Among the many aspects of organic SEO that often gets overlooked is the practice of internal linking. When executed correctly, internal linking can enhance the search rankings of a website as well as its usability.
In external linking to other sites, search engines like Google pass value, or keyword relevancy based on the words used in the links anchor text. Most organic SEO efforts are in this external form, where SEO's acquire backlinks from other websites that include keyword-specific anchor text for which the site has been optimized for.
Although external linking is a dominant factor in search engine rankings, contextual internal links can also contribute to improving a website's search rankings for targeted keyword phrases.
The content of your webpages offers a wealth of opportunities to pass along link weight to other pages of your site. The first step to establishing your internal linking strategy involves going through the various pages of your website to see where it is logical to build a few links to other relevant pages. It is important take this approach from the standpoint of a user, and not just a search engine spider.
When creating internal links, it is not only important to choose the right pages, but also where on the page you add the link. The most effective links are called contextual links, or links embedded in the copy of the content. Contextual links, both for internal and external link building strategies, are ideal because they are surrounded by related text - a concept that search engine spiders take into consideration.
The anchor text you use when building internal links is also significant. Be sure to use targeted keywords in which you would like the destination page to rank for. You don't always have to use exact phrase matching of your primary keyword target of the destination page. In some cases, a partial linking strategy (where only some keywords are used in the anchor text) may be the best option.
As you are going through the internal linking process, make sure that the destination page includes the targeted keywords of the link (anchor text), both on-page and off-page. By this we mean it is important to have the targeted keywords in page title and meta tags (off-page), as well as in body copy of the page (on-page).
In essence, links are more effective if the words and phrases used in the link's anchor text also show up in the various areas of destination page. And to reinforce the importance of contextual links, the surrounding text of the internal link plays a role too. In some instances, you may want to edit the copy around your internal links to improve the search engine value.
The benefits of internal linking can be advantageous for user interaction as well. They can help funnel users to find the content that they are truly looking seeking on your website. For this reason, logical links that have relevant destinations and keyword-focused anchor text is thesis to a solid internal linking strategy.continue...
There are so many social media platforms out there that it's hard to determine which are in your business's best interests. If your company is also pursuing search engine optimization (SEO) as a means to direct traffic to the website, there's a few social media marketing platforms that can help bolster the SEO efforts of your business.
Below we highlight three of the top social media marketing sites that can help benefit your SEO strategy.
If SEO is primary means for your Internet marketing, taking advantage of Google+ is a must. As one of the newest social media platforms, Google+ is like a hybrid of Facebook. However what makes Google+ much more powerful is that it is directly tied to Google search - which is a big deal for organic SEO.
Let's do an example. Joe, who is a Google+ follower of your 'marble cleaner' brand, performs a search on how to clean marble countertops. As he sifts through the search engine results, he notices a Google+ post that really stands out from the rest of the search listings. That Google+ post just so happens to be a Google+ post that you made regarding a recent article your wrote about "cleaning and caring for marble."
Instances like the example above are happening more and more as the Google+ community grows. It's Google's way controlling the quality and relevancy of its search results, all the while building its social media network. For this reason, Google+ social marketing goes hand in hand with white-hat SEO: produce superb and highly relevant content, and share it on Google+. Not only will this generate social signals to your content and website (+1 for SEO,) but its possible that your post could be seen in the search engine results (+1 for SEO!)
The greatest advantage of Facebook is that it offers cost-efficient opportunities to inbound traffic to your website. Unlike Google+, you Facebook posts are not going to be seen in the search engine results of Google; however, your brand's profile page could very well be optimized for search.
It's thus important that you do not simply create a Facebook page and call it good. Rather, optimize everything you can on your profile to be as keyword relevant as possible. A few ways to do this are:
* Populate your "about" description, "products/services," and any additional fields about your business with keyword-relevant content
* Take advantage of custom URLs. You'll need to have a certain number of followers to do this, however it will significantly help the SEO potential of your profile being visible in search
* Build a link from your website and blog to your Facebook page
Currently, there over 300 million users on Facebook. Aside from the SEO advantages of this social media marketing platform, the ability to inbound direct traffic to your blog or website (via content sharing) is also a powerful technique. So although this isn't a direct benefit for SEO, inbound marketing via Facebook will improve the health of your overall web marketing strategy.
In the last year, Twitter has grown in leaps and bounds. Similar to Google+, your posting activity in Twitter can actual be ranking in the search engine results. Also awesome for search engine optimization is that links from Tweets can actually help build authority from an off-site SEO perspective.
