How Google Hummingbird Changes SEO Strategy

Another update to SEO guidelines has caught the attention of webmasters who want to ensure they are following Google’s authority with precision, in order to get the best search rankings. Every now and then Google updates its algorithm of about 200 factors that determine these rankings. The search giant loves to give funny names to these updates such as “Panda,” “Penguin” and now “Hummingbird.” But SEO-conscious webmasters tend to not see the humor in these names and take these updates very seriously. Hummingbird marks a different kind of update, though. It’s one that issues more help than punishment, at least on the surface, by considering the context of queries rather than the words that make up queries.

Hummingbird’s High Flying Innovation

Traditionally if you entered “how to fix a broken record” in any search engine, you might get results as diverse as “record breaking champions” to “vinyl record repair kits” to “research criminal records.” But Google knew it couldn’t let this nonsense continue since its goal is not to waste people’s time, it’s to actually help users find what they want as quickly as possible. Hummingbird attempts to figure out the context of what you’re really asking rather than spitting out ridiculous riddles based on keywords. In other words, the new algorithm is much smarter at communication. Speed and accuracy reflect the true nature of a Hummingbird, which is how the update got its name.

The new algorithm entered search consciousness in August 2013. Google’s goal is to answer user questions instead of taking them on a wild goose chase through irrelevant links. To test this update you might ask Google an easy question such as “where is America?” If you see all relevant links, then you know that Hummingbird is working for you. Then try a more sophisticated question such as “what are the odds of winning the lottery?” This test will help you determine whether or not Hummingbird can help you resolve inquiries, as well as help you determine where content holes exist that allow you to feed knowledge from your web pages to the search engine and get credit for specific niches.

The Pattern of Updates

Google has followed a clear path through all its algorithmic updates to refine searches and give the best rankings to the most relevant links. Both Panda and Penguin operated as warriors to eliminate the evils of spam, duplicate content, harmful sites and weak content surrounded by ads. Hummingbird is a continuation of a development from a few years ago called conversational search, a precursor to semantic search. The brilliance of conversational search using Chrome is that it comes with a microphone next to the search box and has a voice recognition feature. Instead of typing in the question you can ask the question using your voice. Google then replies with its voice, opening up a conversation.

Historically, Google did not really answer our questions. It merely gave us guesses as to what the answers might be. Mixed in with those guesses were websites that mirrored some of the keywords we were looking for that may have sidetracked us, which gave SEO an extra dimension of people finding your website by chance, all because it was somewhere in the same ballpark. That’s changing, though, as the tech company is moving toward providing Information Cards that give direct answers, almost like Wikipedia summaries. It could mean that users will have their questions answered before ever stumbling upon your website by accident.

Scalping Information

The Information Card is generated from a Knowledge Graph that scalps information from our websites, without any regard to who owns the intellectual property. Google’s history has been to serve users, not necessarily websites, except for those that advertise with its AdWords platform, which makes up the bulk of the search engine’s revenue. Chances are it will continue to provide links for its advertisers, but what about websites that offer deeper content than advertisers or Information Cards? Even if Google were to abandon the SEO-driven community that helped build it into the internet’s biggest super power, it could open the door for competitors to outsmart Hummingbird with something better: search engines run by human curators who recommend the best websites.

This article was written by author and blogger Chase Sagum. Chase covers Organic Internet Marketing at his blog ChaseSagum.com.

5 Tips for Setting Up an Effective PPC Campaign

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is not only a good way to increase awareness of your brand and boost targeted traffic and sales, but the fact that host sites are paid for helping you to advertise could make it a lot easier for you to get the placement you seek. However, PPC ads are not a sure thing. As with any type of marketing, you need to do your homework to determine the best strategies for making a PPC campaign work for you. If you fail to create targeted options that appeal to consumers and you don’t take the time to place them appropriately, you won’t get the return you seek. So here are just a few tips that should help you to get all your ducks in a row and create an effective PPC campaign.

