Technical SEO

This guide will help you learn the best technical SEO strategies for your blog.
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This guide will help you learn the best technical SEO strategies for your blog.

Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.

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.

Link Whisper is a Revolutionary WordPress Plugin to Speed Up the Process of Internal Linking and Help You Rank Better in Google .

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.

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.

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:

Traffic 

Specific backlinking opportunities could be more lucrative in terms of gaining traffic. 

Link relevance

Link building tier strategies can help gauge the relevance of a link. 

Make sure you take some time to review opportunities’ link profiles to measure their overall quality. 

Authority

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.

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.

Social Media

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.

Guest Posts

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.

Blog Comments

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.

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.

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.

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.

I use Semrush as an SEO tool, and they have a similar authority score now as well.

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.

You might like the Elementor Page Builder with the Astra Theme. They are fast, and mobile responsive. 

Improve Internal Links​

Internal links will keep people on your site for longer and help to boost your DA. Internal links will help to pass the authority of a highly ranked page to other pages on your site.

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.

If you need help with your internal links, check out Link Whisper.

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. 

Key Takeaways

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.

 You can improve your website's navigation, however, by using breadcrumb navigation.

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.

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.

  • How To Do An SEO Audit on your Website in 2021
    https://youtu.be/mYDdUPhBqa4

    I use SEMrush to perform site audits on my websites. I can quickly measure my site health, technical SEO errors, warnings, and notices, core web vitals, crawlability, schema markup, internal linking, and more. 

    Crawlability

    You want to create a site structure that makes it easy for Google to crawl. Your crawlability score will help you find crawlability issues on your website. Using the SEMrush site audit tool, you can access your indexability score, crawl budget waste, crawl depth, and internal links.

  • The Skyscraper Link-Building Technique: How to Rise Above Your Competitors
    https://youtu.be/OUqMSy_vNys

    What Is the Skyscraper Link-Building Technique?

    Pioneered by Backlinko founder and seo expert Brian Dean, the skyscraper link-building technique is one in which you steal your competitors’ organic backlinks using high-quality content.

    It involves identifying your competitors’ top-linked content, followed by creating content that’s similar but better on your website, and then contacting the sources of your competitors’ backlinks to request your own backlink.

    It’s called the skyscraper link-building technique because it builds upon your competitors’ content.

    The idea behind the skyscraper link-building technique is that other webmasters who currently link to your competitors’ content may link to your content if it’s better. Most webmasters are selective regarding the content to which they link.

    They know that visitors are more likely to return to their website if they link to high-quality content rather than low-quality content.

    If a webmaster currently links to one of your competitor’s content, you might be able to compel him or her to link to your content, assuming it’s higher quality, instead.

    💡Check out SEMrush for doing competitive research. It’s the tool I use here on this website for creating content.

    The Benefits of Using the Skyscraper Link-Building Technique

    While there are other ways to find and build high-quality backlinks, the skyscraper technique is arguably the most useful for seo.

    It creates organic, one-way links that search engines love.

    Webmasters want to provide their visitors with the best experience, so they may link to your website if the content is better than your competitors.

    https://youtu.be/t_838Dk966Y
    How to Get Powerful Backlinks in 2020 – Brian Dean from Backlinko

    Even if a webmaster rejects your request to replace a competitor’s backlink, the skyscraper technique can still drive new backlinks to your website.

    Using this white-hat seo tactic, you’ll improve the quality and quantity of your website’s content. Bloggers, social media influencers, and other webmasters may then voluntarily link to your website’s content, regardless of whether you contacted them.

    Not only does the skyscraper create new, high-quality backlinks to your website; it removes backlinks to your competitors’ websites.

    Your website’s backlink portfolio will expand, whereas your competitor’s backlink portfolio will contract.

    Nearly all other link-building techniques only involve the creation of backlinks, making the skyscraper technique tower above the rest.

    You can rest assured knowing neither Google nor Bing will penalize your website for using the skyscraper link-building technique. As a white-hat seo tactic, it complies with search engines’ guidelines.

    Identify Your Competitors’ Top-Linked Content

    The first step in the skyscraper technique is to identify your competitors’ top-linked content.

    Since you probably don’t have administrator access to your competitors’ websites, you won’t be able to view their Google Search Console (GSC) metrics.

