SEO

Proper Use of Onsite Anchor Text

Anchor text is extremely important when building a linking campaign. The anchor text in your links tells the search engines what your site is about. What many overlook, however, is the importance of anchor text on your site.

In the navigation structure of your site, you can choose what text to use for each individual page. Additionally, you can choose the anchor text displayed on your internal pages pointing back to your home page. This is a valuable tool, and one that you should use to make sure that you are giving the search engines clear information on what your pages are about. In addition to the anchor text, the location of these links dictates their importance.

One simple change to your navigation structure can lend a hand to achieving better search engine rankings.

Links located towards the top of your page are going to be given more relevance. Most sites have their navigation at or near the top of the page, meaning your navigation links are given more weight than other links on your page. At the top of this navigation is typically a link to your home page, meaning that link is given the heaviest weight. Many sites simply label their home page “Home” in the navigation structure. By changing this label to your main keyword or keyword phrase, you can bring some added benefits for your search engine optimization.

As you promote your interior pages, and their authority grows, it will also help grow the authority of your home page for your chosen keyword. Your interior pages likely all link back to your main home page. By utilizing proper onsite anchor text for this link you can tell the search engines over and over what your home page is about. By the same token, labeling your internal pages properly is going to help as well.

This is a simple change to make, and as your SEO campaign progresses, it will contribute to the ranking of your home page for your targeted keyword or phrase as well as help your interior pages rank for terms that they relate to (and that you want them to rank for). You may not be able to control all the off-site factors for your SEO campaign, but you can control the onsite factors. Make sure to use proper onsite anchor text and it will benefit your site in the long run.

social media

Utilizing Social Media For Better Web Traffic

We’ve talked in the past about social media and the importance it plays in your website rankings, but it has never been more true than it is today. In fact social media can be a larger driver of profitable traffic than the natural search results these days. Tapping into this type of traffic does not have to be hard, but you should have a plan going in.

There are so many social media sites out there that knowing where to start can be confusing. There are a few places you have to be, however, so we will look at those today. The sites you must be found on include Facebook, Google +, Twitter and Linkedin. These are the big four, and building a presence on these sites is going to really help your business.

On Facebook, you need to have a company page. This can be created quickly and is nice as it allows you to keep your business and personal items separate on Facebook. This is a page that you should update on a fairly regular basis, and is also a page you should encourage people to like. By updating it with content that your potential clients, visitors or customers want you can start building an audience. The good thing about a Facebook page is that when people like it, your updates show up in their timeline. That allows you, through regular updates, to interact with and provide valuable information to potential clients. For an example of a Facebook page, check out our SEO Facebook Page – and please feel free to like and share it!

The next site you need to be involved with is Google +. With Google + you can also create a company page, local listing and a profile. You should create all of these things and again update your Google + page often. While there is various opinions on whether Google + actually helps website rankings, even if it does not it is going to help give you and your site some authority.

One thing you should set up within your G+ profile is authorship. Any site you write for you should claim authorship for your work. Google does give some ‘juice’ for quality authors, and over time this is going to be a ranking factor that increases. Get on the train now to build your authorship so you can reap the rewards in the future.

Twitter is an interesting social media site, and one that I don’t use as much as I should. It is a great way to interact with people who are looking for what you may provide, however, and can be used to drive traffic to your site. Using Twitter in conjunction with your Google + and Facebook updates is a good combination. By taking part in discussions and linking to your content elsewhere on the web you can drive laser targeted traffic. In addition, it is a good way to get some extra link juice to your site, especially if you have really interesting topics to share that get re-tweeted a lot. The trick to getting the most out of Twitter is interacting with others and sharing/taking part in discussions about highly controversial or emotional topics. With a bit of creativity you can find something controversial or emotional about any business.

Linkedin is the last of the four that you must have a presence on, and this one is perhaps my favorite. We get a lot of qualified leads directly from Linkedin – people who find us on the site and never even visit our main website, they simply call directly. One of the things we like best about Linkedin is the ability to create groups. You can create a group on practically any topic you like. When you create a group, you moderate and control the flow of information for that group. A good tactic to use when creating a group is to search for group names and find one that fits your niche but that does not have other groups with large numbers of members. You can do this by adding modifiers to your group name. By doing this you get your group listed higher in the rankings when people search for group topics. As you get members to your group, you can change the group name to remove some of the qualifiers, allowing you to reach a broader audience.

For example, if I want to start an SEO group, I may start with a group called ‘real estate seo’, as the top groups with those keywords only have a hundred or so members. As my membership grows, I can replace ‘real estate’ with ‘small business’, which has larger groups, but not the huge groups that the general ‘seo’ term would return. It is similar to the keyword research you would do for search engine results, except that in Linkedin the results returned are ordered by group members (for the most part). Create a group and interact with that group. Join some other similar groups and take part in their conversations. The great thing about Linkedin is that you can talk about your business.

Check back in as we will be looking at more social media tips to help you drive more traffic to your site. Good luck!

The Google Pirate Penalty

Has your site been hit by one of Google’s updates? Perhaps your site was hit for duplicate content issues. If your site has lost rankings and you cannot figure out why, do a quick check on Copyscape and see if there is duplicate content on the web.

If you find duplicate content on the web through Copyscape, there is a good chance that your site is being penalized to some extent by Google. Even if you wrote the content, own the content and have had it online longer than other sites who may have scraped it and posted it on their pages it can still harm you. So what is the solution?

There are a few solutions. The first solution is to contact the offending site. Go to the site and find contact information. It is not uncommon for a business owner to pay for a website to be created and designed and for the designer to go scrape content from similar sources on the web to populate that site or page. If this is the case, a pleasant phone call or email may solve your problem.

If your pleasant phone call or email does not solve the problem, you can then follow up and let the offending party know that if they do not remove your content (which they should want to remove and change as it is harming both their rankings and yours) that you will have to file a DCMA complaint. Often times this will do the trick and the offending party will remove your content.

That is all well and good if the site has contact information posted, but what if the site is simply a scraper site and has no contact information? Check out Whois to find out who owns the site. Often times you can find contact information there. If not, you can also often times find out who is hosting the content. If you are not able to resolve the issue with the owner of the site or cannot reach them, you can contact the hosting provider.

Many hosting providers have forms that must be completed, but if the content is yours and you take the 15 minutes to complete the forms you can file a complaint with the hosting provider and they may shut the site down until changes have been made.

So what if you cannot find the owner’s contact information, cannot find the hosting providers information and/or cannot get resolution from either party? You can file a DCMA complaint directly with Google at that point in time. Google does act on these and if your goal is to improve your Google rankings, this is the next best thing to getting the duplicate content removed completely from the internet.

As an added bonus, sites that get many of these complaints filed against them may incur a penalty, the Google Pirate Penalty. This means that sites that make a living scraping content from others eventually will see their rankings fall as the complaints come in.

So if your site has lost rankings and you can’t figure out why, check out the duplicate content issue. It is a real issue, and can cause your site real harm if not addressed!

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