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Inbound links or backlinks are the strongest signal factors that search engines use to rank a website. Having authority sites that are relevant to your business or the content posted on your site will help boost your ranking on SERPs. This is the main reason why you should actively look for inbound linking opportunities.
However, you need to familiarise yourself with the best link building practices, as there is a fine line between spammy and good link building practices. Ideally, the best inbound links are the ones that you get naturally.
Backlinks in Layman’s Language
The best way to understand backlinks is to view your website as a super-highway. With that, backlinks should be the many roads connecting to the super-highway.
So for a web owner to get as massive a traffic as it’s humanly possible, there should be many of those roads leading to your super-highway (website). The more paths a website has, the more likely that it will be attracting more visitors.
It’s for this reason that backlinks are considered an import aspect of every marketing effort you apply. You want as many people as possible to find your website, then why NOT create as many paths (backlinks) as possible all of which will be connecting to your site?
Search engines are created to love this. The more a web crawler sees a link leading to your site, it immediately counts it as a vote. It’ll then index it and rank it accordingly in the Search Engine Result Pages.
But, like paths connecting to a super-highway, NOT all backlinks are the same. There are those that bring visitors, and there are those that are simply put in place to fool search engines. This could have worked the magic some years back, but as it stands, search engines have advanced well enough to tell which is which.
Why are Backlinks Important?
As a marketer, backlinks are all about increasing your online traffic. Nothing more. But why are search engines so hang up on them when they could just be fine dealing with keywords?
Simple, but you have to first understand that search engines don’t really care about you or your blog. All they care about is hooking their readers with the best content they can find.
But since search engines are no human, and can’t just tell whether or NOT a piece of article or site is good enough for their reader, they have created algorithms that can look into various signals and be able to tell if a reader is going to love your site or NOT. The more these algorithm view your site as interesting and useful to a reader, the more they’ll be tempted to rank it higher.
Authority sites have already created a name for themselves. Their visitors flock in droves, and the fact that you have your site linked to one, that could be interpreted to mean your content is quality as well.
Every time you make a backlink, search engines are right away alerted that your site is linked to another site. And if the site is positively ranked by Search Engines, your site earns a bonus point that will see to it that your SEO score improves.
This goes on to show that backlinks are just as important as keywords in determining search engine rankings. And, the more the number of backlinks linking your site to other high value sites, the more your site is viewed as more reliable and therefore worthy of a higher ranking.
The value of backlinks can be determined by looking at the various things surrounding it. At the top is the value of the site it’s linked to.
A backlink placed on an authoritative site is generally considered valuable. That pretty much explains why everyone is fighting to get their site linked to high authority sites such as Forbes and Huffingtonpost.
Second is the niche. If your site and the site it’s linked to has the same type of content, then what you have is a more valuable link. You don’t just get to throw your link carelessly hoping to cash on it. You have to do some due diligence and come up with a list of site that blog on almost the same thing as you before you can go ahead and start targeting them.
Third is anchor text, which is simply the descriptive labeling of the link. That means the keywords on your backlink should match that of its corresponding anchor text to be considered valuable.
How Should Hyperlinks be Placed?
Hyperlinks don’t communicate value when they’re randomly plastered on a piece of content. They instead need to be strategically dolled out. No forcing, if the backlink can’t naturally blend with the statement its placed in, then you’re better off doing without.
There’s no restriction as to where you should be placing your link. If anything, you can place them on someone else’s blog through guest blogs, article directories, forums, social directory, or bookmarking sites.
How to Earn Links Naturally
For someone to link to your site, there must be something really valuable about it. That means the first step to link building involves working on what your site has to offer in terms of content.
That being said, here are tips on how to build your backlinks naturally.
Research on the kind of keywords your target audience uses to come across your kind of content. What exact words do they key into the search bar?
The keywords you get should in turn help you come up with the topics to write about. That’s besides helping you come up with solid solutions to the kind of problems your audience faces.
It’s common knowledge, for someone to link their site to yours, your content must be really useful and quality enough for their kind of audience.
