SEO

Learn how to get others to link to your website and increase SEO at www.cherylsterlingbooks.com link building

#ThrowbackThursday, a look back at link building

For today’s #ThrowbackThursday, we’re in the wayback machine to April, 2017, revisiting a post about link building.

Lots and lots of linky, linky, links.

Learn how to get others to link to your website and increase SEO at www.cherylsterlingbooks.com link building

How to get others to link to your website.

We all love links from other’s websites. Feel the love! Links to our website are gold SEO.

I’m not an expert in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), though I give a good impression of it on my SEO Pinterest board. What I have learned is about on-page optimization and off-page or off-site optimization.

From webopedia.com:

“In search engine optimization, on-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results. These factors are controlled by you or by coding on your page. Examples of on-page optimization include actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement and keyword density.”

“In search engine optimization, off-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results. These factors are off-site in that they are not controlled by you or the coding on your page. Examples of off-page optimization include things such as link popularity and page rank.”

On-page optimization can wait for another day. You should be aware by now of the importance of keywords. I’ve mentioned in my blog on images, the use of meta tags (ALT text) with images. Today I’d like to talk about off-page optimization, specifically links.

How can you get someone to link to your website? (also known as a backlink)

In no particular order:

Guest blogging on a credible site is a great way to earn back links and increase your SEO. www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

Is this guy wearing pants?

  • Write a guest post on a credible site. Why credible? The higher the host’s ranking, the more weight they carry with search engines. Link your website in the post content rather than at the footer. Or both.
  • Get influencers in your niche to promote your content.
  • Develop a strong social media presence. But don’t flood Twitter, etc., with posts containing your URL. Most social media platforms have turned off the “follow” feature. Otherwise, Twitter, etc., would be one big URL universe. More than it is.
  • Ask people in your industry to link to you. Scary, I know, but most industries are willing to share a little of the link juice.
  • Offer freebies, run sweepstakes. If you see a link to a free Whizbang thingy, don’t you want to click on it and enter? Bam! You’ve just given the website owner a free backlink. The freebie does not have to be expensive, or even physical. Offer bonus knowledge, a .pdf, a book excerpt. You know your industry best. What information is your customer always demanding? Put together a quick FAQ booklet to download and offer it to them for free.
  • Link to some of your older, related posts within your current post. See how I linked to my post on images above? Oops, I did it again.
  • Comment on other’s blogs. People do read and click on them.
  • Answer question in your niche on Quora. Answer a question that pops up a lot. Make yourself the Quora Master for your niche.

What do most of these steps involve?

Engagement. The number one method of getting people to link to you is for them to want to. You have to connect with people, and not just by wailing, “Buy my stuff, buy my stuff.” Connect, engage, ask questions, answer questions, communicate. Be a real person. It’s easy to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, but marketing is a big part of your business. As much as I’d love to write all day, I recognize the importance of reaching out, which is why I’m part of the AtoZChallenge. Not only to share what I know about writing (which I love doing), but I get to read other’s posts and step into their world for a few minutes.

Bonus section! One day only!

Another link related, easily-solved problem is the messed up permalinks I see on so many blogs. It’s as if the blog owner is trying to turn away Google’s eyes. (I’m talking to you, Jenny Trout) <–that, my friends, is called a backlink!

What’s a permalink? It’s the URL search engines use to find your site. It’s what you type in your internet browser’s search bar. For example, if you’re looking for my site’s specific page on Images, you’d type:

http://cherylsterlingbooks.com/2017/04/free-images/

That’s a permalink. And you have control over it. As I’m typing this blog, its permalink is:

http://cherylsterlingbooks.com/2017/04/1064

How is 1064 going to get me on Google’s front page if you’re searching for information on links? So, excuse me a moment while I go up to the permalink box, click on Edit, and change my permalink to:

http://cherylsterlingbooks.com/2017/04/links-backlinks-and-permalinks

Whew! All done. Why did I add links, backlinks and permalinks? Links because my SEO plug-in, Yoast (more about Yoast on the 29th), demands the focus keyword in the title should also be in the permalink (and in the first paragraph, and at least one header. Yoast is a nag.) Backlinks and permalinks were included for anyone doing a Google search. See, it’s all connected.

Any other tips on links and SEO, Cheryl?

You are a curious bunch. Let’s see what I have:

If you want to check who’s backlinking to your site, go to backlinkwatch.com and enter your URL. It may take a few minutes, but backlinkwatch will generate a list of websites in which you were mentioned, or where you commented, as well as the number of backlinks from the site. I was surprised that a comment I made in January of this year resulted in 189 backlinks to my site. (I hope it also resulted in a few book sales).

For a free, downloadable, WordPress SEO checklist (which I will use henceforth), go to www.theworkathomewife.com.

That’s it for now.

Thank you for joining me on this #ThrowbackThursday trip back to the land of link building.

Blessings,

Cheryl

If you’d like to continue reading any future blog posts, please use the entry form to the right.

To signup for my nifty newsletter, use the other box on the right, below or at the bottom of the website. You’ll become a Sterling Reader, eligible for free books, exclusive excerpts, cover reveals, and lots of fun information about the glamorous side of writing. <wink, wink>

If you know of someone who would like to know more about links, use the buttons on the left to share this post. Thank you.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more

Alexa rank is a means of ranking your website. The lower the score, the more popular it is.

Alexa rank is a means of ranking your website. The lower the score, the more popular it is.

What is Alexa rank and why do you need it?

What is Alexa and Alexa rank? Per Wikipedia:

Alexa provides traffic data, global rankings, and other information on 30 million websites.Click To Tweet

In other words, Alexa ranks your website against others. A lower Alexa rank indicates the popularity of your website.

