Top 8 Link Building Strategies That Work For Search Engines

Since the last Google algorithm update, there are many rumors about link building and the white hat SEO strategies. I recently wrote about the importance of social engagement in contrast to SEO and it became a pretty hot topic. I believe the biggest question nowadays would be the important the the old school link building method.

Before we go any further, this is a snippet from Google Webmaster Tool:

Previously, Google said ...

'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.'

And everything changes now with ...

'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.'

Source: Google

Does this really means the end of link building techniques in search engine optimization? Of course not!

This doesn't prove that link building is no longer in use. In fact, this makes link building even richer and more valuable! And at the same time, this new Google algorithm makes link building ... yes, you got it right ... harder but definitely not impossible.

Important disclaimer: This article is more than 2,000 words and I dare you to do read it in just one go. If not, bookmark this page right now and come back anytime when you are ready!

What did we learn from the latest Google update?

Google update affects many SEO techniques

Oh no! Another Google update?

Every time an update takes place, there are many things Google are showing us ... or at least, hinting us. Here are some things that I had learned which are the number of backlinks, using the right link building techniques and even using the right search engine optimization methods. And the only way to learn this is by watching those videos posted by Matt Cutts and his team.

So let's discuss on the proper link building strategies that work for search engines today.

1. Using the right SEO tools for link building

For those who really into SEO, it's a very known fact that you probably need at least one SEO tool to help you with those ranking and link building tactics. Seriously.

I know many people who uses paid SEO tools like this one are having crazy time trying to create more quality backlinks to their articles. I would say, maybe they are having the time of their lives! 🙂

You might be thinking that, "Hey, take that you !@#$ paid SEO tools!". Here's the reality check. These SEO tools will actually ... and still be rocking like any other days.

Yes! Let me repeat; link building isn't dead but it just got tougher. That's all.

For those who are using various link building tools, well, you just got to play smarter. You need to change the game plan but slowly.

Why? Google still loves quality backlinks and this doesn't mean that you can't get the best out of 'virtual assistance'.

Thinking of going white hat SEO to be on the safe side? Maybe this tool might help!

One thing for sure is that using SEO tools will not make you any safer from Google updates. You need to use SEO tools the right way and focus in your strategies. Always remember that misusing these SEO tools will actually destroy your traffic and your SEO ranking.

*p/s Looking at this article length, I'm going to write the so call 'SEO game plan' on another post.

2. Write articles for readers and not for bots

The right link building techniques goes further than just plain SEO

Optimize your website for your readers and not for search engines

Link building isn't really link building only. For me, link building also means website marketing and communications. The more visibility people has on your website, the better chances you are going to create the 'brand awareness'.

And with that (assuming you write great articles), people are going to share your articles even more!

More shares = More love from Google.

There ain't any trick about link building and content sharing if you ask me. Write good stuffs, get your name out and let the people (readers) do the rest for you.

What you really need to learn about link building is you can't get everyone to love your writing or even share your articles. Okay, remember that every visitor who comes to your site is a potential 'buyer'.

Take the opportunity to get them spread the word for you and how you can possibly do that?

It really depends on how generous are you. For me, I do a win-win situation for my readers. I am using CommentLuv for WordPress and what this plugin does is simple. It allows users to share one of their links after they commented.

Wait! That isn't all.

For those who share my articles on social media, they will automatically get a DoFollow link back. Sounds good right?

You see, blogging is all about giving and just not taking completely. I see absolutely no reason why one should be so secretive about backlink.

3. The relationship between backlink, social communities and tribes

Recently, I'm very active on several sites such as BizSugar and Triberr. I wasn't actively sharing my links though. Instead, I was commenting and sharing other articles I felt useful.

The effect? One word: Tremendous.

As I had said about in #2, sharing is caring and there's no better way than helping a fellow blogger to share their articles. Heard about karma or what goes around, comes around?

Whenever you share an article on social networks, you are creating a good chance for others to visit your website in return. And most of the time, they would probably return a favor by giving a shout (hey, that's free publicity) for you.

Blogging isn't everything about yourself. Instead, it is all about relationship building and sharing of information. Grow your audience indirectly by doing good to others.

So, stop being a link whore and start linking out to others!

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Yes mate. Right now! Don't worry, I'll wait!

4. Link building is closely related to sitemap

You have written an excellent article and you published it. After one week or probably a month, you ain't getting a hit and you are no closer in creating a viral article that drives hundreds of traffic to your website. So, what's wrong?

Okay. Here's the deal. You want to build good traffic, link building etc. You probably won't go far if you are not focusing enough on SEO. One of the search engine optimizations best practices is to have a sitemap.

Google just won't put you on first page of SERPs if Google is not aware of your existence. This is where sitemap plays a huge role in your website ranking.

So, yes. The first thing is to get your sitemap up immediately ... (moments of silence) ...

What's a sitemap? Site what?

A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. There are two popular versions of a site map. An XML Sitemap is a structured format that a user doesn't need to see, but it tells the search engine about the pages in your site, their relative importance to each other, and how often they are updated. HTML sitemaps are designed for the user to help them find content on the page, and don't need to include each and every subpage. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site.

Source: Wikipedia

Makes any sense to you? Maybe this image from Google might help out.

Generate a sitemap for your website to increase your SEO score

Sitemap usually gives search engines a list of links that you have on your website

If you are using WordPress, you can probably use WordPress for SEO (which comes with Sitemap functions) or Google XML sitemap. You won't wrong with any one of those.

Creating a sitemap is no hassle and you can do that within 5 minutes or less. Once you have your sitemap ready, head over to Google Webmaster Tool and Big Webmaster Tool to submit your sitemap.

5. Guest posting - The pros and cons in link building techniques

We can't deny the importance of guest posting especially when you are looking for a quality backlink. Writing good guest post will certainly drive traffic to your website without fail but there's something you need to know first!

