SEO Trends Every Small Business Should Know in 2022

2020 unleashed a historic disruption on a global scale.  Pandemics.  Shutdowns. Civil unrest. In the aftershock of all this, an unprecedented number of American workers quit their jobs.

Remote work, uncertain company futures, and more contributed to many people taking the risk of starting their own business.

With this influx of small businesses and the need for companies to set themselves apart from the competition, SEO is more important than ever. It can help to:

  • Earn higher search engine ranking placements (SERPs) that lead to increased visibility.
  • Drive more traffic to your website, leading to higher conversion rates.
  • Develop brand loyalty and keep customers coming back for future purchases.

Every day, people conduct more than 3 billion searches on Google. To maximize your digital marketing strategy and succeed in the fast-paced, ever-changing marketplace, every small business should know current SEO trends in 2022.

Why SEO is More Important Now Than Ever

It isn’t enough for a company to simply offer quality products at affordable prices. Today’s consumers are more discerning. With the world at their fingertips, shoppers can conduct their own research to find the product that best meets their needs and provides the most enjoyable experience. That’s why SEO is so crucial to your business’s success.

SEO is a robust marketing strategy that aims to improve multiple aspects of your online business. SEO forensically examines website performance through crawl-ability, speed, and indexation. Off-site, SEO serves as a form of digital PR that connects websites to other publications and circles of influence.

Ultimately, SEO ensures you’re creating meaningful content that resonates with consumers’ needs and provides the best user experience.

This helps earn you higher SERPs, which is critical to the success of SEO.  As you can probably relate to,  75% of online users won’t scroll past the first page of Google search results.

SEO has far-reaching effects on numerous aspects of your business and your bottom line. It strengthens credibility, increases visibility, and ensures that you provide a positive user experience.

To capture your share of the market and appeal to today’s judicious consumers, you can see why SEO is more important now than ever.

8 SEO Trends to Follow in 2022

Today’s face-paced market is packed with consumers with desires and expectations that are constantly changing. Search engine algorithms are ever-evolving.

Here are eight SEO trends every small business should know in 2022.

1. SEO-Related Google Advancements

Google continues to find ways to improve the ranking process, and its most recent significant update is BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers).  It utilizes machine learning to understand search intent through natural language processing.

google bert algorithm

In the past, directional models had to read an entire chain of words to understand their meaning. BERT can scan a series of words and instantly recognize their contextual relationships.

This update enables bots and spiders to be more conversational, making it quicker and easier for them to realize the aim of a search.

For example, if a user were to search “algebra books for adults”, their listings would include a general listing of books for a range of ages.

With BERT, the listings still include those results, but a book actually entitled “Algebra for Adults” would be ranked higher.

What does this mean for you? Your content must be created around users’ search intent. If not, Google may find that your competitor’s site contains more relevant information for their users’ queries. So while we already know content is crucial, BERT affirms the need to create content thoughtfully.

To maximize this opportunity, you should:

  • Write naturally focusing on users and the way people would speak.
  • Keep sentences short and sweet, simple and conversational.
  • Identify the questions people are asking online.
  • Make the content relevant by answering users’ questions and addressing their problems.

By keeping your audience in mind, you’ll create content that meets their needs and satisfies BERT’s requirements.

2. Organic SEO focused on User Intent

Organic SEO is built around a company’s website and refers to unpaid methods of earning high SERPs. It focuses on on-page content like metadata, meta titles, descriptions, internal link building, and outbound links.

Organic SEO gives businesses a platform to communicate relevant and meaningful information to their target market by developing content that resonates with users and search engines alike.

To succeed at organic SEO, you must:

  • Know your target audience and understand their motivators.
  • Conduct in-depth keyword research
  • Study your competitors.
  • Develop a content strategy with informative material that addresses the needs of your target audience.
  • Build relationships with reputable online sources and build healthy backlinks.

With organic SEO you can better position your brand and earn higher rankings in search engine results.

3. Local SEO

Local SEO focuses on the use of a geographic brick-and-mortar location. It’s an ideal digital marketing strategy for businesses looking to increase traffic, leads, and brand awareness from local searches.

Local SEO capitalizes on the foot traffic of shoppers searching online within your area via their mobile devices. Oftentimes, these users are in a purchasing mindset and are actively looking for businesses like yours to solve an immediate need.

google local algorithm

To establish a strong local presence, you need to understand how Google’s local algorithms work.

