4 Simple SEO Tips For New Bloggers

SEO Tips

According to this top SEO reseller a pretty important aspect to focus on when starting a new site is SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  This is because the vast majority of your traffic will be coming from the search engines.  Now I know many people struggle with SEO when they first start out, which is why I thought I’d put together a list of some helpful SEO tips for you to use, you can visit here for SEO services. You may have already seen some answers to this question on our about as page, but if not, please do have a quick read, as it explains our approach and gives details of our experience, discover answers some vital questions about SEO. The purpose of any SEO activity, either national or local, must be to attract potential customers.

1. Learn About SEO!!!

Yes, it may sound obvious but it is VITALLY IMPORTANT (I can’t stress that enough) that you spend time learning about how SEO works.

I get the sense (from readers, comments, emails, etc.) that many new bloggers think that they can put off learning about SEO until later.  Something along the lines of “…oh, I’ll build up my site first and gain a following before I read up on SEO” is what comes up a lot.  This is just the wrong way to look at it.  You may as well say “…oh, I’ll jump into the ocean and splash about for a bit before I learn how to swim.”  That’s not going to go well!

Traffic is essential for any site, so if your plan is to build a successful site, then SEO is one of the first things you need to learn about.  Putting it off will only slow you down.  Start by learning the basics about both on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques.

2. Think Long-Term, Not Short-Term

Think-Long-Term

SEO is certainly no “quick fix” for a site and can’t instantly make a difference to your traffic.  Instead you need to think of SEO as a long-term strategy for your site (which is another reason why you should learn about it sooner rather than later).

When you first start out online, your site will likely only have a handful of pages.  While you can (and should) optimise those pages for the search engines, they can only make so much of an impact. Some of the best best seo company‘s have said that the real value of SEO comes when you have built a much bigger site with hundreds, if not thousands of pages, all optimised for the search engines.  This creates a snowball effect – as your best pages help to raise the rank of your site, which in turn helps to attract more traffic to your other pages, which helps to raise your rank – and so on.

Always try to think “long-term” with your website.  After all, the tortoise always wins the race in the end.

3. Always Write For Your Readers

As important as SEO is for a site, readers should always take priority.  Again, this may sound obvious, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of just writing content purely aimed for search engines.  That may help attract traffic to a site, but you want them to stay when they get there.

Search engines have gotten a lot better at spotting the fake sites who are only interested in manipulating their traffic.  They wised up to them and now heavily penalize sites that abuse this practice.  Instead, it is much more beneficial to write quality content for your readers and attract traffic that way.  That doesn’t mean you can’t use SEO techniques, just not to overuse them and spam keywords just for the sake of it.

4. Don’t Fall For The Scammers

There are plenty of individuals and “companies” online that will happily scam you out of your money when it comes to SEO.  The sad thing is that it is easy to get fooled by them when you are just starting out.

Stay well clear of ANY adverts that claim to be able to “get you to the top of Google in X days/weeks/months” or that suggest that they have “the secret to ranking highly”.  In most circumstances they are simply talking out of their ass.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of legitimate SEO companies online and the only real way of knowing is by talking with them.   You see, SEO is a very specific service that has to be tailored to a specific site’s needs.  That is why you should avoid doing business with any that make promises before you have even spoken to them.  How do they know what business you are in, where you are from, what keywords you are aiming for?  All that information is key to planning out your SEO strategy.  Again, this is why you should learn about SEO, even if you plan on outsourcing the actual work.

Meet with L.A SEO Experts to learn more about what SEO is and have them help you with your website because if you understand the fundamentals of how SEO works and how a site can attract more traffic through it, then you will save yourself a lot of work in the long run.

What other SEO tips would you like to add to this list for new bloggers?  What helped you out when you first started?  What SEO questions do you have?  Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below and don’t forget to contact the Boston SEO Company for further information.

9 Step Guide To Writing Quality Blog Posts

9-Step-Guide-To-Writing-Quality-Blog-Posts

There are many things that go into running a blog online, but at the heart of it you need to be writing quality blog posts.  That is what will ultimately bring in traffic to your site and allow you to monetize via; advertising, affiliate marketing, product sales, etc.

