Search engine optimization “how to” series: Linking
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Links are a huge deal in the overall SEO landscape. They provide key notifiers to Google about your webpages credibility on the topic at hand. Other sites deciding to link to your content tells search engines that you are a valid authority on this topic. Leverage these opportunities wherever you can. Likewise, don’t hesitate to link to other websites which can extend your readers education and experience on the same topic. This helps others and increases your opportunities for positive relationships, it’s also an SEO positive for your website as Google recognizes that your content is written to help your reader get the most from their experience on your website.
Search Engine Optimization “How to” Series: Linking
Everyone has accounts in social media, and you might even have your business or organization online also. But your websites potential for visitors and industry authority can be increased dramatically through the proper leveraging of social media.
First you should define the right channels to be at. As mentioned previously, know your audience and develop your persona(s). Does your target persona fit into a demographic which uses Facebook heavily for consumer purchase decisions? if you have a female audience seeking out and reviewing imagery on your product before making a purchase – you should be on Pinterest. If you are strictly B2B with an incredible amount of useful content waiting to be consumed by industry executives
– you should definitely have a blog and let LinkedIn reflect that blog and your organizations knowledge base. Find the channels that hit your target audience and choose to participate regularly, with useful and informative content. Post your blogs, industry tools, informative charts, photos, videos, the list is endless. The point is to make sure your audience has a consistent stream of valuable and worthwhile content related to your company or industry. This increases the likelihood that they will visit, and more importantly, what social does best – they will share you, and their trust in you, with others. It’s word of mouth – and it’s the best form of advertising.
You should have that Google Webmaster Tools account established already for your website. We can use it again to make sure we don’t have spammy, irrelevant websites linking back to our website. This is worthless, and even worse, Google can downgrade your scores for having these types of bad links pointing to your site. Try to remove as many as you can but there will no doubt be links remaining that you just can’t eliminate. In this situation, Google allows you to “disavow” bad links through a tool they’ve provided. Read this link for more information and to walk through how this process works. Google Disavow.
The yellow pages have come and gone, very effectively replaced by search. 20% of Google’s searches are for local information and this presents a great opportunity for business. First things first, make sure you’re on Google + with your organization or company having it’s own page. Fill that page out throughly, not just contact info but bio, photos, video… the works. You;ll receive better ranking and be a much more informative resource. Additionally, make sure you’ve created a Yahoo local listing and a Bing local listing and be thorough with these listings also. Look for opportunities from your Chamber of Commerce, local Business Groups and BBB to obtain links from their website to your. Practice local link building. Find directories and ensure your information is accurate and full. Do searches such as “Your city + Directory” or “Your Zip Code + Directory”. This should give you a full sample of what directories cover your area that you’ll want to checkout. If your information isn’t there or worse, is inaccurate, contact and embrace your listing and fix the information so these too become important links back to your website. Finally, leverage local citation websites such as Yelp, Foursquare, Merchant Circle, Yellow Book, Local.com, info USA, and more and make sure your contact info is correct.
77% of online shoppers use reviews (http://blog.hubspot.com). Online reviews can be the most loathed part of online marketing and local search, but they’re here to stay so we are better off working with them. If your clients and customers are going to be looking for reviews on you and your products or services, accept this and make it your own. Participate in the websites your being reviewed on and share your side, your company info and maybe even coupons and offers. Consider asking your clients to leave feedback on your supported websites. It’s far better that you’re an active supporter of your customers and their thoughts and concerns then uninvolved and uninterested. Additionally, perhaps most importantly, Google’s bots appreciate seeing positive reviews and feedback on your company also, try to keep it constant and consistent to give your website’s ranking the biggest advantage.