  1. Select quality keywords. These days you have to be pretty careful to avoid raising the ire of Google’s SEO algorithms, and keywords are a major consideration. Whereas you might have made your advertising copy rich with keywords in the past, you may now have to temper your desire to cram in as much as possible. Of course, this really only serves to force you to use quality keywords (and phrases) that have the best chance of bringing in consumers. And you’ll probably find that increasing quality on this front, rather than quantity, delivers better overall results for your business.
  2. Geo-targeting. The demographic you’re catering to could make a big difference in the effectiveness of your campaign. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily want to push PPC content for fertility treatments on sites that cater to a retirement demographic – you’d focus on venues that attract young and middle-aged adults. And whether you’re a locally-run business looking to reach out to nearby consumers or you want to target a specific region where your products or services appear to be in high demand, you should definitely make a big push to provide PPC content to the geographic areas that are most likely to deliver on click-thru and ultimately, sales.
  3. Consider your landing page. It can sometimes be tricky to figure out where people should land when they click a link that leads back to you, but the general rule of thumb is that they should arrive at whatever page is most closely associated with the keyword that caught their attention. If a prospective customer is looking for yoga pants, they should go to the page that sells yoga pants rather than your home page, for example. This is another reason why it’s important to choose specific keywords.
  4. Don’t neglect the negative list. The main benefit of a PPC campaign is that it has the potential to drive targeted traffic to your site. But you don’t want people showing up in search of associated wares that you don’t actually carry. For example, you might sell yoga clothing but not accessories like mats, straps, or blocks. So you want to make sure that your negative keyword list includes these so that consumers will be aware of what you offer and what you don’t.
  5. Hire professional help. Creating effective PPC campaigns can be a long and difficult process, especially for the entrepreneur that has other concerns related to running a business. So your best bet on this front may be to seek out PPC management services that can do the heavy lifting for you, resulting in an influx of targeted traffic that helps to boost sales.

Blogs and Search Engine Optimization

Blogs are an increasingly popular internet tool, yet increasingly difficult to definitionally pin down. The reason that the word “blog” is slippery to define is that blogs are in many ways portmanteaus, but typically a blog is one individual, or a consolidated group, coming together to make posts on a coherent topic. Bloggers usually convey related information or opinion via their blog. In many ways, blogs may enjoy enhanced visibility due to cannily utilizing search engine optimization.

Search Engine Optimization

The acronym SEO, stands for search engine optimization. The purpose of search engine optimization is to improve the visibility to users of one’s website, blog, or web page. How is this increase in visibility attained? Search engine optimization enhances the primacy of one’s website, blog, or web page in search results among search engine queries.

Logistical Issues

In essence, the earlier the website was created or the more frequent hits and traffic a website receives, the more likely that website is to receive preferential treatment upon searching for particular words via a search engine like Google or Bing. Although search engine optimization can be applied to local, video, or image searches, the same process of optimization the visibility of high traffic websites applies in every case.

The Nuts and Bolts

Search engine optimization is really an internet marketing strategy aimed at utilizing trends to bolster traffic to one’s website. One can enhance a website’s visibility using search engine optimization by employing the following strategies and noticing the following trends: consider how search engines work; pay keen attention to the sites that people visit; notice popular sites that are frequented by many people; notice the search terms or keywords entered into search engines like Google; finally, pay careful attention to the specific search engines frequented by the target audiences to particular websites.

Blogs and Liabilities

Although some of the information expressed via blogs is protected under the freedom of speech clause of the first amendment, sometimes what someone says on a blog can come back to haunt the blogger. For instance, there has been a recent rise in the number of character defamation and libel cases brought against bloggers, especially at it relates to blogs with controversial sociopolitical messages and verbiage.

Actual Legal Cases

Some recent lawsuits related to blogging actually involve bloggers intentionally and perhaps unlawfully rigging the search engine optimization mechanism, as described above. For example, in 2005 a blogger named Aaron Wall was sued by Traffic Power for the publication and dissemination of trade secrets. The case was ultimately thrown out of court for failing to demonstrate personal jurisdiction but the case brought up an interesting question, and maybe some cautions, about what should and shouldn’t be posted on blogs. Because the legal proceedings regarding blog content are oftentimes limited due to the recentness of blogs, there are some controversial things and inflammatory opinion that clearly shouldn’t be expressed via blogs.

