PaulBarrs.com | The Beginners Guide to Off Page SEO
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The Beginners Guide to Off Page SEO

Off Page SEO… it’s like a myth, the Holy Grail, that line in the sand that separates those who want it and those who have it. Have what? Rankings!!

However, it’s also a live bomb, it’s like a gas bottle sitting on an open fire waiting to explode. And with Google’s continual updates – each seemingly aimed at penalising those who are ‘ranking well’ – off page SEO can be like a pressure cooker… either timed to a perfect meal or a catastrophic explosion.

Of course Google isn’t trying to kill your rankings, they’re just looking to server their customers better… to provide better answers to often more complex questions. Which is where we come in.

Off page SEO

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Following is the transcript of a recent webinar, updated with notes, references and guides to help you create stronger content and better rankings through off page SEO, and to grow your business.

Internet Business Training with Paul Barrs

Internet Business Training with Paul Barrs

But first things first… If we haven’t “met” yet, it’s important that you understand that I’ve been doing this stuff for quite some time now since 2001. I’m not suffering from overnight ‘success’. My training comes from battlefield experience, both wins and losses… though fortunately more wins!

My area of speciality is Internet Business Training – that covers all areas of Internet business which of course is our topic part of for today.

– Start –

By the way; if you’re thinking of taking notes… NOW would be the time to start! There’s no way you should expect to remember all this in just one sitting.

So moving on, let’s just recap a couple of things from last week and get going with “What is search engine optimisation?” Basically it is that thing which we do which is the practice of improving and promoting a website in order to increase the number of visitors that we get from search engine searches.

There are two different types, on page and off page. And this is what I call the super ninja technical stuff.

  • On page, which we spoke about last week of course is stuff that we do on our pages.
  • Off page is what we can do off our page off our website pages in other places of the Internet, again which also can affect and improve our search engine ranking.

That is the main topic for today. So let’s just wrap up one more time a couple of different things here. These are the, I guess, the essential elements. And it’s good to understand these a little bit more than just the basics. Because once you have those basics then you can pretty much do everything that follows from there.

So content, well you’ve heard about content. Content is king.

Quality Content is Key!

Quality Content is Key!

That’s what they say, isn’t it? Well, it’s not just the content. It’s the quality of the content. And of course that quality is so good that it engages your audience. The quality of your content is such that it also uses the keywords, the phrases that you’re targeting. We spoke about that last week.

And it comes down to this. You can’t just do it once. There’s more to it than that. In a nutshell when it comes to the content on your pages, and I guess this applies off page when you’re writing for others as well, that you have to write on topic for the customer.

Here’s the key: If you like getting some engagement and the sharing of social media or perhaps leaving comments and it’s being found in search then you’ve reached these two things. You’re using the right set of keywords. You’re talking about the right topics in the correct way because that’s what engages your customer. So that’s the measurement of success really, engaging the customer, not just a position in search. Worthwhile thinking about.

So as we go through this… I am recording this and it will go in to the membership area afterwards. So you’ll be able to get access to the entire video from there. And just take notes along the way. I don’t know if you can do a screen capture at this time for those of you who want to write these things down. All of this is in the workbooks anyway.

on-page-seo-checklistLet’s refresh the basics of “On Page SEO first.”

Basically when it comes to the HTML, along the lines we have to have good meta titles and meta descriptions. We also have to have good headings (not just for SEO but for sales copy conversions as well). Alt tags are not as important as they used to be, but they’re still OK – just don’t go into overkill. We talked about these things in more detail last week.

As far as the site structure goes, also very important how you name your pages (the URLs), and not having any 404 errors. I just sent off a list to my webmaster today. And yes, I used to do all of this stuff myself, but now I have a few people working for me. I sent him of a list of current 404 error pages from my site and asked him to fix them.

Now how did that happen? Did they just magically appear? No. I don’t think so. You see as I am constantly updating content on my own website sometimes I may change the page name or the URL. And of course if there are links to that page from other areas on my site, well then they’re linking nowhere. And they become errors.

So it’s a good thing every sort of three to four months to run a report. And you can do this through Google Analytics or Google Webmaster tools will give you the information. Of course we’ll let you know your site is also able to be crawled by the search engines. Ha. Good idea. And page speed. These are things that are also done on the page that do affect you.

It’s essential that you fix broken links!

Before we move on to, I guess some of the elements of Off Page SEO, let’s talk about the strategy, the 4 step strategy. First thing you have to do, and this is the bullet proof plan. This is a $3,000 question answered, the money or the box?

Number one – it begins with good research.

You have to research your keyword phrases and topics that you’re going to be writing about, focusing on as topical content on your website.

You have to research your competition. Take a look and see what it is that they are doing as well. Hey, they’re doing exceptionally well. You could just duplicate it. Obviously you write your own content, you know. Copy and paste, goodness me, NO! But you can take the general guidelines.

Here’s the key though. What you want to find is keyword phrases that people might be searching for that have high volume of search but low volume competition in terms of page results showing up in Google. That’s the easiest way to put it.

Number two – you select perhaps your top 6 about half a dozen or so sort of keyword phrases.

