Blogging Income

Earn Money Quickly

SEO

now browsing by category

 

When You’re 7 Years Old and Your World Dies Around You

Child

In the early summer of 1976, my life was as any 7-year-old kid’s life should be – fun, making new adventures, and looking forward to a long, glorious school holiday.

Then, in the space of nine weeks, that world came tumbling down.

I lost both my grandfathers and my step-dad – one grandfather and my step-dad to cancer, my other grandfather to natural causes.

While that was undoubtedly traumatic, it was the loss of my schoolfriend, Corinne, that hit me the hardest.

She died of an asthma attack during the summer holidays. One minute she was outside playing with her friends, the next she was gone. When I found out, it broke me.

I’d later compartmentalize that her death hit me hardest because I knew my grandad and step-dad were dying, and my other grandad died simply of old age, so I was “expecting” their deaths.

Corinne, though, was the same age as me – a child, enjoying the summer holiday. Kids don’t die (or, at least I didn’t think they did).

The summer of ’76 was a cruel awakening for me on that front.

The Loss of Innocence and the Recognition of Mortality

I was reminded of that summer by recent conversations with my son, Ewan, who turns seven in May.

Both he and his 5-year-old sister, Salem, are beginning to see little pieces of “the death puzzle”, either through shows or movies we watch, or characters in video games we play together (Brothers being a prime example).

One evening, a couple of weeks ago, Ewan and I were sitting at the table colouring, and he came straight out and asked,

Daddy, what’s going to happen to me and Salem when you and mommy die?

This caught me completely off-guard, and for a moment I really didn’t know what to say. Then, I put my pencil down and looked at Ewan, and we started talking.

I asked him if he thought we were going to die soon, to which he replied he didn’t think so.

I then asked him why he thought both mommy and I would die at the same time, leaving him and his sister all alone. He replied he didn’t think we would, but we might.

After a few more questions, during which he thought I’d die first because I’m older, I kind of had an idea on what to say and replied with this.

We know people die. We know some die before others, while some live longer than others. But I promise you, while I’m alive I’ll do my best to stay alive a long time, so that when I do die, you’ll have your own children to keep you company and happy.

This seemed to placate him, and we went back to colouring, and the death question hasn’t come up since.

As we coloured together, I was happy that we seemed to have passed that particular question okay, but I was also sad.

Ewan’s growing acknowledgment of death was, to me, a sign of his innocent outlook on the world beginning to change, and that he knew that the life he has now won’t always be the same life ahead.

Accepting the Future, Living the Now

However, as much as the conversation left me somewhat sad, it also made me recommit to leading a deliberate life where every moment counts.

Today, I feel healthy (if not quite the fighting weight of my younger days) and I feel good about life and where we’re at in it. I have a home full of love and a circle of friends for whom I truly care.

But that wasn’t always the case, and it could slip away at any moment.

Hearing my son worry about his mother and father dying, and leaving him and his sister all alone was a jarring experience. But it’s one that can’t – and shouldn’t – be brushed aside as something away in the future.

My promise to Ewan, about living for as long as I can, is one I intend to keep. If I do, wonderful – if I don’t… well, hopefully, I get the chance to prepare Ewan and Salem for that inevitability, and remove some of the fear and unknown.

While I am here, though, the goal is simple and can be summed up in three words – love, life, live.

  • Show those around you how much they mean to you, and love without conditions,
  • Appreciate life is a borrowed time, and spend that time well,
  • Live intentionally, and live it with those that make it count.

If those three words can be experienced as much as possible, then hopefully that will make for a lifetime of memories that more than outlive the passing of the physical when it arrives.

Which, at the end of the day, is all any of us can ever ask for.

How to Recover Your Facebook Shares after Moving from HTTP to HTTPS

Google is pushing for a shift from http to https, there is no secret in this. This strategy would probably be effective anyway, but with Google behind, the shift starts to resemble a done deal. The question is no longer whether sites will follow, but when. After all, who in their right minds would give up geolocation, encrypted media extensions or application cache?

 

But aside from the technical complications of this move, there are other considerations as well. One such unforeseen side effect is that switching from http to https would cause the loss of the social share counts on Facebook and Google+ pages. To be fair, this disadvantage is not specifically linked to the https switch, but to any URL change in general (which might be why Google has not put forward an official fix for this, so far).

 

How_to_Recover_Your_Facebook_Shares_after_Moving_from_HTTP_to_HTTPS

 

We ourselves faced share counts loss when we migrated our site from http to https. It was a punch in the stomach for us; yet, we had no other chance than finding an efficient method to recover the social shares after moving from http to https. Finding the right solution of getting the Facebook shares back wasn’t an easy ride. But a solution was needed and we are really happy that we found it. As we are your number one fans, we couldn’t keep the fix of getting your shares back for ourselves. Below you will find the exact steps that you need to take if you experience a similar problem and you want your hard-worked social shares displayed on your web pages.  

 

With the cognitive’s reunited superpowers we came across a solution to recover the social shares after moving from HTTP to HTTPS.

 

Tested Steps to Maintain Your Social Shares after a Site Migration from HTTP to HTTPS

 

The truth is that moving from HTTP to HTTPS doesn’t come up easily. It can be a real pain, not to mention that if you’re not 100% vigilant, you can suddenly lose your ranks. We’ve written a blog post not long ago on how not to lose your ranks when doing a website redesign. Moving from HTTP to HTTPS is not a walk in the park. Maintaining your shares while doing so can be even harder.  And we know that from our own experience.

 

Long story short, when moving from HTTP to HTTPS you lose all your hard worked social share counts from Facebook and Google+. It is not a pleasant situation at all, especially when you’ve worked so hard for each and every social share. It’s a vanity metric some may say, and that’s true. Yet, it’s a highly important social proof that can give you tons of insight about your overall social media strategy. 

 

For Facebook and Google+ there are two different methods to get your social share counts back when moving from http to https. Along with those, there are a couple of generic changes you need to perform. Below, I am going to list you the generic updates which are common for recovering the social shares for both Facebook and Google + and afterwards some specific actions that you need to take for each social network separately. 

 

cognitiveSEO example facebook shares after moving to https

 

Generic Changes to Get Your Social Share Counts Back

 

1. Create a 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS

 

This is probably the first and the most important step you need to make when migrating your site. What the 301 permanent redirects do is to redirect any visitor, including search engines, to your new version of the site, the one with https. Along with the direct traffic, the age, authority and reputation of your old website in search engines is transferred to the new web address. If you don’t implement 301 redirects correctly, not only will your social shares be forever lost, but also your ranks and traffic. 

 

You can find more details on how to perform 301 redirects on Google’s support page. Also, the world of internet is pretty generous when it comes to giving pieces of advice on how to move your site to https.  Putting it simply, with only a few lines of code you can transfer all the organic search traffic from one domain to another.

 

2. Add  <link rel=”canonical”> to the new HTTPs page

 

The rel=canonical is an HTML element that helps you prevent duplicate content issues. Basically, what it does is to tell the search engines which one is the preferred version of your web page. When you switch to https, what will happen is that you will have two websites with identical content: your http and your https version. In order to avoid duplicate content and all the related problems, you need to let search engines know which version they should show up in their results. 

 

To make sure that your current URL  (the one with https) shows up in search results,  you need to add <link rel=”canonical”> on your new HTTPS version of your site.  As through exemplification is the easiest way of understanding things, let me show you how this works by using a URL of our own. As I want this blog post , the https version,  to be the one that will show up when people will be looking for ways of repurposing content, this is how the URL should look like: 

 

<link rel="canonical" href="https://cognitiveseo.com/blog/11813/ways-of-repurposing-content/" />

 

3. Change <meta property=”og:url”> 

 

To begin with, you need to know that the purpose of “og:url” is to set the preferred URL for the page you are sharing. If you are thinking for a second that this isn’t so important, let me know tell you that through “og:url” you define the page that all your shares will go to.  Therefore it’s highly – decidedly – deeply – eminently to set the <meta property=”og:url”> to point to your newly HTTPS version.  Therefore, here is how a URL should look like:

 

<meta property="og:url" content="https://cognitiveseo.com/blog/11813/ways-of-repurposing-content" />

 

 

How to Get Your Social Shares Back on Facebook after Moving from HTTP to HTTPS

 

We all create a lot of content. We try to make it the best, the most documented; that kind of content that goes straight to your inbox and makes you read it. Content is king; but what is a king without followers? Along with being a social proof instrument,  the social medium is a fantastic traffic driver and it can even influence your ranks (we’ve previously written a blog post on this).  Therefore, losing your Facebook social  shares is a tremendous problem. And, unfortunately, it happens when you switch to https. We encountered the same situation ourselves when we migrated our site and after long researches we figured out a way on how to move to https without losing Facebook shares.  Below we are going to show you a workaround, tested and implemented by ourselves. 

 

It’s important to know that these changes should be done only for pages that already existed on your site when you made the switch. For newer pages these modifications should not be applied.

 

1. Find out how many Facebook shares you have for a URL

 

To see how many social shares Facebook has for a URL, you need to use Facebook’s developer debug interface. You need to get to a page similar with the one from the screenshot below. You have the possibility of entering any URL to see how many shares it has. You will add here the http pages you are interested in getting your shares back for. Of course, you can use this interface for other issues as well, yet, from the present purpose you need to use the Sharing Debugger category.

 

Facebook Debug Interface

 

2. Set both your HTTP and HTTPs social shares to zero

 

After adding the URLs you are interested in Facebook’s debug interface, you will have the possibility to “Scrape Again” (you will have a button with this exact message). Once you do this, all your Facebook shares will be zero, for both HTTP and HTTPS. Don’t panic, as the next step will fix this situation. 

 

3. Update rel=”canonical”

 

The previous step left you with all your shares to zero. By now you might be thinking how these steps are really helping you in getting your shares back. Bear with me as you are closer and closer to getting your social shares count. 

 

The next step in solving the social share loss situation is to alter the content you are showing to Facebook’s crawler. What you need to do, for Facebook only, is to make sure that the rel= canonical tag is placed, but not the way you would think of. It’s exactly the other way around: you need to make the http version the preferred one, just like in the example below: 

 

<link rel="canonical" href="https://cognitiveseo.com/blog/11813/ways-of-repurposing-content/" />

 

has to be

 

<link rel="canonical" href="http://cognitiveseo.com/blog/11813/ways-of-repurposing-content/" />

 

4. Identify Facebook’s Crawler

 

If you think that the problem is already solved and your share counts are already updated, I must ask you to have a little more patience, as you are just one step closer already. 

 

We’ve previously told you that you need to alter your content’s page for Facebook’s crawlers. Yes, this is very similar to cloaking, an old school search engine optimization technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. However, this situation is different than the one in which you want to grossly manipulate Google’s ranks. Using this will not impact your ranks and will not affect your site negatively. What you are going to do is not altering the exact content of the page, but only the protocol and with the sole purpose of keeping or getting back the social shares. 

 

An important step is correctly identifying Facebook’s crawler. You can do this identification by user agent or IP.

 

The Facebook’ guys are straightforward when it comes to this matter and they explain you how to identify their crawler

 

In the screenshot below you can see how things should look like in the Facebook debug interface after altering the content for the crawler. As you can see, the fetched URL is the one with https while the canonical URL is with http. Remember that this should be apply for the old pages that you had on http. 

 

sharing debugger cognitiveseo example http

 

For the new pages, the one that you’ve created on https already, things should look like in the screenshot below. HTTPS for both fetched and canonical URL.  In the screenshot below there is a blog post that we’ve created after the https migration. As mentioned before, for newer pages the modifications presented in this chapter should not be applied.

 

sharing debugger cognitiveseo example new https

 

You can get inspired from the code examples below, for three different instances, for PHP, forNginx and for Apache. 

 

PHP Code Example for Identifying Facebook’s Crawler

 

if(preg_match('/facebookexternalhit/i',$_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'])) { echo '<link rel="canonical" href="http://______YOUR_URL_WITH _HTTP__">';
} else { echo '<link rel="canonical" href="https://______YOUR_URL_WITH _HTTPS__">';
}

 

Nginx Code Example for Identifying Facebook’s Crawler

 

if ($HTTP_USER_AGENT ~ "^((?!facebookexternalhit).)*$") { return 301 https://cognitiveseo.com$request_uri;
}

 

Apache Code for Identifying Facebook’s Crawler

 

For Apache, you can create a code similar to the one above, depending on the web Apache server syntax. 

 

Bonus: How to Get Your Social Shares Back on Google+ after Moving from HTTP to HTTPS

 

As in the previous case, you need to know that the following changes need to be done only for pages that already existed on your site when you made the switch to https. For newer pages these modifications should not be applied.