Backlink building from guest posting is a double sided blade. Handle with care at all times.

Google and other search engines understand that many bloggers are actually trying to gain momentum and getting some quality backlinks from good page rank sites. When it comes to guest post, there isn't any difference.

Don't get me wrong. Guest posting is definitely worth it considering the quality of backlink. However, you do not want to over do it to avoid any penalty. The easiest methods which I see best fit for guest posting are:

Huh? Isn't that rel="nofollow" means zero backlink?

Yes indeed. This is my link building strategy. You don't want search engines to consider your site as a link juice or link farm. Therefore, if the content in the link doesn't provide quality information for your readers, it is better off with a no follow rule.

Do you understand why I say it as a double sided blade now?

6. The viral factor and link building under one roof

A viral article or video could easily create many backlinks

Go nuts ... like Holmer!

Have you heard about viral video or viral content? So, what does the word, viral actually means?

For me, it means an action which is hit the world by storm ... unintentionally. Here's an example:

Years ago, a kid made a video to promote his band and uploaded it to MySpace. Sounds like, "duh" right?

The video was about a kid who ran around the garden smashing two Barbie dolls together, throwing tomato source all over the place and screaming the name of his band in a variation of pitches while his MySpace page flashed at the bottom of the screen.

And, guess what?

He received two million hits to his band's MySpace ... in just two days. 

The kid didn't do much ... and probably took around 20 minutes trying to clean up the mess he did plus uploading the video.

Source: Adam Connell

Makes any sense? Probably not.

But does that matters? It certainly do!

Viral content, whether it be images, videos or quizzes - has the potential to drive massive amounts of traffic and generate a large amount of business leads or subscribers.

So, what the heck this has to do with link building?

Take the kid's case study for an example. Do you think that out of the two million hits the kid got, how many people actually share the video or his band?

I call this ... indirect link building since ... it's viral and we can't really control it, could we? I totally understand that there is no possible way to actually create a perfect viral content.

Math lesson: Let's say you manage (accidentally) create a viral content and it drives you tons of traffic. Do you know how much website traffic you are going to gain?

Even though there are no proven ways to actually create a viral content, here are 14 marketing tools to help you increase the chance of viral-ing and spread the word!

7. Old fashioned link building techniques. Are they dead?

I read so many articles about changing SEO techniques, so on and so forth. Question is, do you really need the traditional SEO building strategies now?

From what I see it, yes you need them and it is never advisable to ditch them. With all these Google Penguin and Google Panda, it is harder to score points with the old methods. But, each point you earned will worth even more than ever!

Fair deal for you?

We discussed about guest blogging, marketing techniques and SEO tool like this one above. Anyone of these could help you with SEO and this certainly doesn't prove that ancient SEO methods won't count anymore. Remember that most search engine optimization methods are based out of the trusted, ancient 'recipe'.

Since so many algorithms are calculated based on page ranks and number of links, I bet you totally understand where this is heading.

Personally, I would advise you to start changing your game plan. Like me, my approach to SEO is way different than three years back. I even created SEO Blueprints library which consist of every SEO techniques I'm practicing right now.

8. Avoid the BIGGEST link building mistakes

Giving up too fast is one of the biggest mistakes done by bloggers in terms of link building

Oh no! Holmer does it again!

For me, the biggest sin you can ever do when it comes to SEO is when you think you had done enough. The truth is ... you aren't able to to completely do SEO.

Why?!

Because SEO is a learning process and it has many implementation phrases. This means that what works today, might not work for tomorrow.

Now, tell me if you have ever (and I really mean e-v-e-r) thought of giving up.

Yes, you thought search engine optimization is too hard and you probably done everything you could. Yet, you're ain't seeing the results. People say you need to be patience and you waited for months and still, goddammit nothing happens!

Sounds familiar? Don't be shy and admit it. It happens to you, to me and nearly every blogger out there. It felt like a never ending war right?

Now, this is the cold hard fact. SEO doesn't happen overnight and certainly, there isn't any proven methods for us to judge how far we had done or accomplished.

However, we can always judge by page rank and the number of links that are pointing to our articles but, are those really counted?

Giving up hope is definitely a no-no here. Content, article and website optimization are all, ever growing activities which will always keep you on your toes (and for some, might even make you stay awake at night).

Agree to disagree?

Back to you

Wow! This is a longest post (as of now) which I had written! So, how do you like it? If you had read this in just one shot, I'm going to give you my salute. No doubt on that.

As for the topic, these are the top 8 workable link building techniques that we all can practise to build authority and at the same time, traffic. I used these nearly every day and whenever I'm blogging.

What do you think? Tell me what you think and you can easily do it right below.

*If you like this article, could you please share this for me using the red Google+ button below?

3 Disappointing Truth About MailChimp Email Marketing Solutions

MailChimp Email Marketing Services. This post was published on 9th July 2013 and it is time for an update because there are a lot of things that had changed over the years. Not only MailChimp had changed, everything from list building to email marketing solutions had evolved with technology.

So, are you planning to use MailChimp for email marketing or already using MailChimp but is actively looking for alternatives? Today, I'm going to share some important things you should know about disadvantages using MailChimp which can impact your email marketing strategy dearly.

​This article is not about flaming or putting MailChimp down. Instead, it is just several small information which could affect you, your website or business if you are not careful with. More importantly, these disadvantages might impact your online marketing strategies!


​What is MailChimp (or ChimpMail)?

​MailChimp has came a long way and over the years, it had it shares of improvements done to email marketing. MailChimp is currently the market leader for free email marketing solution.

Here's what MailChimp looks like in the past.

​It's bloody old school to say the very least! 

Those days, the tagline for MailChimp is "Send Better Emails" and now, the latest MailChimp tagline is "Marketing Platform For Small Businesses."

