SEO Tutorial Step-By-Step Search Engine Optimization Course

April 22, 2016 | Author: Maximillian Cain | Category: N/A
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SEO Tutorial – Step-By-Step Search Engine Optimization Course Section 1: Introduction to Search Marketing: When you enter a keyword into any search engine, you instantly get results (webpages) that are closely related to or match your search query.

To an average user, this doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. But to many businesses, being right in front of their customers every time they show interest in a related product or service can mean big bucks, and I mean steady, monthly recurring income from just one source. Search marketing is divided into two disciplines, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search marketing is inbound marketing on steroids and is one of the most effective marketing methods in the digital marketing era. Throughout this guide, we will cover in-depth, one of the most powerful online marketing strategies any business can adopt. First, what is SEO?

What is SEO? SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of affecting a website's visibility on the search engine results pages for a set of target keywords/keyphrases. The higher the position of a webpage on the organic search results pages, the more “visible” the page is. How do search engines work? Algorithms Search engines use algorithms to calculate how worthy a page is to a relevant search query. There are hundreds of factors (Google uses over 200 ranking factors) that are used to calculate the authority of a webpage, and PageRank (based on a scale of 0 – 10) is one of them. Google assigns PageRank to every webpage it crawls. When another website links to your website, some of its PageRank is passed on to you. The more sites there are out there linking to you, the higher your PageRank will be and the more trustworthy your site will look to search engines. Crawling

Search engines use bots or “spiders” to crawl billions of pages across the web by following links they find from billions of pages around the web. Indexing Search engines then store the information it collects into its index. Ranking When a search query is entered, a search engine digs into its index for pages matching the user's search query, then sorts and displays the most relevant results to the user. The order in which the pages are displayed are calculated by search engine algorithms, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors. Each page is then given a ranking score. In order to rank highly on the search engines, your site needs to score higher than all the other sites that are eligible to show up for a relevant search query. However, be warned that if you engage in shady methods and try to deceive the search engines, you will get yourself burned. Google is very strict on sites that try to manipulate their rankings and if you're caught doing so, your site will get penalized and removed from the SRPs a.k.a. the “Google Slap”. Google Major Algorithm Updates: Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird. Every day, Google changes its algorithms some 500 times, that's 1 – 2 times on average each day. Every once in a while, Google rolls out a major algorithm update, and when they do so, many sites suffer a drop in rankings while many others enjoy a raise in rankings. Panda (2011) Lower the rankings of low-quality sites. Penguin (2012) Decrease rankings of sites that engage in black-hat SEO Hummingbird (2013) Relevancy and knowledge graph update (Semantic search) What are some Black-Hat SEO techniques? Cloaking – Displaying different results to search engines and users with the intent of manipulating SE rankings. Mass acquisition of low quality links in a very short period of time. Overuse of keywords in article title and/or content body in a weak attempt to boost rankings for relevant target keywords or keyphrases.

View Google's content guidelines on various link schemes to avoid. How do you do White-Hat SEO? Well, just avoid doing Black-Hat SEO and you'll be doing White-Hat SEO ;) We will cover essential on-page SEO such as image optimization, good internal linking structure, quality and uniqueness/originality of the content, and more later on.

SEO is divided into two parts – Internal SEO, and External SEO To give you a better picture of SEO, let's pretend you're building a new shopping mall. Before constructing your shopping mall, you first have to take into consideration internal and external factors. Most importantly, you have to take into consideration what makes a great visitor experience. Internally, what is your shopping mall about? Is the theme of your shopping mall unique? Are different shop themes categorized into different levels? Do visitors find it easy to find their way around the mall? Externally, have you taken the steps to put the word out that your shopping mall exists? Is your shopping mall listed in map directories, roadside signboards, or brochure stands in neighbouring malls? If you've taken good care of both internal and external factors, chances are your mall will be booming with business. Similarly, before building your website, have you considered... Internally, what is your website about? If you don't even know what your site is about, it's very likely search engines won't as well. Is your site's theme unique in any way? Search engines love unique content and will reward high quality content. On the other hand, duplicate or scraped content will not do well on the SRPs. Are your content themes properly organized and well interlinked? Websites that have clean site structure with content properly organized into different categories enable search engine spiders to easily crawl through internal pages and index them appropriately. Do users find it easy to navigate through your site? Search engines can detect whether users will find it easy or not to navigate through a site. A wellorganized site provides a good user experience, which is precisely what search engines were built for in the first place. Sites with a clean structure and a clear purpose tend to rank higher on the SRPs.

Externally, have you made the effort to communicate with other webmasters in your related niche? Search engines encourage you to actively participate in your community and provide value. Providing value to your community boosts your reputation and increases the chances of attracting inbound links to your site. Are the chances of them linking to your site high? Have you taken the initiative to share your content through popular social networking sites? If your content is interesting, share-worthy, and of high quality, chances are you will attract a lot of inbound links. Do you have a lot of other sites linking to your site, increasing your popularity? The more inbound links (backlinks) you acquire, the more trustworthy search engines will deem your content. If you answered yes to all the above questions, you're doing great SEO. Search engines were built by humans, for humans. Focus your site on delivering a great user experience and you can rest assure that your site will do well on the search engines.