  • I like to call them topics.
  • So you might have 3, 4, 5, 6 keyword phrases that are all about the same thing, one topic or one category and so on.
  • Then you set yourself a plan.
  • If you can you delegate some of this out.
  • You’ve got to have a good site structure.

Part of number 3 – the eternal optimization.

Step 3 is good On Page SEO, page titles, heading tags, meta descriptions, alt tags (and . . . Now this is interesting. I need to take this off this slide. I missed it when I did my review earlier. It says they are key work density. Bum-baw. Not anymore. That’s old school as of some of the more recent updates in Google.)

So if, for example, you happen to be, let’s say using a WordPress based website and you have one of the WordPress SEO plug-ins and it’s telling you to try and match key work density. It wants to give you that little green button. Bum-baw. That’s not what you want to be doing anymore!

Here’s the thing. When it comes to content, if you are writing about what you want to be found, the topical content for that page for your entire website, guess what? Your keywords are going to be in there anyway. Well, you are writing about it, aren’t you?

If you’re writing about something else than the keywords, the things that you’re talking about, they won’t be in there. That’s just common sense.

Someone said, “So how often should I repeat this. How often should I do this?”seo-keyword-stuffing

I say, “Not so little that both customers and Google have no idea what you’re talking about, but not so much that they think you’re an idiot.”

It’s the only way to put it.

Here I have found is probably the best simple guide. Write the text, the content for your page. And then just copy and paste the text into a Word document, for example. And replace whatever may be your primary keyword phrase and its related phrases. You don’t just use the same one over and over again. That’s called silly. But it’s related ones. And replace them with keywords. And use big capital letters. Keywords.

And if it comes up that this stands out and it’s all over the place, chances are that’s too much because it looks silly. Write for your customers folks. Write for them. Don’t look silly to them. Oh believe me, if you please them you will please Google at the same time. So that’s step 1, 2, 3, and 4, sorry, and 3. Four is what we’re coming to now.

Number 4 – the external optimization off page SEO.

Now I mentioned this last week, worthwhile also worth mentioning again. There is, in my opinion, no point to actually doing this, the Off Page stuff until you’ve got the On Page things right. Okay? No point. You’ve got to get the content of your website in place first.

Now I had a question come through just a few moments ago “do I have an example?” Not quite sure. An example of what, keywords being used or content? I did have and made a link in last week’s webinar of the perfect On Page sample, On Page SEO sample page. Just go and Google it.

But in terms of a sample for content, yeah, any well written web page. That’s it. There is no perfect example of what is a good page.

A good page is one that customers read and go, “This is what I’ve been looking for”.

So in terms of content, how much should you write? How much should it say? It should say enough to answer the question.

So if a customer comes to you and says, “How do I do…….” Well your page needs to answer that question, how they do…… That’s the goal. Because more and more often these days when people go to search, they’re looking to find an answer. Either that or they’re looking for fluffy kittens just to kick back and watch and spend some time. Okay?

But if they’re looking for an answer, a problem that needs a solution, a product that needs investigating. You sell products. Don’t you? You sell services. You sell solutions that people are looking for. So in terms of how you should write and structure your content, this is more of a conversion thing than an SEO. But it does work both ways. You should write to answer the questions that your customers have.

Now I have a great video. You can probably just Google it. Content conversion page. Just drop. Stop by Google. And look up “content conversion page“. And you’ll come across a video which I put together a while back which discusses

  • the good structure I guess for a good page for conversions, and
  • also for SEO and
  • for social media sharing

And I like to say that when it comes to internal optimization, step 3 on this list that every website should have a few 3, 4, maybe half a dozen if you have that many different products or services. It’s good solid content conversion pages. And these are the pages along with your home page that every other page on your website links to. Okay? Every other page, all your blog posts, every single page at some point is going to link back to one of these content conversion pages. Because it’s job is to provide answers to questions and do what? Content, convert, to convert that customer to contact you, to buy from you, to subscribe to your newsletter. Whatever it is, the goal of that particular page. So that’s just it, I guess, and on the side of something you can do which will help you put that content together.

Then we move on to, yes I know. It’s a never ending thing. Trust me. An hour is not enough to go through this. But it’s a good start. Then we move on to the Off Page SEO stuff that we can do off our pages. Why? Well, it’s really good to generate more visitors from search engines. Yes?onpage-offpage-seo

And here’s the thing.

Off page SEO is a vital, valuable, very important part of your overall SEO optimization.

It generates more traffic from search engines, generates more traffic from other websites. And of course as your rankings go up with more traffic and everything else in the good mix that gives you greater visibility at the same time.

So it builds your profile. And of course as you build your profile what does that do? It builds your customer database along the way. And that’s what it’s all about really.

Back Up – So let’s get started. Are you ready? Who’s ever lost their website before? Just a quick on the side there a show of hands for me. Who’s ever woken up one morning and gone looking for their website and it hasn’t been there? Aw ….. come on. There’s got to be more than that. The rest of you have never woken up and had your website not be there? Okay. Maybe it’s because I work in the business.

