If you’re blogging, one of the most important things to understand is how search engines rank your page. With a little bit of effort and some research, it’s possible to have your blog be found on the first page for relevant keywords that are related to your content.
This guide will cover what technical SEO strategies work best for blogs with WordPress or Blogger platforms with additional hints on optimizing posts and pages.
Backlinks remain one of the most integral components of a winning search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, and they’re going to be even more critical in 2021.
As you begin developing your backlink strategy in 2021, it’s important to remember that your backlinks’ quality is critical.
If you can build an extensive network of top-quality backlinks, you’ll supercharge your SEO campaigns and likely soar above competitors.
Backlinks are external links that appear on other websites, linking to your own. They’re also known as inbound links or external backlinks.
Before you can begin a link building campaign, you should take specific steps to prepare your website.
If you can increase your website’s authority, it could go a long way in maximizing your backlinking campaigns’ effectiveness.
Address Optimization Issues
In many cases, marketers will launch a backlinking campaign before the website they’re linking to is prepared.
It’s best to optimize your website to get the most from those backlinks that connect to it.
Otherwise, you might not get the best results as Google might not perceive your site as authoritative.
It would be best if you took the time to fix all user experience (UX) design and other technical issues, which you can accomplish by using site crawling software to pull all page data.
In the process, you’ll gain some insight into your site’s performance and determine what needs improvement.
Some common problems that you might encounter when checking your website could include:
- Canonical errors
- Slow page loading speed
- Duplicate content
- Duplicate title tags and metadata
- Incorrect directives
- A lack of responsive design for mobile users
Use Effective Internal Linking
One of the best ways to support your web pages within your website and increase traffic throughout is to use an internal linking strategy.
Link to other products or service pages to lead people down the sales funnel, or you can link to relevant blog posts within other blog posts.
Internal links can help search engines index your pages more easily while encouraging people who are visiting that first landing page to continue exploring your website.
Many businesses may be eager to get backlinks to pages that encourage people to make a purchase, such as service or product pages.
While these may be ideal for targeting for the purpose of driving sales, you’ll likely experience better success with search engines and backlinking sites if you seek links for content that people find helpful.
It’s best to get backlinks for top-of-funnel content such as educational blog posts informing audiences that another blogger or webmaster will be more interested in linking to from their content.
Use Redirects for Broken Links
Another way to increase your website’s authority is to utilize redirects, either in the form of 301s or 302s. While 302s are temporary redirects that may be unintentional, 301 redirects function as a more permanent redirect.
If you notice any 302s in your website’s backend after performing a site crawl, try to convert all of them into 301s.
Depending on the type of backend you have, creating 301 redirects can be a simple process.
For example, you can use a simple plugin to help you create redirections in WordPress.
However, you might lose some authority to the original page, as the new link will essentially be an entirely new page.
Check out this article where I share if Yoast Premium is worth it. Check out the part about the redirects.
Create and Curate Linkable Content
You can’t get backlinks for just any content you want.
Instead, the best practice is to make sure there is a good amount of content that people will want to link to within their content and inform their audiences.
If your content ranks well and people find it in organic search results, they may even be inclined to share it on their own, creating more backlinks without any extra work on your end.
Elements of a Successful Backlink Strategy
Once you’ve prepared your website and built some authority on your side, it’s time to prepare your backlink strategy.
If you want to get started with a good strategy, there are some elements to consider that can help ease the process and set specific goals for your campaigns.
Some aspects of a successful link building strategy could include:
Specific backlinking opportunities could be more lucrative in terms of gaining traffic.
Link building tier strategies can help gauge the relevance of a link.
Quality of links
Make sure you take some time to review opportunities’ link profiles to measure their overall quality.
Using tools like Google Analytics and Semrush, measure your site’s authority and the sites you want to link back to yours.
Difficulty of opportunities
Some opportunities will be harder to obtain than others.
If a site has specific editorial standards in place and it’s more challenging to get a link to that source, it’s often more valuable and worth pursuing if you can invest the time and effort.
General quality of the opportunity
In addition to locations with high editorial standards, try to look for opportunities that display a high level of quality.
You can take some time to browse the opportunity’s website and see other posts and links, which can help you decide whether the opportunity is a good fit.
The Importance of Focusing on the User, Not Google
To help ensure the success of your backlinking strategies in 2021, remember that it’s best to focus on creating content that’s optimized for the user instead of search engines.
If your content is appealing to visitors, you’ll ultimately encourage more backlinks and higher rankings as you attract more traffic.
Try to avoid focusing too much on links and spend more time building a strong relationship with your audience and leaders in your industry.