There are many bloggers, especially new bloggers, that find it difficult writing quality blog posts on a regular basis.  I plan on changing that opinion by putting together this 9 step guide for you to follow.  This is kind of like a blogging blueprint that you can follow to help you create quality content for your own site.  I use this exact method myself for all my posts and know that many other top bloggers use a very similar approach.

Let’s get started!

1. Thinking Up A Post Idea

Establish An Idea

This is without doubt the hardest part of the whole process.  It’s all well and good learning about how to structure out your posts, but you need a decent idea to write about in the first place.

One of the best things you can do is to carry around something to jot down ideas on when inspiration hits you.  I always have a pad of paper and a pen next to me when I’m working so that I can scribble down things when I think of them.  This can be when I am surfing the web reading other posts, when I’m working on something else that I think could make a good topic, when chatting to clients, reading emails, answering comments, etc.

If you want to be a bit more modern, a note taking app such as Evernote, Google Keep or OneNote is a good thing to have on your phone.  That way, whenever inspiration hits you, you can make a note of it for future use.  I make use of Evernote quite a bit when I am out as I always seem to think of something when I least expect it, be it when shopping at the supermarket or out and about with friends.

Making a note of ideas when you get them is a good habit to get into, but what do you do if you just haven’t got any ideas?

Two words – ‘Mind Maps’.

Mind maps are a great way to organize your thoughts and help you think about different areas to write about.  Try to imagine your whole website as one giant jigsaw with each of your posts a piece of that puzzle.  Doing this can help you to take a step back and see which areas you can add more too.    By looking at the content that you already have, you can begin to see areas that you can expand upon.

Another thing you can do is read – a lot!  Now, I don’t just mean read content from other sites in your niche (though you should be doing that already), but read content from a whole host of different subjects, such as;

  • News stories,
  • Fiction,
  • Non-fiction,
  • Reviews,
  • Tutorials,
  • …and so on.

By broadening your horizons, not only will you gain new ideas, but you will also help to improve your writing style.  I personally like watching a lot of movies, so I try to read different film reviews after seeing something.   There are a couple of film reviewers that I really enjoy reading as they do it very well.  Whilst I myself don’t write film reviews, I try to use some of the same writing techniques that they use in my own posts.

These are all good tips to help you when you are in need of inspiration, though if you are still struggling, check out our previous ‘15 Blog Post Ideas To Use When You Are Stuck For Ideas’ article.

2. Write Out The Main Bulk Of Your Post

OK, so you have your post idea, now you need to turn that into an actual article.  One of the worst things you can do is stare at a blank Word document hoping that it will just appear.  That blank white page can cause you to seize up no matter how good your idea is, so it’s important to get something down – anything really.

A good way to start is by splitting it up into sections.  So, for example, let’s say you wanted to write a tutorial post on ‘How To Do X’.  List all the different stages (1, 2, 3…) that people would need to work through to achieve that.  Doing this helps you to structure out your post as you now have clear sections that you can write about.

I did this for this exact post.  I had the idea of writing about ‘Writing Quality Blog Posts’ and began by listing all the different sections that would go into it (Idea, Post, Intro, Title, etc.), which made up my subheadings.  Instantly I knew how the overall bulk of the post would pan out, so the task of writing was made much easier.

Breaking a post down into smaller sections can, not only help you to write it out, but it also encourages people to continue reading.  A great big block of text can be off-putting, so breaking it up can help people find what they are looking for.

3. Introduction

Once you have the main bulk of your post, you need to add an introduction.  This is VITALLY IMPORTANT as your introduction determines whether people will end up reading your post or not.

Not only will your introduction appear at the start of your post, but it will appear as an excerpt on your blog page.  This alone helps people decide whether to click onto your article in the first place, so it needs to be up to scratch.