How relevant if your content to their readers? What are they bound to learn from reading it? Is it something unique or something they’re likely to find by simply digging up a few other pages online?
The point is to standout. And if other bloggers get to like what you’re blogging about, then they’ll have no option but to refer their readers to your blog through backlinks.
People won’t find your blog by chance. You have to find a way to get it to them.
SEOjust happens to be part of the many things you should actually be doing. Among them is social media sharing. Take some time and go around sharing your content to whatever group or page you think its followers might also be interested in your type of content.
It’s also important that you create your own social media following. Start by opening a page and inviting as many people as you possibly can into liking it. Keep in mind that there’s no harm in also requesting them to share your content around. You can even reward them with a free ebook or any other freebie of your choice to entice them even more into doing it.
There’s no shortcut for this. If you can’t make online friends, the bulk of which includes other bloggers within the same niche as you, then you’ll have a tough time convincing other bloggers to link up to your site.
Come up with a list of influencers and start targeting them. Also, try coming up with different ways on how to connect with them.
You can start by commenting on their blog posts, subscribing to their newsletter and even befriending them on social media. They’ll eventually start to take notice of you and before you know it, you’d have solidified your friendship to a point that they’ll also be tempted to find out what’s going on with you on the other side of the blogosphere and if they get to like it, they’ll then have no trouble linking their site with some of your content.
Keep in mind that this also sets a positive ground for guest blogs.
So, what are the secrets of getting natural inbound links?
These are tested strategies that we can confidently say are still effective as of now. So don’t expect any tired link build strategy such as backlink spamming and social bookmarking to make to the list.
If a strategy doesn’t work, then you won’t be seeing it anywhere on the lists we make. We take pride it trying out some of these strategies before dishing them out to our readers. For a site that’s trying to also establish itself authoritatively, it’s our wish and plan that every blogger going through our site will also be interested enough to give us a backlink.
Now, without further ado, let’s get down to the list:
A link bait is basically an interesting piece of content — don’t dig much into the fancy term.
The content you make must be good enough to attract backlinks on its own. This can be due to uniqueness or the degree of usefulness.
In content marketing, links are earned. You’ll still be promoting your content, but will your content be good enough to get other bloggers interested enough to reward you with backlinks?
The value of your content could stem from the depth of the research you did while writing it, its overall uniqueness (what makes it standout from an endless list of other related articles filling up the internet), and lastly, the wow factor in it. Your content might be good, but link baits are all about brilliance. You push it past the good limit to the genius side.
Links baits get a lot of shares. People can’t just get enough of it, and wouldn’t stop until they let the whole world know about a great discovery they just made.
Ego baiting is simply about getting someone to return a favor.
Influencers sometimes come off a bit ego-centric, which makes them somewhat unapproachable.
This may actually turn out to be false, and that’s because, as humans, we have a tendency of putting the people we look up to on a pedestal. But in reality, influencers are just marketers. They’re therefore bound to react positively with every mention or quote you make.
Find a way to appeal to their ego. Talk of how great their strategies are and how much you’ve benefited from applying them on your own blog, and before you know it, they’ll be the ones plastering your links to some of the blog posts they make.
Spend some time in the search engines, searching for all sorts of content under varied keyword terms. Now look for a set of keywords whose resulting searches isn’t either updated or good enough for it. You can thereafter go ahead and write an even better article for that keyword and get ranked atop for it.
The content must be super awesome that other bloggers will have no second thoughts sharing it around.
The point is to improve on the already existing content.
What follows is for you to look up for the sites linking up to the sub-par content and reach out to them with reasons detailing why they should instead replace those links with what you have.
You have to be super-sensitive while at it, so as NOT to brush other bloggers the wrong way.
You can even place yourself in the place of a reader and point out a few discrepancies in the articles, then offers your link as a revised version of the same. If your content stands out as you say, the blogger should have no trouble replacing the links with what you’re presenting.
Strive to Offer the Best User Experience
Your website design should be able to provide the best user experience to every visitor. Otherwise, if it offers poor experience, for example, if the visitors are unable to access the pages easily, the chances are that they will leave and never come back. The chances of such visitors linking to your site when writing an article for their sites are also meager.
