While Part 1 was purely dedicated to the topic of Keywords, the part 2 and the final part of this series will explore the last two fundamental tenets of the basic SEO – content and backlinks. The real SEO begins, when bloggers start pursuing high quality content and backlinks for their blogs. They are undeniably among the toughest aspects of SEO. But if you as a blogger can succeed on these two tough critical fronts then no force in this world can stop your blog from ranking on Google’s first page.
Now that I have established the gravity of the final two tenets, I hope to see a laser focus approach from all my readers or whosoever wants their blogs to achieve great visibility in the Google ranking.
Without wasting any further time, let us get the ball rolling….
Actually the heading of this sub-section should have been high quality content. I mean to say that there is a vast difference between ‘content’ and ‘high quality content.’ Content is bland, less informative, is shallow and adds hardly to the knowledge base of its target readers.
On other hand, high quality content propagates exactly contrary features. It is engaging, highly informative, in-depth, enhances the knowledge and brings a fresh perspective to any topic or issue.
Now it is no brainer that blogs consistently producing high quality content are more likely to get higher Google ranking. On other hand, blogs plagued with poor or average quality content is never likely to get any favors from Google.
But what really goes into the making of high quality content and is it really possible for blogs to produce high quality content with unfailing consistency? Well, today millions of blogs are achieving this consistency quite unfailingly and are therefore reaping great benefits by earning great amount of money.
There is no reason why your blog cannot achieve the same milestone and this article is all about helping you to achieve the same.
Mentioned and described below are some of the key ingredients that go into the making of high quality content.
Focus more on your target readers and less on Google
Probably almost all bloggers have committed the cardinal sin of writing their articles for Google and not their readers. And this is probably the fundamental reason why 90% of blogs fail and eventually die in their infancy.
The essence of achieving enduring success in the SEO arena is that your blog should be reader centric and not Google centric. The more your blog cares about serving and creating a special bond with readers, the more it stands the chance of achieving greater visibility in the Google ranking. Your readers should always be in the foreground or main focus while SEO optimization should be in the background. Try changing this equation and your blog will be digging its own graveyard.
The subsequent paragraphs will mostly deal with how blogs can develop this intimate relationship with their readers.
Now before I wrap up this point & move ahead, I would like to end it with a sarcastic note: even Google doesn’t want bloggers to be obsessed with it.
Always give extra knowledge & information to beat your competitors
The extra knowledge & information provided by your blog acts like an extra punch that helps in undoing your competitors and winning the ‘Google visibility slugfest’ in the long run. Come to think about it, why readers would flock to your blog if it merely rephrases and doles out the same information disseminated by the competing websites.
Even if your newly launched blog does manage to get somewhat sizable readers for few long tail keywords and some less competitive keywords, your readers will be left unimpressed by stale content and they probably won’t bookmark your blog. Eventually your blog will keep losing the opportunity to earn loyal readers and also fail to get the much needed boost of organic traffic, which is so critical for the survival of new blogs.
But don’t worry ‘extra information’ does not mean that you’ve to bring extra-ordinary content from somewhere out of the blue. To make things bit easier, I’ve chalked out some simple tactics for doling out informative content on consistent basis. But mind you, consistent implementation of these tactics needs lot of hard work.
- Planning to cover the same topic that your competitors are already covering then always try to dig the shallow surface and you’re likely to be surprised to come across many important details that your competitors haven’t even touched upon. But again digging out details that your competitors are probably not even aware is not easy. It requires serious passion.
- Try using infographics and charts wherever it is impossible. The positive impact of infographics and charts on Google ranking is a proven thing. Almost all seasoned SEO professionals recommend their use in blogs irrespective of the niche. One of the reasons Google evidently loves infographics and charts is because they add to the user friendly experience of the website. They enrich readers by bringing information in a very simplified manner. But make sure that all the information you put in your infographics and charts are 100% accurate.