 

Author Pam Johnson is a marketing professional and web designer who works with SEO daily. He also enjoys writing and is a contributor for the Web Designer’s Resource Guide.

Consider an Innovative Marketing Strategy for Your Business

To keep your company competitive in today’s economy, you must use every advantage that you can to drive traffic to your website, increase leads and sales, and to cut costs wherever possible.  Since the digital marketing landscape has changed, you’ll have to partner with an agency that is forward-thinking and that uses fresh and modern approaches to place your company ahead of your competitors.  Building your brand and establishing a strong internet presence is paramount to enjoying large volumes of visitors quickly and efficiently on your website.  Promoting your goods and services can be an easy task if you work with a team of experts that develop strategies that are tailored for your specific needs.

Your Partner of Choice

Make sure that the team with which you partner for your digital marketing campaign works from a mantra of service, is committed to providing you with exceptional value for money, and will offer you an innovative programme that lets you try their services with no charge until you reach an agreed-upon benchmark.  You’ll not waste any further capital on cookie-cutter strategies that don’t work for your company.  This pay on results plan can kick-start your business and showcase to you the skills and talents of the team with which you have elected to work.  If you’ve tried print advertising and the yellow pages you know that low-impact marketing doesn’t give you the type of results that you need for a successful business.  It’s important to work with a team that can introduce innovative and solution-focused strategies that produce outstanding results.

Understanding the Process

The first step in implementing an effective digital marketing campaign is to find a reputable agency with which you can work toward making your internet presence stronger and your brand more established.  After establishing effective communications with your team of choice, their experts will design a starter campaign for you with no charge attached.  This gives their team a chance to show you the quality of their work, how their strategies impact your bottom line, and how much more effectively you can reach your targeted audience with just a few tried and trusted plans in place.  You’ll agree on a keyword which the professional team will promote and when it reaches page one of Google, your regular monthly service will begin.  Your expert digital marketing specialists will add more keywords and promote them in the same way as your company attracts more traffic and grows and develops into a powerful online company.

The Benefits of Digital Marketing Expert Assistance

If you would like your company to participate in a pay on results marketing strategy, you must find an agency that is fast growing and a leader in the field of digital marketing.  You’ll have no up-front costs, you can see the impact of professional work on your company’s bottom line, and you will witness growth and development for which you have planned.  Work with your team to craft effective communications so that they will know the details of your business climate and culture, the goals that you have for your business, and how their work can help to achieve those.  You’ll have more traffic driven to your website and increased profits for your business.

Partnering with a digital marketing agency that is committed to helping grow your business will be the team that delivers a marketing strategy of which you can be proud.

5 Social Media Must-Have’s for SEO

When it comes to various approaches to online marketing, there’s no doubt that SEO and search marketing offers a sound avenue to earn quality inbound traffic and pre-qualified conversions.

Last year’s SEO techniques are long gone, and now, social media is playing a pivotal role in determining the authority and rankings of webpages. As a result, social media marketing is a must-have for any SEO strategy.

In this article, I will share with you five social media must-have’s for SEO. These elements are essential to utilizing social media for the greatest advantage to your SEO strategy.

1. A Thoroughly Populated “About” Section

Including accurate and detailed information about your business is critical. Of course having your keywords on the page can help it’s ranking potential, but only do this naturally and if it makes logical sense from a user’s perspective.

The primary needs in this section is your company’s “NAP” – name, address, and phone number.

NAP, in other words, is a “citation” of your business. If your SEO strategy is locally-focused, the more citations you have throughout the web, the greater trust and authority Google sees in your company. So in a sense, citations are like backlinks; however they’re aimed specifically to rank businesses in the Google local search results (which are accompanied by the map with red pins.)

Social media sites happen to be excellent sources for citations. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and Yelp (which is more of a directory) hold strong as the top social sites for citations.

2. A Vanity URL

Vanity URL’s are most common on Facebook, but they’re also starting pop on Google+. These are URL’s that reflect the name (or keyword targets) of a business. So instead of www.facebook.com/4928349, a vanity URL would be something like www.facebook.com/AtlantaAutoRepairCenter.

