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How to Use Internal Linking for Better Organic SEO Results

Recent Panda, Penguin, and other search engine updates to Google's algorithm that determines keyword rankings have made links increasingly important, even internal links on your website.

Most website owners do not pay attention to internal linking while others do not know how to do it right, but it could have a great impact on your search engine ranking and consequently on your traffic when done right. Internal linking is also advantageous in that they are in your full control, unlike that of external links (which can require a great deal of effort).

So, how do internal links affect your organic SEO and website optimization?

Optimizing Your Website with Internal Linking

Google and other search engines “crawl” websites as the first step towards indexing them and determining their rankings. Internal links facilitate crawling since they tell search engines where to go from page to page. The anchor text used in those links will express keyword relevancy for the pages being linked.

The creation of a well optimized website hierarchy is important for better crawling. The creation of optimized website hierarchy is where most website owners fail. Avoid the temptation of trying to link every page to each other with the exact phrase match of your keywords targets. After Google Penguin, internal links can even be targeted for over-optimization.

Maintaining proper website hierarchy shows that a website is professionally designed and that it is properly managed. This is an indication that visitors will have a fun and fulfilling time at the website. Google and other search engines want websites that are as natural as possible and they will appreciate the effort and reward you for it.

When building internal links, keeping users top of mind is critical to ensure the best results. Ensure that there is natural, obvious connection to the links. As an example, a natural link in a category page selling televisions is a link to a particular television in the category. You should always have the user in mind. If the links are good for visitors, they are probably good for your SEO campaign too.

Internal linking should point to important posts. This ensures that your best posts do not disappear. You could link back to posts that you wrote a long time ago if you want people to read them again or if you suspect people never got to read them. By linking to old content, you avoid having to repeat concepts to every person who wants answers.

Internal linking is time consuming, but its positive effect on your ranking and the fact that it is free of charge means you should try it. You should include keywords in anchor text when doing internal link building. Repair broken internal links regularly for an effective organic SEO campaign.

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Earn Natural Blog Authority With These 5 Tips

Blog AuthorityA backlink, also called an incoming link or an inbound link, is a link to a website or a particular Web page on a website. These links were originally used for Web navigation, but now they've become the powerhouse for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) today.

Having a high number of backlinks pointing to your site is important because search engines factor in backlink popularity when determining ranking in search engine results pages or SERPs (such as Google’s PageRank or PR). Other than search engine optimization, backlink popularity is also important for cultural, semantic, and personal reasons.

How to Get Natural Links with Blogging

There are natural and artificial backlinks. Natural (unsolicited) backlinks are more effective since search engines and Web users search for interesting and original content to link with. You should also note that artificial backlinks are harder and more time consuming to generate.

If you have a blog as part of your web presence, there are several tips that will help you earn natural blog authority through backlinks.

1) You should spend a lot more time preparing and optimizing your blog post to maximize its web presence and audience exposure. Blogging is not about taking a template, giving it a name, and writing content once in a while. A lot of work goes into blogging and many bloggers actually take this as a part time job. You have a lot to do if you will be competing with such bloggers. You should not only write well, but you should ensure that all your material is well researched. Blogging is not a game of trial and error. Borrow from blogging strategies by leading bloggers.

2) Befriend other bloggers. Just like any other industry, networking helps in blogging. If you know a number of high profile bloggers, they will link to your website (or other domains in your web presence) and you will come out looking as an expert in your niche. You could entice other bloggers by inviting them as guest bloggers. The best bloggers to befriend are those in your industry or in a related industry.

3) You should be persistent. Writing a “hit” posts usually takes time and you should be patient. You may write a very good post and still see “0 comments”, but the lack of acknowledgement should not discourage you. Note that just because people are not commenting does not mean they are not reading. It only takes one post to drive your blog's web presence, making it go viral. Blog with passion and everything will fall into place with time.

4) Ask yourself why anybody would link to your posts. If the content is not useful, people will not link to it. If you are too simplistic/or too complex in presenting your web presence, people will not link to it. Ensure that you give your readers something that will inspire them to share the posts. Your blogs should have both entertainment and informational value.

The focus should always be on your readers. Put yourself in the shoes of your readers before you write each post. This will help you write posts that are relevant and readable. If you are only focusing on what you want, that means you will be the only fan of the blog. Reply to all blog comments as a way of endearing yourself to the readers.

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3 Essentials to Optimize Your Blog Posts

Most great blog posts rank naturally, purely because they provide exceptional content. However there's a few ways in which you can better optimize your blog posts for great search engine visibility and click-through rates.

You'll first want to pinpoint the keyword target that best portrays your blog post and the type of traffic you'd like to gain from the search engines. After you done a little research on the ideal keyword target, then you can begin tailoring and optimizing your blog post accordingly. Below are three essentials techniques to optimize blog posts for better rankings.

