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3 Actionable Techniques You Can Use Right Now to Attract Search Engine Traffic

Previously, ‘falling behind’ had a different definition. Now; however, it means not ranking high on Google. You know how they say, ‘the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search’. In a rush of technologically evolving businesses, it has become one of the key concerns for the tech-savvy.

The goal is to gain more and more organic traffic from search results on the search engines. Organic traffic not only means more business in terms of sales but also it makes your website more attractive to advertisers because only an interested prospective customer would land on the website.

Traditionally people would buy traffic (PPC), but there are several downsides to that when compared to organic traffic. Although reaching the ideal level of organic traffic might cost you a bit in the beginning, in terms of hiring SEO experts and investing in SEO tools, it is a sustainable approach. This is because on the other hand; you needed to keep paying for traffic using PPC techniques.

Similarly, organic results have high click-through rates compared to PPC advertisements. This is because users doubt the credibility of advertisements and have more trust in organic results.

A few years back, I came across a small business owner who almost shut his business website down because he was not generating any leads online. Upon investigating further, he told that he had constantly been posting products on his website but never got traffic.

Conducting some research, I found out his poorly maintained website was the reason. He had no idea what search engine optimization was. I gave him a few SEO tips which made him realize he was at fault.

If you have read this far, it means you have a reasonable knowledge of SEO already. I know you are not here for basic SEO tips, which is why we shall discuss some more advanced tips that can help you proceed in your organic traffic game.

1. Broken Link Building

You must know that backlinks play a great role in the ranking of a webpage. In other words, more and more domains linking to your page means higher rankings on the search engine for your page.

So, what is a broken link?

Also referred to as a Dead Link, a broken link refers to a link on a page that does not work. Either the link does not exist anymore for some reason, or it is an improper (improperly inserted) link.

In a broken link building strategy, you find pages that have broken links and then suggest to them your link as a replacement for that broken link. If you want to go a step further, you can look for all the pages that link to that same broken link and then suggest to all of them, your link, instead. This is known as ‘Deep Broken Link Building.’

Let us briefly go through the steps of how you can do it.

Step 1. Find links pages, as they are the best place to look for broken links.

  • Use Google search term “keyword inurl:links.” This will give hundreds of results of pages containing links with your keyword in them.
  • Use simple Google results bookmarklet tool to get the results in a list form.
  • Use another tool to remove the duplicates from the list.

Step 2. Check for link ranking. Using a tool such as Ahrefs, you can find out the ranking of the domains and sort them accordingly. This would help you figure out which link you want to target first.

Step 3. Using SEO Spider tool you can now find which of the domains have broken links. It will also fetch the broken links from those pages.

Step 4. Using Ahrefs batch analysis tool, you can find out how many
domains refer to each of the broken links you just fetched.

Step 5. Using another tool, e.g., BuzzStream, you can reach out to all of the domain owners at once, who have a particular broken link on their page. Prepare your pitch well – the way you structure your email will decide if the owner is convinced.

2. Content Re-launch

Many platforms that provide SEO tips for beginners tend to miss out this important strategy. This is primarily because it is a relatively newer tactic.

This strategy involves optimizing your previous posts and then reposting them. This strategy has proven quite beneficial for some. A great example that set a precedent for many is Hubspot.

Let us discuss in the light of their case, how they increased their traffic by 106% by using their content re-launch strategy.

In the process they refer to as ‘Historical Optimization,’ they optimize their old blog content to make it fresh and up to date. This also includes better SEO and rectifying the mistakes in the past. So how old is old content? There is no set definition, according to them. It can be a week old or a year, or even more.

I will highlight how they went about it so that you have a clearer picture of what content re-launch is and help you construct your re-launch strategy.

Upon analysis of their posts from the past, they found that their older posts were performing better than the new posts. Another surprising element of the report was that they generated 46% of their leads from the top 30 posts, which only made up 0.5 percent of their total posts.

This led them to set their goals accordingly, considering two outcomes.

