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Category: Website Ranking (page 1 of 2)

Your Competitors Do Better than You On The Internet

This is one factor that’s easy to overlook. You can easily rank lower in search results than your competitors because their SEO efforts are better than yours. Put simply, your links may be good, but their links are even better.

That’s why you should run regular back-link profile audits of competitor sites. This won’t take much time, but will provide enough details to adjust your link building strategy.

To analyze back-link profiles of competitor sites, you can use tools like:

  • Ahrefs
  • Majestic SEO
  • Moz
  • SEMrush
  • SEO Spyglass
  • Raven Tools

Specifically, you should dig deeper into the number of external backspins, referring domains, referring pages, referring IPs, referring subnets, types of links (dofollow, nofollow, text, image, etc.), back-link history, and so on.

This way you will:

  • Learn more about the industry.
  • Sift out sites that are major link providers.
  • Understand your competitors and their strategies better.

You will also identify why they rank higher than you. Maybe their links are of higher quality. Maybe they craft the best content in the niche, and Google naturally loves it. Maybe it is a combination of factors like user experience, site speed, technical issues, etc. But you will get the answer.

If your links aren’t boosting your organic search rankings, then your competitors may be to blame. Never start revising your entire link building strategy before you run a detailed analysis of competitor sites.

Your Site Has a Spammy Anchor List

Google loves links, specifically high-quality editorial links that help identify websites and webpages that bring most value to users. And Google hates link schemes.

Google upgrades its algorithms that distinguish editorial links from paid ones on a regular basis by analyzing link patterns. Here are three examples:

  1. You’ve been in the cleaning business for years, but your site got zero reviews. Suddenly, Google comes across dozens of reviews about your company. All of them feature a link to your site, specifically one single inner page that describes services you provide.
  2. Your site’s backlink profile has been stable for years, but suddenly it receives 100+ inbound links. A massive spike like this, especially if you haven’t posted any content, suggests to Google that something fishy is going on.
  3. You’re smart about links and consistently earn them through guest posts. Unfortunately, all of your articles are published in the sponsored section. This is a clear sign to Google that you paid to be published and, consequently, paid for the link.

A spammy anchor list raises a big red flag to Google, too. Actually, it’s one of the easiest ways for Google to identify spam.

If 100 percent of your site’s inbound links feature one single anchor text, it suggests to Google that:

  • You do everything you can to rank for this phrase.
  • You build links artificially (i.e., purchase them).

This is why you need to diversify your anchors. Links pointing from similar anchor phrases, even if they truly are the best editorial links, will harm your site rankings. Don’t let this happen – perform regular link profile audits.

Don’t use any SEO practices that might suggest to Google that you rely on paid links rather than editorial, naturally-acquired ones. Even if your links are good, and Google thinks that they are bad, no matter what you do, your site is in a real danger zone.

Do not use single word keywords

Single keywords words cannot be promoted effectively.

For example, it is not likely that someone looking for “free accounting software download” is going to type just “software” into the search box.

Avoid the most popular keyword phrases because you’ll be competing with millions of other pages for a search engine’s attention. It is unrealistic to think that a new website could rank number one on a popular phrase like “mp3”. More established companies who have been on the Internet for several years will have the big advantage of a high link popularity.

People who whose multiple word keywords are in the compare or buying phase. They are more likely to purchase goods or services than those using fewer words (source: Oneupweb Research).

Keyword Research

Keyword research represents the very foundation of your SEO campaign and when done properly, keywords can drive traffic and rankings for your web pages. Keywords represent terms and phrases people type as search queries to find local businesses.

Keyword research for local SEO involves optimizing your web pages for keywords with geo-modifiers – i.e. place names and locations. For a furniture making business, a generic, non-local keyword might be “furniture makers” but for businesses optimizing for local SEO, an acceptable key phrase would be “furniture makers Stellenbosch” or “furniture makers Stellenbosch Western Cape”.

To optimize your keyword research for local SEO, brainstorm keywords or phrases with a geo-modifier that customers might use when searching for a business like yours. Run generated phrases or words through Google Keyword Planner or Keyword.io to get keyword ideas together with monthly search traffic stats.

Clever keyword research will help to put your website and or blog onto the map. You will enable users to find your services or products that much easier promoting increased traffic from prominent search engines. The key elements when looking for the right keywords is that they need to have the potential to generate a substantial amount traffic, be profitable and keep you one step ahead of your competition.

