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Category Archive: Link Building

  1. 10 Strategies to Attract Links to Your Content

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    Link building is still one of the most effective offsite search engine optimization practices around—the more high-quality links you have, the better. But with the onset of advanced Google updates like Penguin 3.0, it’s becoming more and more difficult to build “natural” backlinks on your own. In most cases, it’s better and easier to let your readers and customers do the work for you, by creating content that naturally encourages people to build links pointing back to your site.

    That may seem difficult, but when put into practice, you may find it’s one of the easiest—and most effective—link building strategies around. Try using these 10 tactics to attract more links to your onsite content:

    1. Show Something New.

    articleimage556Show Something New

    People like to see what’s new, and if it’s new enough and different enough, they’ll want to share it to their friends and followers. Nothing satisfies social urges quite like being the first person to share something new and exciting. If you have a new product or service to unveil, write a post about it, and talk about how it’s going to change the industry. You can also share a new take on an old problem, or share a new idea that has future potential. Anything you can do to share something new will pay off in spades.

    2. Tease Your Audience.

    articleimage556Tease Your Audience

    Build anticipation whenever possible. Anticipation leads to more attention, and the value of whatever you build to will correspondingly increase. You can build this anticipation by teasing your audience of a release to come—either in the form of social media posts, or by the creation of a webinar or content series. For example, you can make posts leading to a specific date like “We’ve got a big announcement for you next week!” and “only two days until the big reveal!” Your content, when revealed, will pack a much bigger punch, and your users will be far more likely to link to it as a result.

    3. Take a Firm Stance.

    Controversy can be a good thing. If you have the opportunity to take a firm stance on a major issue in your industry, or something else debatable, you should take it. Make sure your stance is in line with your brand standards, but don’t be afraid to firmly pick a side. You do run the risk of alienating some of your readers, but the remainder will be far more loyal and passionate about your brand. Those loyal followers will be highly likely to link to your strong, opinionated content—especially if they’re posting their own variations of it!

    4. Give Your Readers a Surprise.

    articleimage556Give Your Readers a Surprise

    Giving users exactly what they expect can lead to satisfaction, but if you give your users a surprise, they’ll remember it. Create content that offers something surprising—you can support an unconventional opinion, offer a unique solution, or simply have a sudden twist in your video content to evoke a surprised response. That surprise element is invaluable to facilitating interest from your readership. People like to share surprises to others, so your content will be far more likely to attract links from other bloggers and readers.

    5. Demonstrate Original Research.

    Original research is one of the juiciest and most attractive forms of content you can provide. Original research is—as the name suggests—original, and that means users can’t get your data anywhere else. Your data is also going to be valuable, at least to somebody, and many people will want to link to you simply to credit you as a source of their information. You’ll be the root source of dozens, if not hundreds, of secondary articles, most of which will link to you as the original source. The only problem with this strategy is the amount of time and effort it takes to perform original research properly.

    6. Let Others Guest Blog on Your Site.

    This strategy is much easier, and can be done by any company in any industry. Make a public request for guest bloggers—most writers are itching to write guest blogs as a source of new readership and more brand visibility. While allowing guest bloggers within your industry to post on your blog might actually send some of your users their way, the benefits to your brand can be just as powerful. Your readerships will “cross over,” and your guest bloggers’ current fans will be likely to link to their content—plus, your guest bloggers will be more than happy to share the links to their content on your site.

    7. Conduct Interviews and Surveys.

    Interviews and surveys are almost a type of original research that doesn’t take much time to implement or analyze. Essentially, you’ll be borrowing the authority of an individual or group of people in order to substantiate your own content—either with new insights or aggregated data. This strategy will attract links, either because it’s interesting, because it’s informative, or some mixture of the two. And if you’re conducting an interview with an individual, make sure to ask him/her to share it with his/her current fans.

    8. Create Something Funny or Entertaining.

    Funny content is self-explanatory—if your content makes somebody laugh, they’ll be far more likely to share and link to it. The trick is to find something funny to create. Amusing videos are one of the more popular options, but you can also write a parody post or something similar. If your brand voice is casual or flexible, you have a lot of room to work with—remember, that everybody loves to laugh deep down.

    9. Write Landmark Pieces.

    Landmark pieces, like whitepapers or thorough guides, are some of the best types of content you can write. They are longer, more detailed, and more useful than typical blog posts or infographics, and usually come through a PDF download link rather than existing onsite. These pieces are highly shareable, and are perfect for attracting links because they are seen as having a high level of authority, and they’re usually evergreen, meaning they’re useful for a longer period of time than a typical blog entry, and will attract links for a much longer time as a result.

    10. Reward Shares Directly.

    This is one of the easiest ways to build links, and one of the most effective—as long as you’re careful with it. Directly compensating users for linking to your content can be seen as manipulative and therefore against Google’s terms of service. However, you can encourage links to your content by offering entry into a competition, or by offering small rewards like discounts or credits. One specific example is asking your users for videos explaining why they love your ____ product, which in turn link back to the original competition page. You can also encourage social sharing along the same lines.

    Link building doesn’t have to be a massive internal effort. By leveraging the power of your own audience, you can build your reputation and naturally allow the development of all the links you could ever want. It’s still a good idea to occasionally review the sources of your links, and pursue extra high-quality link building opportunities in order to create the best possible backlink profile, but with these 10 strategies, you’ll be in an excellent position to let your link building campaign grow on its own.

  2. Is Infographic Marketing Still Effective for Link Building?

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    Infographics have been hailed as a penalty-proof strategy to build backlinks effectively, but now that they’ve been around for a few years, the enthusiasm for their utility is beginning to wane. In order to get the best results from your SEO campaign, you need a link building strategy that accomplishes three things:

    1. It builds links quickly enough to influence a significant change in page rank
    2. It builds links cost effectively, keeping the campaign within budget
    3. It builds links safely, without attracting any negative attention from Google

    Infographics once easily met all three of these criteria, but are infographics still an effective way to build backlinks?

    The Theory

    articleimage432The Theory

    The theory behind the usefulness of infographics in a link building campaign is still solid. At their best, infographics are concise, visual pieces that convey complex significant information in a compelling, entertaining, and easy-to-understand way. This is a perfect recipe for “viral content,” which has a high propensity to be shared amongst peers.

    Viral content has a number of advantages on its own, such as widening the reach and visibility of your brand, but its advantages for link building are what have made infographics such a popular medium for search marketers. When a piece of content, particularly an infographic, is shared on a new site, the sharer typically posts a link back to the original poster. Any of their readers who share the infographic would also link back to the original, eventually generating a large network of backlinks.

    The best part about the strategy, compared to other link building tactics, is that it is completely organic. One hundred percent of the links generated with infographic marketing are naturally produced by audience members, which means the marketer spends less effort building individual links and Google has no real reason to implement a penalty.

