Linking Strategies

August 17th, 2012 by Scott Mackay | Permalink

What are links?

Links are where one site places a hyperlink from their site to yours, or vice versa. Traditonally, serach engimes viewed links as a vote from the site who created the link to the site they have linked too. Sites would build up a page rank and this was determined by the page rank of the site that was providing the link and also there authority and quality.

Are links still important?

In the not so distant past, these links where one of the main determinants of how webistes where ranked in the SERPS (search engine ranking pages). Throughout 2012, we have seen the importance of these diminish greatly. It appears that search engines are now looking a lot closer at social signals and good quality, original content.

Links are still important though; but there is now more emphasis on context and relevance. The days of building thousands and thousands of links are over.

Where to from here?

Today, the best link building strategy to undertake is one where users will benefit the most from your links. There’s no point having links all over the place if users are not going to click on them. Search engines won’t reward you with better rankings just because you have more links than someone else. Make your link building strategy about users; not keyword rich anchor tags or links from sites with no relevance to your users querries.

Should I use keywords in links?

Traditionally, link buuilding was about having links from keyword rich anchor tags. These days, search engines are punishing sites that over use keyword rich anchor tags. Try to make 70% of all links from your business name and the reamining 30% from keyword rich anchor tags (a variety of keywords and phrases).

What sites should I link from?

A good place to start your link building startegy is with directory submissions. Directory submissions are listings in directories that list businesses (like yellow pages). Don’t over do your submissions. Choose a handful of quality directories that people use and keep all your information up-to-date. You should be aiming to make updates to these listings once a month. If you can’t keep them up-to-date, consider not mlisting your site at all, oe list with one or two of them. Just imagine what it would look like to a user if your information was out of date. What would that say about your business?

Key points about linking!

  1. Only create links that you can edit or undo
  2. Choose quality and relevant sites to link from
  3. Always keep potential and current customers in mind (not search engines).

Some Quality Directories in Australia

True Local – http://www.truelocal.com.au/
Hotfrog – http://www.hotfrog.com.au/
Flying Solo – http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/
Start Local – http://www.startlocal.com.au/
Local Business Guide – http://www.localbusinessguide.com.au/
Yalwa – http://www.yalwa.com.au/

Keyword Research: It all begins with words in a box!

July 25th, 2012 by Scott Mackay | Permalink

What are Keywords?

From an online marketing perpsective, ‘Keywords’ are the words used by people when entering words into a search box; such as google.com or youtube.com. Say I was searching for some new shoes and I wanted a pair of black high heels with straps. I go to a search engine like google.com.au and do a keyword search for ‘black high heels with straps’. That desrciption ( black high heels with straps) are the keywords I am now searching for. This is more accurately called a ‘Keyword Phrase’.

Google will now display a list of results. Those results, contain both paid and organic results: Both of which use keywords. Your online strategy must have those keywords in optimised positions on your webpages in order for your website to appear in the results.

google search results image

This is one method, and the most common online method, a consumer will go through in order to find information related to a potential purchase. In order for your business to appear in the search engine results (SERP’s), your online marketing strategy must incorporate the keywords, or keyword phrases, that a consumer is searching for. If you are not targeting that particular keyword or phrase, you are most likely not going to appear in the SERP’s; and therefore not in the consumers basket of potential businesses to buy from.

This is where keyword research becomes the most fundamental and critical process for any business to undertake for its online marketing efforts. It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors.

How do I do Keyword Research?

To start the process of keyword research, you need to think like a consumer of that product or service. What terms do they use to describe the product or service they are looking for! What spelling variations might they use! What type of keyword phrases might they use!

To start the process you can use a keywords google tool that is free. This will provide you with a list of similiar keywords, a monthly count of visitors who are searching for those keywords, and the level of competition for those keywords.

If you have a website that only has several pages, you will won’t to optimise each of those pages for 2-3 keywords or phrases. If you have a website that is selling online, you can optimise every product or service for 2-3 keywords each. In our example above, you may wish to optimise your page for ‘ black high heels with straps’ and ‘ black high heels with ankle straps’.

An alternative and easier method to using keyword tools is to simply type your terms into a search box and look at the options that google is providing you. As you type, google will suggest keyword phrases that other people have also been looking for. This is a great way to find what people are actually searching for right now.

If you have a website that is not producing the online results you want or are just about to build a website, I can’t stress enough just how important doing your keyword research first is.

Related articles

  • YouTube Video Keyword Research – Use these 3 powerful YouTube keyword research techniques to dramatically increase the number of views you get from searchers.

Small Business Forums

July 21st, 2012 by Scott Mackay | Permalink

Using forums and question and answer sites is a great way to increase your company’s exposure to a wider audience. It allows you to directly interact with potential customers and generate valuable traffic to your site.

The current trend in social commenting is to establish yourself as an authority in the marketplace. You will maximise your efforts by contributing helpful and informed advice; rather than trying to promote yourself or your business. Once you establish credibility, you’ll find that forums can be a fairly reliable source of targeted traffic for your business.

While it’s important to establish yourself in the most widely-read forums that relate to your industry, it’s also important to use general forum sites; as these are frequented by many users first before they search for industry specific sites.

General sites to try

Quora

http://www.quora.com/
Quora aims to be the easiest place to write new content and share content from the web. They organize people and their interests so you can find, collect and share the information most valuable to you.

Yahoo answers

http://answers.yahoo.com/
Yahoo! Answers is a place where people ask and answer questions on any topic. Why not share your facts, opinions and personal experiences with the Yahoo! Answers community?

Whirlpool

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/
Whirlpool.net.au is a fully independent community website, run by a team of unpaid volunteers, devoted to keeping the public informed about the state of internet access in Australia.

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