 

Wen it comes to getting your social shares back from Google Plus, things are a bit easier than in the case of Facebook. No crawler identification or content alteration is needed. The only thing you need to modify are the Google+ sharing buttons so that you will share the URL on http and not on https.  To do so, for your old pages you can get inspired from the code example below: 

 

<!-- Place this tag in your head or just before your close body tag. -->
<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/platform.js" async defer></script>
<!-- Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render. -->
<div class="g-plusone" data-size="tall" data-href="http://______YOUR_OLD_URL______"></div>

 

You need to keep in mind that, for the new pages, the code will contain the https version, just like in the code below: 

 

<!-- Place this tag in your head or just before your close body tag. -->
<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/platform.js" async defer></script>
<!-- Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render. -->
<div class="g-plusone" data-size="tall" data-href="https://______YOUR_NEW_PAGE______"></div>

 

As you can see, when it comes to Google Plus only the social share button suffers changes; no content fixer or https URL alterations. You can switch to SSL and still keep your shares just with a workaround on the sharing button.  

 

The Struggle of Getting Your Facebook Shares Back 

 

Facebook likes are linked to the URL, meaning that even a single character change (like the extra “s” that gets added when you switch from “http” to “https”) will cause you to lose your likes.

 

As Facebook itself explains on the social plugins part of their FAQs, “you can’t move the likes, shares or comments directly to the new URL but you can use the old URL as the canonical source for the number of likes or shares at the new URL”. 

 

However, the feedback on the effectiveness of this solution and others is mixed, at best, with some users suggesting that even fixes like those proposed by Facebook are incomplete or ineffective.

 

Other solutions suggest to manually put the old share count into the custom fields of a plugin but those share counts will not increase until the new share count for that link equals the share count you pasted into the custom field. Therefore, not quite a solution if you really need your old shares back; not to mention that if you have lots of pages with different share counts it’s very unlikely that you know those numbers by heart. 

 

It’s true that the social media networks might suffer from manipulation if they blindly moved social signals across redirects.

 

You could, for instance, buy an old domain and transfer all the social signals to another landing page that interests you. But what webmasters usually want is to get their shares back, the social shares that they already have with no other deceiving intent. 

 

You don’t want your site to be considered as having insecure content but you also want your http and https urls to have their social count recoveries as fast as possible. The problem comes when Google considers that the SSL certificate is a must but not Facebook likes not so much. Any webmaster would probably think different, that both are important and both are a part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Along with the changes required in Google Analytics when you make the switch from https to https, you should consider the workarounds presented above in order to maintain your Facebook likes safe and sound. 

The post How to Recover Your Facebook Shares after Moving from HTTP to HTTPS appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Forget Being More Human, Just Be People

UNFUCD people

We’ve just come out of the mass production age. For a couple of centuries, we’ve been sold the idea of mass. Of normal.

Of process.

Not surprisingly it spilled over from factories into every part of our lives.

We were told to produce lots of “a thing”, then aggressively sell it, rather than make what people want.

Told to set strict parameters around tasks, jobs, and even careers – you can do this (tick), arrive at 8, leave at 5, with money docked for being a minute late.

We were seen as imperfect cogs in a machine. To be thrown out and replaced if we didn’t fit.

See the mindset. See where it came from?

Now we’re in a different world.

One where things are made up, like ourselves, of lots of little building blocks which can be rearranged.

One where things scale, just as humans grow.

One where sharing and connecting is encouraged – no more “eyes front, listen to the teacher”.

We’re beginning to learn how to be people again. Lose the hierarchy, the regime, the rules.

But many of us are stuck. We fitted that square hole. We knew where we stood.

We could fit in and outcompete the people with different ideas.

Now the playing field has been tilted, the original thinkers will win.

The people people, not the machine people.

Bring it on.

12 Unique Content Amplification Techniques That Earn 327% More Links

We all had that moment when we gave our soul into a post and made it so shiny, with thorough research, relevant visuals but nobody read it. And then you start wondering what went wrong. What in the name of God happened? Or why did it happen to you? And the questions could go on. But there is something that you missed. And that “something” could be content amplification. 

 

Content amplification is a powerful method to reach a wider audience and multiply your links by hundreds.  Or so it should be, if used effectively. Amplifying your content should be mandatory if you want people to know about it and increase your website traffic. You can look at the amplification process as a way of strengthening the signals of your post.

 

Content Amplification to Win Links cognitiveSEO

The journey shouldn’t stop when the article goes live. On the contrary, you should carry on with the process of boosting your content. You need to understand that content amplification isn’t a single technique or a one-time thing. It incorporates an umbrella of multiple unique techniques you need to follow in order to amplify content and get better results. And since it is a long process that needs a lot of attention and passion, we’ve built a highly documented list with 12 unique content amplification techniques that will help you earn links.  

 

  1. Work Out the Art of Link Giving to Generate Authoritative Backlinks
  2. Reach New Audiences Through Native Advertising
  3. Get More Likes, Shares and Follows with Smart Social Buttons
  4. Give Shoutouts to Amplify Your Content
  5. Outperform Your Content Through Paid Social Amplification
  6. Use Storytelling to Receive a Social Boost
  7. Try Email Outreach to Build a Solid Community Within Your Brand
  8. Use Content Syndication on Medium to Build Your Blog Audience
  9. Collaborate with Influencers to Earn Links
  10. Post on StumbleUpon and Absorb Targeted Traffic
  11. Develop Advocates Through GaggleAMP
  12. Integrate Promotion Messages or Buttons in Your Website
 

1. Work Out the Art of Link Giving to Generate Authoritative Backlinks

Link giving is the next big thing! Described as a way of requesting a link from authority websites in return for a more powerful link to their website, link giving is a smart way of amplifying your content and building links without violating Google’s guidelines. Let’s see how it works. Imagine you would like to write about bad habits that kill your creativity. You should apply as a contributor on an authority website such as Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Boomerang or something similar and you have the possibility to write your article and link to a blog you’d like to collaborate with. After you attain authority on that website, you can reach out to them for a quote to let them know that their names appear on a website with thousands of visitors. Your post must be a linkable asset. The next step you should do is to ask for a citation of another piece of content (for example your blog) where they are cited. That’s basically how the link giving technique works.

 

It is a long process, but if it is planned carefully, you have a higher chance of success. You need to be a remarkable writer to become a valuable member of the contributors’ community and give to the visitors that “AHA” moment when they read your content.

 

Another solution would be to start working for a contributor as a ghost writer. It means to write in other people’s name. If you decide to do that, you’ll skip the phase when you have to make a name for yourself as a contributor.

 

 

2. Reach New Audiences Through Native Advertising

Native advertising is a unique technique to amplify your content and get featured on a network of publishers. The nice part about this type of advertising is that it is not so easily ignored compared to a banner ad. The native ad takes form into an interesting blog post or infographic.

Native ad vs banner ad

Source: sharethrough.com

The advantage of native advertising is that it can absorb new audiences and gain a higher number of impressions than a banner ad. Outbrain, Taboola, Zemanta, are just a few examples that can help you create native advertising.

 

IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough conducted a study on 4,770 participants to study behaviors and perceptions towards native ads using both eye tracking technology and surveys and saw that consumers looked at native ads 52% more frequently than banner ads. 

Native advertisements saw an average of 10% higher purchase intent and brand affinity than traditional display ads.

 

3. Get More Likes, Shares and Follows with Smart Social Buttons

Having social buttons on your website shows how many likes, shares on each social media channel you have for a post. It’s a social proof. It’s a vanity metric, offering validation that your piece of content is valuable. We are not talking about paid tweets or facebook ads but about the real time owned media. The effects of social buttons show an increase of the credibility for your brand. These buttons will help the visitors amplify your content.

 

Yotpo conducted a study showing that sharing a review for a brand will boost traffic, engagement, and conversions.

Social share numbers

Source: www.yotpo.com

 

Having smart social buttons isn’t the recipe for success. If your content is vapid and doesn’t express any feeling, it’s unlikely someone will share it even though you have the most interesting social buttons. To have shareable content means much more than that. You need to have engaging content to be spread like fire in the online media and bring those “tasty” links.

 

4. Give Shoutouts to Amplify Your Content

When you’re writing an article, and you’re citing well-known experts in the industry, would you like them to know? That’s why shoutouts exist. You need to append “featuring @nickname” before launching your article on the social media platforms to amplify your post. It is a good chance to hook a few to read it. And although the influencer outreach is not new under the sky,  shoutouts are a good way to connect your brand with relevant and important names.

 

On top of that, it is an easy and useful way to thank people for their brainpower and even build a relationship. You can use it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. This is just an example:

Twitter shoutouts

 

5. Outperform Your Content Through Paid Social Amplification

Amplify your content with paid social amplification. Easy to say, hard to do, you might say. Well, not really. Paid social amplification could be an easy way to promote your post on multiple channels. Almost all social media platforms have paid content amplification options. The traditional paid social amplification methods include Twitter ads, Google + post ads, Facebook ads. To change the traditional course a little bit, you can import your email list into Facebook’s Audience to market people who are interested in your brand, install the remarketing pixel, create dynamic display ads on Adwords.

Using paid social amplification is like building a social media megaphone.

Adam Root, a founding partner at Tricent Capital, says that the social platforms should be used based on the purpose.

“Use Twitter to gain new users, Facebook to build a community and LinkedIn to generate leads for the sales team” – Adam Root.

He argues that Twitter is a good social media platform to determine your audience to take action, Facebook is social networking website where you can engage your readers and create relationships on the long-term and Linkedin is a business network that connects high-profile agencies and professionals you’d want as clients.  

 

In every situation, you should have the message associated with the visual. Creating a synergy is important. Humor has worked wonder since forever. Along the years a lot of studies have been conducted to see the results of an ad that uses humorous messages. Advertising books say that humor is more likely to capture and hold audience attention. Take for example the next display ad:

Funny-display-ad

Source: www.wordstream.com

It sticks to your mind, doesn’t it?

 

6. Use Storytelling to Receive a Social Boost

Stories sell. That’s a demonstrated fact. Not all of us grew up listening to stories but I don’t think there is a single person in this world who didn’t tell a story. We tell stories around the campfire, in the class, at a beach party, at our job, we take photographs, we tweet and so on.  But there is a difference between a good story and a great one. You need to put a personal touch in everything you write to connect with your readers.

 

The people from Pixar movies say that every story should connect to people on an emotional level. 

 

 

Using storytelling to receive social boost is a beneficial amplification strategy. Storify lets you create timeless stories using various forms of multimedia that you can share online afterward. It is a unique combination of writing, video, audio and visual content put in a timeline order to engage the readers and let them see a chronological progress about a topic. If used properly, the story can go viral.

 

The Denver Post’s Storify page won a Pulitzer Award in 2013 for its coverage of the Aurora theater shooting from Colorado. The Storify page became viral, and the site received more links than usual. We cannot put our money on it, but we think the Storify page is one of the reasons why this happened. You can see a screenshot below with the growth of the site’s link profile:  

 

Growth of a site's link profile

www.denverpost.com

 

A great feature of this tool is the notify area where you can select this option and send a notification on Twitter to the people mentioned in the story.

 

7. Try Email Outreach to Build a Solid Community Within Your Brand

Email outreach is a white hat search engine optimization technique you should master. Besides its many beneficial purposes, one of the most valuable is increasing content amplification.

 

A successful experience using email outreach to amplify content comes from a case study by Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko. The subject of this case study is Emil Shour, content manager at SnackNation. He used the skyscraper technique for email outreach to generate 41,992 pageviews.

Google-analytics-pageviews

Source: backlinko.com

The strategy started with finding an excellent keyword after a thorough research, then looking at the competition for that keyword. That meant taking a look at the content Google shows on the results page, the type of content found there, understanding the trends, seeing the lack of information and taking advantage of that. Make a list/structure with the facts you want to debate in your post. Don’t leave out any savory details! Enrich your content with spicy pictures. Now is when the idea of email outreach comes in. You can ask experts to contribute with ideas to rank number one and overflow of links and traffic.

 

Before you publish your piece, you can email influencers to get the word out and ask them whether they would be interested to read (without asking for a link) a piece of paper relevant to their niche. Emil Shour sent a pre-outreach email looking something like this:

pre-outreach-email

Source: backlinko.com

Then, after he received an answer from them, he sent an email with the link to the published article. In the end, the outcome was very good, receiving contextual links, traffic, revenue. Proceeding this way, you have a better rate of success.

 

8. Use Content Syndication on Medium to Build Your Blog Audience

An excellent way to maximize the effectiveness of your content amplification is through content syndication. It is important to include this strategy in your content marketing plan. 

 

It can help you reach other niches and promote your content on different media and websites. Basically, it means pushing your content on third party websites to a full article, snippet, link, or thumbnail. There is not a one-size-fits-all way for content syndication, but rather multiple approaches. Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Watch are a good example to get featured among experts and offer news and trends.

Content syndication

 

Medium is another way to promote your content and provide audience. On the site, you can publish the whole post or just a snippet. You can create an account for free and then import your article. After you finish, you’ll see the next message at the end of your story:

 

Content syndication on medium

 

 

9. Collaborate with Influencers to Earn Links

Your influencer marketing campaign should focus on building advocacy around your brand and amplifying your content to earn links, not shares and mentions. Tweets and shares get lost amongst other tweets and shares, but links enrich your backlink profile and help you rank higher.   

