understand what strategies DID matter a while ago, but are merely obsolete today – learn from the history, you know.

#1: PRECISE ANCHOR TEXTS

Previously, SEOs used to optimize their sites by using the same anchor text for all their links.

Well, this strategy is not that hot these days; as a matter of fact, you can be penalized by Google for doing it and not even know it.

Natural anchor texts are the key today.

But what is natural you might ask?

Basically, a natural link looks like it was built by a user, not an SEO. Normal users would not use a precise anchor text in their links, and neither should you – ALL the time, anyway.

In practical terms, when working on your link building, don’t just use your high value keywords in your links, but throw in a few “natural speech” words in there as well, like “cool site”, “click here”, etc.

Don’t over-optimize!

#2: GOOGLE PAGERANK

I can’t believe there are still so many discussions about the validity of PageRank in the SEO world these days. I suppose if so much is written about it, somebody wants to read it, right?

As far as link building is concerned, PageRank is not the best indicator of the page strength.

The famous green bar has been a JOKE ever since Matt Cutts of Google confirmed that Google “takes care of people querying the PR data too much or too heavily.”  (The source is a bit old, but if anything changed since then, it would be the fact that Google tried to downplay PageRank even more.)

Sounds like Google returns random page rank data if they feel like it – just because it’s fun to fool SEOs.

But why did I list PageRank as one of the factors I look for in a perfect link?

Simply because we don’t have too many alternatives to measure page authority aside from PR and maybe SEOMoz Page Authority metric, which I use quite a bit as well.

Either one of those metrics can be used as an indicator of the page strength, but not the primary factor by any means.

#3: ALEXA RANK

This metric is geared towards online marketers and does not truly measure ALL the traffic that might come to your site.

It’s based on the sample of Alexa toolbar users, is browser-specific and can be easily manipulated (from what I’ve heard anyway).

Plus, the formula Alexa uses to determine its page rank is overwhelmingly debated.

Once again, it’s a good indicator of the site authority, but should be used along with other factors to determine if any given site is truly a good link building candidate.

#4: GOOGLE BACKLINK DATA

Referring to the link:somedomain.com Google query.

Don’t ever trust Google to really tell you how many links a specific website has. Plus, when you do a Google search on your links, random samples are returned, so you might see the spammiest of all the links you have.

Yahoo! Site Explorer used to be a great backlink research tool, but alas, it’s out of commission.

I’ve done a lot of research on the alternatives, and so far my two best suggestions for link research are:

1. Market Samurai: if you already own Market Samurai, look no further.

I love their SEO competition section. It used to be powered by Yahoo! Site Explorer, but was recently changed to Majestic SEO – another great backlink checker that otherwise requires a monthly subscription to use.

Here’s a video on how to use the SEO Competition module of Market Samurai:

http://youtu.be/dg-7x1DI8W0

2. SEOSpyGlass: this software goes a few steps further than Market Samurai as far as backlink analysis is concerned.

My favorite part is the fact that it measures the VALUE of a link, plus the fact that their free version is free for life.

#5: GOOGLE CACHE DATE

This metric has also been used and abused by SEOs to the point that it can’t be relied upon. Juicy pages that rank are often returned as having no cache set.

So forget about the cache date as well.

Marketing Takeaway

Simple: if you are heavily relying upon any one of the above metrics to determine whether any given site/page is a good one to get a link from, stop it.

Effective link building is all about diversity.

 

Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

Traffic, traffic, traffic... Can't do without it, but don't know how to get it? Ana does, and she freely shares her best advice on how to increase web traffic on her Traffic Generation Cafe blog. And don't forget to pick up Ana's 7 Steps to Complete Search Engine Domination free SEO report while you are at it - stop hoping for more search engine traffic and go get it!

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5 Geospecific Link Building Tips

Dec 22, 2011   //   by Kaila Strong   //   link building, SEO, SEO Blog  //  7 Comments

When I’m approached with a client who heavily relies on business from a specific geographic area may seem daunting to come up with advanced strategy for SEO without a bit of out-of-the-box thinking. There are only so many profiles you can submit, customers who review your business, citations you can claim, and onsite optimization changes to make. Eventually there comes a time when you need a strategic link building campaign that focuses on giving search algorithms the signals needed to improve your geospecific rankings.