Your actual introduction doesn’t need to be that long (one or two paragraphs at the most), but it does need to do one thing – not give the game away.  I always try to imagine it like a movie trailer – you need to give a brief outline of what the post is about without actually spoiling it by revealing everything straight away.

4. Call To Action

Whilst not quite as important as your introduction, the end of your post is still key.  You ideally want them to stay on your site and not just click away to another, and in order to do that you need to give them a gentle nudge in the right direction.

This “nudge” is called a ‘Call To Action’, which is where you are essentially telling your readers to do something.  Now this could be many different things, for example;

  • …and if you liked this post, check out our other post [LINK] that you might find useful.
  • …and remember to sign up to our newsletter [LINK] for more information.
  • …we want to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.
  • …if you liked this post then please feel free to share it on [Facebook/Twitter/G+].

You can word it however you like, but the aim is to get people to actively do one of these things.  I personally tend to go with the ‘related link’ and ‘please comment’ option as this helps keep people on the site for longer, but encouraging them to share your post or signup to your email list is equally useful.

5. Add Multimedia Content

How-To-Write-A-Blog-Post

So, at this point you should have a lengthy blog post written out with both an introduction and call to action added.  The vast majority of people would now just add a title and hit publish, but we are only half way through our list.  You see there is a lot more that goes into writing quality blog posts.

Your post is hopefully great at this point, but it is still essentially text.  Whilst we have helped split that up by adding subtitles and breaking it up into easy to read paragraphs, we can still do more.  You need to realize that the vast majority of people online have short attention spans, so you need to make your post a little bit more interesting.  One of the best ways to do this is by adding multimedia content.

I won’t go into too much detail here as I’ve already written about this in our ‘Quality Content – The Lifeblood Of Your Website’  post, but essentially adding things like; images, video, slideshows, infographics, etc. helps to break up your text and make it more visually appealing.

Images, especially, are a great way to brighten up a post, which leads me to the next step in our blueprint…

6. Add A Featured Image

Each and every one of your blog posts MUST have a featured image!

For the exact same reasons that we add an introduction to our post, the featured image helps to draw reader’s attention and encourage them to click onto the post from your blog page.

What many people forget is that your featured image also appears when you share your link on social media.  Again this helps to draw people’s attention and can be the difference between them clicking or not on your post.

There isn’t really any secret to picking a good featured image.  Try to look for an image online that somehow reflects what your post is about.  This could be a great looking image, a metaphorical image or simply your post title displayed in an interesting way.  A lot depends on what your article is about, but really it just needs to be something that stands out.

7. Add Links

The next thing that you need to do is go back over your post and add links where appropriate.  This includes both internal (links to your other posts) and external links (links to other people’s posts on other sites).

Internal links are useful to allow people to navigate around to other areas of your blog and find your other content.  This is particularly helpful when you can link to other related posts that you have written that explain something in more detail.

External links may seem counterintuitive (why would you include links to other people’s posts?), but there is a good reason for that.  It all has to do with SEO.  You see search engines look at your blog posts to try and work out what it is about so that they can rank it properly when people search for that subject.  One thing they look at is what other sites that posts links too.

Search engines value posts that link to other relevant high quality content as it shows that you value your readers.  They actively rank sites that do this regularly higher than sites that never link out, so it is always worth adding some external links.

8. Remember SEO

SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

We just talked about the SEO benefits of including some external links within your post, but that is not the only thing you can do.

Keyword optimization is something that you should try and do with all your posts before publishing them.  This involves researching keywords and keyphrases that are related to your post that people are actively using to search for things in the search engines.

For example, if I wrote a post explaining how to build your own PC, keyphrases such as; build your own PC tutorial, how to build a PC, how to build a computer, etc. would all be relevant.

These are the types of keywords and long tail keyphrases that you should be using throughout your post.  If need be, go back over your article and look at how you can include these phrases naturally within your writing so that search engines can determine what your content is about.  This process is commonly referred to as on-page SEO and you can use a plugin called WordPress SEO to help you.

9. Title

Last but not least we need to add a title.  I left this until last as it’s arguably THE most important part of the whole process.

