Category Archives: Google

15 Ways to Get High-Quality Backlinks to Your WordPress Site

15 Ways to Get High-Quality Backlinks to Your WordPress Site

Do you remember when black hat SEO was a major problem? Google eventually caught on to these unethical SEO tactics employed by shady (and, let’s be honest, lazy) people, so it may not have had a chance to get too close to you. Nevertheless, if you’ve ever had a client ask if you knew where they could buy links from, that’s definitely a remnant of those black hat SEO days—and something you want to stay away from at all costs.

I think the worst part about black hat SEO was the aftermath. It’s not like building up backlinks was the problem. It was the manner in which people acquired those backlinks that was, since they basically tricked the search algorithms into rewarding quantity over quality.

Being a few years away from the pervasiveness of black hat SEO abuses, I think it’s time for us all to get back in the saddle and get over that fear that Backlinks = Bad. We know that search engines recognize a strong network of backlinks as a signal of authority (even if they won’t admit it). It’s just a matter of knowing how to gain those links through genuine link-building strategies.

In this article, I want to talk about what high-quality backlinks are and how to go about building up a strong network of high-quality backlinks to improve your site’s search ranking, all while still staying in the good graces of the search engines and your visitors.

The Various Ways to Use Links to Improve SEO

Let’s start with the basics. There are typically three kinds of links you’re interested in when building a WordPress site:

Internal links connect readers of your site with other pages of content within the site. This keeps them moving through related topic after related topic, which in turn helps demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.

External links connect readers of your site with other websites. But why would you ever want to provide a link that could potentially push a visitor off your site? Well, it’s usually because you want to give a source credit for information you’ve included on your site. You know this back from high school. Quotes, statistics, and original research should always be cited. It’s also good for improving the user experience when you suggesting they do something and then provide them with a quick link to follow through on that action.

Which brings me to backlinks. These are links that point back to your site, but appear on other websites. Let’s say you published a hilarious infographic on the differences between dating in the ‘90s versus dating in the ‘10s. You may find that a whole bunch of dating sites, women’s and men’s e-magazines, and maybe even Buzzfeed want to embed a copy of it on their blogs. In turn, they’ll likely give your site credit with a backlink. (Basically, an external link, but in reverse.)

Internal and external links are both important for creating a strong impression on your WordPress site. However, high-quality backlinks are even more important as they demonstrate to search engines (and readers) that you’re a trusted authority around the web, and that your content is so good that others can’t help but drive their own traffic to it. Of course, these backlinks are only going to be beneficial if:

  • They’re genuine (meaning you didn’t pay someone to plant them).
  • They’re relevant and, consequently, drive relevant traffic to your site.
  • They come from reputable sources.

It’s this last point that can give marketers some pause since backlinks from websites with poor reputations can negatively affect SEO. So, if there were ever a reason not to want to actively work on building a network of backlinks to your site, that would be the one caveat. However, it should be easy enough to work around this. So long as you’re creating connections with reputable and high-authority websites, and paying attention to where your backlinks come from, you should be fine.

15 Ways to Get High-Quality Backlinks to Your WordPress Site

According to a 2015 study done by Moz, they found a very strong correlation between top ranked sites on Google and external links. Of the top 50 search results they assessed, they found that 99.2% of them had at least one backlink. While it’s not impossible to rank without a backlink, the evidence suggests that if you want to make that coveted first page of search results, you need at least one high-quality backlink.

Okay, so now that we got that out of the way…

We know that backlinks are awesome for SEO. We also know that we need to be careful when going about obtaining them. Here are some tips on how you can inspire popular, high-authority, and well-trusted websites to link to your website:

#1. Write Actionable Blog Posts

Well-written and informative blog posts are awesome. It’s basically like you’re giving away free lessons to your visitors in exchange for their patronage. However, if you want to motivate them to link back to your site within their own content, you have to give them something more. Blog posts that provide actionable tips—usually in list format or a step-by-step guide—will give others the opportunity to leverage your expert guidance for their own benefit.

#2. Write Guest Articles

This is really no different than writing content for your site. The only difference is that you have to follow someone else’s guidelines before it gets published. If you do go this route, don’t stress over embedding links to your site within the article; in fact, most outlets frown upon that. Simply just ask if you can put one link in your bio. If the site has a high enough profile, that one link is all you’ll need anyway.

