Small Business SEO: How to Reach Your Audience

We’ve talked about search engine optimization quite a bit in the past, and with good reason. SEO is an absolutely indispensable way to reach potential customers, and in the competitive online market, small business SEO can be the difference between a thriving business and a premature bankruptcy. Today, we are going to talk about using SEO as a small business, and how you can make the most of your online presence.

What is SEO?

As stated above, SEO stands for search engine optimization. Optimizing your web pages to fit the algorithms on search engines like Google can boost your ranking when people search for terms related to your product or service. While there are a number of factors that go into this optimization, a few important ones include:

  • Using relevant keywords
  • Linking to other pages on your own site
  • Linking to pages on other sites
  • Avoiding repetitive links

We’ve talked about SEO in greater depth elsewhere, so we won’t get too deep into it here. But now that we’ve covered the basics of SEO, let’s get into what makes small business SEO different from SEO for bigger companies.

Big vs Small Business SEO

It should be pretty obvious that almost every business can benefit from SEO. That said, not every business benefits from the same strategy. Bigger businesses have far more money to invest, and typically have a wider audience.

A place like McDonald’s doesn’t really need to worry about their customers finding them on Google, as they are widely recognized throughout the world already. When a business like this engages in SEO, they’re probably going to be aiming at the highest level search terms, such as “burgers,” but they’ll also be focused heavily on their locations.

Such broad terms should not be chosen when attempting small business SEO, however. The reason is simple: competition is going to be insane. In order to pop up anywhere near the first page on a search for a broad, generic term, a company must out-compete thousands of other sites. Small businesses are rarely equipped for this.

This is an incredibly common mistake, and it ends up costing these businesses. If a business owner is working with limited resources, spending money on SEO that doesn’t get them any new attention can be a serious loss.

How to Win with SEO as a Small Business

Small business owners need to approach SEO at the local level. It is highly unlikely that a local shop is going to find its way to the first page of Google on a huge, inclusive search, but they can be mighty competitive if they get a bit more specific.

Sticking with the burger joint example, there is a very low chance a burger place in a small town is going to out-compete a corporation like McDonald’s. What they can do, however, is optimize for searches which are too specific for a huge, national corporation.

In practice, this means the local place would simply switch from optimizing for the word “burger,” to the search term “burger place Fort Collins.” Barrowing in will allow the local restaurant to slip through holes in the nets bigger businesses cast and show up higher on search engines.

If you are a small business owner trying to build SEO into your strategy, think about what your customers are likely to search. The more specific you can get, the better, as this will allow you to show up on the screens of those most likely to buy from you.

Don’t forget the people who are easy to reach and already want your product because you’re distracted by all the “maybes” out there. Hone in on your specific area and audience, and cater your content to their searches.

Of course, if you want to skip all the test runs and research, you could always hire a marketing team with tons of small business SEO experience. Who knows, finding a great team might be easier than you think.

 

Google for the Gram: Using Social Media SEO

Social Media SEO

There’s a good reason the kids are calling this digital space we all love the ‘interwebz’. It is a unique realm where everything is connected, from endless Wikipedia rabbit holes to social media SEO. Yep, it turns out you can use that Facebook page for far more than finding out what your old college friend cooked for dinner last night; you can actually use social media to get more hits from search engines. Ready to learn how? Then grab my hand and let’s delve into the magical world of social media SEO.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a broad term that encapsulates any use of social media sites to promote a product or drive traffic to a site. Social media SEO is a simple extension of this type of marketing, wherein the postings on social media are used to raise your company’s webpage ranking on major search engines. This can be done in a few ways, such as:

  • Incorporating links into posts which boost SEO
  • Building connections on social media sites which affects relevant search results
  • Making your site/profile optimized for social media searches

Social media SEO is a fantastically efficient way to multitask. It’s kind of like when your daughter tells you she can write a paper while she watches TV, and you learn that it’s actually possible.  It’s the same when you realize how much social helps your brand and SEO, especially when you see that it saves time and money.

How to Use Social Media to Boost Search Engine Traffic

As stated above, social media can boost SEO in a variety of ways. One of the easiest and most obvious methods of social media SEO is optimizing the post itself for search engines. Having a well-crafted post on social media ups the chance of that post being discovered by potential clients when they Google related terms.