To obtain a vanity URL on Facebook, you need to earn at least 25 likes on your page. It’s much more challenging on Google+. You must be quite the online celebrity, influencer, industry authority figure, or niche “baller,” as I’d like to say. Not only does this vanity URL signify greater search engine authority for your web presence, but a popular Facebook or Google+ page can rank on its own (with the help of a keyword-relevant vanity URL [and maybe a few backlinks.])

3. A Persona & Voice

The content that you share, as well as the way in which you present it, defines the voice and persona of your brand. This is the psychological element that has an immense role in how social media users perceive your company. Additionally, this determines how intriguing and like-able your brand, and thus the degree of social authority your company can earn.

Do define your brand’s persona and establish its voice, think from the perspective of your target audience. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What does my target audience want to hear from my brand on social media sites?
  • How should I establish my social voice to reflect my brand image? (Be an educator, problem solver, idea provider, or solution provider?)
  • What forms of content (both topic and medium) does my target audience find most engaging?

It’s important to keep top of mind that you’re not actively selling to your social media audience. Rather, you’re arousing their interests in something they desire to observe and absorb.

4. An Audience

This is perhaps the most important must-have to make the most of your social media presence. Building an audience is not always easy, and takes some diligence and patience.

The key to building an audience is to share awesome, valuable, and high-relevant content. This to earn the respect and trust of your target audience members, as well as encourage them to share your post (and thus expose your brand to new potential followers.)

Building an audience can also be accelerated by reaching out and sharing posts from other brands and influencers. Try re-tweeting a tweet from an authority figure, or sharing a Facebook post from industry influencer. In essence, interacting and building relationships is what it’s all about.

Lastly, Google+ has communities which are great places to make your web presence known amongst like-minded individuals. Here you can interact with people who have related interests to that of your brand.

5. A Google+ Page

That’s right, I am favoring Google. It’s only a matter of time before the marriage between Google+ and Google search gets stronger. Google Places has already started infusing elements of Google+ with more socially-integrated reviews and personalized search results.

Having a Google+ presence is imperative for your SEO strategy. Why? Because the more people who encircle you Google+ page, the greater control (“authority”) you’ll have over their search results. It’s Google’s grand scheme behind “Search plus Your World” – tailor-made search results influenced by a user’s social engagements on Google+.

Much of the activity and effort put forth on Google+ can be synonymous with Facebook. Start getting active on Google+ and growing your network. The SEO benefits may seem subtle now, but will surely spike in a matter of time.

 

About the guest author: Tyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO and Internet marketing analyst for Click Centric SEO Company, a professional provider of ecommerce SEO, PPC advertising, social media, and content marketing services. Tyler offers over five years of experience in the web marketing profession and is a strong advocate for socially-influenced SEO programs.

This is a unique article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

5 Bare Essentials of SEO-friendly Web Design

Having web design that’s SEO-friendly is critical in today’s digital marketplace. Many online marketing experts will agree that what’s the point of having a website if no one can find it via search?

As more and more business realize the potential of SEO and search marketing, the importance of an SEO-friendly website design reigns even stronger.

In this article, I will share with you five essential elements that define a SEO-friendly web design. Keep in mind that these are the essentials, and that more technical considerations can be applied to further enhance the SEO potential of a website.

Develop a Seamless HTML Coding Structure

Although the HTML coding structure of a website is more on the development end, it’s a technical component that also overlaps into the general web design category. The HTML back-end of a website influences how fast a website loads (impacting usability and human interaction,) as well as how efficient a website can be crawled and indexed by search engine spiders (impacting SEO).

As a result, it’s important that the HTML coding structure of your website is optimized for faster load speeds. This is particularly important if your website is custom developed with certain media elements or complex linking and navigation. If you’re using a content management system (or “CMS,”) opt for SEO-friendly CMS platforms like WordPress or Exponent. These CMS options have been developed so that the HTML coding structure is well-suited for fluid crawling and indexing.

Optimize Robust Media Files

Parallel to having a seamless HTML back-end, there are a few common media files that can be quite heavy in terms of file size. Robust media files can slow down the load speed (and sometimes the crawl-ability) of a website.

