Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Boosting your Website traffic with blogs and other links

A new client found this advice useful, recently, so here it is for all to share:

(Client: "What are spammy links?")
Google defines ‘spammy’ links as being of low value to human traffic - for example, a page of information about life after death that included a link to website about dish-washers would seem to be a link purely intended for search engines to find, in order to boost the perceived popularity of a site. One or two may happen and will be probably ignored but if Google detects a pattern of these, they will blacklist the recipient website. Be wary of ‘links specialists’ who 'guarantee' page 1 listings in Google and definitely avoid mass linking deals (e.g. 1000 links for £10).

(Client: "Should I write a blog with links to my website?")
A blog is an excellent information tool for generating information that wouldn’t otherwise be on a website. The blog should have value in its own right, not just be a feeder site for your website (surprise! Google doesn’t like this either). Perhaps the blog could cover a number of related topics and guest bloggers could be encouraged to add diversity. (see 'nofollow' links post)

The BPc has a number of clients in divers business sectors and is able to guest-write for each, occasionally cross-referring, where appropriate. If this service may be of interest to you, please get in touch.

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Friday, 1 November 2013

DIY SEO - remember to keep up with Google's guidelines

Although Google maintains that their guidelines remain the same as ever, there have been many interpretations over the years that used to be accepted but are now punishable by long periods in the cooler or even a virtual death.

If your company was ill-advised or given SEO advice more than about 18 months ago, the chances are that the goal-posts may have shifted a little. You need a review of your website content and linking strategy. You can perform your own review.

First, familiarise yourself with the terms Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Rattlesnake (no, not really, I just made that last one up; I've no idea why these names have been chosen).
  • PANDA essentially relates to the quality of the website content
  • PENGUIN relates to the quality of in-links to a website
  • HUMMINGBIRD relates to keyword search terms
Google reckons that Hummingbird shouldn't have a direct impact on SEO but you may want to review the way you present your page content for readability by humans.

Concentrating only on improving your website ranking under current guidelines, we recommend reviewing the following optimisation tasks.

SEO: Quality Content on Website Pages

For each of the important pages on your website, chose a keyword or short key-phrase that describes the most important message that page is going to deliver. For some of the tasks, you may have to view the website source code.
  • Ensure that this is included in the page title and meta-description.
    If it is also part of the url, great!
  • Ensure that the keyword is included in the first paragraph
  • Ensure that the keyword is also included in a sub-heading
  • If possible, the written page should contain at least 300 words
  • Include the keyword once or twice per 100 written words
  • If you can include an image, remember to include an alt-tag
  • Remember to use relevant anchor-text links to other pages
None of this is new, therefore you should perform an optimisation check on your content, even if you've just had it done and especially if you are currently having your website re-designed.

SEO: Quality in-links to your Website Pages

There is a difference between links back to your website for humans and links purely for search engine numbers. Similarly, links from paid advertising are acceptable but paid links that do not make it clear to people that it's a paid-for link are unacceptable and will bring on the wrath of the mighty Google. We believe that it's OK to:
  • be listed in business directories, particularly those that allocate a page or paragraph to you
  • post an article, blog or comment about your specialist subject that includes a link to the relevant page of your website for further information
  • be listed on similar websites, for example if you provide a relevant product or service
In other words, if a reader might find the link useful, then Google is happy to allow it otherwise why is it there? Just for Search Engine numbers?

Other posts have additional information: DIY SEO Review.

It's impossible to cover 'how to' in a short, readable article but, as ever, if you find this overwhelming and you want to talk it through or have us do it for you, please get in touch...
Contact The BPc