Another beautiful little crossover between social media marketing and SEO lies in the fact that social media is itself a type of search engine. More and more people are turning to social media sites when they want a new pair of boots or a sweater for their dog. People want to know what their peers think about potential products, and the human element of social media means that a search on Instagram is a great way to find out if indigo is the right shade for Mr. Waffles.

If you’re going to be using social media marketing, why not capitalize on the SEO side too? Social media will really give you insight into who your audience is and what they’re looking for.

One final way social media is relevant to SEO is that search engines are starting to factor in social media when ranking search results. While Google has said that social media is not a direct factor in ranking, there is plenty of evidence that it indirectly impacts actual ranking factors, and pretty dramatically.

As if that weren’t enough, SEO is a constantly shifting game. Any good SEO marketing strategy will consider the changing nature of the business and adapt, and if trends continue, it is highly likely that social media likes and shares will become direct factors in search engine rankings.

This means that you have a great opportunity to get ahead of the competition by building your social media now. The best part is, even if the social media factors don’t end up being incorporated directly into search algorithms, the work will benefit you in many other ways including helping you:

  • Build your reputation
  • Reach more customers
  • Learn what makes your customers tick
  • Retarget audiences for increased loyalty
  • Sell more products and services

The Takeaway on Social Media SEO

Synergy is everywhere on the internet. This is especially true when it comes to marketing. If you want to maximize on your investments in this area, social media SEO is a great way to go. It’s easy, it’s efficient, and unlike the endlessly streaming clips of store-bought cookie reviews I watched last night, it will make you feel like you’re maximizing productivity. Now go get in on this Google-Social crossover episode.

“It’s Not You, Google. It’s Me.” Do You Really Need SEO?

seo-search-engine-marketing

SEO has become a trendy little topic, hasn’t it? From man-bun-dawning millennials in artisanal coffee shops to three-piece-suit-wearing businesswomen, SEO marketing seems to be on everyone’s mind. In this fast-paced world of internet marketing, it’s easy to get swept up in trends without really knowing why. But, you’re not here to do what’s trendy, you’re here to do what works, and depending on your situation, it might not be ideal for you to try to creep up that Google ranking. Let’s talk about this marketing approach, whether you should go with the flow, and the important things you need to know.

What Is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization if you’re feeling fancy, is a method of digital marketing that focuses on getting your website to pop up on the first page when people search for anything related to your products or services. We do this by focusing on a variety of factors like:

  • The coding and design of your website
  • The links between your web pages and others, and
  • Getting people engaged on social media to help us understand search behaviors

Who wouldn’t want to be the first hit on Google? Well, if it means spending a lot of money on SEO services, maybe you.

Is SEO Marketing Right for You?

While it never hurts to come up on the first page of search engines in a vacuum, the reality is, it’s not going to happen by chance. This means that you’ll need to pay a pro to make it happen, or you’ll need to put in a significant amount of your own time optimizing your web pages.

Now, I find economics to be drier than a week old loaf of French bread in a dehydrator, but I do know that opportunity cost is a very real thing. You don’t want to make just any investment, you want to make the best investment, and SEO might not always live up to that standard. Let’s talk about when you might want to go a different route with your time and money.

If you are an inventive company, creating all sorts of new and unique products, you might not want to purchase SEO services. The reason why lies in the fact that people don’t search for things they don’t know they want yet. People have to know about a product before they start searching for it, and as such, new products are often better served through awareness campaigns. Get some buzz going first.  Then, you can transition to optimizing for search engines.

Another reason to reconsider this type of marketing strategy lies in your timing. If you are trying to promote a one-off event in the near future, a frequently changing inventory, or are looking for a fast return, this type of marketing might not be the strategy of choice. SEO is a long-term approach to digital marketing. It’s not a one-size-fits-all process. Every business and audience will be different, so these partnerships need to be with someone you know and trust. Search engine focused marketing is like a nice cheese; it gets better with time. That said, sometimes it’s a cereal-dinner in your pajamas kind of night, and you’re not trying to wait for long-term results. You want something now.  In those cases, skip the search engines.

The Takeaway:

SEO is an incredibly valuable tool, and for many businesses, it’s a fantastic investment. However, marketing isn’t and should not be cookie-cutter, and you should be treated like the unique individual/company you are. Like my mom always says, “You can’t expect to be extraordinary if you simply do what everyone else is doing. Also, are you eating enough? I’m sending more cookies anyway.” That first part is spot on, so don’t be afraid to weigh your options before committing to a search engine focused campaign. What matters is what YOU want and need out of your marketing campaign, not what is trendy. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to find room for seven unnecessary batches of snickerdoodles.