When creating a SEO-friendly web design, it’s important to optimize (or shrink) the file size of heavy media files, such as large images, videos, or audio files. In addition to optimizing media files for faster website load speeds, you can also keyword optimize these media elements for greater SEO value. This includes naming the file with respect to your keywords, as well as populating file’s properties to be SEO-friendly.

Build a Complete HTML Sitemap

Most SEO experts consider the HTML sitemap to be the second most important page on a website (next to the homepage.) However, it’s not uncommon for web designers to neglect building a complete sitemap.

The sitemap is like the index to your website. And although it’s not a common reference for visitors, the HTML sitemap serves as a roadmap for search engine spiders. In short, sitemaps define all of the pages on a website that should be crawled and indexed. For this reason, it’s absolutely essential to include this important page on your website.

Integrate Website Calls-to-Action (or “CTA’s”)

It is imperative that your website has calls-to-action on the primary pages which users engage with. CTA’s are designed to promote conversions after a visitor has landed on your website. The idea is draw the attention of a visitor to the CTA with some kind of incentive and thus promote desirable action.

Integrating CTA’s in your web design takes SEO one step further. This practice is known as Conversion Rate Optimization or “CRO.” In essence, a CRO strategy is equally as important as a SEO strategy. By including short submission forms, clickable banners and buttons, and CTA’s on your website, you maximize the value of your visitor traffic.

Include a Header & Footer

This might seem like rudimentary web design practices, but it’s surprising to see how many websites out there are missing a header and/or footer. These web design elements are very important for SEO in that they typically withhold the website’s most important links – such links that should be included site-wide (on all pages.)

The footer is the most common web design element that gets forgotten about. This area is crucial, for it acts as a mini-sitemap. Here you can link the pages of your website that carry the greatest SEO value. One of these pages should most definitely be the HTML sitemap.

 

About the guest authorTyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO and Internet marketing analyst for Click Centric SEO Company, a professional provider of ecommerce SEO, PPC advertising, social media, and content marketing services. Tyler offers over five years of experience in the web marketing profession and is a strong advocate for socially-influenced SEO programs.

Top 5 SEO Musts for Local Business

Before you spend a ton of money on search engine optimization meant to connect you to the entirety of the global economy, it’s a good idea to take a moment to contemplate the scope of your current business model, as well as your short- and long-term goals. When you run a local business, chances are good that you have neither the resources nor the inclination to cater to a global community of consumers. In truth, you might not even be able to, especially if you work in a service industry. So if you really want to use the internet to your best advantage when it comes to increasing targeted traffic, your best bet is to focus your SEO efforts on your immediate geographic area. Here are just a few musts when it comes to SEO for your local business.

  1. List with local directories. City pages, the Chamber of Commerce, and other local directories offer you a great opportunity to be found by members of the local community. Just like you might list your business with the Yellow Pages, making your contact information (phone, web address, etc.) available through these targeted online sources can help interested parties to find you. If you run a business that caters to a local community, like a coffee shop, a tanning salon, or a dry cleaning service, just for example, chances are that you’re not looking to attract consumers from other cities, states, and countries anyway. So why waste your time with directories meant for these crowds?
  2. Scout out local search engines. Search engines like Google and Bing are definitely widely used, but considering that you’re competing against literally millions of other sites like yours, chances are you’re not going to be the top dog. Instead, consider putting your effort into more localized options like the Yellow Pages, Yelp, or Angie’s List. Although these sites attract a wide audience, most people utilize them in search of local services.
  3. Use trending keywords, but not exclusively. Trending keywords are an acceptable way to increase traffic, but unless they actually pertain to your business in some way they’re not going to bring in the targeted visitors you’re seeking. So use them sparingly as a means of supplementing your broader keyword strategy.
  4. Utilize your location in text. Keywords, meta tags, anchor text, and so on are designed to bring in targeted traffic. So if you’re trying to boost your local business it pays to use your location as part of your SEO strategy. For example, the first thing you’ll want to do is find a way to slip in both your business name or type and the location in which you operate. You might try keyword phrases like “dry cleaning New York”, for example, or “Elegant Cleaners Los Angeles”. When you think about how local patrons might look online for services like yours, this is likely the exact type of wording they would use as a search term.
  5. Local ad campaigns. While you can certainly participate in launching online marketing efforts on a national or global scale, the truth is that certain businesses are not suited to handle this kind of traffic. If you run a dry cleaning business, for example, it’s not exactly like you can offer your services to anyone outside your local area. Even if your goal is to appeal to visitors to your fair city, you’re better off striking a deal with local hotels rather than hoping visitors will find you online. So hook up with local city pages to get listed and post ads as a way to attract local clientele in the online arena.