How Can SEO Enhance Your Overall Digital Marketing Strategy? Improve Overall User Experience On Your Site Having good knowledge on the topic of internal SEO and on-page ranking factors will help you better organize your site structure (arranging different categories according to specific themes) to deliver a great user experience, construct a good internal linking structure for better user navigation, and make your site more engaging, resulting in higher conversion rates. Increase Offline Sales Help your customers find you better with local directory listings such as Google Places, Yelp, and Street Directory. 80% of internet consumers in the product awareness stage conduct research online before deciding whether or not to make a purchase. Online Reputation Management Protecting your online reputation is getting more and more important these days as more and more consumers search for brand names on search engines instead of just entering the direct url i.e. “” and the last thing you want them to see is a bad review of your company ranking above your company website. Read more about “Google Bombing” here: Enhance Your Social Media Marketing Campaigns

By understanding search engine ranking factors and social signals, you will be able to make wellinformed decisions when strategizing your social media marketing campaigns. For example, knowing that Google uses social signals from Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Social bookmarking sites, etc, you can better decide where you should focus your social media SEO campaigns on. (Inbound links from Google Plus Pages with many good reviews and blogposts with many +1s, likes, tweets, and reshares tend to give a boost in rankings.) Mark Traphagen does a personal case study explanation on how Google Plus Profiles and Pages Gain Search Authority.

Section 2: Internal SEO Internal Optimization Process

There are 4 main steps when it comes to internal SEO – Keyword Research, Organizing Site Structure, Constructing Content, and On-Page Optimization. Let's go through each step one by one.

Keyword Research: Competitive Market Research Long-tail keywords When starting out, you want to look out for as many long-tail keywords as you can. Long-tail keywords (more words) are not as difficult to rank highly for as generic keywords (fewer words). Long-tail keywords are also more specific to a user search query and are more likely to result in a conversion. Start with a generic theme i.e. “Website Design”, if you are a web designer, then expand your list of keywords from there i.e. “Ecommerce Web Design”, “Affordable Web Design”, etc... Use the Google Keyword Planner to conduct your keyword research.

Researching for new keywords If you're building a brand new site, keyword research should be the first thing you do before filling up your site with content. If you're already running a site, it is also good practice to constantly expand your list of target keywords. Keyword research can help you discover what consumers are actually searching for. When you know what your consumers are looking or asking for, you can better design your content to answer their queries by speaking to them in their language. For example if you know people are searching for the exact keyphrase “How do you make a website”, you can create an article titled “How to Make/Create a Your Own Website”. You can develop a variety of content ideas just by going through your list of keywords.

You want to build a long list of keywords before you start constructing and organizing your articles. Below is an example of a list of keywords generated by a web design firm:

Referencing the above list of keywords, a web design firm will have a good idea of which keywords to optimize for and how to structure their website (SEO Siloing). i.e. Web design packages => custom web design => affordable web design Analyzing existing keywords that your site is already ranking for If your site is already up and running for some time, you may want to sign up for Google Analytics (if you haven't already) and check which keywords your current visitors have been using to get to your site. These keywords in your analytics report are likely the keywords that you are already ranking well for, so you want to put more focus on them first. Once you've identified these keywords, the next step is to focus your internal optimization efforts on these keywords in the next 3 steps – Organizing site structure, constructing content, and on-page optimization.

Organizing Site Structure: SEO Siloing (Website Theming) Remember the shopping mall example? Let's say you love electronic products and your focus is on building the largest electronics shopping centre in town. If your shopping mall has a specific theme i.e. Electronics Centre and all retail shops in your shopping mall are dealing with electronic goods and categorized into different electronic themes at different levels, as opposed to a generic theme i.e. Downtown Shopping Mall with only a few electronic retail shops, chances are your Electronic Centre will stand out in consumers' minds whenever they think of buying any electronic products. Similarly, Google and other search engines like Yahoo! & Bing give preference to theme-specific sites when deciding which results to show for a relevant user search query. But if you've already built a multi-themed site and want to rank for themed-specific search terms, it's not the end of the world. Introducing SEO Siloing or Website Theming As mentioned, Google, Yahoo! & Bing favour sites that are theme-specific. Sites with clear structures, relevant high-quality content, and written in clean and neat code (no flash, minimal javascript, use HTML for most of their site) also tend to do very well in the search engines. Therefore it is safe to assume that you do not need to have only one topic on any one site in order to rank well for a theme-specific keyword. Another scenario would be a box of macarons. 1st Scenario: A box of Green Macarons, Yellow Macarons, and Pink Macarons mixed together.