While MailChimp may have changed its logo, branding and tagline, the same old MailChimp email marketing ​model (which are highly sought after) remains:

  • ​Forever free account for email marketing
  • ​Manage up to 2,000 email subscribers free
  • ​Send up to 12,000 emails per month for free

I know thousands ​of businesses around the world who stand by MailChimp when it comes to ​email marketing service. ​Even bloggers (both beginners and professionals) use MailChimp to manage their email lists!

So, why is MailChimp such a popular email marketing service?

I bet it has nothing to do with the chimpanzee who dressed up as a postal service previously. While I think that it is a great mascot as it serves a good balance between fun and work, the new mascot for MailChimp looks better and portrays quality.

​MailChimp got its name and fame by offering pretty much forever free email marketing solutions to those who need it.

Small business owners, email marketers, bloggers and entrepreneurs use MailChimp because of the excellent pricing structures and of course, very good delivery rates.

In short, MailChimp is an online email marketing solution to manage your contacts, send emails and track results. It offers forever free membership for the first 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails monthly.

For me, forever free email marketing solution is very tempting and mouthwatering feature especially when you are new in blogging or Internet marketing industry. We are always trying to grow our mailing list and ​if you are just starting a new venture, you wouldn't want to spend $20 to $100 a month for premium email marketing services.

​Hey, I get it ... I've been there myself! When I first started Marketing Lancers (digital marketing agency in Malaysia), the entire company's was going on lean marketing/setup. Minimum staffs and leveraging as many free tools as possible to reduce the overall cost.

With the very interactive user interface, excellent back-end dashboard and​ forever free MailChimp email marketing services, ​your email marketing problem is solved, right?

Well, I wished that was the case but it isn't. There are some MailChimp weaknesses and disadvantages which you should be well aware off, or else they are going to bite you where it hurts the most (destroying your email list).

​Carry on reading to learn more about MailChimp email marketing solution.

​BONUS: If you want to learn how to use MailChimp effectively, here's an awesome guide for you. The Complete Guide In Using MailChimp Email Marketing ​Solution (Step By Step Guide).


1. No affiliate marketing with MailChimp

The single biggest problem with MailChimp email marketing solution is their legal policies. MailChimp legal policies is pretty strict especially for many bloggers and work from home Internet marketers.

Why?

I got this shot from the main website (source below).

​Prohibited Content on MailChimp

Please don't use MailChimp to send anything offensive, to promote anything illegal, or to harass anyone. You may not send:

  • ​Pornography or other sexually explicit emails
  • ​Email offering to sell illegal goods or services
  • ​Emails that violate CAN-SPAM Laws
  • Alternate Comment Times
    Marketing or commercial email with permission

Some industries have higher-than-normal abuse complaints, which can in turn jeopardize the deliverability of our entire system. Nothing personal, but in order to maintain the highest delivery rates possible for all our customers, we can't allow businesses that offer these types of services, products, or content:

  • ​Escort and dating services
  • ​Pharmaceutical products
  • ​Work from home,make money on online, and lead generation opportunities
  • Alternate Comment Times
    ​Online trading, day trading tips, or stock market-related content
  • Alternate Comment Times
    ​Multi-level marketing
  • Alternate Comment Times
    Affiliate marketing
  • Alternate Comment Times
    Credit repair and get out of debt opportunities
  • Alternate Comment Times
    Mortgages and loans
  • Alternate Comment Times
    Nutritional, herbal, and vitamin supplements
  • Alternate Comment Times
    Adult novelty items or references
  • Alternate Comment Times
    List brokers or list rental services

​If you send this sort of content, most email services providers won't be able to help you. You might want to look into setting up your own mail server. MailChimp's Delivery Guide explains how that works.

Source: MailChimp

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Are you blown?

For the benefit of the doubt, I understand that MailChimp wants to protect its delivery rate but do you agree that MailChimp terms is not even an advantage to consider for online marketers and bloggers?

I was made aware thanks to Adrian and you can read it all here (comment section).

Personally, I wouldn't mind the first few disadvantages but not allowing affiliate marketing is definitely the stop point for me. As a​ professional and seasoned affiliate marketer, using MailChimp email marketing solution means that I'm at risk of losing my whole email list​ and more importantly, going to impact my affiliate earnings severely!

I could be wrong but Internet marketing is either selling/promoting products (affiliate marketing) or creating some sort of lead generation for business. ​

​Editor's Note

​If you are in the affilaite marketing niche like I do, I recommend you to understand the terms and conditions of MailChimp before using it. ​MailChimp has the tendency to remove your account without any notice and this means that all your hard work will just go straight into the drain!

When it comes to MailChimp abuse reports, the risk is high and you need to know that you are not allowed to promote any affiliate products (apart from your own) using MailChimp.


​2. MailChimp pricing structure is misleading

This MailChimp review is not complete without talking about the MailChimp pricing structure.

MailChimp pricing structure is really bad. Take a look at both of these screenshots.

MailChimp Pricing

​Basic pricing structure

MailChimp 2000 Subscribers

​When you have more than 2,000 subscribers

​For me, the MailChimp email pricing structure is really misleading. Compare both the left and right side of the images.

Let's assume you are at 2,000 email subscribers and you are required to go for paid email marketing by MailChimp. You are no longer paying $10 but $30 for 2,000 email subscribers (up to 2,500 email subscribers).

Do you see the big jump in pricing? That's an additional of $20 on top of the base $10 per month! For bloggers, this is definitely not worth the money and effort.

Sure, professional email marketers (even other blog posts) will say that when you have 2,000 email subscribers, you will be able to make sufficient money from your list.

But, is that the real truth? For a fact, I know many bloggers and Internet marketers who have more than 2,000 email subscribers and not making a single cent from email marketing.

​We can make money from email marketing ... only if you know how to do it right.

