Your Top Blogging Questions Answered

Blogging

Our ten-part series on the 50 most common blogging questions was met with great success. The only problem was it was spread out over a few weeks, and that meant searching and clicking on ten blog posts to read it. I received many emails asking me to make the series into a single blog post. Well, it is it!

At nearly 7,000 words, I think this is the biggest single post to ever go live on this blog. I should really package this up as an ebook and sell it. However, you can read it for free right now. Enjoy!

What Blogging Platform Should I Use?

This is a very common question because people often get confused about the “3” popular ones like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. However, the best advice I give people is to first determine your purpose and what you’re trying to accomplish. Then skim through each looking for speciality features. For example, if you’re trying to start an ecommerce website, then WordPress has plug-ins that will customize your website EXACTLY the way you want. However, different websites have a different purpose so figure out if you’re…

  • Simply just blogging
  • Need any special features
  • Require control of your customization
  • How much coding experience you have

How Many Posts Before Launching?

Many people often wait until they have 5-10 blog posts before launching their blog. However, I recommend start posting right away. Why? The faster you start adding content, the faster you’ll start getting indexed by search engines. Next, you’ll have a jumpstart on your tweaking because you’ll be able to determine what design elements look good. I started posting right away and, along the way, made adjustments to the way my content is displayed, interlinking pattern, and where the boxes fell below my content. Not to mention,

Posting right away will keep you motivated. Each time you hit “publish”, you’ve made one step toward growing your business. Waiting around makes you lazy!

How Long Should I Make My Content?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this question. I tell people you should make your content as long as it has to be to get your point across. When writing, you should be detailed and remember you have competition who’s writing about the same topic. You should make your content the only one the visitor needs to read to find the information they are looking for. If they have to go somewhere else to find more information, then you’ve done a poor job. Next,

Statistically, the average content of the top 10 websites on the first page have been around 1,800 – 2,000 words long. This content length breaks a quality barrier, providing visitors with high quality in-depth answers to common problems. Google knows this and will often rank these websites higher.

What’s the Best Way to Build Visitor Loyalty?

Email opt-in on your website is the best way to keep bringing people back to your website. However, you have to try different things and keep tweaking until you find a strategy that works well. For example, for some, it’s a FREE eBook and others will offer coaching sessions, coupons, giveaways, etc. Neil Patel from QuickSprout.com has stated numerous times that getting 100,000 visitors to your blog each month is impossible without having email subscribers. You need to have that funnel that reminds people of your blog and whenever you publish fresh new content. Remember,

You have enormous competition within your niche so find a way to distinguish yourself going forward. The best way to do this is to collect email subscribers, then create a funnel showcasing your best content. When subscribers know you add value, you’ll build loyalty.

Should We Republish Content?

NO! Never republish because this will be duplicate content. Google has made it clear after the Panda and Penguin updates that websites with thin and duplicate content will lose rankings or be eliminated altogether. To make sure your content hasn’t been republished, don’t give anyone permission and run a quick site audit every 3 months, which will tell you if your content is found anywhere else online.

Here are some ways to run a quick site audit…

  • Hire someone from Freelancer with the right auditing tools
  • com has a few cool audit gigs for cheap
  • Purchase tools like RavenTools.com, etc., which are a bit steep in price, but will get the job done.

What’s the Best Way to Create a Buzz with Your Content?

The main thing is to install social buttons to your blog, especially before and after your content. You want to make it easy for readers to share content immediately because once they leave your page, you’ve just missed the opportunity. However, keep in mind that you should only focus on the large social engagement where engagement is at its highest. For example, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have all been proven to create higher than normal engagement in my niche. You should try different networks to find what works best for you. Next,

Keep in mind to test different times, days, #hashtags, headlines, etc. All of this will make a huge difference on social networks. Next, always share your own content on social networks.

How Much Does Starting a Blog Cost?