Based on our research, websites that get natural links have been responsive, that is, they can be accessed using computers and all mobile devices. The interface is also designed to offer the best user experience to both new and returning visitors. It is also important to know that first impression matters, and so you need to make sure that the design is does not look outdated.
Post Useful Information on Your Social Media Channels
More than two million Singaporeans are active on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Despite the fact that posting links on these sites is not link building and search engines do not use the links as ranking signals, post informative articles or useful information will ensure that your content gets read by the target audience who might decide to link to it on their website. Go ahead and allocate a certain amount of money to boost the posts to expand your reach.
Guest blogging introduces you to a whole new audience, besides supplying you with a high-value backlink that will be helping you climb up the ranking ladder.
Read this bearing in mind that low effort guest blogs stopped doing the trick a long time ago. If you’re NOT willing to go the extra mile and come up with a well researched and detailed piece of article for guest blogging, then don’t expect search engines to reward you much for that.
Blogging is one of the crucial components of an SEO program that has stood the test of time. A significant percentage of the natural inbound links will be as a result of the blog posts that you publish on your site as well as distribute to third party sites.
To increase the chances of readers linking back to your site, you need to make sure that the content is valuable to the users and evergreen. Evergreen content will remain relevant, helpful, and interesting to the reader many months or years after you publish it.
Even though quality trumps quantity, there seems to be a connection between the number of inbound links that a website gets and the number of blog posts. It is wise to post articles on your blog regularly to engage with the audience continuously. Give them something fresh to digest.
Finally, the blog should be part of the primary or actual website and not a separate domain if it is to succeed in helping you get natural links that will boost your site on-page and off-site SEO.
Content optimisation is a vital component of any SEO campaign. According to Google, content is one of the top three ranking factors for organic search. Given the high number of websites in Singapore, you need to optimise your content to stand out and increase your site’s visibility on Google SERPs.
Content Optimisation Strategies
Here are some of the content optimisation secrets that Singapore SEO services should use.
- Create great content
- Post frequently
- Use headings and subheadings
- Text optimisation
- Image optimisation
- Keyword usage
- Make use of social media
- Page speed optimisation
- Structured data
- Accelerated mobile pages
There is a direct correlation between ranking high on search results and the traffic to your site. If you want to get more organic traffic, you should make content optimisation a priority. Website optimisation improves your rankings and drives more traffic to your website.
How to Implement Content Optimisation Strategies
Your website might have the perfect content, but if search engines cannot find it, it is useless. If you want your content to be effective, here are some of the strategies you should employ to achieve content optimisation.
Create Great Content
As mentioned above, content is one of the top-ranking factors on Google SERPs. You should always strive to create excellent content. The qualities of great content include relevance to your audience and accuracy. The content must also be original and up to date.
You know your business better than anyone. Make sure that your content offers an accurate description of your products and services. Most importantly, the content must be relevant and provide some value for the consumer.
Another tip for content optimisation is frequently posting. If your audience is used to weekly posts, maintain the consistency. If you fail to update your website regularly, your audience is likely to move on to a competing website. Frequent updates keep them glued on to your site.
Besides your audience, search engine bots also love fresh content. Google will frequently crawl your website to search for new content, so regular updates ensure that your site gets more pages indexed on the search engine. The more indexed pages you have, the higher the chance of ranking high on SERPs.
Use Headings and Subheadings
Search engines love websites that provide an optimal browsing experience to searchers. If your content has multiple headings and subheadings, it makes it easier for the user to navigate to a relevant topic, and Google regards this as a great user experience.
If possible, integrate keywords into the headings and subheadings. This further increases their usefulness to your content optimisation efforts.
There are many text elements that you can optimise to boost your website ranking and provide a better user experience.
Here are some of the ways to optimise your text.
These are the tags embedded within the source code of your webpage. They are essential in telling the search engine about the nature of the text in your content.