Search Marketing – The Small Business Growth Factor

search-marketing-and-seo

It’s safe to say you are probably somewhat familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), but what about search marketing? Originally referred to as “search engine marketing”, search marketing is the other side of SEO (think paid and unpaid search activity). For small businesses, this is one of the most important aspects of any good digital marketing plan. In a nutshell, search marketing is an effective way for you to increase visibility, reach your target audience, and grow your brand.

What is Search Marketing?

Before we move any further, an important distinction to make is that search marketing, or SEM, is not the same thing as SEO.

I know, confusing.

While the two work closely together, SEM is more about advertising and gives you instant gratification by displaying ads in search engine results. SEO, on the other hand, is a long-term approach that will keep your brand relevant and allow you to continuously reach new customers. Search marketing relies heavily on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, allowing you to use Google and Bing ads to spread the word about your brand.

Why Does it Matter to My Business?

As a small business, finding the right tactics to grow your brand and become successful is difficult, to say the least. This is why it is so important that you look for the most efficient ways to spend your marketing dollars – which often means search engine marketing. This is especially important during the busy holiday shopping season, as millions of consumers will be relying on Google and other search engines to help them fulfill those gift-buying lists.

It is unfortunately common for businesses to fall behind a bit when it comes to integrating all these different strategies into their overall digital marketing plan. Not only does it seem like there is always something new you should be doing, but Google is constantly changing their algorithms, keeping us all on our toes.

It may help to look at SEM as a set of techniques used to bring more traffic to your business website, as it works to promote websites through ads on search engine results pages. This can be done through paid advertising or organic placement, depending on your brand and goals.

Search marketing also matters to your business for the following reasons:

  • It increases brand awareness
  • It can help you sell your products or services to online customers
  • It can increase your sales and generate new leads
  • It can provide your customers with solid, informational content

Tips for Using Search Marketing to Grow Your Brand

When used in conjunction with SEO, search marketing can increase visibility and showcase your brand. This is important, as a good SEM strategy can literally drive potential customers directly to your website.

Here are a few tips for using search marketing – during the holidays and otherwise – to grow your brand:

  • Pick the appropriate keywords
  • Use these keywords in your online campaigns and paid ads
  • Make sure you know who your audience is
  • Create eye-catching, informative ads people will want to click on
  • Drive your audience from ads to an SEO landing page to increase conversion rates

We hope you now understand just how valuable search marketing can be to your digital marketing strategy. We know how overwhelming this can be, especially when you are launching a holiday campaign to promote your brand. If you have any questions or would like our help with this, get in touch with us! We’re happy to brainstorm at no cost to you.

Search Engine Ranking – How Links Can Positively Impact SEO

Search Engine Ranking, Links, and SEO

Don’t be intimidated, but search engine ranking requires more structure and planning than many realize. One of the best ways to increase your ranking and draw traffic to your website is by building links within your content.

Links and backlinks are like the curtain track for your business.  If the strings are broken, if the track is rusty from overuse and no care, or if the fabric is ripped, there’s a feeling of chaos and disorganization.  Additionally, using negative SEO tactics, like keyword stuffing, will instantly give off a “spammy” vibe.  People and search engines are a lot smarter now, so those black-hat methods make the business owner look like the clown, and while we love clowns and the laughter they bring (the non-creepy, non-IT kind at least), we don’t think that’s what you’re aiming for.

Link building is the maintenance and upkeep required to make sure your digital curtain rises on-time for the audience, and that the stage set is perfectly organized for entertainment.

You may wonder if where a link lands impacts its value in terms of search engine ranking. Does the one in the image send better signals than the one buried in content? Or how about the link in the navigation that you thought would enhance SEO?  Truth be told, where a link lands and what type of link it is impacts its overall value. You’ll find that there is a bit of a formula to the art of building a good link profile, and once you get the hang of it, you will see just how simple it is.

Determining the Value of Links for Search Engine Ranking

One of the first things you must consider is their overall value. For example, content links are greater than navigation ones, which are greater than those in the footer.  And a text link is more valuable than an image alt link.

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Good.