 

A benefit from collaborating with influencers is the fact that they send relevancy signals to the content, showing it offers valuable information.

 

Influencers are picky, and they choose to work with you if they see it is relevant, content worthy and they have a benefit from it.

 

Make sure you’ve thought of everything before you launch your collaboration project.  

 

You can ask influencers to answer some of your questions to get them featured on your blog, or you could ask them to get your brand featured on their blog. For example, we asked 13 link building experts a few questions about the Penguin update and the results followed. Social or content amplification is the process where you need to go that extra mile. Yet, it’s all worth it. 

 

Link building experts interview

 

10. Post on StumbleUpon and Absorb Targeted Traffic

StumbleUpon is really an interesting platform to use to spread your site on the web. It is easy to see how the platform works. You need to create an account if you don’t have one yet and wait 24 hours before you submit your first page. To submit your link, you need to fill in a form similar with the one below:

Stumbleupon add link

It is important to set the interest for the link to get featured in the right category and target the right users.  

 

There are a few things that need to be taken into consideration. You can’t submit commercial webpage on StumbleUpon, only a few links from the same domain are accepted, and if your account is used for promotional activity, you’ll risk getting your account suspended or terminated.  

 

To get the full experience you could use StumbleUpon and Paid discovery feature together. For example, Kim Roach from Buzzblogger got 201,126 visitors using those two. She wrote an article about Top 30 inspirational picture quotes to rock your day; to make her content visible she started with an investment of $100, which brought her 1,000 visitors. Then she let her piece of content become viral, and that’s how she received almost 200,000 organic visitors.

 

11. Develop Advocates Through GaggleAMP

GaggleAMP is a tool that helps you reach amplification and social media engagement. It has the power to strengthen the distribution of your content through different networks, to align your employees in the digital engagement strategy, build actionable reports to show trends and measure performance. The platform has the power to create, implement content driven marketing campaigns by tapping into employee, partner and customer advocates.

 

Gaggle refers to employees, potential customers or current customers, and partners or other stakeholders who receive a notification when a new piece of content is published and they are encouraged to share it. The people included in the gaggle group can choose which content to share.

 

Start with a smaller group of people who are active on social media and already share your content.

 

Then you will adapt to the way before you grow it. Begin by engaging your advocates, talk with them, acknowledge their effort by sharing information about your brand and content. Keep them up-to-date with the changes from every social media platform. Encourage them by offering them support. You can think of a reward and recognition campaign for sharing the message.

 

It is an effective platform to create advocates and amplify content.

 

12 . Integrate Promotion Messages or Buttons in Your Website

A free pass for link earning through amplifying your content is having a promotion message or button on your site. So make sure you’ve integrated it into your website. A promotion message can take the form of a website pop-up showing a clear incentive with a strong CTA, a slider for a juicy offer or a headline bar with clever headline matching your content. A promotion message can increase the traffic and amplify your content by choosing the proper type. AddThis offers different tools for its users by implementing simple ways to share and promote their content. No matter what you decide to do, it is highly important to have social buttons. So make sure you include them on your site regardless of any digital marketing strategy you choose to implement.

 

If you your pop-up message is creative enough, you could be mentioned on other sites and therefore earn a link. For example, Justuno wrote a post on their blog about 10 Inspiring Examples of Email Pop Up Designs and Why They Work, and a few brands got mentioned. Below you can see a screenshot from their blog:

Earn link from creative pop up message

The Wee Squeak received a link mention due to a smart pop-up message.

 

There are a few things you need to remember in order to nail your pop up message:

  • have a strong CTA;
  • show personality;
  • use qualitative images that match your message;
  • offer a valuable benefit to the user to make him take action;
  • fit the design of the pop up with your brand colors and website style;
  • don’t be intrusive
 

Conclusion

Getting more and more people to read your piece of content remains a high priority for many marketers. It is still a long debated subject. Marketers love media monitoring. We all know it. We are always asking after publishing a blog post “how many people saw it?”. Are there any conversion rates generated? And if yes, how many out of paid media and how many out of organic traffic? On top of the social media marketing strategy come links. You need to think of the long term. If your content is an outstanding piece, people will link to it, but you need to give it a push just to get it rolling on the ground. There are many content amplification services and tools out there that can help you out with this. But no matter what content amplifier you are using, your content needs to be exceptional.

 

There is no content amplification definition or formula, be it lead generation or sponsored content, that will make you automatically win links. It is effective content, content distribution, media monitoring, content strategy and earned media that will take you there.  No matter what you do, keep in mind your main purpose, target and aim: the user. 

 

Get the help of content amplification tools mentioned above, but most importantly follow the previous 12 techniques to amplify your content, earn links and improve your online marketing. There are inbound marketers and niche communities who say that quality content is enough. And indeed, if you put great content in front of your marketing strategy, it can be driving traffic and users. Yet, it might not be enough.  Content writing is great but you need to amplify it in order for it to be effective.  You can start earning links using the actionable content amplification strategies listed above in the article. 

 

As mentioned earlier, there is no guaranteed content marketing strategy that will take you on the edge of success. But the previous 12 unique techniques for content amplification are a damn good starting point. 

The post 12 Unique Content Amplification Techniques That Earn 327% More Links appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Is the New Google “Fred” Update Rolling Out Now? Massive Ranking Fluctuations

Google has, time and time again avoided – or even flat out refused – to give any indication of when it rolled out an update. Their way of doing this has been always to assert that they make updates to their algorithms on a continuous basis, rather than having distinct launch dates for particular releases. It’s not difficult to see why that’s probably a good idea. It keeps everyone guessing and acting on a desire to actually improve their SEO techniques rather than a temptation to eschew the latest changes. It’s the equivalent of saying that Santa Claus exists and watches you all the time and any time you’re naughty you might get the stick instead of the high rating. Except you don’t know when Christmas is and it might happen every other day or so.

 

Assumptions on a fresh Google update were immediate. And, like it previously happened, the alleged new algorithm has already a name and a face. Google Fred seems to be the name and, preserving the tradition where cute animal figures represent Google’s updates, this time a fish seems to have won the mascot contest. Much uproar stirred up lately with lots of webmasters and SEO pros noticing massive ranking drops. And as “coincidence” doesn’t seem plausible at all when we are looking at Google algorithm changes, the Google Fred Update seems to be responsible for the dropped ranks and organic traffic.  

 

Google Fred Update cognitiveSEO

 

 

Once Is Happenstance. Twice Is Coincidence. Three Times Is Google Fred Update?

 

Whenever someone thinks they’ve discovered a new algorithm update, it always feels a bit like you’re in an X-Files episode. You’ve stumbled upon something that really doesn’t seem right, but If you suggest it’s the hand of the “powers that be,” people might look at you funny. All the while Google slyly smiles and reaffirms its uneventful day-to-day existence. But as the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. And so it turns out that there may (or may not) be a new update and if there is, its name is Fred. In fact, all future updates might be called Fred from now on if we were to look after Gary Illlyes’ affirmation. So we might need to say goodbye to the Pandas and the Penguins of the world because algorithm updates have gotten even just a little bit less cute (no offense to the Freds of this world).

It’s a cat and mouse game where both Google and its paying customers are trying to get ahead of each other.

 

Gary Illyes Google Fred Update

 

How do you identify a potentially significant algorithm update?

 

There’s no single metric that will tell you it happened, but if you gather enough significant indicators, you might just be onto something (if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck… it might be a Fred).

 

Barry Schwartz, of Search Engine Roundtable, may have just stumbled on some quacks. While his interaction with Google’s Gary Illyes (and john Mueller) on social media has yielded business as usual in terms of confirming suspicions (with a traditional “Yes, we make changes almost every day”), his data analysis seems to suggest there could be something significant at work. The most significant signals come from different measurements of search engine ranking position (SERP) fluctuations.

 

As we took a look at some specialized tools, we can see some fluctuations in the last days, variations that can or not be correlated with a new Google update. 

 

algoroo tool

Screenshot taken from algoroo.com

accuranker tool

Screenshot taken from accuranker.com

 

Although none of the measurements are significant on their own, when taken together they make a worthwhile argument that a new Fred is on the loose. 

 

WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World were among the ones who noticed some weird activity in the last week or so as well. And although Google is always dancing around, it seems that dramatic shifting has happened in the past couple of days. Or at least this is what people from forums and on Twitter keep on debating. 

 

Possible Google Fred Update “Victims”

 

It becomes easy to forget that looking up something on Google is not just a search, but a search performed on a particular type of search engine, according to particular algorithms and with particular implications in terms of customer experience and data privacy. And because Google as a search engine is ultimately a product which interacts with other products, other companies try to continuously adapt to Google’s way of working so that they profit from its popularity. In order for Google to retain that popularity, it must ensure that other companies don’t profit too much of its product, so that it remains trustworthy to its consumers (and a popular synonym for “search online” in the same time).

 

As hopefully, you have already noticed, we, at cognitiveSEO like to research a lot. And this is because at the end of the day research is creating new knowledge. Cutting-edge is our main core, and we want to stick to it. In the last hours, we’ve overworked our databases and the coffee machine in the quest of investigating the possible newest Google Fred Update.

 

As much as we’ve searched, we didn’t find a direct correlation between the dropped ranks and a possible algorithm change.

 

The SERP’s volatility is, as you know, as high as it gets and it would be tough and unrealistic to put our finger on a Google Update. We’ve found some examples of ranking drops which we are going to paste it below. Keep in mind that, for the moment, we cannot make a strong correlation between a possible Google Fred and the current situation of the ranks.

 

possible google fred update drop

 

As we take a look at the image above, it seems that a major drop has occurred on dankstop.com lately. The site is an online head shop based in the US that has a quite big number of links reported to the total of referring domain. Not to mention that most of their links are low or no authority.

 

Screenshot taken for: dankstop.com

Screenshot taken for: dankstop.com

 

 They seem to have gathered a lot of new links in the period 26 February – 5th of March. You can check out its analysis here.  Even taking all of these into consideration, we cannot yet correlate this drop with a possible Google algorithm update. 

 

possible google fred update drop example

 

futuresofpalmbeach.com, is an addiction treatment center from Florida which seems to have experienced a major drop as well lately. Except a bit of unusual Link Velocity, it seems that the site has nothing unusual in their link profile. 

 

Is It Really a New Google Update? 

 

When a product or a service becomes really popular, the company usually sets the sight for market leadership, a magical place of self-fulfilling (and self-replenishing) power. But there is an even more mythical place beyond that, where the product’s name becomes so ubiquitous and easily-identifiable with the product class itself, that a name for a product replaces the name for the product category. In many countries, for instance, the word “xerox” has become a verb which stands for the process of photocopying a document. In some countries “adidas” is the same as sport shoes, while in others “kleenex” is the same as tissue. But perhaps the most ubiquitous nowadays is the use of the word “google” as a verb, to mean “to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web.” That’s the Merriam-Webster definition, but in everyday use, there’s an even simpler definition: to google means, quite simply, to search online. 

 

Therefore, with Google becoming more than a search engine, it’s almost natural that a lot of ranking updates to appear on a regulate basis. We are already familiar with Google Updates, call it the Panda, Penguin or Fred update, and we tend to associate these algorithm changes with link quality or content’s value.

 

For the moment we cannot be sure that Google Fred Update even exists, let alone to correlate it to a link or content issue.

 

Ups and downs happen on a daily basis on Google’s SERP. Sometimes they are related to an algorithm change and sometimes they just happen as a part of Google’s volatility. As mentioned before, using our tracking tools we’ve made a serious, in-depth research in the past 24 hours, trying to find out any correlation between an alleged Google update and rankings’drop. We found some irregularities, yet, nothing out of the ordinary or nothing that can be correlated directly to a new update or algorithm change.

The post Is the New Google “Fred” Update Rolling Out Now? Massive Ranking Fluctuations appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

The Evolution of a Blog and the Evolution of You

If you use the app Timehop, you’ll know that one of its cool strengths is how it reminds you of something you’d completely forgotten about from years gone by.

This could be an embarrassing haircut, a sweet moment with a child, or a recollection of a friend long since gone.

Inadvertently, it can also show you how you’ve evolved as a blogger, as I found out with a memory it shared with me today from six years ago.

Danny Brown blog 2011

This was my blog design from 2011. I think the reason Timehop shared it as a memory was that I’d just gone through a redesign, and shared a picture of it on Facebook.

When I saw this memory, it made me smile as I thought of how busy it looked compared to today’s iteration.

Ch…Ch…Ch…Changes

Back then, I was all about content around the topics of social media and marketing, and all the things that represented – personal branding, heavy on the social proof numbers, and multiple calls to action.

I guess that suited my goals at the time, but as I look back at it now, I cringe a little when I see how much focus I put on the social proof side of things (how many followers, subscribers, and shares I got).