#3. Blog on Third-Party Sites

Backlinks - Medium The Cooper Review
The Cooper Review has its own site and yet the author posts content to Medium regularly.

Perhaps the best place to put well-thought-out and informative posts is on third-party blogging sites. Obviously, that’s not to say these sites wouldn’t benefit from how-to articles. It’s all about creating content for the right place and the right time, and these sites are usually about straight-up thought leadership content. LinkedIn and Medium are good ones to look into.

#4. Develop Long-form Content

Writing a piece of content that discusses the merits of adopting an older dog is nice when you want to connect with your audience, but writing a guide on the 100 ways to help an older dog adapt to its surroundings would most likely elicit a stronger response. If you really want people to link to your content, create something truly of value. Long-form content like e-books, white papers, and manuals work best for this.

#5. Create Tutorials

Another way you could create helpful content others are dying to link to is by developing tutorials. Whether you’re a WordPress developer who recorded a live WordPress training session or a web designer who has created an infographic on the 15 tips for mastering the latest design trend, these creative tutorials that come straight from the expert are always an attractive sell.

#6. Write a Case Study

Backlinks - Kissmetrics case study
Great example of a well-done case study being embedded AND linked to on other sites.

Before I write any new content, the first thing I do is search for statistical evidence of the point I want to make. The way I see it, my audience will have an easier time listening to me if I point them to solid proof.

That’s why case studies are so powerful. Find a client’s before-and-after success story, write it up with tons of visuals and statistics, and publish on your site (with client’s consent of course). If your case study makes a solid argument for why CTAs belong above the fold, others may find your data valuable enough to link to and use in their own work.

#7. Showcase Partner Logos

This is one of those tit-for-tat situations, but nevertheless is one that will work if you get a valuable backlink out of it. If your business partners with high-profile companies, talk to them about showing off your logos on each other’s websites.

#8. Provide Reviews for Others

Yes, it can be annoying to receive a testimonial or review request from someone when you’re in the middle of a rush rebranding job and barely have time to stop and collect last month’s invoices. The next time this happens, however, I’d urge you to just say “yes”. In exchange for a testimonial or review, you can ask them to include a link back to your site.

#9. Get Your Link Out on Social

Backlinks - CMSWire Links
CMSWire includes a backlink to their site in their Twitter bio, in their self-promotional posts, and even in the name of their Twitter page.

Although Google has made it clear they don’t (or, more accurately, can’t) use social media as a ranking factor for websites, that doesn’t mean social can’t be used for backlinking opportunities. You can:

  • Add your site’s URL to all your social media profiles—for your company, yourself, and maybe even encourage employees to do so as well.
  • Promote your content and business’ products or services through posts on social.
  • Create videos, slideshows, and other visual content for niche social media sites (like YouTube or Instagram) and include a link back to your site in the description.

#10. Show Off on Social

While you work on generating your own backlinks, don’t forget to encourage others to share your content as well. The worst way to do this? “Hey guys, I just published this article. Please share it for me!” The best way to do this? Talk about topics on social that are relevant to your business. Trust me, people will take notice—especially if you’re sharing their content and tagging them. Quid pro quo is alive and well on social media.

#11. Update Your Gravatar

Backlinks - Gravatar
Gravatar is really so easy to set up. If you’re planning on being active on other sites, you’d be smart to get this profile (and your backlink) set up.

Did you know that Gravatar is part of the Automattic family? This means that any website—including your own WordPress site—linked to Gravatar can pull in the profile you’ve created there. This ensures that your website URL will show up on any site where your Gravatar bio does (like when you comment on another blog).

#12. Create Profiles on Q&A Sites

As a WordPress professional, you know how strong the community is around it. There are a number of opportunities to get involved with that community and to lend your input when your expertise is needed. Sites like Stack OverflowQuora, the WordPress forums, and, of course, the WPMU DEV community.

#13. Upload Your Portfolio

Backlinks - Dribbble Example
An example of how your URL backlink will appear on a portfolio site.

Do you have a design portfolio or something free to give away like a plugin or wireframe kit? Hop on sites like Dribbble, create a profile (with a link to your site), and start sharing.

#14. Get Interviewed

Are you a local expert? Or perhaps you developed a new technique or product that others would find valuable? Maybe you just helped a major Fortune 500 revamp their website? Whatever waves you’re making in your part of the world, use it to get interviewed by podcasts, local new sites, or niche bloggers. In exchange for the interview, they’ll likely give your site a shout-out.