Keep in mind, links that are more visible have greater vibe and get more weight than links that blend in with the content. Making your links stand out by putting them in bold is one tactic, or you could try linking unique words that catch a user’s eye. These words are going to be ones that meet a specific user need, especially the one they came to the article for in the first place. It often helps to put yourself in the user’s shoes and consider what words attract the eye and grab attention.

Seeing the Structure in On-Page Links

While it is not universally true, content links carry more weight than navigation links because they are typically specific to a topic rather than repeated on every page. That being said, creating a well-rounded portfolio may send the best signals to Google and improve your search engine ranking. Some here, some there with an emphasis on uniqueness rather than repetitiveness.

This holds true for footer links especially, as simply repeating what you have in the main navigation will lead to devaluing the links at the bottom. There’s better use for that space!

Ok, back to the structure of the page. Remember, first links get more weight than second links to the same page. However, this is true from the perspective of the HTML, not necessarily the visual design of the page. It is important to keep all these various moving parts in mind when creating a blog or web page, and we recommend never using the same link more than once on any one post or page.

The last thing you (or Google) want is to manipulate SEO by repeating keyword-rich links throughout your website. This is considered keyword stuffing and it will get you in big, big trouble with the search engines.

Using Your Space Wisely

One theory that has come up recently is that links that are used more frequently carry more weight in search engine ranking. This seems to be good logic, if you ask us.  The pages that have the most links to it is called cornerstone content by Yoast SEO.  Choosing to include highly trafficked links in your content will amp up your score, which is exactly what you are trying to do, right?

This holds true for replicating keywords in navigation that you know get a lot of clicks on high traffic sites. Google instantly sees value in these types of links, and when Google is happy, everyone is happy.

With all this, it is important to keep in mind that Google will ignore a link that is used elsewhere on a page, giving only value to the first one. So, what does this say about internal links to main navigation pages? It clearly means it’s usually not worthwhile. This is where a blog comes in handy. A blog can carry many different pages that are not listed on your main navigation. You can then link back to these pages for better credibility. Blogs are essential to top ranking higher in search engines.

So, now that you’ve got the nitty gritty, or at least an overview of link valuing by Google, it’s time to let your SEO agency optimize your website. Choosing an SEO agency may seem like finding a needle in a haystack, but the ones that stand out are the agencies that get results for their clients. The process for building links can be tricky to track, so beware of quick-fix tactics that cheap agencies tout to draw you in.

 

Additional Reference:

Moz – Links in the header, footer, and navigation

SEO Writing – Helping Search Engines See Your SEO Content

SEO Writing for Search Engines with Killer SEO Content

We’re coming to the end of the year, which is going to be chaos in motion for most business owners; however, nobody wants to repeat their mistakes, especially with business. Taking a closer look at what you’ve done for SEO content and what’s worked in the past for search engines will help you press on successfully into 2019. You can also try some new things by researching content marketing and SEO writing.

Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way about writing for SEO.

What You Know About SEO Writing Is Outdated

Oh, did you see that flash? That’s all the technology you had yesterday outpacing your sleep-wake cycle.  Everything changes so quickly, it’s hard to keep up, and SEO is no different.

First, a lot of what you know now is outdated. In fact, what you know about writing SEO content could result in being penalized by the search engines. That’s certainly not the result you were looking for, is it?! While you can outsource your SEO writing, you want to be sure the SEO agency you hire is up-to-date on the most valid algorithm changes and best practice guidelines.

Hiring a Great SEO Agency

One way to check if the SEO agency you’re looking to work with is any good is to read their blog, website, and social media posts. There should be ample content in all spots.  Do they have a Google, Bing, and Yahoo listing?  How are their reviews?  Are they on Yelp and other recognizable websites?

SEO is a $72 billion industry, but there are a lot of tricksters out there!  Do your due diligence and research the agency before signing any agreements or paying them any money.  Ask for case studies, get professional references, digitally stalk them (in a non-creepy way).  Do what you can to learn who they are behind-the-scenes.

We write regularly on many topics in marketing, and SEO is one of our favorite acts.  We have several testimonials, and our content marketing services have helped both local and national businesses grow in traffic, lead generation, and sales.

Content marketing is an umbrella for devising a plan that best reaches your audience using SEO and other methods proven to make visitors feel comfortable with buying from you.