It wasn’t long after that time that I started to lose interest in blogging about social media in particular, and trying to compete with the content mill approach where everyone was going for the eyeballs with easy content and snappy soundbites.

This led to a big change in direction and publishing a post in 2014 that advised long-time readers they may want to unsubscribe. Which, as every blogging/content marketing guru will tell you, is the worst thing you can do. Yeah, right… 😉

Indeed, when I wrote that post, the feedback I got from it, both in the comments after the post and emails from non-commenters, showed that perhaps readers were getting sick of that kind of lazy content too.

Since then, the content here has continued to try and focus on more meaningful and personal stuff, and that’s often meant my well-known itchy finger syndrome coming to the fore when it comes to the design to present the content from.

So, from the impetus of that Timehop memory, I decided to take a trip down memory lane using the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. And, man, have there been some changes… 🙂

DB 2012
Early 2012
DB October 2012
October 2012
DB Jan 2013
January 2013
DB 2013
Mid-to-late 2013
Mar 2014
March 2014
DB 2015
Mid 2015

December 2015
DB Feb 2016
February 2016
DB March 2016
March 2016
Today
2017

The thing I notice the most is that since writing that post about taking a different direction, the design has complemented that goal.

Whereas before it was all about selling expertise, knowledge, books, etc, now it was all about content, you, the world, and making time for the important things in life.

The Evolution of You

When I shared the Timehop memory on a post over on Facebook, a few of my friends shared their take on how they’ve evolved, or are trying to.

From how they’ve gone a similar route of reflection and rethinking, to wondering whether to restart their blogging after a long hiatus.

And that’s the beauty of blogging. Much like in the decisions we make that change how we live our lives, blogging is a constant state of flux that grows as we do.

What we started out as many years before is now completely different from where we are today.

Things like our voice, our passion, even the things that make us tick – they all change as we do. It’s all part of the same evolution – the natural growth and change of perspective that we all experience.

The important thing is to recognize the need to change, and know that it’s okay.

You don’t need to toe the line, or compete with blogger X or podcaster Y. You don’t need to chase an audience that isn’t there, and never will be.

Instead, be passionate about what you create, be decisive in how that comes to the fore, and be open to the knowledge that what you create today may look very different to what you create tomorrow.

That’s how we keep our creativity alive – regardless of how many incarnations it takes to get there… 😉

16 Causes Why Your Organic Traffic has Dropped … It’s Not Google’s Fault!

The SEO landscape has changed enormously in the last years. Organic traffic comes and go, the websites’ performance seems to be as volatile as it gets and at the end of the day, you might ask yourself: why did my organic traffic drop? Did Google change its algorithm again? Was a sort of SEO attack on my site or was it something that I did? And while you keep on searching for the reasons your hard-worked ranks and traffic went down the drain, your frustration gets bigger as the solution to your problem seems increasingly far.

 

We are in the SEO industry for a while now, wearing many hats: digital marketers, tool developers, advisers, researchers, copywriters, etc. But first of all, we are, just like you, site owners. And we’ve been through ups and downs regarding organic traffic, and we were in the situation of trying to understand why the Google traffic dropped dramatically at some point as well. Having all these in mind, we’ve thought of easing your work, and we’ve put together a list with the top 16 reasons that can cause sudden traffic drop, unrelated to Google algorithm changes or penalties.

 

16 Causes Why Your Organic Traffic has Dropped ... It's Not Google's Fault!

 

With no further introduction, below you can find the top 16 causes that can lead to massive organic traffic drop: 

 

  1. Changing Your Domain Name and Not Telling Google
  2. Indexing Everything Without Pruning Your Content
  3. Getting Your Pages De-indexed by Google Through robots.txt
  4. Redesigning Your Website & Not Doing 301 Redirects to Old Pages
  5. Moving From a Subdirectory to a Subdomain
  6. Giving Up Creating Great Content or Creating Content at All
  7. Counting Your Links and Not Your Referring Domains
  8. Ignoring Mobile First Indexing
  9. Moving Your Site to a Slow Host
  10. Ignoring Your Broken Pages and Links
  11. Hiring a SEO Company That Will Guarantee You Instant Traffic
  12. Dropping Lots of Shady Links on Other Sites
  13. Not Using Alt and Title Tags
  14. Duplicating Your Content – Internally & Externally
  15. Ignoring Canonical Tags
  16. Using the Same Commercial Anchor Text

Conclusion

 

 

 

 

1. Changing Your Domain Name and Not Telling Google

 

You might remember “Face Off” , a movie from ‘97 where Nicolas Cage is a terrorist and John Travolta is an FBI agent. And, as it happens in movies, they became obsessed with one another. Travolta needs information from Cage’s brother, so he undergoes an operation in which he gets Cage’s face; a few plot twists later and Cage has Travolta’s. They continue to pursue each other with new identities, the bad guy the good guy, the good guy the bad guy and so on and (almost) no one knew who is who. Dizzy yet?

 

Well, the situation is similar if you decide to change your domain name and not tell anyone about it, especially the search engines. Just with less drama and action scenes.

 

Whatever reasons you might have for changing your domain name, if you want to be sure that your organic traffic drops, do not tell anyone about the change. Especially Google.

 

Not even a word. This way, you’ll make sure that your new name, as well as your search engine traffic, will be like they don’t even exist in the digital world.

 

Yet, if you do want to keep your organic search traffic and ranks, once you make a domain name change, let Google now by using a specially designed tool in your Search Console.

 

change of address tool Google

 

2. Indexing Everything Without Pruning Your Content

 

One good way of causing a drop in your organic search traffic, just as the title of the chapter says, is to index each and every single page from your website and not prune your content. 

 

Google makes constant efforts to improve the search algorithm and detect quality content and that is why it rolled out the Google Panda 4.0 update.  What is this update really doing? It deranks low quality content and boosts the high quality one, according to Google’s idea of valuable content. In the screenshot below you can see what kind of content you shouldn’t be looking into if you are really determined in making a mess out of your organic traffic. 

 

quality content guidelines

 

Every site has its evergreen content, which attracts organic traffic, and some pages that are deadwood.

 

If you don’t want your search traffic dropped, in the Google Index you should only have pages that you’re interested in ranking.

 

Otherwise you might end up polluting your website’s traffic. The pages filled with obsolete or low quality content aren’t useful or interesting to the visitor. Thus, they should be pruned for the sake of your website’s health. Low quality pages may affect the performance of the whole site. Even if the website itself plays by the rules, low-quality indexed content may ruin the organic traffic of the whole batch.

 

If you don’t want your Google traffic dropped dramatically due to indexing and content pruning, we are going to list below the steps you need to take in order to successfully prune your own content. We’ve developed this subject in a previous blog post.  Yet, before doing so, we want to stress on the fact that it’s not easy to take the decision of removing indexed pages from the Google Index and, if handled improperly, it may go very wrong. Yet, at the end of the day,  you should keep the Google Index fresh with info that is worthwhile to be ranked and which helps your users. 

 

Step 1. Identify Your Site’s Google Indexed Pages

 

There are various methods to identify your indexed pages. You can find several methods here, and choose the one which is most suitable for your website. 

 

One way to do this is through your Search Console account, just like in the screenshot below. There you’ll find the total number of your indexed pages along with a graphic display of its evolution in the Index Status.

 

search console google index

 

In order to get the whole bundle of internal links for your website, in the same Search Console, you need to go to the Search Traffic > Internal Links category. This way you’ll have a list with all the pages from your website (indexed or not) and also the number of links pointing to each. This can be a great incentive for discovering which pages should be subject to content pruning.

 

search index on google example

 

Step 2. Identify Your Site’s Low Traffic and Underperforming Pages

 

Of course all your pages matter but some matter more than others. That is why, in the pruning process it’s highly important to identify data regarding the number of impressions, clicks, click-through-rate and average position.

 

Google Analytics example

 

 

Step 3. No-Index the Underperforming Pages

 

Once you know the pages that pull you down, as painful as it might be sometimes,  you need to start to no-index those pages.  As hard as it was to create them, and make them well seen by Google, when it comes to getting them off the search engine’s radar, things are a bit less complicated. Below you can find two ways to 

 

  • Disallow those pages in the robots.txt file to tell Google not to crawl that part of your website. Remember that you need to do the stuff right as you do not want to hurt your search rankings
  • Apply the meta no-index tag to the underperforming pages. Add the <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, FOLLOW”> tag. That will tell Google not to index the page but at the same time to crawl other pages that are linked from it.

 

 

3. Getting Your Pages De-indexed by Google Through robots.txt

 

A great way to break your web traffic without even noticing is through robots.txt. Indeed, the robots.txt file has long been debated among webmasters and it can be a strong tool when it is well written. Yet, the same robots.txt can really be a tool you can shoot yourself in the foot with. We’ve written an in-depth article on the critical mistakes that can ruin your traffic in another post

 

massive-ranking-drop-robots-txt

 

Before developing this subject further, indulge me to remind you that according to Google a robots.txt file is a file at the root of your site that indicates those parts of your site you don’t want accessed by search engine crawlers. And although there is plenty of documentation on this subject, there are still many ways you can suffer an organic search traffic drop. Below we are going to list two common yet critical mistakes when it comes to robots.txt. 

 

1. Blocking CSS or Image Files from Google Crawling

 

Google’s algorithm gets better and better and is now able to read your website’s CSS and JS code and draw conclusions about how useful the content is for the user. As Google itself stated, disallowing CSS, Javascript and even images counts towards your website’s overall search traffic.

 

allow google to crawl images and javascript

 

2.Wrong Use of Wildcards

 

A wildcard is a symbol used to replace or represent one or more characters. Wildcards are typically either an asterisk (*), which represents one or more characters or question mark (?), which represents a single character.

By now, you must be asking yourself how can an * can cause a sudden drop in organic traffic. 

Well, when it comes to robots.txt, it can.

 

Let’s say you wish to block all URLs that have the PDF. extension. If you write in your robots.txt a line that looks like this: User-agent: googlebot Disallow: /*.pdf$. The sign “$” from the end basically tells bots that only URLs ending in PDF should’t be crawled while any other URL containing “PDF” should be. I know it might sound complicated, yet the moral of this story is that a simple misused symbol can break your marketing strategy along with your organic traffic. Below you can find a list with the correct robotx.txt wildcard matches and, as long as you keep count of it, you should be on the safe side of website’s traffic.

 

correct-wildcard-matches-robotstxt

 

4. Redesigning Your Website & Not Doing 301 Redirects to Old Pages

 

When migrating your website from one domain to another, if you want to make sure you instantly lose any traffic to your website that you are  currently enjoying and all your new visitors will be greeted with a 404 page, do not implement proper redirects.

 

Any good organic search traffic you experience at the moment can be just a memory if you fail to do 301 redirects.

 

Let’s say you just did a rebranding of your business and among others, you’ve changed your site’s address. Will your Google traffic drop dramatically ? Only if you choose to do so.

 

With only a few lines of code you can transfer all the organic search traffic from one domain to another.

 

What the 301 permanent redirects do is to redirect any visitor, including search engines, to your new site. Along with the direct traffic, the age, authority and reputation of your old website in Google is transferred to the new web address.

How long should you keep your 301s? Like most of the love songs lyrics say, forever and ever.

 

Will it help you get rid of a Google Penalty? Well, this is debatable but we have a previous interesting blog post written on this matter. 
You can find more info on how to implement redirects correctly, directly from the Google representatives themselves.

 

SEO Visibility Increase due to 301 redirects

 

5. Moving from a Subdirectory to a Subdomain

In case you think that you can move a part of your website from a subdirectory to a subdomain without having your search traffic dropped, think again.

Let’s say that you want to move your blog from a subdirectory URL (yourwebsiterulz.com/blog) to a subdomain (blog.yourwebsiterulz.com). Altghough Matt Cutts, former Google engineer, said that “they are roughly equivalent and you should basically go with whichever one is easier for you in terms of configuration, your CMSs, all that sort of stuff”, it seems that things are a bit more complicated than that. 

 

There are some interesting case studies on this issue solely that show exactly the opposite. Below you can see a screenshot from the iwantmyname.com case of switching between subdirectory and subdomain. After a while of traffic dropping, they decided to revert the changes. 

rank drop due to switching to subdomain from subfolder

Screenshot taken from iwantmyname.com

Yet, what is the problem, actually?

 

Is not Google clever enough to know that the newly created subdomain is part of the same domain? 

Well, Google has made strides in this direction and got much better at identifying and associating content that’s on a subdomain with the main domain. The problem is they’re not good enough to rely on that factor yet and major organic traffic drop can come from this direction.

 

With the hope that this SEO technicality will change in time, the recommendation for the moment is to keep your content on one single sub and root domain, preferably in subfolders.

 

 

6. Giving Up Creating Great Content or Creating Content at All

 

The best movies don’t always win the best prizes. A similar thing happens in the digital marketing world.

