Every Blogger Needs This Answer: Is Outbound Linking Good For SEO?

Every Blogger Needs This Answer: Is Outbound Linking Good For SEO?

Many SEO professionals have asked me – is outbound linking well for SEO? Well, there is an ongoing debate about how you should do external linking on your website. A lot of people wonder if external linking hurts the SEO of their website. This week, I am going to help you understand if external linking is good for SEO or not.

Before we go into detail, we will see if external linking has any effect on SEO.

Does Outbound linking affect SEO?

outbound linking is one of those SEO protocols that often raise objections from clients. We see a lot of people mentioning their brand in your article. Some people think it is legitimate while some people cast a little bit of doubt whether it is legitimate or not. There is a great correlation between external links and ranking. Based on SEOmoz’s SEO ranking factor 2011, there was a 0.04 correlation between the number of external links on the page and rankings.

If we take aggregate with all the ranking factors, we will find that more links on the page are not really going to help you with ranking. But, when we consider it along with other SEO factors such as – high-quality content, inbound links, natural link profiles, strong SEO based markup, etc – external links don’t affect search engine rankings negatively.

As an SEO expert, one of my tasks is to look at which sites rank well for both long tail and short keywords, attempting to find recurring elements on the site. Doing such tasks not only gives you a good idea of SEO techniques used by popular sites but helps you put together the most beneficial ranking elements.

You will get an idea of — what it takes to get your own sites rank strongly by looking at the external linking policies of some of the popular sites online. Most of the reputed sites that tend to link out in the body of articles and rank well show that external links don’t negatively affect the ranking of your website.

However, this is not the most compelling argument that external linking is good for SEO. Though your site ranks well and has external links, we cannot say that external links don’t hurt your ranking. It could be possible that external linking was indeed a negative factor, but the weight of other SEO factors are causing the site to rank.

How many outbound links can I use?

You are linking to relevant and quality content by using the external link on your website. If you are using do-follow links to low quality hosting sites that host malware or sell counterfeit products, you can assume that it will have a negative impact on your website ranking.

On the contrary, when you look at outbound links from authoritative websites —- you will find a common theme — where they are linking to informative and high-quality content. This is, in fact, helping the users by expanding the area of discussion. This means, the links that come from authoritative or reputed pages are useful — and are not meant just to push you to buy a product or bolster another pages’ ranking for a specific term.

Another important thing you should know about external links is the number of outbound links. They should never be overwhelming than any given piece of content on a high-quality site. The text should not be stuffed with plenty of outbound links. They should be placed in a limited number at relevant places, resulting in a successful outbound linking.

From the above points, what we can say that external links should be made an element of your on-site content production. However, your users are interested in checking the details if it is relevant and adds value to the user. External linking should not be adopted just because it will help with ranking, but it should be adopted in a fair way so that it doesn’t hurt your ranking. External linking adds a lot of value to your content and should not be overlooked.

Despite the potential benefits it can bring, it is ignored by many people in the community. External links can bring additional traffic to your website and increase brand awareness. If you have got a website with less traffic and you wish to drive huge traffic to your website — placing external links in the content will likely send extra traffic to additional sources. As a result of which, you will be shown up in their analytics as referring site — increasing your brand awareness.

There is another really potential benefit of external linking. External linking helps webmasters track and see who is linking to them and how much traffic they get. By linking to other people’s sites, you increase the chances of linking them back to yours. A lot of SEOs does it and found it to be a good strategy. Before you vomit a bunch of external links, you should pay attention to the linking opportunities. You cannot execute an external linking strategy effectively without having a smart content marketing strategy. So, have a well-planned SEO and content marketing strategy.

What about do-follow and no-follow external links?

Many people have come to me with the doubt – whether they should add a no-follow attribute to external links or not. Well, if you are placing an external link to additional content on your site, it should be a do-follow link. Nofollow links are meant for those sites that you don’t trust. Hence, it should not be applied to external links in your content. Else, search engines won’t trust your site.

Hopefully, I gave a clear answer to the question “Is outbound linking well for SEO?” whatever is the reason behind using external links; you should make sure that they add something valuable to your content. External links should be used in such a way that they leave a positive impact, especially when it comes to traffic.