    One of the only downsides of infographic marketing was the cost of doing it right. Creating a compelling enough infographic requires the help of an in-house or freelance designer and several hours of intensive work. But still, infographics were safer and more effective than almost any other link building strategy available.

    Changes in Popularity

    articleimage432changesinpopularity

    Infographic marketing has changed. Over the course of the last five years or so, there has been a stunning increase in the popularity and importance of visual media in the marketing world. Popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter began seeing a trend of people posting, liking, and sharing more visual content than written content. Content marketers noticed that posts with images get far more traffic than posts without. And new, entirely visual social media platforms began to take center stage as the next step in social media evolution. Today, the photo sharing network Pinterest attracts around 40 million active monthly users, while Instagram has over 200 million active users.

    This rise in popularity has actually been a good thing. More visual users means a larger audience for infographics, and a higher potential for infographics to circulate quickly. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest almost cater to this idea, encouraging users to engage with one another in an almost exclusively image-based format. For marketers, this translates to a higher number of potential backlinks from a more diverse range of sources.

    On the other hand, thousands of marketers have realized the power of infographics and have started producing them on a more frequent basis. This rise in popularity has been a bad thing. Think of this concept as infographic inflation; money is valuable because it is a limited commodity. If the government were to decide to double the amount of money in circulation, it wouldn’t make everybody twice as rich; it would just make money half as valuable. The same principle applies here, at least to some extent. When you see your social media news feeds flooded with a torrent of infographics on a daily basis, over time they begin to diminish in significance, and eventually, they register as white noise.

    The popularity surge of infographics, by some accounts, has overtaken the surge of visual social media sites, resulting in an oversaturated market where the power of the infographic is greatly diminished. For example, Neil Patel of KISSmetrics found that the average power of his infographics decreased from 53,459 visitors and 875 backlinks to 21,582 visitors and 371 backlinks between 2012 and 2014. This is a perfect example of infographic inflation; these infographics are researched, produced, and distributed using the exact same process, yet the number of backlinks produced has been cut in half.

    However, take a look at the current power of content marketing in general. More businesses than ever are using blogs and social content sharing to build their authority and generate revenue, and yet it’s still a relevant strategy with plenty of room for anyone who wants to get in on the action. While infographics have waned in value, that doesn’t mean they are no longer valuable. Even looking at the low figures in the example above, 371 natural backlinks per infographic is substantial.

    Cost and Impact

    Infographics are still effective for link building, but that doesn’t mean they are an efficient strategy. For example, if infographic effectiveness has declined to the point where manual backlink building can earn you more backlinks in fewer hours, then manual backlink building would be a superior strategy.

    Depending on how you develop infographics, the cost can vary. Generally, it takes a graphic designer several hours to perform preliminary research and design out the piece. It then takes a marketer an hour or more to distribute the infographic on the proper channels. An average infographic would therefore cost hundreds of dollars, and like with any piece of design or content—you get what you pay for. Skimping on your infographic budget will only lead to low-quality work that only generates a minimal number of backlinks. With the current popularity of infographics, only quality work stands out.

    Still, even if you pay upwards of a thousand dollars for an infographic, if you can get several hundred unique backlinks from them, it’s worth the investment. Otherwise, you’ll be spending dozens of hours hunting down high quality backlink sources and building links, one by one, on your own.

    Why Infographics Are Still a Great Strategy

    articleimage432Why Infographics Are Still a Great Strategy

    Infographics aren’t nearly as efficient as they used to be. An infographic today, identical to an infographic in 2011, will only generate about half the interest and half the backlinks. Fortunately, that’s still a significant amount.

    But even if you throw out the idea of backlinking entirely, infographics are a great long-term strategy:

    • They are an easy way to promote your brand. Even if you don’t generate any links, if you include your brand, more people will see it and become familiar with it.
    • They are perfect social media fodder. Syndicate your infographics on social media, especially on visual platforms like Pinterest, and you’ll be able to attract more followers to your profile even without the extra backlinks.
    • They facilitate more traffic. You might not get as many links as you used to, but your infographics will drive more traffic to your site (especially if you become well-known for your high-quality infographics).

    All in all, infographics are still a fantastic inbound marketing strategy—they’re just not as good at link building as they used to be.

  3. How to Filter Trackback Spam From WordPress

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    articleimage430How to Filter Trackback Spam From WordPress

    Spam has been a problem since the dawn of the Internet, and it keeps evolving into new forms as increasingly complex solutions arise to conquer it. While some old-school forms of spam have all but been eliminated, modern forms of spam, such as trackback spam, are still problematic for millions of Internet users. The popular blogging platform WordPress features trackbacks as an option, but for many users, the volume of spam associated with trackbacks is too high to warrant their presence.

    There are many options available to deal with trackback spam in WordPress, including filtering options, but first, let’s take a high-level look at the root of the problem.

    What Is a Trackback?

    articleimage430whatistrackback

    A trackback is a type of link posted on one blog, pointing to another, which allows the original article creator (and the focus of the link) to track who is linking to their content. It’s a type of communicative exchange that allows multiple bloggers to connect with each other, and when done correctly, it can be beneficial for both parties.

    For example, if Blogger One posts an interesting article about kitchen knives and Blogger Two writes a blog about cooking with vegetables, Blogger Two might use a trackback to post a link back to Blogger One’s article. This way, Blogger Two can comment on Blogger One’s kitchen knife post while still allowing his own readers to see his commentary. Blogger One would also receive a notification of the trackback, and would have the option of displaying it as a comment on his own site. If the comment is accepted, it will include an excerpt of the new post and a link back to Blogger Two’s full post.

    Pingbacks are a similar, but distinct entity in the world of WordPress, and it’s important to understand the difference. The biggest difference is that pingbacks are automatically sent, whereas trackbacks are specifically created. Let’s take the above example: in this scenario, Blogger One writes a post and Blogger Two simply mentions the article in a new post. Blogger One’s blogging platform (WordPress, in this case) receives a pingback, which can be reviewed and posted as a comment that simply links back to Blogger Two’s site.

    Why Does It Matter?

    Trackbacks may seem like a superfluous feature, but they can be helpful in community building between multiple blogs. Since bloggers have full control over which trackbacks and pingbacks appear as comments on their site, it’s fairly easy to moderate comments and only accept those that are mutually beneficial. For example, Blogger One may not wish to publish a trackback that harshly criticizes his/her original content.

    The exchange of links is also beneficial. Backlinks are an important ranking signal in Google, so the more high quality backlinks you have pointing back to your site, the better. Do take this with a word of caution, however: Google has been known to penalize link exchangers (two parties who post backlinks to each other’s site in an effort to help both rise in rank). So if you engage in trackbacks yourself, make sure you engage with a wide circle of blogs with similar topics.