 

The best content doesn’t always have the best organic search traffic, yet search engines are really trying to rank sites in accordance to their content.

 

Just by looking at the latest Google updates we can tell that the search engine is constantly refining and improving its algorithm that automatically  scores pages based on content quality. There are even quality rating guidelines  and Google penalties content based.

 

Other metrics and factors count as well but content is among those top ranking factors; and you should not let your content get dusty unless you are decided to leave the digital world for good.

 

Going back to the analogy with the movies, having a great script is not enough; you need great acting, awesome music, good directing, etc. in order to win the prize for the best picture.

 

You should not keep count of content only if you are planning to have a sudden drop in organic traffic. And if you are already having a good web traffic, do not count on it very much. The SERP is volatile, tons of content is being written as you are reading this and you need to keep up.

 

Let’s take a look at the screenshot below. We’ve analyzed two websites, livescience.com and emedicinehealth.com.

 

Site Explorer example on number of links

 

And although livescience.com has way more links than its competitor, it seems that emedicinehealth.com is performing better for a lot of important keywords. Why, you might wonder. Well, the answer is simple: content. And although they are both offering good content, livescience.com is a site offering general information about a lot of things while emedicinehealth.com offers articles highly related to the topics, leaving the impression that this site really offers reliable content. We are not saying that the 5 mil links livescience.com has do not matter, yet it seems that in some cases content weighs more.

 

7. Counting Your Links and Not Your Referring Domains

Do you know the saying: don’t count the days but make the days count? Well, this somehow applies in the SEO world as well.

Or, at least, in the link building industry. Just by looking at the number of links and having an ongoing concern of multiplying the links won’t take you to first page on Google. On the contrary; it will probably make you disappear for SERP.

 

I invite you to take a look at the screenshot below.

cognitiveSEO site explorer example on number of links

 

If we are looking at the number of links and that number only, things look great: 3 mil links. That’s quite something; great performance. Yet, when looking at the number of referring domain, all your appreciation disappears, right? Only 30 referring domains that generated 3 million links.

 

What would you prefer: 30 journalists writing about you in 3 mil articles or 100 journalists writing about you in 1.000 articles ?

 

In which situation do you think you’ll gain more credibility and authority? (Really hoping you’ll chose the second case). 

 

8. Ignoring Mobile First Indexing

 

It might not be news to you that Google looks primarily at mobile content, rather than desktop, when deciding how to rank results.

 

A “my business is concentrated on desktop, I don’t care about mobile” attitude might lead you straight to the end of page 99 in Google.

 

It’s called mobile first indexing and, as Google stated,  it means that algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to score pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.

 

Ignore mobile first indexing if you want Google to ignore your website.

 

9. Moving Your Site to a Slow Host

 

Are you familiar with the saying: it doesn’t matter how slow you move as long as you don’t stop? Great one, right? Well, forget about it when it comes to your website performance.

 

Things look quite different when it comes to hosting. 

 

A good hosting isn’t going to guarantee you a spot at the top. But a slow host will surely lead to a drop in organic search traffic. 

 

Google kept on saying how page speed is affecting the websites’ performance. They even created a tool for this.  There are several website speed performance tools out there that come in handy when trying to figure out the performance of your website. 

Web performance tool example

Screenshot taken from tools.pingdom.com

 

Cheap hosting might sound tempting and we cannot blame you for this. Yet, in terms of costs-benefits, it might “cost” you the traffic of your website, the revenue of your business.
Shared servers are a common solution and they do work well for most of the sites.

 

Sometimes sharing is scaring.

 

If you are on a shared server, as convenient as it might be for you, one resource-hungry neighbour can kill your site’s speed and therefore your organic search traffic. Better solutions when it comes to servers can be VPS (virtual private servers) or dedicated servers. They are indeed more expensive but they pay off.

 

 

10. Ignoring Your Broken Pages and Links

 

Ignorance is a bliss…sometimes. But never when it comes to digital marketing. Unless you want to experience some really nasty traffic dropped dramatically. 

It might happen to have some lost links from now and then or a broken page due to some crawling issue or something similar. Yet, when your broken pages and links form up a figure just as big as your phone number, then you might be facing a problem; in terms of site user experience and organic traffic as well. Your bounce rate will increase, your overall usability, you will be loosing links and therefore you will be start asking yourself “why did my organic traffic drop”?

Take a look at the image below. The number of broken pages is enormous, not to mention the link juice lost. Does traffic suffer due to this issue? You bet it does. Is there a fix for this? The answer is again yes. 

 

broken pages example on Site Explorer

 

The irony is that along with all the issues broken pages bring, there are some forseen opportunities as well. If you are interested in getting back your lost traffic and that link juice from your broken pages, two easy workouts can be done:

 

  • 301 redirects – this way, the link juice will pass to the redirected page.
  • “Repair” those pages – you can create a landing page with dedicated content.

 

A similar thing happens when it comes to lost links. As mentioned before, having a couple of lost links is not such a big problem. Yet, when you are losing hundreds of links on a daily basis, that should be an alarm signal for you.  

 

daily lost links chart

 

As we are your organic search traffic number one fan, below we’ve listed two steps that can help you out in the event you are experiencing a massive lost link drop:

  • Find those lost links. There are SEO tools that can help you here. We recommend you to use the Site Explorer as it gives you instant results and it’s easy to use.
  • Contact the webmaster who has the broken link. Indeed, a bit of outreaching and networking is involved here but your traffic and keywords’ranking are worth all the effort.
 

11. Hiring an SEO Company That Will Guarantee You Instant Traffic

 

Having lots of traffic is an entirely desirable outcome and there’s nothing wrong in keeping that goal in mind whatever strategy you chose to implement.

 

Keep your head in the clouds but your feet on the ground.

 

But what happens when your desire goes beyond any realistic expectation? You hire a SEO company that will guarantee you the first position on the most competitive keywords ever. 

Indeed, the first thing you should ask any digital marketing company is:

 

Will my site rank #1? But if the answer is yes, start looking for somebody else, don’t hire them!

 

SEO company rank #1

This, of course if you do care about your organic traffic and your overall inbound marketing strategy and you don’t want to make a mess out of them. The truth is that Google has so many rules and algorithms for scoring a website and that the SERP is so volatile that it’s nearly impossible to predict which site will have the best organic traffic and from what exact reasons.

 

If you want to drop from your hard worked #14 position to #79, you can start looking for companies that advertise themselves like the one in the image below. We don’t even know what to believe when it comes to companies that promise guaranteed instant traffic : that they are folly (in which case you don’t need them) or charlatans (in which case you don’t want them). If you want to find out more about SEO agencies and how they can ruin your website’s traffic, we wrote a previous blog post on this. 

 

 

12. Dropping Lots of Shady Links on Other Sites

 

You might know by now that unnatural links can get you into trouble and can cause sudden drop in organic traffic.  Google has developed a whole series of algorithm changes and penalties named after cute animals that make unnatural links the persona non grata of the internet. 

 

Yet, if you are really determined in screwing up your Google organic traffic, having a lot of unnatural links might not be enough.

 

Having lots of unnatural links connected to one page only, well that is true dedicated work for losing massive traffic. 

 

Just take a look at the screenshot below. Indeed, there is an unnatural link issue there; but more than that, the majority of unnatural links lead to just one page. 

 

link to one unnatural page example

 

If you are in a situation similar to the one presented in the screenshot below, we recommend you to fix it because if it hasn’t affected you until now, it will for sure on the long term. The easiest way to do identify your unnatural links and get rid of them is by using specialized tools.

 

 

13. Not Using Alt and Title Tags

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. This seems to be Google’s motto. Because yes, Google can “read” your image and this can be a ranking factor. We documented this in a previous article. With this already happening, the use of alt and title tags is commonplace.  Therefore, no alt tags and title tags = no traffic. 

Google places a relatively high value on alt texts to determine what is on the image but also to determine the topic of surrounding text.

alt text example

First things first, you should use alt text not just for SEO purposes but also because blind and visually impaired people won’t know what the image is about.  Second, yes, the title and alt tags influence your traffic as mentioned by the search engine themselves. 

If you want to keep your organic traffic safe and sound, include subject in the title tag and in the image alt text. 

We’re not saying you should spam with your focus keywords into every alt tag or title. But you need a good, related image for your posts in which it makes sense to have the keywords you are interested in there. 

 

14. Duplicating Your Content – Internally & Externally

Putting it simple, duplicate content is content that appears on the world wide web in more than one place. Is this such a big problem for the readers? Maybe not. But it is a very big problem for you if you are having duplicate content (internally or externally) as the search engines don’t know which version of the content is the original one and which one they should be ranking.

 

Can duplicate content get your website into trouble? The answer is yes. 

 

Although it is stated that there is no such thing as duplicate content penalty, the fact you have no unique content will prevent you from getting organic search traffic from Google.  The truth is that search engines reward uniqueness and added value and filter duplicate content; be it externally or internally.

Having duplicate content will not necessarily penalize your website but they will not help with your traffic at all. 

 

 

15. Ignoring Canonical Tags

The time might have come when you want to secure your website and switch from http to https. Easier said than done. A lot of issues might appear along the way that can screw up your hard-worked organic traffic. However, there is one thing that can really mess up things for your website while moving your site to https; and that is the canonical tag. 

 

The truth is that a major problem for search engines is to determine the original source for content that is available on multiple URLs. Therefore, if you are having the same content on http as well as https you will “confuse” the search engine which will punish you and you will suffer a traffic loss. This is why it’s highly important to use rel=canonical tags. What exactly is this?

A canonical link is an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues by specifying the “canonical” or “preferred” version of a web page

Just to be sure you are doing things in a search engine friendly way,  on the Google support page you can find more info on this matter

cannonical URL correct use example

If  you indulge me an analogy, if  you’re moving from one place to another, you would like the postman to send all the love letters to your new address and you wouldn’t want them lost in an old mailbox that no one uses, right? (I am guessing you would want the bills to be sent to the old address instead). A similar thing happens when it comes to moving your site’s address.

If you don’t want your organic traffic dropped for good, you need to use the re=canonical tags. 

 

16. Using the Same Commercial Anchor Text

 

The days of keyword stuffing are gone; or at least this is what we want to believe. Yet, when it comes to anchor texts, not only using them too much can break your traffic but also using the same anchor text for most of your links can be an issue. 

 

Let’s say that you are selling dog food. And most likely you will want the best traffic possible on the keyword “dog food”. Creating/building/earning all of your links with the same anchor text will get you in trouble. If you are having 600 links from which 400 use the anchor “dog food”, you might be facing a problem; it will surely raise a red flag to the search engines. And we all know what search engines do when they are getting these kinds of alarms: they begin applying penalties and move your websites so far from reach of the user that you will not be even listed in top 100. 

 

anchor text bad usage example

 

A variety of anchor texts, branded and commercial keywords all together, is a sign of naturalness and health of your link profile. 

 

 

Conclusion

Instead of the conclusion, indulge me for a couple of minutes to share a story with you.

 

Once upon a time, there was an old farmer. One day his horse ran away. When hearing this news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said, but the farmer replied: “We’ll see.”

The next morning the horse returned to the farmer, also bringing with it two other horses.

“Just great” the neighbors exclaimed! Again, the farmer answered: “We’ll see.”

The following day, his son broke his leg and therefore we could not help his father with his farming. “That’s terrible,” the neighbor said. “We’ll see,” replied the old farmer.

A couple of days later, the army came to the village to draft new recruits. As the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they did not recruit him. Everyone said, “What a fortunate situation.”

The farmer smiled again – and said: “We’ll see.”

 

The moral of this story is that everything is contextual. And this applies to everyday happenings and to your online marketing, traffic sources, and conversion rates as well. It happens that what looks like an opportunity to be actually a setback and vice-versa. We all make changes within our sites with the purpose of having tons of traffic. We are in a continuous race for inbound links, domain authority, technical SEO, diagnosing traffic drops, search volume, keyword research and we forget to take a few steps back and see how all of these influence our overall site’s performance. We’ve documented the ranking drop issue in an earlier post as well and you can take a look at it as well to better understand this phenomena.

 

Being dropped in rankings is not anyone’s desire, but it happens to be a reality. And as much as we’d like to put the blame on algorithmic penalties, manual actions or any other common reasons, sometimes we just need to take a closer look at the actions done by ourselves. 

The post 16 Causes Why Your Organic Traffic has Dropped … It’s Not Google’s Fault! appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

Link Earning – A Tale of 21 Unique Strategies to Creatively Build Links

Link earning is highly connected with trustworthy content and creative digital marketing strategies. It’s all about that type of content that has so much value that bloggers, publishers or specialists in the field can’t stop but link to it.  Your piece of content must be not only newsworthy, but also connected to your brand so it can tell a story and, therefore, earn links.

 

Link Earning - a Tale of 21 Unique Strategies to Creatively Build Links

 

Link acquiring tactics doesn’t mean writing great pieces of content and then crossing your fingers hoping people will come to your site. It doesn’t work like that. Also, it doesn’t imply the death of link building. And although there are many articles written on the theme of link earning vs. link building, I think that the two of them should be managed together and not torn apart. 