Keyword research can be time-consuming, but rewarding when done properly.

How To Do Keyword Researching For Your Local SEO

Step 1: Identify your industry and location.

In order for you to rank high in Google local search results, first of all bring your buyer persona into the picture, then think about what are some of the most common phrases or terms that people would use to look for when searching for your business. Write it all down in an Excel spreadsheet as you may want to refer, add, or delete in future.

Step 2: Spy on your competitors.

Well, spying on your competitors may sounds a little unethical to some, but that’s just how the way the business world works! So, below are some of the essential things that you might want to see how your competitors are doing. Analyze it and see how you can make it even better.

Get yourself a good domain name

Not surprisingly, URLs containing clear keywords generally perform better than those that appear random or are excessively long.

And in addition to getting you higher placement in search results, having its own domain name gives your site added credibility. You’ll want to make sure the name you choose logically pertains to the subject matter of your site, isn’t too long to remember, and isn’t easily misspelled. Use keywords that a crawler will understand, and try to avoid numerals or abbreviations.

Choose keyword-rich titles for your pages

The [TITLE]; element that appears in your page headers is often used by search engines as the text for their link to your Web site. (As an example, the title of www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html/?node=11091801 is “Amazon.com: Musical Instruments.”) When you just use “Home Page,” your company name, or something similarly uninformative, you are missing an opportunity to drive traffic to your site, since search engines weight [TITLE] elements heavily when determining the relevance of a page to a user’s search. Therefore, try to make your titles easy to understand and rich in the keywords that your customers will be searching for.

Add META elements to your site

Make use of description and keyword properties in your headers’ META elements. META name=”description” content=”[a brief description of your site]” is often used by search engines to determine what your site is about. META name=”keywords” content=”[a list of relevant keywords]” is used less frequently by search engines, but can also help boost your site’s relevance in their eyes. In writing a description and choosing keywords, think about how customers will be looking for information on your site, and choose specific terms that will attract traffic. You may want to use research tools like Wordtracker to help you in this. Avoid using the same set of keywords on every page of your site, however–they should be tailored to each page’s specific content.

Content matters.You will also benefit from providing rich content on your site. It is important that you include at least a few paragraphs of copy that is visible to crawlers and full of keywords, which will enable search engines to better classify your pages. Use the keywords you included in your <META> elements, and don’t be afraid to use them many times within your copy. But, of course, what you write should make sense and be easy to digest, as readability is vital. You should also display text on your site as text, not as images, which crawlers cannot read. Use <ALT> tags for pictures you do use, so that crawlers can get some information out of them, and incorporate HTML navigation wherever it is possible, even if this means adding redundant navigation at the bottom of your pages.

Leverage links

Web sites that are linked to from lots of other sites are often deemed more popular and get a higher ranking in search results. However, more important than the number of links is the quality of those links. Contact owners of other Web sites that score highly for key phrases related to your content, and ask them if they will provide a link back to your site. Make sure, too, that the content on your own site is properly linked together. Crawlers will often start with your home page and then follow links from there to other areas of your site. Therefore, if you fail to provide working links to all your pages, some of your content may end up unindexed.

Register your site

Once you’ve built and optimized your Web site, it’s best to manually register your site with major search engines, like Yahoo!, Google, the Open Directory Project at DMOZ.org, LookSmart, and Ask Jeeves, or have a partner like More Clicks Marketing to do it for you. Registration doesn’t take long, but do be careful to follow the instructions provided by each engine, as they are all a little different. Careless mistakes could keep your site from being indexed properly, or at all.

Avoid pitfalls

Your goal is to increase your search-engine rankings, not to decrease them, but there are some things you can do that will accomplish just that. For example, some search engines don’t index dynamic content on framed pages. If this applies to your site, therefore, think about ways to modify it so that it can be more easily indexed, or create alternate, crawler-friendly versions of your pages. Also, keep in mind that many search engines are familiar with common spamming techniques, like hidden text and irrelevant meta-data, and will take appropriate action when pages using them are detected in their indexes.

Be patient

Above all, remember to be patient! There’s no magic bullet for getting the top spot in search engine indexes. If you’ve spent a lot of time optimizing your Web site and you still aren’t seeing results, it may not make sense spending more time tweaking it so it will surface higher. There are other ways for you to drive traffic to your site on which your time would be better spent.

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