Setting up a blog won’t cost you more than $30.00. A domain will cost $9.99/yr and hosting roughly $6.99/mo. The bulk of the cost will be spread among advanced tools, if purchased, which can run you anywhere from $19.99/mo-$99.99/mo. You have to decide what you need to increase brand awareness within your niche. These tools just help you streamline several tasks however you’ll still be able to do what you need to simply using the FREE tools provided online.

Here are some cool tools that offer both paid and free plans…

  • OpenSiteExporer.org
  • Alexa.com
  • MajesticSEO.com
  • AHrefs.com
  • ExpiredDomains.net

What Should I Do With Negative Comments?

This is a common question I get asked because people feel negative comments left under your content can be bad for blog growth. However, I look at it as a way to start a debate. For example, negative comments provide you with another point of view on your topic. You can reply back to them or create a completely new post on the comment. The point is they create a debate which is always good for blog engagement and can even lead to more social shares if the debate starts to spread. Next,

Never delete comments no matter negative or positive because it takes the natural feel away from your blog. In order to build genuine loyalty from your visitors, you have to be genuine yourself and not shy away from negativity.

How Can I Make Money From My Blog?

Blogging opens up many doors and the route you take to make money will depend on your blogs niche. I recommend exploring programs which are multi-niche based. These are affiliate networks that hold products in every niche and all that’s required from you is an account. You can make money selling ad space on your blog, through Google Adsense, selling products, coaching sessions, CPA offers, etc.

The main thing is to try everything and stick with the option that works best at converting into profits. Some will work better than others and it’s your job to find those that put the most money in your pocket. This will require testing several networks and tweaking them until you get the highest return.

What’s The Optimal Place for Opt-in Forms?

This is a very common question and it’s very important to start collecting email subscribers from day one. Email subscribers increase blog growth and convert into loyal readers going forward. Email opt-in is also a great way to generate profits by promoting products they’ll find useful. It’s an awesome funnel and can translate into enormous growth. I suggest placing email forms in the following places…

  • Sidebar that displays on every page. Make sure it visible above the scroll so people see it as soon as they arrive on the page.
  • I recommend placing an opt-in form below the content. Visitors when they finish reading your content are intrigued and this is the EXACT point you should offer them a way to stay updated with new content.
  • It’s a great idea to have a pop-up form on your page that offers a FREE eBook relevant to your niche. This is more of an in your face approach and has worked really well. However, the success of your pop-up will depend on your offer and how relevant it is to your niche. I suggest offering an eBook that solves a very common problem within your niche because this will increase the chances of conversions.

What’s The Best Hosting Provider?

This depends on your requirements and what type of website you have. Some websites will require more space, a faster server, tools and extensions. However, I have 6 websites all running on a simple shared sever through GoDaddy.com and HostGator.com. You have to keep in mind hosting providers are using the best hardware because they know the importance of uptime and giving customers the optimal experience. Some of the basic shared plans are good enough however if you are operating an ecommerce site you might have different requirements. Ecommerce websites tend to hold large inventory images and customer data. You have to figure out at this point what works for you.

Here’s my recommendation…

Start with basic and tweak depending on what you require. Invest little and move up instead of investing in a VPS and then needing to move down. If this is your first blog save money where you can and don’t jump in with two feet because this can end up costing you a lot of money.

I Need Help Where Can I Find It?

Blogging is a tough industry and you’ll need help as you grow your blog. Over the years I’ve been able to find answers in some of the most common places like competitor’s blogs, books, magazines, etc. However, my advice is to contact influential bloggers within your niche because there more than willing to help. These bloggers were once in your position and I believe had help from other authority bloggers as well. It’s only normal that these people are more than willing to go the extra mile and answer your questions. For example,

I have an expert post on my blog where I gathered the opinion of top bloggers on link building. I’ve actually seen several other detailed expert posts while skimming online. Reach out to them and be genuine so you can get the advice you need. Some great ways to find authority bloggers are…

  • Google search
  • Forums
  • Competitors blogs
  • Guest posts
  • Webinars on Youtube.com

How to Gather Ideas for Blog Posts?