Local algorithms are based on 3 primary signals:

  1. Relevance
  2. Proximity
  3. Prominence

Google’s Business Profile Manager (BPM) is the best place to start if you want to improve your local SEO and build a local brand. Simply create an online profile that includes all the essential information about your business, like your name, store hours, address, and phone number.

Optimize your profile to help your brand become visible in nearby results from Google Search and Maps. If your business profile is engaging and meets the geographic reach of the user’s search, your location will appear among the top results. This drives foot traffic to your building and website, increasing sales opportunities.

Recent updates to BPM have made updating and maintaining your company’s profile easier than before. Business owners can now access their profiles directly through Google Search and Maps.

This allows you to see whether your profile is visible to consumers and make whatever edits are necessary. More importantly, you can better understand your performance and how to boost your online presence for maximum results.

Here are a few tips to optimize your local brand to dominate the competition:

Claim and update all local listings: Not just GBP, but also claim and update Bing and other secondary platforms like FaceBook, Yelp, Apple, Foursquare.  Make it a point to have a consistent Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) for all claimed listings.

Publish content on GBP frequently: Posting regular updates to your profile is a great way to boost visibility. Be diverse in your approach by promoting a product, highlighting an upcoming event, sharing a new feature, or providing a special update and offers.

Also maintain your media library by uploading photos regularly. Use quality images that accurately reflect products, services, and team culture to your online audience.

Build and manage your reviews: Encourage and welcome feedback from your customers. Interact with customers who leave reviews – especially the bad ones.

Most people will skim through good reviews.  But they will read bad reviews – and how the owners respond.

By responding to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. Be prompt in your responses.

bing seo

4. Bing Webmaster Tools

When people think of search engines, Google is usually the first company that comes to mind. But Bing handles around 12 billion global search requests a month and shouldn’t be overlooked as a valuable SEO opportunity. A free Microsoft tool, Bing Webmaster, helps businesses add their websites to Bing’s index to ensure they can appear on Bing Search and gain more organic traffic.

Bing Webmaster offers a suite of tools that helps track performance and identify areas for optimization improvement. These tools include:

  • Keyword research: find new words or phrases that searchers are using to find sites like yours.
  • Backlinks: identify sites that are linking back to yours.
  • Site scan: locate any technical issues on your website that could be impeding SEO results.
  • SEO reports: pinpoint errors quickly with a prioritized list of issues to resolve.

With Bing Webmaster, you can manage your content easily and effectively. Take advantage of this tool and:

  • Remove pages you don’t want to be included in search engines’ index.
  • Monitor your website’s performance and manage potential security issues.
  • Submit your own content to be crawled and see how Bing indexes your site.

With total transparency, Bing allows you to see what you need to do to improve optimization efforts and boost your rankings.

5. Authentic Backlinks

Link building serves as an effective inbound marketing strategy. It provides an opportunity to generate traffic back to your website from other authoritative online publications and resources.

This helps give credibility to your website and online material. When a reliable outside company links to your website as a source of information, it’s like receiving a vote. The more votes (backlinks) you get, the more search engines will recognize you as a trusted and valuable source of content for their users.

When it comes to creating backlinks, authenticity is key. Not only do links alert readers and search engines of your credibility and establish you as a leader in your field … they also help search engines gain a better understanding of what your content is all about.

Sites like Google and Bing find relationships between web pages, so it’s more beneficial to receive backlinks from companies within your industry.

In an effort to combat link spam, Google has implemented an update that identifies spam links and disregards weak or low-quality backlinks.

As a result, businesses using link spam on their site earn lower rankings (if ranked at all). To build authentic backlinks, you should:

  • Watch for companies or individuals who mention your brand.
  • Reach out to them and ask about exchanging backlinks.
  • Rework your current content to include shareable lists, guides, videos, and infographics.
  • Repair broken links and alert external websites about those updates.
  • Create guest posts for relevant sites.
  • Post links on social media to reach an audience that could benefit your site.

These are just a few of the numerous ways to maximize backlinks in your SEO strategy.

6. Video Content Marketing

Research shows that 83% of internet users are compelled to watch video content, making it a powerful digital marketing tool.

Video is engaging, entertaining, and allows people to consume information while multitasking. It’s also an effective way to earn backlinks and is highly shareable, which is great for boosting SEO.

To maximize this opportunity, follow these best practices to ensure your videos provide a positive user experience for your audience:

  • Integrate a variety of videos throughout your web pages, but embed the one you want to rank first.
  • Write enticing headlines and descriptions that include valuable keywords to improve user engagement.
  • Use a quality video hosting platform like Youtube.
  • Include video transcripts for people who don’t want to watch the full clip, but still want to receive all the information.
  • Choose a compelling thumbnail image that attracts users’ attention.

