25 Sep
Dev Team

Link-building lies at the heart of SEO. Google has accredited link building to be an indispensable part of a business’s SEO strategy by citing it as amongst the top three ranking factors. Many SEO technicians believe it’s the number one ranking signal.

If we dig deep, we realise that the art of link building is in fact a multi-faceted process. It takes many years of research and experience to even begin to understand the intricacies.

This post will give you an overview of the most recent link-building guidelines set by Google.

Google’s New Link Policy

Google thought it was quite essential to introduce new link attributes as the World Wide Web has evolved a lot since the ‘no follow’ attribute was introduced in 2005.

Until the new update was released, Google considered no follow links to be of little value or authority and simply disregarded them for ranking purpose.

With the new guidelines, Google intends to refine this process by instructing webmasters to add “hints” to these no follow links so that they can be used for ranking purposes if necessary. This will help Google “better understand unnatural linking patterns” and will have huge ramifications.

Google still doesn’t intend to use these links for crawling and indexing at the moment but after March 1, 2020 it will do so.

Below are the specific updates in the link building guidelines by Google.

Image source: Moz

Rel= “sponsored”

Google requires all links that are bought or part of any advertisement campaign, sponsorship or being compensated for, to be clearly marked as “sponsored.” These are alternatively known as ‘paid links.’

Image source: Seroundtable

Rel= “UGC”

As we all know UGC stands for ‘User-Generated-Content,’ sites using such content are required to mark their links with this specific attribute. An example could be comments on posts.

Webmasters would want to remove this attribute from links posted by members who have a consistent history of contributing high-quality content over time.

Rel= “nofollow”

The nofollow link is to be preferably used when no other values apply. This is also when webmasters don’t want Google to attach any meaningful association with your site or use links from your site for indexing or crawling purposes.

A combination of two, such as Rel= “nofollow sponsored” is also acceptable when you have a paid link.

Previously, Google’s algorithm did not pick up any signals from nofollow links. However, the scenario is different now. The hint model equips Google to not miss out on important information that links give to the content.

Impact Of Link-Building Guidelines On SEO

A 2019 study shows that there is a strong positive association between links and rankings. And the future landscape for links being a central part of the Google algorithm seems even more promising now.

Here’s how Google’s algorithm will pick cues from the link-building strategies deployed by webmasters and SEOs:

  • Easily identify the types of links and the context in which they are used
  • Rel=“ugc” indicates that these links need not be counted for since they are created by random people and not webmasters
  • Help increase accuracy and transparency by tightening controls on potential loopholes in UGC content
  • Make relevant decisions on how much weightage to assign to each link whether sponsored or UGC.

The purpose of link building is not to just rank the website higher on SERPs, but also to optimise content to make it user-friendly. Even if they are user-generated links, they will only convert into profitable leads and sales when they are relevant and add value.

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25 Sep
Dev Team

With the vast majority of search engine users opting for businesses that show up on the first page of search results, wouldn’t you want to be one of them?

But it’s certainly not easy, especially considering how often Google updates its algorithms. Just last year, the search engine giant published 3,234 updates which comes to an average of almost nine a day!

While most minor ones do not really impact your website’s ranking, major ones can really impact your position.

Here’s how you can survive all the algorithm updates that Google throws your way:

Focus On Content Quality

As per Google, the best way to rank consistently on the first page is through quality content. Here are some tips for this:

Tip #1:

With so much content being created and published on a daily basis, it’s tough to differentiate yourself.

What can set your content strategy apart from the rest is the ability to quote original research and analysis – and not just curated content from third-party websites.

In fact, as per Social Media Examiner, around 81% of marketers write more original content as they believe it can raise their brand image and authority.

Tip #2:

For visitors to actually click on your link and read your content, it is important that the headline/title is optimised to provide a comprehensive overview of the content. But remember, you can’t write long titles; Hubspot identifies titles with 6-13 words as ideal for generating maximum web traffic.

Establish Your Expertise

With approximately 72% of marketers increasing the amount of content they churn out on a daily basis, it is important that you establish yourself as an expert in the niche/domain you are operating in.

The best way to do this is to support your claims with research, statistics and facts.

Similarly, if you are calling yourself an expert on a certain topic, make sure you have the relevant experience and proof to legitimatise this claim. To start off, write articles and blogs and publish them on affiliate sites and other publications. This will enhance your image as authority.

Presentation Matters

The way your content is presented can make or break your image online. Properly formatted and grammatically correct content is the cornerstone for your success, especially since noticeable mistakes can undermine the user experience.

Hence, from the content layout right down to your images, everything goes into formulating a good content strategy.

Additionally, a recent 2019 survey revealed that 51% of marketers put in extra effort to develop visual assets as part of their content strategy. After all, images send important relevancy signals to the search engine crawlers through their alt text, captions, description and file name.

