Ranking in the top 10 search results is accomplished frequently through building links from authority sites in conjunction with exceptional on-page factors. By understanding the premise of how and which links pass value, how they impact rankings and just how many are required to achieve the appropriate link velocity to rise in the SERPs, one can essentially reproduce this phenomenon systematically.
Since Link Building is one of the most intriguing and integral parts of SEO and producing top 10 placement, I just wanted to write a (no-frills, this is what works) post about various insights about how to achieve saturation and traction for your multiple keywords in the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN).
Why would I want to Share these Tips?
After spending countless hours analyzing search engine result pages, conducting research, performing optimization, you develop a feel for interpreting the code and separating the wheat from the chaff to conclude what is fluff and what really produces results. This is merely a personal account, and by no means am I claiming that this information is the be-all-end-all in link building, just a useful tool to add your collection along the way.
The purpose is merely (in good faith) to share what others tactfully omit when it comes right down to providing solid link building strategies, keyword research or positioning techniques. Since this is only one aspect to SEO (a very important one indeed), without comprehension of how each component fits together, it is merely that, just one piece of the puzzle. So, I hope you find the information useful and put it to good use.
How to Create “The SEO Domino Effect” Stage I – Keyword Discovery
1. Determining the best keywords for your audience and SEO target market is crucial to your optimization campaign.
Common methods utilize:
Research based on known keyword combinations typically acquired as a result of data mining tools like Overture, Word Tracker, Trellian.
Or your could use a few alternative out-of-the-box methods such as:
a) analysis of search trends, using Google Trends to see seasonal or annual spikes in search popularity.
b) semantic, logical or (best guess) keyword population, which may or may not hit the target (but is useful for finding which terms will) through the process of elimination.
c) the auto suggest feature in search engines (from Google at the bottom of the page, or Yahoo’s new interface) as a keyword discover tool to determine which keywords have a high search volume.
Point a – were you aware that the hottest keywords with the most traction for your business may not in fact even show up on the radar in keyword research tools? But why?, the reason is, it is speculated that more than 30% of all searches are unique, so search engines have never seen them used in that context. Keywords that do graduate into the index for search terms used more than once or twice are one thing, but for the most part, Google, Yahoo, MSN and the thousands of other search engines have never seen a large percentage of the search combinations people input on a daily basis.
What this means to you is, if you are looking to buy a house and you type in real estate, sure you will literally be invoking pages with high search volume, but most are reference sites, or pages with website authority (like wikipedia and their behemoth of related search queries, etc.).
Trying to optimize your site for 2 word terms with a high competitive threshold (from a non SEO perspective) is one thing, but in actuality most terms that are so broad by nature are simply not worth the months of optimization required in order to hit the top 5 (hot spot positions). Not to mention, after getting there, staying there can be just as difficult, so finding multiple terms that have specific relevance for your site is a much safer strategy to dominating search results for your niche.
It’s better to have 30 top 10 results instead of 2 or 3 (short-term, short sighted, high volume keywords), sometimes, you simply need to take the blinders off when it comes to keyword optimization and open the mouth of the funnel when performing keyword selection and subsequent optimization. There is no shame in capitalizing on less competitive strong niche related phrases for driving traffic and encouraging conversion.
In addition, typing in “real estate” doesn’t get you where you need to be, if you were looking for a house or condo for example in rural Iowa. For that, a more specific “narrowed down” search is required, and knowing this you could take the initiative and blanket the market with links using diverse anchor text for any related buzzwords holistically enveloping the industry. Not only will this (a) provide a stable series of listing for your site but it will also (b) develop website authority, if you diversify the I.P addresses and use a variety of methods to develop links (article marketing, blog comment posting, social bookmarks, directories, etc.).
In conclusion, optimizing your site for both competitive keywords and the long tail of search is the solution. In order to so, you can use the methods outlined below.
Point b – Guessing is fine for creating a list of potential keywords, however without researching at least the basic root phrases, you can really waste a lot of time optimizing terms that produce little to no significant advantages by way of increased search positioning. Some things are better off not to assume, this is one of them.
Point c – Search engines that have reached a threshold for particular search terms simply categorize those terms in the suggest function. Depending on your personal preferences, the keywords you use toggle the suggest feature in the search box, in addition, Google has also started placing hyper links (links) on the bottom of the page for search results that have a high frequency. So, in case your wondering which variations made the most most requested list, Google has raised the bar and taken 90% of the guess work out of the keyword research equation and provided a list of commonly grouped buzzwords (like low hanging fruit).