Through the use of content marketing, social media, and traditional link building you can compete against the rest of that 7 pack. The concept is simple: look for sites that are designed and used almost exclusively by those in your geospecific area. Those signals can help improve local rankings. Here are a few tips to help you with your geospecific link building.

Local Community

If you have the luxury of being a business in a large metropolis or heavily populated area you stand a chance to integrate your business into the local community through a variety of avenues. Reach out to local bloggers, influencers, artists, photographers, business owners and PR professionals. These are the people who will want to link to your site, share the good word about your brand, and of course become your customers too. Many of them likely have websites or blogs where they can link back to you.

Contact local organizations like Local First Arizona, here in Phoenix where I live. Their goal is to work to support the local economy. Organizations like this, promoting the local movement, exist in many other areas too.

Government and Local Resources

The department of commerce websites often contain large lists of local businesses with information such as phone, address and website. Submit your business to sites like this and to local resource sites also. Using an advanced search command such as “phoenix” “list” “businesses” “add your company” or “phoenix” “list” “add your company” “pizza” can yield some decent results for local resource pages.

Targeted Local Directories & Libraries

Many local directories exist still today. More commonly used prior to the popularity of search engines, local directories are a great place to obtain a link. Advanced search commands, just as described above, can showcase some opportunities. Try adding “add your link” to the searches listed above to find additional sites.

Libraries often have local resources linked to from their sites as well. Again, advanced search commands come in handy to track these sites down.

Newspaper Websites

Online newspapers and news sites offer a great way for businesses to highlight their businesses – allowing them to become contributors. A news site like NowPublic.com are crowd powered sites, relying on citizen journalists to help tell the news. They are looking for experts to help contribute and as an expert in your own field you can apply. Bio pages on these reputable sites often have in content do-follow link building opportunities, along with of course the content itself.

Radio Stations

More and more radio stations are becoming content publishers. Many have entire forums and social components to their sites where users can drop links. Additionally some rely on citizen journalism as well. Apply to become a writer or search around the site to see if they have a local resource list to add your business to.

These are just a few of MANY strategies that work to reinvigorate a geospecific link building campaign. Have you done much geospecific link building? Tell us about some of the ways you were able to find some great local links in the comments below.

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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Whitehat Link Building at Its Finest

Nov 30, 2011   //   by Kaila Strong   //   link building, SEO Blog  //  15 Comments

white hat SEOMany tout link building as a laborious and often unsuccessful venture. Sure it’s hard work that requires manual research, networking and a bit of schmoozing – but it’s not impossible. There are some really easy ways to do the research and compile lists of sites to reach out to…and you don’t even have to spend much time doing it!

Consider the below tips before you start on your next whitehat link building adventure.

Personal Websites

These days just about everyone and their mom has a blog. That means your employees and your customers do too! Check through your list of employees and clients and think about opportunities to garner a link on their sites. Sure not every one of your clients or employees sites will be exactly what you want, but pick out the ones that are applicable. Think about a value proposition before you approach the employee or client. Why should they link to you? For clients you might offer to add them to your own website in return or offer a discount on their next purchase.

For link builders who might not have direct access to a client’s employee list or client list – try some research. Check through LinkedIn search, Twitter search and even Facebook search. Many employees will list employers on Facebook. Then add your findings to a list and approach your link building client with this opportunity as a way to garner some good “low hanging fruit” type links. Have them do the dirty work of reaching out to make it more personal and it’ll likely improve the success rate.

Brand Mentions

Working with large brands I’ve seen this many times – websites large and small write about their brand but don’t link! If they are willing to write about the brand don’t you think they’d be willing to link too? Okay, maybe not all the time … but sometimes certainly!

Set up a Google alert for your brand name. Also set up Google alerts for misspellings of your brand name. As brand mentions roll into your e-mail compile a list and prioritize the opportunities. Every month make it a goal to reach out to at least some of these sites and ask for a link back to your site.  Every now and again, as applicable, let the writer/webmaster know about news or information about your products, services, awards, etc… Since they were willing to write about you without you knowing, they might be willing to write about you again – so give them the information to do so. It might garner some good links to internal product pages.

