How to Get More People to Link to Your Site

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The more people that link to your site, the more authority you have on the web. Inbound links carry with them a lot of benefit…

  • Higher domain authority raises your likelihood of ranking nearer to the top of search results for relevant keyword phrases

  • Higher page authority for the pages being linked to raises the chances of high value pages showing up on page one

  • Links from websites and articles with lots of traffic could send some of that traffic through to your website

But acquiring those inbound links requires some amount of effort on your part. Though it would be great to expect to achieve success in this area organically, for most of us, it’s not so simple.

So what can you do to get more inbound links?

1. Improve the Quality of Your Content

Nobody wants to link to crappy content. Misspellings and typos, poorly written articles, ugly layouts and visual style, can all impact the perceived quality of content on your website. When given the option of linking to a page with better writing, clearer explanations, and more appealing design, any author or publisher will choose that over the garbage on offer over on your website. By improving the overall quality of your content, you make it more likely that people will link out to it.

2. Fill a Gap in the Marketplace

Do you have the ability to add value in a way that nobody else does? Perhaps you have a level of expertise that is worth sharing, or a fresh take on an old debate or problem? The web is chock full of content, but most of it is not what we would consider unique. If you can create something that is truly new and interesting, people will have no choice but to link to it.

3. User Generated Content

When you get other people involved in the development of your content, you create a different incentive for links. Now the people who have contributed have reason to tell their networks and friends. This creates a type of word of mouth virality that most static content you create yourself won’t have.

4. Develop an Outreach List

One of the most underrated ways to attract new links is to simply ask for them. But before you can start, you need to know who to ask.

An outreach list is a list of bloggers, writers, reporters, websites, publishers, etc. that write about things related to your business. This is a list of people that you want to develop a relationship with, in hopes that they will write about your business, or link to content that you yourself have published.

5. Actively Seek Links

When you are reaching out to the people on your outreach list, you want to be explicit about why. You have developed something that you think they would be interested in. You think their readers would be interested in it. Writers are looking for things to write about, and so want to showcase the value on offer to them.

6. Deploy a Press Strategy

Make news. Do something newsworthy. I’m not talking about publicity stunts here, but I do mean that you should create an intentional strategy that gets the press interested in your business. Celebrity endorsements, live events, major business deals, customer successes, etc. are all ways to build a little hype around your brand. News articles offer potential high-quality links.

7. Know Your SEO

A not so dirty secret is that pages that already rank higher in search results are more likely to attract more links. That’s because people will often use search to find the resources they use when developing their content. And they are more likely to find content that already has a high ranking. So in addition to everything written above, it is important to have a solid SEO strategy that consistently drives your site up toward the top of the rankings. The higher you go, the more likely some publisher is to find you on their own.

Google's Mobile-First Indexing and How it Impacts SEO (Guest Post)

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The following is a guest post by Ivan Serrano. Ivan is an enthusiastic writer who enjoys learning whatever he can about international communications, and hopes to manage his own global business someday. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge of technology and how it can improve business communications on an international level.

Want to make sure that your website is ranking well on Google? What kind of question is that? Of course you do. That being the case, you need to make sure your web design techniques are on par with the way Google currently ranks websites. The fact is that those web design classes you took a few years ago might have given you some valuable foundational skills, but the knowledge you picked up there probably isn’t relevant anymore. That’s because Google is always changing the way it ranks websites in order to account for new trends in technology and user behavior. If you want to stay competitive, you have to keep up with them.

One phrase you may have heard already in recent weeks is mobile-first indexing. If you don’t know what that means yet (or if you’re only coming across it for the first time in this article), then pay close attention to what you’re about to read. Mobile-first indexing refers to Google’s most recent approach to ranking websites. As you may have guessed, this approach involves putting mobile websites ahead of desktop pages.

A Detailed Look at Mobile-First Indexing

To understand mobile-first indexing, it’s vital to first understand the way that Google used to rank websites. Here’s an overview:

  • Google ranks each extant page by crawling it, which means that they use a program to look at the information displayed on the page and determine how relevant it will be to any given keywords typed into the search bar by a user.
  • Google used to use a system called desktop-first indexing, which involved crawling the desktop version of each page first and using that information to determine the rankings for both the mobile and desktop versions of the site in question. Under this system, mobile sites could only provide a small bonus to the rankings.
  • Under mobile-first indexing, the process is more or less reversed. Google now crawls the mobile version of each site first, in order to determine the desktop and mobile rankings for it. It only crawls the desktop version of the site when no mobile version exists.