Your title needs to;

  • Convey what your post is about,
  • Be eye catching,
  • Be interesting,
  • Include your main keyword/keyphrase,
  • Not too long,

Including all of these is certainly no easy task, but with practice it is possible.  It’s important to try and tick all of these boxes as your title will be the one that people; read, click onto, see on social media sites, share with their friends, link to within their own posts, etc.

Writing Quality Blog Posts Made Easy

If you have followed this guide, you will now have a post that is worthy of publishing on your site.  You have made sure to break up your post into manageable chunks, made it visually appealing by adding images and video, optimised it for search engines and included links to your other relevant pages.  Simply double check your post for any errors and then hit publish!

Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is the method that I use and I know many other bloggers use (though maybe not necessarily in this order).  Get into the habit of constructing your posts in this way and I can guarantee that they will reach more people.

How do you go about writing quality blog posts?  Do you have any other steps that you take before publishing?  If so, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Blog Post Length – How Long Should I Make My Blog Post?

Blog post length is something that many bloggers think about and is one question that I get asked a lot online.  So exactly how long should a blog post be?  Well this is what I’ll be discussing in this post.

Short Blog Posts vs Long Blog Posts

If you read online about this subject you will see that there are generally two viewpoints as to which is the best approach – short blog posts or long blog posts.

Of course another BIG factor is the subject matter that you are writing about.  Certain content (i.e. tutorials) will naturally be longer as you would need to explain in greater detail, whereas other content (i.e. news) may only need to be brief.

Now, both long and short posts have their advantages and disadvantages, which makes it a complicated decision to make. On the long run, it might be best to consider hiring PlacementSEO and have them do a complete competitor analysis and determine what the length of your blog post should be.

Short Blog Posts

Advantages

Short blog posts are obviously much quicker to write.  This is a major benefit if you have a site that needs to publish lots of content, perhaps daily or even multiple times a day.  In comparison, it is much harder to write out a really long blog post (i.e. 1000+ words) on a daily basis, as that can take its toll on the writer.

Short blog posts can encourage visitors to read the entire post.  People don’t have long attention spans online, so short, quick to read posts are a great way to get the information that they want.  This is particularly noticeable on news or magazine based websites as they publish a lot (not all) of bite sized content for their readers.

Disadvantages

Short blog posts don’t tend to include a lot of information.  Whilst they may be good for news related items, anything else really requires more info for readers.  You couldn’t hope to explain the inner workings of a subject in 300 words or less.  If anything, trying to do that would just end up frustrating your readers and encouraging them to go elsewhere to find what they were looking for.

Short blog posts can be harder to rank in the search engines.  Now I’m not saying that they can’t because plenty of short posts can rank well, but I do believe it is harder for them to do so.  This is because of the way SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works.  For search engines to determine what your content is about, they look at different aspects of it.  These are referred to as on-page SEO techniques, so obviously the sorter your post is, the less of these you can include to help you rank.

Long Blog Posts

The advantages and disadvantages of long blog posts are basically just the reverse of short posts, so to make it easier I’ll just list these as bullet points.

Advantages

  • Can contain much more information for people to read,
  • Can include more on-page SEO techniques and keywords to help it rank well in the search engines.

Disadvantages

  • Long blog posts take much longer to write,
  • People won’t generally read the whole post, instead preferring to scan through it for the information that they are after.

So Which Is Better – Short Blog Posts or Long Blog Posts?

A lot will depend on the subject that you are writing about, but if I had to choose I would lean towards longer posts.  This is simply for the fact that they are easier (not guaranteed) to rank in the search engines.  That is something that you should really focus on doing as search engines can send you a lot of traffic if you can rank well.

Essentially though, there is no “better” type.  As we have discussed, both have their pros and cons.  If anything, people should try to stop thinking about blog post length all together and just focus on producing the best quality content that they can.  Try mixing it up a bit on your site and produce both long and short posts – long posts to help rank well and explain topics on greater detail and shorter ones to keep your readers interested and up-to-date on news in your industry.