- Try regularly using exclusive quotes of industry experts & popular figures in your blog articles. This will increase the trustworthiness of your blog in the eyes of readers. If you’re a well-connected person then getting exclusive content should not be a problem. But in case you’re introvert and not so well connected then try reaching out to them through LinkedIn and Twitter.
Never indulge in ‘Thin Content’
Thin content conventionally means articles that are too thin in terms of word count, usually less than 300-350 words. While word count is an important parameter, this alone does not define ‘thin content’ from the perspective of SEO. Thin content also means content that does not add any value to the readers. The content is completely hollow, devoid of worthy information and knowledge. The article is as good as cope & paste article, copied probably from competitor’s website. And if not copied then the article has been poorly rephrased, with the chances of passing the plagiarism test being next to nil.
Thin content is actually a vast topic but here I will end this topic with two important reminders…
- Make sure your blog does not have too many articles with thin content
- Don’t even think of indulging in plagiarism…
Upload articles regularly on your blog
As important as it is to ensure that all your articles comply with highest standard of quality, it is equally important to make sure to upload articles on your blog quite regularly. In other words, quality and quantity must go hand in hand. But don’t worry, being regular does not mean that you got to upload tones of articles per week. Even 5-6 quality articles per month are sufficient enough.
Here again I would like to remind that the articles you’ll be uploading every month should not suffer from ‘thin content’ problem. They should be lengthy as well as up to the mark in terms of quality.
Regularly uploading articles help in creating and also strengthening strong bond with your target readers. This eventually propels Google to take your blog bit more seriously. And as a new blogger, nothing should make you happier than Google taking your blog seriously.
Now we’ve finally arrived at the final and the most important chapter, backlinks. Backlinks is one of the most priceless assets in the SEO world.
Backlink is so priceless that no blog in this world stand even a decent chance in Google ranking without its help. In simple words, a blog with poor quality backlinks will not been even able to rank for less competitive keywords while those with high quality backlinks can rank itself even for tough & highly competitive keywords.
Now that I’ve underscored the importance of backlinks, let me shed some light on the concept of backlink. For new bloggers, the term backlink may sound bit technical but it is nothing but a fancy word. Fancy word that denotes a simple action of external website linking to your website or blog.
Let me simplify this, let us suppose a website called automative24/7.com publishes an article in its blog section and drops a URL of your website (let us suppose, www.automotive.com) in its article. By virtue of this action, your blog – www.automotive.com – has ended up receiving a backlink from automative24/7.com.
From a pure SEO perspective, this backlink acts like a vote of confidence that can do two things. First, it can directly increase your website’s visibility (automotive.com) in the Google ranking and secondly it can either have no major impact on your SERP ranking or else lower your Google ranking further. Of course, no blog would want the second possibility to come true.
But which of the above two outcomes will come true is eventually determined by value of your backlinks. And this value invariably and ultimately depends on whether backlinks to your website is coming from high authoritative or low authoritative websites. Therefore, citing the above example, if automative24/7.com is an high authoritative website then automotive.com’s blog owner can be rest assured that his blog’s ranking will spike up.
In case if you’re still little confused about high authoritative website then below examples will hopefully clear the doubts…..
- Amazon.com is a high authority website in the e-commerce niche.
- Nytimes.com (New York Times) and Wsj.com (Wall street journal) are amongst the most trusted websites in the niche of news category.
- Moz.com and ahrefs.com are among the highly trusted sites in the niche of SEO and digital marketing category.
- Lakme.com and Maybelline.com is a high authority website in the niche of makeup and beauty category.
If you’re new blog deals in any of the above niche and get backlinks from any of the high authorative website as again mentioned above (of course, with respect to your niche), your blog’s traffic will most certainly skyrocket.
In a nutshell for your blog to rank higher, it needs support of backlinks coming from high authority websites. And this brings us to how do you go about in fetching those backlinks from high authority websites, also referred as high quality backlinks.
The fact of the matter is that high authorative websites don’t give away their priceless links on a platter. Based on my experience I can confidently tell that highly trustworthy website don’t link to websites or blogs unless they find that it is worth it.