My only suggestion is – the quality of external links is much important than quantity. If you think you would enjoy having a cup of coffee with a blog or site owner, then it is ‘OK’ to link to that site.

Feel free to leave your comments about this post!

About The Author:

Akash Srivastava is an SEO Consultant. He helps people create or revise their SEO plan, implement it and monitors results. He regularly writes about SEO. He has been in this since 2011. He reads books in his spare time. You can hire him for the consultation only or to do everything.


 

What Beginners Need to Know About On-Page SEO

What Beginners Need to Know About On-Page SEO

SEO is a fundamental skill in a digital marketing expert’s arsenal. It might not be crucial to know the more technical aspects, but a good understanding should be imperative. Optimizing a website for organic search shouldn’t just be the responsibility of one or two people; anyone that contributes content should have input and responsibility for SEO. Given the importance of online visibility, working knowledge of SEO is becoming increasingly important. Many businesses that don’t have the resources in-house choose to outsource their SEO to a digital marketing agency that offers search engine marketing as part of their services. However, larger businesses are more likely to hire somebody in-house who comes with an arsenal of digital marketing knowledge, including SEO. If you consider yourselves as a beginner and have been meaning to learn the fundamentals of on-page SEO, then this article is a good place to start your journey.

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing a website, and its content so it can be easily found and indexed by search engines. Using this indexed content means the search engines can provide users with the most relevant websites when they make search queries. Ideally, if a website or single webpage has good enough SEO, then it will rank top in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for the searches that it’s most relevant to.

How to Make Your Website More Visible in Search Engines

The following on-page SEO techniques can help make your website more accessible to search engines and help it rank higher in the SERPs. On-page SEO is the optimization you can control to make your website more visible to search engines.

Headlines

Those are conflicting opinions when it comes to what the optimal headline length is for SEO. The best thing to do when it comes to writing headlines is to keep them concise so they can grab users’ attention. There is an often-cited rule that dictates that your headlines shouldn’t be longer than 65 characters which are about the length of a headline that Google will feature on the SERPs. But, this also includes your company or website’s name, so if you want your brand to appear after the headline, then you need to write something a little shorter than 65 characters.

Anchor Text

Anchor text refers to the text where you add an internal or external link to a piece of content. Adding descriptive anchor text helps search engines to better understand the context of a webpage’s content. It’s also really helpful for users. Some SEO professionals advise varying anchor text wording as many pages linking to a single page using the same anchor might be regarded as suspicious by the search engines.

XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is a document that is hosted on your website’s server that lists every page. It’s a way for business owners and marketers to let the search engines know when new pages have been added, or existing content has been updated. This is really helpful if your website consists of pages that aren’t found easily by search engines. If you have a WordPress website, then you don’t have to do a thing as the CMS automatically generates the XML sitemap and submits it to search engines on your behalf.

Internal Linking

Linking to internal on your own website is a brilliant way of indicating that your website has value to the search engines and helps you to rank for certain keywords. However, trying to avoid using too much internal linking as readers will presume that your content is just a link building exercise, and this will reduce trust.

User-friendly Navigation 

User-friendly navigation is all about creating a naturally flowing website. Make it easy for users to move around your website so they can easily navigate back and forth. When a visitor arrives on your website, you want them to work out how to navigate it quickly. The navigation of your website explains who you are and helps guide visitors through the journey you want them to make. Your top-level pages should provide high-level information. As they go through the journey and deeper into the structure of your website, the information should become more specific.

Remove Spam

Prevent and remove spam from the comments sections of your website. It’s still extremely common for people to fill these sections with content that contains spam that links back to irrelevant websites. One thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to set the links in your comment sections to “no follow” so that search engines ignore the links.

About The Author:

Lloyd Parkinson is a Content Marketing Executive at Revive.Digital. Lloyd has experience writing content for the purpose of marketing on behalf of B2B and B2C organizations ranging from legal services, insurance brokers,  financial services, all the way to the music and entertainment industry. He conducts research and writes about an extensive number of topics. Lloyd aims to educate his readers through his creative writing by providing them with informative and valuable content. He seeks to simplify complex topics for general readers as well as writing technical content for the well informed.