Click to Tweet

If I'm putting myself in the shoes of new bloggers or low-income online marketers, MailChimp pricing is definitely one of the biggest disadvantages using MailChimp.

Plus when include in the terms and conditions of not allowing affiliate marketing, it gets even worse!

I will not be surprised the number of bloggers who have this question in mind, "How do I make money with email marketing with MailChimp?"

Personally, I rather pay for AWeber anytime of the day compared to MailChimp based on the pricing structure (no offense, MailChimp).


​3. MailChimp support is bad

​Based on industry standards, MailChimp has one of the worst support you can ever image.

​If you are using MailChimp free account, support will only be given to you on the first 30 days via email only (refer above).

Yes, I know EXACTLY what you are thinking.

MailChimp Support Email

​It is rather safe to say that when you use MailChimp free account, there is absolutely NO support given and I can't even imagine MailChimp has such feature. Sure the knowledge base for MailChimp is very detailed but in today's business world, data suggests that customers see fast, friendly and consistent customer service as the gold standard. 


​Should I ​still use MailChimp?

​I think this is one important question to cover. MailChimp has many disadvantages but I still use MailChimp for some of my blogs and businesses.

When it comes to email marketing, MailChimp is pretty awesome and has a very unique pricing model. If you are a small to medium sized business and doesn't require much from an email marketing solution, MailChimp is an excellent choice.

If mailing list is under 2,000 email subscribers and you are not willing to pay for an email marketing solution, this ChimpMail is worth the try.

​The most important factor when considering using MailChimp is that you are not opening in the industry or markets which they do not allow (refer to their terms above).

MailChimp is just like any other email marketing solutions such as AWeber and Convertkit. It is common to have emails delivered via MailChimp going to spam. This happens!

The problems (in most cases) don't sit on MailChimp servers but most of the the time, the email domain that you used or the content in the email that triggers the spam filters. Here are some samples:

  • Using Gmail or Yahoo to send email
  • Having words like "free" and "sale" in the email body

What's your thought on MailChimp?

What do you think about MailChimp and all these issues?

Again, this doesn't prove or mean that MailChimp is bad choice for email marketing. I got to admit that the above sounds a little ... biased ... but I promise I'm not!

Maybe, just a little frustrated as an avid Internet marketer myself.

If you're able to live with it (like the thousands who do), why not right?

MailChimp offers:

  • ​Free and pay as you go (services)
  • ​Acceptable level of reliability (delivery)
  • ​Simple to use and intuitive dashboard/email marketing features

Personally, I would use MailChimp if I'm running a small blog or a non-business site. However, I would rather pay a little bit more to have a better service especially when it comes to business matters. Moreover, Internet marketing is all about the 'list' and without one, you are basically nothing.

My only concern about MailChimp are their terms and MailChimp pay as you go mechanics which can be very expensive as you grow your email list.

Are you convinced with what I have to say about MailChimp? If you are thinking that hey, MailChimp is free to sign up and no strings attached, go ahead and register your free account here. Moreover, you have nothing to lose, right?

Now, what's your take on this? Will MailChimp be able to restore confidence among its member? Hit the reply button below and tell me what you think.

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Thinking twice of MailChimp or looking for another email marketing provider? How about AWeber?

Try it out for FREE today (plus 30 days money back guarantee)!

And if AWeber is not your cup of tea, here are 4 more MailChimp alternatives to start your email marketing campaigns today. Read here.

Overall, there are many other MailChimp alternatives that you could use. It all boils down to your email marketing requirements and the budget you can afford to commit to every month.

If you like this article, could you please share this for me using the button below?

Why Social Engagement Is More Important Than SEO?

For many bloggers, search engine optimization or SEO is very important when it comes to growing a website. And yes, this is wrong! Hell wrong ... I should be focusing on reader's engagement and let me tell you why.

I did two case studies last month and the figures really opened my eyes. Through my experience, new websites on competing on moderate to high competition keywords usually get very less traffic for the first few months. When I read Neil Patel's Quick Sprout, it made me realized that I could actually grow my website from nothing to something ... within days.

What's worst is that I'm competing on super high competition keywords such as:

Do you know how much competitions I'm actually facing? Literally, it felt like competing with a quarter of the total websites in the world.

So, this is probably not the question of the year but it sure sounds important for you and me; Why should you focus more on social engagement than plain, straight-forward search engine optimization techniques?

This is not about ditching your SEO strategies but to improvise it. Start thinking out of the box!

Here's what Google said in the past:

'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.'

This is what Google says now:

'In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.'

Source: Google

Does this make any sense to you? I even underlined the important words for you. So, ask yourself again now; How important is social engagement in Google point of view?

The below are two case studies which I did to see how social engagement affects my website growth and traffic.

Case Study 1

Focused on:

  1. Search engine optimization techniques
  2. Quality content
  3. Using right keywords
Website traffic was moderate to low

My website traffic was pretty low considering that it is new and limited social engagement

Look at the graph. Does that look familiar to you? For me, absolutely yes. Regardless how many new websites I started up, my graph and website traffic has always be like that.

20 to 50 views a day? That doesn't make the cut! I need to do more and think out of the box; Is there any other way to improve and increase my website traffic?

Case Study 2:

Focused on:

  1. Social shares (social media)
  2. Reader's engagement
  3. Commenting on other blogs of the same niche
Website traffic increase

My website traffic increase dramatically when there was comments done on Google+ and social media

Even a young boy could tell the difference right? My website traffic exploded, skyrocketed and increase more than what I expected.

This is H-U-G-E ...

In just one week:

  • Website traffic increase at least 2.5 times more
  • Over 50 comments received
  • Bounce rate reduced by 10%
  • And my Gooogle Adsense revenue grow by 33%

This is H-U-G-E ...

Case study 2 isn't much about the normal SEO stuffs most bloggers talk about ... you know, content, keywords and the list continues.