This is a very common question and it can be tough finding creative content ideas. Personally, with so much competition it’s going to be hard to be original. The chance of creating highly unique content comes down to your niche and if it’s an untapped market. Sometimes it’s better to tweak already existing content making it better and I’ve done very well using this method. Here’s what I think it comes down to…

  • Blog visibility
  • Content quality

If your high in the SERP’s your going to get discovered way before your competition. Next, after the recent Google tweaks there’s more emphasis put on quality then quantity. I suggest finding a common problem in your niche then researching the current content found on that topic. Next, create content that is even better so you stand out compared to the others. Include images, videos, infographic and even make it longer. However, if you can come up with an original idea that would be awesome and sometimes making content better going more in-depth is a great alternative.

What Should I Look For In A Guest Blogger?

I actually wrote an awesome post on factors determining a credible guest blogger. I’ll go over the major elements quickly. First, it’s important you ask for references when someone submits a guest post to your blog. In most cases these people have been blogging for some time and have been published before if they produce high quality content. Next, check the links in their content because it’ll tell you a lot about their experience. It’s normal practice to allow guest bloggers to add links in author bio so I suggest clicking them and skimming through checking the quality of the website. Next,

Check their social profiles as someone with authority will have enormous followers relevant to their niche. If you are thinking about publishing the guest post on your blog ask to view their social accounts. If they are credible and have experience they’ll have no problem sending you the profile names.

What Are Some On-Page SEO Fundamentals?

This information is available online and has been written about numerous times. However, before publishing your content, you should ensure you have the following elements optimized…

Meta Title – It’s important to include the “target” keyword within the title of your content. Should be 40-60 characters

URL – If your using WordPress then switch permalinks to “post name” so the URL will be generated using the keyword within your title. It’s important when indexing your page that Google can read the keyword within both the title and URL.

Content – A keyword density of 2%-4% is ideal and has been proven to show benefits. I recommend content 1,200+ because it’ll give you enough room to spread out EXACT and related keywords throughout your content. Make sure you format the keywords correctly using bold, italic, H1, H2, H3, etc.

Meta Description – Very important as the text within this box will be displayed in the SERP’s along with the title. Should be 150-160 characters and optimized with your keyword. Should be descriptive and right to the point so when people see it they’ll be encouraged to click through.

LINK-SEARCH

Does My Blog Design Really Matter?

multiple-devices

Blog design is very important and a solid design will increase the user engagement on your blog. Google has also stated a well-thought out design can help boost rankings within the SERP’s. Here are some elements to pay attention to…

First, ensure content is easy to find by adding a clear navigation menu. Next, a solid internal linking structure is great for visitors to find other relevant content leading to increased social shares, etc. A solid internal structure will also help index your website better and increase page authority. Next, make sure your layout is well thought out with statistics showing a right-sidebar as having the highest conversion rate. Next, a load speed below 3 seconds of optimal to increase user engagement and boost rankings. The last thing Google wants to do is display a slow loading site high within the SERP’s. This hurts user experience and de-values the search engine.

How do you moderate spam?

If you’re like a majority of bloggers, then you’re probably using WordPress and have customized it to suit your needs. WordPress has more than enough plugins that will take care of the spam problem. These plugins can be customized to perform moderation tasks that fit your preference. Here are the two popular ones I recommend…

  • Akismet – When you first install WordPress, this plug-in is installed and simply needs to be activated. The plug-in is very simple as it automatically detects SPAM and will send it to the designated folder. However, it’s important to keep a close eye on the emails it sends through.
  • GASP – This plug-in is picking up in popularity and the interface is very easy to use. The plug-in will add a cap-tcha to your comment form. Having a captcha will ensure that no bots can send through spammy comments and emails, etc.

