This was the mantra of my journalism professor and mentor who spent a career in newsroom trenches before deciding to “retire” and teach journalism at the small, liberal arts college where I received my degree.
Almost 30 years later (man, I’m old), this simple three-word sentence still rings true.
The phrase is specifically germane to my current profession of search engine marketing.
Tips to Add Keywords in Your Content
Keywords Are Still King
In the past, I’ve written advice that steers search engine marketing professionals to embrace optimizing for topics over keywords.
I still believe that for many of us, this is sage advice.
Today’s search engines look for the meaning of the page beyond the simple keywords and keyword phrases.
But the simple fact is that in most cases if you don’t have a specific word on a web page, you probably won’t rank for that word in the search engine’s results.
Don’t Get Stuffed
It’s a given that you need to use the keywords you want to show up for in the copy you write.
But if you use too many keywords, or use them in the wrong place, you run the risk of sounding strange and non-authoritative to your audience.
Worse, your copy could look like it’s stuffed with keywords to both your users and the search engines.
Search engines don’t like keyword-stuffed copy.
Users don’t buy from sites that stuff keywords into their copy.
So the question becomes, how do I include the keywords I need but still write copy that makes sense to users and works for search engines?
Don’t Target Too Much
There is no magic number of keywords that can be targeted on a single page.
The variables in keyword competition, as well as the variables of the content itself, doesn’t lend itself to a one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to the number of keyword phrases that a single page should target.
But the fewer keywords a page targets, the easier it is to create a compelling copy on a page.
When I am writing copy, I will keep a post-it note with the keywords I want to target for a particular page and topic.
Every time I use a keyword, I make a mark by it on the post-it note.
But if I don’t get all the keywords in when I’ve written the copy, I don’t worry too much about it.
If possible, I create another page to target the keywords that are leftover.
Sometimes, when we are grouping keywords for pages, which is usually done before the copy is written, it’s hard to know exactly how well the grouped keywords will flow in the copy.
You should never force a keyword into a page where it doesn’t belong.
As a general rule, I like to target 2-5 keywords per page of written content.
Of course, that’s a general rule.
I will vary on the number of keyword phrases target based on a number of variables – including the content length, the competitiveness of the keywords, and most importantly the flow of the copy.
A Page’s Content Is Not Just the Copy
It’s easy for even the most veteran SEO to forget that not all keywords need to reside in a page’s actual copy.
In many cases, it’s possible to create keyword-rich navigation that not only increases the keyword density of a page but also helps solidify a solid, anchor-text-rich internal linking structure.
SEOs have abused footer copy for years, using it stuff keywords and provide links to useless pages with no other purpose than attempting to fool a search engine robot into ranking an irrelevant page.
However, if one puts effort into creating a useful, keyword-rich footer for a page, the dividends can be enormous.
Properly labeling images while also using keywords is another way to increase your use of keywords – one that many otherwise savvy SEOs either forget or ignore, thinking that results may not be worth the effort.
It’s true the labeling your images may not result in a huge increase in rankings, but it’s the right thing to do from a compliance standpoint, and it does help.
Graphical Breaks & Summaries
The best way I know of to include keywords in copy when I’m out of ideas is to create a bulleted list.
Keywords fit naturally into bulleted lists.
And bulleted lists aren’t just great places for keywords.
Bulleted lists allow you to create a graphical break in copy that makes it easier to read for most users.
Bulleted lists can even be recaps of what you just said in the last piece of copy you wrote.
These lists don’t have to add new information, they can recap what has already been said.
Of course, you can use them to add new information as well.
But lists aren’t the only recaps that are great for getting more keywords into your copy.
An executive summary or TLDR (Too long, didn’t read) pre-amble to a piece of copy is a great place to place your most important keywords toward the top of a page.
Getting keywords into your copy doesn’t have to be difficult.
Getting creative with your writing, as well as with your layout, can yield great results.
When in doubt, read your copy out loud or have someone else read it.
If it sounds like you have too many instances of keywords, you probably do.
Remember, the number of times you repeat a keyword isn’t an important factor.
The important factor is that the times you do include the keyword, it makes sense to both the user and the search engine.
A simple premise that requires an inordinate amount of creativity, hard work, and analytical thinking.
Here are our steps. This isn’t the bible, so these aren’t the only correct way to build quality links, but this process has worked for us.
Step 1: Link Analysis
The first step is to look at your links and your competitors’ links. Who is linking to people in the industry?
We use Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs and a few other tools to help with this analysis.
Be on the lookout for informational sites, sites where content is being created about your industry. These aren’t always that easy to find, so spend some significant time on the analysis.
Look for patterns. Sort the links by authority and go down the list.
Don’t just look at the URL, go look at each site.
It isn’t always possible to look at every site – but it is always possible to find the best ones by starting with the best authority sites and going down from there.
You don’t need hundreds of sites. The idea is to build up a list over time.
Step 2: Leverage Existing Relationships
This should be low-hanging fruit, but it always seems to take more effort than we expect.
It’s amazing to me that clients never seem to want to ask their trusted partners, vendors, customers, and the charities they work with.
Work to gather a list of your existing relationships and create a communication to ask for links. If you have a marketing automation system, use it to communicate.
Ask the people who deal with your partners to ask for a link. This works – and the links are surprisingly relevant.
If you have a relationship with someone who has a website, it’s almost always OK to ask them for a link.
One thing to note here – frequently when you ask for a link, you might be asked to reciprocate. In some cases, this is OK, but try to avoid it if at all possible. This is where link evaluation comes in.
Step 3: Narrow Down the Target List
This may seem counterintuitive to those who want plenty of links. But as I said earlier, we aren’t after a bunch of links – just good ones.
We narrow down our targets to between 10-15 links we want to get.
As a link opportunity is obtained or is no longer relevant (they said no, they didn’t respond to anything, they aren’t relevant anymore, etc..) it goes off of the target list and new opportunity is added.
Unless you have a lot of resources, it usually isn’t productive to target more than 10-15 sites for links at a time. It takes time to build relationships with the influencers and webmasters to get the links.
On average, it’s taking us about two months to get a link in most cases.
The way we narrow down the list is more of an art than a science. We take into account a site’s authority, but we look more for a fit.
Based on the site’s content, would they link to us?
Do we have the content they would want to link to?
Or could we get them to write content for our site?
We also have a process that we use to evaluate links that includes both qualitative and quantitative ranking methods.
Step 4: Build Relationships
Now that you have your list, it’s time to develop your outreach strategy.
Cold pitching rarely works.
Just sending an influencer and e-mail asking for a link is a poor outreach strategy. I get several link requests per day and so does every site owner on the planet.
You can’t break through that clutter – and since most of them are spammy, regardless of how well you pitch, your chances for success are slim especially since we are only targeting a few links at a time.
The best thing we’ve found is to interact with the individuals on social media.
Twitter works really well for this – but some influencers aren’t active there, so you may need to find where they are.
If they allow comments on their content, comment – but don’t pitch or link to your site for your comment. In the beginning that’s almost always counterproductive to relationship building.
Don’t just talk about your site.
You should know the industry. Ask the influencer their opinion on current issues the industry is facing. Send them articles you find about the industry.
Help them. Engage with them. Build a real relationship.
If possible, meet the influencer face-to-face. Buying a beer for an influencer is usually good for a link.
The main no-no is to come out of the gate asking for a link. You’ll fail more times than not, and you’ll also lose the trust of a possible great linking partner.
Step 5: Get Creative
So now we have our list, we’re building relationships, and we’ve worked to get our vendors and partners on board with linking with the site.
Now it’s time to fire up the right side of your brain and get creative.
This is the fun part, but it takes a lot of work.
This is where you take a hard look at yourself and ask, “what can we do to make people really want to link to us?”
Possible items to create include:
Funny and serious insights.
Try something out of the box. You or your client’s risk aversion may get in the way of the creativity, but work to push the limits.