Lower? Yes. Because of the ever-changing number of websites on the internet and on Alexa, the lowest score wins. For quite some time, Google’s Alexa rank has been #1.

Alexa is owned by Amazon

Amazon acquired Alexa in 1999.

Get the Alexa Browser Extension Tool

Alexa ranks your website based on the amount of traffic it records from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed. If I don’t have the toolbar installed on my computer, smartphone, or tablet and I visit your website, Alexa will not count my visit. The good news is, millions of users have installed the toolbar. (6.5M monthly visitors per 2015 stats).

Get the toolbar here. (Scroll to the bottom of the main page to access).

Alexa ranks your website based on the amount of traffic it records from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed.Click To Tweet

Advantages of Alexa

Continue reading Alexa rank and why do you need it #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more

Yoast SEO plugin helps you focus on keywords, reminds you to write meta descriptions, subheadings and image descriptions with your focus keywords.

Yoast SEO, A tool for Everyone

Yoast SEO plugin helps you focus on keywords, reminds you to write meta descriptions, subheadings and image descriptions with your focus keywords.As I promised in my WordPress Essentials post, I’m devoting a separate entry dedicated to Yoast SEO. It is by far the most essential WordPress plug-in on my site. Oddly enough, I don’t remember why I installed it. One of those top-10-plugins-you-must-intall lists probably recommended it.

Naturally, once it was installed, I didn’t take the time to learn how it works. I’m sure I’m not using it to its full capabilities, but I’m on board with what it can do. For a long time, I’d curse every red dot it threw at me. (Yoast has a checklist it compares against your blog. For every SEO mistake you make, a red dot appears next to the error. Once corrected, it turns yellow for acceptable and green for good).

Here’s an example of how I didn’t use Yoast SEO: Out of my 170 posts (!), 26 are OK (yellow), 47 are Good (green), and 97 don’t register at all BECAUSE I DIDN’T USE A KEYWORD. It’s like I told Google, “Nah, forget about ranking my blog. I don’t need the traffic.” How stupid is that? So now I have to go back and add keywords, meta descriptions, image descriptions, etc. to almost 100 blog posts. Give me a drink of Yoast SEO juice to strengthen me for the task.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s what Yoast SEO does for me (once I figured out what it was trying to tell me):

  • It alerts me if my blog is too short. Not a problem, I’m a writer, and I usually go over the recommended minimum of 300 words. For the AtoZChallenge, my blog posts average between 800-1000 words.
  • The use of focus keywords to tickle Google’s fancy. This includes:
    • Choosing a keyword and entering it into a “focus keyword” box
    • Using the keyword(s) in the blog title, preferably near the beginning
    • Using the keyword(s) in at least one header or subheader
    • How many times the keyword(s) appear in the text (also known as keyword density, which makes me think of George McFly’s “You are my density” line every time).
    • Using the keyword(s) in the meta description, which is found under “Snippet preview->Snippet edit” for those, like me, who were clueless. This is a <150 word summary of your blog which must include the keyword(s). For this blog, my meta description is, “Yoast SEO plugin helps you focus on keywords, reminds you to write meta descriptions, subheadings and image descriptions with your focus keywords.” If you publish your blog, this is the description that follows it and is visible to viewers.
    • Using the keyword(s) in the URL, otherwise known as a permalink, discussed in more detail here.
    • Using the keyword(s) in the image Alt+text. Yeah, I didn’t know this was a thing, either, and completely ignored this field. Google likes to find keywords here as well.
    • Whether you’ve used the keyword(s) before.

Wait, that’s not all Yoast SEO can do for you!

Yoast SEO also looks at readability. For ease of your reader, it collects data (and colored dots) on:

  • The score of the copy on the Flesch Reading East test. The higher the score, the better, otherwise, chop those sentences in two or use simpler words.
  • Anytime you have >300 words after a header, Yoast SEO readability asks you to insert a new header or subheader. Your reader can’t take too many words in a row, ya’ll.
  • If your paragraphs are too long.
  • If your sentences contain more than 20 words.
  • How many transition words your copy contains. These are words like:
    • because, while, since, less, rather, therefore, maybe, probably, almost
    • Transition words send clues to your readers, which makes reading easier. Therefore (see how clever I am), use a minimum of 30%. Personally, I think this is too high and tend to ignore the transition word count report.
  • The percentage of words written in the passive voice. Yoast SEO likes to keep it below 10%.
  • Starting more than two sentences with the same word. Starting with repetitive words throws up a red dot. I’d do it again, but I don’t like pesky red dots. Besides, I think, in this case, Yoast lies. I’ve gone through many a blog post without finding what they see. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

There’s a bunch more technical, code stuff I don’t understand and probably need a few drinks to attempt to implement, but I’ll end with this:

If you haven’t installed Yoast SEO and you’re working on a WordPress platform, install this plug-in asap and get to know your new little SEO buddy. Your content will look cleaner and more professional. Most important, Google likes SEO, and Yoast SEO will serve up a hearty meal of it.

Tomorrow’s #AtoZChallenge, our last one, and the only Sunday we blog on, will focus on the letter “Z”.

#AtoZChallenge is a month long blogging challenge

#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in the month of April.

Blessings until then,

Cheryl

If you’d like to continue reading my entries in the AtoZChallenge* and to receive my blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien.

If you know of someone who would enjoy learning knowing more about Yoast SEO, use the buttons on the left to share this post. Thank you.

*#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme of their choosing, in alphabetical order. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career.

Save

Save

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more