Today’s entrepreneur must know three businesses in order to succeed online.
Consider the following before hiring your next SEO firm. Chances are you have gone through a few. It may change the questions you ask.
Many entrepreneurs find it easiest to drive traffic through paid advertising. And let’s face it, running ads properly is a full time job in itself. Tracking and optimizing your ad campaigns across multiple platforms takes time, at the same time running your business.
But, it would be nice to get some organic traffic too, right? You have probably looked into SEO.
SEO is a massive industry. It is a business in itself, and on top of running your own business, doing your own paid promotions…now you have to learn how to do SEO?
Some business owners look at outsourcing their SEO. You may have too.
Have you noticed the countless offers to rank your website #1 on Google? Maybe you get the constant email spam offers to do the same?
Maybe you looked into learning SEO yourself? Have you noticed the countless SEO courses claiming to have the secret to ranking your website #1 on Google?
Yah, me too.
I’m not saying there are no good sources for SEO services, or no good sources to learn SEO. Finding good sources is a big undertaking itself.
One good source I can point to is Semantic Mastery which has many great courses on ranking your properties Locally and Nationally.
But in the meantime, rather than stress about who to hire or the time it takes to learn proper SEO methods and techniques… I’m going to show you how to give your website a big SEO boost with as little as a few actions per week.
But first, let’s get into some background so you understand why this method works.
Google algorithms consider hundreds of factors when deciding to rank different web properties. Each factor is given carries a different weight in the decision. And each weight is skewed by many other factors depending on competition of niche, locality and even device.
For example, Google may give greater weight to social signals in one niche vs. bounce rate in another. Or it may rank a website higher in Los Angeles vs Idaho Falls.
But one thing remains consistent… backlinks.
A backlink is a hyperlink from another web property that points to yours. You could consider it a popularity signal. However, something important to keep in mind is… there are Good and Bad backlinks.
I’ll explain. See, Google uses a set of trusted seed sites that it absolutely trusts. But only Google knows the list.
The above article is older but the concept remains the same.
Seed sites could be trusted websites such as mainstream media and news websites, .gov, .edu, medical websites and even directories.
Getting a backlink on one of these websites would definitely give your website a very nice boost. Getting many backlinks on these websites would give you a major boost.
Keep in mind these seed sites are websites that Google trusts and the further away from the trust you get the less impact your backlink will have.
For example, let’s say I get a backlink on a website that is two hops away from a trusted seed site. This means the website I have my backlink on has its own backlink from a website that has its own backlink from a seed site. Refer to the below graphic.
This puts me on Hop 3, which in terms of trust doesn’t do much good for me. I want my backlink closer to the trusted seed site.
I may not want to focus too much attention on getting a backlink on Hop 2 or Hop 3, but instead focus on Hop 1 or an actual seed site.
When you hire a bad SEO firm, chances are you’re gonna get a bunch of backlinks on Hop 3 or worse. And too many of these Hop 3 backlinks could trigger a penalty.
Note: There are ways to boost the value of a lower Hop property but this gets into advanced SEO techniques, which we will not be covering at this time. However, you can join in at Hump Day Hangout with the guys at Semantic Mastery every Wednesday
Now that you have a basic understanding of Trust when it comes to backlinks the big question becomes… How do I get a backlink on a seed site?
Well, if the solution was easy everyone would be doing it right?
The easiest way to get backlinks on or as close to a seed site as possible is to buy them.
But that cost money, I want free organic traffic.
Here’s the thing about free… SEO is not free. It takes time, money and resources. Many times it cost more than just buying targeted paid traffic.
But consider this. The monthly fee an SEO firm would charge could go to buying article placements on good websites.
There are a bevy of vendors that sell article placements. They will provide a list of places they can place articles for you and the price. Of course the best websites will be the most expensive.
Some of these placements can cost well over $1k, but again, consider the amount of money you would pay an SEO firm.
Because the amount of “SEO Juice” a backlink on a great website sends could be worth several months of actual SEO Work.
But, this all depends on your budget, and what value you attribute to organic traffic.
Just remember to do your due diligence when selecting a vendor. In future editions we may dig into these vendors.
Another way to gain these backlinks is to set up an outreach program.
Once you have identified the best contact information, reach out via email, social media or even call them. But… be prepared to offer value in exchange. Mainly good content, such as an article or video.
Consider the above as just an easier way to perform your own SEO without having to learn about tiered linking, link metrics, siloing, stacking and all those industry terms and phrases that get thrown around. It’s a way to get a safe backlink that will definitely send you some good SEO Juice.
Stay tuned for our feature on creating Outreach Campaigns.
Oh and just to show you that you can get your articles on good websites check out my article on Social Media Examiner here.
The Power of Marketing is a project by Hernan Vazquez Media, LLC. www.hernanvazquez.com. This initiative is to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and agencies learn tips, tricks, techniques and methods in regards to Digital Marketing and Marking in general.
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