Backlinks Explained – Everything a Small Business Owner with a Website Needs to Know

If you have heard the term backlinks before, it is probably in relation to SEO. In fact, most SEO professionals believe that backlinks are one of the most important factors to consider when trying to improve the ranking of your website on Google.

What are backlinks, though, and how do you get them?

What Are Backlinks?

The term backlink is used to refer to a situation where a third-party website links to another website. We just did it in the previous sentence. The phrase “term backlink” is linked to the backlink entry on Wikipedia. Therefore, we just gave Wikipedia a backlink.

Another term you might hear in relation to backlinks is anchor text. This is the word or phrase that makes up the link. In the above example, the anchor text was the phrase “term backlink”.

How Does Google Use Backlinks?

The Google search platform is based on a computer algorithm. Of course, that algorithm is big, very advanced, incredibly complex, and, as far as computer programmes go, intelligent.

It is still just a computer programme, though.

So, how can the Google algorithm determine the ranking of two web pages on the same topic? In real life, there are usually hundreds or thousands of web pages on any particular topic that Google has to rank, but for the purposes of this explanation, we’ll limit the example to two.

Google uses what’s called ranking factors to determine which of the two pages is better than the other. As it is a computer algorithm, these ranking factors are objective, i.e. page A has ranking factor 1 which is good, but lacks ranking factor 2, which is bad.

Okay, that is a bit over-simplistic, but you get the idea.

The fact that ranking factors are objective is important, however. After all, if a person was making the same decision, they would use subjective and objective reasoning.

One way that Google gets around this shortcoming (that it can’t use subjective reasoning) is to tap into the subjective reasoning of humans. It does this using backlinks.

So, backlinks are a ranking factor that helps Google decide which of the two pages in this example is better than the other.

For example, page A might have more backlinks than page B. From Google’s point of view, this means more people have used their objective and subjective reasoning in favour of page A than B, therefore it should rank higher.

Other factors come into consideration too, of course – around 200 of them. Backlinks are one of the most important.

Not All Backlinks Are the Same

Before going any further, it is important to also understand that not all backlinks are the same. Here are the main examples:

  • Website authority – a backlink from a website that has high authority on the internet will be worth more than a backlink from lower authority websites. Therefore, getting links from trusted websites that get high levels of traffic and that regularly appear on Google search results pages will help to improve your ranking in Google.
  • Links from the same source – getting a backlink from a website is good, but the more links you get from the same website, the less powerful or helpful they become. Google’s thinking behind this is that lots of backlinks from the same source don’t hold as much weight as backlinks from multiple sources. Also, lots of backlinks from the same source could be an indication that a website is trying to game the system.
  • Related content – it is also better to get a backlink from content that has some relevance to the content of your own website. For example, let’s say you own a jewellery store and your wife owns a construction company. Getting your wife to put a backlink on her construction company website to your jewellery store website is unlikely to very helpful to your SEO efforts. It is much better, in this situation, to get backlinks from jewellery blogs and other websites in the jewellery industry.
  • Do Follow / No Follow – when a third-party website gives you a backlink, it can either be a Do Follow backlink (which has a dofollow tag) or a No Follow backlink (which has a nofollow tag). The dofollow and nofollow tags tell Google whether or not the website wants Google to follow the link to see the content on your web page. Therefore, Do Follow links are the much better option.

Backlink Warnings

The above section highlights some of the dangers when trying to increase the number of backlinks to your website to improve your ranking in Google. After all, on the surface, there is a simple solution – Google likes backlinks so get as many of them as possible from wherever you can.

Lots of people have come before you with that thought, though, with many of them using dishonest practices to obtain backlinks. Over the years, Google has responded to this by implementing updates to its algorithm which help it separate good and honest backlinks from those that are trying to trick the algorithm.

So, here are a few things you should avoid when getting backlinks to your website:

  • The anchor text warning – it is good when third-party websites use keywords when they give you a backlink. If this happens too often, however, it can look like over-optimisation which can get you hit with a penalty. Therefore, there must be variety in the anchor text of your backlinks.
  • The getting lots of links, including paying for them, warning – this usually doesn’t work and even when it does, the positive effects don’t last. The much more effective strategy is to get good backlinks from high-quality websites on a consistent basis.
  • The source of backlinks warning – there are steps you can take to encourage websites to give you backlinks, but they should come in naturally. The example above of a jewellery website getting a backlink from a construction company is a good example of a forced or unnatural backlink strategy.