What is your opinion on blog post length?  Do you prefer to write/read short blog posts or long blog posts?  We want to hear your opinions, so please let us know via the comment section below.

10 Common Website Mistakes To Avoid

Website Mistakes To Avoid

Running a website is no easy task, so it’s inevitable that we will make mistakes from time-to-time.  Mistakes can even be a good thing if we learn from them, but to save you the hassle, I’ve put together a list of some common website mistakes to avoid to help you.

1. Unresponsive Website (Not Mobile Friendly)

You are making a BIG website mistake if your site is not “mobile friendly”.  More and more people are connecting to the internet via their smart phones and tablets, which is why it is vital that your site is responsive across multiple devices.  If it is not, you are simply limiting the number of people that can visit your site.

There are plenty of WordPress themes that you can install that are ‘mobile responsive’.  Sites like StudioPress have a wide variety of responsive themes for all types of site that you can use.  There really isn’t any excuse for people not being able to access your site on their mobile devices, so make sure that yours is good to go.

2. Bad Website Navigation

You can spend all the time in the world creating fantastic content for your site, but if no one can find it once they get there, then what is the point!

Bad website navigation stops people from finding all the great content on your site.  Whether you have only a few pages or hundreds of posts, you want people (and search engines) to be able to find them easily.   Only then will you get visitors staying on your site for longer, which helps to increase your pageviews.

Think about the menus and links that you display on your site.  Are people able to find the different sections/categories of your site?  Do you display a search box?  Can people easily find your search box?  Which are your most important pages/posts?  These are the types of questions that you need to be asking yourself in order to improve your site navigation.

3. Not Building An Email List

An email list is a very powerful thing for a site to have, which is why you should be building one.  You see, the people that signup to your site (whether it’s to an eCourse, newsletter, to receive offers, etc.) are your best customers.  They are the ones who are interested in what you have to say on your site, allowing you to send them offers, promote products or just encourage them back to your site.

AWeber is the market leader for email marketing software where you can create and schedule a set of emails to be broadcast automatically once people subscribe.  You can create signup boxes, newsletters, broadcasts and much more by using them, helping you to grow and manage your email list.

4. Not Posting Enough

Every website needs regular content published as that helps to drive traffic.  People (and more importantly search engines) will see that the site is active, which will encourage them to come back again and read more.

If you don’t post enough, then your site can become stagnant.  A lot depends on what your site is about, but you wouldn’t keep coming back to a site if nothing changed.

Make a list of all the things that you can write about and keep adding to it when you get inspiration.  If you end up struggling for ideas, it may mean that your niche is too small, in which case you may need to broaden out a bit.  I think a lot though comes down to getting into a regular routine.  Try to update your site regularly (perhaps once or twice a week) and stick to it.

5. Posting Too Often

Some people go to the other extreme and post far too often.  Like we said, regular content is good, but too much can be overwhelming for your readers.  If you are publishing 4, 5 or even more posts a day, then you can’t expect visitors to keep up.  Sites that post this frequently tend to be massive news sites with lots of writers and millions of visitors.  That is certainly something to aim for, but you certainly can’t do that on your own.

You also have to consider the quality of what you are posting.  Publishing 1 high quality post is MUCH better than lots of little mediocre posts.  As the saying goes, “It’s quality not quantity!

6. Doing Zero Social Media

Social media is a fantastic way to market your site, so it makes sense that you should be using it.  Make sure that you have an active presence on all the major social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.), particularly the ones that relate to your site.

Just having a page setup on each of these networks will help people to find you, but by engaging with your audience, it is such a great way to build a following for your site that you shouldn’t overlook.

7. Doing Zero SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an often understood practice that seems to confuse and petrify people at the same time.  It may sound complicated and unfathomable, but it’s really not too difficult when you get to know it.

SEO is simply a way of getting your website/content seen by search engines so that they can index it and present it to as many people as possible.  Search engines, like Google, are by far your best bet to get traffic to your site, so it’s best to work with them.