Industry Resource List

Between library sites, government sites, and even education websites – there are many resource lists that I like to call industry lists. You’ve seen them, a list of a large number of resources for the casual web visitor to peruse at their leisure. In my experience there are industry lists for just about every single industry out there.

Using advanced search commands look for these industry lists. Use search commands looking for a number of your competitors brand names mentioned on a site. Say you’re Alltel. You have quite a few big name competitors: Verizon, Virgin Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, etc… Do a search like this: “Verizon” “virgin mobile” “sprint” “AT&T” “list”. Dig through the list and find an industry list where Alltel isn’t listed but should be and reach out to that webmaster. Another option is to have your client reach out directly (or you – from a branded e-mail address), which may increase the likelihood of being listed on a .edu, .gov, or library site.

Charities

Especially true this time of year, businesses donate to charity. Talk about a pretty juicy link! Most non-profit websites are .orgs, have a lot of incoming links and many have a lot of traffic. If you’re a partner, sponsor, on the board, or otherwise involved with a charity look for link building opportunities. Almost all charities should have sponsors and/or an acknowledgement page on their site.

As link builders you should look at a client’s newsroom and press releases for charities they are donating to if your client isn’t a constant source of information (which is 99% the case in my experience). Then do a bit of research to find those sites and if they have a place for a link. Present your client with a list of opportunities and have their PR team do the dirty work for you to ask for links or logos on the site. Remember – if they opt for logos, don’t forget to customize that alt text!

These are just a few ways you can use some whitehat techniques to help improve the number of unique domains linking to your site. Feel free to share additional ideas in the comments below!

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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What Makes the Best Backlink?

Nov 15, 2011   //   by Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe   //   link building, SEO Blog  //  49 Comments

best link building tipsLink building is an essential part of any successful SEO campaign; there’s no arguing about that. In order to rank for any given keyword, we need backlinks – and lots of them.

However, not all links are created equal.

The reason it’s important to know how valuable your links are is very simple: the higher the quality, the fewer links you need to get ranked.

The following 10 qualities are the ones I always look for in a perfect link.

#1. High PR of the domain

High PR can be equated to more domain authority in the eyes of Google. The more authority a site has, the higher quality the links coming from that domain will be.

My ideal homepage PR is 4+.

Of course, it’s a whole lot better to have a link on an inner page that has high PR of its own.

#2. Keyword-Rich Anchor Text

Google uses anchor text pointing to a page to determine what that page is about.

If I start building links to this post with “Ana Hoffman” as anchor text (like a lot of blog commentators would do), then Google might find that this post is more relevant to that keyword than to such keywords as “link building” or “backlinks“.

It’s best if you try to rank each page of your site for one specific keyword or variations of it, but of course, this is not a must – just works better that way.

Also, try to have at least 70-80% of exact match anchor text. The other 20-30% could be naked URLs, long-tail variations of the keyword, or even a few “click here” links.

#3. Long-term Link

This is the kind of link that won’t be removed in a few days.

Forum links are one such example. You create a new profile, sprinkle it with some links, place some comments on a few threads just to learn a week later that the forum moderators decided to remove all your links.

Here’s a better way to create forum profiles (thanks to Gerald for teaching me this link building trick): create your profiles without any links in them, wait for a week or two for the moderators to check it out, and THEN go back and add your links.

The chances of them sticking are much higher this way.

#4. Page is Indexed by Google

It only makes sense to add your links to pages that Google already knows about, right?

However, there are plenty of times when it’ll be up to you to make sure that the page your links are added to is indexed, like in article marketing for instance.

I strongly suggest that you keep track of all the URLs where your new content is placed and make sure all those pages are indexed by pinging them, linking to them in a few comments – just to name a couple of ways of doing it.

#5. Link Building Consistency

This is where most sites get in trouble.

The webmasters fail to maintain link velocity, i.e. to build links on a regular basis.