Should I Use Free Or Premium Themes?

I get this question many times and my answer is very simple: It’s depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and your budget. Because blog design is very important to increase user engagement and decrease bounce rate, I would recommend exploring both options. For example, all themes whether FREE or premium can be customized but if you lack the basic CSS skills, then a premium theme might be the right choice for you. Next,

If you’re simply blogging for yourself, a simple FREE theme will be able to handle your requirements. If you have a budget and can invest some money into premium themes, then that’s an awesome option. Keep in mind that you should consider the purpose of your blog and what environment you’re trying to provide for your audience.

What Social Networks Drive The Most Traffic To a Blog?

From my experience, you should devote your time and effort into the big 3-4. The social networks that have proven to be successful in growing my blog are Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Google+, etc. These networks have millions of users each month and your effort will yield greater results when engaging on them. Next, it’s important to learn how to use the interface effectively before starting your campaign. Always focus on relevant followers, using the right #hastags and posting the highest quality content. You’re going to be up against enormous competition and the ones who succeed will be those who effectively engage with relevant people.

Next,

Use tools like Google Analytics and Bitly.com to track where most of the clicks are coming from. This way, you can direct your focus to only those 1-2 social platforms.

How Did You Add The Social Sharing Buttons On Your Posts?

Over the years, I’ve experimented with a lot of different types of social buttons. First, it’s very important to have social buttons above and below your posts. Next, social engagement can boost your traffic 5x within a very short period of time. Social media has changed the way people find and share content online so it’s important you leverage this trend right away. Next, if you’re using WordPress, you’ll have enormous options in terms of plug-ins, however, I would stick to the most recognized like AddThis.com and ShareThis.com. They have been in the business for years and offer a WordPress interface as well. Next,

It important to use a plug-in that provides complete stats on clicks, content ratio, trackbacks, etc. Knowing this data will help you make a more informed decision when posting content within social platforms. The cool thing is installing these plug-ins will be done automatically as soon as you configure the plug-in. The installation will automatically add the required code within the pages and you simply configure it after. That’s all!

Why Do People Prefer WordPress Over the Others?

wordpress

Currently, there are 3 blogging platforms popular in the market, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, with each of them offering their own customizations. However, people are looking for the easiest solution when setting up their blog so it’s important they use a platform easy to install, etc. Next, many bloggers don’t have the coding skills to go around customizing their website so it’s important they have a plug n’ play interface. WordPress has gained popularity for providing people with exactly this, an easy to use interface with millions of plug n’ play plug-ins. No matter what you’re trying to achieve through your blog, it’s much easier with WordPress than other CMS platforms. However, this doesn’t mean you should close off your mind to Drupal and Joomla because each has their own perks. You really need to sit down and figure out what you’re trying to achieve, then make your final decision.

What’s the Best Way to Find Relevant Twitter Followers?

Here’s a good strategy to implement when building your Twitter followers. By now, many of the top bloggers in your niche have a Twitter account. In my niche, which is “SEO marketing”, the influential people have 50,000+ Twitter followers, which make them a good source to find relevant people. When setting up an account, it’s important to fill in your profile, making it as relevant as possible to your competitors. Add name, description, URL, etc., and then start by visiting the Twitter profiles of authority people in your blog. Why? Their followers most likely will be interested in your content and blog so will make a good fit when they follow you back. Next,

Start slow, adding 10 relevant followers a day, where you’ll obviously find from competitor accounts. Next, try to set up groups and start by posting your best content so they know you’re valuable within your niche.

Should I Invest in Facebook Ads?

The answer to this question will depend on your niche and marketing budget. Facebook has an awesome advertising platform because it allows you to geo target, select age group, interests, etc., however, it can be very expensive at the same time. If you have money to spend on marketing, there are other cost effective methods like hiring a solid SEO team, paid directories, PPV, and banner ads. Facebook.com should be checked out and if you decide to throw an advert up, then do a trial run. Start small and track your results to find out if you are getting high conversions where you’re actually making more money than you’re spending.

