Thursday, May 26, 2016

SEO Techniques For Beginners (3)

Now it’s time to look at link building, which as much as anything will determine where your pages rank for different queries.

We’ll also take a look at analytics so you can understand how your SEO efforts have been working and gain insights into how to improve them. Unless you’re msuring results you’re basically throwing things into the wind and hoping they land where you want. Analytics will let us know which way the wind is blowing and point us to jet strms to so our SEO lands where we want.
Let’s start talking about links and what makes one link more valuable than another.

4. Link BuildingLinks more than anything will determine where your pages rank. If you build a srch friendly site and erate incoming links to your pages you’e going to get srch traffic. The two main questions with links are where do you get them and which are the best links to get. Let’s tackle the latter question first.
Which are the best links to get?Google popularized the id of links as a ranking factor. Links are at the hrt of Google’s PageRank aorithm. At it’s core the id was that a link counts as a vote or recommendation by one page for another. Over time this has evolved quite a bit, but I think it’s still useful to think about links as votes or recommendations.
Consider the following scenario – You have 2 neighbors. One is the local plumber and the other is Albert Einstein. If you ask ch a eral question who’s answer do you think you’d be more likely to trust? Odds are you’re going to trust Einstein’s answer because you know he’s a pretty smart guy and probably knows the answer to a lot of things. Einstein likely has more eral authority in your eyes than the plumber as a go to guy for answers.
Let’s say instd of a eral question you have a very specific question about the pipes running through your kitchen. Now who’s answer are you going to trust? Probably the plumber. Einstein knows a lot, but chances are the plumber knows more about plumbing. The plumber has more topical authority when it comes to answers about plumbing.
Where do you get them?Now think about the above analogy in terms of links. Some sites and pages have a lot of eral authority. Think, A link from these sites likely carries a lot of eral authority. People trust these sites and more importantly srch engines trust these sites. What do they specifically know about web design though?
How about sites like, the tutsplus family of sites, or These sites have topical authority around web design and web development. You would probably trust advice from them on the topic of design and development over the site.
I’ll ask again which links have more value for your site?
Page RankPageRank (PR) is Google’s id of msuring authority, more specifically eral authority. The PR of a web page is based on the PR of the pages linking to that page. However PageRank isn’t the end all and be all of srch ranking. First the PR you and I see is not the true PR of a web page. We see what’s called toolbar PR (TBPR). Google updates it 3 or 4 times a yr so most of the time it’s out of date. It’s also on a different scale than true PageRank and Google’s been known to edit the PR of certain sites for various rsons.
PageRank is still important and it’s still part of what goes into determining where a web page will rank, but know that if you’re chasing PR you’re going about things the wrong way. PR is only one factor among hundreds and it’s also a Google specific metric. It has nothing to do with how well your pages rank at any other srch engine. At best it’s a quick and dirty msure of the authority Google sees in a page or site.
So what are the best links to get? Well it depends. It depends on the topic of your site and it depends on the competition around that topic. Links from the Wikipedia and CNN are always going to be good, however the link from the authority in your niche is probably even better.
As a eral rule the harder it is to acquire a link the better, because that difficultly reduces the chances of your competition getting the same link and that difficulty likely enhances the authority a srch engine sees in the link and consequently your page and site.
As a site note: Page Rank is named after Google co-founder Larry Page. Many people mistakenly believe it’s named after page as in web page and think page rank is the same as where your page ranks in srch results. Nope. Page is for Larry Page.
Anchor Text, Nofollow, and Link DiversityThere are three more ids we should discuss when talking about the quality of links:
The anchor text of the links in question, Links with the nofollow attribute applies, and The diversity of where those links come from. Anchor Text
You probably know that anchor text is the clickable text that becomes the links. Those words and even the words around the link itself give an indiion of what the page is voting for. If the anchor text linking to you says “web design” it will likely help you rank better for the phrase “web design” than if the anchor text said “click here.” words in anchor text are a good signal for ranking.
nofollow is essentially a way to link to a web page while at the same time letting srch engines know you’re not voting or recommending that page. Links with nofollow applied are not supposed to pass any link juice or link value. They shouldn’t therefore have any benefit in regards to SEO. However any link is still an avenue into your site.
If CNN told me they would link to my home page, but the link would have nofollow applied, I’d still be very happy to have that link. Many eyeballs would see it and hopefully many of them would click through to my site.
Link Diversity
rlier I mentioned the concept of a link as a vote. In an election how many votes does one person get. Corruption aside it’s one vote per person. With web pages and websites there is likely a diminishing return when we’re talking about links back to your site. Consider two cases.
1,000 links pointing into your site all from a single website100 links pointing into your site, 5 ch from 20 different sitesThe latter is probably going to have a grter impact. In the first case there’s no diversity in the links. In the second case there are more sites “voting” for you. Idlly links into your site or page should come from a variety of sources.

SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday – Link Diversity from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.
Quick Summary of Link BuildingBuild trust and authority in your site by acquiring links from eral and topical trusted and authority sites.Build trust and authority in a single page on your site by acquiring links from eral and topical trusted and authority web pages.Try to get links with variations of your main phrase in the anchor text.Seek links from a diverse set of sites and pages.Sometimes it’s simply a s game. More links or better more link juice, PR, or whatever you want to call it, is better. Quality though, is usually preferred to quantity.Internal links (links from one page of your site to another) count as links, but what others say about you mns more than what you say about yourself. External links (links from other domains) are better than internal links, but internal links do count. Make sure to link between pages of your site. Internal links are also one place you can guarantee control over the anchor text of the link.
In eral the sier a link is to get the less value it likely has. Even if it does have grt value your competition will be able to get that same link as sily as you thereby diluting the effect of the link.
Where to Get Links FromNow that we’ve discussed what makes for a better link how and where should we get links? Any page that will link back to one of your pages is a link. Most will help to some degree, but given the above discussion of link quality some links are going to help more.
I’ll point you to a few sources with specific ids on how and where to get links from and keep the discussion here to a few eral thoughts.
Low Quality Links

are usually sy to get. Forums, directories, blog comments are a few examples. These links are links and they should pass on raw link juice and value. However, because these links are erally low quality you probably don’t want to spend too much time trying to get them without having other rsons for getting those links.
For example I participate regularly in several forums and ch contains links in my forum signature back to my site. I never post though just to get another signature link. I post in order to interact with the communities of those forums. That interaction has directly led to friends and clients and yes even some SEO benefit. Again the goal of post is not the link. That’s simply a nice side benefit.
The same thing applies to blog comments. The value in those comments is that you get to be in front of an audience that may very well be interested in you and your site. If you spend time lving interesting or entertaining comments on a few blogs on similar topics to your blog you’ll find some of that audience will follow you back to your site and the blog owner may also do the same. If you simply lve a quick and useless comment you’re missing out. The link itself is probably not going to help much. It’s the quality of the comment that matters most. Any SEO benefit is a nice side bonus.
High Quality Links
They are harder to get and will ultimately give you more benefit. It makes more sense to actively work to get these links. Trusted, authority sites probably aren’t going to link to you just because you ask. You’re erally going to need to give them a rson to link to you.
That starts with your own content. The better your content the more likely someone will want to link to it. It’s always going to be sier to get people to link to quality than garbage.
Give to get. You want me to link to you? Why not link to me first? When you help others it makes them want to help you back. Think about how you can help the site you’re hoping will link back to you. One way you can do this is by guest blogging.
Many design and development blogs are actively seeking guest posts. You should get back a short bio which can include a link or two. Also if you have content that further explains some things you’re writing about you can add a link in the text. As long as the link points to page that is relevant to the guest post most bloggers will be fine with you adding it. Just don’t overdo it.
Remember first and foremost the goal is to write the best post you can for that other site.
Build relationships. Network with other designers. We’re all more likely to help friends than we are to help strangers. We’re also more likely to be familiar with the content of people and sites we know making it sier to link to that content.
In the end the best way to erate quality links is to have content worth linking to. Instd of spending all your time chasing after links with dubious benefit spend more time crting content others will find useful. You still need to give your content a push. If you build it they will come only works in the .
ResourcesThe following should erate lots of ids for where and how you can build links into your site.
101 Ways to Build Link Popularity30 Ways to Get Links Naturally & Stop Link Building45 Link Building Tips To Help You Promote Your BlogLink Building Strategies: 69 Solid Tactics For 20096 Ways to Build Links with Your Graphic Design Skills5. AnalyticsAll of the previous discussion on SEO is grt, but how do you know if any of it is working? The answer is in analytics. You need to msure what’s happening in order to know if your efforts are successful and lding to a positive return on your investment.
SEO is not a set it and forget it proposition. It’s an iterative process. You try some things, msure how effective they are and lrn what you can for the next round of iteration.
There’s no excuse not to have analytics set up on your site. There are many companies that offer solutions at varying costs. Google Analytics, while far from perfect, is free, sy to set up, and most importantly offers some good statistics to help you understand what’s happening with your site.