Search engines will continue to favor user-centric content in 2021, so it’s in your best interest to keep the user in mind when creating content and developing your link building strategy.
Places to Get Backlinks
The following locations will offer some of the best backlinking opportunities in 2021 and beyond:
Business Listings and Citations
An easy way to build backlinks is to make sure your business appears in plenty of high-quality listings with a large number of citations. This can help you build authority for your site while gaining people’s trust.
Whether you want to appear on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or another platform, you can share your content on a relevant site and encourage your audience to visit the post or page from there.
Geo-Targeting and Specialized Directories
You can also make sure your site appears on either geo-targeted or specialized directories. If your business has a physical location, you can put it on geo-specific directories. If you want to target a specific niche, you can also get your business to appear on specialized directories.
Blogs or online magazines in your industry could offer plenty of great opportunities to submit guest posts that may include backlinks to your website. At the same time, your guest posts could lend more credibility to your business and build your audience, potentially attracting more customers.
Spam comments are likely to hurt your site, but leaving genuine helpful or insightful comments on blog posts with links to your site can make for an effective backlinking strategy.
What Types of Backlinks Should You Avoid?
For a strong backlinking campaign and to avoid wasting time and hurting your website’s authority, the following are some opportunities that you’re better off ignoring:
• Spammy blog comments
• Irrelevant websites
• Automated backlinks that obtain links through the use of spam software
• Sidebar and footer links that include content that isn’t helpful or relevant
Keeping all of these aspects in mind and building an effective backlinking strategy in 2021 will help boost SEO performance in the long term. You’ll also be able to improve your reputation and recognition as an authority in your industry.
How Do I Create Quality Backlinks?
Blogs or online magazines in your industry could offer plenty of great opportunities to submit guest posts that may include backlinks to your website. At the same time, your guest posts could lend more credibility to your business and build your audience, potentially attracting more customers.How Can One Determine The Quality of a Backlink?
Make sure you take some time to review opportunities’ link profiles to measure their overall quality.
Using tools like Google Analytics and Semrush, measure the site’s authority and the sites you want to link back to yours. Avoid websites that look like they are full of paid links, and spammy links like Gambling, and CBD oil for example. Remember, if that website goes down in site authority, and is penalized for spam, that backlink can hurt you rather than help. Use Semrush to review the authority score and choose scores that are high whenever possible.
What is a Place to get High-Quality Backlinks?
The best backlinks are the one you earn. You create content that other websites want to refer to. That being said, you can hire companies like Fat Joe SEO to help you build backlinks.
What’s the best Software to Create High-Quality Backlinks.
Most of the high-end SEO tools have backlinking elements. Semrush offers a link-building tool that is very comprehensive. It allows you to create backlink outreach campaigns and monitor your backlinks.
Domain and Page Authority
Getting a high ranking on Google is the ambition of most bloggers. After all, if you get to the number one spot, it can increase your traffic by as much as 200%.
With so many different search engine ranking factors to keep track of, though, it can be tricky to monitor your blog’s overall performance.
To discover how effective your search engine optimization efforts have been overall, the best metric to track is domain authority (DA).
Domain authority is a search engine ranking score developed by the SEO company Moz. The score, which ranges from 1 to 100, predicts the likelihood of the pages of a website ranking on Google.
You can check the domain authority of your site by visiting the Moz domain SEO analysis tool. It is sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube that achieve the magical score of 100. The average Moz DA score is between 40 and 50.
If your website has a low DA score, it does not mean that it will be impossible to achieve a high-ranking result on Google.
If you have a high-quality page on your site with little competition, that page could still reach the top spot.
However, a low domain authority score will make it harder to get most pages on the first pages of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
Improving your DA score is a long-term project, but it can be done, and as your DA rises, so will the position that all your pages hold Google.
Here are steps to increase the domain authority of your website.
Target Acquiring Good Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are one of the most crucial ranking factors. Still, thousands of low-quality backlinks are going to do little to improve your site’s domain authority. Indeed, buying cheap backlinks could get your site penalized by Google. I recently discovered a company called Fat Joe that specializes in building quality backlinks.
Disavow Damaging Backlinks
Google will reward you with higher rankings if you have plenty of high-quality backlinks pointing to your site.
However, the search engine giant will also punish you with lower rankings if you have too many bad links.
Of course, you have no control over who links to your site. But you can find bad links and disavow them, which will stop Google from using them to calculate your ranking.
You can conduct an audit of backlinks with tools like the SEMrush backlink checker. Then, you can disavow toxic links in the console.