What are Trigger Action Words?

Trigger action words are placed within the “call-to-action” to create a conversion. First, a “call to action” is text, image, or anything else showing the visitor how to take advantage of the offer or additional resource. You’ve probably seen these words appear on landing pages or other forms of content…

  • Click here
  • Buy Now
  • Free Trial
  • Download Now

However,

In my experience, there are some words that work better than others. The words you use should depend on what you’re offering. For example, for product sales, the term “free trial” converts well because it gives people a chance to try something before purchasing. If you’re offering a free eBook, then use the term “Download Free Now” so they know you aren’t charging for the download. Others that also work well are “click here”, “Read Now”, etc. Before making your decision on what text you’d like to use, research your product and what you’re trying to achieve.

What are Your Thoughts on Contact Forms?

It’s very important to add a contact page and form to your website. It helps improve your identity on the website and adds to your legitimacy. It’s even more important for local businesses because people prefer to do business with those that have a way of contacting them. Google Places has made it no secret that they use contact page information to help optimize you in the SERP’s. Contact information provides the much needed proof that you’re a business and how people can get a hold of you.

If you want a simple answer, then here it is…

I recommend everyone to have a contact page and form on their website. It’s great for credibility, engagement, and optimization.

How Do I Get My Website Indexed by Google?

Blogging

Once you’ve published your blog and are ready to start attracting visitors, then you need to ensure your website is ready for indexing. First, always ensure you have the right on-page optimization completed because this will help during the indexing process. Next, it’s important to sign up for Google Webmaster Tools so you can add your URL, prompting Google to index your website. Within GWT, you have complete control over your website(s) and it’s important to submit the following to ensure everything has been set up and optimized correctly. First, it’s important to add sitemap.xml, which provides a breakdown of your pages, content, etc., in an organized fashion. Next, it’s important to check your Robots.txt status, making sure you have no commands blocking your crawling process. For now, do the following…

  • Publish your website
  • Submit Sitemap.xml
  • Check Robots.txt

What’s the Difference between No-Follow and Do-Follow?

This is another very common question and it’s important you know the difference for your blog and while building links. When a link is marked as “No-Follow”, it’s an indication to Google they shouldn’t follow the page or don’t follow the link specifically. Having a “No-Follow” attribute is NOT good for people building backlinks because every link you’re placing on the page pointing to your website won’t be counted or valuable. This is why it’s encouraged to build links from pages having a “Do-Follow” attribute. A “Do-Follow” link is the following…

A link that should be indexed and counted as an external link to another website. Now that links on that page or URL will be counted, it’s important to find relevant websites of value to build links from to your blog.

What’s a Solid Domain and Page Authority?

For those of you NOT aware, these rate two metrics established by MOZ to predict the value of the domain and page. The higher the number, the more value on the page and this means an awesome opportunity for a link to your website. However, you have to know what numbers are high enough and will add value to your website. First, you can use a simple tool like OpenSiteExplorer.org to check the domain and page authority. Start by copying the URL of the page you want to check and pasting it within OpenSiteExplorer.org. Next,

The tool will generate the following information:

  • Domain Authority
  • Page Authority
  • Backlinks
  • URL’s

The two numbers you should pay close attention to are obviously the Domain and Page authority. So, what are suitable numbers?

I recommend the following: DA=25+ and PA=25+. Why? This means the following…

  • Website has been around for some time.
  • They have built credibility through their content, etc.
  • They are very large websites, which equals more value.
  • They are a trusted source of information.

Are All Search Engines the Same When Ranking?