And I get phone calls from people all the time just going, “Look, I’m having problems with my current post. And my website’s just gone.” I had someone contact me just, I think it was last week or maybe the end of the week before, same kind of thing. And they didn’t have a backup. Oh, boy! That makes it difficult when they don’t have a backup.

Fortunately, I was able to track down a very loose backup with something called ‘The Way Back Machine‘. It’s the Internet archive. And was able to find an example of their website and go from there. But it happens. Yes. It happens. Websites get hacked. Things go wrong. I get over, I don’t know, I must get over 100 to 150 hack attempts a week on my website. They’ve never quite got in there. Well at least not since 2008 was the last time they successfully got through. But it happens.Secure Data

So here’s my first and my best tip for you right now. Back that website up. Back that puppy up. You just have to, not your host. Don’t leave it to your webmaster. You do it. And if you don’t know how, you contact whoever built your website. And you find out how you can do it. Because you need that on file. You need to be able to back it up after you’ve spent, you know, a couple of hours putting together some new content for the next upcoming month. You want to back that up. Why would you want to lose it?

So that’s the very first the most important the most valuable tip I can give you for the running of your business. Because I tell you now that there is absolutely nothing worse than waking up in the morning and just boom. It’s gone. Okay. I can just see another question here which I’ll have to answer a little bit more later on when it comes to getting lost and found. And so I’ll save that one for later if that’s okay. Because we’ve got a Q and A time at the end as well.

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So moving on if I may……

Google.com Business.

Once upon a time Google.com Places for Business. Once upon a time something else. And before that local search something else. Who knows that Google just loves changing stuff? Yay. I feel like I want to go, “Rakarakarakarakaraka,” as if it’s exiting. No. It’s not exciting. It’s a horrible thing. But Google keeps changing things. Here’s the good thing though for you and for us. When Google keeps changing things they do it to make stuff easier. Hey. People complain but seriously, it just makes it easier.

Google.com/business. Now you need to go here when you’re logged in to your Google account. If you don’t then you need to go get one. If you have a Gmail account, then you’re logged in. If you have a YouTube account, then you can be logged in with that. They’re all the same. But you go here. You log in. And now Google places for business is part of Google My Business.

Basically brings all the stuff together in a paint by numbers point, click, and follow place where you can just build your Google profile. And of course the coolest thing is get yourself into your Google Local Search which is a free tool. So this is my first best most important suggestion for you.google-local

  • You can edit things.
  • You can update your positioning in Maps.
  • You can share news updates with customers through your Google Plus profile.
  • You can respond to customer reviews. Oh, that’s important.
  • And get some insights there of course plugged in through Analytics and more of what’s happening with your business from a Google perspective………….. That’s cool.

Now I mentioned last week Google Webmaster Tools. Who’d like to find out if Google has a problem with their website? Yay. Course we do. That’s through Webmaster Tools. Who’s ever seen but wondered how they get one of those listings with the little red teardrop? As you can see here in this example high up in the search engines are on Google Maps.

And this is how you do it.

  • You go and set up an account within Google Business. Very, very simple. It is free. It doesn’t take any extensive understanding on how to put it together. If you don’t have like a store or an office. That’s okay. No problem. You can just say I have a service area. You don’t have to have your actual home address if you work from home, for example. Showing up not such a good idea. Usually stalkers very, very bad. Simply you go in there.
  • You register. You set it up and you get a verifies by simply getting usually a post card sent to you. When you get that post card sent to you that verifies your real business. And you’re off and running. And go from there.

Now this is all linked in. As I said, paint by numbers with Google Plus and others. Here’s my best suggestion. When it comes to filling in the blanks you need to what I call pimp that profile. That means fill it up. Get new pictures there. Get some video there. Get some information there about you. Get the correct contact details. Have a look at this example here in the video. I’ve got an example there and address that says 119 Albert Street Brisbane, Queensland and the phone number.

Now here’s the thing. For Vern’s Bookkeeping as it is in this example, let’s say that they had a listing in maybe Hotfrog as well and that listing said their address was 119 Albert Street Brisbane, Queensland with that phone number. But street was spelled S-T-R-E-E-T, not just S-T-. That is something which is called, and I’ll cover it very shortly, citations.

Citations are very important for your local business listings and getting found. But they must be the same. I don’t mean similar. I mean identical, the same. You’ve got the 0-7 for the phone number there in brackets? Then every other business directory you’re listed on should be listed the same way. Not similar but the same. Very, very, very important.

As I said I will come to that one very shortly. That’s one of those little secrets that most of them won’t tell you about. Now I’ve done quite a bit of research on this, had the good fortune to present various seminars to our local tourism market on this.

My research leads me to believe that the citations and correct citations once you’ve pimped your profile and done everything first probably counts for as much as 70% of the SEO strength of your Google business listing

Worthwhile taking that into account. Wouldn’t you agree?

Okay. Here’s another one. Oh I love this. And I’m not going to go into the full detail of how to do it again. It’s paint by numbers. It’s putting your products. And you can get traffic directly to your site using Google.com/merchants. Now this is a very, very cool feature if you actually sell businesses, I’m sorry, if you can sell products which you can ship, pack, wrap, and deliver. Very simply you go in. You’ve already got your Google account. You set it up. And you log in and then what?