#15. Issue a Press Release

Backlinks - Press Release
Here’s a snapshot of PlayBuzz’s press release where they garnered two links back to their site.

Along that same vein, if you have something truly newsworthy happen to you (like one of your sites won an Awwward or you just sold a million copies of your plugin), issue a press release about it. And not just on your website. Use a service like PRweb so it’ll get picked up by other news channels that will link back to your site, too.

Once you’ve got this backlink train in motion, don’t forget to review the backlinks coming in to your site. You can find a list of these by going to Google Search Console; look under Search Traffic > Links to Your Site. If you find any questionable links (meaning they’re irrelevant or come from inappropriate sites), you can disconnect them.

Wrapping Up

Black hat SEO made things a little hairy for marketers and web developers for a while. But now that those shady SEO tactics are, for the most part, gone, we can focus on using positive link building strategies for our sites. A strong network of high-authority backlinks can speak volumes to the credibility of your business, so take some time to think about how best to get your site in front of others and motivate them to link back to it from their own sites.

Source:

15 Ways to Get High-Quality Backlinks to Your WordPress Site  posted on  wpmudev.com by  Suzanne Scacca

Top 10 Most Important Google Analytics Reports

There is so much data available that you can sometimes get a little lost and not know what you should be focusing on; so this blog post is here to help you know the main areas to look at for the valuable information. This is particularly important now that some SEO tool companies are removing their rank tracking services – this post will help you identify data that is more valuable than rank reports!

This is an easy to read, useful article – read more >

Do you need Google Analytics Training >

Keywords vs. Search Queries: What’s the Difference?

Keywords vs. Search Queries: What's the Difference?

In casual conversation, the terms “keyword” and “search query” are often used interchangeably, but there is actually a difference. So what is the difference between a keyword and a search query?

A search term is the exact word or set of words a customer enters when searching on Google.com or one of Google’s Search Network sites.

Search Terms = Search Queries

A keyword is the word or set of words AdWords advertisers create for a given ad group to target their ads to customers.

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Need Google Analytics Training? >

Source: Keywords vs. Search Queries: What’s the Difference? | WordStream

4 Ways To Analyze On-Site Search With Google Analytics – LemonStand

On-site search can reveal some important information about your customers. Here are 4 ways to analyze your store’s search with Google Analytics.

Source: 4 Ways To Analyze On-Site Search With Google Analytics – LemonStand

Need Google Analytics Training? Learn more >

Mobile Ads on Google AdWords

Mobile Ads on Google AdWords

People spend 15 hours per week researching goods and services on their smartphones. Traffic from mobile devices will continue to grow, so start targeting that traffic now.

According to Google on an average week, 54% of the people who saw ads for my Google AdWords Campaign were on smartphones. Google advises that in order to help turn more of these viewers into customers, one should create ads specifically for the small screen.

Keep in mind:
  • Since there is less room on mobile, keep your message short and direct – Google recommends you have the most important information in the headline and first description line.
  • Assuming your ad group contains both a standard text ad and a mobile-optimized text ad, on mobile devices, your mobile-optimized text ad will be given preference over standard text ads. On computers and tablets, your standard text ad will be given preference over mobile-optimized text ads.
  • Google does not recommend your ad group to only have mobile-optimized text ads.
  • On mobile devices, where space is tight, AdWords optimizes your ad to show the highest performing text. If you have ad extensions that perform well on mobile, those may appear in your ad to show potential customers the most relevant information.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords

People spend 15 hours per week researching goods and services on their smartphones. Traffic from mobile devices will continue to grow, so start targeting that traffic now.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Ad a new Ad

Create an Ad: Go to Campaigns > select your Campaign > click ‘+Ad’ > on the drop-down menu click ‘Text Ad’ > follow the prompts.  On ‘Device preference’ click ‘Mobile’.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Create a new Text Ad

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Select an Ad Group

Don’t forget to ‘select an ad group’ by clicking on the ‘Choose’ button.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Excessive Capitalization

Google will review your Ad.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Excessive Capitalization-part 2

Below a preview of how your Ad will look like.

Made for Mobile Ads on Google AdWords-Ad Preview

Don’t use excessive capitalization. Type ‘Free’ rather than ‘FREE’.

Once you signup for AdWords and create a Campaign, Google will from time to time send you “tune-up” emails with easy to follows steps on how you can improve your Ads.