This is another very common question because people think that if they can reach the 1st page of Google, then they’ll automatically be top ranked in Yahoo and Bing. It’s true you should focus on Google because 80% of people are using Google search to look for information, but it’s important to diversify your rank portfolio. Keep this in mind…

Each search engine has their own ranking system based on what factors they find important. Not only do they have their own factors, but they also value each factor differently. For example, social shares might NOT be a top priority ranking factor within Google, but might be to Yahoo and Bing. I recommend following the rules and research all the search engines to find out what works and what doesn’t. I’m sure, by now, there are several case studies that outlines ranking in major search engines and what factors to pay close attention to. Next,

Keep in mind the following…

  • Build a natural link profile and focus on quality.
  • Keyword research is very important in all 3 major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  • Follow the guidelines.
  • Build links slow and steady.

What are Backlinks and How Do They Help?

Backlinks are the backbone of Google’s search engine and they are essentially links pointing from “1” site to another. Google wanted a way to transform search so decided to use a structure much like a piece of literature. Value books reference other value literature and having a search structure like this can help rank websites according to popularity. For example, a high authority website building a “backlink” to another shows the external websites is of value. Next, how does this help you?

First, it’s a great way to divide low quality websites from the higher quality sites. Next, it increases the overall authority of your website and eventually will boost your rankings within the SERP. It’s recommended you ONLY get backlinks from website with high authority so they add value to your website. Links from low quality websites can have the reverse effect on your rankings.

How Does Google Find My Website?

Search engines use a very sophisticated system to index your website and rank your website according to your “target” keywords. Obviously, getting ranked takes time and there are over 200 rankings factors you have to pay close attention to in order to build your blog. However, initially, Google finds your website by crawling through your pages using “spider bots”. These small bots built on a sophisticated coding system will arrive on your website and go through the pages, collecting data. However, you need to do your part to ensure this process is done correctly, for example:

  • Make sure your keyword is placed in the correct spots like title, content, and URL.
  • A clear interlinking structure so bots can jump from page to page.
  • Having a sitemap.xml will help organize information.
  • A solid SEO campaign to ensure value to your website and/or page.

In the next question, you’ll learn the difference between a legitimate SEO campaigns compared to one that will hurt your business.

What is White Hat vs. Blackhat?

To create an effective SEO campaign and build links the right way, you have to understand the difference. Not knowing the difference can get you in trouble with Google and eventually eliminated from the search results. Here’s the difference…

White Hat SEO is strategies allowed by Google and considered legitimate when optimizing your website. This includes building links manually, keeping a slow and steady pace, writing high quality content, actually putting forth effort and staying away from Black Hat SEO strategies.

Black Hat SEO are strategies that Google tries to avoid like low quality link building through software, PBN’s, low quality content, spamming, etc.

If you want to be effective, then build links by always using White Hat SEO strategies.

How Long Does it Take to Re-Index My Website?

This is a very common question I get because from the first time Google indexes your website, there have been several changes on your end. For example, you’ve optimized your website, adding links, content, and submitting your site on related directories. Before these changes can be picked up, Google needs to index all the sites involved within your SEO campaign. There are a few factors that encourage the rate of indexing.

  • The rate at which your website is updated with new content. After the recent Google freshness update, it’s been said websites with new content published frequently will be indexed quickly and even see a boost in the SERP’s.
  • The number of external websites pointing to your website. The more frequent high quality links are built to any given page, the faster the indexing process.
  • How frequently updates are made to existing content on your website. Frequent updates on existing content are a great way to let Google know you’re constantly updating your information.

You can use http://pingomatic.com/ to alert the search bots also.

How Do I Keep Track of My Keyword Rankings?

Google Webmaster Tools is a great way, but their results can sometimes be off because they show the average, NOT current position. I’m currently using SERPFox.com to keep track of all the main keywords I want to rank for. This tool is very affordable and even offers a FREE trial. I’m currently paying $10/mo for 50 keywords and unlimited domains.

Will Switching Web Hosts Effect My Search Engine Rankings?

snappy

This is a very common question and many times as your websites begin to grow, you’ll want to change servers to accommodate the influx of traffic. The simple answer to this question is “No”, however, you’ll want to be careful of a few things before switching hosting providers.