In this scenario, search engines will likely classify this site as “A box of Macarons”. 2nd Scenario: A box of Green Macarons, A box of Yellow Macarons, A box of Pink Macarons all separated into different boxes. In the second scenario, search engines will likely classify these 3 sites as... A box of Green Macarons, A box of Yellow Macarons, A box of Pink Macarons. 3rd Scenario: A box of Green Macarons, Yellow Macarons, and Pink Macarons organized into separate sections. In the third scenario, search engines can clearly distinguish between the 3 different themes of macarons and index them according to their specific themes. So what is a silo in terms of SEO? A silo is a group of theme-specific subjects or topics in a website. What is SEO siloing and why is it important in search engine optimization? SEO siloing is the process of organizing different groups of content topics into specific categories. Much like a bookstore organizing different genres of books into different sections. In terms of SEO, this organizational structure is very important in order for the search engines to understand the theme and intention of your website and rank your site accordingly. There are two methods of SEO siloing. Physical siloing and Virtual siloing. Physical Siloing Physical siloing is organizing similar-topic content into similar categories or directories. Much like organizing your computer files into different folders. Virtual Siloing Virtual siloing on the other hand, is utilizing internal links to relate subject-specific content to one another. i.e. linking from one blogpost to another, whereby both blogposts exist in different directories or categories. Diagram of a Silo-ed Site Structure:

Above example: How a dating niche content site organizes its site structure. Reference: Bruce Clay on SEO Siloing Sitemaps You also want to create a HTML or XML sitemap and submit it to the search engines. It's recommended to include a HTML sitemap for your visitors to refer to and an XML sitemap to submit to the search engines. You can create your sitemap using free sitemap generator tools like In order to submit your sitemap to Google, you will need a Google Webmaster Tools account.

Constructing Content: Creating Your Landing Pages What are landing pages? Landing pages are the pages that your visitors directly land onto when they click on a search result. It is important that your landing pages capture your visitor's attention and lead them to the inner pages of your site.

If your landing page doesn't answer the search query or isn't compelling enough and majority of visitors landing on your landing page click the “back” button and go back to the search results, you'd likely see your rankings dipping over time. There are three steps you should follow in order when constructing your landing pages: 1) Plan your article using your researched keywords. 2) Write your article, keeping your keywords in mind. 3) Insert your keywords where appropriate. In the title tag, content body, image alt tags, and subheadings.

On-Page Optimization: On-Page SEO Factors Once you've completed steps 1 to 3, you're ready for step 4 of the internal SEO process.

Refer to the above diagram when performing on-page SEO.

Section 3: External SEO What is external SEO all about? External SEO, more commonly known as off-page SEO is basically link building/marketing – Acquiring the most relevant backlinks from as many relevant high authority sites to achieve and maintain high rankings on the SRPs. A relevant backlink is an inbound link from one of the pages (with relevant meta information such as the title, description, etc.) of another similar-topic website. Planning a successful link building campaign In order to plan and execute a successful link building campaign for your site, you first need to understand that link building is a long and tedious process. One that requires skillfulness and extensive knowledge on the topic of SEO. However if you persevere, stick to white-hat rules of SEO, animal-proof (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird) your SEO campaigns by staying updated, you will eventually taste the fruit of success.

Fundamental off-page SEO concepts Before we begin the link building process, let's first go through and understand some fundamental concepts. What is a backlink? A backlink is an inbound or incoming link (hyperlink) to a particular website, referenced from another website. Search engines rely on links to crawl the web and evaluate the authority and relevance of millions of websites. What is an anchor text? An anchor text is the text you click on that takes you to a referenced url. i.e. (This sentence is an anchor text). It is recommended that the anchor texts of inbound links be diverse (mix of target and non-target keywords, brand mentions, synonyms of target keywords, non-related words, etc.) and not all “exact match” to the target keyword that a site is aiming to rank highly for on the SRPs. A link profile with majority of inbound links that have exact-match anchor texts looks very unnatural, and search engines will devalue these inbound links or even de-index the site. Anatomy of a strong backlink • • • • • • • • • •

High domain authority High PageRank High TrustRank Relevant co-citations Relevant page title Relevant content topic Target keywords in anchor text Placed in main content area Age of page Age of backlink

Dofollow link

High Domain Authority All inbound links pointing to a website's main domain ( as well as its internal pages contribute to the domain authority. Getting a backlink from a high domain authority site is always valuable. Sometimes, that is all you need in order to get on the 1st page of Google for a target keyphrase.

High PageRank PageRank is only one of over 200 ranking factors which Google uses to calculate and decide which page should rank over another. Inbound links pointing specifically to an internal page of a particular website contributes to the PageRank of the specific page. However if a page of say PageRank 6 has two outgoing links, the outgoing PageRank is diluted into half (PageRank 3 each). With everything else equal (i.e. Relevant page title, equal number of backlinks, etc.), a site with a higher PageRank will rank above the site with a lower PageRank.

High TrustRank Sites that receive a lot of quality relevant inbound links are more trusted than sites that receive lots of inbound links from low-quality, spammy sites. Getting a link directly from a very trusted site such as will increase your site's TrustRank tremendously. Obtaining a second-tier, third-tier, or fourth-tier link will also increase your site's TrustRank but the value starts to drop the further it goes. Let's have a look at the following scenario: Your website provides financial consultation and you are not able to get a link directly from However you're able to obtain a third-tier link from one of the websites that links to. => => => 100% TrustRank => 50% TrustRank => 25% TrustRank => 12.5% TrustRank The above figures are made up and only used to demonstrate the point.