 

We’ve thought of some unique strategies to build or get links and help you along the process in a creative way. We do not guarantee that if you follow the strategies developed below your ranks will reach the skies. However, you will be learning how getting links tactics work, how you can “revive” your linking strategies and even how to go from link building to link acquiring. And, by having some great strategies at your disposal, you will earn links, great online presence and why not better traffic and ranks.

 

In order to generate traffic and earn links you need to think in multiple directions: organic search, quality content, emailing, algorithm updates, local SEO,  social media, influencers, content syndication, time and money and so on. But remember that strategies come first. Follow the next 21 unique strategies and earn links on the go:

 

  1. Write Data-Backed, Long-Form Resources and Get Better Ranks
  2. Create Engagement Within the Community Through Contests and Giveaways
  3. Ask Experts Questions Through an Interview to Stand Out and to Win Links
  4. Drive Growth and Strong Online Presence Through Personalized Web Experiences
  5. Establish Your Awesome Content as the Go-To Resource
  6. Give for Free Resources to Get Loyal Followers Who Will Link to Your Site
  7. Use Data Visualization to Improve Readability
  8. Get Inspired from Other Industries to Display Quality Content in a Unique Format
  9. Create How-To Guides with Creative & Amazing Content
  10. Conduct Case Studies About Well Known Brands
  11. Get Influencers Involved to Drive Awareness and to Obtain Links
  12. Create Tools and Give Them for Free
  13. Debate a Long Time Controversial Topic
  14. Outreach for Reviews and Early Looks
  15. Build Social Amplification for Building and Link Earning
  16. Newsjack a Story to Create Buzz & Links to Your Website
  17. Reward Loyalty & Make Your Devoted Customers Talk About You
  18. Engage Your Audiences with Real Time Information Through Live Blogging
  19. Get Quoted by a Journalist or an Editor to Build Authority
  20. Build a Recognizable Personal Brand & Use It as a Link Building Technique
  21. Provide Insights for Your Industry and Win Organic Links

Conclusion

 

1. Write Data-Backed, Long-Form Resources to Have Better Ranks

A couple of months ago we conducted a study on 300k randomly chosen pieces of content to see which type of content length ranks better. After we analyzed the results we saw that, as a rule, long-form content is more often associated with better ranks. We all know that content is king, yet, long-form content is not for everyone. For some businesses it might not work. In the end, everything you write should be useful content not to mention that each piece of content should match your audience’s needs and interests.

 

Yet, how can long-form content be a link earning tactic? Awesome content also brings awesome traffic and ranks. A longer piece of content might better target audiences, will rank better for many keywords and, if highly documented, it will surely be seen as an authoritative work.  Therefore, people will be more tempted to link to it.  Let’s take for example the article 53 untapped ways to boost your email open rates, written on our blog. It is a long piece of content (over 10.000 words), it is ranking for many keywords and has great traffic in comparison with other pieces of content written on the same theme but with fewer words. The content needs to be exceptional as well and the length of an article will not replace its quality; yet, it’s important to know that long form resources can help you earn valuable links. 

 

long article graphic

 

 

2. Create Engagement Within the Community Through Contests and Giveaways

A unique link earning strategy is to create contests and giveaways. Create a contest plan and then implement it. Publish it on your site and then promote it online on social channels or social networking sites to reach your audience. Staying in touch with your community and cherishing their interest can offer you a great advantage in front of your competition. You can ask them to share the information with your targeted audience and it’s a matter of time until it boosts your online presence. 

 

You can ask other websites that host contests to share yours as part of their online marketing strategy. It’s a good strategy to boost your contest and reach other audiences to gain engagement and reach a larger market.

 

It is important to have a reason for every contest or giveaway you start. Here are some examples you could follow:

  • a limited edition product;
  • a product/collection launch;
  • gift cards;
  • store opening or website launch;
  • travel offers;
  • a once in a lifetime opportunity.

A great example of a contest, named the DNA journey, was designed by Momondo, a free global travel search site with the help of AncestryDNA. You could participate by ordering a DNA kit. After you received it, you had to take a saliva test and then mail it back to the laboratory. Once you saw your results, you had to shoot a short video, which was the ticket to winning a journey. The results allowed you to compare your DNA against populations from different cultures and backgrounds to see which part of the world is the closest match to your DNA. The winner of the contest was taken on a journey based on his DNA. Below, you can see a presentation video:

 

 

The project had such a strong impact on people. Two of them who took part in the video discovered they were cousins and didn’t even know about it. It got a lot of publicity and good press around it. The news was taken by a lot of sites such as Today.com, Tnooz, Aplus.com, The Copenhagen Post, NYCTalking and many more.

 

The idea behind the contest was to show to the world that each person is a part of many stories. The DNA tells the truth behind ourselves and let us know that we might be a part of other cultures more than we think.  

 

3. Ask Experts Questions Through an Interview to Stand Out and to Win Links

Having interviews with experts is a good strategy to earn links. You can create an impactful interview by choosing pertinent questions and talking with specialists. Besides that, it is an easy way to build relationships and do networking. An open question can help you lead the discussion and find interesting facts. For an interview to be effective, you must have open questions that will allow the interviewer respond in a more elaborate way rather than a simple yes & no.

 

Here is an example of an interview of this kind.

 

4. Drive Growth and Strong Online Presence Through Personalized Web Experiences

Another unique strategy to earn links in a creative way is to create personalized content. Studies showed that personalized content drives results.  For instance, Forbes conducted a study of 380 chief marketing officers and discovered that marketers who deliver personalized web experiences see a 100% return in marketing performance and response. Sharing personalized examples of success or failure can bring you closer to your audience. See an example of a blog post about a personal experience below where one of our users shared his experience on a highly controversy subject, Google Penguin Penalties. This case study stirred the spirits but also received a lot of attention from our readers.

 

Personal example

Through personalized web experiences you can show the strengths of your product or service, success stories about your customers and other important features. In the end, you get mentions on other websites. And with mentions come organic links as well.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to define organic links or manual link building strategies that will do you more good that harm.  The truth is that when it comes to inbound links and sites’ ranks, we are facing the (re)birth of link earning. And we are saying “rebirth” as SEO industry faced so many deaths by now.  

 

5. Establish Your Awesome Content as the Go-To Resource

Writing in-depth blog posts is an excellent way to be defined as the go-to resource because your website has all the information in one place and the reader doesn’t feel the need to go and look somewhere else. You can capture attention for a longer period of time and entice the visitor to read other posts and maybe, turn him into a customer.

 

Having the best information in one place makes it far easier for people to cite your website and earn a link. That piece of content can cover more on a subject and gather more traffic. And you should always use the most valuable resource  (such content vs links, link earning vs link building) to stick to it for the long run.

 

An example of a go-to resource is Moz, that has created an exclusive page about Google Algorithm updates since 2000. It is the most comprehensive list of Google’s algorithmic update.  See a screenshot below:

Moz go to resource

 

 

6. Give for Free Resources to Get Loyal Followers WhoWill Link to Your Site

Giving for free resources will offer users a taste of what to expect when they’ll work with you. A free sample can show to people that you value them. You need to have something that will attract them. Specialists say a free resource is a lead magnet. As the name says it, the lead magnet is a lead generation idea and could take form into an ebook, course, checklist or something similar.

 

A free resource is also a statement, and it can offer you authority in the domain if it’s well documented and has a clean design. If visitors see you have content overflowing with valuable information, they will consider you an expert. Here is a list of resources categorized on the domain of interest.

 

7. Use Data Visualization to Improve Readability

Using data visualization to make a scientific topic be easily understood is a way to improve readability. Visuals are a great way to create links bait for a piece of content that is hard to grasp. For example, take a look at Xkcd’s Radiation Dose Chart below:

Xkcd's Radiation Dose Chart

Source: https://xkcd.com/radiation/

Through this visual presentation, it is easier to understand and to visualize how much radiation a person can absorb from different sources. The chart uses units for absorbed dose named “sieverts” and measures the effect of the radiation on the cells of our body. The targeted audience might be tempted to share this kind of info. 

Information is beautiful. You just got to know how to present it.

 

Another example of visual data you can see on the site Vision of Humanity by Institute for Economics and Peace.

Vision of humanity

For each index (Global Peace Index, Terrorism Index) and each factor, you will see an interactive map. You can click on the country you want to see the facts for, and there will appear a new window on the left side of the screen with the info you need.

 

Always make sure you adapt your content to your readers. If you have content for designers, make sure you use visual data and real examples/photos from the tool. Take for example the next photo:

Annotated Screenshot

Source: https://designschool.canva.com

Don’t you think the second picture is clearer and more concise? Besides that, it is easier to share it and to link to it. With a little effort, you can earn links.

 

You must create content that people will read, content that is not easy to quit. Having this type of visual data on your site will increase readability, and it will be easy to share and to earn a link if it’s catchy.

 

8. Get Inspired from Other Industries to Display Quality Content in a Unique Format

Getting inspired from other industries to display content in a unique format is another great link earning strategy. I’m not talking about infographics, although it might be a good way to write the content. It is an overused topic. Of course, there are exceptions. Look at the following infographic for example:

A tale of two cows

Source: http://i.imgur.com/uAf5Dhp.jpg

This infographic is an example of visual storytelling you could get inspired from. It is easy to understand the explanations, and it illustrates a joke from the 1940s.

 

You can use the periodic table for other domains such as content writing, SEO, marketing signals, web design process, typefaces. For example, see the picture below:

The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors

Source: http://searchengineland.com

For plans or a content structure, you can use MindMeister. Below you can see an example of a structure for the content marketing process.

Content Marketing Process

Find the whole mapping idea here.

 

9. Create How-To Guides with Creative & Amazing Content

When you decide to write something, you shouldn’t always play by the rules. Be creative, try new ideas, formats, but always test them before launch. A new idea could come in the shape of flow charts for how-to guides. Hubspot created a flow chart based on a question that has been debated for a long time.

Should-I-Gate-Content-Flowchart-HubSpot

Source: https://blog.hubspot.com

The flow chart can be displayed in a portrait format, as well. Check the next screenshot about The No Hype, Buzzword-Free Guide To Creating Good Content For Your Business:

Flow chart

Source: http://www.bitrebels.com

Presenting the info in a user friendly way can make all the difference; not to mention the links you might be earning. 

 

10. Conduct Case Studies About Well Known Brands

Case studies are a valuable asset, but finding the best examples with well known brands is hard. Through case studies, you can establish proof that you offer value. Chose well-known brands so you could have a great effect. On the other hand, you could be more personal and chose impactful examples from brands that aren’t so popular. People react to familiarity. You should have a dedicated case studies page (see the next picture).

 

Case Studies Well Known Brands

 

Get inspired by Google. Below you can see a screenshot from a very well structured case study from Think with Google.

Think with google case study

 

11. Get Influencers Involved to Drive Awareness and to Obtain Links

Influencers control niches. They are the best friend of link bait. If you involve influencers in the process of promoting your content, you will see a lift in your article’s traffic, ranking and bring you quality, organic links. Most of the times, using influencers is a success.

 

You don’t need special talent to convince an influencer to do an interview, but you require an extra effort to make them notice your request. There are various ways to talk with an influencer. Send an email, contact them through different events, on social media, on webinars or podcasts and so on.

 

12. Create Tools and Give Them for Free

A freemium tool is a great idea to create something valuable and earn links. A free tool has a lot of potential, and you can get a lot of attention with it. It’s also a great opportunity for you to appear among the first in the search results. Not only that,  it will be a good start to make a tool you can monetize, afterward. Keyword Tool, a keyword research tool or the free alternative to Google keyword planner as they marketize themselves,  is an example of a powerful free tool. Not only that, but they have around 555,821 links coming from 6,348 referring domains. Great tool, great marketing and great link earning strategy. 

Keyword Tool example

 

13. Debate a Long Time Controversial Topic

If you want to make a statement, you need to come up with a new approach. A controversial or uncommon topic is a unique link earning tactic. If you want to break the noise, you need to think differently and raise your head up from the crowd. Make people wonder. If you succeed, you’ll see them talk on your blog, share reactions (hopefully they are the ones you desired) and then earn links.

 

Jonah Berger and Zoey Chen debated the controversy topic in the research When, Why, and How Controversy Causes Conversation, and they discovered that:

[Data] shows that controversy increases likelihood of discussion at low levels, but beyond a moderate level of controversy, additional controversy actually decreases likelihood of discussion.

More controversial topics are more interesting to talk about. Remarkable things are named uncommon or unusual. Here comes the Toilet Paper Strategy. See the next picture and stick it in your mind.

The toilet paper strategy

Which is the right way? This is a hotly debated topic on the globe. There’s even a post on Wikipedia about the “toilet paper orientation”. It worked so well because everyone can relate to the topic. For a thing to be controversial it doesn’t have to be silly, but rather to present facts in comparison or to include other share-worthy elements such as geographic angles, timeliness, shocking insights.