 

This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

SEO Content Writing – 4 Simple Tips

Earning from home as an SEO copywriter is actually quite easy, once you know what you are doing. There are hundreds of thousands of business owners who are willing to pay good money for high quality SEO articles. This is because SEO is one of the most powerful marketing tools to date. However, in order to be able to earn money from doing this, you need to make sure that you know how to implement it into your articles properly. With that in mind, here are 4 simple tips that will help you, when it comes to earning as an SEO copywriter.

1. Always Do Your Keyword Research

This is the most common mistake among those just starting out with SEO. A lot of people think that they can just put random words throughout their articles. However, you will find it very difficult to sell articles this way. The best way to make sure that your articles sell is to do some proper keyword research so that you can see what is popular, in terms of keywords. There are plenty of free keyword research tools out there, so try them out.

2. Don’t Overstuff Your Articles With Random Keywords

This is another very common newbie mistake, and we have all done it. If you don’t have a proper grasp of how SEO works, then it is likely that your automatic instinct will be to use your keywords as many times as possible throughout the article that you are writing. However, this will actually have the opposite effect to the desired one. The best thing to do is to use your keywords in the beginning of your article, somewhere in the middle, and then somewhere at the end. By doing this, you can make sure that your article is interesting and not repetitive.

3. Make Sure Your Content Makes Sense

Again, another very common mistake. Some of the most popular keywords are very awkwardly phrased, which can make it difficult to fit them into your article naturally, without them sticking out like a sore thumb. So, the most important thing to remember, when it comes to creating SEO content, is that it really needs to make sense if you want it to sell. Read it back to yourself, and ask yourself what you would think if you were reading it on one of your favourite website.

4. Don’t Choose Too Many Different Keywords

If you are really trying hard to get your content to sell, then you will probably be tempted to choose a handful of different keywords throughout your article. The problem with this is that it restricts the amount of things that you can talk about. This is why it is better to just pick a couple of keywords to use throughout your article. By doing this, you have the freedom to get your point across and make your article interesting.

Although SEO content writing can seem hard work when first starting out, it does get a lot easier with practice. Try out these simple tips and see how they work for you.

 

About the guest author: Hello, my name is Zoe. I enjoy writing about finance, earning online, writing, and ppi claims.

This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

Tips to Help Choose the Right Keywords for Better SEO

Unless you are already the top site in the search engines for all of your keyword phrases, chances are that you still need to do some work to help better your SEO and improve your rank. Choosing the right keywords to use on your site and in your content is going to be a rather important part of this. For some, finding the right keywords seems like an almost mystical experience and something that is difficult to do. The truth of the matter is far different. You will find that getting the right keywords can be easy, and the following tips will help you.

Check Keyword Resources for Your Site

You want to make sure that you are using more than just a single tool when it comes to your keyword research. Most of the time, people head straight to Google so that they will be able to use the free keyword tool that they offer. This is a good start, but you might want to choose some other options, such as Keyword Discovery. Look at the different tools that you can use to get a better sense of which keywords are probably going to be the best option for your niche.

Start making a list of the keywords and the information that you find. As you dig through the different keywords, you should also take note of some of the various ideas related to your topic that you find, even though they might not be the direct keywords that you use. You could use those other words as ideas to spark posts and articles.

