When I first started in digital marketing back in 2006, I had a dream of helping people take over the internet realm for their particular niche. At the time, I had 4 automotive clients and with the thought that content and links were so powerful for SEO while social media was the future, I pictured a product where my clients were blogging several times a week and posting them on several different blogs that fit in with particular topics.
Most people mistakenly believe there’s very little writing web content. They think that as long as they can find an interesting topic, they’ll be able to write up a few hundred words and their website will be good to go. Anyone who has ever worked for Article Writing Services will be quick to point out that writing content for websites isn’t that easy.
Given that 93 percent of Internet traffic starts at a search engine, ranking high by using SEO techniques is important for your website. Consider these tips to help improve your search engine ranking.
Create Inbound Links
When someone links to your website, it shows the search engines that your website is authoritative. The more links there are across the web pointing to your site, the higher you’ll rank. But you don’t have to rely on other content creators to set up the links. Use these strategies to create links to your website:
- Guest post on top blogs. Most bloggers allow you to include links to your website in your content or in the author bio when you guest blog on their site.
- Comment on blogs. Blogs that feature the plugin CommentLuv are a great place to start earning links since you can automatically include a link to your most recent content.
- Organize a link exchange. If you have a blog on your site or frequently update content, connect with other people in your business and offer to link to their website if they link to yours.
- Create quality content. If you wow your readers with your content, people will start linking to your site on their own.
Use Keyword Phrases
While search engines have moved toward displaying quality content instead of worrying about high keyword density, using keywords is still important to ensure that your content shows up in front of the proper audience. Choose keywords that relate to your niche, are commonly searched, and are valuable to your content. Place these keywords in your posts, in page titles, in photo descriptions, and throughout other areas of the site where appropriate.
Hire a Third Party
If you don’t understand SEO or don’t have the time for it, consider hiring a third-party. Experienced professionals keep up with the latest changes and techniques to help you rank higher and bring in more visitors to your site. While it may seem like a hefty cost at first depending on your budget and your goals, having an experienced individual organize your site for search engines can end up paying off by helping you sell more products and reach more people. For more information on hiring a third-party and how much to spend, check out these useful tips.
Utilize Social Media
Social media can do several things for your SEO. For one, it’s a great place to share links and build authority in your niche. It also gets people talking about your product and your content throughout the Internet to help you build your authority. When used properly, search engines are going to begin realizing that you’re an authority figure in your field and decide that your content is worth ranking higher.
One example of a company that utilizes social media techniques properly is GearyLSF, a company that engages their audience, shares useful links and media, and knows how to maximize customer visibility. To get the most out of social media and improve your search engine rankings, follow their example while adding a personal touch to your profiles.
Create Quality Content
You’ve heard before that “content is king.” While there are many other aspects to SEO, search engines realize how important quality content is to their users. Therefore, the higher quality content you produce and the more that people get out of it, share it, and engage with you, the higher you’ll rank and the more visitors you’ll attract.
But it’s not just that. When you write for the individual first and then the search engines, people will stay on your site longer when they find worth in your content. Since search engines interpret this longer visit as higher quality content than if the visitor left after five seconds, it can have a huge impact on your ranking.
Use these additional tips to keep people on your site longer:
- Keep your content interesting and engaging.
- Produce useful advice, quality entertainment, and unique content.
- Show your credibility and authority in your about section.
If you’re still confused about SEO or need more tips, check out the results from Moz’s 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors survey.
Have you utilized any of these techniques? Did they impact your search engine rank?
(Image via Forbes)
You may not have even known about the scandal of “mug shot websites”; hopefully you never had to deal with the reputation management problem that they caused. Luckily for many people, Google solved the problem for them recently. Personal reputation management was becoming a big business for many different “mug shot websites” that were using public records to rank high for the names of anyone arrested for a crime on Google and other search engines.
These unscrupulous websites have been essentially blackmailing the people to have their names removed from the database to avoid online reputation issues. One of the significant problems is that there is not just one such website, so removing your name from one could have just meant it was the first in a long list people in line for your money.
You Were Arrested for What?
Arrest records are public record for anyone who has been arrested; we know in the United States that you are innocent until proven guilty. Even if your arrest charges were dropped, they still remain public record and many different websites were taking advantage of this and creating a reputation management issue for many people. Imagine the ensuing nightmare if a mug shot website ranked at the top of the page, or even in the paid listings, when a potential boss or future father in law searches your name on the internet.
The mug shot websites were charging people anywhere from $30 – $400 for what they describe as “cleaning up your public record”. However the questionability comes in when they are designed to rank high for the names listed on their site, and some were even paying for advertising with the arrest record names as keywords. Up until this month, they were making a hefty profit from because of their high ranking and not just because people were interested in cleaning up their name on the internet.
Google to the Rescue!
As part of the many algorithm changes Google has made in the past 2 or 3 years, the latest change was an algorithm that directly affected the page rank of types of mug shot websites that were pretty much just gaming Google’s ranking system and making a profit off of it in a pretty unscrupulous manner. These websites are no longer given priority ranking within Google’s search results.
In addition, Master Card has even cut these types of websites off from using their online payment systems.
Do No Evil?
Most people will agree that the mug shot websites are pretty underhanded and should not be doing what they were doing, even though it is perfectly “legal”. However this specific targeting from Google does still raise questions over what type of control Google has over what searchers see and what they do not see.
At the very least, Google’s page ranking adjustment will make it easier for you to outrank those sites for your name and take control of your own reputation management online.
A SearchEngineLand.com article further touches on these points and delves into the policies for both Google and Bing and how they are able to remove content from their sites that may go against terms of services or fall under duplicate content guidelines for removal. They also reported an update to the article that the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center now says it’s gotten hundreds of reports of this problem, and is seeking complaints from people who have been affected.
Manage Your Own Online Reputation
We all make mistakes, it is human nature. A mistake from your past does not have to haunt you on Google and elsewhere online though. What can you do to fix your own problem without paying extortionist websites? Take control of your own reputation management and drown out those negative results by posting your own information about yourself. Here’s how to push the bad results down and boost your own positive results:
- Fill Out Social Media Profiles: Make sure all of your social media public profiles look professional and show the person you want others to see. Fill in all available fields for each profile and set up something with as many social media channels as you can. Each one will create a Google listing that will push the mug shot website down further.
- Utilize Personal Websites: There are several different websites like About.Me and ItsMyURLs that are free. You should set up with all of them.
- Update Your Google Profile: Your Google profile is now attached to Google Plus and that should be filled out completely with as much information as you can think of and do not leave anything blank.
- Use LinkedIn: LinkedIn is there for professional networking and creating a professional profile in a social way. You can brand yourself and make yourself look great with a professional looking resume. Join professional groups on LinkedIn and post relevant articles about your industry or profession.