If you can’t do these things, what can you do to get backlinks to your website? There are lots of strategies and methods you can use that are all above board. However, they all centre around one essential and indispensable point… a point which is our number one tip for getting backlinks.

Number 1 Tip for Getting Backlinks

Create content that is valuable to your readers and that they love reading.

People will give you backlinks without you even asking them if you create fantastic content on your website. This could be infographics, blogs, articles, reports, white papers, discussion documents, help guides, or anything else that will be helpful, informative, or entertaining for your audience.

The more of this type of content you create, the more good-quality and useful backlinks you will get.

Choosing an SEO Agency Auckland

You are probably reading this because you want to get more traffic to your website from Google and need help to achieve this goal. This means hiring an SEO agency Auckland. The problem is, there are so many companies and consultants out there – how do you make the right choice?

Here are some tips and ideas to ensure you get the right SEO agency Auckland as well as maximum return on investment.

When It Comes to SEO, Experience Counts

As we develop and implement strategies for companies on a daily basis, we know for a fact you learn something new about SEO every day. This could be something small, but it all builds to a broader scope of knowledge that enables you to offer a service that achieves the best possible results.

Therefore, experience in the SEO industry counts.

When looking at SEO agencies in Auckland, make sure they have direct experience delivering SEO projects, ideally for companies similar to yours.

It is important to remember when considering experience that knowledge of SEO and experience of actually implementing SEO strategies are two completely different things. When you start looking for an SEO agency to work with, you will encounter many so-called and self-appointed experts. Just because they can talk the talk, however, doesn’t mean they can deliver in the real world.

There simply is no substitution for practical SEO experience.

Certifications and Qualifications Indicate Skill Levels

Certifications and qualifications are not an essential requirement, but they can indicate commitment as well as demonstrating the SEO agency’s skills.

There are lots of certifications and qualifications you can get in SEO, with some more prestigious and weighty than others. At Kiwi Website Design, we have chosen to focus on Google certifications, becoming a Google Partner. After all, Google is the most used search engine in New Zealand.

References and Testimonials Are Important

References and testimonials can also help you decide which SEO agency to choose. When reading references or testimonials, look for specific information, including details of results achieved. This is much more useful in your decision-making process than generic information.

Also, if you know any of the individuals or companies who have given the SEO agency a reference, pick up the phone and call them. Asking them directly about their experience will make you even more informed.

A Clear Strategy and Plan are Essential

Any reputable and worthwhile SEO agency will also give you a clear outline of the strategy they will implement as well as a plan for doing so. Before going any further, if an agency promises they will get you to number one spot on Google, you should be very concerned. Such promises cannot be kept so are simply hot air.

What should be in the strategy and plan, then? The SEO agency should first tell you exactly what they are going to do. Therefore, you should not put up with vague statements. Also, don’t let them drift into jargon and technical language as it really isn’t necessary.

It is also important you get an understanding of the SEO agency’s keyword strategy in relation to their overall plan, i.e. how will they identify keywords and how will they optimise your website for those keywords?

Crucially, make sure the agency focuses on keywords that will deliver results for your business. This means keywords that have buying intent. So, if you are a painter, for example, an SEO agency could include the keyword “painter” in its plans. However, better keywords to target are “painter in Auckland” or “painting services” or “painting services in Auckland” as these all indicate a stronger buying intent than “painter”.

Avoid Strategies Google Considers as Spam

Make sure you confirm with the SEO agency they will only use what is known in the SEO industry as “white hat” techniques. White hat techniques are the opposite of black hat SEO techniques.

Black hat SEO involves using techniques designed to get around or trick Google’s search algorithm. Google refers to this as spam. If caught, using these techniques result in severe penalties that can include getting dumped out of Google’s search results completely. Also, just to make the previous sentence clearer, “if caught” doesn’t sufficiently describe the risk as most websites using black hat SEO techniques do get caught.

Why would an SEO agency ever consider black hat SEO given the risks? This is a good question and the answer is that black hat SEO can deliver fast results. However, over the medium and long-term, any initial results will be completely wiped out with the website often ending up in a worse position.

Therefore, you should only use an SEO agency that uses white hat techniques exclusively. You should also remember that SEO does not deliver immediate results. Instead, you should aim for consistent improvements over the longer term.

Focus on Return on Investment Rather than Cost

The final tip for choosing an SEO agency Auckland is to focus on return on investment rather than cost. Of course, you will have to choose a quote and proposal that is within your budget. However, there is no point going for a cheap option if it doesn’t deliver results.