The Meta description is an HTML attribute that provides an overview of the contents of a web page. It usually appears below the URL in search results and can significantly impact the click-through rates. If you want your description to be useful, you should incorporate a few keywords.
If you fail to create a Meta description, the search engine will create one based on your content. For this reason, it is advisable to be in control by crafting an excellent description.
An optimised description could be the difference between a user clicking your site or moving on to the next option.
Your URL should always indicate what topic the post covers. Am optimised URL should contain the title of your posts. Take a look at the following example.
The first URL is unlikely to contribute to your SEO marketing campaign. The second, on the other hand, explains what the article contains. If search engine bots pick up the URL, they will surely rank it higher than the first example.
The majority of content marketers in Singapore tend to overlook image optimisation. If you optimise your images correctly, it can significantly improve your SEO campaign.
Here are some of the ways to optimise images.
You should avoid using generic file names such as image0001.jpg for your images. The name should always be related to the content in the picture. This ensures that search engines know what the image contains and how it correlates with the surrounding text.
This is an example of how to optimise an image file name.
The alt text is the text that appears when an image fails to load correctly. Similar to the name, it should give a brief description of the contents of the image. It should also feature some keywords and be in line with the context of the article.
Many designers are unaware that you can give your images a title. This is what a visitor sees when their mouse pointer hovers over an image on your website. It should contain keywords.
You should avoid using full-size images on your website. Always compress them, as this increase page loading time.
It is worth noting that the image optimisation techniques mentioned above are also applicable to other forms of visual content such as videos and infographics.
Keyword research remains an integral part of SEO optimisation. However, keyword application has evolved over the years, and it is crucial to adopt a holistic approach when using them. Instead of focusing on particular keywords and search phrases, you should consider developing themes and topics.
When a user types in a term on a search engine, they are either looking for answers, resources or more information about a particular subject. If the content on your website meets these requirements, the searcher will find it relevant. On the contrary, if the content is solely focused on keywords, the user is likely to ignore it.
As search evolves, so does keyword optimisation. Search results are now focused on semantic meanings rather than specific keywords and search phrases.
Semantic keywords are useful in supporting your primary keywords. Ensure that you use close variants and synonyms of your keywords in your content. This helps in making the content relevant to the visitor.
Make Use of Social Media
Social media is vital to your content optimisation efforts. First, you can use your social media platforms to share your content so that it reaches a broad audience. If you include a link you site, it can be a great source of organic traffic to your site.
Furthermore, you can interact easily with your audience through social networks. You can tell if the content is appealing to your followers by checking the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ it gets. If a post is popular, it means that the content was fantastic, and you should optimise subsequent pieces to match it. On the other hand, if it gets little engagement, you know that it needs improvement.
Page Speed Optimisation
The page speed of your website is the time it takes to display visual content. It is one of the new ranking factors on Google. A page that loads slowly provides poor experience, meaning that Google reduces its rankings. A fast page, on the other hand, ranks highly on SERPs.
The way you optimise your web content has a direct correlation with page speed. If your site has many visual elements such as images and video, it takes more time to load than a website that is mostly made of text. Ensure that you always compress visual content to optimise the loading speed and reduce your bounce rate. You should also remind your web designer to remove objects that block the critical rendering path.
Structured data, also known as schema markups, are tags that your embed on the HTML markup on your webpages. These tags tell the search engine bots what your page contains, and enables them to display a detailed and more informative listing on SERPs. This significantly improves the click-through rates to your website in Singapore.
The three leading search engine, Google, Bing and Yahoo, combined to establish Schema.org, a tool that improves search results by sharing a common vocabulary. There are many tools useful in implementing schema. Here is a screenshot of Google’s markup helper.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
On average, it takes at least eight seconds to load an article using the web browser app on mobile devices. Waiting for more than eight seconds is inconvenient and frustrating. However, you can optimise your content to load at faster speeds using Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP. These two can increase the loading speeds by up to four times.
What are Accelerated Mobile Pages?
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source initiative that aims to improve the mobile browsing experience by reducing page latency. AMPs load four times faster and use ten times less data than regular webpages.