 

14. Outreach for Reviews and Early Looks

Putting a little effort and starting contacting people to talk with them and build relationships is priceless. Not to mention that outreach for reviews and early looks is an effective link earning strategy.

 

Online you can find outreach management software to help you establish relationships that allow you to manage and grow a large volume of campaigns. Buzzstream is an example of such tool. Besides that, through these types of tools, you could give influencers an early look, a preview of new features. This strategy works very well to engage with experts and build links creatively. Not to mention that is always important to have an opinion from a user, to know if you need to make improvements or if your product delivers the results you wanted. Afterward, good reviews will follow, and this will bring you popularity in your industry.

 

However, although the “fight” for link earning and link building it’s tough, whenever you create a new piece of content or an inbound link, you should ask yourself how you would feel if you knew that Google’s former head of web spam team, Matt Cutts was looking at your site. If you’re feeling totally relaxed about it, then you have nothing to worry about. If you’re having second thoughts then you should reconsider your link building or link earning strategies. 

 

15. Build Social Amplification for Building and Link Earning

Creating social amplification is a great strategy that leads to on-going returns. In the online world, there is a concept of creating media storm based on a highly captivating marketing idea. It is named social link bait. We know that link bait is not a recommended technique, but that is not the case here. In this case, we are talking about viral and social amplification. This strategy will bring social shares, mentions and links will follow, building a natural link profile.

 

You must think ahead and promote those pages that will catch the eye of the public. An excellent example will be to involve the audience in taking part in your campaign to drive awareness and get more exposure. Social amplification, by its definition, refers to the viewer’s behavior of taking a positive action towards a post and sharing it far wide. The #icebucketchallenge is an example of a successful social amplification idea.

sheryl-sandberg-ice-bucket-challenge

Source: http://everythingdifferent.co.uk

There is also the option of paid social media amplification, which means creating sponsored stories/posts on Facebook, promoted tweets and trends, Google Plus post ads and many other. See the next screenshot from the infographic from Gryffin with the complete list:

Paid Social Amplification

Source: http://crimsonmarketing.com/cm-new/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Paid_Social_Amplification.jpg

 

16. Newsjack a Story to Create Buzz & Links to Your Website

If you want to newsjack the right way, you need to know the lifecycle of a news story, before you start. If you start at the right point, you’ll generate buzz. Then let the links come to you.

newsjacking-lifecycle

Source: https://www.impactbnd.com

On top of that, you need to track relevant news by:

  • monitoring Google Trends;
  • tracking keywords and mentions through Brandmentions;
  • following journalists and specialists in your industry;
  • follow trending hashtags on Twitter.

 

As the internet is continuously developing, we change the way we consume news. You can create a special section on your blog with news. The blog posts can be short. Make sure you express the whole idea to became newsworthy. Search Engine Land offers this type of content.  

 

After you newsjack a story and you publish it on the blog there are a few things you need to do:

  • tweet the blog post and use trending hashtags;
  • share on other social media platforms;
  • contact a journalist or help a reporter out;
  • hold short live videos;
  • hold a webinar to talk about big changes and big news;
 

17. Reward Loyalty & Make Your Devoted Customers Talk About You

Brand loyalty is something that every business owner wants. It is a strong feeling to incite. Loyalty comes naturally and as long as you preserve this powerful feeling you’ll have a long-term relationship with your customers. The hard part is maintaining your loyal customers. Rewarding loyalty and making your devoted customers talk about you is one of the successful link earning strategies.

 

MailChimp nailed this through their Christmas gift. They rewarded their users, giving each a pair of red socks and a Christmas card.

Mailchimp socks reward loyalty

Source: http://www.elysiummg.com

 This reward system got them mentions, social shares, and links, earned links. Below you can see a screenshot from a blog with a link to Mailchimp about the reward.

Mailchimp link earning

 

18. Engage Your Audiences with Real Time Information Through Live Blogging

Grab the attention by engaging your audience with real-time information through live blogging. Participate in live talks to build your business and personal brand. Offering live content gives you a significant advantage because it offers you the possibility to interact in real time with followers. To make things interesting, you can respond in real time to questions from participants and get massive coverage if your topic is long debated. Afterward, you can and get links and mentions. There is an option to build a blog post around the live video.

 

When your brand is “on air” your followers will know where you are. Your brand will be associated with relevancy, and they will see you as a reliable source of information.

 

19. Get Quoted by a Journalist or an Editor to Build Authority

It is a strategy proved to have success and earn links, as Caleb McElveen, inbound marketer and SEO Manager for Listing Power Tools, says in one of his articles. If you don’t have a HARO account, you should. Help a Reporter Out is an online service to help add value and deliver quality information to a publisher. The service was created for journalists to connect with people that have the expertise to provide relevant information. If you help, you might be surprised by the powerful force of the internet. You’ll get the chance to get quoted, and this means you’ll earn links.

 

20. Build a Recognizable Personal Brand & Use It as a Link Building Technique

Make a name for yourself. You’ll thank me later. A personal brand creates buzz, in case you’ve done your job right. A personal brand means that people know who you are, you have authority in your industry. A personal brand will help you grow your business and enhance your reputation.

 

Be original, always look to offer quality and relevant content. For example, Kevin Lee is named “the godfather of SEM” as spot on Search Engine People, ShayCarl is pioneer of “vlog videos”. Take a look at people who will always be associated with a brand, like Steve Jobs. When you hear his name, you think Apple. Or when you hear Mark Zuckerberg you think Facebook, for Larry Kim is WordStream and so on. It will be easy for people to connect your name with your brand, and earn links on the long run.

 

Another important aspect to keep in mind is to have a mantra. Like a brand mantra, it is something that defines you, is a descriptive modifier. Like glasses, John Lennon had a unique type of round glasses, different from those that Elton John wears. Audrey Hepburn has another type of glasses. Take a look at the next picture:

Famous iconic glasses

Source: www.federicomauro.com/

If we talk about mustaches, the iconic Charlie Chaplin has a toothbrush mustache, Salvador Dali has his unique mustache. Rand Fishkin has an Italian mustache, as you can see in the picture below:

Rand-mustache

Source: https://moz.com

People tend to remember visual elements better and associate them with a name. Having something that sets you apart is important nowadays, to stick it in people’s minds.

 

21. Provide Insights for Your Industry and Win Organic Links

Highlight competitors and capture the attention. Offer insights and secrets in your industry to become a leader and increase trust. Followers will come because they’ll know your content embodies value. Providing insights is not only an effective link building strategy but also an organic traffic generator. 

 

Think laterally, which practically means to think of a way to resolve problems through a creative approach. This means to let your imagination look at a problem in an unusual light.

You cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created it. – Albert Einstein

A content of this kind might bring you numerous social shares, mentions on sites within your industry, other blogs, and news publications.

 

 

Conclusion

Creating ah-mazing content isn’t everything if you don’t nurture the relationship with your readers, so they share your quality content and make them return to your website. Respect is earned, right? Well, just like respect you need to do something good in order to earn links. The strategies we’ve pointed in the list discussed above can help you with this. Of course, there is not a single “pure” strategy; link earning strategies can combine social media marketing, SEO link strategies, the proper use of anchor texts, guest posts, content strategies, and much more. Regardless if it’s you how’s doing all the work or you let some SEO companies do this for you, you need to keep in mind that the SEO industry can be ruthless when it comes to SEO link building or link earning. 

 

To wrap out you should stop looking for gimmicks. You should look for the outcome and not catch “tricks” to build links through link schemes or low quality content ideas that don’t keep count of the Google algorithm update. Look for value in everything you do. Follow the advice from SEO experts and go for the best in class content. And remember that a good content strategy (like evergreen content or qualitative guest blogging) is always a solution.

 

This is not a beginners guide, yet anyone can start getting links by taking into consideration these link earning tactics. We totally agree that a single strategy won’t increases traffic overnight; yet, combined and creatively used, even with the help of some SEO tools or a small but dedicated SEO team, might help you start getting links.

 

Let us know what you think about these linking strategies and tactics. 

 

 

The post Link Earning – A Tale of 21 Unique Strategies to Creatively Build Links appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

How to Get Google to Send You 119,717 Visitors Every Month

google visitors

Last Updated February 23rd, 2017

Are you wondering how to get more traffic from Google? This post might be able to help.

I’ll never forget the first time I got 100,000 visitors from Google in one month. I still feel extremely lucky. Today I’m going to show you how I think I did it in the hope that something will be new for you.

When you first think about starting a blog you kind of don’t imagine you’ll ever get more than a trickle of traffic.

And then you have your first 100-visitor day.

Then your first 1,000-visitor day.

After a while you might even have a 10,000 or 20,000 visitor a day and you still can’t believe it’s happening.

What I want to do today is show you as much of what I did as possible to see whether it helps your blog get more traffic. Let’s look at all the ins and outs of how to get over 100,000 visitors a month from natural organic Google search.

Things are so much nicer when you have a plan.

Why is Google traffic still the best?

If you’ve been reading Blog Tyrant for a while you’ll know that I occasionally warn against relying on Google too much.

And I stand by that.

Organic traffic from Google search is still the most valuable traffic you can get because it grows, it’s free (sort of), and people who are using search engines are usually in a buy-ready frame of mind.

Google traffic
A screen shot of my Clicky Analytics account showing one of my first 28 day periods where I had 100,000+ unique visitors hitting my blog from Google searches.

However, if your begin to rely solely on that traffic you run the risk of getting yourself into a bit of trouble in the longterm. Every time Google updates its algorithm there is a chance your blog is going to be less relevant.

And that means your traffic vanishes.

My own little story with this issue

I’ve told this story before but when I first got into blogging I had a few fitness blogs which made money pretty exclusively through Google Adsense. One day I woke up and all my traffic (and revenue!) had gone – I’d received a pretty significant Google penalty for some unknown reason.

Lucky for me, the traffic came back.

But it was a very scary experience and it taught me that I need to ensure that I have diversified traffic sources that act as a back up in case one of them gets accidentally or deliberately turned off.

How long does it take to get 100,000 visitors a month from Google?

Something I want to stress in this post is that my approach to Google traffic is one that is very clean, natural and safe.

And “safe” isn’t always a word that sits well with entrepreneurs.

Because it usually means slow.

If you’re after some short term SEO tricks to help you get an inferior website ranked in two weeks then this isn’t the post for you. This is all about a high-value approach to blogging that you can use on a site that you love and don’t want to take unnecessary risks with.

But saying it will take 6 months or a year is kind of irresponsible of me because every blog and niche is different. It will depend a lot on how prolific you can be, and how willing you are to learn a new approach.

How to get 100,000 visitors a month from Google

Okay, now we can get into the real tofu and potatoes of the post.

And, as always, if you get to the end and think I’ve missed something important or have any questions please leave a comment and let me know.

1. Choose a topic, keywords and target market that has the depth

The very first thing you need to do if you want to have a good SEO strategy is know what keywords you are going after and what target market you are trying to tap into.

Too often I see blogs that have a very generalised topic which leads to a lot of fragmented content, an unresponsive mailing list and not a lot of success.

When researching your topic, please make sure you know what you want to talk about and how your blog is going to be different to all the others out there. It is very important that you think about deliberate ways that your topic is going to stand out.

When researching keywords, it’s a good idea to know who your competition is and how saturated the market is. There are some niches that are very, very hard to compete in. The main worry, however, is a niche with not enough traffic.

google traffic estimator

One simple place to start is by logging into Google Adwords and using their suite of Tools. One of them will estimate search volume and show you the Adwords bidding competition. This will give you a pretty good idea about whether your market is worth the effort.

Make sure you try a lot of variations of your keywords here. Even small changes like plurals or alternative words that seem similar can have a massive effect on traffic numbers.

At this stage you’ll also want to look at your competition using a service like Majestic to see what keywords are going around, who is working on what, etc. You can then go and spend some time manually searching and clicking through to websites to see if there is anything that you can do better than what is already out there.

At this point I’d like to just mention that passion really is the most important thing here. It’s something I’ve heard successful bloggers like Glen from ViperChill say again and again. Even if you find a profitable niche to work in, you’ll soon lose interest at all the hard (and boring tasks) if you don’t love it and sincerely want to help your readership.

That is very important.

2. Get your own domain name and self-hosted WordPress setup

How many times have you seen a free blog like Tumblr or Blogger in the first position on Google? Not often is the answer.

Google gives a much higher weighting to websites and blogs that have their own domain name and host because it is a pretty basic signal that that website is going to be taking itself more seriously – hence better quality. Here’s a quick video explaining my preferred setup.