 

Infographic: SEO Mistakes You Need To Fix Now!

Infographic: SEO Mistakes You Need To Fix Now!

For a business to stand out on the online platform, proper website optimization is of utmost importance. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you with this task. However, proper implementation of SEO techniques is essential for it to make an impact.

Comprising of on-page and off-page SEO factors, SEO can help you to improve your site’s overall performance and functionality. It can help improve your brand’s visibility leading to more organic traffic. More importantly, it can help your site to rank on the top for targeted keywords, which can help boosts your site’s conversion.

If you are new to the SEO world, then it is important to know which SEO factors you need to avoid, as redundant SEO techniques can do more harm than good. Thus, listed below are a few SEO mistakes that you need to steer clear from.

Keyword Stuffing: This black-hat SEO method refers to stuffing your web pages or blog posts with target keywords that is more often than not out of context. This leads to poor user experience, and in the long run, can get your site penalized by Google.

No ALT Tag for Images: Also known as ‘alt description,’ ALT tags are used for images as a text alternative for search engines. Since search engine robots can’t interpret images, they are not able to index them, which affects your site traffic. Thus, if you want search engines to better crawl and index your website, then make sure to add ALT tags for all images.

Boring Content: Be it any online marketing campaign (SEO, social media or PPC), content plays an important role. If your site’s content is not interesting or relevant, it will lead to a higher bounce rate. As such, to improve customer engagement and reduce bounce rate, writing high-quality and interesting content is essential. Also, update your site’s older content for better traction.

Website Not Responsive: According to the recent Google update, it is mandatory for all websites to be mobile-friendly. With the rise in the number of smartphone users, Google wants websites to offer superior browsing experience to all users, irrespective of the device being used. Thus, if your site is not responsive, you are not only losing potential customers but it also negatively impacts your site’s ranking on SERPs.

Web Browser Testing: Likewise web-browser testing is also important. Since different users use different browsers to surf the internet, by checking your site’s compatibility with browsers, you are ensuring your site is easily accessible to all, and at all times.

#Conclusion

SEO can make or break your website. It is for this reason, implementing the best SEO practices is important. Thus, check out the infographic below to know what are the top SEO mistakes you need to fix right away. Plus, for more information on how to fix these mistakes effectively, you can read this entire guide.

Take a look!

25+ Common SEO Mistakes That Are Killing Your Website[Infographic] by the team at HostingCluesCommon SEO Mistakes Infogrpahic


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Schema Automation for WordPress Websites

Schema Automation for WordPress Websites

Schema is something many people are aware of but you will be surprised by how many websites do not implement schema. Schema is a great way to utilize all available real estate the Organic Search results have to offer. Started in 2011, it is no news to many within the industry but is something that is often neglected by many SEOs and Webmasters.

Improving SEO Real Estate and Organic Click Through Rates is vital when working for clients; Schema is a great tool to have in your arsenal when working towards these KPIs for clients. With 27% of the internet being powered by WordPress knowing how to effectively use Schema on any WordPress site is key. (See also: 8 SEO Tips for WordPress Sites)

Schema is vital for SEO

Google themselves have stated that seeing an increase in the click-through rate of a certain page may result in that given page seeing a boost for a specific keyword. In addition to Schema helping to improve organic click-through rates, you are able to further optimize what is shown in the Organic Search results. Reviews, Stock, Price & Events are just some of the things that Schema communicates to Google.

Automating Schema for WordPress

Working for an SEO Agency, automation and ways to improve efficiency is key. WordPress and the range of plugins available allow you to easily and effectively automate the process of adding schema to pages. SEO is hard work to take a moment from your day and check out the below guide that will save you a lot of time!

What are the main types of Schema?

Before going ahead and adding Schema to a website it is important to take a step back and think about which types are relevant for the site you are working on. Is it really of any use to add stock schema to a site that sells no products? To help you get the creativity following some of the main types of Schema are below.

Review Schema

Review schema is a great wait for your aggregated reviews to show up within the Organic SERPs – this allows searchers to quickly see how popular a product is and particularly on mobile makes your listing stand out significantly more than the other results.