No one links to dull or irrelevant content. No one wants to link to brochureware of sales material.
You need to find your hook. Sometimes you need a different hook for every influencer on your list.
Yes, this takes a lot of time. Yes, this is hard work.
But the ability to create something that the right people want to link to is what separates a good SEO from a great SEO.
Step 6: Rinse and Repeat
Link building never ends.
You can always find more high-quality links.
You need to keep looking for opportunities to create linkable content and find the right people who will link to it.
It is a good idea to work on specific “campaigns” in order to continually refresh your strategy.
But you can’t stop building links. If you do, you will eventually get passed by your competitors.
The Master of Business Administration, popularly called as MBA, is a two-year full-time programme that prepares you for a career in business and administration. This is a globally recognised degree, and the programme has been designed to sharpen the skills necessary for a successful career in any industry.
Many ambitious students may believe that the job opportunities for MBA after COVID-19 will decrease, but this is not the case. The current pandemic scenario has demonstrated that the world requires MBA graduates in addition to world-class doctors, scientists, engineers, and attorneys. Human Resources, Marketing, Sales, Finance, and other essential departments of the company are all covered by an MBA graduate.
Businesses will not shut down in the face of this pandemic because hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake. Additionally, MBA graduates have proven to be the most outstanding potential choice for running a business, without a doubt.
We’ll look at the best MBA specialization and career opportunities post-COVID-19
MBA in Entrepreneurship
Post-COVID -19, there will be a requirement for leaders, innovators, and influencers, who will be burdened with the responsibility to solve the problems during the pandemic. Many tech companies and new industries have supported humanity together during these challenging times with their creativity. However, the world needs more entrepreneurs to help those in need. Therefore, you must focus on Masters in Entrepreneurship. This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and networks they will need to succeed as innovators and entrepreneurs. The curriculum teaches students how to develop business concepts, turn those concepts into service and product offerings, and then plan a commercial project to bring those concepts to market.
MBA in Data Analytics
COVID-19 has accelerated the path of technological disruption and digitisation. As a result of the changing circumstances, all businesses have had to review and update their goals. Companies from all industries will need skilled data analysts to undertake thorough market research. Under a course like an MBA in Data Analytics, candidates will learn Predictive Analysis, Artificial Intelligence Tools, Machine Learning Algorithms, Recommendation Systems, and Analytics. Due to the tremendous increase in the professional data analysts’ demands, an MBA in Data Analytics is one of the most in-demand specialisations during this era.
MBA in Digital Marketing
Marketing is a department that seems to remain operational even in the face of adversity. Digital realms have transformed the way we arrange analytics and propose campaigns today. Taking your business on the online digital platform is a fresh new strategy to survive the competition when distribution channels are disrupted, and physical promotions are no longer viable. Businesses may survive in these difficult times by promoting their brands online. The MBA in Digital Marketing provides students with all the required skills and expertise to develop effective digital marketing strategies. The course develops students’ creative capabilities by teaching them how to use digital platforms to target customers and sell their products and services effectively. As a result, after pursuing an MBA in digital marketing, a competitive MBA applicant will identify the proper niche. It is one of the most demanding MBA programmes available today.
MBA in Finance
During the lockdown, a lot of people have stopped spending more. There can be many reasons for the same, like uncertainty about the future, closure of many businesses/activities to spend on, restricting travel and entertainment. As a result, people started investing their money, which has resulted in the Fintech industry’s growth. Not to take away the fact that financial companies were already growing pre-pandemic as well. In recent years, the finance industry has been one of the most sought-after MBA specialities. MBA finance professionals are anticipated by everyone from banks to money managers. Therefore, there is a tremendous demand for leveraged finance professionals today. MBA in finance would point young brains in the right direction while also exposing them to appropriate job titles. It will undoubtedly be one of the most in-demand MBA specialisations in this era of disruption.
MBA in Operations and Supply Chain
With the onset of the pandemic, many businesses were forced to stop their supply chain and production department, which took a massive toll on their efficiency. However, with the situation at ease and businesses fully motivated to work at their best, there is no denying that businesses will look forward to pushing their boundaries. Therefore, they need operational managers to handle the business systems and supply chain management. The MBA in Operations and Systems provides a unique approach to today’s businesses. It’s an excellent opportunity for individuals who are motivated by independent thought and successful businesses. The development of problem-solving abilities is the focus of operations. The secrets to everyone’s success are a viable infrastructure and technological advancements.
MBA in Human Resource
The number of job options available in the human resources sector after COVID-19 is predicted to rise steadily. The business will hire more and more employees. Be it professional, executives, foreman, or fresh graduates. It is without a doubt the responsibility of HR to bring in the best talent to an organisation. Human resource management is one of the most important aspects of any business. Both small and large businesses benefit from a thriving human resource department. MBA in Human Resource Management is a great option for someone who values communication and organizational skills. HR analysts are employees tasked with resolving human-resource-related issues inside a company. They make sure that employees adhere to the company’s HR policies. In general, they serve as a link between management and personnel. They may also assess the performance of individual staff on occasion.
COVID-19 has demonstrated that we can all live in peace while assisting one another. As HR professionals and recruiters are always searching for good MBA graduates, the scope of MBA post-COVID-19 would experience rapid growth. One of the best parts of pursuing an MBA is that you can go straight into a management job, whereas other applicants will take a long time to get to that level.
Now you have a better understanding of MBA specializations and job opportunities in the post-COVID-19 era. Keep in mind that an MBA is now a necessary ingredient in the formula for success. No one can stop you from ascending the ladders of success if you have an MBA degree. You can become a world-class leader, and your leadership abilities can be the driving force behind an organization’s success.
Author Bio: Abhyank Srinet is a passionate digital entrepreneur who holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe. He started his first company while he was still studying at ESCP and managed to scale it up by 400% in just 2 years. Being a B-School Alumni, he recognized the need for a one-stop solution for B-School to get in touch with schools and get their application queries resolved. This prompted him to create MiM-Essay, a one-of-a-kind portal with cutting edge profile evaluation and school selection algorithms, along with several avenues to stay informed about the latest B-School Updates.
Link evaluation is about setting priorities for links you want to pursue rather than ranking them. Here’s how to properly evaluate the quality of a link in relation to your site.
I have to admit something.
I used to buy links.
I used to buy a lot of links.
In my career, I’d estimate I’ve purchased around $3 million in links.
But I haven’t bought a single link in five years. Well, let’s just say I haven’t directly bought a link in five years.
Buying links today is super risky – no matter what the seller may say.
Yes, there are ways to still effectively buy links, but the bottom line is that if you get caught, and you have any type of brand at all, the risk outweighs the benefit.
It’s up to you if you want to purchase links, but my recommendation is to stay clean.
Building links takes more work and more time to achieve results, but the results are solid and will last.
One benefit of buying so many links over the years is that I have learned how to evaluate what a link is worth.
In the next few sections, I’m going to show you how we evaluate links and give our reasoning behind the scoring.
First, it is important to understand that specific links are valued differently by every site.
A link that is valuable to a plumber is not necessarily valuable to a Payday loan company, and vice-versa. That’s actually one of the downfalls of buying links – besides the whole penalty thing.
Typically, when you buy links, you are forced to buy something that isn’t as relevant to your site as you would like – to use the cliche, a square peg in a round hole.
That’s why link building must be custom for every site. No, this approach isn’t scalable in the traditional sense, but it drives the needle in SEO results.
Bottom line:Links that provide value beyond SEO are the most valuable links to obtain.
It has been said that SEO is both an art and a science. This is very true when it comes to evaluating links.
To properly evaluate the quality of a link in relation to your site, you have to make some educated guesses.
Therefore, link evaluation is more about setting priorities for the links you want to pursue rather than ranking them or creating an equivalent ad value or monetary equivalent.
This process is designed to help you know where to focus next.
The Link Evaluation Process: Getting Started
The Perception score is the qualitative data in our formula. It’s data that comes from a human, not a toolset.