Instead, case study 2 is how clever bloggers and writers grow their websites. Just look at how Traffic Generation Cafe, Kikolani and CopyBlogger grow their websites.

Practically, they did everything every one was doing. From search engine optimization techniques to writing great contents.

But, they did everything with a twist ... they added human touch.

What? Human touch?

A good blogger is a blogger who writes for its readers

Human touch is more than just hand shaking

Read some of your articles and tell me if these articles are written for search engines and not for readers. I admit it, even I have some article written for search engines and that's bad.

I classify human touch as one part of social engagement. When your readers hits your website, you got to make sure that you try your best to get to them and welcome them.

If you are writing a blog or article, make sure you are catering for your human readers and not bots. Readers want to read facts and not SEO optimized articles. Period. 

Be a reader yourself to be engaging

Nowadays, reader's engagement is way more important than content itself.

Always put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Imagine you are visiting a blog and the writer is actually writing for search engines and not for the reader. Would you be back? I guess not.

Sames goes here. When a reader leave a comment, reply to them and tell them how much you appreciate them. I know a bunch of bloggers who don't reply to comment and this is absolutely why you should ... starting now!

You want to your website to grow in terms of traffic, search engine ranking and even subscribers right? You got to do something to make them come back for more! And, you wouldn't go any wrong with some customer service or human touch I would say.

Small steps could create big improvements in social engagement

Before you even thinking of going into social media, make sure you are ready for it. Update all your profiles and make sure they are good. Yes, real good.

Tip when writing a profile: Compose a short profile where readers can get an idea of what you are in just 15 seconds or less.

You want your readers to engage with you and you want to create a good platform for that. There's no better way then showing to people what you really are with a good profile and a nice photo of you. Please ... no fake photos or some celebrities. That's a recipe for disaster 🙂

Why reader's engagement matters?

It doesn't really matter if the reader is leaving a negative or positive comment. Taking for an example, I received a comment yesterday by Adrian Jock. He pointed out that I had overlooked one of the facts and I didn't delete that. Instead, I published it and did the right amendment as what pointed out. You can find the article here: The Truth About Aweber And MailChimp.

I used to be a blogger myself who deletes all bad comments and leave good ones instead. Well, even though that is absolutely doable, I wanted to be slightly different.

Now, do a little thinking and do you get the point?

The fact is that any discussion could be a great discussion. It really depends on how you talk it out. I know some comments turned out to be heated one instead. And that, by all means ... please avoid it! 🙂

Thank your readers who left comments on your website

Thanking your readers could increase readership

A small note of thank you goes a long way especially for bloggers

This is another important part that is important for most readers following from the above. They love to see your reply and yes this is the real deal. I know quite a few bloggers and writers who do not respond to their reader's comment. If you're following their footsteps, you should stop right now!

If you want to boost your social engagement level and get your readers to come back for more, you should start talking to them. There's no better way then thanking them for their time visiting and even reply to their feedback.

For me, I reward my readers and those who leave a comment by using CommentLuv plugin. Basically, anyone can entitle for a free DoFollow link as long as they comment and share the article on social media. Don't hear my words for it. Instead, here's the link (it'll open a new window for you): What is CommentLuv WordPress plugin?

Start leaving your comments on other blogs!

Have you ever encountered a time where you stumbled upon some article on the web and liked it? Why don't you leave a comment and thank the author for the hard work? Moreover, they deserved it since they had provided some sort of important information for you.

When you are leaving comments on blogs, make sure you make it as insightful as possible. This means that you must scrape off all those thank you and goodbye stuffs. Instead, thank them for the hard work and add some of your thoughts into the matter.

I know probably 90% of the blogs out there do not allow links on their comment right? This is where you should take advantage of CommentLuv enable sites. Sharing good comment and get a link share in return?

I don't think there's anything else better than this!

The importance of social share (social media)

Like it or hate it, social share is important. Imagine the webpage had just opened and immediately, your eyes are attracted to the total number of social media shares it has on that page. I bet your mind is telling you that the article is pretty impressive and worth your time reading right?

Yes! That's it! The more social share you have, the better chance people are going to be convinced on what you've to say.

Recently, I've been very active on social media and for every like, retweet or share I got on social media, my traffic exploded multiple times. Does this make any logical sense for you?

I bet it do ... right?

Writing good content is important but if no one is reading it, there ain't any point. Therefore, it is best if you can allocate some time around daily for some social shares. Even sharing other articles is also a great move as well!

When it comes to social engagement, here are 14 recommended social engagement tools to help you in terms of marketing.

If you are looking for a good (and free) Social Media management tool, you may want to sign up for SocialOomph.

Over to you ...

I'm sure you are now convinced that social engagement is extremely important regardless it is for SEO, website ranking or even increasing website traffic.

What do you think about social engagement and are you practicing it already?

Hit the Reply button below and let's discuss.

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Integrating Content Optimization Techniques With My SEO Blueprint

Nearly every successful bloggers talks about content optimization, website optimization and best SEO practices when it comes to the almighty SEO. And of course, you will be wondering what content optimization will to do with search engine optimization.

Welcome to the new era (after Google Penguin update). You have probably heard some websites got a huge Page Rank boost and I know one who had a superb boost, from a PR 0 to a PR 4!

Let's get back to topic on the relationship between content optimization and search engine optimization, shall we?

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization or also known as SEO, is regarded as the most important thing for a blogger or web developer when it comes to ranking.

In easier words, search engine optimization refers to the process in making blogs and websites selected as the best information provider by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

There could be one hundred million websites (I am just making up the numbers) now on the world wide web and search engines are not able to show all the results.

Therefore, blogs and websites which are highly optimized for search engines will be featured in the search engine result pages (SERPs).

Make sense?