    Trackback Abuse and Spam

    articleimage430trackbackabuseandspam

    Despite the potential benefits of trackbacks when used properly, unfortunately the vast majority of trackbacks on the web are spam. And spam is annoying for everybody.

    In the older days of the Internet, comment spam was the most popular way to spam links on external blogs. Spammers would simply post blog comments containing a link pointing back to their site and reap the benefits of the increased traffic and higher page rank. However, modern spam filters and smarter blog structures have done a fantastic job of eliminating most comment spam (and penalizing the spammers behind them).

    Trackback spam functions like comment spam in the sense that spammers can post links pointing back to their site on other blogs; however, trackbacks circumvent many of the safeguards intended to protect blogs from receiving comment spam. Some blogging platforms have eliminated trackbacks entirely because trackback spam has run rampant, but WordPress still supports trackbacks for users who wish to use them appropriately.

    Trackback spam can be obvious or subtle, depending on the skill and intentions of the spammer. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to deal with this burden.

    Solution One: Manually Deleting Trackbacks

    If you notice that your blog is receiving an inordinate number of trackbacks, or if the trackbacks you receive seem irrelevant or questionable, you can go through and manually delete the offending trackbacks. All trackbacks appear under the “Comments” section of your WordPress site, where you will be able to review and moderate each individual instance. You can flag these instances as spam, delete them, or approve them if they appear to be natural or valuable to you.

    Solution Two: Setting Up a Filtering System

    If you receive trackback spam regularly, or if you simply don’t want to spend time deleting them manually, you can add a WordPress plugin that filters incoming trackbacks and automatically weeds out the bad seeds. A filter might not catch every single instance of trackback spam, so it’s possible you’ll still have to go in and manually delete some, but for the most part it is a great long-term solution.

    The Simple Trackback Validation plugin is one of the best tools available. Whenever it receives a trackback, the plugin runs a quick check to compare the IP address of the sender with the IP address of the webserver in question. Since trackback spammers tend to rely on bots and third party entities, most IP mismatches are evidence of spam, and are thus thrown out. Next, the plugin tests the URL from the trackback to verify that it links to a real blog. If it does not, the trackback is automatically removed.

    There are many filtering and setup options available, so you can customize the plugin to best suit your needs. There are also a wide variety of other plugins for catching trackback spam—this just happens to be one of the most efficient.

    Solution Three: Remove All Trackbacks

    If you don’t want to manually remove any trackbacks and you aren’t satisfied with setting up a trackback filter, you could also go the extreme route and simply block all trackbacks to your site. If you visit the Options > Discussion panel on the back end of your site, you’ll see an option for “Allow link notifications from other Weblogs (pingbacks and trackbacks),” which is currently checked. Uncheck that option and you will no longer receive any future trackbacks (though current trackbacks will remain until you delete them).

    Disabling all future trackbacks isn’t the best option, however, since trackbacks can be a beneficial feature when used responsibly by other bloggers.

    How you deal with trackbacks is entirely dependent on your personal preferences:

    • If your blog doesn’t receive much traffic or doesn’t receive many trackbacks, you might as well stick with manual moderation and deletion moving forward.
    • If you like the community-building potential of appropriately used trackbacks, it’s probably worth downloading and setting up a plugin that will automatically filter trackback spam.
    • If you don’t like the trackback feature at all and would prefer not to mess with a new plugin, simply disable all trackbacks and continue blogging.

    Remember, you can always adjust your approach if you change your mind.

     

  4. Do Website Rankings Remain After Backlinks Disappear?

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    Search engine optimization is characteristically veiled in a shroud of imprecise speculations and anecdotal evidence. While there are some hard, objective factors that can help a site rank higher, the remainder of our collective knowledge on SEO is, at times, unhelpful due to the unpredictable nature of the digital world.

    Google is constantly changing its standards for what makes a site “authoritative,” and which ranking signals are most important, but there are some tenets that have been consistent, such as high quality content and reputable, natural backlinks. So what happens when one of these ranking signals, such as a backlink pointing to your site, disappears?

    The Relationship Between Backlinks and Site Rankings

    articleimage429The Relationship Between Backlinks and Site Ranking

    First, let’s take a look at the relationship between backlinks and site rankings. In the old days of SEO, search marketers would litter the web with backlinks, knowing their association with higher page rank. Fortunately for web users, Google has released a series of updates, including Google Penguin, which eliminated spam-like backlink practices in favor of a more natural system of authority measurement.

    What does that mean for modern link builders? Well, like we mentioned, there’s a bit of a veil blocking us from understanding exactly what makes a link significant in the eyes of Google. We know that Google can tell when a link is relevant (such as determining whether the location of the link is related to the host site’s industry), and keeps count to detect when a site is engaging in spam. But we also know that adding more high-quality links (and their new cousin, brand mentions) generally results in higher page rank over time.

    The Concept of “Link Echoes”

    Clearly, the number of links you have pointing back to your site is important, to some degree. Adding links can improve your page rank, but what happens when you take a link away?

    Logically, because there is some dependency on the sheer number of links available, taking away a given link should result in a decreased rank. However, search marketerslikeMoz founder Rand Fishkin have noticed a strange and intriguing pattern; when a backlink is removed from an external site, in some cases, the site’s rank will not drop. And in some cases, the site’s rank will actually increase.

    This phenomenon has been observed and debated for several months, sometimes called the result of “link echoes” or “link ghosts.” When the team over at Moz ran a formal experiment, they took two similar sites and for each of them, built 22 links using 22 identical sources. Naturally, the link increase resulted in a measurable rise in ranks (the exact rise was different for each site, due to differences in anchor text). After this phase of the experiment, the researchers then removed all 22 links from both sites, expecting their ranks to drop back down. However, both sites stayed exactly where they were.

    Moz repeated this experiment multiple times, and under each condition, the sites stayed at the same rank or only dropped one or two positions. There were no major external factors that could have affected this experiment, suggesting that the concept of a “link echo” is real. The authority you get from a backlink can continue supporting your site even after the link is taken down.

    Why is this phenomenon occurring?Of course, Google wisely keeps most of its secrets under lock-and-key, but there are several theories that plausibly explain the mechanisms behind this effect.

    Theory One: Reverberation of Link Power

    The first theory is the most straightforward, though it doesn’t explain the mechanics behind the effect. It could be that Google’s algorithm is built specifically to “remember” links that once existed, or catalog them as a factor in a site’s ranking. This would lead to a reverberating effect, theoretically giving preference to links that still exist but also taking former links into consideration. It is unclear how long this reverberation period lasts, though experiments suggest it lasts at least a few weeks. If this theory is true, the reverberation period likely varies depending on the type of site and the type of links used to support it.