Make Your Site User Friendly
Moz uses several factors in determining the domain authority of a site. One of those factors is how user-friendly a website is and how it is structured.
Ensure that your site has a simple, easy-to-follow structure so that search engines can discover all your content.
Make it easy for people to find their way around your site by adding internal links and an easy-to-follow menu structure. Tidying up your website navigation will also increase the time that each visitor spends on your site.
Create Content That Attracts Links
If you create content that people want to share, you will attract more backlinks from high-authority sites. When you set up your content marketing schedule, think about what types of posts people might want to link to and share.
There are many types of posts that you could use to encourage backlinks. You could create informative articles that explain a topic related to your niche, for example.
You could post infographics that might be published on other websites. Tips and tutorials are another type of content that is likely to be shared. Every link you get from a high DA site will help increase your site’s domain authority.
Neil Patel says, in this article, that It’s better to have a few quality backlinks than a ton of ineffective ones.
Add Links in Your Content to Authoritative Sites
Linking from your site to other authoritative websites may also increase the DA score of your site.
Linking to reputable external sources helps to cement your site’s reputation as a respected, authentic site.
Outbound links to authoritative sites may also result in reciprocal links from some of those sites. Equally, it would help if you were wary of having any outbound links that point to potentially toxic sites.
If your site is directing visitors towards spammy or suspicious sites, it could negatively affect your Google ranking.
Become the Authority in Your Niche
Set yourself up as an authority in your niche, and the DA-boosting high-quality backlinks will come naturally.
Becoming an authoritative figure in your sector will also increase the credibility of your commercial brand.
Try posting articles that highlight your expertise in your niche on your blog. Post on forums and leave comments on the blogs of other websites in your sector.
You could also submit informative guest posts to related websites. Be careful, though, not to spam other sites. Ensure that all the content you post on third-party sites has value and does not appear to be merely an attempt to gain a backlink.
Make Your Website 100% Mobile-Friendly
Mobile device users now account for more than half of all website traffic. So, it is crucial to your website rankings that your site is 100% mobile-friendly.
Don’t just assume that your site works well with mobile devices. Test your website with the Google mobile-friendly test. The report created by this test will tell you if your pages are optimized for mobile devices and suggest any changes that might need to make.
You cannot afford to ignore this aspect of your website design because Google now favors mobile-friendly sites.
Improve Internal Links
Your internal links will also make it easier for search engines to discover your content and decipher which of your pages are the most important.
Promote Your Content
You can increase your website’s domain authority by promoting your content on social media and other platforms.
Every time your content is liked or shared, it adds a social signal which will further demonstrate your website’s popularity.
Promoting your content will also increase the chances of your content being discovered, linked to, and shared.
Check out this list of Social Media Tools to automate some of these processes.
Give Your Domain Time to Age
Time alone will eventually boost the DA score of your website. Older domains have more credibility and will be given a higher domain authority.
So, avoid changing your domain name because, if you do, you will be throwing away some valuable domain authority.
When setting up a new website, you might want to consider buying an expired aged domain, which will already have some domain authority attached to it.
Check out GoDaddy Domains.
Domain authority indicates how popular a site is and how likely the site is to rank on Google.
The search engines rank a site’s popularity is primarily based on the number of quality backlinks pointing to the site.
Increasing a website’s domain authority is a long-term strategy.
If you follow the above tips, you should see the number of high-quality links to your site increasing and the DA score creeping up.
Does your website suffer from poor visitor engagement and low traffic? While countless factors can affect your website’s performance, one of the most influential is navigation. If visitors struggle to find specific sections or pages of content, they’ll probably leave. You can improve your website’s navigation, however, by using breadcrumb navigation
Hi there, I’m Lori Ballen.
Content Creator and Coach
I’m a 6-figure blogger, real estate agent, affiliate marketer, trainer, and coach. I share top digital marketing strategies to help bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses grow their brand, website traffic, and database.
What Is Breadcrumb Navigation?
Consisting of links with relevant anchor text, breadcrumb navigation is a graphical representation of a visitor’s location on a website.
It’s typically displayed at either the top or bottom of all or most pages. Breadcrumb navigation shows the visitor’s current page as well as all upper-level category pages and the homepage.
An e-commerce store that specializes in footwear, for example, may feature the following breadcrumb navigation on a category page for open-toe high-heels:
E-Commerce Store Name > Women’s Footwear > High Heels > Open-Toe High Heels
A business-to-business (B2B) digital marketing website, on the other hand, may feature the following breadcrumb navigation on a page about Facebook Ads:
Digital Marketing Website Name > Social Media > Facebook > Facebook Ads
In both examples, the breadcrumb navigation begins with the website’s name and is proceeded by several category pages. If a visitor wants to access an upper-level category page, he or she can click the category’s linked title.
