Starting fresh this week with a new post. Although I decided to make Monday my 3rd weekend day, this doesn’t mean pure slacking off. So here it is, getting the dust out of this 2 months old article and presenting you some interesting insights. Plus recommendations.
What This Article Is All About:
– What’s The Whole Ruckus With Being Topical
– Tools of Trade (Free and Paid)
– How To Develop a More Topical Approach in the SERPs and Deliver Excellent Results
– You Weren’t Born a Spammer, So You Should Respect Yourself More
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The Whole Thing With Google…
And you’ll ask, Okay, what’s the catch here? Well, let me explain. It’s about link building and managing your SEO campaigns. Up until a few years ago, as a Marketer, you would use one of the following techniques to rank your client’s website (or yours, for that matter):
a) Bookmarks, Directory Submissions, Paid or Free Link Exchange and more (there’s no point on insisting here), most of them involving text links
b) Guest Blogs and Articles, because someone said “Content is king” and “guest blogging is white hat 100%”. Bullsh!t. It was ages ago. It isn’t anymore because of spammy practices, low quality content and basically, an exhaustive approach (seriously, I had clients who wanted hundreds of guest posts if possible, it was a pain telling them “hold your horses, 15-to-30 is more than enough per trimester”).
c) Paid advertising (again, through articles, banners, display ads) and PPC – well, that works as long as you pay. Once the budget is done, the ad disappears.
d) Video and visual marketing: video marketing is still out there and we’re seeing more demands in visual displays now, more than ever. But still, don’t rely only on optimizing your images, your videos and creating infographic after infographic, after infographic.
e) Broken link building: well, we were doing fine contacting online resource libraries and websites and asking webmasters to remove broken links and replace them with new ones, some belonging to our clients. Until someone messed it up again and went berserk with hundreds of broken links/month, which scared the poor webmasters away. I’m sure they’re sort of tired by now. At least, I’m trying to decently build 5 links per month for my clients with little success because: “Not you, too. I’ve heard these lines before. Thanks for pointing out the broken links, but I won’t add yours in return. Sorry. I’ve had it” – this is a reply I got from a webmaster.
… and Being Topical
So… it leaves us to topicality. Google being Topical means it will see your website based on the link profile. You can very well say “my website is in the Online, SEO, IM industry”, but if you have more links and topics related to home improvement, education or travel, then Google will judge your page based on that. It might very well see your page as x% topic1, y% topic2, z% topic3. It’s okay, it’s not bad for you. This only means that if you want to stick to your niche, you better decide:
a) Going back to your previous niche/Goal
b) Applying new changes and stick to the profile made by Google
What Does This Mean for the Marketer?
Well, for the first time in ages, you sort of know what you have to do and how to do it so that your clients won’t fear a Penalty in the future. You can do a link profile on your client’s website then decide with which blogs and websites to work on helping your client build online reputation. It also means you’re not just delivering backlinks and promises, you’re also delivering real measurable results. The least you want to do is make Google your enemy if your main source of income is through online marketing. For others!
Let go of all those metrics, they shouldn’t matter that much. Topicality however should be your main focus! It’s okay to want to build links on websites with a certain authority and audience, but that isn’t everything in a seo campaign nowadays. You can finally build things with clear parameters in mind and actually do a follow-up based on Analytics. We all want beautiful analytics, don’t we? And haven’t you had enough of trying to come up with an answer when a potential client asks: “Okay, so what do I get for paying $$$$ per month?”
Tools of Trade for the Topical Approach
There are 4 things to keep in mind, and these are:
1. Start with a Backlink Audit
Really, there’s no better way to know a website than through its links. “Tell me who you’re linking to, so I can tell you who you are” – I made that up, but it so applies to this situation. Now, to save me some energy from writing down an entire To-Do list, check out how Matthew Woodward is giving us a peek at what the Presentations at the Affiliate Summit in NY were all about. You’ll find them quite interesting, especially related to Link Building. There’s a particular presentation that displays the tools you can use. From personal experience, I recommend one of the following for a backlink audit:
a) AHrefs.com – If you don’t believe they are good enough, check out all those Reviews. I use them for my personal sites, and for one client who is particularly fond of their services. You need a paid account for this.
b) MajesticSEO – Ideally, paid account. For basic needs though, simply link it to your Google Webmaster Tools and get some freebies for just 1 site. Yours, to be precise. I use them a lot since some of my clients are really fond of them.
c) SmallSEOTools.com – If you don’t have the money for a regular subscription, then go with the free option. Though it moves slow and it’s quite limited, you still get a backlink audit with all the links.
d) Bing Link Explorer for your own site. As an image says more than a thousand words, you’ll understand how it works.
