Tag Archives: Search Engine Optimization

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

WordPress Conquers NASA and Beyond 

WordPress Conquers NASA and Beyond

An interesting article by  on torquemag.io

Not only does WordPress dominate more than 25 percent of the internet but it has now conquered space. NASA recently updated a blog post explaining the benefits they’ve received since launching the NASA GRC WordPress website, which first launched in July 2007.

The post highlights several of the benefits for using WordPress including ease of use, low cost, SEO, and more.

Search Engine Friendly

The basics of SEO are already built into the system. It encourages you to fill out title tags, categories, and meta descriptions.

“When a site curator posts a news-related item on a public-facing NASA WordPress site, the major search engines are automatically notified to catalog the new content; additionally, the system automatically builds XML sitemaps to help search engines correctly catalog and prioritize your content in their databases,” the post said.

Though this isn’t new, it is a great service for any site owner that doesn’t have a strong SEO background. NASA is able to deliver important news quickly.

Section 508

Section 508 is a government-wide accessibility program. It is essential that every government-sponsored website adheres to it. Luckily for NASA, WordPress does it automatically.

“Our NASA WordPress themes (the HTML/CSS design, structure and programming) is already Section 508 compliant, and new Section 508 issues are addressed as the overall theme is upgraded. Essentially, only the content (text, photos, videos) that a site curator adds will need to be verified for Section 508 compliance by the curator,” the post said.

Content Separate From Design

Another huge time saver is that content is separate from design. That means that when you change your theme, the old content will change with it. No more going through every old post or image, and making sure it lines up with the new design.

“There’s no need for wholesale, time-consuming revisions of your entire site if and when the design changes,” the post said.

When everything is done for you, you can focus on the content.

This blog post is one small step for WordPress and one giant leap for open-source software. I know that was a cheap joke, but it really illustrates the exciting role open source is beginning to take in the US government. NASA isn’t the final frontier.

The White House And Open Source

A few months ago, The White House not only announced Whitehouse.gov would be open source but asked for input from developers.

People added suggestions on GitHub to help create the federal source code policy and this month, the results were shared. From the analyzed data, custom open-source code was born.

The announcement post, titled “The People’s Code,” explains the uses of Code.gov.

“The policy, which incorporates feedback received during the public comment period, requires new custom-developed source code developed specifically by or for the Federal Government to be made available for sharing and re-use across all Federal agencies,” the announcement said.

This isn’t the first case of the US government using open source, but it takes the practices government-wide.

“By opening more of our code to the brightest minds inside and outside of government, we can enable them to work together to ensure that the code is reliable and effective in furthering our national objectives,” the announcement said.

In the coming months, Code.gov will be released and people from all over will able to share and access government code.

It’s a huge year for open-source projects. From the White House to NASA and beyond, code is being shared and collaborated on for a more transparent world.

For more NASA puns, check out Doc Pop’s News Drop, our weekly news video. 

Source: WordPress Conquers NASA And Beyond | @thetorquemag

SEO: Basic Principles and Techniques

SEO: Basic Principles and Techniques

SEO: Basic Principles

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Avoid tweaking your website intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb “Does this help my users?”
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

SEO: Basic Principles and Techniques

Avoid the Following Techniques

  • Automatically generated content
  • Participating in link schemes
  • Creating pages with little or no original content
  • Sneaky redirects
  • Hidden text or links
  • Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
  • Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
  • Creating pages with malicious behaviour, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware

Engage in Good Practices 

  • Monitoring your site for hacking and removing hacked content as soon as it appears
  • Preventing and removing user-generated spam on your site

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 >

Effective Techniques for Organic Link Building

Effective Techniques for Organic Link Building

Tips from Matt Cutts, Head of Google Webspam Team:

  • Great content will bring you many links.
  • Answer Questions – participate in the community by answering questions that may help others. If you help someone the probability is high that that person will link to you.
  • Original Research – share the results of your research with the public. If someone benefits from your search the probability is high that they are going to remember you and link to you.
  • Newsletters – email useful info to people’s inboxes. This will result in increased traffic and conversions.
  • Social Media – participate in a forum or a blog and participate also on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and other social platforms.
  • Doing a Presentation at a Conference is another great way to get links.
  • Directories – enter your business on online Business Directories
  • Create a Blog and become an authority in your field – there is no excuse these days for a company/ individual not having a blog. Use your blog to establish yourself. Your blog is your online business card, your Profile on the internet.
  • How-tos and tutorials. Did you learn something useful? Put it on the internet. It may help someone else.
  • Do you have a free product or service? make it available to others. A good example is open source such as a new free plugin for WordPress. If you develop a free plugin and make it available for others to use… you won’t have to go to people… people will come to you. You do the work once and people downstream will come to you. Some will be grateful for what you have done and they will link to you.
  • Ensure your website has good site architecture. Ask yourself: Can my site be crawled? can my site’s URLs be bookmarked? What about my internal links – can Google get to all the pages on my site? Make it easy to link to your site as well as to individual pages and posts within your site.
  • Make a few videos.

Wise words!

Cheers,

Tony

link building
link building

How does Google handle Duplicate Content?

How does Google handle Duplicate Content?

Matt Cutts of Google states that about 25-30% of content on the net is duplicate and that it is not all spam.

Google looks for duplicate content and then tries to group it together and treat it as one piece. So when Google comes across two identical pages Google may decide to show just one of the pages on search results. Not all duplicate content is spam – it just needs to be clustered appropriately.

If all you do is duplicate content and you are doing it in an abusive, deceptive, malicious or manipulative way than expect Google to take action and treat your content as spam.

Duplicate Content
Duplicate Content

How can small sites become popular?

How can small sites become popular? Can smaller guys outperform the bigger guys?

Matt Cutts of Google suggests that it is important that your site is dynamic, responds quickly and has superior content. Matt refers to how sites such as Facebook and Instagram started small. MySpace was around when Facebook started.

If you are doing it better then in time you can expect to grow. Focus on your niche market. Cover it well and branch out from there.

Smaller guys can outperform the bigger guys as long as they do a good job. Don’t stop producing superior content.