    Theory Two: Improved Site Performance

    It’s also possible that there is nothing in Google’s algorithm that specifically produces the link echoing effect. Instead, the external links could naturally produce more traffic to the site in question, which would then be viewed and analyzed as an indication of higher site relevance by search engines. Even when the link disappears, that effect of that increased site performance could remain. If this is the case, then external links aren’t as relevant to the ranking process as the secondary effects generated by those links. It’s tough to put this theory to the test since it relies on specifics within algorithm data unavailable to the public.

    Theory Three: Other Factors

    Of course, both of these theories could be completely wrong. The experiments could be flawed, resulting in a skewed perception of whether “link echoes” actually exist. Or, there could be some invisible third factor playing a role in determining the strength of those reverberations. If that’s the case, there’s almost nothing we can do to uncover the mystery. All we can do is consider the fact that links can be useful even after they are removed and worry less about preserving the links we have.

    Good News and Bad News

    articleimage429Goodnewsandbadnews

    For most search marketers, link echoes are a good thing. It means you don’t have to spend time backtracking and checking up on all the links you’ve built. And if you do lose a handful of links (for whatever reason), you can rest easy knowing you’re still getting a benefit from them. Instead of retracing your linking steps, you can spend more time building new links from new sources and diversify your existing strategy.

    There is also a potential downside to this algorithm feature. While good links that disappear continue to have positive effects for your site, it’s entirely possible that bad links can continue to have negative effects. For example, if you post a link on an irrelevant site and lose page rank, you could face a slow or impossible recovery even after you take that link down.

    If you end up facing a situation like this, the best thing to do is perform a disavowal—a request to Google that they do not take a certain backlink into consideration when attempting to rank your site. This likely circumvents the link reverberation effects since it forces the algorithm to completely ignore the link(s) in question.

    Backlinking Strategies That Work

    articleimage429 Backlinking Strategies That Work

    Link echoes aren’t something that requires a major adjustment to your strategy, but they are worth considering. If you can spend less time focused on the past and more time focused on the future, you’ll wind up with better campaign results.

    The key takeaway here is that links have a greater long-term significance than we ever thought previously. If you want to make sure you keep positive page ranks, you need to ensure that your strategy only builds links using the most authoritative sources:

    • Specific niche industry directories
    • Industry-relevant blogs
    • Industry-relevant forums
    • Guest blogs from a range of different high-authority sources

    The more effort you put into your link building strategy, the more it will pay off—even after those links disappear.

  5. 8 Types of Backlink Sources to Avoid

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    Backlinks are a vital part of any SEO strategy because they serve as a roadmap for search engines. The more quality, authoritative links you have pointing back to your site, the more “authority” your site is deemed to have, and the more likely it is that you’ll rank for a given keyword or keyword phrase. Over the years, this has become less of a mathematical problem and more of a relationship-based one; Google once calculated a site’s authority based on the sheer number of links, but due to spam and aggressive rank manipulation, it now only favors natural, relevant links.

    What does that mean for you, the link builder?

    It means you need to be careful where and how you post links. If you’re suspected of spamming unnatural links for the purposes of increasing your page rank, you could earn yourself a Google penalty. Since it’s still important to build links if you’re going to succeed in your search engine marketing campaign, you have to recognize which sources of links are valuable and which ones are dangerous.

    For starters, make sure you avoid these eight risky types of backlink sources:

    1.Article Directories.

    articleimage415 Article Directories

    Article directories used to be a big deal in the world of SEO. They were cheap, easy, useful ways to syndicate one article and generate hundreds of links pointing back to your site from other directory participants. Too many people took advantage of this, syndicating poorly written, keyword-stuffed fluff, and Google took notice. Since then, Google’s algorithm has penalized backlinks that have been generated from low-quality article directories, and has scouted for any duplicated content on the web that could be evidence of such a practice. There’s nothing inherently wrong with guest posting, but avoid duplicating your content through article directories if you don’t want to earn yourself a penalty.

    2. Link Farms.

    articleimage415linkfarm

    Link farms, as their name suggests, are low-quality resources that exist solely to host links for other sites. They serve no purpose on their own other than to increase traffic and page rank for other sites. This may sound almost benevolent, but since they exist only to manipulate page ranks, they’ve earned a smackdown from Google. You’ll likely never see a link farm on the first page of Google again and for good reason—they do nothing to improve online user experience or provide any meaningful information. If you happen to find one, don’t even think about using it to post links to your own site.

    3.Exchangers.

    First, let me say that relationship building is great in an online context. Finding relevant partners with whom you can share content is a great way to mutually build authority and share an audience. However, if you excessively exchange links with a consistent other source, you could get some serious negative attention from Google. Diversity counts, so if too much of your backlink profile is dependent on one or a handful of other sources, it could look bad for all of you. Feel free to post on each other’s blog, but don’t exchange a series of links with another source unless it’s only a small part of your overall strategy.

    4. Paid Sources.

    Google’s official policy states that paying for links is unacceptable. That’s it. If Google somehow finds out that you’ve been paying for your links, or if they catch your source selling backlinks directly, they will bring the hammer down on everybody involved. Paying for individual links may seem like a cost-effective and easy strategy to quickly build your link profile, but even if those links are high in quality, the risk of getting caught is too great. Paying for SEO services is a bit of a gray area, but paying directly for links is bad news no matter what.

    5.Link Wheels.

    Link wheels are essentially the pyramid schemes of link building, and just like pyramid schemes, they are a waste of time and money. Link wheels are artificial means of passing link juice through a series of links that point to each other. To put it simply, link wheels attempt to fool search engines by building a pathway that passes authority from site to site. Like most linking schemes, on paper it seems like a good idea and it used to work marvelously. But Google is sharp, and they’re wise to all these tricks. Link juicing in itself isn’t a terrible strategy, but trying to build a link wheel will work against you.

    6.Conversation Plugs.

    Trying to slip your link into an irrelevant conversation, or posting your link at the end of your comment regardless of the circumstances is an example of a bad backlink strategy. While forum and blog comments are ordinarily great resources for quality link building, if your message is intended solely to build your authority with a backlink, you’re in for trouble. Instead, focus on finding ways to incorporate your links naturally into the conversation. Seek out threads that give you an opportunity to present yourself as an authority. Then, make sure your link points back to a relevant page—and not the same one over and over.

    7.Irrelevant Directories.

    There are some directories that are beneficial for link building. Highly focused, niche-based directories try to organize and build relationships between companies in the same industry, and relevant links you post there will count positively toward your own authority. However, posting links in a directory that has nothing to do with your industry is a negative practice that should be avoided at all costs. Google knows what type of company you are; if you’re a hardware store posting in a restaurant directory, you might as well ask for a penalty directly.