Remember as well: SEO takes time to deliver real gains for your business. Therefore, make sure the contract you agree is for a long enough period of time to achieve results. How long will that take?

The answer to this depends on a range of factors. For most businesses, however, you will start seeing initial results after three months with more tangible indications of success after around six months.

Making a Choice for the Long-Term

The final thing you should be aware of when choosing an SEO agency Auckland relates to the fact that SEO is an ongoing process. It is also a process that requires consistency. In an ideal situation, therefore, you will choose an SEO agency who will work with your business over the long term.

As a result of this, make sure you like and trust the people you are dealing with. They should have a commitment to delivering for your business and a willingness to work with you for as long as it takes. This will make the process of SEO easier as well as delivering better results and a better return on investment.

Top Reasons Your Website Is Not Ranking

Website owners across Auckland dream of their website appearing on the coveted first page of Google, where 40,000 search queries are conducted every second.

It’s likely you have the same wish.

As a result, you probably invested a significant amount in your website to make it look great. You may have even engaged the services of an SEO agency Auckland.

Despite these efforts, you may still be asking: “why isn’t my website ranking?”.

It’s frustrating when your website appears lower than your competitors on search results pages as you know you are losing potential customers. After all, websites that appear on the first page get almost all the traffic, with the greatest proportion of traffic going to those at the top.

Below you will find the top five reasons that prevent a website from ranking well in Google search. Identifying where your problems are and then resolving them will mean you can leave your frustrations behind.

Reason 1: Fierce Competition

Over 3.5 billion Google searches are made each day with website owners working hard to get to the front page of search results that are relevant to them. With so many websites using every trick available to compete for the attention of readers, it is often difficult to achieve a solid rank.

While true, the above paragraph is a broad generalisation. In fact, the level of difficulty you face ranking on Google depends on the niche you operate in. For example, it is probably far easier for a blogger writing about miniature figurines to rank well than it is for a blogger writing about rugby or movies.

This is because the more popular the subject, the more content there will be available. If you are a blogger writing on a popular subject or a local business operating with a lot of competitors, it will naturally be more difficult for you to rank highly.

If you’re going up against fierce competition, you will need to operate with a rigorous SEO Auckland strategy to find success.

Reason 2: Poor Long-Tail Keyword Strategy

The most popular and most general search terms usually return results from the largest and most well-established websites.

For example, an iPhone owner doing a search for “iPhone screen” will probably see search results from Apple’s website as well as the websites of major national and online retailers.

However, a user with a cracked iPhone screen searching for “iPhone screen repair in Mount Albert” will see results from local businesses offering iPhone screen repair. In other words, these businesses should target their SEO efforts at keywords like “iPhone screen repair in Mount Albert” rather than more general terms.

This example demonstrates how websites should focus on developing a strong long-tail keyword strategy. This means optimising for keywords with a low SEO difficulty. With this strategy, your website will see a boost in traffic that comes from searches that are more specific.

Reason 3: On-Page Optimisation

Search engines rely on crawlers to categorise and rank pages. Those crawlers look at important meta information and the structure of pages to determine what the page is about and confirm it is of an appropriate level of quality.

There are essential steps that every website owner must take when it comes to on-page optimisation.

Luckily, there is a lot of advice and guidance available. With over five million installations, Yoast SEO is the world’s most popular WordPress SEO plugin and can help website owners make sure they’re ticking all the on-page optimisation boxes, including (but not limited to):

  • Keywords used correctly in titles, descriptions, and URLs
  • Pages are the optimal length and structured efficiently
  • Alt tags are used properly
  • Sentences are the right length
  • Text uses an active rather than a passive voice

Thinking properly about on-page optimisation is an important step to improving your ranking and boosting your traffic.

Reason 4: Black Hat Practices

Google and other search engines use complex algorithms that constantly evolve.

SEO professionals try to keep up with these changes, regularly monitoring which techniques achieve results and which ones are outdated. You can find a register of all the announced algorithm changes on moz.com, where you can see the regularity of updates.

Working according to accepted SEO best practice, taking note of algorithm changes, and following Google’s rules, is often referred to as White Hat SEO.

In an effort to get traffic, however, some website owners (or others working on their behalf) turn to Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO involves using techniques that break Google’s rules to get to the top of search results pages as fast as possible.

Google and other search engines are increasingly effective at fighting back against these techniques. That said, there are still some who persist in using Black Hat techniques.

