Each website is looking to climb up the SERPs. SERPs, also known as the Search Engine Results Page, can make or break a business. When you are displayed on the top of the page, you are going to get the bulk of the visitors that searched for terms that you already set up. Increased visitors leads to higher revenue and better advertising opportunities.
There is a point in your business though where content no longer matters. As a site matures, you will start to notice which websites are able to pull ahead in the rankings. Let us take a look at some of the ways in which we can increase our clout with the various search engines.
Going Beyond Ads
When you first begin to get into SEO, you will want to target questions that people are searching for. Say for instance you run a mold removal business. You look at the cost of running ads and it is through the roof. This is for several reasons.
You are bidding against other mold removal companies and the service can run several hundred thousands of dollars. When there are multiple companies all competing for very lucrative and limited business, it pushes up the cost of a click. When you are marketing something cheap like a mouse pad, the competition is lower and thus the ads cost less. For expensive services, it may not make sense to pursue ads that can cost over a hundred dollars for just a click!
Going Beyond Content
Many sites will decide to hire at least one or two full time SEO writers at this point. The cost of a full time writer will oftentimes pull in more customers than ads that are going for hundreds of dollars on each click. The SEO writer may have agency training or they may be certified through various services on the web such as HubSpot which offers certifications and quizzes.
An SEO content writer will target questions that people ask when they are looking for mold remediation. This might be “Best Mold Removal in Buffalo” or “What does Black Mold look like?” Either of these statements can become part of an article written by the SEO expert. People that search these terms will come to your page for the answer and then they may also choose to go with your company.
Link Building Enters In
Local companies that offer a service will be satisfied with their SEO writer and the traffic that they are bringing in for quite some time. As long as relevant questions are targeted, they will rise in the ranks. At a certain point, this will end. Content writing can only take you so far.
As your page rises in the rankings, there are other companies doing the same thing. Marketing on the internet is not new and the information is out there. How do you handle it when other companies have their own writing team?
How to Take Over the Competition
As you start to run into other companies competing for top spots, you will look to other ways to get a better ranking. If every company has an SEO writer putting out content, who gets the top spot? This is where a link building strategy becomes important. Google wants a page that answers questions, but that is just part of the battle. They also want to see that your site is trusted by other sites.
How can you prove your site is trusted? Your pages should link out to other pages and also have websites that want to link with you. Think of this as a social proof method to find good sites. If many other people link to your content, it is probably good. Google takes this into account and boosts sites with a lot of links.
How to Build Links
Link building in simple terms is just having sites link back to you. This will increase your authority in the eyes of Google and help with their algorithm. If your page is considered good enough to be used as a citation, it should move to the top of the rankings. How can you start link building for your WordPress site?
1. Hire a Company
Need links fast? It might seem like a good idea to hire a company that will promise links to you from good sites. They might brag about the fact that they can get you links from impressive sites like CNN.com or Bloomberg. It is true that some of them may have connections that can boost you in the rankings. It would make things easy if you could just sign up with one of these services and forget about your ranking.
In reality, this is the last thing you want to pursue. The links that are going to be pointing to your site are coming from a PBN. This Private Blog Network is several sites set up that seem like they are not owned by the same company. In reality, they are run like automated bots and link to whatever site pays the most.
Google looks down on Private Blog Networks and actively tries to stop them. What can you do if the network is discovered? The answer is nothing. Sure, you can disavow links, but the damage is done. All those links you paid for will not be worth anything.
2. Guest Posts
This is a wonderful way to boost your ranking the right way. Therefore, instead of hiring dodgy sites with mysterious networks, reach out the right way. When you write engaging content another site would love to have, their readers will become familiar with what you offer. They may even decide to start visiting your site!
First, keep in mind, the content should be top-notch. Second, there is no point in doing guest blogging if the writing is poor quality. This will only reflect poorly on your own site. Make sure to write the post yourself or get a writer that knows the industry.
Guest Blogging Tools
Tools have been set up that can automate much of the work for guest blogging. On a WordPress site, you have the option of tools that can scrape a whole page for contact information. This makes it easier to speak with the person in charge.
Other tools have the ability to generate pitch emails. This is great when you are sending out a lot trying to land a guest spot. Instead of doing each email over and over, just use a program that generates the blocks of text. You also can use programs that will scrape the internet and look for places where you can guest post. This is going to save you a lot of time instead of doing all the searches manually.
You may ask yourself why infographics are on this list. We are trying to build links, not create graphics. Looking at the guidelines for building links though, this makes sense. If you guest post on another blog, you build rapport with a new audience. In much the same way, you want to spread images that are going to get people linking to you as well.
Do you feel like it would be impossible for you to make graphics? You may feel like you don’t have the background to create data tables and graphs that people are going to want to share. Fortunately, you rarely need the schooling in college or university anymore to make good graphics.
Think of sites like Canva.com. With something like this, you just have to be able to drag and drop. Similar to WordPress and the drag and drop builders, you can now put together graphics quickly and with very little time investment. Once you have the graphics in place, you can start to distribute them.
Social Media is a good place to post your infographics. Make sure you have some links on there that are going to link back to your work. If the graphic looks good enough, people naturally want to share it or use it for their own content. As long as the watermark is on there, it is going to make your site more visible. Leverage social media and build links at the same time. This is a marketing one two punch.
4. Analyze the Competition
You should always see what your competition is doing right. Which links for them are getting the most traffic? WordPress has many tools that let you analyze traffic so you can tell what posts and content is driving the majority of traffic.
Once you figure out what links are working for your competition and why, imitate them. There are no laws against looking at competitors to see which blog posts are successful. Once you get a feel for what content is getting links spread to other websites, clone the content and try it yourself. Don’t copy the competition. Add your own spin and brand it with your voice.
5. Broken Links
Use broken links to your advantage. Follow these steps.
- Find broken links on other sites
- Contact the owner and ask them to replace the link with your own
- Submit great content
This is a win-win scenario for the site owner. He already has broken links on his site that are not going to look professional. Instead of leaving dead links on his page, you offer to replace it with your content. This saves them the trouble of tracking down new content and lets them also maintain a better website. As long as your content is good, everybody wins in the end.