What Not To Do With SEO Content

Clearly, times have changed. When I talk about SEO with new clients, there’s always someone in the room that goes “UGH!”  What seemed right about SEO writing at the turn of the century is not viable now. Some outdated SEO practitioners are still using tricks that hurt you in the long run.

To give an example, there’s a practice called “keyword stuffing,” which makes you look like a fake spammer.  There’s no personality or logic to the writing. You end up overwhelming readers with keywords on the page, sometimes even using tons of variants of a word, to increase relevance in search engines. But, search engines are more sophisticated now.

Things are only going to continue to change as artificial intelligence becomes more refined and intuitive.  I don’t think we’re looking at a Robot apocalypse, but we are looking at some pretty sophisticated technology when it comes to search engines.  Be sure to ask a lot of questions about how this potential SEO agency handles SEO content and how they plan to get you higher in search rankings.

If you don’t understand what they’re saying, they’re not the right fit.

What You Should Do With SEO Writing

“Content is King” has taken a new stance in the SEO writing world. Now, content is looked at based on relevance and quality, not how keyword-rich it is. Keywords must be strategically placed and are still important, but how well an article answers a consumer’s question, or search query, is more important.

Here are a few measures you can take as you write for SEO:

  • Put keywords logically in your image Alt tag. Google images get quite a bit of search traffic.
  • Use words for related topics to your primary keywords, like mentioning a specific neighborhood associated with your city.
  • Meet multiple user intentions when they search for your keyword. This means mixing visuals with lists, for example.
  • Do reverse searching, meaning search for your keywords and see what comes up as relevant in the search engines. Follow suit.
  • Use headlines and title tags that sway a user to click your page first. Be compelling!
  • Most importantly, write quality content, include your keywords, do the on-page SEO and you have a formula for your SEO content.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list, but it will go a long way to helping you understand just how intricate the process can be. That’s why we want to be your SEO Agency – we know what we’re doing, and we genuinely want to help. The helm is driven by knowledge, experience and research. Moreover, we want you to be informed so you can test the waters wherever you go for help with your SEO writing.

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Search Engine Optimization: Don’t Get Burned By Quick-Fix Tricks

Search engine optimization

A magician never goes anywhere without his black hat. With that hat, he performs tricks that show viewers that magic is real. This magic convinces people that something amazing happened.  Magic surrounds the search engine optimization world. While some like to call negative SEO “black-hat” tactics, it is common for an SEO company to persevere in getting their clients listed on search engines the right way, using “white-hat” methods.

However, negative SEO is easy to fall for if you think magic is just a trick. Search Engine Land commented, “the temptation to take the “quick and easy” route is everywhere, and SEO is no different.” (1)

No kidding, right?

Negative SEO Gives Magic A Bad Name

But, being a white-hat SEO magician is nothing like the repetitive tricks and sleight-of-hand that go into negative SEO that some claim is magic.  “Black-hat” tactics are temporary and take a lot of trick overuse to stay ranked. Real magic is one that produces results and brings a smile to people’s faces. “Never think [magic] is not so.” Isn’t that how the song, “It’s Magic” goes?

Magic is the sun rising every morning.  It’s consistent in its track, if not consistent in its heat. It is something you can count on. The little things in life are magical to us and create moments that we store in our brain’s database. The same goes with a good SEO company that uses “real” magic for its customers! You can depend on them to create a lasting impression with search engines that store your site in their database of “gotta-go-to” websites.

Search Engine Optimization Magicians Are Everywhere

So, how do you use magic with search engine optimization to produce solid techniques for long-term results? Choosing the right SEO company is an essential component. Let’s review what a good SEO company looks like.

  1. First, as we mentioned in our article, “Negative SEO: What is it and how do you prevent it?,” your SEO agency should recommend that you be connected to Webmaster tools (Google Search Console), which provides real-time analytics. And, you should be privy to the information, whether by an analytical report they provide or a little insider surfing.
  2. Second, they should have an email address with their domain name. This shows they are professional and legitimate. I know it seems small and maybe a little insignificant, but “legitimacy” is the goal here.
  3. Third, they should have realistic SEO offerings. If it sounds too good to be true, then it likely is. We’ve all heard that saying, but will you heed your instincts and shy away from those that promise rankings without something to back it up?