The stakes are high: domains caught using Black Hat techniques can see their ranking diminished or they can even be blacklisted entirely.

If you haven’t actively engaged in these techniques your website should be fine. If you have used them in the past, or someone else has used them on your website, this could be another reason it is not ranking.

Reason 5: Poor Technical Optimisation

The content found on your website isn’t the only ranking factor as the structure and technical performance of your website is becoming more important.

In November 2016, mobile traffic officially overtook desktop traffic for the first time. It is still becoming more and more common for audiences to turn to mobile devices, and those users expect a speedy and smooth experience, regardless of the device they choose.

In response to this, Google announced in January 2018 that the loading speed of mobile websites would factor into the ordering of search results. Mobile-first indexing has arrived too, which means Google uses the mobile version of websites to index and rank pages.

Therefore, ensuring your website loads fast on mobile has never been more important. So, poor technical optimisation could be the reason your website is not ranking.

In fact, you can use Google’s Test My Site tool to get an idea of how your website performs on mobile.

This tool reveals how many seconds your website takes to load and how this impacts the percentage of visitors you stand to lose.

Bring It All Together

Any of these factors could be the reason your website is not ranking, if not a combination of multiple ones.

Conducting an accurate and thorough audit of your website according to the points above should help when it comes to ensuring your website ranks as highly as possible on Google.

Achieving Website Development Success – Part 1 – Initial Planning

Many people become frustrated with website development projects. For others, the process might be smooth, but the result doesn’t live up to expectations. These situations occur when you fail to properly plan for a new website design project.

Now, before going on, you might be thinking it is up to the website designer to plan the project for you. Of course, they need a plan too, but there are also things you need to do, think about, and/or be aware of. By doing these things, you will end up with a better and more successful website.

Three Important Things to Remember Before You Start

  1. Your website is about users, not you – try not to design the website for you or from the perspective of your business. Instead, make it about the users by focusing on why they will want to visit your website and what they want to achieve by doing so.
  2. The website you get at the end of the development process is not static. In fact, you should never consider your website as being finished. A good website should be a dynamic tool that changes and adapts according to the needs of your business.
  3. The value of your website should not be underestimated. After all, it is one of the first experiences people will have with your company.

Understand that Website Development is a Marketing Function

Website development is often mistaken as being a technical task, but it’s not. Instead, website development is a marketing function. After all, your website is a marketing tool, so the process of getting a new website developed should be led by your marketing team.

Decide on the Website’s Main Objectives

What do you want your business to achieve by getting a new website? This could be any one or a combination of the following common objectives:

  • Enhance the profile of your brand
  • Make sales directly on the website (if it’s an eCommerce website)
  • Generate leads
  • Get potential customers to phone or email your business
  • Encourage people to visit your physical location
  • Register
  • Click on ads

Being clear about the objectives of your website is essential before you can move on.

What Do You Want the Website to Do?

You should also decide on the functionality you want the website to have. You don’t have to make a final list at this stage as the website developer you choose can help you with this part of the process. If there are things you want, however, list them out.

Remember as well, you might not be able to get all the functionality on your wish list. After all, you probably have a set budget that you must stay within, which may restrict the features you can have.

Two Additional Points to Consider at this Stage

  • Brand – many small businesses don’t have a brand when they decide to get a new website. If this applies in your situation, you will need to get a brand either as part of the website development process (if the developer has designers with branding and logo creation skills) or separate to it. You should factor this into your budget.
  • Domain name – if you don’t already have one, you will also need a domain name.

The Next Stages

In part 2 of this series, we’ll look at the process of selecting and beginning work with a developer.

The Importance of Having Objectives for Your Website’s Pages

Our website should be an extension of the sales and marketing efforts of your business. In other words, if your website is not helping you attract and retain customers, there is something wrong. The best way to make your website effective at generating sales is to have clearly defined objectives on each page.

An objective is an action you want the visitor to take as a result of visiting the page or your website in general. Examples include:

  • Call your business
  • Visit your business
  • Send a query
  • Become a lead
  • Download something
  • Make a purchase
  • Register with your website
  • Sign up to your email list

All the examples above either generate an immediate sale or give you the opportunity of making the sale at a later date.

You Can Have More than One Objective Per Page

You don’t need to pick just one of the above for the pages on your website. In fact, it is better to offer multiple options relevant to the particular page, as well as multiple options per page.