Video provides an opportunity to create engaging, informative content that is tailored to your audience. Platforms like FaceBook and Linkedin allow direct uploads to help businesses expand reach.

With a strong CTA, video can the likelihood of earning higher SERPs and strengthening your brand loyalty.

7. E-A-T

To determine whether online content delivers value to its readers, Google’s Search Quality evaluators assess three main focal points of online material:

  • Expertise: is the writer knowledgeable on the topic?
  • Authoritativeness: is the writer an authority in their field? Is the content commanding?
  • Trustworthiness: is the writer and information reliable, accurate, and convincing?

While E-A-T isn’t necessarily a ranking factor, it does impact a company’s SERP indirectly. By providing companies with guidelines for producing quality content, Google is revealing what it considers important in its ranking process.

As you craft custom content, be sure to:

  • Write about topics you’ve studied and researched and link to other knowledgeable sources.
  • Take an authoritative stance to present yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
  • Fact check, confirm sources and be sure all data and links are current and accurate.

Keeping E-A-T in mind will ensure you’re providing relevant, meaningful information that delivers value and quality to your audience.

8. Core Web Vitals

Since user experience is a high priority for consumers, page experience is an essential element of SEO. Core web vitals ensure a user enjoys the best browsing experience possible.

As you assess the page experience your site provides, consider the following vitals:

  • First Input Delay (FID): how long it takes for a web page to respond.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): how long it takes for a page to reach visual stability.
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): the amount of time between a user’s click to when they can see the majority of the content on-screen.

By improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your website’s performance, you minimize user frustrations, reduce pain points, and help deliver a positive experience.

This not only boosts your rankings through SEO, but also positively impacts your bottom line. After all, 80% of people who have a negative user experience are less likely to return to a company’s website.

To earn higher SERPs and build a loyal following of satisfied customers, attending to your site’s core web vitals is imperative for SEO..

Hire an Expert Austin SEO Company

At this point, you may be feeling overwhelmed.  We understand.  Most small business owners want to invest their best energy in what they do best.  Which is usually not SEO.

We can help.  Our team of experts at JS-Interactive knows that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to SEO.

As a digital marketing, web design, and SEO company in Austin and Milwaukee, we help people build their dreams by helping companies build targeted, sustainable, and relevant web traffic.

From local SEO to content marketing strategies, our team knows what it takes to generate qualified leads, establish you as a leader in your industry, and help earn higher SERPs for maximum success.

Reach out today for a free 30-minute consultation and let us help you reach your goals.

Quality Backlinks for SEO: What Should You Really Focus On? [+6 Tips]

OK, so how many emails have you opened this week asking you to insert backlinks across your site?

I am referring to emails like this:

identify link spam
Gmail

(Note: The recipient never requested a domain link quote, btw) :/

Companies spend thousands for marketers to earn them backlinks. Entire agencies exist for the sole purpose of building backlinks.

So what’s big deal about backlinks? Google bots scan your site to choose your page rankings,  external links, or links associated with other websites that point to your site are key factors. These links are called inbound links or backlinks. Every website that points links to your website is an endorsement of your content in Google’s eyes. The more sites that vouch for you, the better.

backlinks seo website
Source

This has created an entire industry dedicated to inserting inbound links around the web. Some strategies are legitimate – others not so much.

So is a link building campaign really worth the time, money, and effort?

It depends.

On one hand, link building certainly doesn’t matter as much as some SEO marketers claim. However, if you choose to do a link building campaign, there’s a right and wrong way to build backlinks:

  • RIGHT: Creating awesome content people want to link to, naturally.
  • WRONG: Buying unnatural inserted backlinks or using manipulative tactics – aka black hat SEO.

Here’s why and how to build a healthy backlink strategy for sustainable SEO and traffic.

How Important is Link Building Anyway?

Link building certainly matters. It plays a key role in a well-rounded SEO strategy and broader digital marketing strategy – but not in the way most marketers think.

Yes, Google’s bots look at your backlinks as they scan your domain and pages to rank your URLs. However, the algorithms don’t just look at the backlinks and call it a day. They also care about:

  • The trustworthiness and authority of the domain linking to your site.
  • The anchor text was chosen to hyperlink your website.
  • Whether the content on the linking page is relevant.
  • How the backlinks got onto the page.