    Nonetheless, other tools are available that can analyze your competitors’ websites and reveal their top-linked content.

    SEMrush, for instance, can reveal which pages on your competitors’ websites have the most backlinks.

    When checking your competitors’ top-linked pages, you should generally ignore their homepage. Instead, look for content-rich sub-pages that you can recreate, as well as build upon, on your website.

    Create Better Content on Your Website

    After identifying your competitor’s top-linked content, you’ll need to create better content on the same topics to publish on your website. Don’t copy or even reword your competitors’ content. Rather, focus on creating new pieces of content that are longer, more thorough, and better optimized.

    Here are some tips to one-up your competitor’s content:

    •   Create compelling and engaging titles.

    •   Strive for a higher word count than your competitors’ content.

    •   Create short sentences that are easy to read.

    •   Add relevant subheadings above sections of similar text.

    •   Use descriptive URLs consisting of page titles.

    •   Increase the font size of text content to at least 16 pixels. [Check out Design Palette Pro for editing font sizes on various areas throughout your WordPress Website].

     •  Embed relevant images with optimized alt text. For every paragraph or section of the text, include at least one image, video, or other rich media item. Consider using color varieties, quotes, and so forth as part of the mix. [I like Canva Pro].

    •   Enable comments so that visitors to your website can ask questions and share their opinions about your content.

    •   Add links to other pages on your website as well as other, non-competing websites. [Check out LinkWhisper for WordPress to add an internal (and external) linking strategy for each page or post!

    •   Use Google’s online testing tool at search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly to ensure your content is mobile friendly.

    Now it’s time to contact the webmasters who currently link to your competitor’s content and ask for a backlink to your content.

    https://youtu.be/cLBu8InxMVI
    Podcast, Search Talk Live and Brian Dean from Bcklinko Audio

    Using an SEO tool like SEMrush look to see which websites link to your competitor’s content. After harvesting a list of backlink sources, visit the websites to see if there’s an opportunity for a skyscraper-built backlink.

    SAMPLE:

    Using an SEO tool like SEMrush look to see which websites link to your competitor's content. After harvesting a list of backlink sources, visit the websites to see if there's an opportunity for a skyscraper-built backlink.

     

    script to request backlink (broken link script)

    If the link is used organically and contextually, you can proceed with the skyscraper technique by requesting a backlink.

    You should be able to find either a contact form or a contact email address listed on most websites. Contact forms are a little more convenient since you can create and send your request directly on the website.

    Regardless, you can send requests via your preferred email account if the website has a contact email address listed.

    In your requests, explain that you came across the link while browsing the webmaster’s website and believe that your site’s content is a better destination for it. Be sure to mention the URL on which your content is published, If the webmaster believes your content is better, he or she may swap out the link.

    If you’re unable to find a contact form or email address listed on a website, try searching for the name of the webmaster who runs the site.

    💡Once you’ve found his or her name, use the hunter.io tool — or a similar email finder — to see if there’s a known email address for the webmaster. Hunter.io will check various databases for an email address associated with the webmaster.

    Content is the structural building blocks for an effective seo campaign. With the skyscraper technique, your content will rise above the rest, resulting in more backlinks to your website and fewer backlinks to your competitors’ sites.

  • How to Build Backlinks in 2021

    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 webpages 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.

    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.

    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:

    Traffic 

    Specific backlinking opportunities could be more lucrative in terms of gaining traffic. 

    Link relevance

    Link building tier strategies can help gauge the relevance of a link. 

    Make sure you take some time to review opportunities’ link profiles to measure their overall quality. 

    Authority

    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.

    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.

    Social Media

    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.

    Guest Posts

    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.

    Blog Comments

    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.

    FAQS

    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.

  • The Pros and Cons of Using an Expired Domain to Build Your Website

    You don’t have to register an entirely new domain when building a website. You can use an expired domain instead. Expired domains are those that their former owner has abandoned. 

    If a webmaster doesn’t renew his or her website’s domain, it will expire. The registrar will then place the expired domain up for sale. Before buying an expired domain, though, you should weigh the pros and cons of using them.

    Pro: Fast Indexing

    Search engines will probably index your website in less time if you build it with an expired domain. With a new domain, search engines won’t know that your website exists. Only after discovering your website through a link or ping will they add it to their index.

