The Seven Factors Behind Link Optimization

Introduction to Link Optimization

The links to your website reflect a lot of information back onto your site. This greatly affects your website ranking. Link optimization is important to have as a part of your seo plan. This post will discuss the seven ways links to your website affect your search engine results ranking, as well as the importance of link optimization.

How links affect your search engine ranking
The seven factors of link optimization.

Anchor text

Anchor text is important for on page and off page optimization. It is very potent information for search engines. A website without crawlable information for the search engine to find will look for the anchor text leading to your site. Backlinks are important for getting a website higher up on search results. However it’s important to note where these come from. Backlink indexers are a great way to see where your site is being linked. Allowing you to determine how it reflects back onto the site.

Authority

Site authority is based first on topical relevance, and next on how respected the source is. Depending upon the authority of the site, having a link placed there could positively or negatively affect your search engine ranking.  A site with high authority linking to your site would increase the credibility of your site. This signals to the search engine that your site is reputable and deserving of a higher placement on the search results. It would take much website search engine marketing to get onto a high authority site without being respectable already.

Trust

How easily spammers are able to infiltrate a site determines how trustworthy the site is. A heavily spammed site linking to your site can damage your search engine ranking. However, a link from a trusted website will bring your site higher on the results page. Evaluating the trust of the website involves looking into sites that link to the site. If other trusted websites link to a site that in turn links to your site, then your site is more likely to be considered trustworthy.

Relevance

It’s important to be on sites that discuss relevant information. Websites that discuss the same topic as your site and link to your site are worth more than links from random sites. Sites that are topically relevant reinforces to the search engine what your site is about and makes it easier for the search engine to classify your site as being within a specific genre.

Temporal factors

Search engines keep track of when links pop up to your website. They look at whether they all appeared simultaneously or over a period of time. Search engines also notice if links to your site disappear, how quickly they appeared (or disappeared), and the authority of the site that they appear on. For the sake of website optimisation  and getting linked from sites, it’s important to have links to your site that are timely and steady. Search engines look out for sites that buy links and it definitely leads to a negative effect on the search engine results page.

Context and Relevance

The best search engine algorithm will compare the context and relevance of the links to your site among links. Search engines determine whether all the links on the linking site are of high authority and relevant to your site. Depending on the authority and trustworthiness  of the other links on the site, it could mean a higher or lower ranking on the search engine results page. The search engine also looks at the placement of the link on the site. Links in the body of the content are typically better than those placed to the side or bottom. Being a part of another site’s seo content, as a high authority website, signals to search engines that your website is trustworthy. Additionally, this will increase your placement on the results page.

Source diversity

As any seo guide would say,  a diversity of domains increases your spot on the search engine results page. In contrast, it is typically detrimental to have all of the links to your site from the same owner. Search engines like real, organic, trustworthy links from multiple domains.

What is the take away?

Link optimization should be an important part of your SEO strategy. Closely  monitoring your links will help optimize your search ranking. Search engine ranking tools are a good way to monitor how your website is competing against other sites. They can also help you move forward with an seo plan. The old adage,  “that you’re only as good as the company you keep,” rings true for websites as well.

 

Guide: How to Optimize Your Reddit Link Building Strategy for the Best SEO

How to Optimize Your Reddit Link Building SEO Strategy

Getting traffic from Reddit to your site is considered to be one of the holy grails in marketing and SEO circles. Why? Redditors are so passionate about the topics they read on the site, Reddit link building tends to drive up traffic up like crazy when they become popular. It’s also considered to be “the front page of the internet” and posts users make there can even appear on Google news.

This is a small guide to optimizing your link building strategy around Reddit and getting the most out of your efforts. We’ll present the basics of Reddit, how to choose the right communities (or “subreddits” to target your SEO and end with link building ideas to help bolster your strategies.

A Quick Tutorial on How Reddit Link Building Works

Reddit started in 2005 as a social news aggregation site and pioneered the whole voting system for comment threads. People join reddit and become “redditors” and follow their favorite topics, centered around “subreddits” found on the site, usually stylized as /r/subreddit-name.

While some subreddits are more popular than others, when the community is active, it draws in millions of viewers each day as people submit posts and article links and those submissions get upvoted (similar to a “like” on Facebook or a “+1” on Google Plus), or downvoted. Naturally, like in capitalism, the best ideas tend to rise to the top, while the best ones turn viral and get shared around on other social networks.