In fact, we have seen some Twitter pages that have incredible authority (or Google PageRank, to be specific.) This means that any Tweets blasted from an authoritative Twitter account can work wonders for SEO. And when it comes to off-site SEO for ecommerce sites, these tactics can help increase the rank of product pages (from both the link and social signal that's been established.)
So if your business is investing heavily in organic SEO, these three social marketing platforms can help support your efforts and bolster your rankings. In without question that social media is impacting search. The signals from social media sites are becoming increasingly important in determining search rankings, so get on these three social media platforms and starting sharing excellent content with your target audience.continue...
Blogging is not something that can be done by everybody. However, if you have the right direct for content and a niche target audience, you could be successful at blogging.
There are a number of things that one should have in mind when it comes to blogging for SEO and increased search exposure. It is important to have a grasp on the basics of search engine optimization to better understand how to publish content that is optimized for search.
Some bloggers can get out-of-hand and over-optimize their blogs. For this reason, it is key to blog for your readers first, blog of SEO second. Here are some common SEO mistakes that bloggers make. By being conscious of these common mistakes, you can better ensure your blog is reader-friendly as well as SEO-friendly.
There is a common habit of bloggers having too many links in their blog post's content. Links are an essential tool in blogging when they are used in the correct manner. However, having too many of them in one single page will make the page look crowded and this will be a nuisance to your readers.
You should try to use links as sparingly as you can. In addition to this, be selective when it comes to the links that you actually use. Well-optimized SEO blogs only include links are offering your readers relevant information be it on products or information related to the post.
Most bloggers know that one of the basics of search engine optimization is having keywords. However, there are a large number of bloggers who tend to overstuff their content with these keywords. It may seem like a good idea to have a multitude of keywords as logic would dictate that this would make it easier for your site to be spotted online. However, the opposite is true. Too many keywords could result in having your blog penalized by the search engine thus ensuring you have no rankings at all.
Another common mistake most bloggers make is focusing too much on ensuring that the website is search engine optimized then neglecting other factors that will make the site successful. The one thing you require for your blog is readers. Without a following, your content is irrelevant. Therefore, you should do your best to ensure that your readers have the best experience when they are navigating through your site. Internet users will rarely pay a second visit to a website that they did not find user friendly.
Blog readers can be finicky. A small mistake such as displaying irrelevant text through images on your site could turn them off from being regular readers. In addition to this, this type of text will not even be of SEO value to your website. When describing images on your blog, take the time to come up with the most accurate descriptions. If it helps, you could even include links in the description.
Tags and Meta descriptions are essential in search engine optimization. Search engines will use these to rank your pages. You should therefore take time to come up with brief tags and Meta descriptions that encapsulate the essence of the content that you have posted. For instance, if you are trying to optimize a page for Michigan SEO expert, you will definitely want to include this exact phrase [Michigan SEO Expert] in both the page title and meta description if appropriate.continue...
Social media is an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Consider the following six questions to better understand on social medial influences SEO:
Social media is one of the best channels through which you can get maximum traffic through links to your website. This is because there is a huge congregation of raw traffic as well as interested users that you can attract through links. Social linking refers to placing a link in a forum or piece posted in a social website such as Twitter or Facebook. Using social media as a location for placing links is not only a way of attracting a lot of traffic to your site but also a way of improving your search visibility on a focused content.
There are various characteristics that social links can have and they are identified depending on their target purpose. Links can be evaluated by how much they can be shared within the social site and whether they pass PageRank. Other links can be evaluated by how much SEO traffic or shares within a particular time especially if they are focused on creating awareness among users. Other links can be defined as temporary or permanent, social links or links within feeds among others. You should choose social links that directly appeal to your situation. For instance, if you use temporary links, it should be for a product or service that is temporarily on offer.
No-follow attribute prevents users in some social media sites from directly accessing your landing pages through links. It is a measure that has been used for both securities as well as controlling the amount of links placed on such sites especially because social media is considered extremely fertile grounds for these. Although you can control SEO policies on no-follow by social media sites, you can invest in this area as the information you are sharing influences users to act on it and find their way to your website.
There are so many social shares that these links receive for search engines to ignore. These links are for interested people to share with other people of interest. If the turnover rates for sharing these links is high, the search engines as well will be able note this. However it is important to remember that it's social media engagement that prompts people to get talking about your product.
Traditionally, social links were places on blogs and social media forums where bloggers would place the links within their posts. Interested individuals who read the posts follow this links to the landing page of your website. However the speed at which such traditional links spread through various user sharing on the Internet cannot to be compared to the rapid rate at which a Facebook status can be shared. This is because these links involve many more users and the sharing capabilities are much more flexible as compared to blogs.