Backlinks are one of the most common – and most exploited – ways to game the Google ranking system. You can bounce back from honest mistakes like minimal keyword stuffing, but Google takes link schemes more seriously than people realize.

google rules link schemes

Google

Google wouldn’t invest so much attention to punishing manipulative backlink tactics if inbound links weren’t a major ranking factor. So, they must be pretty important.

However, the real digital marketing value from backlinks comes from the fact that they’re links.

When you take time to research relevant sites, share quality content, and connect with other sites, the beauty of linking comes to life.

Backlinks let you build branding and relationships with other domains. You can reach new audiences and develop sustainable long-term traffic.

When developing a link building campaign, or better worded – building your brand through a link building campaign, relationships should always take priority over backlinks.

Think of it this way: If Google suddenly disappeared, would your brand identity and traffic still exist?

Diverse economies are more sustainable because they don’t rely on a single market – like oil – to survive. SEO and website traffic are both the same way.

Link building is only one part of a successful comprehensive marketing strategy. Brands must look at the bigger picture and create a holistic strategy. After putting forth goals and a content marketing strategy, you can figure out how links fit into reaching those goals. Look for ways links can amplify your message and structure the customer journey.

What is Domain Authority and How Much Does It Matter in Link Building?

Domain Authority (DA) or Authority Score is a ranking score Moz developed to predict how well a page will rank in SERPs.

Many people might not realize that Domain Authority is not a technical factor Google uses to rank pages – it’s comparative scoring, not absolute. It’s only meant to give you an idea and starting place.

Moz gives each domain a score between one and 100 – based on several factors (but mostly links) – to judge how well a website’s content should rank in SERPs.

moz domain authority on google
Moz

While your Domain Authority is useful for gauging your overall links and SERP rankings, it’s not a make-or-break metric you should stress over.

Why? I’ve noticed:

  • I’ve outranked countless sites with higher DA than my own likely because my domain is often more relevant than high DA competitors. (I focus on the value of targeted content marketing, user intent, and strong brand messaging over link building.)
  • A high DA backlink is useless to me in terms of both traffic and SEO if the website’s content isn’t relevant and high-quality.

6 Tips for Sustainable Link Building, Traffic, and SEO

Not every link is a “good” link – not for SEO and certainly not for traffic either.

For example, it’s easy to see why you’d rather have a bunch of links pointed to your site from Wikipedia rather than David Icke.

Don’t adopt a “take what you can get” attitude with your backlinks. Be proactive with link building—research every domain. Search out domains you’d LOVE to point at your site.

Kevin Rowe of PureLinq recommends developing your own set of criteria to evaluate and score site quality for potential backlinks.

(And don’t be afraid to strategically use the Google disavow tool when bad backlinks become a problem.)

1. Focus on Content – Yours AND Theirs

Study a potential website’s content, paying close attention to key points:

  • Is the content niche or general?
  • Red flag spam keywords like gambling, porn, or loans.
  • Is the website updated regularly?
  • Navigation should look useful and detailed.
  • Do you see a ton of sponsored (paid) content?

Ideally, you want to build links from sites with an audience overlap and avoid sites designed explicitly for link schemes.

2. Investigate the Administration Policies

Head over to the website’s About page to see what they’re all about. You should find a few names of real people or an organization and at least a brief background.

A physical address is also a good sign, signaling the domain belongs to a legitimate operation. Any legit publisher should include submission guidelines as well.

If any website blatantly advertises prices for do-follow links, that’s a huge red flag. Links pointing to your website from these domains can get you into deep water with Google.

3. Analyze Their Backlink Profile

If you see hundreds or thousands of links pointing to a single URL, that’s not a promising sign. This can happen when another site links to the domain in a footer or sidebar (Google doesn’t like that, btw).

Also, note where the links are coming from. If the domain in question claims to publish content about fitness equipment, but you see hundreds of links from music forums, that sounds like spam.

Look at the link anchor text. Is it all keyword-stuffed, or do they have a nice balance of branded, naked, and partial keyword anchors?

link anchor text spam

WordPress

Pro Tip: SEMRush is one of many tools I use to scope out backlink profiles of other websites, including competitors.

4. Perform Some Recon

Who’s creating the site’s content? Do you recognize the brand and the contributors?

Not everyone is famous, obviously. You should, however, at least find a byline and link to their social media profiles.

Writers should be proud of their work. WordPress author labels like “staff writer” signal you’re dealing with some kind of spam.