    Using an expired domain eliminates the need for search engines to discover your website. Search engines will remember crawling the website that was previously on the expired domain, so they’ll return to it. They’ll revisit the expired domain to crawl your website and add it to their index.

    Pro: Direct Traffic

    Your website may generate more direct traffic with an expired domain. Many expired domains have traffic. Some of them attract hundreds of visitors per month, whereas others attract thousands or tens of thousands of visitors per month. 

    Using an expired domain allows you to capitalize on this direct traffic.

    Even if the website with which the expired domain was previously used has been taken down, users may visit the address of an expired domain. Building your website with an expired domain means it will attract these users.

    You can find expired domains with traffic available for sale on domain auction houses. When shopping for an expired domain, you should be able to sort the results by monthly traffic. 

    This sorting method will display the expired domains with the most monthly traffic at the top of the auction house’s results.

    An expired domain can provide your website with backlinks. Backlinks aren’t connected to websites; they are connected to domains. If you build your website with an expired domain, it will receive all of the previous site’s backlinks.

    Like with direct traffic, you can typically sort expired domains by backlinks when browsing a domain auction house. Not all expired domains have backlinks

    Nonetheless, expired domains that were previously used with popular websites may have hundreds or thousands of backlinks.

    Pro: Search Rankings

    An expired domain can help your website earn higher search rankings. With both traffic and backlinks, your website will start off on the right foot. It will possess page signals that encourage search engines to rank it higher.

    Search engines evaluate backlinks for rankings. An expired domain will likely provide your website with at least some backlinks

    At the same time, an expired domain will attract visitors to your website, some of whom will probably interact with your site while creating other positive ranking signals in the process.

    Con: Risk of Penalty

    There’s a risk of a ranking penalty when using an expired domain. For extreme violations of their webmaster guidelines, search engines may impose a domain-level ranking penalty. 

    It’s also known as a legacy domain penalty designed to prevent or restrict all web pages’ rankings on the targeted domain.

    If you use an expired domain suffering from a legacy domain penalty, your website’s search rankings will take a significant hit. 

    Some legacy domain penalties will prevent your website from ranking anywhere in the search results. You can usually get a legacy domain penalty lifted by submitting a reconsideration request to the search engine that penalized it, but doing so can take several months. 

    New domains, conversely, are fresh, so they won’t contain any lingering penalties.

    Con: The Cost

    Expired domains usually cost more than new domains. Most registrars sell them on a domain auction house. To buy an expired domain, you’ll have to place the highest bid on it. 

    There might be a dozen other users bidding on the same expired domain. As you fight them for the highest bid, the price of the expired domain will increase. 

    The back-and-forth bids can trigger a bidding war that inflates the domain’s price.

    New domains, conversely, have a flat price. They aren’t sold on domain auction houses. Instead, registrars sell them at a fixed price, such as $10 or $12 per year. 

    Depending on the demand, expired domains can cost anywhere from $20 to $100,000 initially, and you’ll still have to pay for the annual registration. To save money, registering a new domain is the way to go.

    Con: Limited Name Options

    You’ll have limited options regarding the name when using an expired domain. You won’t be able to choose your own domain name

    Instead, you’ll be limited to using the name of an expired domain. If there are no expired domains with a name that matches your website’s purpose, registering a new domain might be the better choice.

    Using a new domain gives you the freedom to choose any name that isn’t currently registered. Maybe you want to use a target keyword as your website’s domain name, or perhaps you want to use a unique brand name. With a new domain, you can choose any available name.

    Con: Trademark Issues

    There’s the potential for trademark issues as well. 

    Expired domains can contain trademarks, and many businesses use domains with trademarked terms. 

    However, some of these businesses may forget to renew their domains, resulting in their domains expiring.

    If an expired domain contains a trademark, you generally can’t use it for commercial purposes. The owner of the trademark may request that you hand over the expired domain. 

    You can avoid trademark issues such as this by registering a new domain.

    You’ll need a domain before you can start creating content and building your website. There are new domains and expired domains. 

    Using an expired domain offers fast indexing, direct traffic, backlinks, and improved search rankings. 

    Expired domains are more expensive and come with the risk of penalties and trademark issues.