Follow the magic bouncing ball. And just get your products up there. If you’re more technically advanced and you’ve got lots of them through feeds and APIs and all sorts of, you know, super ninja technical things that I’m not going into today. But it simply works like this. About two weeks back, I was looking for something particular. And when it came to that search, here it is. Type. Type. Type and, of course, I’m sure you’ve seen this. A listing of products with pictures and prices and where I could get them from showed up right at the very top of my Google search results.

How cool for those merchants. Because they had gone here. And they had filled out all the blanks. So I clicked on 1, 2, 3 of them. Yep. Okay. I’m happy. Bought the one that I wanted. Bang. Problem solved. If you sell products online and you’re not utilizing the power of the Google merchant center you absolutely must. That is non-negotiable. It’s just one of those things that you’ve got to do.

Now as we move through, we come to this thing which is called back linking. Now this is an interesting topic. Back linking, oh dear. This if you look down to the right hand corner of the video you will see that I have a big warning signal sign. Let me explain quickly why the warning is there. And then we’ll talk about the topic of back linking.badlinksonyourwebsite

If you go out into the world, I sort of want to sing that song. There’s a song along that lines. Actually no I won’t. I won’t put you through that today. If you go out in to the world and you find yourself someone an SEO agency to do your “search engine marketing” for you, well, what’s going to happen then. 9 times out of 10 they’re going to do one thing and one thing for you. And that is back linking. Yay. No. No. Not yay! This is the last thing you should be doing. If you haven’t got good content on your website, if you don’t have good pages to convert the customers that you do get through, if you don’t have a variation of topical content across a theme, the topic that you talk about on your website, this is going to do you no good whatsoever.

And here’s the thing. If you outsource this to somebody who thinks this is the bee’s knees and the only thing you should be doing when it comes to SEO, here’s what can happen to you. Let me just do a sound effect. [Slapping sound] That’s called the Google slap. Now the Google slap is a real thing. You can just Google it. And Google slap, sorry, you could Google “Google slap” and get an idea of some of the massive big companies that do this.

Now here’s the thing. That having been said Google uses backlinks. And I’m trying to use my words here carefully based on having actually watched Google training videos through their Webmaster Tools YouTube channel. Back linking is a relevant SEO factor.

Here’s how I look at it. Once you’ve got everything else together creating some good solid relevant backlinks, they are the glue that makes everything else work. Folks, you can do all the on page SEO that is possible under the sun ’til you’re green in the face. But that only will take you so far.

Here’s the glue. Here’s the magic. This is what makes it happen. And that’s why I want to talk about it as a separate issue.

Very simply what is a back link for those who aren’t quite sure what?

Very simply it is a link from another website back to yours. We call that a backlink.

Here’s how most people do it. They use tools. They use blog commenting. They use whatever automated process they can possibly get their hand on to make this unbelievably arduous and boring task easier. And they get it done for you however they might be going about doing it.

Now I have a question which has come up here. And I don’t know the exact answer to it. Are Crazy Domains back linking? I’ve got no idea. I’ve never purchased any of their packages for SEO. Crazy Domains, I register domains there, nothing else. That’s all I do.

Here’s my best suggestion though when it comes to is somebody backlinking. Are they backlinking correctly? The answer is NO. They are not doing it correctly if that’s what they’re doing.

Hang on. Rewind Paul. You just said we need to do this. But then you said in your next breath that if anyone is doing this, they’re doing the wrong thing. Yes. I know. I did. Didn’t I? Who’s confused? If you go out doing backlinking or you start paying someone else to do backlinking, chances are they’re doing it wrong.

Here’s who you want to be doing it for you, your customers. You need good organic shares and likes for your content and people linking to content not just through social media but through many different places which we’ll talk about in a moment. There is some that you can do.

But the majority, the 90% must be done by your customers.Quality

How do you know if you’ve got good content on your website? People love it. And they start sharing it. And they start linking to it. That’s the key. If it’s so darn good that other people want to link to it, that’s what you want when it comes to organic real, real people creating the links.

So here’s the things that we need to keep in mind. Number one – the quality of the links. Yeah. Okay. I guess that goes without saying. But some people will still try and sell you. We can get you, you know, when they give you a number, “Hey. We’re going to get you 50 backlinks a month,” run away. If they say we can get you X amount of back links every month, run away. There is no guarantee I should be doing this. Because if you get 20 every month, 25 every month, 13 every month that’s not natural. It’s not going to be remotely natural.

The quality of the links is more important than the number of the links.

Here’s how I evaluate quality. If I have a link on somebody else’s website and one of their customers comes along and has a look at it goes, “Hmm this might be of interest to me.” And that customer of theirs clicks through to my website and goes, “Hey. This is cool. This is what I’m looking for,” that’s a good quality link.

If that person on their website on the other hand clicks through my website and goes, “What the heck is this doing there for?” that’s a bad quality link. It has no relevance. It’s got no use to the customer.

And I want you to understand this principle. Google is all about serving its customers. It’s not about penalizing us. It wants a good user experience for its customers. Therefore, we should seek a good user experience for its customers to then make the miles. Does that make sense?