    8.Non-Newsworthy Press Releases

    articleimage415Non-Newsworthy Press Releases

    Ordinarily, press releases are a great source of quality brand links. They’re examples of well-written content that showcase your brand, point to your site, and can be accepted by some of the highest-ranking news authorities in the country. However, if your press releases are not newsworthy, your strategy can do more harm than good. Posting too many press releases for the sake of posting press releases is considered a type of spam; you’ll have duplicate content all over the web, and a series of boring, fluff-filled updates pointing back to your site. It’s a bad way to build backlinks, and can damage the reputation of your company.

    Unfortunately, posting in the right places isn’t enough to guarantee that you’ll avoid a penalty. The context and frequency of your links is also important. Even when posting to a reputable site of high authority, you need to ensure that your link is valuable to readers and relevant to the conversation. Also be careful not to post too many links to the same place in the same location, or you could get negative attention for spamming. Use Nofollow links to mitigate these risks, and encourage brand mentions whenever possible.

    The biggest takeaway here is that there is no guaranteed safe haven for posting backlinks. It’s good to avoid the notorious low-quality culprits in the list above, but you still need to make sure all your links are spaced out, diversified, and relevant in order to see the best results. Quality link building takes time and patience, and unfortunately, there are no shortcuts.

  6. Why You Shouldn’t Focus on Page Authority When Link Building

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    If you’ve been involved with SEO for any length of time, you likely know the importance of link building. And you’ve probably heard just how important PageRank and Domain Authority are when selecting sites from which to try to get links. And this is sort of true. A site’s PageRank and its Domain Authority determine to some extent how valuable it is.

    However, we’ve found in our years of working with real-world sites that these aren’t the only metrics you should concern yourself with. In fact, you should probably put your focus elsewhere entirely when seeking out new links if you want to see tangible results.

    PageRank Just Doesn’t Matter

    articleimage380PageRank Just Doesn't Matter

    At least, it doesn’t matter like you think it does. A lot of SEOs with outdated information — and clients with the same — seem to think getting as many links as you can from sites with a high PageRank will make their sites suddenly awesome. And sure, you might see an increase in PageRank by following this strategy. But this strategy doesn’t matter all that much when Google uses around 200 different metrics to determine a site’s value. PageRank is just one.

    Trying to get all the links from high PageRank sites, or chasing the green bar as Search Engine Watch calls it, is only one piece of the puzzle. If all you focus on is increasing this one metric, it’s actually pretty easy, but it won’t necessarily boost your site in the SERPs or see your site have increased authority or value all of a sudden. No, those metrics can only be obtained through building a relevant, high-quality site.

    It’s All About Relevance Now

    articleimage381 It's All About Relevance Now

    Rather than looking to PageRank or Domain Authority, now it’s important to think about the relevance of the links you get. What is relevant, you might be wondering? Good question. That can be a bit hard to define. It might seem like it’s all up to personal opinion but the latest Google algorithm has determined a way to assign a value to the relevancy of a link.

    Basically, a relevant link is one that relates directly to the content you offer on your site. The link should come from a site that speaks directly on this subject. The page itself should also be directly related. When links to your site are relevant, it shows Google that you must be an authority on this subject matter. It’s all about context.

    The Value of Natural Links

    Relevant links are natural links. That is, since they relate directly to the subject matter of your site, they are something people would naturally click on when navigating the web about that particular subject.

    Natural links are those that you would make even if SEO didn’t exist. You’d simply link to this content because it would offer value to your readers. These are the best kinds of links to get pointing toward your site’s pages. They are relevant within the context of your niche and are valuable to the people clicking through.

    Think of it this way. Let’s say someone were to be searching for information on motorcycles and came across a website on the subject. Included in the content is a link to your site. However, your site is about makeup tips. How likely is it that the person looking for motorcycle information is actually going to click on the link to your site? Not very likely, right? So what’s the value of this link? It’s not relevant and therefore not much use to those with the motorcycle query.

    Now do you see why this makes irrelevant links unimpressive in Google’s eyes? Without relevancy they don’t offer any value to searchers. Even if the linking site has a high PageRank. Google looks at whether or not the link is actually driving traffic as a major metric for a link’s value.

    Natural links also add more value to the Internet as a whole. A natural link structure based on user intent and needs rather than attempts to boost search engine rank make websites more intuitive to use and more helpful in context. A good rule of thumb is to only seek out links from sites that relate directly to your content. Be very selective. It’s not about quantity here. You want to build links that last and that still hold as much power in a few years as they do right now.

    Building Relationships Matters

    articleimage381Building Relationships Matters

    Sometimes, it’s not about SEO at all. And though link building is one of the oldest SEO activities, it can actually be used in a very new way. Well, new for the online world, at least. We’re talking about relationship building here, and sometimes the process of reaching out for a link can help you to build a relationship with a highly beneficial contact.

    Of course, your first step probably shouldn’t be asking somebody for a link. It should be attempting to create a real relationship about the subject you’re both passionate about. Social media is actually a great tool for the initial contact phase. Engage in discussion. Offer the insights only you can provide. Then, after some time has passed, you can inquire about getting that link.

    Relationship building has always been an important component of marketing but it’s expanded in scope so much over the past few years. Social media, in particular, has changed the way we communicate and we think that’s something that a lot of SEOs have lost sight of. The previous methods of trying to get as many links as you could from any old site and then getting links from as many high authority sites have all but died off. When relevancy and context rule, the relationships between its owners matter, too.

    So now you know why PageRank and Domain Authority don’t matter nearly as much as some SEOs would lead you to believe. And the next time you hear this bit of misinformation, you can speak up right away and set them straight. High quality links are relevant links. There’s just no way to get around that fact. So think about context. And think about what would be the most valuable to Internet users. Keep those two things in mind and you can’t go wrong.

  7. Is It Possible to Get Google Sitelinks Without Linkbuilding?

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    Sitelinks are becoming a more important part of an overall Internet presence for all industries. Sitelinks are the links that are directly underneath the main link for site results in a Google search. Those links tend to be related to the main link, focusing on more nuanced and precise categories within the main topic area. Depending on the way that the links are being promoted, they may even point to other pages within the main website that is being linked to.

    The main advantage of sitelinks is simple: Having more links on a search engine listing creates a bigger chance that your website will be visited rather than the site of a competitor. There are other advantages as well, including:

    • overall increased click through rate
    • more impressive main site listing
    • less space on the search engine page for competitors
    • link juice and increased Google PageRank for all sublinked pages
    • increases trust in all listings that are linked

    One of the most important questions for search engine optimization professionals in today’s online market is how to create sitelinks without link building efforts. Is there even a way to do this? Link building is becoming more difficult every cycle as Google continues to implement programs such as Penguin as well as Panda that punish the efforts of good companies who are simply trying to increase their online real estate. As a result, many companies have completely abandoned link building efforts. This actually results in the exact opposite effect of what Google purports to try to accomplish: With less relevant companies vying for top search engine slots, there is less relevant content to place in front of search engine queries.