  • Best Domain Value Calculator

    Domain value calculators determine the worth of a domain name. The domain value, or worth, is the price that it costs to buy or sell a domain name.  It’s a domain appraisal.

    If you are looking to buy, sell, or renew a domain, determining the value should be your very first step.

    Consider how the real estate market uses comps to determine your home’s worth. Those comps include how much similar homes in the area have sold for. 

    Domain value calculators are similar in that they appraise a domain’s price and potential based on similar sites, along with other factors.

    When trying to determine a domain’s worth, which calculator is the best? We have put together a list of our top five free and paid domain value websites to help you manage your online real estate.

    Let’s get started!

    GoDaddy Domain Name Appraisal Tool

    As the world’s largest domain registrar, GoDaddy is well-established, with over 80 million domains under its management. 

    GoDaddy takes a look at how much comparable websites have recently sold for, the domain name’s length, if the domain name is memorable, and popular keywords.

    GoDaddy pulls from its massive collection of data to accurately determine just how much a domain is worth.

    After GoDaddy has crunched the numbers, you will receive a range of values providing you with crucial information on your domain’s worth.

    Also, GoDaddy explains the valuations. The service provides you with a free printable appraisal certificate.

    GoDaddy’s services are free once you register.

    Estibot

    Estibot delivers over two million domain appraisals per day for free. That’s a significant amount of domains cycling through, providing an incredible amount of data for Estibot to go off of.

    Estibot is a widely used, trusted platform that considers multiple factors when determining a domain’s worth. 

    Estibot looks at the last sale price, comparable domain sale prices, keyword optimization, cost-per-click, SSL status, and search optimization. Estibot offers a printable valuation certificate for a small fee.

    Estibot is excellent because it not only calculates a domain’s worth but also because of the many other features available. 

    Estibot will let you know about domains that are expiring, offers portfolio monitoring, provides helpful metrics, assists in generating leads, and provides advertiser bidding tools.

    You have to register to receive your domain appraisal.

    Sedo

    Sedo stands out due to its innate ability to appraise bespoke or premium domains. 

    As the world’s largest domain brokerage firm focusing on secondary domains, Sedo has a massive sales database that allows it to determine the worth of a domain accurately.

    Sedo uses a scientifically-backed method to analyze and determine a domain’s site. Sedo looks at ten specific factors to evaluate a domain, including buying and selling prospects, advertising effectiveness, and search engine optimization.

    Sedo charges a one-time fee of $99 for its services. You will receive your appraisal via email within five business days.

    Free Valuator

    Free Valuator offers standard domain calculations through statistics, keywords, and rankings. What makes Free Valuator stand out however, is its unique features. 

    Free Valuator offers a crowd appraisal feature that allows you to crowdsource opinions from the community on what is a reasonable price for a domain.

    Free Valuator’s varied approach to determining a domain’s worth gives you insight that you likely won’t find anywhere else.

    Epik

    Epik offers both free domain evaluations as well as premium bespoke domain appraisals. Epik uses Alexa Rank and archive.org to take a deep dive into a domain’s history. 

    Epik also looks at sales of similar domains, domain age, domain extension, and names metrics to determine the worth.

    Epik will run you $395 for a one-time fair market value assessment. 

    If you go this route, you will receive report detailing your domain’s value with seven business days.

    You can also choose their Fairness Opinion option, which is free, to receive your domain’s estimated value.

    In Summary 

    The first step in buying, selling, or renewing a domain is to determine its worth. Knowledge is power.

    Once you have a clear understanding of your site’s value, you can bring those killer negotiation skills to the table. 

    You can decide if you want to renew a domain or sell it.

    Keep in mind, too, that it’s ok to get multiple assessments. By using more than one domain value calculator, you can have a clearer picture of what your domain is valued at. Getting a second opinion never hurts!

    We hope that these five domain value calculators help you take the next step in determining what your domain is worth.  

Ready, Set, Grow

Hi! I’m Lori Ballen. I help content creators grow and monetize their channels. Are You Ready to Grow?

About Lori Ballen

She is the founder of The Ballen Method. Lori is a content marketer, speaker, and trainer.  Her students appreciate her authenticity, as well as her ability to take complex elements and make them understandable. As a 6-figure Affiliate Marketer, Lori understands the power of monetizing content marketing channels like Youtube, Blogs, and Social Media Networks.

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