2. Continue with a Website Audit
My friends from GeoRanker offer a really complete website audit plus How To’s and Tips for Local SEO.
You can request a free demo with Sergiu for 60minutes. He will explain how the platform works, what Local SEO factors you can use for your business, how you can increase the potential of your website through a series of simple, yet effective steps and a lot more technical stuff, especially if you’re into Data and Tech. You can schedule a meeting with him by hitting the “See in Action” red button on their homepage, upper left.
From experience, I can guarantee it will be a great call and even I found out stuff I wasn’t fully aware of. I’m considering of featuring an interview with GeoRanker and Sergiu here, on SERPlified in the near future. If he agrees to, of course.
3. Fix Your Site’s SEO Architecture and Content
After you’ve identified the problems, fix them. Check the site’s title tags, meta tags, analytics codes (Google and Bing), keywords, code troubleshooting etc. You should definitely give a try to:
a) Google Tag Manager – Tim Allen really nails the explanation of how to use Google Tag Manager and some extras with Universal Analytics, too, in this great post on Distilled. Planning to write one myself and explained how it helped my website, since I implemented the codes back in March.
b) Universal Analytics – Way better than the simple Google Webmaster Tools, and the good news is they are out of Beta, so everyone can use it.
c) Bing Webmaster Tools and Web Analytics – I believe Bing will someday be used by increasingly more users. Right now, it is sustained by the US and the Windows smartphones and tablets. :)
4. Testing and Monitoring Your Topical Metrics
For this one, I’m using MajesticSEO Topical TrustFlow. You’ll need a paid account for this one, as they don’t offer the free versions. This provides an interesting perspective:
a) It will examine the topical trustflow of a website and tell you which major topics are covered.
b) It might just happen your content is about Internet Marketing, Case Studies and Data Analytics, but since you have backlinks from websites with other profiles/topics, Google and MajesticSEO’s tool will show those “influences” in the trending topics. This mostly happens if you have a contributor account on a website that is seen as flowing in topics related to Travel, Leisure, Shopping and in your author box, you’re linking to your site. As it happened in my case.
Picture 1 shows Path/URL Topical TrustFlow for my website. Picture 2 shows Domain Topical TrustFlow for my website. Considering I’m seeing “shopping” and “travel” and “food” there, I should probably remove my links from those contributor sites as they don’t do me any justice.
Here’s Razvan’s awesome case study on Topical relevant content, on the Cognitive SEO blog, too. So read it when you have the time.
Respecting Yourself More and Offering Quality Services
I’ve become sort of sick and tired of having people contact me and my fellow IM buddies about penalties, about bad links and what they should do. (In case you don’t know, I offer Consulting services, too. There’s a contact button on the blog, feel free to use it to learn more).
There is a new industry emerging inside the one of Internet Marketing and it’s all thanks to be crappy services delivered by some of the so-called experts, who built low-quality farm-size links. That’s why I think most self-entitled Gurus are nothing more than a bunch of farmers who, instead of growing cows, grow links and sell them at cheap prices. The only problem is with real farmers, you get quality products, while with these digital farmers, you get sh!t. And it’s not me who is saying this, it’s all the clients that seek my help.
The circle of things is really interesting: $$$$ >> Spammy bulk links >> Immediate Results >> Happy Face Client
Google Update >> Penalty >> Sad Face Client >> $$$$$$ >> Us >> Slow Recovery Process >> x months >> Results after x months: Back to the original position >> Results after xy months: Some Decent Positioning and Ranking
One thing I have learned in these past 6 years, having worked in teams, on my own, associating with business partners and having more than 100 clients combined is that Quality is Priceless. And Unbeatable! So learn how to handle your data sheets, don’t go crazy on link building like you’re in a bar with free tequila shots and most certainly, care about how relevant the links you create or build are in comparison to the sites you’re linking to.
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