Take your list of sites and influencers and evaluate them based on how relevant they are to your current outreach. We use a scale of 1-100, with 100 being the perfect link and 1 being not relevant at all.
For example, if you are running a site selling online training to insurance sales professionals, a link from a site that outlines the latest insurance training techniques would score very high – taking into consideration whether the site is a competitor.
On the other hand, a site that focuses on fly fishing might contain some of your audience, but a link there will not be as relevant. Notice I didn’t say valuable.
The fly fishing site may be of value – but it’s not as relevant as the insurance site.
Relevance is part of the formula, but not the whole. And relevancy does not always equal value.
We want to assign how difficult we anticipate it will be to obtain a link on a site. As you build links, your experience will help guide you on this metric – and it’s never perfect.
In fact, I recommend you change this metric on your list as you learn more about the site. This is an ongoing evaluation – not a one-time score.
For this metric, we use a scale of 1-50, with 50 being a link that extremely easy to obtain (think a link you can place yourself) and a publication like The Wall Street Journal being at the bottom end of the scale.
Some items to consider when scoring the difficulty of a site include:
How often the site publishes.
The number of visitors a site receives each month (be careful here though, some sites receive lots of traffic to certain sections and no traffic to others).
Relationships with your competitors.
The use of nofollow links on the site.
The propensity of the influencers that write for the site to engage with their audience.
This metric is hard to get right – in fact, you’ll probably never nail it right on the head. But getting in the ballpark is usually all you need to do.
The Relevancy Score and Difficulty score combine to create the qualitative portion of our evaluation. We call this the perception score.
If you are concerned that your perception score is either biased or otherwise incorrect, you can utilize intercoder reliability.
Intercoder reliability is a fancy way of saying use three people to do the evaluation.
By taking three scores and averaging them, you are more likely to come up with a number that is in the ballpark of accurate.
Hard Number Score
Back in the day, sites were priced almost exclusively on their PageRank – a number we all saw in a little green bar that Google provided to us in their toolbar. This was highly inaccurate data and really didn’t tell us much, but that’s how the marketplace worked.
PageRank was a “hard number” that was the agreed upon metric for link evaluation. With the proliferation of tools like Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs, and others, we actually have more hard numbers than we did back then.
We use Moz’s metrics, specifically the metrics in Moz’s Open Site Explorer, for our evaluations.
Note: some of these metrics require a subscription to Moz, which I highly recommend to anyone in SEO. You can get similar data from the other tools, so use that you prefer.
But to get the right data, you’re probably going to need to sign up for a subscription. You get what you pay for.
The first metric in the hard score that we look at is Domain Authority (DA). This can be a misleading metric for several sites, especially if the site has sections that are more popular than others.
If there are specific sections of a site where you envision your links appearing, you will need to look at the Page Authority (PA) of the pages in the section – but for most sites, DA, while an imperfect metric, is fine.
If you do need to use PA, it may mess up the formula a bit – but usually not enough to matter. Just make sure to pay close attention to any site where you are using PA instead of DA.
Next, we look at the established links metrics. Basically, we are looking to see how many links a site has.
The number of root domains is typically the most valuable metric when evaluating a link.
I typically only use the Total Links metric as a tiebreaker.
Identifying Spam Sites
Look closely at the difference between the Root Domains and the Total Links. A large differential can indicate that the site may have some SEO issues.
Looking at this differential alongside Moz’s Spam Analysis can help you avoid targeting links that may harm your site.
Every client’s risk tolerance is different, so there isn’t a magic number that tells you if a site is spammy – but if you suspect it might be spam, probably best to avoid it.
Weighing the Metrics
Now it’s time to put all of our data together and create evaluation scores. To do this, we need to weight each metric in order to come up with our final score.
There is no “wrong” way to weigh these metrics, as long as the end score helps you to prioritize which links to spend resources obtaining first.
First, you need to take the sites and compare the Root Domains, ranking them highest to lowest according to the Root Domains metric.
Then divide the sites into groups of 10. If you are evaluating less than 10 sites, each site will be its own group.
Label the groups from 1-10, with 10 being the sites with the highest number of links and 1 being the group with the lowest number of links.
If you have less than 10 total sites, label your highest site as a 10 and then count down from there. We call this the Root Domain Metric.
Next, take the Domain Authority of each site and add the domain authority number and the root domain metric together and then divide by 2. The reason we divide by 2 is that we feel that these metrics are half as indicative of the value of a site vs. the qualitative metrics. This number is called the “hard number score”.
Now we move on to the qualitative, or as we call it, the Perception Number score. This is simple to do. Just add the Relevancy score and the Difficulty score.
The thinking behind this is that Relevancy is twice as important as difficulty in link evaluation, hence the reason we measure relevance with a scale of 1-100 and difficulty with a scale of 1-50. But also, the easier a link is to obtain, the better – hence the reason we rank easy sites at the higher end of the difficulty scale.
In the end, you’ll add the perception score and the hard number score to get an overall link evaluation score. The higher scoring sites should be the ones first on your list.
As digital marketing undergoes a rapid transformation, link building remains extremely important. Yet, it feels like the one practice that remains stuck in the mud of the ‘old ways.’
A number of useful third-party tools and software can help you better understand the SEO value of backlinks, as well as layer additional information such as organic search traffic, keyword rankings, and traffic value.
Yet I’ve found that relying solely on one tool or misusing them can lead to poor SEO results and ineffective link building.
So, what is the proper use of these tools and how do we determine authority?
Furthermore, what link building strategies should you still leverage and how can we use these tools to improve our campaigns?
Leveraging Software to Analyze High-Quality Link
We tend to rely heavily on third-party tools to determine link quality, as Google shrouds its algorithms in secrecy.
Software allows us to decipher whether earning a link from any particular site is worth the effort, while also providing important information about how Google evaluates the quality of links pointing to our site.
There are many options when it comes to analyzing links, but some of the most popular include:
Before they start building links, many SEO pros tend to qualify (or disqualify) a potential link partner based on Moz’s popular Domain Authority (DA) tool. DA offers an aggregate of different onsite and offsite SEO data to evaluate the trust of a domain using a 1-100 scale.
It’s important to keep in mind that DA is only a barometer of how well a domain stacks up to others. While convenient for reporting and evaluating progress, DA should not be followed blindly.
Moreover, it’s become increasingly popular for businesses to ask link building agencies specifically for links based on DA only (i.e., we’ll take 5 links of DA 50 or higher) – this approach can be potentially futile.
To demonstrate the risk of using only DA to judge prospective link partners, I’d like to share one example of a travel website that my agency encountered recently while conducting research for client link building.
My link building team encountered the website after researching potential link partners in the travel sector.
According to Moz, the DA of the prospective link partner is 50. Most experienced link builders would consider this an authoritative and attractive link to acquire. In some cases, a DA this high would be enough to devise a strategy to earn the link.
But not so quick.
Using SEMrush to look closer at this potential link partner we set out to ask:
Does this site receive a minimum standard of organic traffic (i.e., 1,000 monthly unique visitors)?
What about a minimum standard around traffic value (i.e., $1,000 in traffic value)?
Note that having organic search traffic suggests that earning a link from the site will likely have benefits outside of simply earning a link.
Organic traffic is also a direct indicator whether Google sees the site as authoritative and rewards it with keyword rankings that lead to qualified traffic generation.
With a DA of 50, one would expect the website to have considerable organic search traffic. However, SEMrush suggests that is not the case as the site, at best, received only a few hundred visitors per month.
Looking even deeper, you see that the “Traffic Cost” (defined by SEMrush as the estimated amount the site would need to pay to receive the traffic if it was paid search) is $11.
This quick analysis highlights that DA alone is not a good enough metric to judge a potential link partner. In this case, the site in question appears to be of low quality and is unlikely to pass much authority to your website (or to our client’s website).
