As Katie mentioned in the Beginner SEO Guide, SEO can is a bit technical and a little overwhelming, but once you learn the basics, Google search can skyrocket organic traffic to your site which equals more conversions which equals more revenue. Which really rocks.
In this post I am going to make it easy for you. So please don’t worry … and don’t move on.
I am going to break down one of the biggest factors for Google search — links. It is true that there are over 200 different factors that Google looks at to determine where a site should appear on the SERP (search engine results page) and those factors change often, but links and their power have stayed consistent over the years.
Every entrepreneur who wants to grow their online presence and make more sales must understand the power of links.
By the time you have finished reading this post, you will have learned:
- Different Types of Links
- How Links Affect SEO
- Link Building Strategies
Different Types of Links
What are Backlinks?
Backlink is one of the most used words in the land of SEO. Backlinks are simply links to another website. So, this link to Wikipedia, is a backlink. When another site links to your site that is like a vote of confidence–saying wow, this site knows what they are talking about. Therefore, Google ranks sites that have a lot of quality backlinks higher than sites that do not.
Bottom line, you want as many other sites linking to your site as possible.
What are Internal Links
Internal links are links within the same website. When a site has a lot of internal links it builds authority as a subject matter expert. If your site has a lot of internal links than it has a lot of content that it can link to.
A note about Anchor Text, anchor text or sometimes called anchor links is the text that is used to hyperlink. In the past, it was common practice for the anchor text to be “here”. For example, check out my awesome widget “here”. But now, the anchor text should be a keyword that you want to rank for. So the anchor text should be, Check out my awesome widget.
How Links Affect SEO
One of Google’s founders, Larry Page, invented this idea of “page rank”, Google Defines it as a quality metric to determine a page’s importance, reliability and authority on the web. Google uses PageRank to measure the quality of a page based in part on the number of links pointing to it. The number of backlinks and internal links play a huge role in PageRank.
How to get quality links
There are many strategies for building quality backlinks. If you do a quick google search, Brian Dean has several posts detailing his link strategies. Moz also has lots of link building ideas. All of these strategies are fantastic and have awarded them a huge return.
Here are mine. I do some of the ideas that Brian Dean offers, I do write testimonies and I do comment on blogs, but not with the goal of earning links. I write testimonies and comments for their sake…not for the sole purpose of link building.
The three strategies that have yielded Clapping Dog Media authority, remember SEO is a marathon, it isn’t a sprint:
- Building Relationships
- Guest Blogging
- Writing Helpful Content
I am an extrovert. I get energy from people. I like connecting with people and hearing about their stories. Working at home can get lonely. So as a means of survival, I skype with people 2-4 times a week. I chat with biz bosses from all over the country–mamas, side-hustlers, empire builders who are doing the work. We connect and help each other out. I read and promote their blogs and they do mine as well.
Over the last several months I have looked for many opportunities to blog on other sites–just like this post you are reading now!
I can tell from google analytics that even though the posts were not on my site that traffic to my site spiked when the posts were published. These guest posts were on bigger sites with more SEO Authority than Clapping Dog Media. So when the guest post was published and linked back to Clapping Dog Media, CDM got a significant SEO boost. Claps for that!
How did I get these opportunities? Did I have a connection? No, I did a lot of investigation and searching for contacts. I made a huge excel sheet with all of my “dream guest posts” and made quality pitches to them. I won some and I lost some.
I want YOU to get your hands on these top Guest Posting Opportunities. Grab it now!
One note of advice, give quality pitches.
Come with at least two solid ideas for article ideas. Don’t pitch influencers without an idea of what you would write for them! ALSO be sure to have done your research, know the audience of who you are pitching. Lastly, before you approach any influencer, I strongly recommend that you listen to this podcast about how to pitch. It is filled with valuable insights from a top influencer.
Write Helpful Content
3-4 months ago I had a whole mindset shift around content. Writing blogs was just one of the many things that I did. I didn’t think about it really, I just sat down and knocked out 200-500 words and posted it on a very irregular schedule.
Now, I have an editorial calendar, the posts are researched, they take a long time to write/edit/write/edit/write, and within each post I link to several helpful, resources. Writing long, 1000-2000 word posts has added a few hours to my work week and at least one pot of coffee, however it is true to my brand. I want to make SEO and Google Analytics easy and approachable to the busy entrepreneur. So I need to write and break down topics that are intimidating and that is hard to do in short form writing.
One of the best SEO strategies that I have used in my writing is when I link to a quality resource, I will contact blogger and let them know. For example, I mentioned the Biz Chix Podcast previously, I will contact the host of the podcast, Natalie Eckdahl and the interviewee Kira Hug, and tell her that I found her interview very helpful for pitching yourself for podcasts and for guest posting. I will give specific reasons why I found the interview great and I will send them each the link to this blog post so that it is easy for them to share with their social networks. Hopefully they will read it, share it and perhaps link to it.
Backlinks + Internal Links do grow your SEO Authority which makes Google take notice of you so get out there and put these tips into place.
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The awesome Meg Clarke is the founder and boss at Clapping Dog Media where she makes SEO simple and helps her clients be found for the right reasons by the right people. Find her online at clappingdogmedia.com.