Higher and better search engine optimization = More visibility for search engines = More chances of ranking better on result pages = More traffic to blog = Better chance of making money through blogging

Focus keyword plays an important role when it comes content optimization

How do you optimize your website?

So, what is content optimization?

Now, some of you might have heard about content optimization and some doesn't. Don't worry as this was first an 'alien' to me as well. Content optimization is the process of us (bloggers) optimizing our website contents.

Guys, pay attention to this as content optimization one of the best search engine optimization techniques after Google Penguin Update.

Content optimization doesn't mean making your content as short as possible or reducing the number of words. Instead, it means that shifting your focus on several parts to make your article standout.

Sounds crazy? Sounds like lots of work? Definitely, if you want to have good ranking then it is worth your time. I used to write 3 to 5 articles a day. When I started doing content optimization, I only manage to write one article per day. So, give me a break ya?

Content optimization focuses on several important SEO practices (which I will explain in a minute or less):

  1. Focus keyword
  2. Density of keywords
  3. Using alt tags
  4. Using H1 to H3 headings
  5. Use both internal and external link building methods

p/s This video is an example of what a content optimization tool can do for you. Of course, NOT convincing you to buy but it gives you a great idea of what content optimization really means!

1. What is focus keyword? 

Content optimization: You want your content to be filled with your focus keyword. Period.

For bloggers who are using WordPress SEO by Yoast, this term will be very familiar for you. I always consider focus keyword as the main objective or title of the website.

When you are aware of the focus keyword, you would then be able to write and create better blog post. Trust me on this.

Basically focus keyword plays a huge role when it comes to search engine optimization is because it allows bloggers like you and me to be very focus in the topic we are writing. You can actually consider that as niche writing if that helps you to understand further.

Not to forget, focus keyword is usually short and very descriptive. The more precise your focus keywords are, the better the chances you are going to increase your blog rankings.

2. How keyword density affects content optimization and SEO ranking?

There's no denial in the advantages of using keywords when it comes to search engine optimization. It doesn't matter if you are writing an article based on 500 words or 1,500 words. Keyword density is much more than just plain important and it is a very important factor in content optimization.

Thinking of getting your content optimized? Get your hands dirty with keyword density and you will see your website or blog grow. When I say your website will grow, I mean growing in both traffic, SEO ranking and make more money online.  Seriously.

When we talk about keyword density, it usually means the amount of focus keywords used in that particular article. I heard many people saying that it is best to have focus keywords to be nothing more than 5% density.

For me, I prefer to have a 3% keyword density for my main keyword. Why? Self preference and no obvious reasons! Throughout my years in doing various research on optimization techniques, I concluded that I wanted my article to be a little different from the rest.  My SEO practices in my websites are slightly different especially when it comes to keyword density.

Basically, I try to have 3 keywords in all my blog posts. Here's how the 'layout' and my search engine optimization blueprint:

2% - main keyword

1% - secondary keyword

< 1% - secondary keyword

My main keyword is usually very focused, two to three letters keyword while the balance two keywords are usually slightly phrase keyword or general keyword (high competition keyword).

3. Using alt tags in content optimization techniques

Again and again, I see bloggers and many webmasters leaving this important optimization factor out and honestly, I have no freaking idea why!

Where you can find alt tags? You can find alt tags only in images (especially when you are uploading them). Screen shot as below:

Alt tags plays an important role when it comes to optimization

You can fill up your important keywords in the Alt Text column

So, why alt tags are important in terms of search engine optimization? Google and many search engines doesn't only look at your content description but also, alt tags.

Therefore, if you want to rank well on search engine result pages (SERPs), then you better get all images up with the right alt tags. When it comes to alt tags, there is basically just one rule for that.

The rule is...drum roll please...the important SEO rule in alt tags is to always insert your selected keywords into your alt tags.

Why amigo? Why?

Read the above again. Search engines such as Google do index these images and check on their alt tags. Make sense? Go figure!

4. The H1 to H3 roles in search engine optimization

Before you read what I have to say about the famous H1 to H3 heading tags, this is what Pearson had to say. If you are wondering who Pearson is, he is the one of the important figures behind the famous WordPress theme, Thesis Theme from DIYThemes.

Optimize your website using the right heading tags

Pearson's idea on the different headings for a blog or website

Yup you see and read them correctly! Here are three things you learn from the image above:

  1. You should only focus using H1 to H3 heading tags in your blog or website
  2. You should use H1 to H3 heading tags to boost your SEO ranking
  3. You could use H4 to H6 but they doesn't really matter much in terms of SEO

Don't believe? Take a moment to scroll through this blog post. Do you noticed that I uses H1 heading for my main blog title followed by H2 and H3 headings for different sub headings?

For me, the reason behind this is rather easy. Google loves the fact that we (bloggers and writers) are trying to make website navigation easier. With these different heading tags, readers (especially skimmers) are able to browse through the whole blog post and searching for the right headline or subject to read instead of reading the whole article itself.

Using the different heading tags actually makes your article or blog post more organized and in terms of SEO, it means optimized. Yes, you got it right now! Hello content optimization.

Wait! Alt tags doesn't only help in SEO but it also makes reading more fun and at the same time, reduces the bounce rate for the website.

Whoa! Isn't that one hell of an advantage with just one optimization techniques? You bet...you bet.

5. External and internal link building strategy

This is what Google says about link building on Ranking Help Article:

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.

From the above, it is clear that Google prefer to see websites being promoted and shared around. So, what does this do with link building?

When it comes to search engine optimization, everyone talk about building external links and that's where everyone is so wrong! Link building is not about building external links but as well as building internal links.

Honestly, I didn't noticed the importance of building internal links until I came across this SEO content optimization tool. At first, I was wondering why my page score wasn't that high as what I expected. After some digging, I realized that linking at least one internal link on my blog post could easily increase the page score.

And that was huge!

