There are many social networking tools out there. Some are designed more for sharing between friends and others for b2b communications and interactions. One of our favourites is LinkedIn as it provides a good b2b network of people within our chosen industry. Continue reading
When it comes to pay per click advertising, there is one company that provides an industry leading interface and series of great complimentary tools – Google! Continue reading
Google webmaster tools is a rather sophisticated piece of kit and it won’t cost you a thing. We are adding this for two clients today and the set up process is very simple. First of all though, I’ll just go through a couple of the main benefits to this great tool. Continue reading
A lot of people seem confused with the rel nofollow tag. In simple terms this is a clear indication to the search engines that the site owner does not want to pass on any link value (or link juice) via anchor text links or URL’s to other (external) websites. Continue reading
This all depends on whether your video is going to be on your own website or a 3rd party site, if it is a corporate presentation or product video, or if its main purpose is for branding or generating response – confused? Continue reading
This is a great tip and should really be classed as an ongoing requirement for you or someone else in your company. If you don’t know what your competitors are doing, how can you learn from them? Continue reading
If you want to optimise your website in the best possible way, one fundamental task is keyword research. There are a number of tools available including the google keyword tool, wordtracker, market samurai Continue reading
Anyone can get get sites linking back to them. But how good are these sites, in terms of popularity, page rank, authority and relevancy to your particular niche. If you can say “not much” to more than two of these factors then you should take a closer look. To be honest, popularity and authority can go hand-in-hand a lot of the time but when we say popularity we mean a site that is popular with visitors and has decent traffic. The authority of a site is basically how important it is in providing quality information and content in a particular area. It builds authority through the age of domain, number of pages, unique content, links in from other authority sites and high page views and time spent on the site as a ratio to an individual visitor – all of these factors come into play.
If you pay a company to add your link to thousands of general websites, it will generate backlinks to your site, but most of them will not be worth the effort. So when we say how to get backlinks, we mean how to get quality links back to your site. These are more difficult to get!
The link farms and low quality SEO services out there will take your £250 ($400) and get you 1000 links, but they will usually not be on sites in your niche and probably not have any authority or credibility. So what are the best methods on how to get backlinks?
Well, the targeted approach is the best one. I’ll give you an example. We run a popular SEO platform for the scientific industry called labface and as part of our home page optimisation, we wanted to get at least 5 high authority backlinks from scientific websites. If this seems like a low number, I can tell you that 5 links on high authority sites in your niche can be worth 1000 links on general sites with limited content about your products and services.
Anyway, we contacted a number of webmasters and one of them was a site that we have a certain association with and they published a vast amount of information on chromatography techniques and applications. As this was a very popular analytical technique within labs, we asked for a link and we got one. We also asked for a link with the anchor text ‘lab products’ and asked them to point this back to our home page. This was because our home page was optimised for the key phrase ‘lab products’ – do a search on google for this term and you’ll see us well up on page 1 for labface. You can see a screen grab of the website below with the anchor text showing. I would say that this link was well worth the effort and these are the ones to go after. So how do you do it?
Well, contact your manufacturers, distributors, customers and friends first and see if they’ll link to you. I spoke to a client just today and I asked him if he knew of any businesses in his niche that would be prepared to link to him. He told me that he did some work for one or two universities and did them a favour on some equipment demonstrations. I can tell you now that a link from a university or .edu site is well worth the effort, as they usually have a ton of relevant content and loads of people linking to them. This increases their authority and they’ll pass some of this onto you through an anchor text link.
So, make a list of the people you know and then search the web for sites in your niche who are on the first five pages of the search results. Just type in keywords related to your website and see who pops up. You can then contact those sites and ask them if they’d be prepared to link to you – some may do it without asking any questions. Some may be tempted to give you a link in exchange for you writing one or two unique content articles for their site; think of it as a kind of content for link exchange. Remember, reciprocal linking (you link to them and they link to you) is not as good as getting a 1 way link from a website. If a reciprocal link is all you can get then go ahead, but if this is the case try to get your link on one of their pages with very few other links on the page. If your link is lost on a page with hundreds of others then the link value will be dramatically reduced.
We hope this simple post about backinks has been helpful. The truth is that getting backlinks is vital to your external SEO effort, but just make sure that your time is spent on getting the really good ones. And remember, create great content on your site and people in your niche will link to you anyway!
First of all, it is worth mentioning that most general directories are not worth bothering with. Please don’t be taken in by SEO companies who promise submissions to thousands of directories and sites to build you links. First of all, most of the directories they will find will probably not be in your area of industry and secondly they are usually sites which have no value to visitors or search engines. Therefore, your time is wasted here.