1. Optimize Your Blog Post's Page Title & Meta Description

The page title is a critical content element that holds significant weight in establishing keyword relevancy for a webpage. The page title is what shows-up as the main link for each listing in the organic search results. Because of this, it's important to include your keyword target in the page title.

Content Optimization

Although there's a lot of debate over whether the Meta description actually offers keyword value for optimization, the words that a person uses in their search phrase will appear in bold in the Meta Description. So regardless of keyword value, it's still advantageous to use our keyword targets in some manner in the Meta description.

Google and most other major search engines only display about 160 characters of the Meta description. So in addition to keeping it concise, strive to convey value and uniqueness in what your blog post is about. When search engine users read a compelling Meta description, they are far more apt to click into your post (boosting your click-through rate.)

2. Optimize Your Blog Post's Images and Videos

Whether you're using a video or an image, rich media of the like can be optimized to establish greater keyword relevancy on the blog post. The trick is to perform this optimization prior to uploading the media to either your blog post or video host, such as YouTube.

Before uploading the media, right click the file and select "properties" near the bottom. In addition to the file's title, you can open the details tab and keyword optimize the file's subject, tags, and comments. This will help you optimize your blog posts for better rankings in Google search, as well as your media for Google Images.

3. Optimize Your Blog Post with Authorship

If you are still not on Google+ yet, then I suggest you create an account as soon as possible. In essence, Google+ can have direct impact your blog posts' keyword rankings and search engine exposure. This is becoming especially important with respect to Author Rank.

In addition to helping you share your content, optimizing your web presence on Google+ can help you establish authorship in your blog posts and other content that you produce.

Observe the image below. Although the blog post ranking in the #3 spot is not on top of the rankings, the fact that it's showing the authorship rich snippet makes it far more obvious to the eye.

Google Plus

In order to generate this powerful rich snippet, include a link to your Google+ profile page toward the end of the blog post (typically in the author byline.) What's critical is that you include ?rel=author at the end of the URL. This tells Google that you are the author of this blog post, and will generate the image rich snippet as a result.

These are just a few ways you can gain some momentum with your blogging and content marketing. By optimizing your blog posts using these simple practices, you can better your chances of seeing your content in the search results. The true driver, however, is creating amazing content that naturally gets shared and linked to be your audience.

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3 Gangster Tips for Local SEO Domination

In this article, I show your three ways to dominate your local SEO competition like a gangster. These local SEO tips are actually quite simple, but also provide a lot of momentum in helping to increase your rankings.

1. Get Social with Google+

Local SEO TipsEven though Google+ is a social network, the activity conducted on Google+ can directly impact the local search results. After you have created and populated a Google+ page, there are two SEO moves you can make in order to help increase your rank. These are:

* including a link on your Google+ page that directs to your website. There's a designated place for this on the Google+ page under the About tab.

* including a link on your website that directs to your Google+ page. The specific code for this link is provided on your Google+ page (while you're in edit mode.)

This cross-linkage is somewhat of a verification tool for Google that you're website is one with their network. It's essentially a credibility measure that can help you gain a nice jump in Google local listings.

2. Establish Local Connections for Links

Building and earning links is still a powerful technique for SEO. However for local SEO, rather than seeking only high authority sources for links, scout for local connections that offer local relevancy in being a link source.

One of the best places to begin is with the local clients and connections you already have established. In some cases you may be able to simply ask for the link directly, or perhaps you can write a guest article for their blog. Website with local relevancy are just as good for local SEO as high authority links with a decent PageRank.

3. Create and Share Brilliant Content

You may be familiar with the term content marketing, which is simply creating and sharing brilliant content with the focus of inbounding traffic to your website. In a sense, this is a practice that helps feed SEO.

Some of the best forms of content are informative and educational content that enlightens your target audience. By inducing an "AH HA" from your readers, you earn some degree of credibility as the the author, which not only helps with inbounding direct traffic, but also helps you build a trusted brand, beyond local SEO.

Also with content marketing, you can earn opportunities to generate link popularity back to your website. This is a great tactic use in conjunction with guest blogging, which is the new rave for off-page SEO.

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How Social Media Will Influence Your Organic Search Marketing Strategy

There is no question that social media will be a dominant player in your organic search marketing strategy. Social signals, such as likes, tweets, shares, and +1's, are starting to impact SEO and Google's organic search results. As a result, smart organic search marketers are integrating social sharing icons in their blog content and inside web pages to make it easier to earn social authority.

Social Organic Search Marketing

Social media sharing and engagement will be directly parallel to your content marketing strategy and how you plan to share your ideas. In essence, this is because much of the content that you generate will be promoted and shared via social media. This is an effort to leverage your content to engage with your target audience.