WordPress offers a variety of plugins to implement AMP. You can also code it into your webpages.
Using AMP pages can also make your website appear on the Top Stories carousel. According to Google, if you mark up your content with structured data and implement AMP, it will rank on Top Stories with AMP. This carousel allows searchers to find and consume AMP content on the search engine.
Questions and Semantic Search
Your content optimisation campaign should focus on getting more organic traffic from Google. With 92% of search engine market share, it makes sense to prioritise Google over other platforms.
The primary objective of SEO experts is to create content that matches the search queries typed by Google users. In recent times, search queries have become longer, more detailed, and conversational. One of the main reasons behind this trend is the rising popularity of voice search.
Concisely, your website content marketing strategy should centre on questions and semantic keywords.
In 2013, Google introduced the Hummingbird update to personalise and increase the relevance of search results.
Semantic search refers to an instance where you enter a vague query on Google, and the search engine returns a relevant result. It differs from other kinds of searches because it can identify concepts and entities present in question-based queries.
When a user enters a question-based query on Google, semantic search analyses the query using the user context, natural language processing, query stream context, and entity identification.
The Types of Questions Answered by Google
The introduction of semantic search means that Google can now answer question-based search queries effectively. Semantic search is aided by technologies such as AI, natural language processing, schema, and voice search.
Google provides three types of answers – direct answers, short answers, and long answers. These answers are mostly found in the featured snippet, also known as position zero in search results.
Direct answers seek to answer search queries with simple questions. Such questions start with who, why, what, where, when, top, and best. In most cases, such queries come from voice searches.
For instance, if you ask Google when Gmail was founded, Hummingbird will process the query and provide an instant answer.
Google’s algorithms analyse various sources to see the one with the most reliable information. The search engine then pulls the best result and displays it in the featured snippets.
Short answer questions mostly begin with why and can. In some cases, they apply to questions starting with what, where, and who.
These questions are usually answered in a short paragraph, with the answer shown in the featured snippet.
For instance, if you ask Google why a year lasts for 365 days, it will return the answer shown below.
Similar to direct answers, Google’s algorithms assess various websites on the internet and find the one with the most accurate results. The answer is then shown on the featured snippets.
If you repeat with another question, this time beginning with ‘can,’ you will get another short answer.
As seen above, Google returned the answer in the form of a short paragraph.
If you query Google for a lengthy process, you are likely to get a long answer. Such answers are usually generated when a user searches for questions beginning with how and why.
Since the space for the featured snippet is limited, Google does not display the complete procedure. Instead, it shows a summary, usually in the form of a list.
For example, if you search for how to create a content marketing strategy, it returns the following result.
The objective of the query mentioned above is to know how to develop content marketing strategies. The intent it superficial, which is why Google displays the result in the form of a list. If a user wants more details, they have to click on the link.
What Are the Best Questions for Your Content Marketing Strategy?
The objective of any content marketer is to reach the broadest possible audience. One way of doing this is by being appearing on the featured snippet or at least the first page of search results.
The benefits of appearing on the position zero of SERPs are enormous. That is why you need to consider the type of answer provided by your website content and the keywords that attribute to it.
You should ensure that your content does more than drawing organic traffic to your website. It should provide value to the searcher. For instance, if you write on how to optimise website content, the reader should be able to do it themselves after they read the article.
Every time you create content, you should confirm that it answers a specific question. Besides, it should be in line with your objectives, such as increasing traffic, generating leads, and boosting conversions.
How to Identify Trending Questions and Keywords
During content optimisation, it is vital to identify the questions that searchers are asking and the frequency of such questions.
The best way of optimising content is by using a keyword research tool. When you enter your main keyword, the tool should return a list of related questions that will act as a guide when you are creating the content.
You could also identify the keywords related to your main keyword. For instance, if you are writing about ‘how to create a content marketing strategy,’ the related keywords could be ‘what is content marketing,’ ‘content marketing tips,’ and so forth.
If you want to optimise website content successfully, you have to know what the searcher wants, their level of knowledge on the matter, and what they should do after they read your content.
