Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the links Category

5 Ways to Get Traffic Without Paying

Traffic is the goal.Traffic is the goal.

Traffic is how your website pays its way. High traffic results in more paying customers for you. Recognition of the need to improve traffic on your website is probably why you’re here, reading this blog right now. And there’s no shortage of people eager to take your money in exchange for promises of more traffic. Sadly, not all of them are worth the cost.

The good news

According to Longhorn Leads,

many methods of attracting viewers cost little or no money. Small business owners can spend a little time on promotion and get the same results as the big companies who outsource their internet marketing without spending fortunes on advertising.

Hannah Howard explains five ways to increase your traffic at little or no cost:

  1. Join the blogosphere. Posting comments on blogs related to your business. They usually allow a link back to your site connected with your comment.
  2. Exploit social media and guest posting. You can request links to your blog from other, related blogs. See our list of suggested blogs on the right as an example. Writing guest posts on others’ blogs gains additional exposure and links.
  3. Take advantage of free postings on classified websites. The best known of these is, but Hannah lists others you should also consider.
  4. Participate in article marketing. This isn’t as strong since the Panda and Penguin Google updates, but if you write articles other webmasters use on their websites, the “about the author” blurb can provide a highly relevant link back to your website.
  5. Don’t ignore the classic press release. If you have something newsworthy to say, by all means get the word out with press releases. There are several free online press release services that can give your story legs.

Check our Hannah’s full article for more ideas on how to leverage these traffic sources.

What are Reasonable Goals for SEO?

What can you expect from SEO?

Clients (and prospective clients) often ask us what they can expect from an SEO campaign. That’s an excellent question, because you need to set some sort of expectations so you can evaluate the success or failure of the process.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to set forth precise numeric goals in terms of the number of visitors, the precise rankings of given keyword phrases, the return on investment, or the dollar impact on your bottom line. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set reasonable and measurable expectations for a search engine optimization project. Here are some you might consider:

  • Traffic improvement  — your daily/weekly/monthly visitor counts should be noticeably higher after optimization than before. Set up traffic analysis (we like Google Analytics) ahead of time so you have a reasonable “before” level to compare your SEO results against.
  • Increasing number of your keywords in the top three pages of Google, Yahoo and Bing. Those three search engines get more than 95% of all searches in the US, so you needn’t worry about any others. By the time SEO has been going on for a year, your goal should be to have most of your keyword phrases showing up in the top three pages of these search engines.
  • Most of your ranking keywords on the first page in Google. This is a challenging goal, and it may take awhile before you achieve it.
  • Some keywords at the #1 position. This, too, is challenging unless you have some relatively less-competitive keywords. Clearly this is the ultimate goal for top visibility.
  • Link Popularity measures about average among your main competitors. These measures might include your inbound link count, Google PageRank, mozRank and Domain Authority. Those, in fact, are the very ones we report to our clients as part of our normal SEO Monitoring.

Google’s Penguin Update

Penguin Update

The most recent significant update to the Google ranking algorithm is the Penguin Update unleashed on April 24. It’s designed to reward high quality websites and penalize what Google calls webspam. Web sites that may have enjoyed high rankings due to things like keyword stuffing and excessive keyword placement in various places in the code may experience lowered rankings.

The Google Penguin updateThe main focus of this change is to remove content from websites with:

Have you suffered from Penguin?

If you think you’ve been unfairly penalized by this update, Google has a form to complain about it and possibly get your website re-evaluated. Google’s Pengiun complaint form is here.

Ned help recovering from a Penguin slap-down? Need help optimizing your site without running into a problem with the Penguin update? Rank Magic can help.

Do Links From Blog Posts Help Your Link Popularity?

Blog posts are really just web pages,

so a link to your site from a blog post counts just like any other link. But there are a couple of considerations to bear in mind in terms of how beneficial the blog links will be for you.

  • If the link is coded as a “nofollow” link it won’t give you any link juice.
  • Other than that, the value of the link is a function of three things:
      • The PageRank of the blog post linking to you (higher is better)
      • The number of outbound links on that blog post (lower is better)
      • Whether the blog post is on your domain or not (being on another domain adds weight to the link)

How about links from your own blog?

If you’re concerned about links from your own blog posts, let’s discuss that last issue a bit. We always recommend that our clients host their blogs on their own websites rather than on another domain. That provides many opportunities for incoming links to their domain (and that’s a subject for another time). But does that mean links from a blog post to pages on your own website count less than if your blog was on another domain? Actually, yes. But don’t worry.

Links to your web pages from blog posts on your own domain may be less powerful than they would be if from another domain, but not enough to make up for the loss of link juice you’d suffer from hosting your blog on another domain. So don’t move your blog off your domain just so the links back are a tad more beneficial. Instead, syndicate your blog.


When you write a blog post, you can have it duplicated on blog aggregators, and the links to your web pages from those copies of your post will count as external inbound links. There are lots of these available to you  — as an example, see Business2Community or BlogEngage.

Done right, your blog can help your link popularity at the same time that it funnels potential customers into the marketing content on your website. That’s certainly a winning proposition.

For professional help with maximizing your blogging power, SEO for your website, or building link popularity, contact us at Rank Magic.

Is Your Content Good Enough for SEO?

Content is the foundation of SEO.

The purpose of an SEO campaign is to drive visitors to your website. But why do you want to do that? So they can see your content, of course.

  • Without content, you don’t have a website.
  • With lousy content (visually poor, grammatical errors, keyword stuffing, lack of organization) you have a website that chases people  away.
  • With ineffective content you have a website that fails to convert visitors into paying customers.
  • With effective content your website becomes a powerful sales tool.

But that’s not the only kind of content that’s important. You may not have realized it, but you have off-site content, too. That’s content in other places that helps promote your brand and direct potential customers to your website. What kind of content is that specifically? How about this:

  • Articles and white papers posted on other sites.
  • Online press releases.
  • An email newsletter. (Sign up for ours!)
  • Blog posts you write that are syndicated at one or more other blogs.
  • Twitter mentions.
  • Mentions at other social media like Facebook, Google+, Delicious, Digg, FriendFeed, StumbleUpon, MerchantCircle, LinkedIn and others.
  • Mentions and links from other websites related to yours.

Is your content good enough for effective SEO?

How good is the copy on your site? You have to start there because everything else drives people to your on-site copy. Is it unique? Does it provide value by providing non-obvious information and answering questions? Is it interesting to read? Is it literate? Does it funnel visitors toward a buying decision? If not, have you considered hiring a professional copywriter?

Do you have the necessary off-site copy? This is one of the most forgotten factors in SEO. You need a strong presence in as many off-site places as possible to build your link popularity and to drive more visitors to your website.

Once you’ve considered all that, you may decide you need professional help with your SEO. If so, talk to us.