One thing we like to do is go through a simple and quick process for industrial directory submissions and then leave it well alone. If you find a few in your niche then great, but don’t spend an age submitting your site to loads of directories – I am sure you can spend your time on more profitable tasks. But if you’d like to get listed on several sites within your industry sector, here is one way to find them. Just type in “add url” + “engineering directory” into google and you’ll see results for all sites that accept your url in an engineering classification. You can alter the search to be more specific and exchange the “add url” part to “add link” or “add websites” you can then look through the results to find the best directories. Of course, you would use relevant keywords and phrases for your niche or industry type, so if you were in the scientific industry (let’s say in chromatography) you would type in “add url” + “chromatography directory”
Just make sure that you don’t spend a huge amount of time on this. If you find a few directories in your niche with just a few other links on the page then why not add your link to them. Remember, adding your link to a page with hundreds of other links is going to dilute any page rank value to your site. Getting on a page with one or two other links is ideal. Also do a page rank check in the google toolbar to see the rank of that page. This will tell you how important this page is (in the eye’s of google anyway) and the higher the rank, the better it is. Again, don’t be totally ruled by this ‘page rank’ business, either for directories or for getting links from other sites. Just because a site page shows a page rank of 2 does not mean it is of less value than one with a page rank of 5.
This depends very much on how many links are on the page and also how relevant that directory or website is to your particular niche. So, a directory in your marketplace with a page rank of 2 or 3 is probably better than one in a general directory with a page rank of 5 or 6. Don’t be taken in by companies offering you links on sites, as most of them are useless and crammed full of other links.
Finally, there are one or two directories to consider if you want to improve your rankings a bit. The first one is the yahoo directory (currently $299 per year) and then there is dmoz which is a free directory from google. Both are worth getting into but don’t get obsessed with getting into either. The dmoz directory can be difficult to get into because it is run by humans (and quite rightly so) but this can mean huge waiting times for approving entries. The yahoo directory is a nice to have option but you might find that a $299 press release service through PR web or PR newswire will be a better use of your time and money.
A lot of people are saying that this is google’s idea of creating a competitive platform to facebook and there are a few similarities. However, unlike facebook, it seems to offer a very good level of control when it comes to contacts.
It is very early days for this tool, but I really like it. What is so great about it is that you can choose how to build your relationships through separate circles – something you can’t do on facebook and many other social media sites. This is a big + point for me and I am sure it is for many b2b organisations.
If you haven’t set up google plus yet, then the time to do it is right now! If you look at twitter and feel slightly envious of those legitimate industry sites with 10,000+ followers then the truth is that they probably got in right at the start of the twitter phenomenon. Either that, or they are extremely active and they dedicate a lot of time and effort to the cause. The fact is that google plus is also going to evolve into a very useful and even highly sophisticated tool and it is a great time to jump on board. So, what are the benefits?
Google Circles – gives you the opportunity to place friends, colleagues, acquaintancies and business contacts into separate groups called circles. You can then send messages to a particular circle and share information with any circle at any time. This means that all business dealings can be performed in as many business circles as you wish, so you can have one for say webinar announcements, one for online PR distribution and so on. You can even have people in more than on circle. This opens up very targeted streams of communication and levels of interaction and this will only get better as google introduce new tools over time.
Google hangouts – a great piece of video functionality where you can chat and view webcam feeds from up to ten people. This is great if you want to organise an online meeting or video conferencing set up. It also allows you to view a YouTube video while chatting through the video interface, so you can even discuss ‘that product’ or ‘application’ video you have uploaded to YT! This makes it a good b2b social media tool and offers a decent level of interaction to use with colleagues an customers. We hear that the facebook video system also works well but they only offer 1-2-1 video chat. I can see the next update to the google plus video system will probably have better quality streaming and they’ll also add more functionality as they go – watch this space!
Google Sparks – a kind of google news set up on the google plus interface. What is great about this is it allows you to receive relevant items of information as a kind of targeted alerts system. So if you are interested in the oil industry you can set up a spark for that topic. You will then receive information through the google plus system and decide to keep it to yourself, or share it with people in particular circles.
The Google plus one button – you can see this on website pages and search results if you are signed in and a user of google mail and related services. This is basically a “I think this is cool” button which is added to your own +1 section of your control panel. But it gets better. Let’s say you do a search for ‘blue widget’ and you see a google plus one button next to the result, you can click on it and your name will be shown if any of your google + followers do a similar search. Therefore, the google plus one button may actually influence how your friends, acquantancies, business colleagues and customers rate search listings. If they see that you have recommended it, they may be more inclined to click on it! Google have not yet confirmed how far this is going to go in areas like determining rank, but they are already saying that this new system will give them a great testing phase of operation to see if it can influence and make a difference to the quality of search results.
I just hope there are complex algorithms in place to rule out the inevitable spam and multi-click element. Only time will tell!
You can see my google plus profile here https://plus.google.com/108845104990293954905/posts