For example, a visitor might research the products or services you offer but are not ready to buy immediately. In this situation, you might encourage them to sign up to your email list. In other words, this page will have two objectives depending on the visitor’s intentions.

The Importance of Defining a Page’s Objectives

Your website developer will be responsible for implementing the objectives on the pages, i.e. the developer will add the forms, call-to-action elements, shopping carts, maps, and more that will deliver on the page’s objective.

In addition, a good website developer will help create the right user flow, so the visitor gets presented with objective one and then objective two if objective one is not immediately applicable.

Defining the page’s objectives, however, is crucial to this process. Here are some examples using the objectives in the list above:

  • Call your business – include your phone number in a highly visible location on every page as well as including it as a call-to-action with the text on each page.
  • Visit your business – ensure there is a prominent and easy to use map on the contact page of your website and possibly also the home page.
  • Send a query – include a form that enables visitors to send a query. You should also ensure the form is in a highly visible location on each page.
  • Become a lead – include a positive and persuasive message as well as a prominent form encouraging the visitor to send you their details for your sales team to get back to them.
  • Download something – you have multiple options with this objective depending on the download. They include offering the download within the page, in a timed popup, or in a popup that appears when the visitor goes to leave your website.
  • Make a purchase – include large and highly visible Add to Cart buttons and ensure the checkout process is as easy and secure as possible.
  • Register with your website – make the registration option visible on all pages, give a compelling reason for registration, and make the registration process easy to complete.
  • Sign up to your email list – strategies for this objective include adding welcome mats, in-content calls-to-action, popups, and more.

Whatever industry you are in, and whatever type of website you have, every page should have a clear objective. By doing this, you are more likely to make it clear to the visitor what you want them to do next. This will improve the results you get from your website.

How You Can Get on the First Page of Google

How You Can Get First Page of Google

You have probably heard many people talk about how important it is to get on the first page of Google. After all, most research says the first page of Google gets 70-75 percent of the available clicks. What does getting on the first page of Google mean, though?

It means a lot of things, in fact. The easiest part is getting onto the first page of Google, ideally position one, for the name of your business. This is not enough in the real world of business as your name only catches those people who already know about you. What about all those people searching for keywords related to your industry?

There is a difficult truth to grasp when you consider this question. That truth is that in almost all industries, you won’t be able to get onto page one of Google for your industry’s main keywords. Why? Without getting too technical, it is because of the way Google works. It looks at the authority of a domain and how many links it has as well as about 200 other things. If your domain authority is lower than your competitors and you have fewer links, you won’t be able to beat them.

At least, you won’t be able to compete head-to-head with the big competitors using traditional methods. There are ways to get to page one of Google, however, if you are creative. In fact, there are four ways.

Getting to Page One of Google

The first thing is to forget about targeting the popular, high-traffic keywords – this is the traditional method described above. Leave the big competitors to fight over those keywords themselves.

While they are doing that, there are easier and much less costly strategies you can deploy.

Target Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are typically more than two or three words. For example, one of the main keywords for a property management company might be:

“Houses for rent”

Examples of long-tail keywords, however, would be:

“Houses for rent in Mount Eden” or “houses for rent in Mount Eden under $600 per week”

Long-tail keywords like the examples above are easier to rank for. They also generate lower levels of traffic but that traffic will add up when you target a lot of them. In addition, long-tail keywords usually also have better conversion rates as they are used by people closer to a buying decision.

Start Blogging

Blogging is a good way of targeting long-tail keywords and attracting traffic from social media and links from other websites. To be successful, however, you need to do the following:

Blogs

  • Publish more posts than your competitors
  • Publish better quality posts
  • Ensure your posts are keyword focused

 

Use Google AdWords

Most search results pages worth targeting contain ads. Crucially, these ads dominate the top of those search results pages with up to four ads on display before the first organic search result. Therefore, if you want to get page one, use Google AdWords.

Get Featured on Other Websites

In many industries, it is also often possible to get featured on other websites that do appear on page one. One example is a review website. You will need to spend time reaching out to the authors of reviews on those websites, but getting into their reviews is an indirect way of getting onto page one. Another good example is in the property management industry, i.e. listing your properties on the main property portals.

By taking a more strategic and targeted approach to SEO, you can get onto page one of Google, whoever you are.

Uncovering the Lies So-Called SEO Experts Tell

Lies So-Called SEO Experts Tell You

So, you’ve received an email or seen an ad from someone calling themselves an SEO expert telling you how much they can help your business. Maybe you are searching for SEO services and see similar claims on websites. How can you tell which claims are real and what are downright lies? Below are the main lies that so-called SEO experts use to get your business.

