Using Guest Blogs To Propel Your SEO

Blue and white 3D illustration with the word blog repeated  in different shadesSearch Engine Optimisation is a constantly evolving game and keeping on top of it is no mean feat and on a weekly basis I’ll be doing research on what the latest techniques and advice for those in SEO are considered to be, not to mention the reading involved on keeping up with the latest Google updates!

In truth, if you are sticking to the “white hat” SEO techniques and do everything you can to ensure your website is an authoritative and useful website for your visitors, you shouldn’t feel the wrath of the Big G too much nor should you need to worry too much about Panda or Penguin updates as the main aim of the Google updates is to ensure the right websites are ranking at the top and to keep the keyword stuffed and content spammy websites at the bottom.

Whatever I’m reading I will always find research to show that one of the most effective SEO techniques continues to be link building. Good quality link building is often a tedious and lengthy process and for this reason is highly sought after as a specialism. Anyone in SEO after the best sort of links will often have spent hours sifting through websites and social media platforms hunting down bona fide relationships to build with other website owners to get these “good” links. Guest blogging on relevant and authority websites is often one of the most fruitful ways of obtaining these good links.

Guest Blogs for Link Building

A guest blog post is a post you write to post on someone else’s blog. The process involves finding websites in your niche and offering content to them to post. The best guest blog posts blend seemlessly with the host blog so that readers aren’t able to tell them apart. Once you find a good match for your site, many blog owners will then let you include a link in your content, or at least an attribution paragraph in which you can add a bit of info about yourself. We all know that link exchange schemes and reciprocal links are devalued and even harmful to a site so guest blogging seems like the perfect way to build links huh? Well yes, in a way but as ever, nothing to do with link building is quick and easy if done correctly…

Finding appropriate websites is no easy game and neither is finding a blog site owner who is willing to post your content, and at a reasonable cost.

How To Go About Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is an undeniably positive method of digital marketing that aims to get you powerful on-theme links and anything that good for your website is never going to be a shortcut. Guest bloggers need to provide useful, informative, compelling and share-worthy content to stand a chance of getting content published.

There are many sites out there that aim to pair up blog owners with guest bloggers and many will charge a premium for you to join as a guest blogger wanting to submit articles, e.g. MyBlogGuest which charges $50/month to submit articles or BloggerLinkUp. It takes time to write compelling content and then find a relevant blog willing to publish your content and it’s no simple statement to say that content is king in the realms of the guest blogging.

NoFollow What I Want To Be A Followed Link

spannerAt this juncture we may need to throw a mini spanner in the works. It’s important to bear in mind that the idea behind writing guest blog posts has to be natural and as a result it is advisable that as a blog owner you should nofollow any links you publish and expect this as a guest poster. “But surely writing a guest post for SEO means that I expect a follow link from it back huh?” I hear you say…Well,  Google needs to see nothing less than 100% natural activity in your link building and writing reems of posts purely to gain links is sure to be an eyebrow raiser in the Google HQ and as such, who knows whether they will be downgraded and thus not proving to be that useful for your site anyhow.

It may go against the desirable end result but by adding a nofollow link to your website Google is kept happy as it’s deemed to be a more natural link and could it even be viewed more favourably as a result? Who knows whether this plays to the Google algorithm or not, but at the end of the day, if you are writing compelling content then people will want to visit the links you mention anyhow and then end up on your website as a new visitor!

SEO Copywriting is offered as part of the SEO Virgin services and focuses on writing top quality content for the benefit of your website. Time and effort goes into understanding your business and brand to be able to provide relevant and useful content appropriate to your core ethics and inline with what you want it to achieve. For more information please get in touch.

SEO Sussex

Are You A Sussex Flower Seller?

Are You A Sussex Flower Seller?

Geographics play a large part in SEO and it’s true to say that many businesses offer services or sell products that are restricted to a certain geographic area such as the local flower shop, the IT support company who service local busineses or the clothes shop on the high street. While the very nature of working on the internet suggests that SEO can be done by someone not local to you, in offering and ranking for SEO Sussex to local businesses, SEO Virgin can provide a more tailored approach to your SEO to ensure you get the most out of your online marketing efforts.

Where Are You?

Geographic targetting in SEO is the process of linking a website to a specific area or region.

seo-sussex

In targetting a certain geographic, the aim is that your website stands to rank higher in any region specific searches in the search engines, for example, geographic targetting in Sussex will ensure that your business is targetting customers interested in your particular product or service in the Sussex area. For many businesses there is little point targetting outside a geographic boundary as quite simply, they cannot fulfil any orders placed outside of where they can deliver to. Take the above mentioned local flower shop – being based in Haywards Heath means that their business is likely to come predominantly from customers within Haywards Heath and taking orders for bouquets from customers in Yorkshire is unlikely to make sense on any level. In this way we’re also concerned with only targetting Google.co.uk as having the flower shop rank in the German Google.de doesn’t have much point either. Similarly, someone searching for a local flower shop is not going to appreciate seeing results from miles away as they would then have to factor in higher delivery charges.