To be fair, the site has considerable links pointing to it (2,200 referring domains) and at one point the site did have more traffic, but the site has not seen substantial organic traffic numbers in nearly five years. That’s why it’s vital to look beyond just DA when looking at the prospect of a link partner.
This is not an isolated example either.
When conducting searches for broken links, resource links, guest posting opportunities, and other strategies, we have encountered hundreds of poor sites that Moz, Ahrefs, and Majestic labeled as authoritative.
There are other considerations when using third-party tools like Moz, SEMrush, and others.
Many of these third-party tools don’t offer much of the same data for each KPI. Only SEMrush and Majestic gave us the same total number of fresh backlinks to the domain. This is because the tools refresh data infrequently and rely on incomplete data sets.
Therein lies the problem with most link building strategies today.
If we purely followed the DA of this site or Majestic’s Trust Flow, got a link, and reported it to a client, would it be of any value? Would algorithms as advanced as Google’s even count this link as equity to your site?
While these metrics serve as a good barometer for how your domain compares to others, don’t follow them blindly for link building reports or even identifying placements.
Moreover, you shouldn’t rely on any single software. Instead, use multiple ones in tandem to provide more accurate assumptions as to link authority.
This is not to speak negatively of these tools. They are important to link building and should be used together to identify high-quality placements.
Evaluating High-Quality Link Authority
This leaves us with interesting questions:
What exactly makes a high-quality link?
Does a branded (but nofollowed) link from a Search Engine Journal contribution reduce its importance?
The answer does not need to be complicated. In fact, a high-quality link should be one that comes from a high-quality site.
Obviously, quality is subjective, but here are some of my thoughts on what I believe makes a site qualitative:
Contains consistent readership or traffic flow.
Houses editorial staff that reviews content before publishing.
Ranks for valuable, relevant keywords in its industry niche.
Offers value to visitors, either through service or thought leadership.
Considered an authority in your industry.
Relevant to your niche.
I’m sure most of us would agree that a young website with consistent readership and thought leadership would be considered a great link placement opportunity. Not only would you acquire additional traffic flow, but also more exposure for your brand.
Yet, young domains don’t start off with an established DA or Trust Flow, so would you really go out and grab it for a client?
I understand that most agencies have an established DA minimum of x>25 for all link placements to prevent spam. But does this also blind us from good link building opportunities?
For instance, I personally believe that a geographically relevant link with a sub DA of 25 may send a stronger ranking signal to Google than a DA 50+ that isn’t geographically relevant.
Blindly following these third-party metrics distorts our mission of actually pursuing good marketing strategies, like influencer marketing, developing link-worthy onsite content, or building links on high-quality sites that only offer nofollow attributes.
Sure, placing a link on a DA of 88 makes your agency look like it’s top notch. But how much is it serving the client if that link is:
Irrelevant to their niche.
Offering little to no value to their industry.
The number of unique referring domains to a site is crucial to link building success. Even if you acquired more links from the same domain it would be beneficial if it was of high quality. But I see clients get burnt a lot because agencies simply follow the wrong strategies.
Why? They keep relying on the wrong metrics.
The Proper Uses of Proprietary Metrics
Before we get too far off track, you’re probably wondering what the proper uses of DA and Trust Flow should be. Honestly, whatever tools you use is up to you and there are many, but I stress using multiple tools for identifying placements and tracking progress.
A metric like DA is great for insight and maybe even the initial audit of a site, but it should not be used exclusively to identify placements. More importantly, it should not be used to track campaign progress month-to-month.
A tool like Ahrefs is good for tracking ongoing link placements and velocity, since it’s the most dynamic. It’s even great for identifying placements. But used solely, you’ll more likely get greater KPIs from a link farm than a legitimate domain.
Use multiple tools to provide a gather a more comprehensive view of a target domain. In terms of reporting, you could rely on a number of KPIs, such as Trust Flow and DA to provide a more dynamic report. Just relay the fact that links take a while to actually pass equity to your site and that these tools all use different databases to come up with their proprietary metrics.
Highlight the barebones of the campaign from the number of new unique referring domains to any additional traffic flow or conversions that could be attributed to your work.
How much has brand reach increased and how are you working to drive eyeballs to their content?
While it’s hard to relay the importance of links in reporting, it’s up to agencies to create a narrative that does highlight the value that a new link has provided.
High-Quality Link Building Strategies
With this said, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some high-authority link building strategies that do add value to your website.
The best way to conduct a link building campaign is to go about it organically. Going out and snagging a guest post for your client is beneficial to your campaign, but it can also be expensive and labor intensive.
A more cost-effective and efficient strategy would be to craft quality content that other websites and publications want to link to. Instead of manual outreach with guest submissions to external domains, why not reach out to other websites to link to already existing content?
Here are some examples of link-worthy content:
White papers with original research
Interviews with celebrities, influencers, or industry thought leaders
Q&A roundups with thought leaders in your industry
Industry benchmarks, trends, and data
One of my favorite examples of organic link building is HubSpot’s blog. Every year they publish marketing statistics and infographics of the latest trends in SEO and social media that I often reference in my pieces.
In fact, it’s one of the first places I look when I seek out a statistic that can help prove my point. Whether they publish these to acquire links is unknown, but it certainly works.
You need to get content discovered before it can be linked back to. This involves a number of promotional strategies, such as sharing over social media, posting in forums, and direct outreach to other industry bloggers.
Leverage link bait content on your site to build relationships and become a resource where other thought leaders and bloggers will turn for information.
If you’re looking to drive more eyeballs to your onsite content, influencer marketing is a great way to reach a larger audience that aligns with your own.
In terms of traditional link building, links from influencer blogs may seem like low authority, but they have more benefits then just a link. For one, influencers often share content over a variety of channels. Beyond this, you can set up relationships with influencers to directly promote your brand for you.
Influencer audiences are:
Whether it’s direct or indirect promotion, influencer marketing is one of my favorite strategies to increase brand exposure for a client.
This effectively drives more traffic to their website, nurtures conversions, and serves as a mention – which we believe factors into Google’s algorithm – that can also come with a juicy hyperlink.
Using a variety of tools, my team has used influencer marketing to offer a new approach to link building. By setting up relationships with influencers, we can leverage a largely untapped market to promote our brand and our clients’ to people active in that niche.
While this strategy is traditional, I still believe that guest posting and contributor accounts are important to your underlying link building strategy. Not only does this offer link building opportunities for you and clients, it’s also a way to craft thought leadership and authority for the author and brand.
With greater authority, people are more likely to look toward your content in the future for reference and understanding of a topic.
Focus on Branding
This leads me to my last link building strategy. Your link building campaign shouldn’t be solely focused on improving keyword ranking. While important, link building should also seek to advance you or your clients’ brand.
This includes everything from getting brand mentions across the internet via contextual citations, direct influencer marketing, or crafting an authoritative guest post.
Brand building increases exposure to your brand and provides social proof for your content. This, in turn, has the potential to get you more followers over social channels and direct traffic through bookmarks and direct brand recall.
If the goal of link building is to provide better opportunities for webpages to rank in a keyword search, then increasing direct traffic is maybe just as important as acquiring more backlinks. Although, their strategies are one in the same.
Use proprietary tools to seek out authoritative domains with large readership and thought leadership to build relationships with, publish content on, and give your brand some much needed visibility.
Even if Google’s algorithms are dynamic, backlinks still serve an important function in ranking.
Backlinks are still vital to increasing keyword rank, but acquiring five or 10 links a month from irrelevant or low quality sites will only significantly impact rankings when all other factors remain equal.
SEO is competitive, which is why a poor link building campaign won’t increase your DA when other websites are outperforming yours.
For those of us with clients in a competitive niche, the strategies I outlined earlier are a great way to acquire high volume backlinks, while also advancing your brand. They are also more cost-effective.
DA and Trust Flow are great barometers to measure comparative success, but not necessarily campaign progress. When we follow one metric blindly, SEO ceases to be an organic and creative process, but rather a mechanical operation where paid links are the norm and good marketing strategies fall by the wayside.