Lie 1: “I’ll get you to the first page of Google” or “I’ll get you to number one in Google”

Google and only Google knows where it will rank websites. There isn’t any SEO professional in the world, expert or otherwise, who can predict with accuracy what they will achieve. This particularly applies to long-term results and competitive industries.

Lie 2: “I can rank any industry and any product”

Nope, this isn’t true either. The world of Google search for some industries is incredibly competitive. If you are in one of those industries you will be up against competitors with huge SEO and marketing budgets. Their size, reputation, and industry authority alone is likely to be more appealing to Google than your website, and there is little any SEO expert can do about that.

Lie 3: “SEO is the only digital marketing strategy you need”

Again, not true. Even before SEO, honest and successful marketing strategists would advise the use of multiple marketing channels to get the best results. This applies in the digital world as much as the offline world. Also, Google is a business. It wants you to spend money on advertising – SEO is not the only show in town.

Lie 4: “SEO is complex”

Usually so-called SEO experts say this because they don’t want to explain what they are really doing with your money. This is normally because they are not doing very much and/or what they are doing is unethical. Of course, SEO is not easy, but anyone willing to spend a couple of hours reading the basics will have sufficient knowledge to understand an SEO strategy. If the person you’re speaking to won’t give you details because it’s “too complex”, go somewhere else.

Lie 5: “I understand Google’s algorithm”

Unless they work in Google, this isn’t true. Even SEO’s foremost authorities openly say they do not know exactly how the algorithm works. When a one-man-band operating from a small office in Auckland says he does, you can safely assume it’s not true.

Lie 6: “Getting lots of links is all you need to rank”

Links are good, but only good quality ones. Link building should be a natural process that happens consistently over time. Link spamming to get you “lots of links” will only result in a Google penalty.

SEO expert

Lie 7: “Some duplicate content is okay”

Google representatives have said repeatedly that the algorithm doesn’t like duplicate content. It is never okay.

Lie 8: “Everything is about keywords”

Like links, keywords are important, but they are not everything. Keyword stuffing, focussing only on keywords, and using keywords in an unnatural way will not get you anywhere – and may also get you a penalty.

Lie 9: “Quantity is better than quality”

Quality links and quality content is always beat than quantity. Remember, one of Google’s main pieces of advice when thinking about SEO is that you should focus on user experience. That means quality wins every time.

Getting the Right SEO Help

Getting someone to do SEO for your website is not always easy. The first step, however, is to avoid anyone who tells any of the above lies.

Why Your Google AdWords Ads Aren’t Making You Money Plus Steps to Take to Improve Them

Running a Google AdWords campaign can be a frustrating process. After all, you can see loads of ads when you do a search for your targeted keywords, so somebody must be making money. Also, if you read about digital marketing you will know that many businesses achieve significant returns on investment from AdWords. Why, then, are your campaigns not making you money?

In the list below you will find some of the main causes of AdWords failure. The most important thing to remember, however, is that AdWords is not as simple as it looks.

AdWords Knowledge is Power

Of course, it is correct to say that almost anyone can set up an AdWords campaign, and you can complete the process quickly. The process, however, is misleading.

The real key to success is not completing the form on the AdWords’ interface to launch your campaign. Instead, real AdWords success comes from digging much deeper into the process and understanding how Google works. When you do this, you can get better positions for your ads, higher click through rates, and improved conversions. You can also lower your costs.

That sounds great, doesn’t it? It often means getting help from a company with a proven track record of AdWords success. Working with an AdWords professional is also often the fastest way to improve ROI.

