LogicGateOne Corp- More than SERPS.
Everyone keeps on hearing about this mysterious SEO that is supposed to be the lifeline of businesses on the web. What's it all about? Is this something that could magically transform your vid production into viral status overnight or maybe a black hat technique to keep your name on the first page of Google search results?
Marketing, that's what the fuss is all about. SEO is closely related to what businesses do irl as advertising and marketing, only it lives online. This is one of the strong factors behind websites ranking first on online searches -- a most coveted spot on the web. Say, you have this cozy restaurant in Cebu. Everything's cool, you even get a steady stream of customers every day from word-of-mouth advertisement of local patrons. However, having a presence on the web will propel this popularity into another level. Every time someone type "Cebu restaurant" or "good restaurant in Cebu" on a search engine, you will be there on the first page, among the top results.
The kicker is, All businesses want to be on the top results but search engines would want to have only the relevant websites on their search results. You could imagine just how this became a cat-and-mouse game that makes the whole thing progressively complex every day. (Search engines claim to tweak their search algorithm multiple times in a day!)
To increase your website's ranking and exposure in search results you have to obtain an understanding of how search engines work (or at least have an educated guess). Also, identify what search phrases people type in search engines. There are hundreds of various signals search engines claim to incorporate in their search and ranking codes -- most of which cannot, if at all known, be easily influenced.
Our SEO services are more of a one-way promotion, that is, we only keep in mind that we need to push a certain thing to the top of online search results for its keyword. Ergo, if there are bad publicity associated with your brand showing up as well, that's another story. To help manage that negative online rep you're getting, we have Online Reputation Management for that.
At LGO, everything we do is customized to every client we work with, which requires thorough consultation to ensure that we are on the same page and we understand your expected results. We usually advise clients to sign up for a complete SEO package, but if you really need help only in certain facets of SEO, we have detailed each of them for you.
From editing its written content, increasing inbound links, editing HTML codes to make it easier for search engines to index the website and testing keywords, LGO employs its tried-and-tested strategies in getting you to the top.
Building links is an incredibly common request of agencies and consultants, and some ways to go about it are far more advisable than others. Whether you're likely to be asked for this work or you're looking to hire someone for it, it's a good idea to have a few rules of thumb. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Russ Jones breaks things down.
1. Never build a link you can't remove!
So we're going to touch on a couple of maxims or truisms. The first one is never build a link you can't remove. I didn't come upon this one until after Penguin, but it just occurred to me it is such a nightmare to get rid of links. Even with disavow, often it feels better that you can just get the link pulled from the web. Now, with negative SEO as being potentially an issue, admittedly Google is trying to devalue links as opposed to penalize, but still the rule holds strong. Never build a link that you can't remove.
But how do you do that? I mean you don't have necessarily control over it. Well, first off, there's a difference between earnings links and building links. So if you get a link out there that you didn't do anything for, you just got it because you wrote great content, don't worry about it. But if you're actually going to actively link build, you need to follow this rule, and there are actually some interesting ways that we can go about it.
Canonical "burn" pages
The first one is the methodology that I call canonical burn pages. I'm sure that sounds a little dark. But it actually is essentially just an insurance policy on your links. The idea is don't put all of your content value and link value into the same bucket. It works like this. Let's say this article or this Whiteboard Friday goes up at the URL risk-averse-links and Moz decided to do some outreach-based link building. Well, then I might make another version, risk-averse-linkbuilding, and then in my out linking actually request that people link to that version of the page. That page will be identical, and it will have a canonical tag so that all of the link value should pass back to the original.
Now, I'm not asking you to build a thousand doorway pages or anything of that sort, but here's the reason for the separation. Let's say you reach out to one of these webmasters and they're like, "This is great," and they throw it up on a blog post, and what they don't tell you is, "Oh yeah, I've got 100 other blogs in my link farm, and I'm just going to syndicate this out." Now you've got a ton of link spam pointing to the page. Well, you don't want that pointing to your site. The chances this guy is going to go remove his link from those hundreds if not thousands of pages are very low. Well, the worst case scenario here is that you've lost this page, the link page, and you drop it and you create a new one of these burn pages and keep going.