    However, sitelinks can actually be created without having to go through the muddy waters of link building and the constantly changing rules of Google algorithms. Below are just a few of the ways in which search engine professionals can create more leverage for their listings. Although the exact nature of what makes a sitelink appear is still a secret, the tactics below have been proven to work for reputable companies in the past.

    articleimage331websitestructure

    Your Website Structure

    The way that Google chooses sitelinks has a lot to do with the type of structure and organization that your website has. The more organized that your website is according to the algorithms that are currently in use by Google, the more likely that you will receive the appropriate sitelinks under your main link listing. One of the easiest ways to get started restructuring an unorganized website is through categorization.

    The categorization of a website includes detailing the more nuanced parts of your website through specialized long tail keywords and other search engine tactics. Basically, do not treat your entire website as though it is one homogenous entity: Delve more deeply into the subject matter and organize your website as you would a term paper or the table of contents in a scientific book.

    articleimage331 The Ease of Web Crawling

    The Ease of Web Crawling

    This has to do with organization, but it is more technically based than the tip above. At the same time that you detail the nuances of your website in your content and pictures, you must also do so in your coding. Be sure that the navigation of your website is not hidden behind a scripting language that Google does not recognize. Google should be able to easily follow the links that you provide in your website. Google Webmaster provides the very tools that you will need in order to create a website that is easy for Google and other major search engines to navigate. For the most part, you should use the tools that are provided by the search engine that you are looking to increase ranking on.

    articleimage331linkinternally

    Link Internally

    Organization includes internal links. The more effective that your internal link structure is to a human being, the more effective that it will be to a Google site crawler. Make sure that all of your subcategories link back up to their parents where it is most appropriate. This will give you a positive feedback loop in two ways: The people who are already visiting your website will stay on it longer because they will be able to find references more easily. Secondly, your website will receive more consideration for sitelinks because of this increased stickiness on your website.

    Internal linking also helps Google to recognize what is most important on a website. Parent categories will most likely be linked to a great deal. Subcategories will likely have links going out. This dichotomy helps Google to understand what parent categories and subcategories are. If that organization matches the schema that Google has set up for those keywords, then you are much more likely to have a high ranking page overall as well as plenty of sitelinks.

    Increasing Web Traffic

    As you continue to organize your website in the manner mentioned above, you should increase the web traffic that is already moving to your website. Not only this, but the increased organization will attract new traffic as your site moves up the rankings in the major search engines. As Google finds new ways to appropriately index your website, people will be able to more easily access those parts of the website that they find most useful.

    In order to do this, be sure that each of your pages has title elements that are unique. The descriptions should be completely unique as well. If you need to hire a professional copywriter so that you do not have to repurpose content from another website, do so. The investment is more than worth it because of the longevity of good site content.

    True Usefulness of a Website

    All of the organization that you perform should be done with the intent of becoming truly useful to the end-user. You may be able to get click through’s for a while based upon a quick reorganization without much substance; however, these users will not stay for very long. As your web traffic drops off, so will the interest that Google has in your website. If this is the case, your search engine listing will gradually decrease until it is completely irrelevant to your industry.

    The Final Word

    Not only is it possible to get Google sitelinks without a link building strategy, it is actually required. The organizational process that you must go through in order to create appropriate sitelinks is a process that all top websites must incorporate into their web presence at some point or another. Go ahead and make this a priority now so that you do not have to deal with it later.

    Be sure that your website has plenty of content for your target audience. After all, Google and other major search engines are trying to make their algorithms behave more like people every day. Even if you are able to get a few short-term clicks based on the weaknesses in the program, those weaknesses will be fixed. If the past record of Google tells you anything, short-term boosts in ranking will be punished retroactively. Therefore, it is better to initiate a long-term strategy now rather than trying to get the short-term sale when it comes to sitelinks.

  8. How to Create the Perfect Internal Page Structure

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    By creating high quality internal page structure for your website, you will enable search engines to find, assess and index your site content. Your site’s content and purpose will be easily read and categorized. In addition, your website will receive top placement in search engine directories and relevant Web searches. When you include valuable keyword-rich content from your home page on internal pages that has proven to attract interested viewers, this can also add “link juice” to your overall site and its intent. If you have other web pages or postings on other sites that advertise and promote your current products, services or website purpose, you should link to those URLs to add increased SEO and web traffic to your current site.

    What are the Major Steps to Designing a Perfect Internal Web Page Structure?

    There are eight primary steps to follow for successful design and creation of a powerful and effective internal web page structure. These major site design methods and procedures are as follows:

    articleimage319 Use Quality Site Design Features

    1. Use Quality Site Design Features. – First of all, the overall quality and effectiveness of each page on your website must be excellent. Only by ensuring that every page is top-tier design with high functionality will you receive high traffic volumes and conversion rates for your site. Each page must include professional-level web design features such as well written, keyword-rich text and fine quality photographs, videos, graphics and interactive content. All pages need to achieve high ratings for search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

    2. Include Content Related to Your Home Page. – Since every page of your site should have content directly related to and supportive of your home page, be sure to structure each additional site page to include some of the major products and services promoted on your home page. In order to draw more external links to a new site page, link to blog posts, advertisements and other promotional content you have placed elsewhere on the Web. By including links to your site pages in articles you place on blogs of popular or authoritative sites related to your own business products, services and site content, you will actually attract impressive volumes of web traffic and backlinks from external sites. As Internet users read these blog posts and link to your site from their own websites, your numbers of site visitors, new customers and conversion rates will increase. Google actually places greater importance on your site links placed within your blog content on other sites than on links you place in your internal site navigation.

    articleimage319Use Keyword-Rich Links to Your Top Navigation

    3. Use Keyword-Rich Links to Your Top Navigation. – However, you do need keyword-rich links to your top navigation. Your home page navigation bar should direct your customers and site visitors to your primary categories and internal pages. Navigation topics should highlight your major categories and products. When you incorporate category design and function that opens out in navigation, customers and visitors can see multiple products and purchasing opportunities at once. This feature can extend link juice and visibility throughout your entire website. One link for each site page is sufficient. In addition, top search engines recommend that you include fewer than 100 links on any of your internal pages. Many successful websites also include a complete site directory at the bottom of each page for greater page recognition and viewing.

    4. Create Extra Navigation to Your High Profitability Pages. – Create extra navigation to your pages with highest profitability levels. By including links to your best-seller products on your home page, you will boost link juice to all pages while attracting more interest to these star products. Placing links in your sidebar to your most prominent external web articles and blog posts can also greatly boost visibility and sales conversions for your site. As long as you have excellent home page and internal page design and linkage, all new site visitors from external sources will take more time to view the content and product purchasing options of your entire website. If you currently use WordPress or a similar host for your website, you can choose plugins to auto-add links to your external posts, as well. Search engines base high site value and ratings on such site-related content since it attracts high volumes of Web user attention for your site.