At the simplest level you can pay attention to how much traffic you’re receiving from srch engines and other sources. Idlly your traffic will continue to grow, but if it doesn’t or if you notice you’ve suddenly lost a lot of traffic you can begin to look deeper to understand why.
A few sy things you can do.
See what words are currently bringing traffic and expand. For example if your site currently brings traffic for “san diego rl estate,” “san fran rl estate,” and “los angeles rl estate” it’s a good indiion you can compete for rl estate in other California cities and even the more eral “california rl estate.” Track word rankings or at lst what page in the results your page ranksDiscover which content on your site does best. Which content is getting the most views, which content is attracting the most links, which content are people landing on most often. Can you crte more content on the same or similar content?Find out which sites are sending the best traffic. Say you write guest posts for 5 different sites. Which site or site led to the most traffic? Did the traffic from one site stick around on your site longer? Did one ld to more people subscribing to your blog? Knowing which sites provide the best traffic lets you know where better to focus your efforts.Lrn who visits your site. What browser and operating system do they use? Where are they loed? The more you know about the people who spend time with your site, the better you can craft new content to keep them coming back and bring more people like them to the site.Identify what you do and don’t do well. Are you getting a lot of srch traffic, but little referral traffic? Are people spending time on one page, but not clicking to others? Are people visiting lots of pages, but not spending time on any of them? How sticky is your site?There are many things you can do with analytics, but before you can do any of them you need to have analytics set up. You need to understand what is happening on your site, what is and isn’t working, in order to know how to improve your site in the next iteration.
SummaryWay back at the start of this short series of posts I mentioned that SEO is a complex subject. We’ve rlly only touched upon the surface of srch engine optimization in this series. No single post or series of posts could hope to explain all the nuances of srch, especially when srch engines work so hard to protect their aorithms and often change very quickly.
The aim of this series has been to help give you a foundation so you’re better prepared to separate good information from bad in your further resrch. While these posts won’t make you an SEO expert there are a few takways I hope you’ll carry with you.
Srch Engine Optimization is only one part of marketing. You don’t want to ignore all the other ways to market your site. Srch traffic can be very good traffic, but it’s far from the only traffic you can get. Be rlistic and make your SEO efforts a part, albeit an important part, of your overall marketing efforts.The latest and grtest SEO tips are often worthless. If you knew a secret that could bring you millions of visitors from srch engines would you tell everyone and give away your competitive advantage? Probably not. Neither does anyone else. That’s not to say all SEO advice is bad. Far from it. But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone promises you sy fixes like changing a single word on your site so all your pages will rank #1 be very skeptical.It’s important to understand how people use words, their intent in using those words, and how they are likely to srch for you, your information, your products, or your services. The obvious words are not always best and success is often in getting small amounts of traffic to many pages across your site instd of focusing all your efforts on a single page or two.When building a site or writing content for a site, always think about rl people first. When you make sites usable and accessible you also help srch spiders crawl and index your site. When you write content naturally rl people will respond better. It’s a good id to understand what srch engines like to see in sites and pages and make decisions accordingly, but always keep the rl people using your site at the forefront.Links play a very large part in how well pages and sites rank in srch engines. Not all links are crted equal. Some are better than others. erally the harder it is to get a link, the more likely that single link will benefit you. Low quality links are sy to get and so everyone gets them. High quality links are what separates you from the competition in most cases. Grt content and crtivity is the backbone for getting others to link to you.When you’re confused about a particular piece of SEO advice it sometimes helps to think like an engineer working at a srch engine. Srch is often a and mouse game between SEOs and srch engineers. Srch engines place value on a meta tag, people begin to abuse the tag, srch engineers place less weight and then no weight on meta tags. If you imagine you’re a srch engineer fighting spam you can sometimes tell what is and isn’t likely to work now or work in the future.ResourcesThe following are some of my favorite blogs in the SEO community. If you follow the links in their posts you can sily build a pretty large list of SEO feeds in a short amount of time. SEO by the S has an extensive blogroll in the right sidebar to make building that list even quicker. I’ve also tried to link to a variety of sources throughout this series of posts.
SEO BookSEOmozSrch Engine LandHuomahSEO by the SFinally here are some free eral SEO guides guides, checklists, and useful articles. They should cover much of what we’ve talked about in this series, albeit in slightly grter detail. I hope they help in your SEO lrning.
Beginner’s Guide to Srch Engine OptimizationSEO Fast StartSrch Engine Ranking FactorsLocal Srch Engine Ranking FactorsSEO Checklist (supersized), hold the B.S.Free Srch Engine Optimization & Marketing s

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