That wasn't enough and I did extra homework. After finding reviews and several opinions from larger SEO websites, I realized that the correct link building strategy is a healthy combination of internal and external links.

So, the moral of the story is pretty simple. If you want to perform good content optimization or you are searching for a good search engine optimization technique, make sure you practice building both internal and external links to your websites.

That is the bottom line when it comes to optimize your website correctly.

What do you understand about content optimization now?

With the latest Google Penguin Update, content optimization had become more important than ever. Do you practice any other content optimization? I am looking forward to hear from you and feel free to contact me or reply to me using the comment form.

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What Are The Best SEO Techniques After Google Penguin Update?

The latest Google Penguin Update has taken the SEO world by storm. This message from Google couldn't be any more clearer especially when Google are searching for bad SEO techniques that websites and blogs are practicing. This made many SEO experts and even SEO enthusiast like me keep wondering what are the best search engine optimization techniques one should practice.

Of course, for those who have no idea what Google Penguin Update was and or how will (and probably could had affected) your websites, this video from Matt Cutts explained them all.

Movie time!

Should you change your SEO techniques?

It doesn't matter if you are doing white hat SEO or black hat SEO. The bottom line is that you need to make sure you are doing it correctly.

When I say correctly, it simply means that all your SEO techniques must not be spammy. Even if you are building backlinks from Web 2.0 or Wiki's, you must make sure you need to pay extra attention to those small and petty things such as anchor text.

If you are interested to understand how anchor text is going to change the face of search engine optimization techniques, then you can head over to this eBook on SEO link building or this one written by the famous Rand Fishkin from Moz.

I even received some private message on Facebook asking if it is still worth using SEO tools in terms of website optimization. Of course, I am not talking about those free SEO tools but I am talking about those famous, search engine optimization tools such as link building tool and content optimization program.

Now let me be very honest with you on this matter. I dare to say that premium SEO tools are still worthy and important in terms of search engine optimization.

You see, there are probably tons of SEO tools out there to choose from regardless if they are free or paid. Either way, it depends back to the end user in terms of using them! I know many bloggers who fail to use Ultimate Demon link building tool to correctly and they were slapped pretty bad with the latest Google Update.

What are the best SEO techniques right now?

Disclaimer: These methods does not guarantee you 100% success in your search engine optimization strategies. However, use these methods as guidelines and modify them according to your website's need.

  1. Understand the basic of search engine optimization (eBook version)
  2. Increase interaction and engagement on various blogs and websites of the same niche
  3. Creating deep links between websites and blogs (reading)
  4. The effect of guest posting (eBook version)
  5. Improve your website SEO ranking with this free SEO analysis and report

The first part is rather clear. All these Google updates are done because (and I highly believe) Google wanted no one to misuse the SEO for their own advantage. This was what Adam from BloggingWizard said during one of our conversations:

SEO techniques that uses bad link building will have negative impact on website

This is just one part of our conversation but you get the point

As you can see now, it seems pretty obvious that there are many SEO techniques which are (sadly) misused by many. I know I am going a little off topic here but just giving my opinion.

Assuming that's the case, it is best that we need to understand how this search engine optimization really works and you have two choices. You can either read this eBook which would cost you like less than $10 or follow this blog closesly for more SEO tips. Of course, you can also contact me if you have any issues as well!

The reader's engagement rule

Readers engagement is one of the best SEO techniques for bloggers

Welcome your readers and thank them for visiting your website

In this article, I want to stress the importance of the reader's engagement when it comes to SEO best practices. Now, ask your self a few quick questions first before we go in any deeper into the topic.

Reader's engagement rule is huge. It consist not only other blogs and websites but it also involves social media. The rule of engagement for this types of SEO techniques are very simple indeed.

You want to build good search engine ranking or quality backlinks. Now, the more people talk about your article, blog or website, the chances of you getting traffic is better. Don't forget that big daddy, Google is more than happy to give higher SEO ranking to websites who are constantly and actively in the discussion.

Have you noticed how websites such as ProBlogger, kikolani and probloggingsuccess are doing very well in search engine ranking page results? Have you ever why they always top the chart whenever you search for any related terms?

The answer is easy. Look at the number of comments they have. We are not talking about 5 or 10. We are talking hundreds of comments, for Christ's sake!

Doesn't this prove that reader's engagement is one of the best SEO practices of all time? Yup, you got it right!

Of course, there is a little bonus for those using WordPress platform. If you want to drive traffic to your website, I would highly recommend you to use CommentLuv Premium. This is the best comment plugin for WordPress when it comes to link building and search engine optimization methods.

Hint: Some websites (including this website) are offering free follow backs or DoFollow link back when the reader had contributed a certain number of comments.

The effect of guest posting in terms of search engine optimization

Increase SEO ranking using guest post

Guest post can easily create a healthy backlink to your website

Are you interested to build quality backlinks for your website? I bet you are right and that's why you are here right now. Guest posting was deem valuable in the past and now, it is worth more than gold.

So, how does guest posting actually helps in terms of SEO?

Every time a guest post is made, the writer is going to link the article back to his or her own website. Good for you since you are able to get 1 point for backlink right?

Wait! There's more!

Whenever you are doing a guest post, you are not only selling your article but as well as selling your website and brand. Yes, you are telling people that you are alive and kickin'.

The websites that you are going to publish your articles should be:

  • Well recognized
  • Having good traffic
  • A good Page Rank
  • And highly related to your niche

When it comes to SEO techniques, Google and other search engines doesn't really matter how you generate such backlinks (until certain extend of course). Let's imagine this:

One guest post consist of one links to root domain (author box), two deep links pointing to specific articles on your website. There goes three superb good link building points!

Sounds good? Oh yes, it certainly does.