Stay On Top of The Rankings With These Google Updates

As much as these updates might frustrate you, there is a reason that Google is the #1 search engine in the world. With a laser-focus approach to improving user-experience, it aims to help business owners up their game, and create relevancy and authority around their brand.

Lastly, the most important step you can take to keep up with algorithm updates is by reading the Google Webmaster Blog; this is normally where they post all their official updates and information to help users.

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27 Aug
SEO Gold Coast

Google is all about facilitating users, even if the various algorithm updates make it seem like the search engine has something against your business. For example, it can be exhausting and time-consuming to make major changes to your website every time Google introduces a major (or minor) update.

So how can you avoid being affected by these algorithm updates, especially the ones you think can harm your ranking on the search engine page results (SERPs)?

Our advice: focus on the user.

Let’s break this down so you can be on your way to strengthening your fort from within, and to some extent, algorithm-proof your business.

Google Update Survival Tips

Here are the top tips on how to avoid being affected by Google’s algorithm updates.

Deep Clean Your Website

Did you know that a user spends approximately 190.4 seconds on your website and if they don’t find what they’re looking for, well, they bounce!

Since improving user experience is the solution to dilute the impact of Google algorithms, take a critical look at your website and make changes accordingly.

·            Delete Low Quality URLs

Google Panda was introduced to stop websites with low quality/thin content from ranking higher on the SERPs. That is how serious the search engine is about the quality of content served to end users.

To avoid dips in traffic, perform an in-depth audit using website crawlers for content marketing purposes. This will help you get a comprehensive list of URLs, meta-descriptions, title tags, number of links and word count.

Once you have the list, you can easily single out URLs that bring no value to your business, have broken text, links and images or plenty of errors. You can even check the health of these links with tools like Broken Link Checker to speed up the process.

Duplicated or empty pages are also considered low quality, so keep an eye out for these as well. You can merge two pages with duplicate content, improve the overall quality of content and/or redirect them to relevant high quality pages. If you think the page is beyond repair – hit delete.

·            Fix Pop-Ups

Nothing is more frustrating for a user than not being able consume content without annoying ads and pop-ups. In fact, most sites that suffer from major changes due to algorithm updates are the ones with disruptive and misleading pop-up ads.

If the ads are an essential part of your marketing strategy, start by minimising their number. For example, just put up one or two pop ups on your site and make sure that they are easy to close.

Enhance Visual Architecture

Text size, layout and design all make up your website’s visual architecture which plays a vital role in improving your website’s bounce rate. In a nutshell:

  • Break up your text into short ‘snackable’ pieces
  • Make sure the font is readable (size and colour)
  • Optimise content layout

Since Google has also announced mobile-first indexing, make sure that your website’s alignment and image placement is optimised for mobiles and desktop. You can take a mobile friendly test to see if there are any errors on the mobile version of your website.

Brand Yourself Right

Think of content marketing gurus like Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin etc. If they say something is up in the content realm, you’d listen, follow and optimise your marketing strategy accordingly, right?

You know why? People love experts.

Credibility and expertise is what turns businesses into great brands and helps them build a tribe of loyal followers – who then turn into recurring customers.

And that’s it – these are just a few ways that you can avoid being impacted by Google’s algorithm updates every time. Remember, to rank well, it’s important to concentrate on optimising the user experience and providing high quality content on your site.

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19 Aug
SEO Gold Coast

When working on their first search marketing campaign, most beginners mistakenly chase after high-volume, popular keywords instead of ‘rank-able’, relevant phrases. However, time and experience have taught us that it can be difficult, if not downright impossible, to rank for high-volume keywords.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have key phrases that don’t have much competition, are easier to rank for and attract traffic in much more palatable timeframes?

Well, that’s long-tail keywords for you!

These are longer and a lot less common – with a little more work, they can account for most of your search traffic. Also, long-tail keywords make up 70% of all web searches. So it pays to use them as a part of your search marketing strategy.

So for instance, if your general keyword is ‘men’s fitness’, further hone it to ‘men’s fitness tips’. From there, refine it further to long-tail keywords like ‘men’s fitness tips for over 50’ or ‘men’s fitness tips from experts’ etc.

All The Reasons Why Using Long-Tail Keywords Is A Good Idea

Long-tail keywords are the ultimate weapon in a digital marketer’s arsenal. These can help you rank higher and far quicker without any sweat and tears (mostly!).

With experience, you will find that some long-tail keywords also convert better than short-tail keywords since they’re a lot more precise and focused.

Here are five advantages of long-tail keywords:

1.      Lower Competition

Consider this:

Men’s fitness    –             1,230,000,000 results found on Google

Men’s fitness tips for over 50     –             436,000,000 results found on Google

Men’s fitness food tips                 –             About 380,000,000 results found on Google

So the longer a phrase is, the less competition it has. By using a long-tail keyword, you will rank higher and stay on top for longer – in other words, don’t waste your time on generic or short keywords.