Or what if the opposite happens? When you actually start ranking because of this great content that you've produced and you've done great link building and somebody gets upset and decides to spam the page that's ranking with a ton of links, we saw this all the time in the legal sector, which was shocking to me. You would think you would never spam a lawyer, but apparently lawyers aren't afraid of another lawyer.
But regardless, what we could do in those situations is simply get rid of the original page and leave the canonical page that has all the links. So what you've done is sort of divided your eggs into different baskets without actually losing the ranking potential. So we call these canonical burn pages.
Know thy link provider
The other thing that's just stupidly obvious is you should know thy link provider. If you are getting your links from a website that says pay $50 for so and so package and you'll get x-links from these sources on Tier 2, you're never going to be able to remove those links once you get them unless you're using something like a canonical burn page. But in those cases where you're trying to get good links, actually build a relationship where the person understands that you might need to remove this link in the future. It's going to mean you lose some links, but in the long run, it's going to protect you and your customers.
That's where the selling point becomes really strong. Imagine you're on a client call, sales call and someone comes to you and they say they want link building. They've been burned before. They know what it's like to get a penalty. They know what it's like to have somebody tell them, "I just don't know how to do it."
Well, what if you can tell them, hey, we can link build for you and we are so confident in the quality of our offering that we can promise you, guarantee that we can remove the links we build for you within 7 days, 14 days, whatever number it ends up taking your team to actually do? That kind of insurance policy that you just put on top of your product is priceless to a customer who's worried about the potential harm that links might bring.
2. You can't trade anything for a link (except user value)!
Now this leads me to number two. This is the simplest way to describe following Google's guidelines, which is you can't trade anything for a link except user value. Now, I'm going to admit something here. A lot of folks who are watching this who know me know this, but my old company years and years and years ago did a lot of link buying. At the time, I justified it because I frankly thought that was the only way to do it. We had a fantastic link builder who worked for us, and he wanted to move up in the company. We just didn't have the space for him. We said to him, "Look, it's probably better for you to just go on your own."
Within a year of leaving, he had made over a million dollars selling a site that he ranked only using white hat link building tactics because he was a master of outreach. From that day on, just everything changed. You don't have to cheat to get good links. It's just true. You have to work, but you don't have to cheat. So just do it already. There are tons of ways to justify outreach to a website to say it's worth getting a link.
So, for example, you could
- Build some tools and reach out to websites that might want to link to those tools.
- You can offer data or images.
- Accessibility. Find great content out there that's inaccessible or isn't useful for individuals who might need screen readers. Just recreate the content and follow the guidelines for accessibility and reach out to everybody who links to that site. Now you've got a reason to say, "Look, it's a great web page, but unfortunately a certain percentage of the population can't use it. Why don't you offer, as well as the existing link, one to your accessible version?"
- Broken link replacement.
- Skyscraper content, which is where you just create fantastic content. Brian Dean over at Backlinko has a fantastic guide to that.
There are just so many ways to get good links.
Let me put it just a different way. You should be embarrassed if you cannot create content that is worth outreach. In fact, that word "embarrassment," if you are embarrassed to email someone about your content, then it means you haven't created good enough content. As an SEO, that's your responsibility. So just sit down and spend some more time thinking about this. You can do it. I've seen it happen thousands of times, and you can end up building much better links than you ever would otherwise.
3. Tool up!
The last thing I would say is tool up. Look, better metrics and better workflows come from tools. There are lots of different ways to do this.
First off, you need a good backlink tool. While, frankly, Moz wasn't doing a good job for many years, but our new Link Explorer is 29 trillion links strong and it's fantastic. There's also Fresh Web Explorer for doing mentions. So you can find websites that talk about you but don't link. You're also going to want some tools that might do more specific link prospecting, like LinkProspector.com or Ontolo or BrokenLinkBuilding.com, and then some outreach tools like Pitchbox and BuzzStream.
But once you figure out those stacks, your link building stack, you're going to be able to produce links reliably for customers. I'm going to tell you, there is nothing that will improve your street cred and your brand reputation than link building. Link building is street cred in our industry. There is nothing more powerful than saying, "Yeah, we built a couple thousand links last year for our customers," and you don't have to say, "Oh, we bought," or, "We outsourced." It's just, "We just do link building, and we're good at it."