SEO Companies Should Know Better

Many SEO Companies are willing to risk their clients’ reputations to get immediate (but temporary) results. It’s a matter of money to them. And, quick money at that! In a Forbes article, the author comments, “SEO is surely the greatest con ever. Can anyone here tell me how every would-be Internet Marketer on the planet can promise every client to get them onto the first page of Google natural search?” (2)

For example, just because a Colorado SEO company ranks high locally does not mean those they know what they are doing. They may even have a top-notch website. But, what really makes a good SEO marketer is one that can identify where you are weak, such as internal linking or content marketing, and help you grow in that area. More importantly, they take time to learn your business goals and, in turn, target those legitimate techniques that will improve your search engine optimization.

Take the time to dig into an SEO company and make sure they are not selling you a bag of illusions. Their magic should feel real, look sincere, and put you at ease. Digital marketing is tough to manage, so make sure your troupe is dedicated and loyal.

 

Sources:

(1) Flying close to the sun: SEO tactics that may get you burned

(2) 4 Tips For Hiring The Right SEO Firm

The Benefits of An Editorial Calendar (FREE TEMPLATE)

Free editorial calendar download!

Maintaining a blog has many clear benefits. Blogs connect you with your audience, they boost your site’s search engine optimization, and they establish you as an expert in your field. Unfortunately, blogging is hard.

We’ve already written about how to improve your blog. Today, we’re going to narrow in on one specific tip: the editorial calendar. An editorial, or blog, calendar is a tool used by publishers to control when they write and publish content across various platforms.

Editorial calendars keep from coming up with ideas at the last minute.

Think back to your days at school. Your scrambled, last minute assignments probably weren’t your best. That’s true for blogging, too. Planning out topics in advance helps you research and understand what might be a successful topic.

Plus, you can never use writer’s block as an excuse.

They help you write strategically.

Are you releasing a new product or hosting an event? What about industry trends or holidays? A blog calendar helps you write about events other time-sensitive topics at the right time.

Hint: If you are unsure what to write about, consider looking at a general calendar for national holidays, conferences, or other events that your audience might enjoy.

They keep you consistent.

If you’ve been around our site at all, you know we value consistent blogging. Without an editorial calendar, your blog is subject to the whims of your busy life. We all know life gets busy.

Don’t keep moving your blog to the last bullet on your to-do list. Instead, create an editorial calendar that is non-negotiable.

Multiple writers? An editorial calendar is a must.

If you’re the only writer for your blog, you might be able to keep a mental editorial calendar. Although we don’t recommend this, it is doable. However, you cannot expect other people to do this too. Blogs with more than one writer absolutely need an editorial calendar to ensure that the job gets done.

Editorial calendars help writers distinguish who is writing what and when they are writing. They help prevent overlapping content.

Your editorial calendar should be fluid.

An editorial calendar is a tool for you. You’re the boss, so use the calendar for whatever you need. We use a blog calendar because it keeps us on task. However, we also know that any system is limiting. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your calendar.

  1. Stick to the calendar, but don’t be controlled by it. Did you region experience a natural disaster? Ditch the plan and write about it. Did a major breakthrough happen in your industry? Again, write about it. You can go back to the calendar next time.
  2. Communicate the importance of the calendar. If you introduce a blog calendar to a group that isn’t used to using one, you might not have success at first. Communicate that the calendar is the new expectation, and explain why you have chosen to use it. After all, they only work if everybody is on board.
  3. Experiment with how far in advance you want to plan. Obviously, plans change, and planning out a blog calendar for future months might not be the best use of your time. See what works for you, and adjust from there.

Guess what? You don’t have to blog. You should have one, but you don’t have to write it. Your Imprint offers blogging services. We’ll plan, research, and write your blog for you! Interested? Get a quote.

blog-editorial-template
Every blog needs to be organized. This template will help!

What is a link profile? And how do you get a good one?

link-profile-networking

Think about link profiles like a network. On our YourImprint blogcast, we link to other sources frequently. Sometimes, other websites link back to our content. These links are inbound links. When they do this, they are inadvertently helping us develop our link profile.

Link profiles are an essential part of SEO. In fact, Google ranks websites higher if other reputable websites link back to them. In addition to this, inbound links push users back to your site organically. With a good link profile, your site will rank higher and attract more views.

What makes a link profile “good”?

Google analyzes link profiles based on their quality, their anchor texts, and their honesty.