Relevant Co-citations If you are getting inbound links from an external page (Page A) and it is linking to Page B and Page C which are both relevant to your site's content topic, this is a strong signal to search engines that your site is relevant to that particular topic.

Relevant Page Title The page title should summarize the page's content topic. Or rather, the main content topic should reflect the title of the page. Search engines use the page title as an important ranking factor when it comes to displaying relevant search results to the user. Relevant Content Topic Similar to the above Relevant Page Title ranking factor, an inbound link from a page with relevant content topic to your site will increase your relevancy score. Target Keywords in Anchor Text The anchor text of a link is another ranking signal that search engines use. The wide-spread belief before the 2012 Google Penguin Update was that a keyword rich anchor text was a strong ranking factor. So many webmasters started over optimizing their inbound anchor texts by stuffing their target keywords in (exact match), in attempt to manipulate their rankings. Majority of the sites with overoptimized keyword-rich anchor texts who were hit by the update saw a big drop in rankings. Post-Penguin, anchor texts should not be over-optimized. i.e. If you want to rank for “financial consultation”, your anchor texts shouldn't all be “financial consultation”. There should be a good mix of different types of anchor text. It should sound natural as if someone were to mention your

brand name in a conversion. Here are a few examples of the different types of anchor texts a property/real estate website should have a good mix of: Exact match - “Properties for sale” Broad match - “List of properties for sale” or “Properties for sale in [country]” Synonyms and related search terms - “Condos for sale” or “Private property for sale” Brand mentions - “Realtoria Property Investment Firm” Non-related - “visit this page” or “click here” It's good to have a couple of inbound links with exact match anchor text from high domain authority sites. Just make sure it looks natural and doesn't make up the majority of your backlink profile. Placed in Main Content Area The location of the backlink is also an important factor. A footer link isn't worth as much as a sidebar link, and a sidebar link isn't worth as much as an editorial link in the main content section. Age of Page How long a page has been in Google's index is also a ranking factor. Creating a website is getting much simpler. There has been an increasing number of fly-by-night sites and many webpages come and go frequently. Therefore the older the page, the more trustworthy it is (provided it is frequently updated). Age of Backlink Similarly, the older the backlink, the more TrustRank it gets. Dofollow Link Dofollow links are regular links without the rel=“nofollow” attribute in the HTML code and they allow PageRank or Link Juice to be passed on to the linked page. Example of a regular dofollow link (allows PageRank to be passed on): anchor text Example of a nofollow link (doesn't allow PageRank to be passed on): anchor text While you're in the process of acquiring dofollow links, you also want to obtain nofollow links. Although you won't get any PageRank from a nofollow link, the main reason you also want to include nofollow links in your link profile is that search engines are able crawl a nofollow link and read its anchor text.

Even though you don't get any PageRank flow, you'd still be awarded points for relevancy. Not to mention a link profile with thousands of dofollow inbound links and without a single nofollow backlink looks a little fishy. In a Nutshell... Basically you want to acquire as many backlinks from other sites that are closely related to the topic of your site and your site's internal pages. You also want a diverse and natural-looking link profile; links from different types of sites (blogs, news sites, .edu & .gov sites, forums, directories, social media, etc...) with natural linking patterns, and a good mix of dofollow and nofollow links. (No heavily keyword-optimized anchor texts!) External SEO is basically link building and creating social signals for search engines to determine the authority of your site as well as the context of your site. Do be careful however not to violate any of Google's Content Quality Guidelines or participate in link schemes (A.k.a. Black-hat SEO) while in the “joyous” process of link building. As long as you avoid doing any Black-hat SEO, you're most probably doing White-hat SEO ;)

Link Building Strategies (Off-Page SEO) There are a ton of link building strategies and countless ways (online and offline) to acquire inbound links to your site. But they mostly fall into 2 main categories – Link prospecting & link baiting. Put in simple words, link building is more of a manual process and link marketing is more of an automated approach. Before the rise of social media, external SEO (off-page SEO) mainly revolved around the acquisition of links from authority sites. Today, the social web is growing at an enormous rate. As a result, search engines have adapted to this trend and have integrated into their algorithms to include social signals or rather social linking factors to determine a site's overall ranking score. In this section, we're only going to be focusing on the top 10 most effective ways to build/attract links to your site. But before we go through this proven list of link building strategies, we'll first go through: 1) How to write and structure a compelling article 2) 50 share-worthy content ideas that are natural backlink magnets.

How to Write and Structure a Compelling Article So you've made a hot cup of expresso and sat down, ready to begin writing your first blogpost and then it happened... You can't complete a sentence without repeatedly hitting the backspace button! If this is the first time something like this has happened to you, fret not. It's just a common syndrome called the “Writer's Block”. However there is a simple solution to this annoying problem. To minimize the occurrence of this common syndrome, go through the following steps before you even pen your first word down: 1) Do your research well. 2) List down the main points you want to expand on. 3) Write freely, then edit the article later. Ask yourself... 1) Who are your target audience? 2) What type of content are you creating? (How-to tutorial, comparison article, white paper, etc.) 3) What is the purpose of the article? Keep this basic article structure in mind whenever you're about to create any content: 1) Introduction: Tell your readers what they're going to get out of reading this article (make a promise). 2) Body: Tell them (deliver your promise). 3) Conclusion: Tell them what you've just told them (summarize).