5. Investigate the Writers and Pages

Reputation matters. That’s the whole reason you want to build links, right? You want to improve your reputation in both the eyes of your audience and Google bots.

Check the domain’s presence on social media. They might not have the most massive following, but are their followers engaged?

Are there any key influencers associated with the operation? (Pay attention because any links will associate your brand with them, too.)

If the outlet only has a few dozen followers or no page at all, run away.

Pro Tip: You can use tools like Buzzsumo to identify Influencers in your industry

6. What’s the Site’s Traffic and SEO Like?

Your target sites should have engaged and targeted traffic. They should rank for more keywords and pages than just that of their homepage.

Look for sites with low bounce rates, decent time spent on each page, and active (regular) visitors.

You take your own metrics seriously, right? The sites that point to yours should, too.

Build a Well-Rounded SEO and Link Building Strategy

Our award-winning experts at JS-Interactive focus on the bigger picture behind backlinks. Relationships come first; links come second.

There aren’t any overnight cures for traffic or SEO, but there are tactics to build a sustainable long-term strategy.

When was the last time you updated your SEO strategy? Check out our vast SEO services and then schedule a free consultation to talk about your goals.

The 3 Best SEO Practices to Grow Your Search Traffic

Increasing site traffic can be a challenge to even the most prolific marketing team.

There are many ways to grow your website’s search traffic, including utilizing paid search and advertising. But for every business with an online presence, optimizing your site for SEO should be the priority.

Why Bother with SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing your website’s content for search engines. SEO techniques have been adapted over time to improve your site’s SERP rankings (search engine results page rankings). SEO is an ever-evolving process that requires a lot of work, but your efforts will pay off.

Every business needs to implement an SEO strategy, unique to their business model and goals. Here’s why:

  • SEO builds trust and credibility
  • Effective SEO creates a better user experience
  • Local SEO can increase engagement, traffic, and conversions
  • SEO impacts the buyer’s journey
  • SEO is a relatively cheap long-term strategy
  • SEO is measurable
  • SEO brings new marketing opportunities to light

3 Ways to Increase Site Traffic with SEO Practices

1. Produce Relevant and Engaging Content

Everyone knows content is king. The key here is to focus on quality over quantity. It’s also essential to develop a detailed content marketing strategy. Answer these questions when you’re developing your strategy:

  • Who are you trying to reach through your content?
  • What type of content does your audience want to see?
  • What goals do you want to reach through your content?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to develop a strategy that is unique to your brand or business. Then you can start producing engaging content that is relevant to your industry and niche.

2. Focus on Technical SEO

Technical SEO can feel daunting, but it’s more straightforward than you might think. When you’re optimizing your page’s SEO, think beyond the bots and crawlers, because the goal of a search engine is to determine what a web page looks like to human beings. This means that even your technical SEO should be user-friendly. Consider the following technical aspects of SEO when you’re optimizing your site:

  • Familiarize yourself with HTML and other advanced frameworks
  • Understand how search engines index pages
  • Work with your site’s canonical URLs and redirects
  • Use Google Search Console

Remember that search engines follow content links in the same way a human being would follow content links. This is why building an XML and HTML site map for your website is so important. If you have a large website, include your HTML site map at the footer of your website so that it will be visible on every page. Submit your XML site map to search engines, and keep it updated.

html website structure

Source

3. Build High-Quality Backlinks

Performing outreach is a very effective SEO strategy. Try reaching out to relevant companies and websites and build relationships with them. Look specifically for guest blogging and backlink opportunities and consider working with influencers or affiliates.

Here are a few tips for building a diverse backlink portfolio:

  • Add your site to web directories
  • Analyze the backlinks of other websites that are ranking for your keywords
  • Focus on backlinks from sites with a high domain authority
  • Encourage guest blog posts
  • When relevant, foster links from non-profits
  • Engage in forums like Quora and Yahoo Answers

Building high-quality backlinks can sometimes feel like the most challenging aspect of SEO, perhaps because they’re such a relational form of marketing. When you create content that’s worth sharing, though — focusing on the quality of your backlinks instead of the quantity, you’ll find that backlinks can be one of the most effective SEO techniques to increase traffic to your site.

Using SEO Services

SEO isn’t a one-and-done process. There are measures you can take and processes that you can set up now that will benefit you later in the future, but SEO is a long-term strategy. Depending on your business model, the types of SEO tactics you employ on your site may differ. But, focusing on the three strategies covered in this article is a great place to start for any website.