Eight Common Reasons Why AdWords Campaigns Fail

  1. Failing to optimize – many people, including some who provide AdWords management services, operate a “set and forget” approach to AdWords campaigns. In other words, they don’t regularly check the performance of keywords, bids, audiences, and more to make improvements. Optimization is absolutely essential to the success of an AdWords campaign, however.
  2. Using too many broad keywords – broad keywords often result in irrelevant clicks. This brings traffic to your website but it is not traffic that will ever convert. That is bad enough on its own but those irrelevant clicks can also damage the performance of your overall campaign. This is because while the user that clicks is irrelevant to you, your website can also be irrelevant to them. That means they have a bad user experience which Google does not like. Reducing the number of broad keywords or making the keywords phrase match or exact match are the solutions.
  3. Not using negative keywords – another method of reducing the number of irrelevant clicks you get on your ads is to use negative keywords. Negative keywords are an option when setting up an AdWords campaign, though, so many people don’t use them. If you don’t, this could be one of the reasons your ads don’t make money.
  4. Not focusing on click through rate (CTR) – all AdWords metrics are important, but CTR is one of the most crucial to a successful campaign. Of course, a higher CTR means more traffic to your website but it is also important for the position of your ads. Remember, Google is a business so it wants users to click on its ads to make it money. Therefore, it puts the ads it thinks will get the most clicks in the best positions on search results pages. If you have a good CTR rate, you will increase the chances that this will be you.
  5. Not including unique selling points in ad text – the text you use in your ads must give users a reason to click on them rather than one of the other ads they can see. This means you need a unique selling point. This could be discount or price related, but it can also be about quality of service, more customer benefits, or another reason that makes your ad stand out and makes the user want to find out more.
  6. Not using keywords in the ad text – keywords help you target the right audience to get relevant traffic, but they can also help users understand what your ad is about and how you can potentially help them. You should, therefore, include keywords in your ad text.
  7. Not split testing – one of the most important split tests to perform in AdWords campaigns is the ads themselves. You should have multiple versions running to see which performs better. This should be a constant process too, as just because one ad performs better than another doesn’t mean you can’t come up with something that performs even better again. You should always tweak, change, and try new ideas, testing different variations of your ads against others.
  8. You have a website that doesn’t convert – getting a click on your ads is only part of the process of making money from an AdWords campaign. This is because you must also convert that click into a customer. This means having a website that converts. If yours doesn’t, you will have to make changes which typically means getting help from a reputable website design company.

While these are the most common, there are other reasons why AdWords campaigns fail. This demonstrates how complex the process can be. It is possible to find success, however, by getting the help you need and/or taking steps to optimize and improve your campaigns.

How To Promote Your Blog for Free

According to an article in the New York Times titled Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest, approximately 95% of blogs fail due to a lack of readership.

Luckily, I have grown one of my blogs into 50,000+ monthly visitors. I have tried every method on the internet and am still exploring more. However, I want to let you know that it didn’t happen overnight and it took a lot of testing, failing, and starting all over again.

This article contains unique and practical ways to promote a blog and get traffic. I hope this guide will help you unleash the true potential of your blog.

Article Frequency

One of the best ways to get traffic is by publishing more articles. Research from HubSpot shows that a website that publishes 16+ articles a month will get more traffic than a website that publishes five articles a month.

Even the popular internet marketer and blogger Neil Patel has revealed that his traffic grew from 46,134 to 59,787 when he increased the article frequency on his site from one to two articles per week.

It is proven in research that publishing more articles will always result in more traffic. Therefore, increase your article frequency today and you will see a significant increase in traffic – guaranteed.

Longer Content

Research by serpIQ shows that Google ranks content that has 2,000 words better than content with fewer words.

This is another reason why Neil Patel’s articles get lots of traffic – he writes detailed articles. His average article ranges from 4,000 to 8,000 words.

Email List

Email is one of the top sources of traffic for most blogs. If you haven’t started building an email list, you should start now. Go to Mail Chimp and start building subscribers.

Guest Blog

Another proven method to grow traffic is by writing for other people’s blogs. For instance, you can choose a blog which is bigger than yours and write an article for it. The other blog will probably have a bio section as part of the guest post where you can include a link to your website. This can bring a lot of traffic.

Search Engines

Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the number one source of traffic for most established blogs. So, it is extremely important to follow good SEO practices on your website and optimise each article for a specific keyword.

Comment on Other Blogs

The right comment on a highly authoritative blog can send you lots of traffic. You should identify the top blogs in your niche and start interacting and commenting on them on a regular basis. This will get the blogger and members of his/her community to notice you and visit your blog, leading to more traffic to your website. You might even get a link or an invitation to guest blog out of your efforts.

Develop a Blogger Outreach Plan

Many bloggers fail to get traffic because they take a passive approach to blogging. If you simply publish your article, rest, and then wait for the traffic to come, nothing will happen.

For every article you publish, make sure you have a solid blogger outreach plan. To do this, compile a list of dozens of relevant bloggers that you can email your article to, asking them to share it or link to it. This article is a good place to learn how to do blogger outreach.

It is recommended you follow all these points to guarantee the success of your blog. Other methods can also contribute to more growth.