  1. Quality. Links to your site shouldn’t come from just anywhere. You want reputable, non-spammy websites to link to your content. Otherwise, you might start to experience negative SEOrel=”nofollow” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”. Your links should also come from relevant content. For example, if you write about hair products, sites related to hair should be linking to your site.
  2. Anchor texts. Anchor texts are the words that contain a hyperlink to another site. For example, in the above paragraph, the words “negative SEO” are anchor texts because they link to another site. Anchor text should be relevant. If an anchor text contains the words “Colorado,” you expect to visit a site about the Centennial State.
  3. Honest links. Google is strict about how links are acquired. In fact, they say that links that are bought or traded for money will negatively affect your site. Some people still do this. It isn’t illegal or outright banned. However, buy link space still might hurt your site.

How do you build a link profile?

  1. Write quality content on a regular basis. This will give your website constant content that people will want to link back to.
  2. Link back to yourself. Every webpage and post you put on your site should include 2-3 links back to other places on your website.
  3. Get to know other people. Are you a small business owner? Connect with other business owners in your area. Link to their site when appropriate.
  4. Post on social media. These are links too, and they also expose your site to audience members that may not see your content otherwise.

How do I check my link profiles?

Check your link profiles regularly to make sure you aren’t the victim of spammy links. The following sites analyze your website:

Are you confused about this or other SEO problems? Do you need help building or fixing your website? Our experienced team is eager to help. Contact us to learn more about our marketing services! 

How to Improve Your Site’s SEO: A Checklist

Improve Your Site's SEO

Improving your site’s SEO involves taking an in-depth look at your site and why it functions the way it does. Look beyond your site’s keywords. Yes, they are important, but your site’s usability, mobile friendliness, and page load speed matter too.  And don’t even get us started on proper and ethical link building.  We love SEO, and we love to show our clients how to see, understand, and use SEO to their benefit.

Here’s how to improve your site’s SEO:

Check your site’s load speed.

Take load speed seriously. Your users will leave your site if they have to wait for a page to load, and both Google and Bing take load speed into account for their algorithms when ranking.  Some things that slow down page load speed are:

  • Site host
  • Image sizes
  • Amount of Javascript and CSS
  • CDN (Content delivery network; from which server your information is pulled, based on location)
  • Site cache (PC Mag defines browser cache as “a temporary storage area in memory or on disk that holds the most recently downloaded Web pages.”

A good free tool to check your site’s speed is Pingdom.

Add outbound links to improve your site’s SEO.

Linking to reputable sites will increase your site’s SEO because doing so gives your site validity. According to the site Shout Me Loud, outbound links tell search engines what your blog is all about.

Find outbound links by conducting your own industry research. However, one easy way to do this is by searching “related:(your domain name).com” on Google.

Remove broken links.

Nobody wants to click on a link only to end up on a 404 page. And Google knows this. Sites with broken links rank lower than those without them.

Check to see if your site has broken links by visiting Screaming Frog SEO Finder, W3C Link Checker, or Dead Link Checker.

It’s not enough to just find the broken links, but you have to go and find them and fix them.  Often, this requires looking at the source code.  This part can be tricky. Let us know if you need some help figuring this part of the process out!

Marketing Tips

Add a contact page.

Google sees pages with sufficient contact information as more trustworthy than those with poor information.

Plus, a contact page encourages users to connect with you. That’s what we all want at the end of the day.  Build trust with your audience and add all necessary information to your contact page, including a Google Map, address, phone number, email, fax, social media pages, and contact name.

Improve your images.

Sites with images that are too large load slowly, but sites with images that are too small look equally unprofessional. Most images in a blog post, for example, should be about 20Kb-30Kb. Learn more about image sizing here.

Additionally, Google loves connecting the dots, so include your site, page, or post keywords in the images’ file names, alt tags, titles, descriptions, and captions.

Don’t just use photos.

Yes, use photos. But also engage your audience with slideshows, infographics, videos, and most importantly, captivating written copy. Multimedia and relevant information make a site more appealing.

In fact, a recent study shows that videos keep people on your site for longer. Get this: websites with video have an average 4.8% conversion rate, compared to the 2.9% rate of sites without video.

Improving your site’s SEO ranking takes dedication, patience, and expertise. We provide SEO Services that improve your business and brand.  We’re experts, but don’t take our word for it. Visit some of our past work instead.