Some SEO techniques can be more time-consuming or complicated than others. It is worth investing in a professional SEO agency to handle those aspects of SEO. An agency will often uncover new SEO opportunities as well, making your site even more effective in terms of traffic, growth, and conversions.

JS-Interactive is an award-winning Austin SEO company offering monthly plans that make SEO affordable, effective, and easy on you. Are you ready to implement SEO for your business? Learn more about JS-Interactive’s SEO services in Austin to get the most out of your website.

Develop Quality SEO Backlinks in 3 Simple Steps

Link building is an important strategy in search engine optimization (SEO) that has a direct impact on how well your website will rank in Google search engine results.

Link Building can be defined simply as the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites that direct to your own. These online referrals, known as backlinks, produces ‘link equity’ or ‘link juice’ for your website.

Search engines translate these referenced links as votes to your website and therefore considers your website as being credible, valuable, and worth promoting to other users. The more backlinks a website has—the higher it will rank in Google and other search engines.

While the concept of developing backlinks seems easy enough, obtaining them isn’t quite as easy. Google actually demands and prioritizes quality backlinks over quantity.

What is a Quality Backlink?

In today’s market where the demand for search is tailored around the intent of users – a quality backlink is rooted in good content that is relevant to the industry niche and market it serves. Your backlinks need to be relatable and within the proper context of what’s being addressed in content—whether an editorial blog, embedded video description, or landing page.

Marketers have moved beyond the old techniques that previously built links with little regard to the overall quality. In fact, Google released its Panda and Penguin algorithms, along with tools like Disavow, to help remove low-quality links that could potentially harm the reputation and value of your website.

SEO Specialists are encouraged to adhere to standards and ensure quality content.  If you’re curious about how to create credible backlinks, follow along to learn how to better optimize your website for SEO standards.

Create Quality Backlinks for Your SEO Strategy

With the various tools now available to marketers, there are a number of ways to produce quality backlinks. Listed below are three suggested steps that have had measurable, successful results in terms of increasing search engine rankings.

1. Analyze your top competitors

A good place to start is with a competitive analysis, which is an easy way to compile a list of relevant influencers with high domain authority.

Three best-rated tools for analyzing backlinks are Backlink Analytics by SEMRush, Link Explorer by Moz, and a relatively new and completely free SEO Analyzer by Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest.

These tools allow you to:

  • Analyze your competitors’ total number of backlinks
  • Discover who is linking to them
  • Determine what kind of search volume is being acquired

As a suggestion, try each of the above-mentioned tools as results may differ and you may prefer one over the other.  It’s an easy way to discover what websites are helping your competitors drive traffic.

If you’re looking for a more robust analysis, SEMRush’s backlink tools are one of the most reliable solutions for conducting a deep link exploration.

To begin, simply login to your dashboard and select Backlink Analytics from the left column menu. Enter the URL you’re looking to analyze and let the tool do the rest.

Authority Score & Backlinks with SEMRush

The results produce a high level of details about your competitor’s website.

  • Take a look at the top linking websites
  • Assess the report by reviewing each tab
  • Pay attention to the backlinks and referring domains
  • View the exact articles that are referencing your competitor’s domain
  • Get a sense for the quality of topical content that is driving traffic

Referring SEO Backlinks

Make sure to repeat these steps for all top competitor URLs. By following this process, you will be able to find out who is linking to them and what content is driving the most traffic.

In an analysis, pay attention to the Trust Score (TS), also known as Domain Authority (DA), of each referring link. The TS is a rating scale from 1-100 that helps determine the ranking strength of a website in search engines.  Since the goal is quality, you want to stay away from URLs with low TS scores that are at higher risk of being banned or penalized by Google.

domain authority anaylsis

One of the preferred tools for analyzing Domain Authority is the recently released DA 2.0. Moz also features their free MozBar toolbar which pins right to the top of your browser window to provide rich data while viewing any page or SERP.

MozBar Domain and Page Analysis

Pay attention to other reports in your analysis, such as the follow and nofollow values of linking domains. While both are significant to your link building campaign, the nofollow value is designed to instruct search engines that the link should not influence the rankings of the link’s target in a search engine’s index.  However, keep in mind that nofollow links are still great for providing sold referral traffic.

2. Produce High-Quality Content

Once you’ve closely analyzed competitor links and content, it’s time to seek ways to creatively develop your own content that attracts high-quality backlinks. There are a number of recommended ways to discover topical subject matter using various tools that help along the way.

You’ll want to produce content that’s relevant, valuable, and is a linkable asset for other relatable websites. Throughout your content strategy, think of the various opportunities to turn creative content into quality backlinks.