The passionate nature of Reddit users tends to make subreddits hostile to self-promotion. In other words, if your SEO strategy for Reddit to plan on posting a link to your product and say, “Hey, buy my awesome product!” you will likely get downvoted or even “shadowbanned” (banned from using the platform but not being alerting that you were).

Though links you post on Reddit won’t help your Google PageRank because they always include a “nofollow” in the URL, they will help with RankBrain’s algorithms, improving how Google views your content.

Here’s another guide on the basics of using Reddit from Mashable.

Now, let’s get in to how to get started with using Reddit the right way in building your SEO content marketing strategy and getting that passionate Reddit crowd generating traffic to your website.

 

Step 1: Become a Redditor (the Right Way)

First, in order to submit to Reddit, you’ll need an account. It’s free and easy to sign up. There’s a huge consideration when doing so, however. What will your username be? Generally, the worst name you could use is your business name. That’s because Reddit is a community of users, not businesses.

When people post to Reddit, they expect to see individuals do so. So if your company is Acme Corp, we recommend against “acmecorp” or “acme” as your username. Instead, a marketing idea is to  use your real name, or a combination of your name and your company name, such as “tony-acme” or “tony-acmecorp.” The transparency in your username will go a long ways on Reddit in the steps to come.

Step 2: Identify the Right Subreddits to Target for Reddit Link Building

There’s a ton of subreddits out there. Many of them are low-quality, low-traffic ones that people create (because anyone can start a subreddit!). The best way to find popular subreddits for your topic is just to search on Reddit itself. For example, if Acme Corp makes fireworks, they could search “rockets” in the Reddit sidebar and see which subreddits come up. In this case, “Firecrackers, Cakes, Mortars and More!” seems to be a popular subreddit with 1,123 subscribers and a history of 6 years.

Step 3: Read Content for a While Before Contributing

This is known as “lurking,” although marketing researchers would call it “listening.” Go in to your subreddits you chose to follow and see what kinds of posts and topics rise to the top. Are they posted by vendors asking for customers? Probably not. The best content is organic, interesting, and applicable to the subreddit. After a week or two of checking in on your subreddits each day, you’ll get a great idea of what you can post.

Step 4: Submit Your Post for Reddit Link Building

On Reddit you can only submit one of two types of content:

  1. A text post, such as a rant, a question, or a story
  2. A link

You can use both or a combination of both in your link building strategy. You can start by posting a link to your blog post, asking people for feedback on your blog post, or following up on someone’s comment that your blog post helps to answer.

Step 5: Help with Upvoting (and How it Helps Your Reddit Link Building)

Make sure to submit your link to Reddit with the UTM code from your Google Analytics account so you can then track the traffic coming to your site from your Reddit post. You want a unique code each time you post a different link so you can differentiate between the links as you view your Google Analytics metrics. You can generate UTM codes on the fly using Google’s free tool here.

The better your post or submission ranks on Google, the more likely it is to get more upvotes on Reddit, and vice versa. As you share your Reddit post on other social networks, such as Twitter or Google Plus, and as those get retweeted and +1’ed, you will eventually drive more and more traffic to your Reddit post.

One last piece of advice here for your Reddit link building strategy: Don’t ask for upvotes! This is known as the “cardinal rule” of Reddit. The more you ask for upvotes, the more you get downvoted.

Reddit Link Building & Content Marketing Ideas

Here’s a short list of ideas to get started on your link building using Reddit:

  • Submit links to your blog posts as you post them
  • Use Google Analytics tracking codes to monitor your traffic coming to your site from Reddit
  • Submit posts to relevant subreddits asking for feedback on your blog posts
  • Answer other Redditor’s comments and include a link to your post (if it’s applicable)

That’s it! We hope this SEO guide for using Reddit will result in plenty of upvotes, traffic, and customers for you. Let us know in the comments below how your Reddit marketing campaigns work out after following this guide. Please feel free to ask us questions, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Utah SEO Class blog.

Link Building for SEO

Build Links to Improve Rankings

You’ve invested considerable time in creating a website, developing amazing content, and are ready to relax while the traffic rushes in. Well, not quite. To rise in the search rankings and boost your site’s performance, there may be a missing link, or rather – links! Link building is the practice of marketing your site to acquire links from other sites, and it is a critical piece of the SEO puzzle.

Search engines use links to crawl and index the web, navigating between pages using their interconnected links. As part of this process, pages are evaluated for how well they should rank for relevant keywords in the search engine results. It’s not just a page’s content that matters; according to The Art of SEO, “links remain the single largest factor in determining search rankings.”