Review Schema

Product Price Schema

The addition of price schema to a website is another great way to capitalize on the available SEO Real Estate. Adding this is a great way for users to get a snapshot of the product prior to clicking through to the site. It is important to note that if priced higher than competitors this could negatively impact your Organic CTR.

Product Price Schema

Job Section Schema

The implementation of Google’s job section providing a new enriched preview box in the Organic SERPs is a great way for businesses to attract new talent or if you are an apprenticeship provider find new applicants.

Job Section Schema

Interested in finding out a bit more on the different types of Schema? You can head over to the Google Webmaster Forum for Schema and also the SchemAPP site where all types of Schema are listed.

Plugins for WordPress

One of the many benefits to using WordPress is the vast amount of plugins that are available – Whilst Schema can be added without the need for plugins it is definitely a whole lot easier and more efficient to use a plugin.

A handy Schema Plugin, Schema Pro

Schema pro is one of the plugins that we have used internally here at Digital NRG – Schema Pro and other similar plugins make it very easy to add Schema to a WordPress website. Simply install the plugin, follow the optimization steps and you are good to go.

Schema Plugin

The guys over at Schema pro have a great installation wizard with their plugin and some in-depth resources for those looking to get started with the Plugin.

What about a Free Schema Plugin for WordPress?

In addition to the Schema Pro plugin, Brainstorm force also provide a free WordPress plugin called All In One Schema – This, essentially, has the same functionality as Schema pro but users are limited to certain settings. The main downfall to using the free version is that the automation aspect is not possible, you will have to manually add Schema on each page.

The table below is a great comparison between the two tools allowing you to see which will work for your needs.

Free Schema Plugin for WordPress

(Source: https://wpschema.com/all-in-one-schema-org-rich-snippets/)

A great thing to do with these plugins is to experiment and try different things.

The Structured Data Testing Tool is your new best friend!

Upon the successful addition of schema on you or your client’s website, the next step is one of the most vital parts of installing Schema. Google has a very handy tool to check Schema and Structured Data MarkUp on websites – It provides actionable insights on any warnings or errors found with the Schema that is present on a site. It will also highlight where in the code the error lies allowing you to easily fix the problem.

Structured Data Testing Tool

(Source: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/#url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.samsung.com%2Fuk%2Fcooking-appliances%2Felectric-oven-nv75n5671rs%2F)

An important thing to note is that Schema is still ok if warnings show up within the tool – It may be that you do not want to include certain parts within Schema such as the price but you still want product Schema. An error is something you will need to watch out for.

Custom Schema placement on WordPress

Aside from using plugins, there are other ways to add Schema to WordPress websites. Adding custom schema to dedicated pages is a great way to add Schema to a site. The best way to do this is by using a Schema generation tool to generate the code which you can then add to the text view of any WordPress page. On the SchemAPP website there is a tool just for this called the Schema Generation Tool – This allows you to create dedicated and custom schema for a given schema type. Using this tool is simple and easy, follow the steps provided and your code will generate on the right hand side.

Once you have created the code on the right hand side of the tool, copy and paste this into the relevant WordPress page in the HTML view and run through the data testing tool. There you go, Schema will now be on the site and firing correctly.

The key takeaways

A lot has been covered in this article and I hope that you now have some new found knowledge on Schema, why it is important and how to use this on your WordPress website. Some key things to remember are:

  • Make sure your site is making the most of WordPress and the ease at which Schema can be added
  • Organic CTR is considered a ranking factor and Schema can help improve this through better Organic SERP Real Estate
  • There are many types of Schema out there, only use what is relevant and applicable for you and the site you are working on.
  • Plugins are your friend – Both Schema Pro and All in one Schema will make your experience using schema a lot more enjoyable.
  • Constantly verify Schema when first added with the Google Data Testing Tool

About The Author:

Jack works for Digital NRG – a Full Service & SEO Agency in Bristol. He enjoys developing team members and the collaboration with the SEO industry. Get in touch with Jack on his Linked IN for any SEO related questions.


 

The Best SEO Move You Can Make

The Best SEO Move You Can Make

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

When it comes to SEO, the rules seem to change rapidly. So rapidly, in fact, that it can be difficult to keep up with. All we’re left with is trying to find some type of sign that we’re doing the right thing – which is tough.