First, it’s important to ensure you choose a hosting provider that can provide you with your new requirements. Next, if you’re not an expert on installation, transfers, etc., then I would hire someone to do the switch for you. Finally, it’s always a good idea to keep your old website running on the old server to ensure all the changes have been done in the backend. You have to make sure…

  • New hosting propagates correctly all over the world
  • All your files have been transferred so give yourself some time to review them
  • Skim through the website, making sure everything looks fine before removing your older version

What Are Common Text Format To Apply In Content?

For those of you NOT aware of text format and what we’re referring to, it’s pretty simple. Within your content, you can bold, italic, underline, H1, H2, and H3 your content to make it stand out for readers and search engines. It’s common practice to make sure you cover all the important format elements so I recommend using the following every time you publish content.

  • Heading 1
  • Heading 2
  • Bold
  • Underline

These are the common ones I add to my content and won’t ever forget to use them. The importance has been stressed by authority bloggers and even Google itself. However, keep in mind, text format should be applied to your target content keywords.

How Can I Automate Link Building?

First, it’s important NOT to automate the link building process because it will get you banned for NOT following the guidelines. Next, if you want to automate the process so you’re NOT directly involved, then look into outsourcing your SEO campaign. This is common practice for those major companies with a large budget but it’s important to do your own research before hiring a SEO company. Why?

You want to find someone with a proven track record and who will do a complete job. You want a company that follows the guidelines so you won’t be penalized by Google. Once you’ve been flagged, it can be very hard to boost your rankings so do your research first, then hire the right company. If you’ve been in the business for a short time, then asking fellow bloggers for their referral is common practice.

I submitted my site in Google but it’s not showing up? Have I been banned?

There are billions of websites online right now and Google’s in charge of making sure they all get indexed. Even though they have a sophisticated system in place to take care of the indexing, it can be a very lengthy process and will NOT be done overnight. If you’ve submitted your website to Google and not seen immediate results, then I recommend waiting for at least 2-3 months before seeing your website within the SERP’s. However, it’s important to note many factors determine the rate at which your website will be indexed. For example, here are some factors effecting indexing rate…

  • Content frequency
  • Content change frequency
  • Links being built to your page at any given time

Remember, Google has implemented a freshness update to their algorithm so a frequent change on your site will definitely help with indexing. Keep that in mind so you can adjust the rate you publish content.

What’s The Difference between Sponsored and Non-Paid Links?

You have to be careful when building links making sure you are building natural links. Running a solid SEO campaign does take time and many will resort to sponsored links also known as “paid” links. These are low quality links because there is NO substance behind them. Many times the blogs accepting sponsored links are low quality and will ultimately hurt your blog. Google overtime will make note of “sponsored” websites and eliminate them from the SERP’s which will hurt your SEO campaign. Next,

Non-paid links are natural links and they include links on article directories and through guest blogging. Personally, the best types of links you can get are from guest blogging on high authority blogs. These blogs have been around for years and are established providing enormous link value.

Are Guest Blog Links Still Powerful?

Matt Cutt’s who is the head of Google Spam has said “guest posts” no longer hold link value. This has pushed many people away from guest blogging. However, you should look at the bigger picture. For example, a solid guest post on a high authority blog can be huge for building brand awareness and external links. Let’s look at a scenario…

Imagine getting published on a blog with 50,000 readers per day. Your post will be read by thousands and the links within your author bio will have a high CTR. Many of these readers are blog owners themselves and if you have high quality content on you blog it can lead to opt-ins, links, shares, etc. So,

The initial guest link might NOT add value, but the overall chain of effects of being published will be great for link building, etc.

If Hiring a SEO Company…What’s My Time Investment?

Running an SEO campaign is a long term commitment no matter if your in charge or hire someone to do the work for you. In this scenario we’ll consider you hiring an SEO company and what things to be careful about.