Why 3 Major Factors of SEO: Authority, Relevance, and Trust are Important?
Search engines use content and links to assess the authority, relevance, and trust of websites. Here’s what you need to do to earn that authority, relevance, and trust for SEO success.
For just a moment, remember a time before the Internet and search engines.
What did we do if we needed information?
In most cases, we began our own quest for a source to supply the needed information.
Let’s say you wanted to know the difference between Einstein’s General and Special Theories of Relativity.
You could ask your next-door neighbor, but you probably wouldn’t – unless you happened to know that your neighbor was a physicist, a science teacher, or was at least well-read on the topic.
If you had access to a nearby university, you might seek out a physics professor to get your question answered.
Alternatively, you could go to a library and ask the librarian to recommend the best book on relativity.
In each of those cases, you’re making a decision about authority.
You know the closer the connection of your information source to deep knowledge about physics, the more likely you are to get a good answer.
In other words: You want the most authoritative answer, which will come from the most authoritative source.
Of course, we need more than information. Sometimes we need stuff!
Say you’re looking for a new dishwasher. Before the web, you might have picked up a copy of Consumer Reports. Or you might have asked friends or neighbors if they were happy with a particular brand. Unlike the physics example, in this case people you know might actually be good authoritative sources.
As soon as it was apparent that the World Wide Web was going to become the major repository for human knowledge – not to mention the primary source for products, services, entertainment, and much else – the need for search engines was obvious.
Search engines help connect us with authoritative sources for our questions and needs, whether that’s a physics professor’s blog or dishwasher reviews by real users.
There were a few early attempts to do human indexing and categorization of webpages, but it didn’t take long to realize that effort would never keep up with the growth of the web.
Modern search engines use complex algorithms to find, read, and ascertain the topicality of webpages. They can then match those pages with search queries looking for the information they contain.
In other words, search engines are trying to find the most authoritative (and relevant) sources to match the query.
For any given query, there are typically a great many pages that potentially satisfy that query.
Users expect the search engine to take the role of the knowledgeable librarian and direct them to the best pages for the query.
That’s a judgment, then, of the relative authority for the topic of the query of all the possible pages, so search engines must be able to assess that relevance and authority at a huge scale.
How Search Engines Evaluate Authority
In reality, modern search engines such as Google use hundreds of factors (or signals) when evaluating the authority and relevance of webpages, but we can boil them down to two main categories:
Links (external citation authority).
First, a search engine must read and analyze the actual content and other features on a page.
From this, the engine associates relevant topics with the page.
In the early days, on-page assessment pretty much ended there, but now search engines are much more sophisticated in being able to analyze a page’s language, structure and other features to determine things like how completely the page addresses a topic and how useful it might be to a visitor.
Once the search engine understands the page and adds it to its index, it turns next to external signals that help validate and gauge the level of authority of the page for any given topic.
Ever since the invention of PageRank by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, links have been the primary signal used for such assessment.
Search engines use links much like we might treat scholarly citations. The more scholarly papers relevant to a source document that cite it, the better.
The relative authority and trustworthiness of each of the citing source comes into play as well.
In the next two sections, we will go into more depth about how search engines use content and links to assess authority, as well as what you need to do to gain such authority for your own site.
The essential insight behind this paper was that the web is built on the notion of documents inter-connected with each other via links.
Since putting a link on your site to a third-party site might cause a user to leave your site, there was little incentive for a publisher to link to another site, unless it was really good and of great value to their site’s users.
In other words, linking to a third-party site acts a bit like a “vote” for it, and each vote could be considered an endorsement, endorsing the page the link points as one of the best resources on the web for a given topic.
Then, in principle, the more votes you get, the better and the more authoritative a search engine would consider you to be, and you should therefore rank higher.
A significant piece of the initial Google algorithm was based on the concept of PageRank, a system for evaluating which pages are the most important based on scoring the links they receive.
So a page that has large quantities of valuable links pointing to it will have a higher PageRank, and in principle will be likely to rank higher in the search results than other pages without as high a PageRank score.
When a page links to another page, it passes a portion of its PageRank to the page it links to. Thus, pages accumulate more PageRank based on the number and quality of links they receive.
Let’s use our intuition for a moment.
Imagine you have a page that’s selling a book, and it gets two links. One is from Joe’s Book Store, and the other one is from Amazon. It’s pretty obvious which one you would value more as a user, right? As users, we recognize that Amazon has more authority on this topic.
As it turns out, the web has recognized this as well, and Amazon has a much more powerful link profile (and higher PageRank) than any other site involved in selling books.
As a result, it has much higher PageRank, and can pass more PageRank to the pages that it links to.
It’s important to note that Google’s algorithms have evolved a long way from the original PageRank thesis.
The way that links are evaluated has changed in significant ways – some of which we know, and some of which we don’t.
We’ll discuss the role of relevance in the next section.
The Role of Relevance
You have to be relevant to a given topic.
If you have a page about Tupperware, it doesn’t matter how many links you get – you’ll never rank for queries related to used cars.
This defines a limitation on the power of links as a ranking factor, and it shows how relevance also impacts the value of a link.
Consider a page on a site that is selling a used Ford Mustang. Imagine that it gets a link from Car and Driver magazine. That link is highly relevant.
Also, think of this intuitively. Is it likely that Car and Driver magazine has some expertise related to Ford Mustangs? Of course, they do.
In contrast, imagine a link to that Ford Mustang from a site that usually writes about sports. Is the link still helpful? Probably, but not as helpful, because there is less evidence to Google that the sports site has a lot of knowledge about used Ford Mustangs.
In short, the relevance of the linking page, and the linking site, impacts how valuable a link might be considered.
Google Doesn’t Publish PageRank, So What can We Do?
Google used to make a version of PageRank visible to users of the Google Toolbar, but they no longer do that. Instead, many SEO professionals use third-party metrics, such as:
Domain Authority and Page Authority from Moz.
Citation Flow and Trust Flow from Majestic.
Domain Rank and URL Rank from Ahrefs.
Each of these metrics does a good job of helping you evaluate the merits of a page and offering a working estimate for how much PageRank it has to pass.
Still, you should understand that these are only back-engineered estimates of how authoritative Google sees the domain or page, and not actual representations of PageRank.
It’s also important to be aware that none of these tools provide a complete picture of all links on the web.
Unlike Google, these tools do not have the infrastructure required to crawl the entire web, so they instead focus on discovering a significant sample of the links to a given site or page.
The Role of Anchor Text
Anchor text is another aspect of links that matters to Google.
The anchor text helps Google confirm what the content on the page receiving the link is about.
For example, if the anchor text is the phrase “iron bathtubs” and the page has content on that topic, the anchor text plus the link acts as further confirmation that the page is about that topic. Thus the links act to evaluate both the relevance and authority of the page.
Be careful, though, as you don’t want to go aggressively obtaining links to your page that all use your main key phrase as the anchor text.
Google also looks for signs that you are manually manipulating links for SEO purposes. One of the simplest indicators is if your anchor text looks manually manipulated.
The Concept of Trust
You may hear many people talk about the role of trust in search rankings and in evaluating link quality.
For the record, Google says they don’t have a concept of trust they apply to links (or ranking), so you should take those discussions with many grains of salt.
These discussions began because of a Yahoo patent on the concept of TrustRank.
The idea was that if you started with a seed set of hand-picked, highly trusted sites, and you then counted the number of clicks it took you to go from those sites to yours, the fewer clicks the more trusted your site was.
Google has long said they don’t use this type of metric.
However, in April 2018, Google was granted a patent related to evaluating the trustworthiness of links. But the existence of a granted patent does not mean it’s used in practice.
For your own purposes, however, if you want to assess the trustworthiness of a site as a source of a link, using the trusted links concept is not a bad idea.
If they do any of the following, then it probably isn’t a good source for a link:
Sell links to others.
Have less than great content.
Otherwise don’t appear reputable.