In a nutshell, this is the new form of organic search marketing (SEO).

So instead of thinking of social media as a channel to market your business's products or services, (inward thinking) visualize of social media as a means to engage with your target audience (extrinsic thinking).

Social media engagement all about leveraging the potential of your followers. The more people who find value in your content, the better chances it has in earning a high search rankings.

Plan a Purposeful Social Engagement Strategy

It's important to keep you social engagement strategy highly focused on your target audience. Don't assume that your business needs to be present on all social media networks. Instead, pinpoint social networks that are most relevant to your target audience, business, and organic search marketing efforts. This may or may not include social media sites like Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Facebook. But two social sites that are definitely worth pursuing for organic search marketing are Google Plus and Twitter.

Google Plus and Twitter are two of the most influential social media networks for organic SEO. We suggest you get on these networks, not only to stay top of mind with your target audience, but also to help improve your organic search marketing efforts.

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How to Create an Optimized Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is a strategic and diligent practice of creating and brilliant content around the Web. The primary focus in creating an optimized content marketing strategy is to leverage social media to promote awesome content.

In short, the goal is to use your great content (in conjunction with social media marketing) to inbound traffic to your website.

The content marketing strategy for your website will be unique compared to other models, however the core purpose remains universal: publish valuable, audience-relevant content that earns the respect of the people who engage in it.

Whether you're developing informative articles, videos, infographics, or podcasts, your content marketing strategy can offer a wealth of benefits. Creating an optimized content marketing strategy can help build brand awareness, recognition, and credibility - all the while inbounding quality visitors to your website.

Generating SEO Value from Your Content Marketing Strategy

Although a content marketing strategy might seem more like an inbound marketing strategy, there's definitely SEO value to be gained.

This SEO value derives from outbound links that can be included in the copy of your content. In essence, outbound links from relevant and quality forms of content are like votes of credibility and popularity. The more links your website can earn from such sources, the greater SEO potential it will have in achieving top keyword rankings.

However, there's more to an optimized content marketing than purely generating links and inbounding new visitors to your website. Whether an image, blog post, or video, the content itself can actually earn high keyword rankings in the organic search results.

In fact, Google finds great value in quality, socially-favored content, and as a result, such forms of content can see the top of the organic search results. This underscores the significance of creating top-notch content that's both compelling and very relevant to your target audience.

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5 Grammatical Errors that can Kill Your Optimized Web Copy

Writing well-optimized web copy does not come naturally to everybody. The rules of grammar are more strictly adhered to in text, than it is in spoken language.

When speaking, spontaneity does not allow for complex phrasing like writing web copy. Sentences may be complex but the meaning and presence often is not. Eloquence in impromptu speech is typically derived from inflexion and tone more than from grammar.

On the other hand, even when one has the talent for writing optimized web copy, common grammatical errors may still creep in. The only remedy is to keep reading widely. The advantage is that when writing web copy there is often time to proofread. Here are some of the most common errors in copywriting:

1. The confusion that occurs when using the words ‘its’ and ‘it’s’ is probably the most common. Most editors catch this error because they look for it specifically. Independent bloggers should form that habit also as they hardly ever catch the error while proofreading their own work. Fortunately, word processors autocorrect this one as soon as it happens.

2. The two words ‘there’ and ‘their’ are other common culprits. Most writers know the correct use of both these words. The error seems to be come about mostly from speed typing. It often brings about a completely different meaning from the one intended and throws the reader in the process. The swapping of ‘there’ and ‘their’ must be avoided as readers find it difficult to stick to the page after being thrown off like that.

3. There is really no excuse for confusing the words ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. Contractions are really useful in speech and copywriting but confusing them with a possessive pronoun is the height of bad writing. Contractions are more often used in speech thus they should appear more often in transcripts. Whenever you see a contraction as you proof read, check and check again.

4. ‘Affect’ versus ‘effect’ is a common typo. Affect is a verb that makes no sense when used in a sentence instead of effect. Whereas, when effect is used where it should have been affect, it produces a completely different meaning. Effect can also be a noun that means the result of something.

5. A common grammatical error is the dangling particle. This basically means a sentence gone wrong while the writer was trying to sound sophisticated. This is best explained by an example; “While revving up the engines, the chequered flag signalled the drivers”. This sentence is off because it implicates that a chequered flag could rev up engines while in fact it was the drivers. The easiest way to avoid this is to write short sentences. However beginning the sentence with a participle phrase is a way to celebrate grammar. Just be sure to finish what you started with the right modifier.

Avoiding the above errors will leave your copy looking professional. One must not rely too heavily on a word processor’s auto correction. It is not uncommon for computers to churn out awkward sentences and reject perfectly grammatically correct phrases. For professional copywriting, use specialised grammar correction software.

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