First, ensure you have the right money to invest because hiring a reputable company is expensive. If someone says they can do the job for cheap they’ll do a low quality job that might get you penalized by Google. Next, once you begin to see an increase in rankings it’s important to continue with the SEO campaign. Stopping will drop your rankings because your competition will be building links continually. However, here’s what I recommend…

Learn the process taking notes of what’s important. This way you can continue to build links on your own keeping a close eye on your progress. You’ll also save enormous money going forward. Remember, the company you hired will send you progress reports so pay close attention to them skimming through the process learning as you go on.

How Affective is Broken Link Building?

Broken link building is very effective and it’s important it’s done the right way. If you do a quick search online you’ll be able to find several resources walking you through the entire process. You can find high authority broken links needing to be replaced and this is where you can leverage this strategy. Here’s a quick breakdown of how to utilize this strategy…

  • Start by finding niche relevant blogs with content. The best pages are those outlining resources because they list several links and this means higher chances of “1” being broken.
  • Run a free tool like “Check my Links” that you can install on your browser. This tool will highlight broken links in “Red”.
  • Write similar content of better quality and submit it to blog owner asking for feedback. Let them know of the broken link on their website and if they can add your content as replacement.

What tools do you use for doing SEO?

There are a handful of tools available for SEO and you should try them all so you know what works best for you. Over the years, I’ve narrowed mine down to the following…

  • org – To check domain and page authority of a website
  • Check My Links – Great tool to find broken backlinks on a page
  • Majestic SEO – A tool that provides trust and citation flow of a URL
  • Google Analytics – Great for backend statistics (bounce rate, traffic, geographic location, devices, landing pages, etc.)
  • Keyword Planner – Awesome for keyword research
  • Google Webmaster Tools – Indexing websites, penalties update, crawling, links, queries, etc.

What Does Keyword Density Mean?

Following the set keyword density is important in search engine optimization because it will ensure your content is smooth and NOT full of keyword stuffing. It’s recommended you use your targeted keyword at a density of 2%-4% so it flows naturally and makes sense. Many times, to rank higher for keywords, people will stuff their content with keywords, ruining the substance and flow. Following a keyword density of 2%-4% will ensure you keep your content natural and it still makes sense to readers. Because keyword density changes as word count increases, you should utilize some density tools.

I’m currently using SEOPressor because it automatically changes the density as per word count. There is a small fee, but it’s a very effective tool. However, you do have free tools available; for example, Keyword Analyzer will be able to provide you with a breakdown.

What is Link Cloaking?

Once your blog is up and running, you’ll start to promote products and it’s important to understand how link cloaking can help. Cloaking will transform an affiliate link to something more cleaner looking at it directly from your website. For example, when promoting a product, some affiliate links will look like: http://example.com/67hsxy-riz. However, with cloaking, you can transform it to: http://www.yourdomain.com/seo-tool.

Using link cloaking is a great way to hide affiliate links, making them appear as your products and something your website is selling to loyal readers. Many people don’t like knowing you’re selling affiliate products for profit so it’s important to make use of cloaking. Doing a quick search will provide you a list of FREE tools available for cloaking affiliate links so be sure to make use of them.

Should I Submit to Paid Link Directories?

I recently started to use paid link directories because they can be a vital source for link juice. Some have been around for years and are highly moderated. Next, they are relevant to your niche with high domain and page authority. Depending on the directory you target, you can find a paid link opportunity for anywhere from $10.00-$49.99. Finally, many of them allow deep-linking so you’ll be getting link juice to your home page and others. However, when choosing paid linking opportunities, it’s important to pay close attention to…

  • Directory relevancy (category>sub-category)
  • Use OpenSiteExplorer.org to view domain and page authority
  • Visit some other links on the directory to find quality of websites being displayed
  • View traffic flow and even page rank

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