The only way to determine this is to review whether your social links are achieving the SEO goals that had been planned for. Social links should not only be limited to a means of achieving higher Internet visibility since there is a lot of underlying value to them. There are many things that social links can do other than creating high visibility including driving direct traffic and creating waves of awareness. There is so much that can be elicited for new content through social linking.
Learn more about the social media influence of SEO by visiting Click Centric SEO, a leading resource for search engine optimization and social media marketing.continue...
I came across this enlightening video presented by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz.com. In his Whiteboard Friday segment, Rand makes a very pronounced prediction with respect to linking for SEO and establishing keyword relevancy.
Rand predicts a steady decline of link anchor text as a means of determining a page’s keyword relevancy, and the increase of “co-occurrence” as a variable influencing keyword relevancy.
Simply put, co-occurrence is content association. That is, mentioning certain keywords and phrases in the content will make contextually relevant on those terms. As a result, any outbound links from that content will carry that keyword relevancy to the page being linked to, regardless of anchor text.
Google’s getting wiser and as a result, yielding better results for websites being mentioned along with keywords on other pages. These websites that are ranking higher in Rand’s video aren’t live-linked (holding keyword-specific anchor text) nor do they mention the keyword phrase in the page title or copy.
This means the classic SEO approaches we’ve come to know - live link association or anchor text - is becoming less of an influence. Co-occurrence is the new bread and butter in Rand’s thoughtful prediction.
Check out Rand’s video here.
This article was produced by blogger, SEO, and web marketer Kyle Blasco. You can connect with Kyle on Google+.continue...
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.
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.
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.continue...
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.
Even 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.
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.
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.continue...
A 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.
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.continue...
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?
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.continue...
Before Google unleashed its contrasting zoo animals upon the SEO world in order to combat spam and promote more natural search engine result page (SERP) rankings, link builders had an easy job of it. Link builders could simply buy hundreds of links, participate in link farms, get easy posting with spun content on article directories, and use a host of other spammy techniques in order to jump to the top of page one. While there are still plenty of black hat SEO and link building techniques out there, they are becoming harder to pull off and the likelihood that Google Panda will eat your site is becoming more likely by the minute. In order to avoid penalties and keep sites ranking well, we link builders have had to shift our focus to strategies that are long term focused that still deliver results. A major part of this strategy is focusing on building links on relevant sites to the target page, and here is why.
Or at least it wants to be. Google strives to provide a great user experience to searchers, and this means providing search results that are accurate and relevant to the queries and keywords being searched for. That being said, SEOs and link builders who have a direct influence on the SERPs skew this “natural” experience. It used to be common to see a site with thousands of spammy backlinks shoot to the top of the SERPs. The backlinks came from every dark corner of the web and it was obvious that the only purpose for these links was to influence Google’s algorithm. Well the algorithm is getting better at seeing this kind of behavior and sites that use these tactics now get penalized quickly. This has led to a trend where lower numbers (dozens rather than hundreds to thousand) of highly relevant backlinks are influencing a page’s SERP rankings much more than ever before.
It makes sense. Bloggers and websites within a certain niche are going to naturally link to one another because that is where the most relevant information pertaining to their audience is going to be found. What a lot of us SEOs tend to forget is that people link to people; websites do not link to websites. And Google is trying to put the power back into the people’s hands. This can be seen with more Google Plus posts showing up in the SERPs and Google Authorship becoming a major player in the blogging and SEO world. Getting a steady handful of high quality links (such as a guest post from an authority site in your niche) can have tremendous long term results because it is the natural way linking works.
Of course, when link building, we still focus primarily on keyword rich anchor text. Now fitting these naturally into a sentence is still important, but some interesting studies have shown that Google may be preparing to move away from anchor text all together. This would be a huge shock to the SEO system because link building has been associated with anchor text ever since links were always “click here.” Rand Fishkin explains here how sites have been seen ranking for competitive search terms even though they have no keywords on the page, and have never built anchor text rich backlinks to the page that is ranking. They are ranking solely due to high authority sites mentioning them in plain text. If this became common place, we’d have to throw all of our playbooks out and start from scratch.
Staying within your sites niche when you build links has never been more important. Not only does it make sense and can drive high quality direct traffic, but going and targeting links on irrelevant sites (yes, even if they have a high PageRank) could be detrimental to your long term ranking success if you make a habit of it. Targeting niche specific sites not only makes your actions look natural to Google, but you’ll also build your trust within your niche which means more expansion and trust.continue...
A variety of software, tools, blog articles, learning resources, and services for SEO.
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