So how do you choose a good domain name? Well, there are several options:

  • Exact match keywords
    A few years ago if you could get an exact match phrase you’d be more likely to rank at the top. Now this isn’t so popular and can look a bit spammy. However, for local search, things like ArchitectMelbourne.com.au still rank extremely well if you can get them.
  • Keyword + noun
    Another popular method is to take the keyword that you are targeting and add a noun or adjective to it. Blog Tyrant could be an example of this approach if I was targeting the keyword “blog”.
  • Distinctive domains
    This is actually now the best option given that all the good keyword domains are taken. Being distinctive is important. Look at a site like ViperChill where the domain name has nothing to do with anything but you’ll never forget it.

Once you’ve decided on your domain name you can register it and do all your WordPress set up through BlueHost. This is a good idea because then everything is in the one place. Here is a tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog and bit more about blog hosting in general if you’re interested.

3. Change your general WordPress settings for better SEO performance

For the most part, WordPress is a pretty SEO-friendly platform. That being said, there are a few little default things that we want to change from the get go.

The first is your default permalinks structure which is often set to some combo of the date and name. I like to set this to just post name as we will want the keywords that we are targeting to show up in the post. Just go Settings > Permalinks > Post Name.

postname

Remember, if you already have your blog up and running you don’t want to change any existing permalinks as that will result in any links pointing to that old structure to throw an error. We only want it for future things.

The next thing you want to make sure is that your post titles are set to h1 tags and not anything else. Often you find that WordPress themes have the site name as the first header and then the post title is h2 which is a mistake. You can change this by going Appearance > Editor > Single Post and then changing your post title to the right tag.

The last basic WordPress thing we want to change is your sidebar. Get rid of everything in there except for an email subscriber opt-in form and maybe some links to your most popular posts. You don’t need all that Meta stuff in there, and you especially don’t want any blogroll links.

4. Install an SEO-specific plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast

Now you’ll want to get a little more advanced and install a plugin that has been specifically designed for improving your WordPress blog’s search engine performance. The most popular and well respected is WordPress SEO by Yoast.

This plugin is actually quite intimidating for beginner/intermediate level bloggers. There are a lot of settings and options and you will be introduced to a whole new lexicon of SEO-related words.

Don’t panic.

Firstly, Yoast has written a really comprehensive guide on how to get yourself properly setup. Secondly, it’s not the kind of thing you need to get totally correct before you do anything else – you can tweak as you go. I would earmark half a day of your time to add the plugin and go through the above article making changes and then just leave it for a while.

wordpress-seo-plugin

The great thing about this plugin, as you can see above, is that it will tell you if you are making any large mistakes or errors as you go along. Combine this with the installation guide and you will find yourself learning a lot about SEO best practices for a WordPress blog setup.

5. Carefully tweak and improve your user experience ranking factors

The above plugin and settings mostly tweak your site to make it look better in the eyes of Google bots. But what we want to do now is make sure it looks good in the eyes of your human readers.

The interesting thing about this is that improving a blog’s user experience also leads to a better ranking performance because Google only wants to refer its customers to highly useful sites.

Start by making sure you have a mobile responsive WordPress theme. This is especially important since the Google mobile update that happened a few weeks ago.

If you’re not sure whether your site looks good to Google then use their mobile testing tool. Here’s what it says about Blog Tyrant:

mobile friendly

The next most important user experience ranking factor is speed. Google only wants to send visitors to website that load extremely quickly because they know that people are impatient. If your site is taking longer than about 2-3 seconds to load then it is too slow.

blog load speed

The above is a screenshot of a speed test I did on Blog Tyrant using Pingdom Tools where the results are very positive. Of course, this speed varies depending on the location of the user, how many people are on the website, etc. but overall my site is loading pretty well.

Some of the basic things you can do to ensure your blog is loading quickly include:

  • Shrinking images
    I’m always surprised at how often bloggers upload images that are > 2MB. It’s too large. Ideally you want to shrink your images down to around < 50KB or smush them.
  • Talking to your server technicians
    If you are on a good web host you will usually find that your server technicians will offer you some free advice on how to best optimise your blog. Open up a support ticket and tell them you need to make some site speed improvements and see what tips they give. They can do things like enabling GZIP which is a server-side speed improvement.
  • Using a caching plugin
    Caching is another big topic that takes a while to get your head around. A lot of it can be done on the server side of things, but there are also several good WordPress plugins like W3 Total Cache which you can install and get good results with.

Now that you’ve taken some steps to speed up your blog, you’ll want to start looking at the layout of your theme and ensuring that you have the design setup in a way that will encourage visitors to take an action.

For example, it’s a very good idea to ensure that you important stuff is above the fold. This is the area of your blog that people see before they have to scroll. Any opt-in forms, calls to action, etc. really need to be in this area, or at least catered to in a design that encourages scrolling.

You’ll also want to look at things like your typography and replace any slow self-hosted fonts with either web safe versions or a Google Font version which always seem to be quicker and you can test out text to see what looks nice.

typography

Make sure you use a large, easy to read font size that fits with your branding. The general wisdom is that fonts like Arial, Verdana and Georgia are good choices because people are used to reading them and thus it feels familiar. Here’s some interesting recommendations from Apple on the topic.

6. Create strategic content based around keywords, value and point of difference

Ever since I first sold a blog in college I’ve preferred to approach blogging, SEO and online business with a “quality first” attitude where my stuff hopefully helps people.

And one of the mantras you hear a lot in the blogging world is the idea that content is king.

Well, I actually think that is a pretty ordinary phrase.

Quality content alone is not enough. It needs a strategy. – Tweet this.

If you really pay attention to what is appearing at the top of Google these days you’ll notice that there is a mix of local stuff, videos, long form content, aged content, fresh content, photos, etc. Have a look at a few results for the term “email marketing”.

email marketing

It is quite varied.

So instead of just attempting to write something “quality”, what we need to do is really dig deep into the niche and figure out what we can create that is not only useful, but different. How can I make something that will get attention?

That is very important.

But that content that we create also has to form part of an overall blogging strategy otherwise it is all a complete waste of time. There is absolutely no point in getting over 100,000 visitors to your blog each month if they aren’t taking some type of action towards your goals.

Here’s some more reading on why a blog is not enough in and of itself.

Let’s look at WPMU DEV as an example of someone who does strategic content very well. If you do a Google search for “most beautiful responsive WordPress themes” you’ll see they have this article ranking near the top.

Then at the top of that article they have this in-house promotion:

responsive design

This is a really clever way to build traffic using organic methods in order to sell a product that you own and control. A lot of their tutorials and articles are very closely related to the plugins and WordPress themes that they develop. This has the dual effect of benefiting their existing customers as well as finding new ones through Google.

Oh yeah – they have over 370,000 customers paying minimum $24 a month.

7. Leverage other sites’ authority and build links by providing value around the web

There is something quite intangible about this point but I want to write about it anyway because I feel like it has been really important for my own Google rankings.

Over the last few years I’ve noticed something interesting.

If you can write something really good about a topic everyone knows but have a new angle to it, and then get yourself in front of influencers regularly, you will find that they start to link to your articles quite naturally.

In the last few weeks alone I’ve had links from Neil Patel, Moz and Search Engine Watch all for things I’ve done on my About page or my article about About pages!

Another example would be the link I got on Boost Blog Traffic for an article about controversial titles where they featured a controversial title that I wrote.

Simple stuff.

This is another example of the fact that you don’t have to be first in your niche, you just have to try to find a way to stand out and be noticed. Sometimes you can do that with something as basic as your own personal story.

One of the other ways I do this is to make sure I link to all my favorite bloggers regularly when I write something that I think is pretty good. Bloggers really love getting links, and if you’ve included them on some awesome new resource that you’ve made you might just find that they link back to another one of your posts when they’re writing something new.

If you’re doing a guest post on someone else’s blog then this is the absolute best time to mention someone that you’d like to get in front of.

8. Update old stuff (including titles and descriptions)

These days Google is giving a lot of weight to fresh content.

What that means is that some of the brilliant articles that you wrote five years ago, even though they may be the best thing on the web, might not be appearing as high as they should be because some new whipper snapper is stealing your thunder.

One way to combat this is to go back and figure out which posts might need a bit of a fresh coat of paint and add things like new information, graphics, photos, videos, etc. and really make it feel modern again.

One of the good things about the WordPress SEO plugin mentioned above is that it lets you re-write your titles for search engines. One of the main reasons you might want to do this is to show that it has been updated.

For example, in 2014 I wrote a post about the things to know before starting a blog in that year. The content is still perfectly relevant today in 2015 so I updated the description to reflect that fact.

starting a blog

If it still had the old 2014 information in there I might see a lot fewer people clicking through from Google. I don’t recommend you go and do this for every post in your archive either – just try and keep the posts that need to be updated updated.

9. Reinvest part of your earnings to increase exposure

I know a lot of you might be getting sick of me talking about this but it’s so important so I’m going to keep saying it.

Advertising on Facebook Ads and Google Adwords is actually a really big part of good SEO.

Expert SEOs are going to laugh at me for saying that but I don’t care, hear me out.

When you have a really good piece of content that you’ve invested countless hours into researching, writing and editing, you want to make sure it does well. Now, even if you main goal is to get that article to rank on Google you’ll want to make sure you spend money on social advertising.

And the reason is simple.

The wider reach your article has the more likely it is to get seen by someone who’ll eventually link to it.

Think about it.

You can go onto Facebook and in five minutes create an advert that will target only people interested in XYZ niche. That might include other bloggers in the XYZ niche – hopefully even some influencers. If your article is any good it’ll be on their radar next time they are writing about that topic.

This type of promotion works extremely well for long form content and types of content that people can download and use as an everlasting resource. I reckon I’ve probably link to Jon Morrow’s headline PDF at least five times.

10. Listen to Google but don’t be afraid of Google

One of the things that I’ve learned from ViperChill that I’m very grateful for is the idea that you should listen to Google but not always be afraid that you are doing something terribly wrong.

Glen takes a lot of risks with his SEO approach, something that I’m not willing to do here, but he’s also kind of helped me loosen up about trying out new things without fear of a Google penalty.

I wrote about one example in my post on why guest posts still work.

When Matt Cutts told everyone that guest posts were a dangerous way to build backlinks everyone just kind of stopped doing guest posts.

That’s silly.

Guest posting is still a fantastic way to get traffic to your site and find a whole new readership, many of whom will link to your content, promote it on social media and share it with their own audiences. So guest posting for SEO is still very much alive, it’s just smarter now.

Make sure you know what Google wants and doesn’t want, but don’t be so scared of the rules that you stop making content that people want to consume.

One practical task you can do right now

I want to end this post by giving you one practical task that you can start today that will get you closer towards your first 100,000 visitors from Google in a single month.

Start by reading this post (I’m assuming you have if you’re this far) and taking into account all the ideas on keyword research, strategic content, etc. your task is:

Write one brilliant post of at least 3,500 words (include links to big bloggers in your niche, graphics, photos, etc.) based around one strategic keyword set and a point of difference. Find another blog to give it away to as a guest post.

This is something that I notice a lot of bloggers still really struggle to do. When it comes to getting traffic from Google a lot of it really starts with getting your name out there and building links by building up your brand awareness. And that can be done really simple with some good guest posting.

How much traffic do you get from Google?

If you have any questions about how to get more Google traffic I’d be more than happy to try and answer them in the comments below. I’d also be really interested to know how much traffic you get from Google searches and whether you think you could be doing better.

This post took quite a while to put together so if you enjoyed it please consider giving it a share using one of the buttons below. I’d really appreciate it.

Top image © Alexoakenman | Dreamstime.com.

Introducing Turn Off the Overwhelm (lead a deliberate life)

“Love people, use things. The opposite never works.” Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, The Minimalists.

Throughout my adult life (or at least the majority of it), I’ve tried to be someone who places more value on people and experiences over materialism and the status quo.

This means looking at how the every day can be a catalyst for an opportunity to learn and share in the beauty of collective connections, and what we can take away from these experiences.

I’m not always successful – but then that’s why life is called an adventure. It’s a never-ending ride of lessons learned that we hopefully grow from by the time the ride is over.

This is the reasoning behind my new project Turn Off the Overwhelm,.

Turn Off the Overwhelm

Our daily lives are overwhelmed with noise and distraction, serving only to remove us from the kind of connections and interactions that make us truly human.

We need to make our lives simpler so we have more time to connect to the experiences that truly matter, and lead a more deliberate life.

By turning off the overwhelm, we can foster deeper, more meaningful connections that offer more than just a brief memory, and create a series of lasting moments of a life well lived.

The goal of Turn Off the Overwhelm is to help you lead a more deliberate life through a shared vision to turn off the noise and return focus to ourselves and those around us.

We need to make our lives simpler so we can connect to the experiences that truly matter, Click To Tweet

Throughout life, we have a choice. We can either choose to put self and material living first, or we can live a deliberate life where others are our priority, and the things and experiences we collect are ones that bear meaning.

I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for on the site or, at the very least, get an idea of where to look. You can subscribe directly here.

Here’s to meaningful lives.

The most valuable things are the ones that make our lives simpler so we have more time to connect to the experiences that truly matter, and lead a more deliberate life.