Understanding Backlinks

Links to your page act as a digital endorsement from other websites – they demonstrate your site has a level of trustworthiness and relevance. Additionally, these inbound links, or backlinks, determine how often and how deep search engines crawl the site. The more external links you have directed to your page, the higher your chances of ranking well in the results. However, not all links are created equally. Link value is determined by several factors. These include a site’s PageRank, anchor text, relevance, authority, and trust. Unsurprisingly, a backlink is more meaningful and valuable when it comes from a high-quality website.

Link Equity a.k.a. Link Juice

The value that is passed between links from one webpage to another is called link equity – also commonly known as link juice. This link juice is a signal used by search engines to rank pages. Assuming it is relevant and high quality, the more link juice flowing to your website, the better. Let’s consider an example with your website along with your top competitor’s website.  Your website has backlinks from five external sources and your competitor’s site has backlinks from three sources. All else equal, your site will rank higher due to the link juice it’s receiving from more external sites. Link Juice

Scenario 1: You win!

Still, it’s important to note that link juice is a finite resource. If those five websites that link to your site also link to other websites, you receive a reduced percentage of those sites’ link juice. In this case, if the three websites linking to your competitor’s page don’t link anywhere else, your competitor may rank higher due to the percentage of link juice it’s receiving.

Link Juice

 

Scenario 2: Better luck next time…

 

How to Develop a Link Building Campaign

You may be wondering how to start building links for SEO. Here are five steps for developing a link building campaign:

  1. RESEARCH & EVALUATION The first step in a link building campaign is to research and evaluate potential websites that may link to your page. Identify the different types of sites that might link to your site – media outlets, blogs, universities and colleges, related interest sites, and even sites that currently link to your competitors. While you won’t have access to these sites’ analytics, you can still generally assess the value these links may provide. To do this, review the homepage’s PageRank, perceived authority, relevance to your website, and existing number of outbound links on the linking page. Target the most valuable sites that are likely to be interested in you as well as link to your site. Don’t forget to leverage existing business relationships for links as well. Get listed as a preferred/recommended vendor, be referenced in case studies, and engage on social media.
  2. COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS Use online SEO tools to generate a list of sites that link to your competitors’ pages. Once you have this information, look at their most valuable links to better understand their link building strategy and to find opportunities for your page. Perhaps they’ve found success partnering with bloggers, received media attention for their products/services, or received links from authoritative and trustworthy government sites. While these ideas can provide inspiration, avoid replicating your competitors’ tactics exactly. Do not build all your links from the exact same sources. Rather than sharing link juice, explore ways to differentiate yourself using their tactics as a frame of reference. Be sure to update your list of potential sites to receive backlinks from.
  3. REVIEW DIGITAL ASSETS Now it’s time for some self-reflection. Evaluate the existing content on your website and map out what new content you could create – especially with your wish list of sites to build high value backlinks from in mind. Again, the key is differentiation. To stand out and attract high quality links, you’ll need to create unique and engaging content that is relevant to your audience. Write a blog or article or create compelling images, infographics, and/or videos. Try to offer valuable references or resources, or develop unique widgets or tools. Create sharable and engaging social media content, or earn attention from bloggers and media outlets. Generating relevant, timely, and engaging content can be a challenge on short notice. Keep a running list of content ideas for future development. Also, watch for trends on social media to capitalize on. Always look for inspiration based on what your target audience and potential backlink sources are engaging with.
  4. LINK PROFILE ANALYSIS To effectively build links for SEO purposes, you must know what links you already have. You must also know how you rank for certain keywords compared to competitors. This will help determine what new links you need as well as influence your content development strategy. Moz outlined various types of links to consider. These include links to your homepage, links to deep pages, links containing your brand/company name, and links containing the keywords you’re targeting.
  5. CONTACTING POTENTIAL LINKERS After completing these steps, strategize how to best connect with your target list of potential backlink sources. Direct methods of link marketing include email, social media messaging, blogger networking, and in-person networking events. Indirect methods of link marketing involve presenting exceptional and sharable content that inspires readers to naturally link to your page. These can also be supplemented by public relations, mentions of your company in news feeds, speaking at conferences/events, and running social media campaigns.

Link building for SEO purposes is essential to the success of your website. It should be an ongoing process of evaluation and modification. Now you have the tools to develop and execute a strategy to increase your site’s performance and ranking. Prepare to watch your traffic increase – if you link build it, they will come!