Each of the links in breadcrumb navigation is known as a breadcrumb, which is a reference to “Hansel and Gretel.” Written by the Grimm brothers in the early 1800s, “Hansel and Gretel” tells the story of a boy and his sister who are kidnapped by a witch.
To find their way back home, the siblings leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Breadcrumb navigation works in the same way by showing visitors their exact location on a website while providing clickable links so that they can return to upper-level category pages or the homepage.
Why Your Website Needs Breadcrumb Navigation
Breadcrumb navigation offers several benefits. When included on your website, it offers an alternative form of navigation. Breadcrumb navigation isn’t intended to replace your website’s primary form of navigation.
If you include breadcrumb navigation on your website, you should still use a traditional form of navigation, such as a sidebar menu or below-header menu.
Breadcrumb navigation simply offers a secondary form of navigation, which some visitors may prefer over your website’s primary form of navigation.
You’ll probably discover the use of breadcrumb navigation has a positive impact on your website’s bounce rate. Available to view using Google Analytics, bounce rate is a performance metric that reflects the percentage of single-page visitors to your website.
If your website attracted 5,000 visitors last month, 1,000 of whom only accessed a single page during their session, your website’s bounce rate for that month would be 20 percent.
The descriptive nature of breadcrumb links compels visitors to click them.
Breadcrumb links aren’t just generic or otherwise meaningless URLs; they feature descriptive and concise anchor text. As a result, visitors will often click breadcrumb links to explore other pages.
When a visitor clicks a breadcrumb link, he or she won’t be counted as a bounce, resulting in a lower bounce rate for your website.
Because of its ability to improve user experience (UX) and promote a lower bounce rate, breadcrumb navigation may drive higher search rankings for your website.
Search engines don’t just look at the number and quality of your website’s backlinks to determine where it should rank.
They analyze hundreds of signals, including UX and bounce rate. If your website is difficult for visitors to navigate, search engines will probably rank it lower than similar but better navigation.
Of course, search engines use bounce rate as a ranking signal as well. Websites with a low bounce rate generally rank higher than those with a high bounce rate. With breadcrumb navigation, you’ll promote a better UX and a lower bounce rate for your website, which may result in higher rankings.
WordPress Websites and Marketing Services
My brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin offer WordPress Websites for bloggers and entrepreneurs. They provided content, and marketing services as well.Ballen Brands
How to Include Breadcrumb Navigation on Your Website
To include breadcrumb navigation on your website, you must create a unique string of hierarchical breadcrumb links on each page.
The links should represent the upper-level category pages under which the current page is located. While creating breadcrumb navigation for each of your website’s pages may sound difficult, there are tools that can help.
If you built your website using WordPress, you can download a breadcrumb plugin like Breadcrumb NavXT or Breadcrumb by PickPlugins. Both plugins allow you to easily create and configure breadcrumb navigation.
Your theme may also allow for breadcrumbs. Check your theme settings.
Yoast seo is another plugin that supports breadcrumb navigation. Although it’s a more versatile plugin — it supports a variety of search engine optimization (SEO) functions — Yoast seo offers quick and easy implementation of breadcrumb navigation.
It’s important to note many breadcrumb plugins for WordPress, as well as Yoast seo, automatically create schema markup for search engines. When Google discovers this markup, it may add the breadcrumb navigation to your website’s organic listings.
Even if you built your website using a different content management (CMS) than WordPress, you might be able to download and use a similar tool to create breadcrumb navigation. There are breadcrumb extensions available for Joomla, breadcrumb modules available for Drupal and breadcrumb apps available for Shopify.
Regularly Test Breadcrumb Links
With breadcrumb navigation up and running on your website, you should get into the habit of testing the breadcrumb links regularly to ensure they function as intended.
If you entered the wrong URL when setting up a breadcrumb link, visitors may still see the appropriate anchor text, but clicking it will direct them to a 404 error page.
To ensure your website’s breadcrumb links direct visitors to the appropriate pages, you must test them. Place yourself in a visitor’s digital shoes and click the breadcrumb links.
If a link takes you to a 404 error page or any other page than the intended destination, you should fix it.
As your website grows, it will encompass more pages. Breadcrumb navigation allows visitors to easily navigate your website.
Whether you have 10 or 10,000 pages of content, it offers a visual map of a visitor’s location while simultaneously allowing him or her to return to upper-level category pages or the homepage.