Need AdWords Training? >

Resources – Additional Reading

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6021546?hl=en&expand=047#fix

 

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update: Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update: Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?

On the 21st April 2015, Google rolled-out its ‘mobile-friendly’ update. This was a global roll-out. How does this update impact on a Google search for your website? Simple answer: it boosts mobile search rankings for pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update: Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?

How does the Update Work?

This update:

  • Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
  • Affects search results in all languages globally
  • Applies to individual pages, not entire websites

Google states: “If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search”.

Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?

To check if your site is mobile-friendly, you can:

Examine individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update-Mobile-Friendly Test

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update-WordPress Training Johannesburg

or check the status of your entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools.

Google continues: “…once your site becomes mobile-friendly, we will automatically re-process (i.e., crawl and index) your pages.  You can also expedite the process by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index, and then your pages can be treated as mobile-friendly in ranking”.

Which Websites are Mobile-Friendly?

LatestWP ran a small test on WordPress-based websites to establish which sites were mobile friendly. They examined 25 WordPress websites including some of the largest brands in the world. The following websites not only are created on WordPress but also featured at WordPress.org Showcase section. The result was surprising!

Not Mobile-Friendly:

Mobile-Friendly Websites:

How to Set your Website to be Mobile-Friendly using Jetpack?

Jetpack extends the functionality of WordPress websites by adding powerful features previously only available to WordPress.com users. Features include customization, traffic, mobile, content, and performance tools.

To download Jetpack:

Hover over ‘plugins’ in your site’s admin area > click ‘Add New’ > search for ‘Jetpack’ > click ‘Install’ > click ‘Activate’.

Once the plugin is activated hover over ‘Jetpack’ (towards the top of your left sidebar in your admin area) > on the drop-down menu click ‘Jetpack Settings’ > scroll down the page and activate ‘Mobile Theme’. Once the mobile theme has been activated scroll down the page to ‘Mobile Theme’ once again and click ‘Configure’.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update-Jetpack-Mobile Theme
Hover over ‘Jetpack’ and click ‘Settings’ on the drop down menu > on the settings page scroll down to ‘Mobile Theme’ and click ‘Configure’

 

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update-Jetpack's Mobile Theme

Wishing you success with your mobile-friendly website!

Additional reading:

Rolling out the mobile-friendly update >

28% of WordPress Websites Could Be Affected By Google’s Mobile Search Update and What to Do About It >

The Search Terms Report – Which Keywords were People Searching for when they clicked on your Ad?

The Search Terms Report

This Report gives you information on what people were searching for when they saw your ad and clicked on it. This information can help you remove or pause poorly performing keywords or add new ones. You can also use the search terms report to help you identify negative keywords.

Go to https://adwords.google.com > click on your Campaign > click ‘Keywords’ >

Search Terms Report

Click ‘Details’ > click ‘Search Terms All’ on the drop-down menu.

Search Terms Report 2

On the page that opens scroll down the page to view the terms (keywords) that people searched for.

S Terms Report 4

 

Understanding the Long Tail of Keyword Demand

Understanding the Long Tail of Keyword Demand

It all begins with words typed into a search box.

Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking for the “right” keywords can make or break your website. Through the detective work of puzzling out your market’s keyword demand, you not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.

It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. The usefulness of this intelligence cannot be overstated – with keyword research you can predict shifts in demand, respond to changing market conditions, and produce the products, services, and content that web searchers are already actively seeking. In the history of marketing, there has never been such a low barrier to entry in understanding the motivations of consumers in virtually every niche.

Let’s assume we have an online shoe store. It would be great to rank #1 for the keyword “shoes” – or would it?

The Search Demand Curve-Understanding the Long Tail of Keyword Demand

It’s wonderful to deal with keywords that have 5,000 searches a day, or even 500 searches a day, but in reality, these “popular” search terms actually make up less than 30% of the searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% lie in what’s called the “long tail” of search. The long tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that might be conducted a few times in any given day, but, when taken together, they comprise the majority of the world’s demand for information through search engines.

Another lesson search marketers have learned is that long tail keywords often convert better, because they catch people later in the buying/conversion cycle. A person searching for “shoes” is probably browsing, and not ready to buy. On the other hand, someone searching for “best price on Air Jordan size 12” practically has their wallet out!

The Search Demand Curve-Understanding the Long Tail of Keyword Demand 2

Illustrating the Long Tail >