  1. To get more leads from high traffic blogs with low conversion rates.
  2. To get more traffic on the blogs with higher conversion rates.

This helped them identify their re-launch strategy. They figured the lowest yielding posts despite high traffic so that they could optimize them in a way to get more conversions from them. On the other hand, they found that the posts that had high conversions did not get much traffic. They could now optimize that post to gain more traffic and generate more leads overall.

This is why it is suggested that you not only focus on the new content but also make use of the old content and optimize it to get more traffic and more leads.

The image below shows the traffic on some of their posts before and after optimization.

3. HARO

Some of us still are not aware of HARO. However, it is the most powerful means for small businesses and entrepreneurs to gain media attention and be featured in press releases.

HARO is the acronym for Help A Reporter Out. It was formed as a platform for journalists and/or reporters to interact with the experts of a field, which they had to write for. Those experts, in turn, got PR opportunities from the journalists.

HARO has turned into a business and has evolved much more. You can make an account and start getting emails full of queries from reporters of well-established news platforms. This would not only help you interact with them, but you can also place backlinks in the content that you provide them, as your contribution. This would generate more traffic to your website or whatever webpage you intend.

Remember, though it will not sound like an impressive tool at first, backlinks from media sites are the strongest, as they reflect authenticity and credibility.

Tips on HARO

Given it is a big outlet – there would be many responses to a single query. You need to plan your pitch accordingly for your response to stand out. It requires a lot of patience to utilize such a platform.

  • Give them the exact response that they need, so that they do not have to edit it. When they find the content rich and useful, they will just copy-paste it along with your links placed in it.
  • Address everything the reporter has asked, and do not miss out an important point. Otherwise, your response will not stand a good chance of being used by the reporter.
  • Place the link wisely. An author’s bio is a good way to place a link to your organization.

Over to You

Do not undermine the potential that the worldwide web has. If you think your blog or business website is not generating as much traffic as it should, it does not mean you are in a bad business. You just have to let people know you exist, and it is never too late to do so.

If you are not already utilizing the power of blogs, do it now. They are a great way to highlight the pain points of the potential consumers and to present how your business solves them. Blogs also help your website rank higher in search results.

To begin with, you can use keyword research tools to help optimize your content. Do not let any constraints hold you back.

This is the right time, so take the first step, and you will see your business grow.


Bill Acholla

Bill Acholla is a digital marketer helping small business owners build their brand through content marketing. If you like this article, check out his business blog at Billacholla.com for more actionable marketing tips.

 

Local Link Building – 3 Great Ways to Get Authority Links for your Local Business

The power of SEO is not lost on local business owners. Ever since the advent of the Internet, customers have been moving away from the old-school ways of finding companies, such as the Yellow Pages. Nowadays the first thing most people do when needing to find a product or service is simple, they “Google it.” Thus, it is crucial for business owners to get in front of those customers when they go Googling.

The best way to do that is through SEO, but ranking organically can be hard. While SEO consists of the basic fundaments of links and content, breaking through the competition can prove a challenge for many.

Probably the hardest part of this process is the link building. It’s arguably the most important part of SEO, but can be very difficult to do correctly (which is one of the reasons Google rewards it so much). However, it doesn’t have to be hard, and today we will go over some tips that can help you secure authoritative and relevant links to your local business.

Tip #1 – Collaboration

This tip is one of my favorites because it harkens to a very old school technique, ye olde “link exchange.” Years back one of the main tactics for businesses was to exchange links to either other, usually on a dedicated “links page.”

This was a decent strategy, mutually beneficial to all involved. However, as SEOs tend to do, we ruined a good thing. It became extremely messy, links pages became long, keyword stuffed and spammy, and “reciprocal links” were rumored to be devalued.

However, when you take the underlying principle and build upon it, it’s not half bad. It comes down to collaboration and cross-promotion with other business owners (ideally not direct competitors).