How to Rank Higher for a Keyword

Everyone wants their website to rank higher in Google’s search results. Although it is not easy to get to the top unless you are Wikipedia or the BBC, it is still possible. You can do it if you stay consistent and take it seriously.

In this article, we will look at eight steps to rank higher for a keyword in Google’s search engine.

Step 1: Basics
The most important thing is you need a strong website which follows SEO good practice and has external links. Secondly, it is useful to have an audience on social networking websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, where you can share content.

Step 2: Keyword Research
You probably know what keywords you want to target but it is best to check the facts using keywords tools to see the search volume for the keyword as well as the competition before you finalise your keywords for targeting.

It is best to choose a keyword which is relevant to your business model and has an average search volume.

Step 3: Competition
After choosing a target keyword for your website, do a search on Google to see your competitor’s websites. Check the following:

  • The domains and URLs – how many domains and URLs have the exact keyword?
  • The titles – how do the title tags incorporate the keyword?
  • The type of content – do they have product pages, blog posts, videos, etc?
  • The authority of those sites – use third-party SEO analysers to check the domain age and source of backlinks.

In order to beat your competitors, you need to do better than them. Therefore, try to do more and better on your website.

Step 4: Long Tail Keywords
It is recommended you target long tail keywords as they are easier for searchers to find. Try to be more specific and keep one page for one specific keyword.

Step 5: Content
The next part of the plan is to make sure you have quality content on your website. Quality with quantity will do the job. Plan your keywords on each page including on blog posts, product pages, and videos.

Step 6: Optimise the Keyword on Every Page
Optimise your content while you create it. Use the targeted keyword in the page title, headline, body text, URL, meta description, meta keywords, and even in image titles and alt attributes.

Step 7: Promote
When your website is all set, it is time to promote it. Share your content on social media pages and use social buttons on your website to make it easy for readers to share.

You should also build links to your content – strong links makes it easy for Google to crawl.

Step 8: Analyse
Use free third-party SEO analysers to make sure your website follows all good SEO practices. Find out which points are missed and which sections need improvement. You should also check keyword rankings manually. Use analytics tools to see which keywords are performing well and which keywords need improvement.

This process is time-consuming and requires patience and constant improvement. There are no shortcuts but, whatever your business is, you can make this work for you.

How You Can Improve your Website Ranking On Google Yourself

Google Ranking

Everyone wants their website to have a better Google search ranking to increase website traffic and enhance visibility. The Google search engine uses various algorithms to rank pages in its search results. Its algorithm is a secret so is not shared by Google, although there are many basic ways to improve your rank in search results. This involves using techniques known as Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.

SEO takes time and there is no quick solution. If someone tells they will get you fast results then it’s probably a scam. The most important thing you need to make sure is that you have a website that people want to visit. Also, never use black hat techniques that can, at a later stage, be detected by Google as you will end up getting blacklisted.

The following tips can help you increase your website visibility and search ranking:

Tip 1: Keyword Phrases

Keywords

When someone is on a search engine to find your website, they will write a relevant word or phrase – this is called a keyword phrase. Your keyword phrases should appear in your content, ideally in the first paragraph. You should also use words in your articles that people are most likely to use when searching. For instance, what keyword phrase might people use to search for your website? Try this with your potential customers to find the best words for your content. In addition, it is highly recommended you use one key subject per page. Also, avoid irrelevant content completely.

Tip 2: Keyword Density
Keyword density refers to the number of keywords used in your content. It is recommended you use natural phrasing. Overusing the keyword to trick the search engine can also get you banned. Your first paragraph should be a strong opening to tell people what your page is about. This practice also helps search engines find your page.

Tip 3: Title of the Page
Giving a descriptive name to the title of your page is essential. The first thing you notice on a search results page is the page titles of the results, so your titles must be related to the topic and appropriate. Best practice is to include the page’s keyword phrase in the title.

Tip 4: Links
Links from other websites to your website determine the PageRank of your website. More links mean a higher PageRank. You can exchange links with other relevant websites or blogs. Furthermore, links to the content on your pages should include keyword phrases in the anchor text.

Tip 5: Social Networking
Promoting your website on social media sites can affect your rank in search as well as bringing more traffic to your website. So, make sure you publish engaging titles and images that link back to your website.

Tip 6: Mobile Friendly
According to The Verge, more than half of Google searches are now done through mobile. If your website is not mobile-friendly, Google will rank you lower in search results pages. Google also indicates onsearch results pages if a website is mobile friendly or not. Therefore, don’t forget to make it responsive.