So quality of links is far more important than number of links. Once upon a time you could just get automatic tools. And hey these even still exist. And you can just pump out and generate thousands of links. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Let’s just go spam linking. Yeah. Yeah. That works really well.

[Slapping sound] There’s that Google slap again. And let me just explain that one for people who haven’t come across it. Google slap means you can basically be de-indexed. Okay. Just like fwoom, Fubar, gone. Not left, gone, completely out of the Google index. And you’re going to work real hard.

So when it comes to creating back links the number one is not the most important thing. Good to have a good number, but it’s not the most important thing. Diversity simply means this. You really don’t want to just link to your home page from every single place that has a link. See that’s what a lot of people will do unless of course you’ve done what I suggested earlier.

And you’ve written some really good content pages, what I call content/conversion pages. And if you’ve written these content pages, people are going to want to link to them. That gives you natural diversity. Does that make sense?

It’s a lot more than just wanting the same keyword phrase link from this particular page 1,000 times all these different websites to your home page. That’s not diverse. That’s the same thing, saying the same thing, linking to the same place the same way every time.

What will that get you? [Slapping sound] There’s that Google slap again. And you could be banned from the Google index. Now if you’re lucky you’ll only get a manual penalty for one page. But I have seen companies get manual penalties for single pages but also site wide. And then they have to go through the process of disavowing all the bad links after they’ve tried to remove them. And you better believe me, when I tell you that’s an expensive and time consuming process.

Got another question here. I’ll see if I can answer this one just now. If I subscribe to a directory will webmaster shop, how many click-throughs to our website? I’m not sure I understand the question. Will Webmaster Tools might be what you’re asking. Sure. And will Webmaster Tools show how many click-throughs to our website? No. You’re Google Analytics will. Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics serve two different purposes. Worthwhile spending some time and just having a look at the training videos in YouTube for each of them to understand the basic differences.

Clicks from other people’s websites will show up in your Analytics under ‘referral traffic’. That’s the area you want to look to. So wrapping up here on our analysis of links, quality, number, and diversity.

There are two different types. There are one way and reciprocal.

  1. One way is from you to them or from them to you. (Yeah. Okay. Easy to understand.)
  2. Reciprocal, you to them and them back to you.

Yeah. Okay. Simple principle. Not going to spend too much time on this. Ideally you want more links coming in to your website, what’s called inbound links than you have going out, outbound links.

Now here’s the thing. Once again if you’ve got good quality awesome unbelievable content, then you will end up with more inbound links. Because people are going to want to link to that content. That’s why it’s so important. And of course, there are those internal links as well. You want your primary conversion pages to have more inbound links from other pages on your website than they have going out.

They should only have one link going out. And that’s the buy now button. Does that make sense? It’s a philosophy more importantly than a technical how-to. The how-to is easy. It really is. But understanding the conceptual philosophy that’s what takes a few, little bit of time for some to get their mind around. Plus when it comes to out to you can always get somebody else to do that for you if need be.Buy Now Orange

So, a couple of other things that are relevant that you may come across when it comes to internal or external linking, backlinks and so on. As I mentioned quality far, far better than quantity. Relevance, so important. It’s got to be relevant to the customer. Page rank, yeah. Well, some of us have probably heard about that, not such a big deal anymore. I’m not going to go in to page rank. It’s one of the Google ranking factors, doesn’t sort of come up that much anymore in terms of its valued importance. It’s just a rank that Google gives to your pages as to how important they think they are. But the ranking factor is becoming less and less important.

Then there’s this other thing called “no follow and do follow”. That is a simple technical term which you really don’t need to be too concerned about. Almost all websites these days are no follow meaning they don’t pass on through the link Google page rank. And the reason why that became an issue a little while back is because of paid links versus not paid. When page rank was still a major factor. It is a factor just not as big.

People were paying for links to get a do follow so that the PR, the Google page rank would be passed on or at least a portion of it with that paid link. Basically with the amount of money you had you could in essence gain the system.

Well, now Google has made it very clearly against their terms of service. You absolutely cannot pay for do follow links. That is a violation of their terms and service. And you will get slapped. Of course, if you come back to what I was talking about earlier, good quality content that other people just love so much, they’re going to link to it themselves anyway. And that causes the ideal solution.

Just a very quick slide here which I wanted to show you talking. And this is just fascinating this one here. It’s a little more, just a little techno garbage for those who may be interested in it, the number of links versus the quality page rank. What’s one, what is one worth, for example? This is a very old slide. It’s from probably 5 or 6 years ago. But I found just recently this year while I was looking at other research that some people were still teaching this. It’s not true. I’ll just tell you now. It’s not true.

So, for example, we have there on the left-hand column that if you were to get 555 links, backlinks I’m talking about, from a page, I’m sorry, page rank 1 web page, that would be equal to if you scroll across a bit to the next one, that would be equal to one link in terms of its authority on a page rank 5 web page. Okay. Here’s my best response to this. Whoop de doo. Who cares? Is it good for your customers? I’m only bringing this up because some people might still try and sell you on this rubbish.