How Does Mobile-First Indexing Affect SEO?

In light of the above, those of you who work in digital marketing may want to pay closer attention to your mobile websites. The key thing to remember is that mobile-first indexing basically makes your mobile site the primary version of your website. That said, you want to make sure it has all the same information as your desktop page. You also need to make sure that information is arranged and displayed in a way that is convenient for mobile users. Pay attention to the following tips:

Make sure the following is equivalent to your desktop page:

  • Metadata (including social metadata)
  • Structured data
  • XML and links to media sitemaps
  • Search console verification

Make sure the following is updated or optimized for your mobile site:

  • Server capacity (expect a much higher crawl rate on the mobile site)
  • Images and videos (don’t use anything too high-res, as this will take too long to load on a mobile page)
  • Collapse your content and hide it in tabs, since this will be treated the same as visible content on mobile pages.
  • Once you have updated your mobile site, make sure you are using tools such as Google Analytics to obtain feedback you can use to keep improving it. If you are using app indexing on either site, consider implementing Google Analytics into your app through a relevant software development kit.

Mobile-first indexing will not require you to throw out everything you know about web design or SEO and start from the ground up. You’ll simply have to adapt your existing content to account for the changes Google is making. Remember: SEO is an ever-evolving practice, so it pays to stay ahead of the curve.

Is Your Website Ready for Mobile-First Rankings?

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It has been an open secret (in marketing circles at least) that Google has been using mobile usability as a ranking factor for some time. And they have hinted at that becoming an even larger factor going forward.

Now, there is no published guide, nor will there ever be, that tells marketers how Google ranks websites. But one thing is very clear, in a mobile world, mobile rankings matter. Google knows this, and if your company is late to creating a great mobile experience for your visitors, you are about to see your traffic tank.

Pretty soon, without a mobile-friendly website, customers won’t be able to find you. They will search on Google (by typing or speaking) and a whole bunch of your competitors will show up. But you won’t.

Your website may continue to get traffic from people coming there directly, or from desktop searches. But those are becoming a smaller and smaller piece of the pie. And pretty soon your traffic will fall to zero.

Don’t let that be you.

What Matters on Mobile

Mobile usability depends on three things:

  1. Speed. Speed always matters online. But it matters even more for mobile. When customers are on their phone, they want things fast. The longer your website takes to load, the more annoyed they get, and the more likely they get to hit the BACK button. Google doesn’t want them to do that. So the more people that do that, the lower your ranking will get.
     
  2. Navigation. The way your customers move around your website on a phone is different than on a desktop. Instead of links, they need buttons. Instead of nav bars, they need menus. If a user can’t find their way from point A to point B, they will get frustrated. The sooner they do, the more likely they are to leave your website. Google doesn’t want that, and you’re going to get punished for it.
     
  3. Readability. Content that does not resize to a user’s screen is often difficult to read or interact with. Too much clutter or tiny type size are two of the most painful mobile usability issues that still happen on many websites. But again, these issues will lead to unhappy users. And Google can’t abide unhappy users.

In Conclusion

If your website is not mobile-friendly, the time to change that is now. Even if it is, you can do better. And you have to do better, because the mobile-first ranking algorithm is coming for your customers.

The Increasing Trend of Voice Search - And How to Optimize For It

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The following guest post was written by Libby Teager. Libby is a social media addict, who turned it into her profession. She loves her role as an account manager and researcher at Speechless Web Design.

Search engine optimization is constantly changing and evolving. And while it is changing, it is becoming more challenging for SEO professionals to keep track of.

With the ever changing trends in SEO, it is important to always have your eyes peeled for potential movements in the industry. This way, you can keep on top of your SEO strategy and become more of a threat to your competitors.

The Increasing Trend of Voice Search

One current trend in the SEO industry that we face today is the movement towards mobile SEO. Whilst mobile has steadily been climbing the mountain for the number one device of choice for internet usage for a while, it has recently came close to taking over desktop as the number one source of search.