By using On-Page & Off-Page SEO techniques, your content can rank highly on search engine result pages (SERPs).  The higher you appear on the SERPs, the more traffic you will get.

Essentially, all it involves is making it clear what your posts are about.  This is done by including keywords in your post/page titles, meta descriptions, sub-headings, alt-tags, etc.  That way, when the search engines find your content, they have a better understanding of what it is about, allowing them to show it to people who are looking for that information.

If you are doing zero SEO for your site, you are essentially sticking your head in the sand.  Spend some time learning about SEO and actively doing some for your site.  It’s not as scary as you may think.

8. Not Interacting With Your Readers

If people spend the time leaving comments on your site, sending you emails or asking questions via your social media channels, you should make sure to respond to them.  Not only is it good manners but it is also good for business.  If people see that you are happy to interact with them and help, they will be much more likely to keep coming back for more.  It also shows that your site is an active one, which again can encourage people to keep visiting your site.

Admittedly, this can become a problem if your site is very popular (can’t reply to everyone), but you should at least try to reply to as many as you can, we suggest to contact the team at https://webdesignottawa.com/digital-marketing/ for further information.

9. Not Testing Your Site On Multiple Browsers

Any changes that you make to your site, you should always check to see if everything is working OK on different web browsers.  Most people tend to use only one, but that doesn’t mean everything will display fine for all of them.

I have in the past made changes to my sites, only to find that they were not displaying correctly on another browser that I didn’t use regularly.  Once you know about the problem, it’s usually very easy to fix, but you need to test it to find out.

Get into the habit of testing your website on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari (the 5 most popular web browsers) whenever you make any changes to your site.  That way, you can see whether there are any issues that need fixing.

10. Thinking That Your Website Is Finished (Biggest Website Mistake!)

This is probably one of the BIGGEST website mistakes on the list that many people fall victim too.  The minute you think that your site is “finished”, you may as well pack up and do something else.

The internet is constantly evolving and there is always competition looking to overtake you.  You should always be looking to update, reinvent, add new features/products/content, etc. to your site to keep it fresh.  This is one of the things that I absolutely love about what I do, there is always something new to learn about and improve on your site that you should never find yourself standing still.  Keep pushing yourself and striving to create a better site for your visitors.  That is the best way to run your site.

What website mistakes have you made on your site and how did you go about fixing them?  What other common website mistakes would you add to this list?  Please let us know below by leaving a comment.

now you SEO me

What “Now You See Me” Can Teach Us About SEO?

Weird title for a post I know but bear with me, this is actually an SEO post. Recently I went to watch the new movie “Now You See Me” – it’s very good – check it out. But whilst watching it I remember thinking the whole way through how is this going to end. The film has a few twists and turns in it and without spoiling the ending it sort of pans out as you would expect – in the end. Well, it did for me.

So what does this have to do with SEO?

Well, during the film the characters are often mentioning about being one step, two steps or even ten steps “ahead of the game”. There is a lot of manipulation, trickery and trying to fool the audience.

Now, I actually see this in a lot of digital marketing solutions strategies online. Whenever there is a system, a set of rules or a strategy in anything in life there will always be people out to try and beat it or rather bend the rules to suit themselves or give themselves the advantage.

Online marketers are always trying to come up with the next best way to beat Google and get their site ranking above everyone else out there. I have been on record many times in saying that if you rely on Google alone as your only source of traffic to your website you are setting yourself up for a huge fail.

Simply put Google changes its rules and algorithms too much to keep up. Over the last few months alone I have heard of many of my fellow marketers sites dropping of the radar literally over night. Why? Because the system they once had is no longer what Google values.

So what can you do about it to future proof yourself from more Google slaps?

Here at BizzeBee we have some mixed opinions on SEO and the debate will always go on. I strongly recommend you read some of the other posts on this subject. I am going to break this down real simple. In my opinion it can be broken down into three steps. If you just follow these three steps, over time you will do ok and you will not get any slaps off the charts in terms of rankings.

Content. Links. Social Media.

That is it.

Now let’s talk about each one separately.