Google may not be calculating trust the way you do in your analysis, but chances are good that some other aspect of their system will devalue that link anyway.
Fundamentals of Earning & Attracting Links
Now that you know that obtaining links to your site is critical to SEO success, it’s time to start putting together a plan to get some.
The key to success is understanding that Google wants this entire process to be holistic.
Google actively discourages, and in some cases punishes, schemes to get links in an artificial way. This means certain practices are seen as bad, such as:
Buying links for SEO purposes.
Going to forums and blogs and adding comments with links back to your site.
Hacking people’s sites and injecting links into their content.
Distributing poor quality infographics or widgets that include links back to your pages.
Offering discount codes or affiliate programs as a way to get links.
And, many other schemes where the resulting links are artificial in nature.
What Google really wants is for you to make a fantastic website, and promote it effectively, with the result that you earn or attract links.
So how do you do that?
The first key insight is to understand who it is that might link to content that you create.
Here is a chart that profiles the major groups of people in any given market space:
Who do you think are the people that might implement links?
It’s certainly not the laggards, and it’s also not the early or late majority.
It’s the innovators and early adopters. These are the people who write on media sites, or have blogs, and who might add links to your site.
There are also other sources of links, such as locally-oriented sites, such as the local chamber of commerce or local newspapers.
You might also find some opportunities with colleges and universities if they have pages that relate to some of the things you’re doing in your market space.
Create Expert Content
Now that we know who the potential linkers are, the next step is to create content to which they want to link.
It’s pretty easy for them to find better content than yours on the web, if it exists.
The best way to cope with that reality is to create expert content. If you can do this, your chances of getting people to link to you go way up.
People want to be part of sharing expert content with their friends and their followers online. And, if they write on a media site or on a blog, some of them will want to write about it as well.
If you want this to have a huge impact on your SEO, then start thinking about creating “Elite Content” or “10X Content” (i.e., content that is 10 times better than anything else ever published on the topic before).
This is content that causes you to be seen as a thought leader, and it’s the best type of content to create to boost your online reputation, visibility, and SEO.
Trust & Relationships
This all sounds good, but it’s not enough to publish great stuff.
If people don’t trust you, or if they’re not willing to take a chance on you, progress will be much slower.
It’s important to realize that any given marketplace represents an ecosystem. If you’re seen as only looking out for yourself, people will be slow to support you.
Instead, find ways to work the ecosystem.
Help others out on social media.
Respond to comments in your social media feeds, and on posts that you publish online.
Go to conferences and make completely non-commercial presentations that inform the audience on topics of interest in your market.
Go to local events and share advice and counsel.
Become an active and contributing member of the community (that forms your marketplace), and actively share the smart advice and contributions of others.
If you share and link to great content that others publish, the chances that they will share and link to your content goes way up.
Bylined Articles (Guest Posts) & Publishing on Third Party Sites
Publishing content on third-party sites (a.k.a., Guest Blogging) can be a smart thing to do, too.
Consider trying to get a column on a major media site that covers your market niche. This will certainly contribute to your reputation as an expert and help with your reputation and visibility.
Also, most media sites will give you an attribution link at the bottom of each article, or they’ll give you an author bio page that links back to you as well.
These types of bylined articles can be invaluable in driving SEO benefits.
Be careful, though, to focus on the high end of potential target sites.
If 100 sites cover your market, then there are no more than 20, possibly 30 targets, that will do, and it’s the top 20 or 30 sites in your space.
How do you get there?
Ah yes, we’re back to your ability to create expert content again!
The Role of Social Media
If you’re able to leverage a strong social media presence, you can expose your content to a large number of people.
However, this depends on your building a positive image with that audience.
If you do that through positive interactions with your community, including the pre-existing influencers in the community, you have a strong chance of netting good results.
Obtaining good results from social media depends on creating the right types of content.
A study by Moz and BuzzSumo analyzed 1 million articles to try to determine the correlation between shares and links. This study showed that across the complete article set, there was almost no correlation at all.
However, a deeper analysis showed that certain types of content performed far better.
In particular, opinion-forming journalism from recognized experts, and data-driven research studies showed a strong correlation between shares and links.
This ties in well with the idea of writing content for innovators and early adopters and recognizing this should be a cornerstone of your overall link-earning/attraction strategy.
Once you have established this position in the market, the role of social media becomes easy. You use it to create exposure to great new content, and the rest takes care of itself!
One final word about social media and link authority:
It is highly unlikely that any major search engines use links in social media posts as an authority signal. They realize that links from social media posts are nowhere near as clear a signal as links from regular websites.
Also, most major social media platforms use a nofollow attribute on outbound links, which tells search engines not to pass any PageRank through the link.
Make use of social media to build your personal and brand authority and trust and to build relationships with relevant influencers, both of which can lead to more opportunities to earn links.
Earlier, we spoke about the role of innovators and early adopters.
Another term people use for these two groups of people is influencers, because others (including your potential customers) are influenced by them.
So social media can help provide visibility for your content, and potentially result in links, but this goes even faster if influencers are involved in sharing your content. Once that starts happening, the growth of your reputation, visibility, and links will accelerate.
Getting influencers interested in sharing your content depends heavily on:
The trust and relationships you build with them.
Your willingness to share/link to their stuff.
The quality of the content you create.
Building a Content Marketing Plan
Last, but certainly not least, create a real plan for your content marketing.
Don’t just suddenly start doing a lot of random stuff. Take the time to study what your competitors are doing so you can invest your content marketing efforts in a way that’s likely to provide a solid ROI.
One approach to doing that is to pull their backlink profiles using Link Explorer, Majestic, and Ahrefs. With this information, you can see what types of links they’ve been getting and then based on that figure out what links you need to get to beat them.
Take the time to do this exercise and also to map which links are going to which pages on the competitors’ sites, as well as what each of those pages rank for.
Building out this kind of detailed view will help you scope out your plan of attack and give you some understanding of what keywords you might be able to rank for.
It’s well worth the effort!
In addition, study the competitor’s content plans.
Learn what they are doing and carefully consider what you can do that’s different.
Focus on developing a very clear differentiation in your content for topics that are in high demand with your potential customers.
This is another investment of time that will be very well spent.
Putting It All Together
In a Google Hangout sponsored, Google engineer Andrey Lipattsev was asked what the top ranking factors are for Google. He replied that the top two were links and content (but not necessarily in that order).
It’s easy to misunderstand that statement (in reality both links and content are probably made up of and influenced by a great many particular factors), but the import of the statement is clear: To do well with search engines, you must have high-quality content and authoritative, relevant links.
Remember where we began this chapter: Search is the quest for authority.
Search engines want happy users who will come back to them again and again when they have a question or need. The way they create and sustain that happiness is by providing the best possible results that satisfy that question or need.
To keep their users happy, search engines must be able to understand and measure the relative authority of webpages for the topics they cover.
When you create content that is highly useful (or engaging or entertaining) to visitors – and when those visitors find your content reliable enough that they would willingly return again to your site, or even seek you out above others – you’ve gained authority.
The search engines work hard at continually improving their ability to match that human quest for trustworthy authority.
As we explained above, that same kind of quality content is key to earning the kinds of links that assure the search engines you should rank highly for relevant searches. That can be either content on your site that others want to link to or content that other quality, relevant sites want to publish, with appropriate links back to your site.
Remember what we said above and treat your SEO as part of an ecosystem:
Serve your audience.
Build relationships (especially with influencers).
Increase the reputation of your brand.
Focusing on these three pillars of SEO – authority, relevance, and trust – will increase the opportunities for your content and make link-earning easier.
You now have everything you need to know for SEO success. So get to work!
Every SEO Expert Needs to Know About DA – Domain Authority
Domain Authority (DA) is Moz’s way of telling us how well a website should rank, using a 0 to 100 scale. The higher the DA, the better chance it has to rank, theoretically. Refer – https://moz.com/learn/seo/domain-authority
Third-party SEO metrics are not the only indicators of a site’s authority and shouldn’t be confused as being actual Google metrics.