According to Hitwise, searches which take place on a mobile device now accord for sixty percent of the overall searches on the web. Such trend has resulted in the increasing trends towards locational searches and voice searches performed on mobile devices.

In fact, Google has recently stated that twenty percent of searches made on mobile devices were in fact voice searches. With the introduction of Siri and Google assistant, this has all become possible.

It is pretty clear that SEO is changing and will continue to do some in years to come, so it is in our own interests to scrap traditional approaches of SEO, and consider such movements by optimizing for current trends like voice search.

Here we will discuss just how to do that....

Takeover of Mobile Devices

Mobile devices have come a long way in such a short amount of time. A month can’t go by without us hearing about another mobile update, or a new model of phone coming out. But as new mobile devices are hitting the market place, they won’t want to disappoint. Hence why we can now do things like speak to our mobile phones.

Whilst it sounds bizarre, speaking to our mobile devices has ultimately taken over the nature of the way we search and browse the web.

With the built in mobile features of Siri, and Google assistant, people would be silly not to ask their mobile phone to search for something on the web. At the end of the day it saves a lot of time, when compared to typing out a search query on such a small screen.

This changes everything with regards to SEO. And as a result, SEO professionals need to rethink their SEO strategies according to what and how their potential customers are searching.

How to Optimize For Voice Search

Since twenty percent of searches are made through voice search, it means that the nature of search has changed. Currently, most websites are optimized for traditional SEO, that being short tail keywords which are searched for by using a keyboard on a desktop. However, voice search means that websites will need to be optimized to fit the modern form of search.

Voice search allows for not only a more natural voice, but a more conversational voice too. This is because you have the chance to search using the words you would use in a normal conversation with another party. In this case, searches get longer, and so do the keywords which are worth optimizing for.

Not only does siri want to provide an accurate web search result for it’s users, but it will also want to provide the user with a result which is straight to the point, rather than not. Most voice searches will require a simple answer, whether that be the answer to a simple question, or a location based answer.

When creating content for your website, it is important to consider optimizing it for longtail keywords, rather than short tail. Longtail keywords might not have the highest search volume or traffic, but they are certainly the keywords which are the most targeted to a specific search. As well as that, they come with less competition because most websites are too focused on optimizing for short tail keywords. There are various tools which help with finding long tail keywords. One in particular is Ahrefs, a great tool for keyword research.

What Are Customers Searching For?

With an estimated twenty two percent of people searching for informative and local content, online and local businesses need to optimize with this in mind.

A great way of finding exactly what your customers are searching for is by taking down a list of questions and statements which your customers commonly ask you as an industry expert. This could be face-to-face, or via the phone. Once you have taken note of the sort of things your customers want to know and learn, you can start to produce content which they would find of value and use to them.

Similarly, it is great to focus on FAQ’s. By producing content which answers the questions of those who are seeking solutions to specific questions in the industry, you are putting yourself in front of the eyes of your ideal audience by providing them with content that they WANT to see.

SEO professionals need to take into account the constant developments of SEO. From the movement towards a mobile only world, to producing content which is geared towards the way users are searching, and what they are searching - it is important to properly optimize your website in a way that puts you ahead of your competitors.

Backlinks 101: Low-hanging Fruit

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A part of any effective search engine optimization effort is backlink generation. Links from other high-quality websites in to yours is still one of the best ways to improve your search rankings, by signaling to Google and the other search engines that your page, and your site, have a degree of authority on a given keyword or subject.

But with all the information out there about bad links, how is any marketing team supposed to know what they should and should not do to go about getting more backlinks?

Luckily, there are some areas where it makes sense to start. These ‘low-hanging fruit’ opportunities are low effort, and potentially high value.

  1. Brand mentions – scour the web for any mention of your brand name, product, etc. Everywhere you find it, check for a link. If none is provided, reach out to the author or site owner to recommend that they add one.
     
  2. Owned content – many companies have properties on the web that exist outside of our own sites, ie. business listings, article sites, microsites, etc. Any and all of these first-party sites should link back to your company’s main consumer-facing website.
     
  3. Guest posting – it is easy to develop a list of blogs and news sites related to your industry. Check to see if they accept guest posts and put together quality content for them that links back to the key pages of your website.

When working to develop backlinks for your website, remember that quality counts more than quantity. The best links come from the best sites. So start with websites that already do well in Google rankings and work backward