50 Share-Worthy Content Ideas Content marketing is a huge part of any solid SEO campaign. Quality content attracts quality backlinks. Period. Without further ado, let's go through 51 types of share-worthy content ideas that will boost your blog readership and improve your SEO campaigns.

Written Content: #1 How-to Tutorials/Guides Create a helpful guide or tutorial on a topic you're an expert in and share it with your community. If it's really useful and provides great value to the reader, you may attract a fair amount of inbound links. #2 List Posts People love lists and are compelled to see what's in line.Whether it is a list of the most influential people in your industry or a list of things you like to do during your free time, make sure the title is catchy enough to arouse curiosity. i.e. “10 Things I Wouldn't Do If I Had a Million Dollars”. #3 Resource Directory Browse through the web for useful information on a particular topic and gather it all into one page i.e. “Recommended Links on [Topic]”. People will appreciate that you've taken the time to collate useful resources into one place. #4 Share an Interesting Conversation Some conversations are worth sharing. It could be a humorous email conversation, an interesting tweet, or an eye-opening forum thread. Screenshot it and blog about it. #5 Response Posts It could be a response to a comment on your blogpost, a question on a forum, or a response to a Tweet or Facebook post. Write a response post and direct traffic back to it. #6 Curate Content and Credit the Authors This type of content marketing also corresponds with the link building technique known as Egobaiting, where you linkbait credible authors by touching on their ego. #7 Express an Opinion People like to hear opinions on controversial topics. The next time you discover a shocking news coverage, comment on it and include a link to your blogpost. #8 Share a Failure Admitting failure and being open about it commands respect. Share how you've learnt from a grave mistake and share with others how to avoid making the same mistakes as you. #9 Solve a Known Problem For every problem there is a solution. If you discover an unsolved problem, do some research and solve it, then blog about it and include a link back to your blogpost. #10 Comparison Article Some times it's hard to make up your mind when you come across two similar-themed products. i.e. “Google Adsense or Chitika, which is better?”

#11 Promotional Article A promotional article should be interesting and beneficial to read and should not just be written in an overly sales-sy tone. Or rather it shouldn't mention too much about the features but focus more on the benefits. #12 Deals Everyone loves deals. If you have an irresistible deal or promotion, include a “discount for two or more” offer and it'll likely double up the number of shares. #13 Controversial Argument It can get really interesting when one party disagrees with a hard-to-disagree-with statement. And if you can argue in an interesting and sensible way, it could attract a lot of shares. #14 Topical Debate Everything can be seen differently from another point of view. The questions is, how are you going to debate in such a way that convinces people to look at something differently. #15 Seasonal Greetings When it's time to celebrate, celebrate! Throw in a few teasers for your upcoming chain of events to generate some excitement and anticipation for your readers. #16 Start a Series of Articles on a Certain Topic i.e. Part 1, 2, 3... People like to anticipate and if you're talking about a certain topic leave it halfway at just the right point, you'll likely get lots of responses regarding what your next article is going to be. #17 Latest News Updates Keeping up with the latest trends not only shows you're an authority in your niche. Google also loves fresh content and may rank your blogpost on the 1 st page for a trending search query with the QDF algorithm. #18 Shocking News If you're one of the first few to discover some industry-related shocking news, cover it and engage your readers by asking for your opinions and comments. #19 Organize an Event or a Contest This is one sure way to engage your readers and attract some backlinks. Get your attendees or participants to share the event or contest on their own blogs and social media profiles. #20 Events Coverage Attend a live event and blog about it, either live or after you've attended it. Share your views on the positives and negatives, what are the highlights, and how it could be improved in future. #21 Twitter Trends Coverage Twitter Trends i.e. #breakingnews can have many interesting tweets and comments. Find a few interesting ones and write a cover story on it. #22 Press Releases If your brand has upcoming product launches or any news-worthy updates to announce to the public, it will be a good to write a press release and submit it to popular press release sites such as

#23 White Papers A white paper is an in-depth, authoritative report written with the aim of helping readers understand a problem, solve an issue, or make a decision. - Wikipedia. #24 Memorable Quotes List enough memorable quotes on one blogpost and that post might just get bookmarked by your readers. #25 Short Stories Facts tell, stories sell. Next time if you're in the mood for some storytelling, remember to write a short and interesting one. #26 Humorous Content If your content is humorous enough to trigger some laughter, people will want to spread the laughter on their social profiles. #27 Reasons Why... Starting your article with “7 Reasons Why...” will give your readers a reason to open up your article and read it. #28 Predictions If you have a strong feeling about the outcome of something, it won't hurt to do a little prediction. Don't worry about being wrong. After all, if things didn't go the way you predicted they would, everyone would understand that it's just a prediction. #29 Bust a Myth Every once in awhile you'll come across a flat-out untrue myth. It's about time you bust every single one of them. #30 Random Rants Reserve this for only when you're totally out of ideas. A little random rant about how things are going on in your life can add a little “human” or should I say personal touch to your blog. #31 Conduct Interviews Identify and list the experts in your niche and schedule an email interview with them. Once you've interviewed them, post the interview up on the blog on link it back to your interviewee, thanking them for their time. You may get a link or at least a tweet or a share from them. #32 User Generated Content Suitable for review sites like TripAdvisor and Q&A sites like Yahoo! Answers. It won't hurt putting up a section on your site dedicated to reviews or Q&As. #33 Market Trend Reports Studying and gathering data and then creating an in-depth, eye-opening report on the latest market trends can help you establish yourself as an authority in your niche. #34 Reveal Surveys Results Conduct a survey once in awhile. Once the results are finalized, give some insights as to why the results turned out to be what they are. #35 Product Reviews and Testimonials Write product reviews and request for the publisher to feature your review on their company site or