So what happens is a few hundred or even thousand of links come in within a span of a couple of days and then… nothing.

Very obvious one way link building pattern that can land you in Google sandbox.

#6. No Bad-Neighborhood Links

I would never add a link to a page that already has links to sites like porn, pharmaceuticals, etc. – you don’t want your site to be associated with bad neighborhood sites in any way.

#7. Active Sites

An active site with fresh content posted frequently, with lots of signs of reader engagement, like comments, social media shares, etc. is much more likely to be crawled often, which means your links will be quickly discovered and indexed.

The following 3 qualities might raise some eyebrows; let’s talk about it in comments if you disagree.

#8. Not Sidebar/Footer Links

It sounds like a great deal to be listed by another site in their blogroll.

However, aside from branding and potential traffic generation, those links might not be worth as much, since it’s not that difficult to obtain them.

#9. Relevancy is Overrated

There’s a lot of talks about getting links from niche-specific sites only.

I haven’t seen any conclusive testing that’s been done on that.

On the other hand, I’ve heard of plenty of link builders who ranked their sites on page 1 with nothing but “irrelevant” links.

#10. Authority Outbound Links

Yet another debatable point.

However, I, among many other SEO’s, believe that it helps to have your links on a page that links out to authority sites relevant to the topic in hand.

Here’s a good example of this train of thought:

And yet another one:

Marketing Takeaway

And there you have it.

Boxing gloves on?

Comment to show me that you’re alive!

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Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

Traffic, traffic, traffic... Can't do without it, but don't know how to get it? Ana does, and she freely shares her best advice on how to increase web traffic on her Traffic Generation Cafe blog. And don't forget to pick up Ana's 7 Steps to Complete Search Engine Domination free SEO report while you are at it - stop hoping for more search engine traffic and go get it!

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The Golden Rule of Effective SEO Link Building

Oct 12, 2010   //   by HeinrichM   //   link building, SEO Blog  //  14 Comments

SEO link building is a very important part of any search engine optimization strategy. If you do it right your keywords will improve on the search engine result pages and the organic traffic to your website will increase. But what exactly do you need to do?

The golden rule of effective SEO link building is to diversify your link building methods. Think of it this way, if you are a boxer that can only throw a left hook you will most likely lose all of your fights. In the same way links that are built by using only one method will not be very effective.

There are plenty of SEO link building methods around and when you combine them the impact of your link building efforts will visibly improve. Two link building methods will be discussed in more detail in this article and you are welcome to use them to diversify your link building (Tip – make a list of the link building methods that you intend using and draw-up a weekly link building schedule with slots for all of the methods.)

Content traps and article marketing:

  • One of the most effective link building methods available today is the use of original and unique content to build links and generate traffic.
  • Start by researching popular search phrases for your website, product or service and choose keywords with a low level of competition.
  • Write original articles using the keywords that you have chosen.
  • Submit the articles to article directories and Blogs.
  • Build new links by linking back to your website in the resource box of each article.
  • In addition your articles should show-up in the search results for the low competition keywords that you have chosen thereby generating traffic to your website (content trap).

Blog commenting:

  • This method has been abused but it is still very effective when used in combination with other link building methods.
  • Search for Blogs that are relevant to your website, product or service and ensure that they allow you to enter your name and URL when posting a comment.
  • Read the article and post a comment that is useful and informative (you need to give in order to receive.)
  • Webmasters delete comments that they view as spam and it is important that you add value with your comment and not try and sell yourself.
  • Post comments on both do-follow and no-follow Blogs to ensure that the search engines view the links as “natural”.

In addition to the two methods discussed above you can build new links to your website through the use of bookmarks on social sites, forum profiles and posts, submitting your website URL to link directories and the uploading of videos to popular video sites.  SEO link building is very effective when you combine three or more of the available methods. Start improving your keyword search optimization today by becoming a boxer with more than just a left hook in your arsenal.

HeinrichM

H.E.Muller is the owner of The Link Building Guy and he provides keyword optimization services to small business owners. Feel free to visit his website for more information on SEO Link Building and Keyword Optimization..

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