This shouldn’t be done with some random link on a links page, but rather with a thought-out piece of promotional content, or strategic cooperation or partnership. Here are some examples:

  • “Industry Roundups” are essentially very large link exchanges, except they add a layer of promotion (getting featured in an article, ego bait of a headshot and byline), and a layer of value (insights from industry experts). This can gain backlinks and rank. Try doing that with a links page.
  • Reach out to local business owners in different cities. They don’t compete directly with you, but their websites are extremely relevant and would make a perfect source for a link.
    • Offer to contribute or trade content with them. Reciprocal links be damned, if you can get cited in a quality article, go for it.
    • Work out a referral partnership, as sometimes companies get calls from outside of their coverage area. Be sure to get listed on their site as a “Partner.”

You get the idea, work to build rapport with other business owners and eventually it will work out in your favor. I like to say, “there is a link hiding in every relationship.”

Tip #2 – Events

This is probably my favorite tactic for local businesses to use, largely because it gives them an excuse to do standard marketing and promotion, and has the side effect of generating links that will benefit your SEO in a long-term way.

First, I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is very little differentiating “white hat” link building from “getting press coverage.” Whether the press is the New York Times or local mom bloggers, getting naturally occurring mentions and citations in various publications is what link building is all about.

The trick comes down to doing something that is press-worthy. Unfortunately, there is no secret recipe for getting mentioned in the press. However, we do have the advantage that most journalists and bloggers are always on the lookout for something to write about.

That’s why local events are so great because they combine local relevance, an excuse for promotion, and a press-worthy happening, all in one. When doing this with SEO in mind, we take total advantage.

Here’s the process in a nutshell:

1. Pick an event you want to host/sponsor; it could be:

  • Charity fundraiser
  • Block party
  • Industry seminar
  • Community organizing
  • Something specific to your niche

2. Prospect all the various outlets that would make mention of your event:

  • Local newspapers
  • Local blogs
  • Niche blogs
  • Vendors/Partner Websites
  • Industry Associations
  • Event Calendars

3. Set up a website for the event, a press release and a flyer:

  • Host on your company’s website, or:
  • Host on a dedicated microsite, but if you do this you’ll want to 301 redirect it to your companies site at some point to gain the SEO juice.

4. Set up a Facebook Page, along with a Facebook Ad Campaign to promote it.

5. Send out a promotional e-mail, phone calls, and start the ad campaign.

6. Make sure to ask nicely after the fact for links on all your blog posts/news mentions.

See what I mean? You are doing something worthwhile, and the side effect is links. This is the best way to go about link building, since people are hip to the link building gimmick at this point, and are looking for real value.

Tip #3 – Local Scholarships

This is another tactic that has a little bit of a jaded history. Scholarships have been used as a gimmick to attain backlinks from .EDU sites for many years now. Like I said above, when SEOs find something that works, we ruin it.

However just as with the link exchanges above, if we add on layers of real value, the underlying strategy is solid. Consider this:

  • Scholarships are a way to give back to your community.
  • They can help obtain talent for internships and employment in your niche.
  • They can be niche or location specific (but probably not both, as its too slim a segment).
  • They can be combined with other promotions/events.
  • They are totally newsworthy, especially in niche and local publications (if you were a journalist in a small town, wouldn’t you cover a scholarship that’s specific to your county?)

They are also not very expensive when you consider it as a marketing expense. I prefer to go for a $1,000 scholarship (although many will cheap-out for $500). If you can obtain 30 press mentions or links from .EDUs, that’s $33 per link. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that any day of the week.

Here’s a quick summary of the process:

1. Decide if the scholarship will be niche specific (legal, vocational, technical, artistic), or location specific. As an example, Empire Maids has an NYC specific scholarship, which works for them because it’s their coverage area, while Lucid Chart has a design specific scholarship, as they are a visual design company.

2. Think of a unique take on it, to give it a spin that will appeal to bloggers and journalists. Should it be video submissions? A maker/builder contest? An essay submission? Have this be something you care about, so it’s not a bore going through all the submissions.

3. Put together a beautiful landing page. Doesn’t have to cost a ton, but should include all the relevant information and an area for students to submit. Make it pretty; people will be more likely to share and link to it.