There are many ways to let Google know where your website is based and who your target audience is and SEO gets this done. Google takes many factors into account when establishing where your website is based even before you mould your content to your specific geographic. The location of the hosting, the website extension (i.e. is it a .co.uk, .com, .de or .es etc.), the language the website is written in and other factors are all used by Google to see where your site is based.

Let Your Content Do The Work

Haywards Heath honey anyone?

Haywards Heath honey anyone?

In addition to those behind the scenes factors, your content also then has the chance to play a major role in letting Google know about the areas you wish to target. For a start your contact page will highlight where you are based and a UK address and phone number are going to be strong indicators of where your business is established. Of course you may be a bee keeper and producer of honey in Haywards Heath but yet you ship your products all over. In this case you still stand to rank better for terms such as “Sussex honey producers” than you would for a “local honey producer” for a search done in Suffolk but it means you also have to work hard to rank for search terms outside of your area. Google will rank you higher for the geographic search coming from the local geographic area than it would for a generic search done elsewhere, simply because the addition of a geographic to the search immediately makes your search more niche and a “long tail” search result for which there will be less competition.

How Can SEO Sussex help?

Getting in touch with a local SEO Sussex company if you yourself are based in Sussex could help you much more than having your SEO done by someone unfamiliar with your target audience. Quite simply, a local SEO agency to you could benefit your website by bringing local knowledge and experience to your SEO. They may also have knowledge of local competitors to you, understand where local companies tend to advertise and generally appear online, they may already know of worthy places to build relevant local inbound links from and will usually have a basic desire to see local companies that they may themselves use, succeed.

SEO Virgin is a part of the Artemis Internet Marketing agency and specialises in SEO Sussex and works with local businesses to provide nothing less than professional and ethical SEO services. With a continued high retention rate, straight-talking and transparent reporting, SEO Virgin offers a uniquely personalised service that ensures you are dealing direct with the person doing your SEO.

If you happen to be in Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Horsham, Brighton, Hove or in fact anywhere in Sussex, speak to the team and get your SEO off to a solid start. Call us on 01444 645018 for a free consultation.

What is PageRank and How Do I Get It?

Do you know the PageRank of your website and are you aware of it’s impact on your search engine optimisation?

Definition: Developed by the Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, PageRank is a complicated algorithm that brings together many other factors used to determine the relevance and authority of a website and then uses those factors to determine where a website should appear in the search results. PageRank is a measure of a website’s importance and websites with a high PR are considered to be authoritative websites in their field.

In simple terms: PageRank is a complex process that allows us to assign a numerical value to a website to indicate how good it is.

What Counts In Establishing My PageRank?

LinkBuildingGoogle PageRank takes into account many factors, the main one of which could loosely be said to be down to your inbound links. Inbound links are what all website owners should be aiming to get to improve on their PageRank. An inbound link is akin to an online thumbs up. To get one website owner to link to you is the online version of a referral with the link giver saying “I recommend this other guy, go visit his site”, it’s an online vote of confidence for your brand. The more times this happens, the more popular and authoritative your website becomes in Google’s eyes and therefore the more inbound links you can get, the better your site ranks.

Beware! Not All Links Are Created Equally

If Google’s PageRank was as simple as collecting inbound links, the search engine results would simply reflect a list of those website owners who either have all the time in the world to get links or those who have the most marketing budget to buy lots of links. Doing either of these things is not recommended anyway and is not the answer. Not all links are created equally! It should stand as obvious that a link built within an appropriate context from a website in a similar industry to yours, should carry more weight and good “link juice” than a randomly placed link from a website that has no bearing or relation to yours. How different links are valued is another Google mystery that takes into account many many factors! Similarly, if one website owner goes from a handful of links to thousands overnight, this is going to be flagged in Google’s eyes as not that natural.

Have you heard of Link farms? Reciprocal links? Link exchange sites? There is always someone willing to tell you there is an easy way to getting links but they would be fibbing in 100% of cases. Link building is no easy task and takes time and effort and someone who understands the best places to direct a link building campaign according to each client. The best links are contextually relevant, from other authoritative websites and built at a natural, progressive pace.

How Do I Get Good PageRank?

Page Rank is best obtained by having a solid link building strategy in place as part of an integrated search marketing campaign.

While Page Rank is an important contribution to your website’s ranking, as a website owner it’s important not to fixate on just this as it’s not the sole reflection of your website’s importance. Having a high PR does not give you the right to rank at the top and there are many many other factors that are taken into consideration when determining the relevance and authority of a website. It’s no wonder that the Google algorithm is so complex that many people resort to believing this single digit is a marker of how good your site is and if it were the case life would be simple, but alas, it’s not and us SEO’s still have a job.

Remember, Page Rank is A measure of a website’s importance, not THE only measure. Getting Page Rank should be a top consideration in your online marketing strategy but you would also be best advised to ensure that you have a solid SEO campaign in place to take care of your site.

If you’ve found that your website has dropped suddenly in the rankings you may have been hit by the Google Panda updates. Aimed at reviewing the rankings of websites, some website owners with less than wholesome link building strategies may find they are penalised by these periodic updates that Google rolls out.

Find Out More

To find out more about how you can improve your Page Rank and SEO, get in touch with SEO Virgin. Working on SEO in Sussex, SEO Virgin specialises in ethical and professional link building for all clients.