    5. Use Keywords in Breadcrumb Navigation. – Sub-navigation that reveals your website hierarchy and structure are called breadcrumbs. They assist site users to navigate your website and view its entire content easily and thoroughly. They also enable you to incorporate targeted anchor text links to your important pages. Always remember that Internet users as your potential new customers and ongoing client base react favorably to websites with content that quickly and concisely directs them to pages, information and products they are searching for or have particular interest in viewing.

    6. Include Keyword Usage in Anchor Text. – When Google and other search engines perform evaluations of your site pages for search ratings, the two primary criteria used are authority and relevancy. Authority levels equal the number and effectiveness of the links pointing to your site pages. Relevancy means the rating value of your link keywords for anchor text. When planning SEO techniques for your site, remember that when you use the key term “click here” on your pages you are adding no value to your site. However, when you use target keywords as anchor text when including links, you are using a powerful strategy to strengthen your rankings and page optimization.

    7. Use Target Keywords in Your URLs. – The structure of your page URLs needs to match your site structure. Each product page must be nested to be part of its category. For example, if your website structure follows the design of “yourdomain.com/category/product,” if you are selling costumes and one site page is devoted to selling vintage costumes, its URL could be “yourdomain.com/costumes/vintage-costumes.” Always make your URLs as short and concise as possible. Include your target keywords and if you have keyword phrases, include hyphens between each word of a phrase.

    articleimage319 Rely on Quality Analytics and Expert Site Analysis

    8. Rely on Quality Analytics and Expert Site Analysis. – Make good use of professional website analysis services for your website pages like Google Analytics and other similar tools to ensure best quality internal page structuring. You can either perform your own analysis with the aid of these services on the Web or seek advice from expert website designers and optimization experts. By doing so, you can tweak and fine-tune your site’s internal page design, features and linkage use for best SEO and CRO results.

    Highly effective traffic volumes and conversion rates for your website can be attained when you create the perfect internal page structure throughout your site. Each page will be as effective as the degrees of attention you give to ensuring the high quality of page content. By including excellent textual content, visual and interactive features as well as SEO on each page, you will attract greater numbers of site visitors. With CRO expertise, you can encourage them to view and spend time on each site page. With high quality keyword usage and internal, external and navigation bar linkage, you will increase visibility and interest in every page of your site. Good use of anchor text will also improve visitor volumes and easy navigation of your pages. Through use of professional analytics for your home page and all internal pages, you will gain valuable knowledge and insight of how to fine-tune your pages for the highest possible levels of viewer interest, customer conversion rates and continual expansion of your client base for highest levels of online success and profitability.

  9. 25 Methods to Build Links From Quality Websites

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    Building links is one of the most difficult aspects of maintaining a website. Utilizing realistic steps on how to build inbound links can prove to be hugely beneficial. It’s important to take your time when building links and to understand that quality is everything. It’s understandable that you may want to attempt to receive tons of inbound links as quickly as possible, but the only way to ensure that the process is completed successfully is by being thorough. As such, here are 25 proven methods to build links from quality websites.

    articleimage209Write and Create Interesting Blog Content

    1. Write and Create Interesting Blog Content

    Creating blog content that is interesting and insightful is one of the core aspects of building links. Write articles that are fun and quirky, and you will soon have readers referencing and linking your article.

    2. Create Blog Content on a Consistent Basis

    While creating blog content is important, you ultimately want customers to keep coming back and continue linking your articles and posts, which is why it’s essential to create blog content on a timely and consistent basis, leaving your user-base well satisfied.

    articleimage209 Ask Others for Reviews

    3. Ask Others for Reviews

    If your site or product has received recent upgrades, it’s important to ask critics and customers to review these changes and your site on their own, creating inbound links to your content.

    4. Write Reviews

    Writing reviews for new products, such as books and cd’s, will help to attract others to link your review, which could include the person whose content you reviewed.

    5. Share Links Through Social Networks

    Social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are as popular as ever, which is why it’s important to embed buttons within your articles that users of those platforms can connect with to share your link.

    6. Links through WordPress Plugins

    If your site uses a wordpress plugin, you can review it at WordPress and include a link of your site, which is an easy method to bring in extra traffic.

    7. Distribute an RSS Feed Into Your Website

    Setting up an RSS feed within your site can allow for others to use your content in their own articles while providing links that lead back to your website. While this can be difficult to utilize effectively, it does help to increase traffic.

    articleimage209 webinar

    8. Webinars

    Webinars are simply a form of seminars on the internet. By delivering an interesting and informative webinar, those that watch it will post about it and include links to the webinar and your site.

    9. Ask Journalists to Cover Site When Big News is Announced

    One of the best ways to receive extra traffic and inbound links to your site is by asking journalists within the entertainment industry to write a piece focused on new content you’re offering, which will link to your site.

    10. Create Visual Aids for Site and Content

    Visuals are a strong aspect of any website and can really help to bring in tons of inbound links. By creating your own designs, ones that are intriguing, others may choose to link to your image for a similar article they are writing, instead of simply creating their own visual content.

    11. Utilize Press Releases

    Drafting and sending a press release related to your company can earn huge dividends in regards to building links, as it’s one of the easiest ways to do so. You have full control over the content of the link and the press release will automatically lead back to your site.

    12. Create an Interesting Presentation

    Create a presentation related to something currently going on within your business and build it into a link. This will allow for new and interesting content for your website that will attract inbound links.

    13. Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs

    Guest blogging is a fantastic way to attract customers and inbound links to your site. All you have to do is write interesting content and place a link in your author bio that leads back to your site.

    14. Write an Opinion Piece

    Writing an opinion piece for online publications is a great way to insert an inbound link to your website at either the end of the article or within your author bio.

    15. Help Other Bloggers by Linking to Their Blog

    Utilizing this easy method will allow you the opportunity for others to link back to your blog after you have done the same for theirs.

    16. Use Directory Submissions

    Directory Submissions in online yellow pages or portfolio sites is a natural way to build links as it helps to create visibility for your company.

    17. Be Aware of the Latest News

    If you can find a way to get a jump on the latest news and be one of the first to comment on a story, others that follow will cite you as a source and link to your site.

    18. Give Interviews

    Giving an interview to journalists is a wonderful method to spread publicity and inbound link opportunities. Once they publish your interview, along with an inbound link, you earn immediate traffic to your site.

    19. Design and Create an Info-graphic

    Info-graphics are one of the more modern forms of marketing. All it takes is thinking of a unique design for the info-graphic that will be appealing to site visitors and include the embed code that will allow others to embed your link on their site.