Content takes on many different forms, such as:

  • Trending topics
  • New and original data
  • Creative blog posts
  • How-to resources
  • Infographics
  • Whitepapers
  • Video production

Opportunity for content distribution can be found in:

  • Connecting your content to a relatable article that displays outdated links
  • Existing blog articles on reputable sites that you can professionally elaborate on to provide a higher level of detail to
  • Broken links discovered on other websites in your industry that you could link to valuable content produced on your own site
  • Guest blogging on quality websites in your niche
  • Content reviews and testimonials
  • Infographics and industry-related topics

Other ways to discover market-relative content is by using popular tools like Buzzsumo and Answer The Public. These online tools help to analyze the content of your competitors and other influencers to discover new ideas relevant to your industry.

To use Answer The Public, simply go to the website and enter the keywords you’d like content ideas for.

Answer The Public Content Analysis

Review the auto-suggested results provided to ignite more creativity into your content. You can hide ideas that aren’t relevant or of interest and you can export the list of content ideas into a CSV file for later use.

Answer The Public content suggestions

It’s important to note that the free option of Answer The Public only allows up to three queries for every 24 hours. Therefore, if you find yourself relying heavily on this tool, you may want to consider the Pro subscription version.

3. Reach Out to the Linking Domains

The final recommended step to developing quality backlinks is performing outreach. Reach out to other influencers and bloggers with a personalized email that provides your relevant content links.

You can form a template of your own, however, an example includes:

Hey [site owner],

I noticed that you linked out to [insert link] article.

I have a similar article that is more up-to-date and covers step 1, 2 and 3 that’s not mentioned in their post. Would you mind taking a look?

If not, best wishes and keep on rocking!

[Your First Name]

You can also try:

Hey [site owner],

I was researching [topic] today when I came across your [website].

Good stuff! I actually launched a [walkthrough guide on topic]. While I usually charge [$X], I would be more than willing to provide you the article on me.

Let me know how that sounds,

Regards,

[Your First Name]

Providing quality content with a personalized message to the blogger you’re looking to build a relationship with can increase your chances of earning a backlink with them. Give this technique a try to increase your search positioning.

Build Quality Backlinks to Improve Search Optimization

If you’re looking to build your website’s search engine ranking and overall optimization, developing quality backlinks is a must. You can achieve this by following these successful three steps—analyzing your competitors, developing creative content, and reaching out to other linking domains.

Good luck and happy link-building.

While you can certainly give these techniques a try, the easiest way to achieve a higher search engine ranking is to hire a reputable SEO Consultant on your behalf. Contact us today for more information and watch your ranking rise.

5 Link Building Tactics You Can Do Yourself to Improve Your SEO

If you know what it takes to rank a website, you are already aware of the elephant in the room:

You can’t get the full benefits of ranking your website without off-page. In other words, links pointing from external websites to your own domain.

So what does this mean?

  1. Start by ensuring your technical SEO is in order, which your web developer can typically handle on their own.
  2. Update your on-page to ensure that keywords and semantic topics are well-represented among the pages and posts. This is especially true in the page title, meta description, body copy, image alt-tags, and URLs.
  3. Move forward with the real difference-maker, and the piece of SEO that takes over 30% of the execution effort on average: Link Building.

So if more than 30% of the work for ranking a website is off-page SEO by way of link building, how’s a small or medium business supposed to win at SEO?

The easiest way to pursue off-page is to hire a reputable SEO firm to do it for you. But you have to be careful there – not all SEO companies are the same. The industry is overrun with snake oil salesmen and shysters.

If you want to hire someone, ask how they’ll get it done. Ask where your links will be placed. And ask for their track record of success or failure with existing clients.

For those of you who don’t have the budget to pay someone for it, you have to do it yourself.

Here are five ways to get moving with link-building yourself. While they won’t rank you #1 for competitive keywords, they’re a great place to start building momentum in the near term.

1. Niche Relevant Web Directories

Several years ago, there was an uprising of fear that web directories were bad for SEO.

At the time, the internet was more like the “wild wild west”. Google hadn’t refined their algorithms enough to differentiate between good and bad links.

A link was a link, and it didn’t matter if you had auto-generated content on a junky blog linking to you vs. an excellent editorial piece linking to you as a source for information they cited.

Web directories were abused ad nauseam at that time. You could spam out your NAP (Name/Address /Phone) information to any directory that would take it, and they’d include a link back to your home page in the listing.