Nonetheless, below I briefly mentioned some of the basic tactics to fetch backlinks. But remember success of these tactics ultimately depend on your perseverance and willingness to succeed. As I’ve mentioned earlier, backlinks is one the most priceless assets in the SEO world and gaining anything that is priceless needs lot of efforts.
- Make sure that all the articles published in your blog are actually high quality content. Make your content so impressive and worthy that people are more than willing to link to your website on their own. Adhere to all the guidelines that I’ve explained above on how to generate high quality content. But mind you that this is a very time consuming tactic and needs immeasurable amount of patience.
- If you’re indeed running out of patience then try guest posting – unarguably the most popular tactic to fetch backlinks. Guest posting is nothing but writing articles for other websites (usually high authoritative websites) and getting a link in return. Of course, the article you’ll writing as a guest post will contain a URL link of your blog. Start searching for blogs and websites in your niche that accept guest posts.
- Start interacting with industry leaders and influential personalities in your niche on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter and also online forums. Try to build a rapport with them by introducing your blog and ask for a feedback from time-to-time. Chances are pretty high that many of them may have their own blogs and chances are just high of getting backlinks from them. But remember not to be too pushy and be sincere in building long term relationship (even if you don’t get backlinks their expert opinions will surely help your blog)
- Become an expert yourself in your niche or industry. Of course, not a self-proclaimed leader but a genuine expert who can offer reliable solutions to some of pressing problems confronting your industry. Use your blog as a platform to build your reputation as a credible voice in your industry. Remember credibility helps fetching lot of backlinks without making special outreach, since people attach special importance to industry leaders and experts. But again becoming an expert requires lot of hard work.
- Dig & spy into your top competitors’ backlinks and try to replicate those backlinks for your blog. If you can secure these invaluable backlinks then you’re blog can rank just as higher as competitors websites do…But how do you do this? You do this by subscribing to backlink analysis tools like Ahrefs, Semrush & Majestics. However, these tools are damn expensive, charging close to $99 per month even for the most basic plan. If you want a more affordable backlink analysis tool then try Linkminer. Not only is Linkminer affordable, it is also highly efficient. Its basic plan starts from as low as $29.
Few more important things about Backlinks
While pursuing the daunting task of fetching high quality backlinks, don’t forget to follow the following dos and don’ts. They are important to ensure the success of your backlink mission.
- Always try to fetch backlinks from your own niche. If your blog deals with beauty & makeup tips then there is no point in trying to fetch backlinks from automobile blogs and technology blogs. Remember you’ll end up confusing Google if your blog has too many backlinks from outside your niche.
- Don’t over-indulge in link exchange program as Google is known to be heavily penalizing such actions. Link exchange is nothing but ‘I’ll link you and you’ll link me back’ thing; exchange of links between two blogs only for the sake of fetching backlinks.
- Please don’t even think of paying any blog or website for securing backlinks. Most websites that charge money for passing backlinks are not high authority websites. But more importantly, paying someone for backlinks is a black hat technique and hence can attract penalty from Google.
- Please make sure that you’re pursuing only ‘Do follow’ websites for fetching backlinks. There is no point in getting backlinks from ‘no follow’ websites.
Notwithstanding other important SEO factors like keywords and page speed etc., high quality content and high quality backlinks form the bedrock of your online visibility. If your blog is faring poorly on these two critical fronts then no force in this world can help it in ranking better on Google. Therefore, all those serious bloggers out there should not leave any stone unturned in constantly bettering their content and going after worthy backlinks.
I would like to conclude this two part series with a sage advice, an advice that I have already repeated quite number of times. Get ready to slog it out. Blogging is hard work. If anyone has started blogging with an idea of ‘easy money’ or becoming an ‘overnight millionaire’ then colossal disappointment is bound to occur. But genuine handworkers displaying patience and focus will be most certainly rewarded. Their blogs are likely to shine in the search engine ranking and this will obviously result in lots of traffic. Ultimately, they can think of monetizing their blogs through affiliate marketing and other avenues, which is essentially the dream of most of the bloggers out there.