    20. Offer Trials and Sneak Peeks Of New Products

    Giving members of your site a peak into new content and products is a fantastic way to create buzz and will tempt others to write their impressions and include a link to your site.

    21. Offer Free Tools and Similar Accessories

    If you’re technologically savvy, creating new and distinct marketing tools and offering them for free can help to attract those that work within the industry to use them and link back to your site.

    22. Sponsor an Event With Your Website

    If you are looking for the means to attract more traffic to your site, one of the simplest methods to do so and build more links is by sponsoring an event, which can earn you widespread publicity and inbound links to your website.

    23. Write Posts in Public Forums

    Forums on many websites throughout the internet have largely increased in size over the past decade, making it a viable strategy for spreading your network and creating opportunities for inbound links to your site.

    24. Offer Giveaways of Created Content or Products

    Designing a free giveaway can help to greatly increase publicity, particularly if it’s a good product you’re giving away. Doing so will allow others to review your site and leave inbound links.

    25. Simply Place “Tweet This” Into Your Articles

    While a simple method, placing a button within your article that displays “tweet this” will allow readers the ability to use their twitter accounts to link to your article, creating the possibility of it going viral.

  10. 5 Creative Examples of Link Bait Strategies

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    Using link bait strategies to drive traffic to a particular website is an old tactic for increasing views. Link baiting is controversial and is often associated with harassment in the minds of many. Though the word “bait” in the term is used, link baiting is typically not a manipulative practice. When used properly, however, it is an effective tool for driving traffic to a particular site. Link baiting includes a wide variety of applications, ranging from the running of awards or competitions to writing dissenting posts against high-profile bloggers in the hopes of provoking a response, thus drawing more readers to your site.

    Have you ever read a blog on Blogspot or watched a video on YouTube, stared at the 100,000 views statement and said to yourself, “How in the world did that get so many views?” If you have, and are staring glumly at your own blog with 10 views, don’t be disappointed. Quite often, the owners of those posts and videos that went “viral” had help—either from hiring a company who specializes in making things go viral, or reading up on how to do it themselves, as you’re doing now.

    Below are five creative examples of link baiting that you should consider for your blog/YouTube account if you want to increase traffic levels.

    articleimage165Make a video, with links to your website

    1. Make a video, with links to your website.

    If you are interested in creating a truly viral post that millions of people will watch, share and chat about, then you should consider doing a video of some subject related to the post that you can use to link back to your site. The content need not necessarily be outstanding in order to get 100,000 views, but it should be good, to make viewers want to share it. There are many online sources to assist you in producing a video, such as makeyoutubevideo.com, kizoa.com and wondershare.com.

    Before you begin producing the video, you will need to consider what goals you want the video to accomplish. Several questions to think about are:

    • Who is this video going to be targeted to?
    • What is the tone of the video going to be? Funny? Goofy? Professional? Dramatic?
    • What action do you want your viewers to take after they have watched the video? Email it to a bud? Click for more information? Visit the website it mentions?

    articleimage165Focus on function, not flair

    2. Focus on function, not flair.

    While your blog post or video needs to have good content in order to get millions of people to watch, share and gossip about it, it is not necessary to spend hours to create top-notch videos or blog content. If you focus on the presentation of your material, you will generally be more successful. A good rule of thumb is not to force a concept to fit a brand, rather let the brand fit into the concept. Some guidelines to help with this strategy are listed below, with tips for videos listed first:

    • Keep it short. An optimal time frame is 15-30 seconds. Rarely are good videos longer than a minute; you should break long stories into several bite-sized movie clips.
    • Format for remixing. Design a video that is simple enough to be remixed, reformatted and reworked over and over again by others.
    • Do not turn it into a blatant advertisement. If a video feels like an ad, very few viewers will share it, unless it is very powerful.
    • Make it shocking. Craft the listing so that the potential viewer can’t help himself, but has to go investigate. A good example is “Re-emergence of Mothman in Virginia!”
    • Use creative headlines. Get the viewers thinking, “No way! That couldn’t have happened!” A great title would be something like “Kate Middleton Loses Prince George at State Dinner!!”

    And for blogs:

    • Be engaging. Your audience needs to feel that you are speaking to them. Frequent use of important words such as “you” and “your” will help your readers feel unique and keep them engaged. If your audience is engaged and enjoys the material you have posted, the chances of them clicking on the links you have provided are much higher than otherwise.
    • Be emotional. No, this does not mean be sentimental. It means to consider how you feel in the moments just before you take action. What are you thinking? Do you feel an emotion such as desire, fear or hope? People think alike, so the majority of your readers probably feel the same way that you do. The best way to use this strategy is to focus on catchy, emotionally charged titles for your articles. Here’s an example:
      (Standard)—How To Make An Interesting Video.
      (Emotionally charged)—The Art Of Cinematography: Making A Movie That Will Captivate Your Audience
    • Come up with and answer questions. When writing a post, it is often very powerful if you explore the possible “what-ifs” that will most likely cross the minds of your readers. If you address these possible questions in your post, this will help make your work transparent, as well as prevent your readers from feeling sledge hammered by the one-way opinions of your rival bloggers.
    • Repetition, repetition, repetition. Your readers will be viewing your blog post for only a few minutes, so you want to make sure that they come away with the most important information. To do this, tell the reader what the article is about at the beginning and summarize the article at the end. Reiterating key points throughout the material is also helpful.

    articleimage165Get onto the _Most Viewed_ page

    3. Get onto the “Most Viewed” page

    Once your post or video is ready to go, it’s time to get it into the most viewed section. But how? It’s easy. Four quick solutions are listed below:

    • Forums. Starting new threads on relevant forums and embedding your video there is helpful. You can jumpstart conversations posting a comment yourself and asking friends to comment as well.
    • Facebook. If you have a moderately large presence on Facebook, sharing a video/blog post can have a powerful impact.
    • Blogs. Reach out to individuals who operate relevant blogs and get them to post your embedded video on their site. They will probably charge you a small fee, but the results are likely to be worth it in the long run.
    • Friends. Ensure that everybody you know watches the video. Try to get them to email it to friends, or to at the very least share it on Facebook.

    4. Title/thumbnail optimization

    The title and thumbnail are the best way to advertise your video or post. Titles can be changed an unlimited number of times, so sometimes it is wise to use a catchy title for the first several days, and then change it to something else once the views are up. Trendy titles include phrases such as “exclusive”, “behind the scenes” and “leaked video!”

    5. Comments: Capitalize On Them.

    A controversy is an excellent way to maximize the number of views for your material. If a controversy erupts in the comments section, be sure to capitalize on it to the fullest extent. Get the main antagonist to explain what his problem is and show him how he is wrong. A civil discussion can engage viewers and drive traffic back to your website.

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