Knowing you’re doing the right thing has become harder. Driving traffic to your site has become more difficult. And, as if that weren’t enough, there’s also the challenge of getting those prospects to convert.

What if we were to tell you that there is a simple strategy that you could employ that will not only help your site attract more traffic but also help it to convert more often?

What’s the answer, you ask? It’s simple – content marketing.

Why Content Marketing?

 Content marketing is all about providing value for your audience. When you create content people are interested in, without any sales blurbs in it, people greatly appreciate it. In this case, you’re giving out information, not an actual product.

Photo by Don Agnello on Unsplash

This is a win-win for both you and your prospect. The benefit of the prospect is that they get the information that they need. The benefits for you are:

  1. That one in ten blog posts compound. This means that the post actually starts picking up more views as it ages. Naturally, for this to happen it must be quality content.
  2. You get to introduce the concept in a non-threatening way. The prospect is more likely to read the content because they know they’re not going to have a sales pitch shoved down their throat.
  3. Your company image in the eyes of the prospect is enhanced because this is about providing value for them.
  4. You get to demonstrate your expertise in the matter.
  5. It serves as one of the touchpoints that clients need in order to make a decision.
  6. Because this is not an outright sales pitch, the client will need to seek you out to find out more or purchase.
  7. Once the content has been created and promoted, your expense is finished. That content could be garnering leads for you for several years to come so your ROI will most likely increase.

Did we say win-win? It’s more like win-win-win-win-win-win—you get the idea.

Celebrate Your Win – Photo by Dorian Hurst on Unsplash

How Effective is Content Marketing?

Okay, so if content marketing is so effective, then why aren’t more people taking advantage? Well, 55% of marketers believe that blog creation is their top inbound marketing strategy. So, a large proportion of marketers do see the value here.

What about the rest?

Not everyone understands how powerful this method can be. If you go through to the CEO of a company, it’s hard to quantify the ROI of content marketing. It’s not like PPC marketing where you can see exactly which clicks resulted in sales.

How Effective is Content Marketing

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

Also, it’s a long-term strategy. You could post a piece of blog content today, and not get any hits for weeks if you don’t market it. Maybe you write that off as a fluke and post content once a week. You still don’t get the results you want, so you decide that this doesn’t work.

Here’s the thing, though – content marketing is not going to show results immediately and it is going to require consistent effort. That’s something that might be a hard sell for a smaller company with a small marketing budget.

Remember – you should do it anyway. Companies that blog sixteen or more times a month get as much as four and a half times the number of leads than companies who either never blog or blog once a week.

Do you need more convincing?

HubSpot the world leaders inbound marketing believes that blogging is a core component of content marketing.

It’s clear that content marketing is highly effective, and it’s time to start incorporating it into your SEO strategy. What kind of content should you consider incorporating? Check out the infographic below for more advice.

Tools that Can Help You Make Your Strategy a Success

 

Your Strategy

We’re going to go over some tools that can be very helpful in your efforts. Some are paid, others are not. If your budget won’t stretch to the paid ones just yet, don’t worry—with a little effort, you can get similar results for free.

Canva

Canva is a tool that helps you come up with a range of different design projects from social media headers, eBooks, posters, and so on. It’s a drag and drop program that comes with a range of preset options, which make it easy for even those with very little graphic design experience to create killer images.

You can use the program for free, with your own images. They do have premium image options that start at about a dollar that you can add in as well.

Hotjar

Hotjar is a tool that makes it possible to get feedback from visitors quickly and easily. You will have access to feedback polls, heat maps, and a range of other features to understand how visitors are engaging with your site.

There is a basic free “lite” version. For the full package, you’ll have to upgrade to the paid version.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM offers its basic software for free. This makes it simple to manage team activities, contacts, tasks, deals, and a whole lot more. You can, if you choose, upgrade to one of their paid packages for more features.

ClickToTweet

ClickToTweet offers a unique value proposition. You just highlight portions of your content that would make great tweets or quotes. Readers can then tweet those sections by clicking on the box.

Final Notes

There you have it, everything that you need to get started with content marketing. Good luck with this exciting stage of your new SEO adventure!