If you want to venture into guest posting or simply making guest posting one of your SEO techniques, these are what you need to prepare:

  1. Quality articles of about 600 to 1,500 words (depending on websites and requirements)
  2. Do some bloody research. I mean...do some serious research before hand
  3. Write once but recheck it more than twice
  4. Find the best link building website to publish the article (okay I am joking about the link building website as any good page rank websites would do)

Back to you

What do you think of this article? With the latest Google Penguin update, are you going to change your SEO techniques? Do you have any other search engine optimization methods to share aloud? I am sure you have some under your sleeves and therefore, feel free to reply using the comment form below.

Oh yes! Before I forget, I sincerely hope you will signup for my free SEO newsletter. If you have not, you could signup below and it would take less than 10 seconds of your time. I promise!

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Blow Your Competitions Away With SEO Link Building Techniques

With the latest Google update, it is extremely clear that proper SEO link building or white hat SEO is one of the few ways to really rank well on search engine result pages (SERPs).

What do you really know about SEO link building?

As I had written about the effect of the latest Google update, building links pointing deep into your root directory will not only save you from any future Google updates but also provide healthy website authority in the eyes of search engines. This is deemed one of the best search engine optimization techniques post Google Penguin update.

Even this post on Famous Bloggers written by Adam highlighted the many ways to build some quality backlinks (and of course, one of the methods are below).

SEO Link Building? What?

I have a whole different perception when it comes to SEO link building. With today's competition, building links the normal way is not enough if you want to compete with the big boy. I received this comment which I think it is rather interesting (and mind blowing).

What is the best SEO technique nowadays?

Thank you Louis for the comment! It got me thinking the whole night!

Many people talk about SEO or search engine optimization. However, how many people actually practice the right search engine optimization techniques? I wrote several articles including the currently popular, Best SEO Tool For Website Optimization. I had stated (numerous times) that in the current world now, you need to think out of the box to do SEO.

So, how can you do SEO? Here's what I did:

  1. Understand how search engine optimization really works (reading)
  2. Get a free copy of this SEO report to know what you are lacking (detailed SEO analysis)
  3. Practice SEO link building not to your main domain but to deep root or in other words, linking specific articles
  4. Use different anchor text and make a variety of them to link back to your website, articles and pages
  5. Commenting on other blogs of the same genre and niche (recommended comment plugin to boost link building)
  6. Practice Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 link building (I will create a different topic for this)
  7. Using the right SEO tools to optimize content (reading)

*p/s Some of them would have links which you can easily click on and check on the articles or SEO tools which I recommend.

As you can see above, it only took 7 steps to properly optimized my website and it boosted my website in many ways (both traffic and SEO wise). This isn't any BS talk as I have facts to show.

I know you love seeing images and photos instead of just wall of text right? I posted my results in my article, How Website Optimization Can Save You From Google Panda/Penguin Update?

Most of the above requires some reading but I am sure those will help you when it comes to doing SEO analysis or choosing the right SEO techniques for your website.

Today, let's talk about SEO techniques #3  and #4 only. I could go for all but I am afraid you will consider this article as a bedtime story instead! Go figure!

Create SEO link building starting from your deep links outwards

Website SEO ranking will increase with the number of deep links.

Creating low quality backlink will increase the chances of being penalized by Google

The rule of thumb for SEO link building technique is to create links pointing back to articles and pages instead of the root domain.

When I talk about SEO link building, I am talking about deep, deep links. Google and other search engines loves deep link building.

This means that building link not pointing to your main website but to specific articles. The more you use this SEO technique, the better chance you are going to create good search engine optimization ranking for your website. Period!

I used to build links in the past pointing to my root domain only but that is so wrong. What you need to do is instead of sharing your root domain, share your article or page links instead. This is to ensure that you are giving a good impression to other search engines that you are not trying to create low quality backlinks.

Always remember that 10 quality backlinks worth more than 100 low quality backlinks.

It's a no brainer that search engines love backlinks. Because of this, take the opportunity to build even better quality backlinks. Anyone can create quality backlinks and therefore, do you want to be normal or be able to stand out from the crowd?

Bet you want to stand out of the crowd right? Then start building backlinks using deep article link building technique. The deeper it is, the better chance it will rank!

If you are looking for free Google resources to help you with some search engine optimization, maybe this would help.

Less means more in smart SEO link building techniques

Good SEO link building worth more than low quality backlinks

What do you understand about backlinks from this image? Make any sense to you?

What the hell am I talking about? Anchor text of course for Christ's sake!

What is anchor text?

The anchor text, link label, link text, or link title is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. The words contained in the anchor text can determine the ranking that the page will receive by search engines - Wikipedia

Okay so anchor text is something search engines care for. Great! What's next?

Using the right anchor text is another SEO link building technique. You want search engine to index your page or article and therefore, giving a good description is indeed, more than a great choice.

See below for the examples for good anchor text examples for ReginaldChan.net:

Using 6 different anchor texts for my website will 'inform' search engines that the site isn't only about search engine optimization, but also consist of several different topics but are linked closely to the main topic (in this case, search engine optimization).

Make any sense?

Having more anchor words doesn't confuse search engines IF you are using them correctly. Instead, it will provide deeper and better chances of optimizing your website in terms of keywords.

A great tip when it comes to anchor text is always make sure you are using the right words to describe your links. A badly written example could easily reduce SEO 'points' for your website.

So, what have you learned today about search engine optimization?

It doesn't matter if you are planning to build links to your website, practice the best SEO techniques or even doing a simple SEO analysis. Creating links and much more importantly, quality backlinks is the only and safest way to go after this Google Penguin update.

This Google Penguin update not only brought search engine optimization a whole new level, it also make many SEO tools look bad. Of course, a few great SEO tools like this one for content optimization still able to perform well due to quality and performance. Of course, you can find the full list of my favorite SEO tools by clicking here as well.

Are you building links correctly for your websites or blogs? Tell me if the last Google Update affected yours and how did you overcome that?

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