2. Mixing things up to cover a broad and / or narrow category.
For our niche, Search engine optimization, these are keywords that would best serve our company and services:
SEO, SEM, SMO, search engine optimization, expert, professional, company, services, affordable, rates, pricing, search engine, internet marketing, website promotion, advertising, online, pay per click, link building, website design, SEO web development, Chicago, strategy
Add the extended versions and you receive terms like.
search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media optimization, experts, professionals, service, rate, price, search engines, promoting, advertise, PPC, build links, web designer, designing, designs, SEO web developer, strategies, etc.
Any word that has the potential to have more than one meaning or is a competitive term should be incorporated when building links. Depending on the global competition for that term in the allinachor: form, your site will appear higher in search results when those terms are being used in search queries for meta based search engines like Google, MSN as well as Yahoo who is now paying particular attention to allinanchor: text ratio’s for keywords.
In layman’s terms for a keyword with moderate competition in search engines 15-20 links can get you top 10 results. For keywords with serious competition in search engines, it may in fact require hundreds of back links to a page using more than just one narrow form of the semantics to achieve it.
So, if I wanted to rank for Internet Marketing Services, then I would need to build links until our site appeared in the top 10 search results for the allinanchor:internet marketing services ranking for this term. Since Webuildpages (one of the true masters of link building) is already at the helm of that search term as well as thousands of other SEO related terms using methods similar to these, you may as well forget about a number 1 position, but aiming for a top 5 never hurts.
Theoretically, if we wanted to rank for a term like this, how would we start?
Since we know what the desired result is, we would start by populating a list of keywords that use any of the three terms as a pivotal qualifier to add more relevance to the the target site for those keywords.
How? By targeting less popular keywords and dominating them through “the SEO domino effect“.
Similar to the list above outlining qualifiers or buzzwords, just mix them up a bit.
internet marketing professional, internet marketing expert, internet marketing company, or reverse the order company marketing internet, use words that are themed in conjunction with another pivotal keyword, online professional marketing, etc.
You can get ideas for related keywords through:
a) using the Google Suggestions Tool,
b) using a Thesaurus tool to find synonyms or related keywords, or
c) invoking a search command such as ~, (click the link just add your keywords after it, to find related words) in Google for search results. Related or themed word will appear in bold. I used the word internet marketing using ~the tilde search and the terms web site promotion were one of the results in bold.
So, by understanding the word stemming that occurs as search engines categorize content semantically, it can assist you, particularly if you start with a themed page in mind, silo the content through associated words, internal link architecture or back links and then on top of that use words that reinforce the semantic offshoot of the term. In the title of the page in question your could for example name the page Internet Marketing Web Site Promotion Services, thus hitting the nail on the head from yet another angle that search engine algorithms appreciate and reward on the scale of relevance and ranking.
How you use them is up to you, the point being, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. If you have an inside track to students with web pages, you could always go the .edu route, you could become a guest writer on a top ranking blog (just perform a search using the keywords you want to rank for) whoever is in the top 5, get in contact with them and see if they are looking for themed content.
In exchange for a link, maybe they could post a custom article written by you, use social media and use pages that have do follow tags like Squidoo, where you can create a lens and pass link juice to where you link.Getting links is not the problem, getting the right kind of links is more challenging, but at least you have a few tactics that you can put into play.
3. The impact of link building to one page and how the whole site benefits from deep links.
When building links, make sure to mix up the titles, anchor text and pages to avoid having an unnatural link profile. Make sure you employ deep links (links to other pages and sub directories, other than your home page), as well as making sure that you develop them proportionately for the keywords that are most suited for your site.
I know I have stated this technique on numerous occasions, but if you want to find the pages in your website that have the highest relevance to the keywords that you are building use the following link command in Google.
site:yourwebsite.com keyword phrase
Naturally add your domain and the keywords and you will see a chronological order of the pages returned from the domain that have the highest natural occurrence for the keywords in question. So now you know what to look for when building links, why and how to determine which pages to build them to. Aside from that you can always augment your content using any or all of the techniques above. As part of any new content development strategy, links play a major role in distinguishing it from the thousands or sometimes millions of competing pages.
How do you know it’s working?
1. Your rankings start to rise in the SERPs.
2. You see double listings start to appear for keywords that you have built links for.
3. You see your home page making a debut for terms that are sparsely on the page. When the site gains authority, a sub page may have the links and the content, but your home page shows up as the main search result (this is a great sign).
4. Your traffic increases steadily. Another sign that your efforts are paying off.
5. Over time your site starts to appear for more competitive terms as a result of owning a piece of the collective market share of the keywords used to find websites in that industry.
Aside from this one method for increasing targeted traffic (link building), traffic flows from various sources, but having a well positioned website in the SERPs never hurt anyone. Visibility for your posts can happen from other sites promoting your posts, linking to an article you wrote, referrals from word of mouth or social media, press releases, off line promotion, etc. The key is having just enough exposure across the board in each area to maintain a constant momentum that will perpetuate your brand or message on it’s own merit.