2.      Better Targeted Traffic

While long-tail keywords don’t increase traffic by much, the resulting conversion rates are often astronomical.

Think about it; would you rather have 50 people walk into your store and have 15 of them buy something or have a 1000 people walk-in only for 5 of them to buy?

The fact of the matter is that visitors who end up on your site after typing in a long-tail phrase are probably just the ones you are targeting.

3.      Long-Tails Also Target Your Head Words

Bidding on long-tail keywords is an excellent idea because your nuclear terms are already included and you aren’t paying extra. For example, ‘Men’s fitness tips for over 50’ contains ‘Men’s fitness’ anyway.

When you try to rank for a long-tail key phrase, you are killing two birds with one stone.

4.      All You Need Is Google Analytics

Don’t worry about where you’ll find these keywords – simply go to Google Analytics (GA) to see what particular phrases and terms people use to end up on your site.

Your GA dashboard will also tell you which phrases were used how many times and which ones are the best for conversions.

5.      On-page Optimisation Is Easier

Long-tail keywords are easier to optimise for as you don’t need many of them and they also sound more natural when incorporated into your content. This enhances readability, leads to a better user experience and ultimately helps with conversions.

In Conclusion

Now you know that there are many reasons to optimise your website and content for long-tail keywords. Remember, these keywords rank easier, convert better and have less competition.

Let us know how you’ve used or plan to use long-tail keywords and how these have had a powerful impact on your bottom-line.

 

 

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24 Jul
SEO Gold Coast

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a tag management system that lets you manage and analyse the various marketing tags on your website.

The tool streamlines an otherwise tedious process of handling tags by letting you share the data from your website to Google Analytics (GA) – without modifying your coding.

GTM’s easy to use, and time saving features provide space for creatively handling the complex system of tailored tags.

Here, we have listed down all the reasons why you should jump on the bandwagon, and make use of this free Google tool right away:

Implementation Speed

GTM streamlines and speeds up all the process related to marketing tags: making changes in codes is quick and easy.

The tool allows digital marketers to test and deploy every tag change rapidly, thus reducing the time it takes to launch the tag. In fact, the process is so easy that marketers no longer need to employ a developer – they can simply get an IT person to make the changes.

Consider, for example, Airbnb’s use of GTM to implement tags, avoid replication, and enhance performance.

As a result, the company’s website speed increased by 8%, and they were able to increase launch speed of new programs, retailers, and tools.

Security

Every website owner has two major concerns: security, and probable site malfunction. Rest assured though, GTM does not crash your website, or leave you vulnerable to future attacks.

This is because website owners have full control of their GTM, and Google Analytics accounts: they can control who has access to these accounts, and repeal or grant access at any time.

Moreover, GTM comes with standardised security practices that ensure protection from spyware, and other attacks such as the 2-step verification process, and malware detection.

Other advantages of GTM include standardised templates, and a significant decrease in scripting errors.

Flexibility

As we’ve explained, you don’t have to be a programming expert to use Google Tag Manager. It’s easy to use features requires minimal to no coding, for even the most complex of tags. This makes it a handy tool for all digital media marketers.

On the other hand, IT staff and developers can easily make use of GTM’s customisation options related to order value, updating pixels, and page category.

With GTM, users can use different variables with your custom JavaScript tag.

Consider, for example, the step by step guide by Lucía Marín on how to create a canonical URL with GTM, using three different variables: {{Page Protocol}}, {{Page Hostname Canonical}, and {{Page URL Canonical}}. This offers a perfect example of the flexibility that GTM offers to pull apart tags.

Workspaces And Environments

Interestingly, GTM comes with two great features for companies with several teams, and/or long term projects:

Environments

This feature lets users control their GTM installation across a range of websites and apps. Users can publish their tags in multiple environments, such as a testing server, so that there is no impact on the live version of the site.

Source: Marketlytics.com

Workspaces

This handy feature lets multiple team members work in the same GTM tab simultaneously, without risking overwriting.

What’s more, after the work is done, this feature allows you to merge the work from both workplaces seamlessly.

Interestingly, GTM lets the account owner control the amount of access given to the different people. For example, different employees can have various levels of control related to publishing, editing, and viewing.

Access To Helpful Community

Finally, Google Manager comes with a community of helpers: users with specific issues never have to worry about navigating the tool, as instant help is available.

For example, users can post queries on Facebook Community, or join Google Tag Manager’s subreddit for answers to all their questions.

So there you have it – these are some of the reasons to use Google Tag Manager as it one of the most efficient tag management tools out there.

 

 

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