product. If they have an authority site, getting your testimonials and a link back to your site can be a worthy investment. #36 Case Studies Create a compelling case study based on your observations and backed by research. If you tackle a controversial subject, it could get really interesting. #37 Update Your Articles Go back and update your articles once in awhile. Sometimes, there may be too much to update that it would be better off writing a new article from scratch. Include a link from the old post to direct readers to the updated post.

Non-Written Content: #38 Images If you have any quality stock images, share them on popular photo sharing sites like Flickr and indicate that your image is copyrighted. However you'd allow it to be used on other sites if they credited you. #39 Infographics Gather enough information on a particular subject to put together an infograph. Infographs are very popular these days and I've seen a couple of really share-worthy ones. #40 Useful Web Graphics If you have any usable web graphics such as signup buttons, ad banner templates, web forms, etc, zip them up and share them on free graphic resource sites. #41 Wordpress Templates If you have great Wordpress templates that are free for the public to use, zip them up and share them on free Wordpress templates sites. #42 Photoshop Templates If you have any beautifully designed photoshop templates you'd like to give away, zip them up and share them on free photoshop template sharing sites. #43 Memes An Internet meme is an idea, style or action which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet, as with imitating the concept. Some notable examples include posting a photo of people in public places lying down planking and uploading a short video of people dancing to the Harlem Shake. - Wikipedia. #44 Mind Maps Mind maps are great visually outlined diagrams and can demonstrate your extensive knowledge on a certain topic. #45 Charts A chart is a graphical representation of data, in which "the data is represented by symbols, such as bars in a bar chart, lines in a line chart, or slices in a pie chart". A chart can represent tabular numeric data, functions or some kinds of qualitative structure and provides different info. Wikipedia. #46 Podcasts

A podcast is a digital medium consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. - Wikipedia. #47 Webinars A webinar is an online event that is hosted by an organization/company and broadcast to a select group of individuals through their computers via the Internet. - #48 Interesting Videos It could be a video of your cat chasing your dog or an interesting find that you had discovered in your niche. Interesting videos are share-worthy especially if they contain insightful or humorous elements. #49 Comparison Tables Comparison tables that are detailed and list all the important differences between two or more features are share-worthy and will attract backlinks. #50 Slideshows Your slideshows should consist of visual images and diagrams and dialogues or concepts explained below the slide.

Link Building / Marketing Strategies 1) Link Prospecting #1 Reverse Engineering Reverse engineering is essentially spying on your competitors' SEO efforts and trying to copy it. 1) Enter your target keywords into Google and form a list of 3 – 5 competitors's urls per keyword. 2) Using a tool like Open Site Explorer by Moz, AHREFS Site Explorer & Backlink Checker, or Majestic SEO, enter your competitors's urls and generate their backlink reports. 3) Go through each backlink and identify the sites that you can potentially obtain a backlink from as well. Be sure to check whether the links on the page are rel=“nofollow” by viewing the pages' source code. If they are nofollow, you can save your time for it later. 4) Form a list (excel format recommended) and organize the list i.e. By category or links with follow/nofollow. These are the types of sites you want to list down: - High quality directories - Relevant, good PageRank websites that allow you to submit guest posts, site links, resources, etc. - Blogs in similar industry (contact them for guest post submission later on) - Forums and Q&A sites to build relationships and establish a reputation.

#2 Site/Content/Link Submission Using search operators, you want to find sites that allow you to submit your urls, content, or guest

posts. What are the benefits of knowing how to use search operators? Save more time Discover useful information and resources better (including possible backlinks) Learn more about and understand your competitors List of Search Operators: or or Displays all page results of that are are indexed in the search engine filetype:pdf or filetype:doc Identifies file type and displays the results based on indicated file type “keyword1+keyword2” Displays search results that exactly matches the entered keyword(s) keyword 1 -keyword2 Searches for results on keyword 1 but omits results on keyword2 Identifies site(s) that are linking to inurl:keyword or .edu/.gov Displays sites that contain your keywords in the url intitle:keyword Displays sites that contain your keywords in the page title intext:keyword Searches for the keyword in the text area of the page and displays the results inanchor:keyword - Finds anchor texts that contain your keyword For more help on using search operators, visit this link. Free Search Operator Tools #1 SoloSEO

