Doing SEO for over 8 years, and more recently specializing in post penguin SEO services, I have seen my fair share of companies who are still link-building like it is 2006. I feel just as bad for the SEO company doing this type of work as I do for the client who is paying to have an asset of theirs damaged.
Why would I feel this way?
Well, it is companies like this that:
- Have a poor reputation online.
- Some are facing lawsuits.
- Who can’t rank their own website.
- Have “keyword packages”.
- Do not do on-page SEO properly.
Seems like a poor business plan to me. However, this blog post is meant to be informative and teach you the importance of post penguin SEO techniques.
Whether you are a DIY’er or seeking a team of experts, this article will give you the ammunition you need to make informed decisions on the tasks you must accomplish if you wish to dominate your market. After all, why compete, if you can dominate?
Before Link Building – Build a Foundation
In my opinion, based on all the new accounts my organization receives, that were supposedly being serviced by another SEO company, it has become clear this critical portion of the SEO process is being neglected.
How in the world can you plan on ranking Page One of Google with 100 words of content with poor website architecture? This is taking the path of most resistance as opposed to the path of least resistance. You will struggle for no reason if you begin link building, yet do not have a proper foundation in place.
So what does a proper foundation consists of? A lot. But take the time; you will be glad you did as your proper link building efforts will have maximum impact. Make sure you have the following.
A Minimum of 750+ Words Per Page You Are Targeting
How you write the content is a critical piece of the puzzle. Do not use any % of keyword density. Google is now smart enough to know what your page is about. Rather, I suggest you do the following.
Utilize your main keyword you are targeting in the first sentence and last sentence of your beefy article. In the body of your content, talk about closely related variations or LSI keywords (alternative names or synonyms). Just Google your main keyword and look for related search towards the bottom, Google will give you some great suggestions.
If they populate these related searches, chances are, you want to try and include them in your content. Also, use instant search and see what Google auto-populates, try to use these terms as well. The above tips will give you long-tail variations, which is important. As if you include these, you will naturally be providing great content to the potential customers (searchers) of Google.
Use spaces in your content, allow your readers to scan your content for information they need quickly. No one likes to struggle reading a 300 word block of content.
On-Page Optimization – Mastering the Important Basics
So many times, this critical aspect is also sub-par. Follow the below logic to ensure your on-page is spot on. Why would you make it necessary to earn 50 links, when you can earn 25 links and get the same task accomplished?
URLs that are confusing are not looked upon as favorable. I actually cannot remember the last time I saw a crazy URL structure ranking in Google for any competitive keyword. Nevertheless, there will be an exception to the rule. Again, take the path of least resistance by making sure you have keyword friendly URLs and/or permalinks setup in WordPress if that is your CMS.
Use your main keyword in your H1 tag, try to add your company brand, a short but sweet call to action, credibility tag, etc. You want diversity in your header tags.
With H2-down, you will want to use important long tail variations or important phrases found by utilizing the content tips above.
Use images, alt-tag them with long tail variations found within the body of your content. Not only is this good for search engines, but images are pleasing to the eye. Videos are great too if you have access to them.
You will want to outbound link to authoritative sources that will be useful to the visitor. Use internal links to relevant pages so your page stays on topic rather than “being all over the place”.
Your Foundation is Good – Time for Link Building
Just by doing the above, if you are in a lesser competitive industry you may very well already be on Page One, or very close. Now your goal should be to own the #1 spot. This has proven to yield a significant larger volume of clicks when compared to the #3 spot, according to a Cornell University study completed in 2006.
Now, before we go any further I want to tell you what not to do. Do not buy links. Period. This is gaming the system and eventually, you may get your website penalized. If you have a brandable domain, this can be catastrophic.
Do not fall victim to the cheap prices being offered by outsourced providers in other countries. I’m not going to use the cheesy analogy you get what you pay for. I’ll go into more detail. You will get the poorest quality content you have ever seen, and it will be associated with your website.
Quality over quantity is what post penguin SEO is all about. Point is, hire a cousin, nephew, aunt, stay at home mom, etc. Someone who is passionate about what you do.
Just like the tips above dedicated to your on-page content (content on your website), you will want to use these tips for your off-page content (content found on 3rd party website)
Now that you have the high quality content writers ready to type until their fingers fall off, we fall into the topic of linking.
Your linking profile should always look natural. Here’s a good example for you. Google – sailboat manufacturer (Page 1 #2), highly competitive. Check the backlink profile for marlow-hunter.com. Not once do you see the exact match keyword of sailboat manufacturer.
What does this mean? You do not need to anchor your main keyword to rank any longer. This is not to say you cannot link with your exact match keyword, but I personally recommend you keep it at an absolute minimum. Rather, link with long-tail variations in addition to the exact match no more than 5%-10% of the time.
Link most often with your domain (20%-30% of the time). Link often with your brand and/or company name (20%-30% of the time). Link with generic anchor text. (10%-20% of the time.) Generic anchor text includes click here, learn more, see how, visit website, etc.
Put Your Post Penguin SEO Knowledge to Use
You have the entire recipe for success. Feel free to use it. This is meant to be a foundation for which you can build upon and gives you great actionable tips on how to succeed in today’s internet marketing age. Keep in mind, algorithms change quite frequently.
You will want to stay up to date by following the latest updates as this information may become obsolete in the coming months and/or years at Google’s Discretion.
Now, go write some content and dominate!
Jason Hawkins is the President and Co-Founder of NoRiskSEO Inc. and carries over 8 years of experience in SEO, CRO, & lead generation. He is a current contributor to Monitor Backlinks, Search Engine Journal, Social Media Today, & SEM Rush. He can be found on various social media networks such as: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Google+.