For a link to be “earned,” there has to be a clear and compelling reason for one website to want to link to another. Being cited in articles or as a resource on a list are all good examples, assuming that there is a clear and relevant connection between your content and the linking website. Going back to the shoe website example, a link from a fashion blog, within the article content and to your web page, that details the top shoes trends is one that has a clear connection. If your shoe trends page had a link from a pizza shop within their footer, that is something that would not give any appearance of being natural. There would be no clear reason that they would link to that page, as the page is not relevant to their business, audience, or content. While it would be difficult to rank without quality content, you won’t have any chance on competitive keyword phrases without links.
This can also be a misleading indicator if it isn’t viewed in the right context. If you are solely focused on the performance of a few “high volume” keywords, you could be feeling discouraged even though, through the eyes of a more seasoned SEO expert, you may be making great progress. Highly competitive keywords will take time, and sometimes a significant amount of time to achieve first page rankings. What you should be looking at is whether positive progress is being made on those terms, to the point you begin to see a path of obtaining your desired results over time. Earned links are what the search engines actually want to give credit to.
If you aren’t currently ranking on the first three pages for those competitive head terms, you should expect that it will take a fair amount of time to really make headway. Longer-tail keywords tend to have lower levels of competition, but provide upwards of 70% of all organic search traffic.
It is still universally accepted that the number and quality of inbound links to a website and/or web page is the number one influencer of search rankings. You have probably heard that “content is king” when it comes to . The thing about content is that it drives a lot of factors related to optimization. Pages that are sales focused, such as product and service pages, aren’t usually the kind of content that webmasters want to link to.
No matter how well-planned and effective your social strategies are, if your site isn’t prominent in search results, your business and brand will have a hard time growing. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure that your website is optimized for organic traffic via search engines. And it’s nowhere near as scary as it may seem to get started with. Every SEO strategy starts with figuring out what keywords you want to rank for. Without knowing these keywords, you have no way to optimize your website for search engines. The process of researching what keywords are of interest for a business is called Keyword Research. You can type in any domain or web page and see what keywords are ranking.
Depending on how established your website and brand is, most websites will reap the biggest benefits on long-tail keywords early on. Many businesses look at keywords as an indicator of how a search campaign is performing.
PageRank is a number scored out of 10 that is given to your website based on inbound and outbound links, and helps search engines to verify how trustworthy your site is. Linking between sites allows “link juice” to be carried through, so if your site is linked to by a site with a good PageRank, link juice will be carried forward to your site, improving your ranking. One of the key tools that search providers such as Google and Microsoft employ to determine your rankings are “spiders”.
They also offer a variety of other features such as a site auditor and a content topic research tool. This is another service known for frequent product updates and new features that has become an invaluable resource for many SEOs. Ahrefs offers a wide range of tools such as a keyword explorer, a content explorer, rank tracking, and a website auditor. Their most popular feature is their backlink analysis tool, which assigns ratings to how powerful each domain and specific URL is based on the quality of links pointing into them. Typically, higher-volume keywords also have the highest level of competition.
A spider is a piece of software that crawls the web in a methodical, automated manner. They browse your website (and everyone else’s) to identify the actual copy written on the page along with things like use of key words and phrases. This data is then used to determine the relevance of your site when someone enters a keyword or phrase into Google, Bing or any other search engine.