How to Rank for Direct Answer Questions
It is challenging to tweak your content optimisation strategy to rank for direct answer questions. Here are some popular tactics used by content marketers to get position zero for direct answer questions.
Your content should answer the question in the first paragraph.
List the Questions in the Content
This makes it easier for Google to tag your content correctly.
After providing the direct answer, make sure that you give a further explanation in the subsequent paragraphs. This shows Google that you understand the topic.
Include Follow-up questions
Alluding to the earlier example, a person that asks when Gmail was founded is likely to have more questions. Make sure that you explain who formed Google, its size, its purpose and anything related to it.
How to Rank for Short Answer Questions
The content optimisation tactics used for short answer questions are mostly similar to the ones for direct answer questions. The only significant difference is in the methods used for formatting.
Here are the tips you should follow to rank for short answer questions.
Keep it Simple
Your paragraphs should not exceed four lines. Also, try to avoid industry jargon in your content.
Include Questions in your Headings and Subheadings
Your header tags should feature questions like ‘what is website content marketing?’ Below the question, you should provide the answer in a short paragraph.
How to Rank for Long Answer Questions
If you want to rank for long answer questions, you need to create detailed content. For questions that require visual content, Google usually priorities video over text.
Here is how to optimise website content to rank for long answer questions.
Use a Relevant Title
Your title should be related to the question you are targeting. If you want to provide answers to ‘how to create a website content marketing strategy’ you should write a title that uses similar keywords.
Provide a Step-by-step Guide
This particularly applies to how-to questions. These steps will be displayed on the list that appears on the featured snippets.
Images are crucial to content optimisation, as they make your website more engaging and user-friendly. They also supplement the textual content and make it easier to understand.
Link to Reputable Websites
Google ranks site with accurate information high on search results. An excellent way of doing this by linking out to authority websites.
Benefits of Content Optimisation
Content optimisation has a significant number of benefits to your business in Singapore. Here are a few reasons why you should invest in it.
If your website gains a reputation of providing high-quality, accurate, relevant and informative content, many people will want to visit it. With time, users will consider it an authority in your area of specialisation, which means increased visibility on search results.
A site with optimised content gives you an edge over your competitors. Every business owner wants to be better than their rivals, as this guarantee more sales and grows tier business. Always look for the optimisation strategies that other companies are yet to implement and capitalise on them.
Content is Measurable
You can easily track the performance of your content optimisation strategy. For instance, if your primary objective is lead generation, many tools in the market are useful for monitoring your campaign. Whenever you create and optimise your content, you can analyse its impact on your business and see if the tactics are working.
Increased Brand Affinity
One of the most significant benefits of content optimisation is increased brand affinity. This is where consumers are loyal to your business and its values.
Individuals who have a high affinity to your brand love your stuff and will frequently tell friends and family about you. They are also willing to recommend your products to others without any incentive from you.
Larger Remarketing Audiences
Ideally, content optimisation should drive traffic to your site and increase sales and conversions. Although this works to an extent, it is not always the case.
With content optimisation, you can create content that targets a specific remarketing audience. For instance, if you notice that many people abandon your website after adding items on their cart, you can introduce free shipping. If many users view products without purchasing them, you can offer discounts.
The secret is keeping an eye on the behaviour of consumers and adjusting your content accordingly to increase conversions and sales.
Who could have thought of link building as being this complex and that much of an overwhelming task? Most people will give up upon reading this. You shouldn’t because the fruits will be totally worth every single drop of effort you pump in.
Fantastic content is the focal point of a successful SEO optimisation campaign in Singapore. When your target audience finds your content appealing, they will stay on your site, which signals Google that it is useful. They will also recommend it to friends, which further increases your ranking. Ultimately, you will attain the top spot on SERPs, which means more traffic, more leads, and potentially more sales. This underpins the significance of content optimisation.
Besides content optimisation, you should also focus on improving your website’s user experience and user interface. You should also seek high-quality backlinks from prominent sites in your niche. These factors are also essential in making your SEO marketing efforts successful. Contact us today for professional content optimisation and SEO services in Singapore.