Now don’t get me wrong. A page rank five link is better than a page rank one link all other things being equal. But is it good for the customer? That’s what I want to know and what I want you to understand. So let’s just do a quick hands up, hands down. Let’s see if we understand.

This’ll be for those who have looked into this area a little bit further. This is what they say about link building. And I’m covering this as a topic. Because if you do go to an agency to someone else God forbid you decide to outsource this overseas to someone who’s exceptionally cheap and someone who doesn’t speak your language. You know what I’m talking about. These are the things that you need to know and understand.

Here’s what “they” say about link building. You will generate more traffic building links. Give me a show of hands who think yes. How many think that by building links to your website you can and you will generate more traffic? Okay. We’ve got only 15. Well, hang on, 30%. Going once. Going twice. 30% of you say yes.

Here’s the answer. Yes. Having more links back to your website back to your website but with the qualification of good quality, relevant organic links, not just links anymore. Yes. You absolutely can. Will it will help your search, actually it will help your search ranking which we of course then hope will give you more traffic. So I should qualify that.

So, here’s the next question. You need do follow links for better search engine rank positions. Yes or no. Who says yes? A do follow is a rank, sorry, a link that passes on page rank. Show of hands. Show of hands. Going once. Going twice. And nobody. Everyone says no on this one. You need do follow links for better search engine ranked positions.

Well, do follow rank, I’m sorry, do follow links do help pass on page rank. As long as you haven’t paid for them and yes that actually can help you get better search engine rank positions. But I mean it’s such a small factor these days. Let’s not be too concerned. Here we go.

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Authority sites are better than non-authority sites.

Now an authority site is just one of those mega sites out there. I’ll just leave it at that. Show of hands. Who says yes? Authority sites are better to get links from non-authority sites. Would you, do you think it’s better to get links from sites that are big massive and huge than those that are not? 10% says yes. 15% going once. Going twice. Oh, we’ve got 20. Can we hit 30? 35, this is a winner. That’s exactly right. Far better to have a link from a good powerful relevant site to your market to your customers than from an itty bitty little site that’s started. Yes. That is true.

Of course these big sites are not ever going to link to you in a million years unless what? Unless you have awesome content which brings me back to yes, what I said before. How about aging sites like a good wine? Are aged sites better than a new site for your links? Show of hands. Who says yes, better to get a link from a site that’s been around for a long time? Okay. I only got a couple of people there, not too many at all. All right. Well I guess I’m showing a bit of a pattern here. Yes. It is better to get a link from a site that has got an established authority and being around for some time than one that has just started. You see, a lot of people used to think that you could gain the system by, you know, they’d be building sort of their own blog network. And this has been a topic in SEO just in this past month. Of course, they’re all brand new sites. Far better to have a site that’s well established with a good customer following for you.

Last one. And a lot of people think this. So you need to build back links for your back links which means you’re creating back links to your website. And you need to then get links to those links, of course, to give those links some kind of authority.

So show of hands. So show of hands, who says that this is a good idea building back links for your back links? Getting links to your links basically what we’re talking about. Okay. Got a couple of people there, couple of people. Anyone else? Going once. Going twice. Who else thinks building links to your links is a good idea?

Okay. Absolutely no. That’s insanity. You certainly don’t want to be doing that one. Let your links be built naturally by your customers. And you’ll never have that particular problem.

Okay. Let’s move on. Because I know I have some good questions waiting on me as well.

Here is the best types of links. You’ve got suppliers. You’ve got people out there who sell their product or service to you to then on sale. They’re great. Always good. Good for their customers. Good for you. Nothing wrong with having a reciprocal link to direct to them. They link to you for that type of people.Blog (1)

Helpful customers, sorry, helpful to your customers. Any links that are going to be good to your customers again okay for a reciprocal link, a link to them. And they don’t have to give you a link back but good if they do. And of course something that offers value, there is something in the WordPress area called the blog roll. It’s just a place where you can put automatic links out to other people. And they’d be for your best possible, you know, this is really, really good for your customers.

And let me ask you this. Do you think you are more likely to get a link from somebody back to you if you are already linking to them?

Yes. Course you are. Here’s the thing. Don’t do it for the link. Do it because it’s good for your customers.

So let’s look at these other things. Strategic alliances, I guess that’s pretty much like a reciprocal link there. But you’re in a partnership of some sort. Good to get links from those people back to you. There are paid directories out there such as, you know, the Yahoo directory. Look, just I don’t know if Hotfrog is paid or not. But it’s another business directory.

If you Google top ten Australian business directories you’ll come up with a listing of a whole bunch where you can get the links. Some are fee. Some are free. But they’re all worthwhile being in there if, what’s the prerequisite?

If it’s good for your customers. And that, of course, if we scroll around to the right on this particular image, we look at the directory listings there. This thing called Citations which I mentioned earlier is part of your Google Plus profile, really good to have that. Now question 8 came up, which I didn’t get to answer at that point of time was without Google Plus can we put a post office box? No. Google needs a real address. I’ve got people that, clients who work from home. And they just have their accountant’s address, nothing wrong with that. I have a serviced office. I use that. And I pay rent for that, okay to do it that way. But it’s a real land based address by location. Social media linking, always good. There are lots of publicity places out there. You can get free publicity in say, the Newswise, newspapers, radio.