4. Prospect, prospect, prospect. First, you want to get all high schools or universities that have an “External Scholarships” page. Here are some handy Google searches that will surface these for you:

  • inurl:k12 “external scholarships”
  • site:.edu “external scholarships”

Secondly, you want to prospect all the local or niche blogs/publications that might be interested in this. Go after every local newspaper, local blogger, and even University blogger you can track down.

5. Put together a well thought out, and descriptive e-mail about the Scholarship and what it means to you, your community and/or industry. Again, this is all about publicity, not about link building, so don’t mention links until after the fact (and only if necessary).

That’s it! You can get more or less aggressive (i.e., facebook ad campaigns), but that’s up to you.

Conclusion

Link building can be hard, and frustrating, but that’s part of what makes it so valuable. The competition will not take the extra step to find success, which leaves the door open for you and your company to dominate. These few tips can help you acquire some backlinks, but more importantly, if should motivate you to think outside the box when contemplating publicity for your business.


michael hayes

Michael Hayes is founder of Darby Hayes Consulting, a NYC based digital marketing agency. He can be reached at mike(at)darbyhayesconsulting.com.

 

Super-secret SEO backlink outsourcing resources

Update: December 21, 2016

This article is extremely out of date and strategies within this article should not be followed, especially using automated software and anchor text diversity. For more information read this guide to link diversity by Mike Wood.


Most everyone in search engine optimization knows that backlinks play a major role in helping your website or your clients’ websites rank. No matter what the “Big G” says, it still plays a vital part in SEO. But let’s face it, building hundreds or thousands of backlinks manually is extremely boring and time consuming. It’s also a recipe for how to go broke as it’s impossible to build enough backlinks for yourself and your clients. There’s no question that there are certain types of backlinks that you need to build by hand, but the vast majority can be done using automated tools or by having it outsourced on a monthly basis for a consistent flow of backlinks going to your sites.

Here at Coronation Internet Marketing we build used to build most of our backlinks with automated software. But, this software can be expensive for people who are new to SEO or those without many clients. We recently moved to doing this ourselves but we have used a number of great outsourcers over the years while we were growing the business. It took some time to find trustworthy link builders but we did find some we’d recommend.

Our backlink sources

Here is the list of the top 3 super-secret backlink outsourcing resources that we’ve used:

Skyyo Media

These guys are great. There is nobody I would recommend more than Skyyo Media. They were a major part of helping us build our business. When we moved to doing it ourselves I felt quite bad having to cancel the monthly packages we had with them.

Boost My SERPs

We’ve used their monthly SEO service with success for a number of our clients as well as our own sites. They are an affordable and quality option for backlinks

Economical Network

These guys offer affordable monthly services with a diverse backlink profile including video creation and submission, pyramids, wikis, social bookmarks and social signals.

Anchor text diversity

Just remember that it’s important to diversify your anchor text for your backlinks. Here’s the recipe for anchor text that is working well right now:

  • 25% Brand
    Your business name, client’s business name, etc.
  • 25% URL
    http://yourdomain.com/, www.yourdomain.com, yourdomain.com, etc.
  • 25% Main Keyword(s)
    The specific keyword or keywords you are trying to rank for.
  • 25% Long Tail Keyword(s)
    Let’s say your keyword is “gold IRA”. Your long tail keywords would be “Find out more about gold IRA information here.”
  • 25% Synonyms or Misc.
    If your keyword is “gold IRA” you could use “digging for gold”, “commodity investing”, “retirement planning”. For miscellaneous you could use “click here”, “read more”, “official website”, etc.

This is not an exact science as there is about a 5 or 10% range on any of these. Don’t feel like you have to follow this precisely. Just remember to make sure you don’t keep hitting your website with your main keyword over and over again. This worked 2  years ago but not any more.

Brand and URL anchor text is working very well to build trust to your websites now. If you are going to emphasize any type of anchor text, these two are the most important as it looks far more natural.