About The Author:

Nick Galov With years of experience as frontline support and system administrator, Nick wants to improve the web hosting industry as a whole. Through impartial reviews and detailed case studies, he helps people find the most suitable hosting provider. In the rare moments he unplugs from the digital world, Nick enjoys hiking and cycling.


 

3 Areas To Focus On Local Sites For SEO Traffic

3 Areas To Focus On Local Sites For SEO Traffic

Introduction

Local Search Engine Optimization is a significant online marketing strategy for online businesses looking to extend their reach to customers. Local SEO proves to be a very important strategy in SEO if you want to vend your products/service to a marketplace, specific geographical regions. Highlighting on Local SEO when optimizing the website is very important. Local keywords need to use to get the targeted traffic that you are looking for.

Did you know? It is estimated that 46% of all Google searches are local.

Enhancing the Local Online Experience of Customers

Internet marketing specialists like Joelhouse.com.au say that locally focused site traffic is usually more competent and results in higher conversion and buying. Anyone can enhance the customer online buying experience by offering highly pertinent local data on your site. Assisting your customers land on a page comprising germane local info they are eyeing for vastly advances conversion rates. Keywords for local SEO will be somewhat different from the conventional SEO. There are visible alterations in the way customers hunt for services and products in their zone. That’s why there is a requirement for a highly tailored search engine optimization method when it comes to taking the consideration of local consumers. Each locality needs to be explored precisely to be able to maneuver an operational marketing strategy that emphases on local markets.

Below are some of the 3 great techniques that should be executed into your marketing and SEO plan to guarantee the prospective patrons that are visiting your website are essentially in need of the facilities or products that you offer. These 3 tips will help you rank and get you more traffic.

1. Locally focused content

Writing like a local is the best way that can make your content locally-focused while still providing on the value you’ve vowed to the local searcher. Local jargon and idioms can make your content feel more informal while also targeting queries that may not come up in your keyword research.

For instance

Let’s take for example the sandwich. When you have a sandwich split lengthwise occupied with veggies, meats, cheeses, and condiments on your menu, what do you call it? Different regions have a different name, either it may be called as a hoagie or a submarine or a wedge or a hero. What words do they use? What queries do they have? Talk to your staff, use consumer analyses, just spend some time in a place and pay close attention!

It is imperative to know what your consumers know, feel, think and talk about your products locally so that it becomes easy to put pen to paper about them in a way that creates the local searcher feel right at home.

Best advice

Create a blog and add contents which are content related to your niche and town. Purpose of your blog is to share your ideas and values of your products/service with your local communities. Every business stands for some values and ethics, so it is very crucial to spread your message to them.

2. Maps, directories & citations

In local SEO, citations are the same as the quality backlink in SEO. Improving the volume and authority of your citation portfolio is one of the top ways to improving your rankings in Google local search results (Google Maps).

Fact: Only 44% of local retailers have claimed their Google My Business yet.

For local companies, it’s significant for every business to be available on Google Maps and have GMP (Google My Business). In the end, when people don’t know about the direction of your online business, then you’re out of the league.

Best advice

There are many local online business directories are websites like Yelp, Foursquare, MapQuest, and YellowPages which can help in listing with your business name, address, and phone number into these directories help visibility, but it’ll also boost your local SEO.

3. Local link building

Link building is the most essential factor when it comes to SEO.  We are not talking about local directory backlinks. Link building is something which search engines value a lot. So it needs to be executed very specifically.

Best advice

Find local backlinks from the local renowned clubs like Lions, Rotary, Toastmasters and a single backlink from such place can boost your website. This strategy works on most of the websites. These backlinks update Google that you are connected to the local community, Also make sure to link are contextual and not paid.

Over to you

Above 3 tips can make your website rank faster, provide you more lead locally and have a solid base in your local SEO strategy. SEO changes very rapidly and it’s uncertain when Google will announce new features on its local SEO. That’s why it’s essential to continuously stay on top of local SEO.

About The Author:

Joel House is  CEO and Founder of JHSM. He has helped many companies which are looking to do the best in SEO and Digital Marketing. Joel likes reading books and has been studying, growing in digital marketing from the past 10 years.