Content

This is by far the most important aspect of the three. Without great, kick-ass content then you can probably forget about the other two. Whether you write for a blog or are writing articles for a website the content should be great. Forget spinning articles, or buying below-par articles with bad grammar and spelling mistakes, this will not do. Your content should be aimed at providing user engagement, conversions and revenue.

The old days of optimizing for search engines are on there way out if not over altogether. It’s time now to write for guess what….. humans! Be sure to use catchy headlines and engaging content.

It should also be noted that exact match domains are a thing of the past – as well as exact match anchor text. You should now be concentrating on keyword diversity within the posts you write. I tend to just write – the keywords within the posts tend to find themselves.

Another thing that is great for SEO now is personal branding within your content. BizzeBee is a brand, so we try to reflect this in our posts, our downloadable content and our members area (coming soon).  Also add your personal brand to the content – adding Google authorship is a great way to start.

In a nutshell the better content you produce the more people will want to naturally share it, giving you better quality and niche matching links coming in. And this is the key – as having more natural links coming in is a good thing in Google’s eyes.

Techniques to avoid: Focusing on numbers, clicks and page views, trying to write for search engines, using EMD (exact match domains), being anonymous with your readers.

Links

I touched upon links in the closing stages of the last section. And links are still important but not the quantity as the old black-hat days would have led us to believe. It has been about quality of links for some time and nothing has changed really. Except make them natural. So, this brings us back to content SEO again. Natural links are when someone willingly links to your post or website from their own similar site in terms of content.

If you are a content marketing business then buying 500 links from Fiver linking to your site from various fake social media profiles or garbage hashed link farm websites is not going to give your post any credibility at all – in fact it will do it damage. However just a handful of links from similar or higher ranked websites will give your post a much better chance of ranking higher in the search engines. How do you do that – write great content, and let the readers choose to link it.

Or you could guest post – but be warned here. Do not just guest post for the sake of getting a link. Earn links from top ranked respected blogs or sites within your niche. Engage and interact with them first, establish a good working relationship. This will give you a better chance of getting a valuable link from their site to yours.

Do not participate in link exchange programs, these are a waste of time and quite often not what the person is saying they are. If you like some content and feel it should be linked or shared, then do so. It is good practice to offer links regardless of whether you get one back. Your time will come.

Techniques to avoid: Buying links, participating in link exchange systems, adding to directory websites manually, focusing on short term gain.

Social Media

Today is all about social media – its everywhere and it’s how people express their views on your work. Great content will naturally get tweets, likes, +1’s and mentions along the way. And – the success of social media campaigns comes largely down to what? I will give you a clue – it begins with C.

Yes, content. And there are a few more C’s. Communication and community are two more that spring to mind. Your social media profiles should be inter-linked with your SEO campaigns, you should encourage reaction to your posts or content and anyone who shares your posts or content should be noted. Be sure to follow up personally now and again to the share or link if anyone makes any comments.

Participating in a community of like-minded people is also great for your SEO. Answering and solving people’s problems is great and a sure fire way to earn you some respected traffic and social shares along the way to your content. Its these relationships that will help build your personal authority.

One last thing on social media with regards to your SEO, using #tags. Try to use tags where applicable in your content sharing across the social media networks.

Techniques to avoid: Spamming social media sites and communities, focusing on keywords too much, article submission sites, commenting only for backlinks.

So there we have it my social media jigsaw only has three parts. Content, Links and Social Media.

SEO 3 steps

The film “Now You See Me” was all about trickery, deceit and fooling the system (audience). With SEO you cannot do this. Sure, you may come up with a system that may trick Google for a short while but ultimately you will always fall.

The best way to be “one step ahead of the game” is to just write great, unique content. If you only do this then you are already at a long term advantage to those who believe in link farms and keyword stuffing.

If you stick with this and avoid all the black-hat rubbish that is out there your posts will have better chance standing the test of time and Google will have no reason to slap you down with the next update.

Thanks for reading, as always your comments are welcome. We encourage debate so please share your thoughts in the comments box below.

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