Demos? The demo’s directory, not used that much anymore. Just Google it if you haven’t heard of it before hand to get yourself listed in there. It’s a very powerful directory in terms of good for customers but also good for SEO.

There are still some article directories out there which might be of value to your industry. But I am going to ask that you stay away from the “article directories.” You only want to get your articles if you’re writing content of blogs or, you know, forums and things like that. You only want to get your stuff published in a directory which only publishes your topical content stuff. You don’t want to waste your time any more writing articles. And article marketing is still a valid area. But not writing content that’s going to get posted up with 50,000 other topics. Because that’s just for SEO.anchor-text-picture

Let’s talk about what’s called the anchor text. This is important. When we come to things like the actual technical of how to make this happen the link back to your website could be your website or it could be what’s called anchor text. In this example, “Available now. Small business training course for small business owners.” See that? The underlined blue, “Small business training course?” That’s called anchor text. It’s a hyperlink that they can click on to then go back to your websites.

Now you’d use this same principle on your pages with internal links as you would off your pages with external links, very, very important. Make note of this, very important to vary the anchor text. You must vary the anchor text around. Share it around. Share the love is the best way to say it. And also vary the actual page length that it goes to which of course what? You know what comes next, leads back to having a couple of, maybe a half a dozen solid content conversion pages on different topics.

11971252291061148562zeimusu_Warning_notification.svg.medCan you see why they are so important, not just for your internal SEO, not just for your conversions but your external off page SEO as well, vitally important. Be warned. Little warning sign is down there as well. If you repeat the same anchor text over and over again linking just to your homepage over and over again, you will get slapped. Because that’s pretty much not what people do. That’s not organic. It’s not natural.

Press releases are another great way to get links to your website. Now I’m not going to spend too much time on this. If you’re interested in getting online press releases just go back to the information pack for this section. And you can start getting these out.

Personally, I haven’t used press releases. I’ve been fortunate. I haven’t needed to. The good thing about them is you can get a bucket load of reasonably quality links pretty quickly. The bad thing about them is they last all of about 3 to 5 days if that. Because obviously there are more press releases that follow. But they can help, worthwhile looking at.

Okay. I’ve just clicked the wrong button there. That thing decided to actually send me through. Well its, try back here, one moment. Okey dokey. Here we go.And the warning, the final warning I think in this particular session is the article marketing which I mentioned earlier.

And I’m just going to say this. There are still good places where you can publish your content. Does anyone read Business Matters Magazine? Get a copy of this current issue, came out on Tuesday. I was very happy to find that an article which I had written for that offline magazine was the featured one. Page 6, bang, there it was. How good, felt honored to be that featured article.

Here it is in Print (Issue 69)

Here it is in Print (Issue 69)

Now that’s just one magazine. And yes it also was reprinted online in a sort of different format not necessarily for a linking purpose but awesome for their customers who become my customers. There are many places where you can write good quality content. And then you can publish it. The key is to find stuff within your niche within your marketplace within your topic where the website that’s publishing it isn’t being shared, sorry, isn’t being shared by 100, 200, 500 other niche topics as well.

Now about a year and a half ago there was a massive big crackdown on some of the big article marketing sites out there. And they all got the Google slap. And those people who were using them, a lot of them got the Google slap as well. Because they were just publishing poor quality content, in a word crap on their websites because it was quick, because it was easy. And it was for the purpose of generating a link.

If there’s one thing that you want to take home today when it comes to off page SEO and back link building you do not do it for the purposes of generating a link. You do it to please the people. That’s it. Make the customer happy. Google will love you for it. All right. Google going to go groovy, going to love you for it unbelievably if you just get your head out of the SEO and start thinking people.

How about blogging? Give me a quick show of hands? How many people here have a blog? Okay. Come on. There’s got to be more than that. Yeah. Quick show of hands. Wow. Okay. Only 10%. The rest of you need a blog.

Oh no, man. I mean you need a blog. That is just non-negotiable. You need a blog. And you need it to be on your website, not on somebody else’s website like WordPress.org or Blogger or Tumblr or somewhere else. You need it on your website. Two reasons why.

  1. Firstly and fore mostly it’s awesome to have great content on your website.
  2. The other reason of course is as you stop putting awesome content on your website, that people are going to want to link to through your blog.

Along the lines of that actually happening you get to create some really cool internal links from within the posts that you’re putting on your blog. Someone came to me a little while back said, “Paul, I’d like you to do some SEO for me. But I don’t want to have a blog.”

I said, “Guess what? I can’t do SEO for you. I can’t help you. No blog. No SEO.” Far as I’m concerned absolutely not.

Because when I publish something to my blog it also gets published straight to my social media profiles. That gets shared around. It also goes straight out to feed burner which is an RSS feed through another Google property. And that goes out to my blog subscribers. They get to share that around. That gets picked up by content publishers around the world who then republish some links to my content which they publish a paragraph. And it links back.

And it just goes on and on and on. And all I did was just publish from my blog.