1) Head over to SoloSEO's Link Search Tool and key in your niche keywords. 2) Click on each link under each subheadings “Add/Submit”, “Directories”, “Blogs & Forums” and find quality directories, blogs, and websites to submit your urls, content, and guest posts. 3) Alternatively you may want to use specific search operators like - seo courses intitle:recommended courses. #2 Google Advance Search Tool

Note: You want to make sure the sites/directories you submit your site/content to are ones that are of quality and not blacklisted by Google. Using your good sense of judgement, you should be able to identify sites that openly accept paid links, allow automated guest post submissions, or look spammy in any way. Avoid submitting your site to these types of sites. If in doubt, enter the site's url into Google search to see if Google has blacklisted and de-indexed the site. i.e. and see whether any results show up at all. Here's a resource where you can manually submit your links to:

Beware however that Google is actively cracking down on directories.

#3 Building Relationships Another direct way to build links is to form relationships with other people in your niche. First you'd have to know where these people hang out. Second you'd have to form a relationship with them. And third, you'd simply have to ask. You've heard the saying – Seek, and ye shall find... Knock, and it shall be opened unto you... Ask, and it shall be given to you... Okay enough with the bible verses. Take note that you would need to have good content in order for them to trust your site and link to you. Here are a few ways to do it: Step #1, Find: 1) Search for groups on Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn where people in your niche usually hang out. 2) Join blog networks and find bloggers who are blogging on similar topics. 3) Follow social trends i.e. Hash tags on Twitter and Google+. 4) Participate in forums in your niche and find bloggers who are active in the forum. 5) Identify natural sharers, or people who willingly share content and have generated a huge following through this method. 6) Use free tools like,, and to find like-minded Twitter users to connect with. 7) Sign up for a free account at or Storify and discover and curate content into one place. Step #2, Build a relationship: 1) Retweet as many tweets from people in your industry as possible, listing them down for followup later on. 2) Link out to them first. 3) Offer to write testimonials and endorsements on their blogs, content, products, etc. 4) Invite them for a short interview through email, explaining the possibility of them benefitting from more exposure. They may even link to your interview if you promote it enough. 5) Show interest in what they have offered, be it information on the latest trends, how-to tutorials, useful tips on their blogposts, etc.

6) Read their blogposts and if you find they are missing some important points, create a separate article and elaborate on those missing points, then comment on Step #3, Ask for a link: 1) Once you've completed step 2, you should be on their good books and it should be fairly easy to ask for a link or two. Start by sending a social message before an email, as it is more personal. 2) Read through their blogposts and see if there are any topics in the content which you can elaborate further. Elaborate the topic further in one of your blogposts then ask them politely if they'd like to link to your relevant in-depth blogpost. 3) Compliment them saying that you always enjoy reading their posts and have learnt a lot from following their tips and advice. Tell them that you'd be really honoured if they would accept a guest post submission from you as you always believe in contributing back to a source you've learnt a lot from. 4) Link prospecting technique #4 covers how to ask for a link using the broken link building strategy. Jordan Kasteler does a very detailed and comprehensive guide to finding link building targets with social media.

#4 Broken Link Building Broken link building has one of the highest link acquisition conversion rates because it's a mixture of goodwill and convenience to the webmaster whom you're requesting a link from. The ways to go about broken link building are as follows: #1 Find Expired Domains 1) Visit and search for domain names with your target keyword in it. 2) Once you've generated a list of expired domain names, run a backlink report using a tool like MajesticSEO and check if there are any existing links from sites that didn't check for broken links. 3) If there are sites that are still linking to the expired domain, check the theme of the site with The Way Back Machine first. You want to first make sure the content is relevant to yours, if you're going to ask them to replace the broken link with your link. 4) If all seems good, contact the webmaster to replace the broken link with a link to your site. #2 Use Search Operators 1) Using search operators, find pages like “Recommended Resources”,“Useful Links” or “Partner Sites” and use a Google Chrome Extension tool like Check My Links to find broken links on those pages fast. 2) If you found any broken links, use the Way Back machine again to make sure your content is someone similar to the broken site.

3) If everything is well, contact the webmaster and have him/her replace the broken link with yours. #3 Run a Broken Link Report on an Entire Site If you found a site that you really want to give a shot and ask for a backlink for any reason, try using the tool.

#5 Link Reclamation Link reclamation is claiming a link from someone who has already heard of you and 1) mentioned you or your brand 2) used an image or video of yours but did not include a link to you. 1) Use a free tool like Google Alerts, Social Mention, or Topsy to find out who's mentioning your brand name but not linking to you. 2) Send out a polite request for them to link to you and show your appreciation if they did. 3) If you had altered your site structure and missed out redirecting your 404 pages to the new ones, use MajesticSEO's historical index tool, run a report on sites that have previously linked to you and see if you can spot links that are linking to your 404 pages and politely ask if they could link to your new pages.