I want to preface this article by stating that it could have been written about any SEO tool’s metrics. All the major tools have ways of measuring things that are important to the link builders and SEO professionals of the world.
Domain Authority just happens to be the one that seems to most often be erroneously viewed as being an actual Google metric, at least from my experience.
We do use various metrics, and we used Moz’s metrics for years. The majority of our clients used Moz so we did, too.
Now most of them don’t, for reasons that I’m not privy to, so neither do we.
We use what makes the most sense for us after all. That’s nothing to do with anything else.
Third-Party Metrics Domain Authority (DA) Are Not the Only Indicators of a Site
If you’re going to use a metric, pick one and stick to it, whichever one you prefer.
Just don’t use it as the only indicator of a site.
And please please please don’t confuse it as being an actual Google metric.
In any given month, I’d estimate that 75% of the requests for information that I receive in my Inbox mention Domain Authority.
It varies from “we require DA 50+ links” to “can you guarantee me that all the links will be DA 60 and higher?”
I tried something: responding with “we don’t use those specific metrics” just to see what would happen.
The result? None of the people I said that to responded back to me.
I then tried responding with “we don’t use those metrics and here’s why…” and that generated a fair amount of responses. (The “why” is simply because we use the tools our clients use, just FYI.)
My issue is that no one comes to us with requirements for specific numbers in any other tool.
Why is that?
I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten an email where a potential client demands a certain Topical TrustFlow.
Many will use other tools’ metrics in their set of guidelines for us of course, but no one immediately starts with any other metric besides DA.
Third-Party Metrics Domain Authority (DA) Don’t Equate to PageRank
I recently had a discussion with a potential client where I explained how we analyze a site.
She asked me why we stopped using DA since “it’s the closest thing to Google’s PageRank, right?”
We don’t know that.
That’s the big problem with DA. It doesn’t come from Google.
It comes from a company that has a way of measuring something.
Moz even specifically states that DA is not used by Google.
“Domain Authority is not a metric used by Google in determining search rankings and has no effect on the SERPs.”
Why does this seem to confuse so many?
Part of the issue that (I think) confuses people is the word “authority” and the fact that DA is, obviously, Domain Authority. That word is very powerful and they were wise to use it for marketing.
When people talk about authority, they are talking about a concept that can’t immediately and easily be measured.
Mark Traphagen has a great article that dives in deep to authority. This bit, in particular, stands out to me:
“Google used to make a version of PageRank visible to users of the Google Toolbar, but they no longer do that. Instead, many SEO professionals use third-party metrics, such as:
Domain Authority and Page Authority from Moz.
Citation Flow and Trust Flow from Majestic.
Domain Rank and URL Rank from Ahrefs.
Each of these metrics does a good job of helping you evaluate the merits of a page and offering a working estimate for how much PageRank it has to pass.
Still, you should understand that these are only back-engineered estimates of how authoritative Google sees the domain or page, and not actual representations of PageRank.
It’s also important to be aware that none of these tools provide a complete picture of all links on the web. Unlike Google, these tools do not have the infratructure required to crawl the entire web, so they instead focus on discovering a significant sample of the links to a given site or page.”
These are “not actual representations of PageRank.”
That’s the critical bit.
Google’s John Mueller even told us that Domain Authority is “a tool by Moz.”
A couple of days ago, I was doing discovery for a super picky (and long-term) client who automatically discounts sites if they don’t meet his minimum metric.
I found five really great sites that ranked in the top 30 for my target keywords.
To me, all of them looked like good placements that I would expect the client to like. However, sadly none of them met his criteria given for metrics.
In this case, it wasn’t Domain Authority, it was Majestic’s TrustFlow. I decided to ask a friend to look up the DA on these and it was low on all of them.
But the sites were ranking well and after looking at traffic estimates, their traffic seemed healthy.
Why wouldn’t I want a link on a site that ranked well and got good traffic?
Oh right, the metrics weren’t good enough.
(I’ve stated my case to this client – and many others – about being such a stickler for metrics above all else, but he’s one who won’t budge.)
A while back, Moz updated their Domain Authority to make it more accurate and help weed out spammier sites.
Around a month ago when I still used Moz, I grabbed a small list of sites that we had in our Do Not Contact Database and checked to see what their DA was now.
I’d expected the DA to be very low on these sites as many of them are in our database because they are constantly spamming everyone with emails offering to sell links and almost all of them openly sell links on their sites.
Surprisingly, about 75% of them still had a DA higher than 30.
At the time I entered them into this database, I recorded their current DA and most of them stayed within a few points of that original DA, years later.
What Does That Tell You?
When we conduct manual discovery (meaning my team searches the web for something just like you would), we also see a lot of sites that have a great DA, terrible DR (Ahref’s Domain Rating metric), and completely unusual Topical TrustFlow.
We see some low DA sites that look great in Majestic and Ahrefs.
We see some that look good or bad across all three tools.
Some sites have great metrics and are deindexed in Google.
Some have zero traffic or steep declines but still, the DA is good!
Our general rule is to go to the 10th page in the SERPs, meaning we’re looking at the top 100 sites. Many of these sites with mixed or poor metrics are in the top 30. We even see this in the top 10 at times.
You Can’t Judge a Site Based on a Single MetricDomain Authority (DA)
You simply cannot judge a site by its DA, or by its DR, or by its anything else that’s just one metric.
Even if we knew Google’s PageRank for a site, that shouldn’t be used as the most important metric when you’re deciding whether you’d like a link there.
They’re all great metrics, but site analysis is not that black and white.
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The initial along with the most apparent advantage is time-saving. A good SEO device does your 3-hour manual perform in 3 minutes. Time is capital, they say. Save your time, conserve your dollars.
2. SEO tools make your SEO hassle-free
SEO application automates your SEO do the job at each and every step, to ensure that it turns into additional successful and much better organized.
3. SEO tools allow you to perform different jobs concurrently
SEO software package is an indispensable assistant that permits you to execute many tasks concurrently, producing your perform numerous occasions much more productive.
4. SEO tools use established SEO approaches that give success
SEO computer software is depending on time-proven SEO techniques that definitely give benefits. You won’t invest your time in vain by using ineffective solutions of SEO promotion.
5. They conserve your function from human factor relevant blunders
Human beings are susceptible to doing blunders, especially when distracted. Now headache, spouse and children row or interesting TV-program is unlikely to affect your SEO instrument.
Your SEO is protected against mistakes which can price you substantially.
6. They mechanically save your get the job done history
An SEO instrument collects and presents the knowledge in your SEO marketing campaign achievement around a time frame. It keeps you informed, no matter whether you happen to be moving inside the right direction or not and suggests when anything should be to be changed.
7. They let you review information
Best SEO software generates clear reviews that allow you to not simply see the outcomes, but review each and every step you take, which can be vital to your SEO achievement, and share your do the job which has a colleague or a buddy…
8. SEO tools can be scheduled to do the job on autopilot
Often SEO software package (for instance SEO PowerSuite) is often scheduled to perform the tasks on autopilot. You have your time to expend it on no matter what you would like.
9. They may be more affordable then SEO companies’ service
Even essentially the most high priced SEO device is lots of occasions cheaper then companies from professional SEOs that might price you some $4,000 month-to-month. Besides, it would seem pretty illogical to spend some guys for employing the same tools you could use by yourself.
10. SEO tools get adjusted to SEO setting modifications
Software program builders preserve track of any SEO atmosphere modifications and get their software program adjusted. And you don’t ought to pay to an SEO organization time and again, or study tons of articles on these changes yourself.
These are just a few benefits you get from using SEO software program for web site promotion. Pick out the suitable instrument and you’ll uncover other substantial advantages it has. Save your time and get to Google’s top rated palms down.
Why We Need to Do Off-Page ASO – App Store Optimization for App Ranking?