Then Google started rolling out penalties for cheating with link building. One of the things they penalized was spamming web directories like I mentioned above.

Let me start with this: Web Directory listings are NOT bad for SEO.

The key is to pick the right web directories for your business or website. What constitutes a good directory?

  1. It includes a vetting process where a human reviews your submission before it goes live
  2. It does NOT require a reciprocal link (i.e. your website linking back to the directory)
  3. It serves your specific niche and/or locality

And of course, you want one that carries enough authority to pass over some value to your own website. Even better if it drives a lot of traffic, because some of that traffic will click through and check out your website.

So figure out which directories fit this criterion, and start building your listings out. Try starting with one per week. You’ll be amazed how fast this starts to snowball over weeks and months of consistent execution.

2. Guest Posting

Guest posting is another link building tactic that has taken a bad rap. In fact, one of Google’s head anti-spam executives once declared, “Stick a fork in it; guest posting is done!”

As digital marketers tend to do, the industry over-reacted out of fear of penalty. Some webmasters were actually emailing sites that linked to them asking them to remove the links.

Talk about counterproductive!

Like I said before, you can’t rank without off-page. Plain and simple.

So what did he mean by this statement? For those of us who were paying attention, he was really suggesting that guest posting for SEO only was dead. You still need to craft original, quality content. It can’t just be a paraphrasing of the same post that you place on 20 different domains linking back to you.

Guest posting remains one of the best and most lucrative strategies to build links for your own website. I’ve personally undertaken a large volume of link building to enhance my own domain, and IT WORKS!

We even offer guest posting services on behalf of businesses, and our customer base is very happy with the results. You can hire someone for this, or you can do it yourself in a pinch. Pick whichever works best for you.

3. Hosting or Sponsoring a Charity Event

Local press absolutely loves to cover charitable events and activities. It’s one of the easiest pitches to put in front of journalists.

I’ve seen local companies use this strategy with much success. You can host your own charity event, which brings the most fanfare, coverage, and attention. With so many publications offering online versions, the link opportunities should not be underestimated.

Too busy or cash strapped to put on your own charitable event? No problem. You can surely find sponsorship opportunities for events put on by others. In these cases, you contribute to the cause and receive in return things like your logo on all promotional materials (including the website) and a link to you as a sponsor.

Sponsorships are great since you get a link from the charity itself (or the company organizing it) as well as any coverage the event receives. And on top of that, you get a wider net of promotion when the organizers work to get the word out.

If you’re very short on time, but can invest in a charitable event, this is a great one for you to capitalize on.

4. Guest Speaking Opportunities

This is a link building strategy I’ve personally used to a great extent: Guest Speaking Opportunities.

You can focus on national trade shows, conferences, conventions, etc. Those get the most coverage and are most likely to come with a link to your website.

But don’t overlook local speaking opps. Even something as small as a meetup group can help you with your off-page.

In fact, local speaking opportunities are much easier to land and are also great vehicles for you to practice your speaking chops before chasing the national circuit.

Start by searching Meetup and Eventbrite for groups that gather to hear presentations on topics in your expertise area or niche. Go to the events to network, and be sure to meet the organizers in person. Once you have a rapport with them, inquire about speaking to the group yourself.

This is rather easy for those of you who don’t mind presenting to a group. And who knows, you could land new business or make a few friends along the way.

5. Press Releases / Media Coverage

Press Releases were once a top tactic for link building. Back in those days, you could write up a release and then distribute it to a range of PR distribution services online, some paid and some free.

At the time, all press releases would be posted online with hyperlinks intact. This resulted in immediate links just for placing the content on the website.

Of course, the real goal of PR is to earn media coverage, and that often happened as well.

When Google set their sights on penalizing link manipulation, press release websites became a prime target. Why? Because you could submit any release to them with links and custom anchor texts pointing at your website. In the “wild wild west” times, this actually helped you rank.

Google no longer counts links on these websites; they simply discount them altogether.

So why am I recommending press releases as an option? Because they are a great way to put yourself out there with news that still may gain you media coverage. Yes, it can be a longshot. But it’s better to have some slim chance than none, and you can distribute a press release online for free on many of the PR services online.

Summary

If you want your website to rank organically, link-building is a must.

The easiest way to get this done is to hire a reputable SEO company on your behalf. For those of you with a limited budget, don’t despair.

Try out these DIY link-building tactics first. Then later, when you are ready to get more proactive about your link-building strategy, you can contact us to accelerate your results.

Good luck and happy link-building!