2) Link Baiting #1 Creating High Quality Content This the backbone of your link baiting strategy. 1) Create a new blog or an external free blog like or and fill it up with quality content. 2) Once you've created share-worthy content such as how-to tutorials, list posts, controversial topics, and useful resource pages, start broadcasting these posts on social media platforms such as

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Digg, Pinterest, etc. 3) Be sure to embed social share buttons on to all your blogposts for easy sharing (Social signals).

#2 Egobaiting Egobaiting is essentially creating any type of content that attracts the target's attention and appeals to their ego, in hopes of getting recognition, a social share, or a link back to the content. Dale from covers a fantastic example on egobaiting. He managed to get a couple of links from the mentioned webmasters back to his site.

Another example of egobaiting by gathering a list of popular and reliable resources seen here by Tim Gray,

#3 Organizing Events/Contests One of the fastest ways to build a lot of incoming links is to organize an event or contest. How many backlinks you can attract will depend on the scale of your event/contest. Below is an example of organizing an event and attracting backlinks to your site with it. 1) Organize a free-admission seminar and invite a couple of guest speakers. 2) Create an event on your website or blog. 3) State that this is a high value seminar and will be free for those who share the event on their Facebook timeline, blog and link to it, and invite a friend to come along. 4) Blast it out via email, social network invites, advertisements, classifieds sites, forums, etc.

#4 Giving Away Free Stuff There's nothing more attractive than getting something valuable for free. Give out something valuable for “free”, only that it's not going to be entirely “free”. You're going to be asking for links in returns. Be careful though, there's a fine line between grey and black-hat SEO here. According to the Google Webmaster Guidelines, the following is a violation of the guidelines: “Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.” Below are some examples of giving away free stuff to increase your chances of acquiring links: 1) Create an infographic or a chart and share it on popular photo sharing sites like Flickr. Include in the description that you'll allow the public to use it as long as they credit you with a link. 2) Write a quality blog post and include natural reference links back to your own blog(s). Find a similar-topic blog that accepts guest posts and submit your article to them for publishing. 3) Linking out to others first. Once you've gathered a loyal following on your social media profiles, you can offer free link outs to the a few selected people with similar blog content themes. Tweet something like “Linking out to the first 5 bloggers who read and comment on my latest blogpost! (note: blogs must have similar content themes)” Try this out and see for yourself how many will read your blog and send you a DM (direct message). You'll be surprised how fast this strategy will help you strengthen relationships within your social circles and make it easier to ask for links.

#5 Social Media Marketing #1 For this last link baiting technique, you really need quality content in order to succeed on this campaign. Once you've created an arsenal of high quality, share-worthy content, it's time to blast them out on various social networks. 1) Google+ Communities 2) Hashtag your twitter posts on popular trending topics. 3) Facebook Groups Visit to explore more social networks to blast your share-worthy content to. #2 Hang out on Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers,, and Let's use Yahoo Answers for example:

1) Search for questions related to your industry. You want to find questions that you know the answer to, and can even write up and dedicate a blogpost article to. 2) Write up a blogpost that answers the question in detail, recommending relevant sources on it as well. 3) Go back to Yahoo Answers and reply the questions, citing your blogpost as a relevant source. Two things you have achieved from this: One, you've helped a fellow newcomer out, he or she'll thank you for it and possibility even “vote” for your answer, so feel good about it. Two, you've earned yourself a relevant backlink. Although it's most probably a nofollow backlink that doesn't pass any PageRank, you've still achieved your main goal in SEO, which is to drive more traffic to your site. This question & answer post may rank on top of the SRPs for a relevant search query and your link will be visible to everyone who lands on the Q&A post, earning you constant traffic from a secondary source.

How to Work With an Outsourced SEO Agency Standard procedure of a competent SEO agency. 1) Arranges for a free consultation to better understand your business nature and objectives. 2) Prior to the consultation, runs a health report and standard analysis on your site, making sure your site doesn't have any issues with the search engines i.e. Spammy backlinks, site not indexed by Google, how much on-page SEO needs to be done. 3) During the consultation, tries to understand your value per conversion and work out an estimate of your ROI based on this SEO campaign alone. 4) Generates a list of target keywords to optimize for, explains how each keyword will benefit your business, and seeks your approval on the keywords. 5) Shows you samples of existing clients, SEO copywriting articles, and link building strategies they will execute to achieve the desired rankings. 6) Discusses on the term of the SEO campaign. Before you hire an SEO consultant, these are the questions you should ask him/her first: 1) What is your knowledge on the most recent Google updates? 2) How much do you understand about our business industry? 3) Do you have another client in similar industry as us?

4) How many clients does one SEO account manager have to manage? 5) Show me samples of your SEO copywriting, link building reports. 6) Do you do on-page optimization? And what is your knowledge on it? 7) What is your process of upscaling an SEO campaign? 8) Can you justify your price against our ROI? These are some of the signs of an incompetent SEO agency: 1) Guarantees rankings on Google 2) Doesn’t make the effort to understand your business objectives 3) Targets irrelevant keywords or keywords with low search volumes 4) Bad SEO copywriting. Writing for search engines instead of the user 5) Shallow backlink report only emphasizing on rankings 6) Unwilling to disclose link building strategies 7) Doesn’t employ the use of social media marketing and/or Google places listings.

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