So I guess my takeaway from all of this is that it's really not as terrible as you think it is. At the end of the day, if you can master this process of link building, your agency will be going from a dime a dozen, where there are 100 in an averaged-sized city in the United States, to being a leading provider in the country just by simply mastering link building. If you follow the first two rules and properly tool up, you're well on your way.
Logicgateone Corp. is a local and international provider of quality website designs,online and print graphic presentations, software development, and top SEO Outsourcing Company based in Subic Bay, Philippines. Visit our website at http://logicgateone.com/
Identifying bad backlinks has become easier over the past few years with better tool sets, bigger link indexes, and increased knowledge, but for many in our industry it's still crudely implemented. While the ideal scenario would be to have a professional poring over your link profile and combing each link one-by-one for concerns, for many webmasters that's just too expensive (and, frankly, overkill).
I'm going to walk through a simple methodology using Link Explorer and Excel (although you could do this with Google Sheets just as easily) to combine together the power of Moz Link Explorer, Keyword Explorer Lists, and finally Link Lists to do a comprehensive link audit.
There are several components involved in determining whether a link is "bad" and should potentially be removed. Ultimately, we want to be able to measure the riskiness of the link (how likely is Google to flag the link as manipulative and how much do we depend on the link for value). Let me address three common factors used by SEOs to determine this score:
There are a handful of metrics in our industry that are readily available to help point out concerning backlinks. The two that come to mind most often are Moz Spam Score and Majestic Trust Flow (or, better yet, the difference between Citation Flow and Trust Flow). These two scores actually work quite differently. Moz's Spam Score predicts the likelihood a domain is banned or penalized based on certain site features. Majestic Trust Flow determines the trustworthiness of a domain or page based on the quality of links pointing to it. While calculated quite differently, the goal is to help webmasters identify which sites are trustworthy and which are not. However, while these are a good starting point, they aren't sufficient on their own to give you a clear picture of whether a link is good or bad.
Anchor text manipulation:
One of the first things an SEO learns is that using valuable anchor text can help increase your rankings. The very next thing they learn is that using valuable anchor text can bring on a penalty. The reason for this is pretty clear: the likelihood a webmaster will give you valuable anchor text out of the goodness of their heart is very rare, so over-optimization sticks out like a sore thumb. So, how do we measure anchor text manipulation? If we look at anchor text with our own eyes, this seems to be rather intuitive, but there's a better way to do it in an automated, at-scale fashion that will allow us to better judge links.
Finally, low-authority links — especially when you would expect higher authority based on the domain — are concerning. A good link should come from an internally well-linked page on a site. If the difference between the Domain Authority and Page Authority is very high, it can be a concern. It isn't a strong signal, but it is one worth looking at. This is especially obvious in certain types of spam, like paginated comment spam or forum profile spam.
Do you know why Google's autocomplete sometimes delivers irrelevant predictions and how to report these errors? Danny Sullivan explains this interesting search feature from A-Z.
Autocomplete is a feature within Google Search designed to make it faster to complete searches that you’re beginning to type. In this post—the second in a series that goes behind-the-scenes about Google Search—we’ll explore when, where and how autocomplete works.
Autocomplete is available most anywhere you find a Google search box, including the Google home page, the Google app for iOS and Android, the quick search box from within Android and the “Omnibox” address bar within Chrome. Just begin typing, and you’ll see predictions appear:
In the example above, you can see that typing the letters “san f” brings up predictions such as “san francisco weather” or “san fernando mission,” making it easy to finish entering your search on these topics without typing all the letters.
Sometimes, we’ll also help you complete individual words and phrases, as you type:
WEBSITE DESIGN | USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN | RESPONSIVE DESIGN
Within 5 seconds of landing on your website, can your visitors determine what your company does? Could users easily navigate to the blog if they need to? Is the layout of your pricing easy to understand? Do you have an extremely high bounce rate?