Make sure that you do more than merely look for related keywords to use on your site. You also want to see just how many people are really searching for those terms. A keyword that has only a handful of people searching for it might not always be the right choice. It’s a good idea to stay somewhere in the middle, and here’s why. If you have a keyword that no one searches for, chances are you are going to get only a few hits, if any. On the other hand, if you choose a keyword that has a hundred thousand searches a month, you are going to be dealing with some heavy competition.

Make sure that the keyword that you choose is relevant as well. If you have a site about VPN providers, then VPN service would be a relevant keyword phrase that you would want to use. You always want to make sure that the phrase you are using targets the right audience. The more detailed the keyword the better in some cases.

The Best Content Goes a Long Way

Now that you know the proper phrases that you are going to want to use on your site, you are going to want to make sure that you have quality content to go along with them. Always make sure that you are creating and writing the best possible content without jamming too many keywords into the writing. You want the writing to be interesting and of value to your readers as well. You will find that by posting regular content with the right keywords is going to help with your SEO page rank.

Watch the Results and Make Adjustments

You will also want to make sure that you use an analytics tool so that you can see just how well your site is doing and who your keywords are helping you. When you check the results, you will find that it will be easier for you to make changes to your keywords and content as needed.

 

About the guest author: Melissa Tyler enjoys writing reviews of the best VPN providers at VPNTen.com. She loves to write posts about VPN security, safety technology and anonymously browsing.

This is a unique article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

Changes in Anchor Text Strategy

Over the years, there have been many changes regarding SEO tactics and which practices are best to use. One of the biggest changes in the last two years has been the use of anchor text. Before the Penguin update, the mindset was that links couldn’t hurt a website. This gave SEO companies the opinion that they should get as many links as possible using the exact anchor text they are trying to go after. As we all know, this had a very detrimental effect for a lot of websites in 2012.

To avoid catastrophe with search engines and improve the local online marketing strategy, companies should use different variations on anchor text. I’d like to mention a few different tactics you can use to make sure you are getting the most out of your links. Following these principles should ensure you don’t get hit by the next Google update.

Specific, Rather Than Generic, Terms

After all of the big 2012 updates, people started to see that Google was looking for a more organic linking profile. This encouraged SEO practitioners to start building links with generic terms, such as “page” or “click here,” as the anchor text. We definitely recommend staying away from this practice. In their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide published in 2010, Google actually put out a warning about using these kinds of links.

Using generic anchor text terms can be dangerous, as you could over-optimize for those terms. You should instead use a term that explains what the page you are linking to is about.

Company and Brand Name

Using company and brand names is a great way to vary the anchor text. However, be careful if the brand name is the same as the keywords you are trying to rank for. Rather than getting the variety you need, you will have more of the same keywords.

URL

This is another good option for getting some diversity in your linking profile. If you are going to use the domain, don’t always use the exact same URL. You can change it up by including the “www” in the URL or by pointing to another page. It also might make sense to point to your blog.

Long-Tail Variations          

Use many different long-tail variations of your keywords. For example, if your company sells tandem bikes, you may want to use the anchor text “tandem bikes for sale” or “accessories for tandem bikes” along with the main keyword “tandem bikes.” This will accomplish two things. First, you will increase your relevancy for the different long-tail search phrases. Second, it will make your linking profile look much more organic.

Co-Citation in Links

One of the new things webmasters have been using is co-citation. The idea behind this strategy is that Google is looking at all of the content on a page and passing value onto the target website through the value of the entire article.

There still needs to be a link pointing back to the promoted website; however, the link can be one of the previously mentioned pieces of anchor text. We should strive to produce high-quality content, which users will consume and share. We can still get movement from our target keywords if they are in the actual article. We could include them as heading tags or use strong tags to show importance.

Links from Other Site Owners

Finally, a great way to create links that are completely organic is to create great content. It may not be simple to write great content, but it is certainly worth the effort. Come up with “link bait” that is engaging and shareable. If you do so, people will link back to your site in many different ways, including on social media platforms and directly on their sites or blogs. This is the ultimate way to make sure your backlink profile is as natural as possible.

 

About the guest author: Jonathan Wickham, the director of SEO at Boostability, has been in the SEO industry for just over 5 years. He studied at Utah Valley University and graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. When not at work, he loves hanging out with his family and playing racquetball.

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