No results. No ‘page one with a bullet’. Not even a page three at an awkward limp. So why has link building started failing you?
What your SEO company knows about strategy that you may not
SEO companies have been dealing with changes in ranking signals for a long time now. More than ever, DIY SEO is an exercise in hit and miss! If you’re attempting to do your own SEO, with no results, it will be worth talking to a professional digital strategist before you waste any more of your time. Brisbane SEO companies have dedicated staff who stay on top of the many changes in this fast moving field. Believe us, it’s a full time job!
What you need to know about link building
• Quality is everything. Gone are the days of grabbing links from just anywhere. These days, this will likely result in penalties. Focus on highly trusted and authoritative sites that are discerning about who they link out to. Don’t have your link sitting next to a Viagra ad! Be sure that the website is easy for Google to navigate too; there’s no point burying a link ten clicks from the home page!
• Avoid followed paid links. If all of your links are coming from paid display ads and advertorials, you’ll find that your SEO strategy will suffer. If paid ads contain ‘followed links’ (passing SEO goodness to your site) you may end up penalised. Aim for ‘editorial links’, that is, having your product mentioned in context in a block of text.
• Diversify! 500 links from the same website or similar websites on the same server will result in poor ‘C-Block Diversity’. This is an indicator to Google that your website may be part of a spam farm. Try for fresh new links from new, relevant websites.
• Anchor text. Back in the day, every link had an exactly matched keyword phrase attached to it (anchor text) but after awhile that turned to (you guessed it) penalties. Finding the right balance between ‘white noise text’ (e.g. ‘click here’) and related anchor text is a fine art. Too much one way means Penguin Algorithm penalties; too much the other and your link won’t be working hard enough for you. Pepper a few LSI (latent semantic indexing – synonyms, adjectives and related words) anchor texts in amongst that white noise for the right balance.
• Networks matter. Building an authentic, real world network within your industry and related industries matters. You should be showing search engines that you’re a respected member of a respected community with your link patterns. Invest time in building up your social contacts, engaging with them, getting them to share social content and to share your website content socially. Then you can approach them for relevant, quality, authentic link building opportunities. There really are no short cuts anymore!
Why your own blog may be letting you down
The battle of the greatest content goes on. As a Small Business Hero, you need to be offering something that is unique and interesting for readers. If you’re just rewriting what you saw on News.com.au or Slashdot, you’re not offering ongoing quality.
• Evergreen vs Topical. Writing newsy content might be terrific for triggering Facebook trending articles algorithms. It might get lots of click through from social networks. It might even give you a well ranked article for specific, dated keywords. But there’s no point in being number one for a minor news story that happened last February. Evergreen content that gives in depth, original and audience-driven explanations of a specific topic will always keep growing in strength. Sure, write your news articles but be sure that they feed readers through to a large, healthy piece of evergreen content for long term growth.
• Those LSI keywords. Remember when all you had to do to rank for a phrase was use it 197 times in a 400 word article? Ahhhh the good old days of terrible web content! To overcome this keyword stuffing practice, Google has done its best to understand the English language (no mean feat) by looking for linguistic patterns. These tend to be based on ‘good writers’ so getting a good copywriter to write for you can make all the difference. If not, you should be using rich, relevant and specific language. Use plenty of synonyms, words that more clearly define your keyword and related words that you’d expect to see in high quality writing. Remember that a blog about a ‘ball’ could be about sport, formal dancing or Miley Cyrus doing some wrecking – LSI keywords bring topics into focus for search engines.
• Flesch-Kincaid readability. This is a contentious one! On one hand, your Flesch-Kincaid readability score should indicate that you’re not being overly technical, making it simple for high school graduates to enjoy your blog. On the other hand guest blogs that have ‘dumbed down’ Flesch-Kincaid readability scores tend to rank lower in search results. While Yoast and other SEO tools might be urging you to simplify your writing, pitching to your right audience (university graduates, high school graduates or even children) may just get you better results.
• Best practice formatting. Before you write, read! The best practices for formatting a blog for easy reading and Google crawling haven’t actually changed that much over the years. Get yourself a template that covers everything from Alt text to Wiki references and use it as a rough guide when writing. Everyone should enjoy reading your blogs – search engines included.
The hard truth about modern SEO Strategies
The search algorithms change so frequently and dramatically that it’s no longer really plausible for small business owners to do their own link building. Link building itself is time consuming, hard work. Staying on top of the best practices is time consuming, hard work. Writing to the standards that search engines expect is time consuming, hard work. If you’re short on time with too much hard work on your plate, get help from Media Heroes. The investment in a current, quality SEO strategy will pay off, so talk to the leading Brisbane SEO company today.