If you're finding yourself answering ‘no’ to these questions, it might be time to take a hard look at the way you’ve been designing and optimizing your website.
A website can’t simply succeed by excelling in limited aspects (such as solely design or content). It needs to have a design that feeds into your website's user experience, functionality, and appropriately complements your content.
Your website also needs to clearly communicate with your audience what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for. It's easy to get caught up with how great you are as a business, that you forget to make sure we are addressing core concerns your audience has first and foremost.
So, what do you need to know to start improving your web design?
To answer that, here are 14 website tips to ensure that you're going in the right direction in your redesign and are assuring you aren't turning visitors away.
14 Tips for Improving Your Web Design
1. Have a Plan
Don't just start designing your website. To ensure that your website is effectively meeting the needs of your visitors you need to map out your buyer's journey from the first time they visit your website to the moment they become a customer.
What pages are they going to view, what content are they going to read, and what offers are they going to convert on? Understanding this will help you design a site that helps nurture leads through the sales funnel.
You want to design your website for the next step, not the final step. It's all about answering the right questions in the right order. This might be where context comes into play. Take what you already know about your current customers (or even interview them) and research how they went from a visitor to a customer. Then, use this data to map out your strategy.
2. Remove the Following From Your Website
Certain elements on your website are going to detract from the value and message you're trying to convey. Complicated animations, content that’s too long, stocky website images are just a few factors on the list.
With an audience that only has an attention span of 8 seconds, you need to create a first impression that easily gets the main points across. This should be done with short, powerful sections of content and applicable photographs/icons that are sectioned off by clear and concise headers.
If you’ve got those right, then review it and make sure it doesn’t contain jargon or ambiguous terminology. It only serves to muddy your content and confuse your users.
Some words to avoid include next generation, flexible, robust, scalable, easy to use, cutting edge, groundbreaking, best-of-breed, mission critical, innovative ... those are all words that have over used by hundreds if not thousands of companies and don’t make your content any more appealing.
3. Include Social Share and Follow Buttons
Producing great content and offers only go so far if you aren’t giving your users the opportunity to share what you have.
If your website currently lacks social share buttons, you could be missing out on a lot of social media traffic that's generated from people already reading your blog!
If this sounds new to you, social sharing buttons are the small buttons that are around the top or bottom of blog posts. They contain icons of different social media website and allow you to share the page directly on the social media channel of your choice.
These buttons act as a non-pushy tool that encourages social sharing from your buyer personas.
If you are looking for some tools to get you on the ground, check out the two free, social sharing tools SumoMe and Shareaholic.
4. Implement Calls-to-Action
Once your visitors land on your site, do they know what to do next? They won't know what pages to view or actions to take if you don't provide them with some sort of direction.
Call-to-action buttons are one of the many elements that indicate the next step user should take on a page. While many of us know that, it can be easy to fail to accurately use them to guide users through your website
It’s easy to spam your website with the most bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) call-to-action, without even properly nurturing your users with other calls-to-action that are more top/middle of the funnel.
To recognize whether or not you’re guilty of this, start reading through the pages across your website. Are you finding most pages, even blog articles, with only a call-to-action for a demo/trial/consultation? Then, it’s time to update.
Take the time to add in call-to-actions that give them materials to educate themselves and help solve their pain points. Once they identify your company as one that provides materials that are relieving these, they will feel more comfortable researching your services to see if you can personally make these solutions a reality.
Some example call-to-actions are to click here for more information, download our sample GamePlan, sign up for a webinar, watch the video, see all inbound marketing services, and see pricing. For more information, check out this offer to get you using call-to-actions the right way to generate even more leads.
5. Use the Right Images
Not every image is going to fit with the type of message you're trying to show your audience.
Fortunately, you have a lot to choose from (even some that are for free). But still, cause caught many of us decide to plague our website with extremely stocky photos.
Just because a stock website has the image, doesn’t mean it looks genuine and will evoke trust in your company. Ideally, you want to use photos that portray images of the real people that work at your company and the office itself.
If real photographs aren’t an option, there are techniques you can use to help pick out the right type of stock photo. This will aid in bringing more realism to your brand and making sure the images match who you are and what your content is explaining.
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