Plus Google loves fresh updated relevant topical content. So you must have a blog. And yes it’s okay to guest blog for others. Just make sure that you’re not doing it for the link. You’re doing it for customer. And the stuff you write for them is freaking awesome.

Because when their customers read it they’re going to go, “Wow. I want to know these people.” And I’ve done this in the past with great success, not just written articles. But I would write never an article. I’d write a series of articles. And I’d offer it to someone and say, “Look I think you got a fantastic website.”

Of course their website gets more traffic than mine. I wouldn’t bother offering it to someone that gets less traffic. I want some of their traffic. That’s what I’m after. So I write a series. Sometimes I’ve done a complete video series and offer that with the transcripts to them. Boy you can bet that generates some good traffic along the way. So from there you need to do that. And just simply get it out.

So, you want a good example? Just look me up on Google, paulbarrs.com. And you’ll see how my blog just fits into that. Go to the Creative Collective. Have a look at their blog. Look at some of the content they write. I also write some things for them from time to time as well.

Okay? Find and get your content out there. And there’s just so many more things. We’re just about out of time today. So I’m going to quickly go through these.

You don’t just have to be writing content. You can be doing slides. You can be doing videos. You can be doing podcasts. You can be doing infographics, so many different things. The whole point is to get your content syndicated like I just mentioned through that blog.

And here’s a couple of great graphics that show you getting your stuff out there. Why would you just want it published once? Okay? I regularly have content that gets picked up from people literally all around the world. And they pick up my headline in the headline in the first paragraph or so and then link back to me to read the rest. Now I know that those things are done through automatic tools. But I’m not doing it.

It’s other people that are doing it. And it is good for me. It brings me actual traffic because they’re business publications. They do it to get their, generate their own SEO, strange way of doing it by, you know, what’s called content curation and making other people’s content or snippets of it. But they do it for their own SEO rankings. And at the same time it also benefits me.

And Google tolerates it because it’s good for the customer. So just quickly wrapping up, key work tools, we covered some of this last week. The AdWords Keyword Planner and Market Samurai is another one. There’s it, you can look at some of these tools through Majestic SEO and so on. Look, go back to the workbook for this section. We’ve run out of time on this one just now. Here’s what you need to do. Understand it. And then if you can look at ways to outsource it. Set yourself a target. Get your content up on your website working first and then go to it.

All in all it’s so important that you develop link worthy content. That is the most important thing. It’s got to be link worthy content. It’s got to be so damned good people are just going to want to link to it. They can’t help but link to it. They just need to tell their friends about it. And that’s how you build good back links.

Okay. We have run out of time for the moment. I had a few bonus slides in there to do Analytics, not necessarily relevant to this topic. But if we did have the time, which we don’t, worthwhile though just monitoring your analytics and through Webmaster Tools you can find what people are linking to you and through analytics you can find what people are coming to you through those links.

So folks, we need to wrap up. I’ll take a question or two. I’ve got a couple here I just wanted to answer before we finish up. If you have another one please just post it in the questions section. Now I’ll do my best just to answer these questions. Not sure how this is actually related, the first one.

We have someone writing here.

“My domain is currently parked with Crazy Domains, has been for 14 months. Why do I, when I utilize AdWords get all of their keywords such as register domain websites?” Well your domain is parked with them. Does that mean it is being hosted by them or it just parked? Parked means you don’t have a website. It’s just with them.

But if your AdWords is not generating the right kind of traffic for you then you need to edit your AdWords campaigns because that’s where the problem is. It’s got nothing to do with where the website itself is actually hosted. That is a different topic which is covered elsewhere by Evesp [SP]. I believe in this particular series. But the problem sound like it lies with the AdWords.

Okay. And one other question that I wanted to answer just quickly. Oh, I always get this question.

“How long, how much content should we be writing for a good content page?”

Here’s my best answer. As much as you need to say to say what needs to be said but not so much that with what you write the customer who’s reading it gets bored, which of course brings up another question. How much content ’til they get bored?

Well, of everyone who dropped in here an hour ago to listen to this, only one person has left as I finish this recording. No one has gotten bored obviously but kept you interested. You want to do that with your content as well. Studies have shown that 800 to 1,000, maybe 1,100 words or so, which is basically two, perhaps 3 or 4 pages depending on how big your font is. That’s enough for a good solid in-depth article, good solid content.bored with blogs

More than that you’re getting into essay mode, and a lot of people do get bored. So it depends on your customers and your marketplace, how long your content should be. But you want to test that. If you write a good content page, and it is a couple of pages, a four pages long then you want to have a look at how much time people spend on that page. If they spend a minute or three and then they leave, yeah they’re bored. Okay? If they spend 5 to 10 minutes you know they’re reading the whole thing. And your analytics will tell you that.

Okay. Folks we need to wrap it up just there. I can press stop on this recording and say thank you very much again for joining with me, really glad you could come along. Great to have you here. And then I hope that you’re enjoying and getting a lot of information out of the program.

I’ll be jumping in to the on page area within the Facebook group shortly after I have some time to wait and see if there are any questions. Any further questions that I have missed I apologize. But just pop them in there. And I’ll do my best to answer them for you as well. Have a great evening. Talk to you soon. Bye, bye.