App Store Optimization, also known as ASO, is relatively young and common best practices are still being ironed out. We have written a blog on some of the important On-Page or App Store Listing optimization, but what about the “Off-Page” factors?
Similar to SEO, there are certain aspects outside of your listing that will improve your app ranking. These may not have as direct an impact as the main elements such as app description, title or use of keywords, but it is essential to having a complete optimization strategy.
App Store Backlinks
Building backlinks for app store links is a great way of raising your app store URL’s authority:
As you can see from the above image, the iOS app store listing has gained a trust flow of 14 and a Citation flow of 12 due to the backlinks currently pointing to that listing. With apps becoming even more prominent in regular desktop and mobile Google searches, this is a great way of indicating that app is reputable and relevant.
Important: You must make sure that the page sending a backlink is relevant to your app as, with any backlinking, irrelevant backlinks may harm your listing.
App Landing Page on Site
A landing page is one of your most important assets. As apps move into desktop and mobile searches, it’s important for your app to be a prominent feature on your site. Your landing page should include links to your listings, as well as clear descriptions of your app functions.
Having your app link on your webpage will also increase web links to your store, another off-page ranking factor.
Downloads and Uninstalls
Having a high-quality app listing is great, especially if your app is also of high quality.
Your app usage metrics are another major factor that Amazon, Apple and Android take into account when judging the quality of an app and where they should be placed in the app stores.
An app with a high download rate indicates high popularity and will be preferred by app stores.
How to achieve this:
Have an app that is useful, fun or high quality
Paid promotion (app, social, ppc)
App stores like apps with a healthy stream of daily downloads and they are more likely to feature these on the app home page, which in turn will attract more downloads.
However, if people are downloading your app and a large percentage are uninstalling, this shows that your app is either poor quality or not as described in the app listing. A high uninstall rate will lead to your app being penalised, and at the end of the day no app store wants bad apps at the top.
Complex on boarding process
App size too large (over 100mb)
Cross Channel Promotion
If you’re an app based company it’s natural that you’ll promote it across all channels, but if an app is only one of your products, are you doing the same?
Cross channel promotion will ensure your customer base knows about your app and allows the opportunity to be shared outside of your direct reach.
The second most popular app referral source is word of mouth. How can you leverage this?
Email campaigns to current clients
Sharing campaign on social
Include app link in email signatures
Allow people to share app link easy (e.g. like Uber)
These are 4 ways to optimize your Off-page ASO, but there are so many more techniques that I’ve yet to mention.
Most Important Things While Doing Off-Page ASO
While starting any Advertisement campaign for your app, prior to that you need to analyze your TG – Targeted Group of people with Gender, Age Group, Region, Language, Tier Cities, Their Potential Capacity, Interest, Hobbies, Habits, common routine, etc. If you did market survey research then well & good by which you can understand your Targeted Group People to whom you can focus to boost your app installs at first level.
While focusing on 1st level you have to monitor & keep changing scenarios of above mentioned parameter’s combination ON-OFF to find the best output results, even focusing on results you have to keep monitoring many app parameters to be maintain few of them are App Installs & Uninstalls Ratio, App uninstallation period, more positive App Reviews & Star Ratings on which TGP – Targeted Group Parameter’s combination, More positive App reviews containing service keywords, More potential app users will get if your ad focusing is near to user’s need, Users app using time should be higher (User engagement), CTR – Click through ratio of visitors should be high which improve your app ranking drastically at the same time app Installation & uninstallation Ratio & time has to be low, Ad’s keyword click ratio should be higher than impression (ratio should be high), After ad click User app description page read duration should be high (on-page user engagement), Ad’s Keywords clicks to App download conversion ratio, Low App Size in Mb, App UI & UX should be user friendly to decrease app installation Ratio & Period, Daily app visitors count, Organic search app ranking, count, clicks to conversion ratio and most important Backlinks to app link.
While generating Backlinks for app link, always need to be focus, above mentioned many parameters also affected during backlinks. Don’t generate backlinks to increase the backlinks count be specific & focus to generate quality & targeted potential app visitors which will get converted into potential app users for long term. That’s why generating quality backlinks are most important thing in off-page ASO.
YGOSEO is the outstanding app store optimization company offering best ASO service in India with POC – Proof of Concept, having practical knowledge to promote android app at top 3, 5 & 10 ranking on Google app store with maximum 200 of the targeted keywords.
Some Business owners are now well informed about the importance of online local business directories, but some business owners neglect the benefits of listing their business in an online business directory. Many folks believe that online local listing directories are a digital version of the yellow pages, but that is not true at all. These are comprehensive platforms that allow potential customers, business owners, and professionals to identify and contact the businesses that matter to them. Online local listings directories are the sites where you can have all the information and browse pages to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Provide Most Necessary Information About Your Business
The local listings sites utilize information about businesses such as name, address, phone number (NAP), and other most necessary data that is required to identify that the business is legit and trustworthy. No doubt that online business directory listings can do wonders for your business if the information you provided is authentic.
A Great Platform For Your Business Information
Local business listing directory is a platform for your business to update your information, publish offers and collect customer reviews. Examples include Google my business, yahoo business, Bing for business, HighFive Listings, and many more. You can add every type of information about your business.
Business Directories Are Good Source Of Advertisement
There was a period when directories were just a place to drop links to your website. This is not what directories make up these days. You not only leave tiny, subtle links on a huge web page but also an entire emblem that will act as a promotion of your website. This gives you greater visual visibility to fascinate your potential customers to find out what your business has to offer.
Provides Edge On Competitors
If you are a startup facing larger companies, the competition can be very tough and the budget is very low. Online marketing is growing rapidly and is becoming a major advertising medium in this high competition software and digital marketing industry. You might have to fork out some money for that ad space, yes, but compared to the cost of advertising on other PR-rich business listing websites, the cost is comparatively lower. This gives you the ability to advertise on a larger scale with minimalistic budget options.
Improve Your Business Effortlessly
You can make your business impact online through a local online business directory. Today, seventy-four percent of the population prefers to search online for a particular service or product locally. For example, if you have been listed in a local online business directory, but your competition has not yet registered, you will receive more calls or service requests than your competitors because of your exposure to thousands of online users.
Enhances Your Visibility
The business listing directory will improve your visibility significantly and you will be capable of reaching specific audiences. Over eighty-one percent of all commercial purchases are made through online research and business directories. So, if you have listed your business in a local business listing directory, you will have a sure edge over your competitors.
Online directories improve the reputation of businesses. Buyers can tell which vendors they trust online and can write a review about businesses.
If a consumer searches online directories for a business. The directory will provide all details about a business, along with the location, images, name, contact information, and all necessary info that helps enhance brand awareness.
Since your business details are available online through directories, the chances of your prospects finding the business are also increased.
Manage Your Information and Rely To Reviews
You can always update your information online if there is a change in your business, services, or products. Keep your business info up to date so customers can find all the necessary details about your business easily. It also prevents your competitors from posting misleading information about your business.
Helps Improve SEO
SEO is not a piece of cake and one without sufficient knowledge can not understand SEO. Unless you’ve learned the refinements of algorithms and the various SEO techniques you can use on your website, you might feel lost in the midpoint of the vast digital world of keywords, optimized content, meta tags descriptions, and many more. These sites have built-in SEO features that fulfill the needs of search engines and help you rank faster.
It Is Economical
Local listings are economical for small businesses trying to enter the high competition software market because it is very cheap to list your business in online business listings.
The local business listing directory provides detailed listing analysis and tools to analyze your products or service market share.
Get Discovered More
Potential buyers consult online business directories to find suppliers, partners, and suppliers. These directories give you every chance to discover and pursue your organization by maximizing visibility through online directories.
Helps In Targeting Local Consumers
One of the most significant benefits of a directory listing is it helps you get the local customer base you are looking for. When you make your business registered in a local directory, your business comes at the top of the search engine ranking pages and the people searching for that specific service in that specific area find it easy to reach you.
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