Always Greener: A Case Study of Success in a Competitive Market

Background

Firestarter SEO serves a growing landscaping company in the Denver area.  This client provides landscaping design and sprinkler installation and repair to both residential and commercial properties.  One of the foremost challenges lay in their competitive landscape. There is no shortage of sprinkler or landscaping companies in Denver.  This kind of market saturation typically indicates a longer period of time before results are really seen, depending on the starting point of the campaign.

Fortunately, while the competition certainly had a head start, it was clear that their strategies had not heavily involved SEO.  Keyword targeting on their site was decent, but not stellar. Their link landscapes were also very mediocre, as evidenced by the table below.  Bottom line: there was a significant opportunity.


Beyond those first page rankings, there were a quality number of keywords ranked on the 2nd – 5th pages.  These did have search volume, and represented our opportunity keywords for this campaign.  When the client initially reached out to us, there were several first page rankings.  However, further research showed that very few of these top-ranked keywords actually had any search volume.  At Firestarter SEO, these are often what we call “junk keywords,” as it feels great seeing yourself at the top of that search, but the absence of any search volume means it won’t really benefit your business by targeting it.

  • Page 1: 27 (3 of which had any search volume)
  • Page 2: 10 (5 with search volume)
  • Pages 3-5: 6 (3 with search volume)

Their search traffic wasn’t ideal – with 103 organic visitors in the first month of the campaign and 0 conversions.  Ultimately, the goal was to increase traffic and conversions in order to help scale their business.

The Strategy

The start of the strategy was very clear from the beginning: we needed to implement a better keyword strategy.  As evidenced by the lack of search volume for keywords they had targeted, we needed to identify search terms that were relevant, had quality intent, and search volume.  This would lay the entire foundation for the strategy moving forward.

From a technical standpoint, the site was fairly sound, with a small number of errors needing correction.  Their link landscape, however, was non-existent. There were no external links, and very few internal links throughout the site.  Link acquisition, therefore, would be an immediate priority for our campaign.

Finally, in order to expedite results and increase the effectiveness of the campaign, we began a PPC campaign after a couple months of service.  Doing so allowed us to maximize visibility for our target keywords, and also generate quick results for the client.

SEO process of accumulation

The client saw an initial bump in results after implementing basic SEO elements with the new keyword strategy.  In the 3rd month of the campaign, they received 74 Organic calls and 29 calls from PPC.  A key benefit of running both SEO and PPC was the maximized exposure.  From a sheer numbers perspective, if a client is running PPC for a keyword and shows up at the top of the SERP, and also ranks on the first page for the same keyword, their exposure and credibility skyrockets.  As Boostability explains, this is a powerful combination.

Links remained a significant element in our strategy.  As a local SEO campaign, directories played a big role.  We also utilized guest posts for relevant sites as well. The ongoing application of links, on-site optimization, and content continued driving rankings, increasing traffic, and boosting quality leads on a monthly basis.

Final results/successes

Our client’s campaign has been one of ongoing, consistent growth.  SEO & PPC have become a cornerstone of their marketing strategy due to the tremendous success of the campaign.  At the time of writing, there were 17 keywords with 1st-page rankings, and 23 with 2nd-page rankings. Organic Traffic for the previous month sat at 1,096 – a 964% increase from the first month of service.  All of this leads to the crowning statistic of the campaign: 206 conversions in one month, with 190 phone calls.

Thanks to SEO & PPC, they have been able to grow significantly, and scale their business in a way they never thought possible.


Topic Modeling 101 for SEO

Over the years, Google’s approach to ranking websites has changed dramatically. In the beginning, it was as simple as stuffing as many keywords as you possibly could in the meta tag. These keywords didn’t have to have a single bit of relevance to your website, and you could rank number one for nearly any search query with relative ease.

As Google’s algorithms got smarter, the meta tag lost its weight in ranking, and less emphasis is placed on keyword density. Now, it’s all about crafting content that is valuable to readers, written naturally for them. While the keyword still plays a role in ranking, it is much less important than it has been in the past.

While we don’t really know, and never will, exactly how Google ranks content – because their algorithms are hidden under lock and key with plenty of legal protection to keep them safe – we, as an industry, have learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t, through trial and error, and listening to what Google tells us directly impact rankings. (When Google says something about changes you need to make to your website to keep or improve your rankings – you listen.)

In today’s rapidly evolving SEO industry, how can you be sure you’re creating content your viewers will love to read, but that will also keep the search engines happy? The answer lies in Topic Modeling.

What is Topic Modeling?

Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI, has been part of the Google ranking factors since the Hummingbird update in 2013. If you’re not already familiar with the term, it involves not just the words that make up your content, but the context of those words. And, it looks at the user’s search intent, and that relationship to specific keywords. Put simply, LSI helps search engines find related keywords and process synonyms to deliver more accurate results. It uses TF*IDF, or term frequency times inverse document frequency, to determine how important a specific word or phrase is to a document.

Though we’re five years out from the update that shook rankings and many websites have recovered, topic modeling can be considered an extension, or a type of LSI. It’s incredibly important to how your website ranks in Google (and other search engines) today, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future.

Basically – you can’t frame your content around a single keyword phrase anymore. You need to start with the core phrase, and use other sources to create topic clusters, also known as keyword clusters, to flesh out a piece of content. And, those topic clusters will change depending on user intent.

User Intent

Research shows searcher intent can be broken into two segments. Users are looking for specific information related to the keywords they’ve used, or they’re looking for general information about the topic.

You can split intentions based on how specific the searcher is, and how exhaustive the searcher is. Queries can generally be broken down based on:

  • Navigational – trying to get to a certain website
  • Informational – trying to get some kind of information
  • Transactional – trying to buy something, or perform another specific online activity

Keeping user intent in mind with what your website goals are will help you choose the right keywords to target in the first place.

How to Create Topic Clusters for SEO

Start with your core keyword phrase. Search in Google. For instance, this article, could have the core keyword phrase: topic modeling for SEO.

Look at Google’s related searches at the bottom of the results page. This gives you an idea of other keyword phrases to include in your content.

On certain searches, you’ll also find a People Also Ask section.

You can use this to determine whether you should include more information on the page, or if you should answer other questions on additional pages of content. Hint – for an idea about which way to go, check and see what the highly ranked competition is doing. If they’ve answered all the questions on the same page, do it that way – but answer them better. Add more information and value. If they’ve not answered the questions on the page, answer them, and be thorough. Google, and your readers, will thank you.

These of course are not the only tools you can use to help build your topic clusters and models. You can start with a keyword research tool like ubersuggest to give you an idea of the search volume of your core keyword phrase and other similar phrases with lower competition. However, you must go beyond basic keyword research tools and related keywords. Tools like market news and article insights are good because they take the main keyword you’re targeting and provide you with groups of words you should aim to include.

Let’s say your main keyword is “what to sell online”. Ubersuggest gives you phrases like:

Best goods to sell online

Best ecommerce products to sell

Apps to sell stuff

And so on.

These are related phrases you can work into your content, but you still need to dig a little deeper.

Running the main phrase “what to sell online” through Article Insights will give you topic buckets of words and phrases that should naturally occur in your content if you want to rank well for that keyword.

It will also show you what the competition looks like, so you can be sure you’re doing better than the content they provide. You can paste your content into Article Insights to see how well your content matches up to the recommendations, and how it stacks up against the competition.

To make sure you’re really going in depth, you can also run related keywords from your research in Article Insights.

Credit: MarketMuse Overview

MarketMuse is a similar tool that helps you see how you can rank for all searches related to your business – not just the keywords. By focusing on this approach, you can cover topics, and not just the keywords.

Examples of Topic Modeling and How They Affect SEO

Take for example, actress turned singer, Selena Gomez. When you search for her using just her name, Google doesn’t know which context you’re trying to find information on, and presents news stories, her official website, Instagram, and YouTube.

But when you alter the search to provide more context, by adding acting to the end of the phrase, you get entirely different search results, including her IMDb listing, an article discussing her return to acting, and a series of YouTube videos to show her first auditions for the Disney Channel. Though the box on the right show some information about her both, you’ll see the information there changes, too – including the photos, movies and TV shows she’s credited in, and more.

 

Because Google wants to improve the quality of results for their users, the context of a search has the power to change everything about it. Topic modeling allows you to hit on more than the core keyword, but a number of contextual clues, too.

How to Leverage Topic Modeling for Your SEO

Creating New content around topic models is the easy part because all you have to do is your keyword research and build your model then right. It’s optimizing old content with topic modeling that can be somewhat daunting. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the idea, don’t worry. Simply start with an audit of your content and work methodically.

Build an inventory of all the pages on your website in a spreadsheet, if you don’t already have one. Include each page URL on its own row.  Along with the URL, include the user intent, focus topic, and any notes about the quality of the piece. This will help you determine which pages you need to focus on first,  and which ones can wait until later. Even if you’ve built your website around quality content, you can improve upon that quality by taking a deeper dive into the topic to create a more comprehensive piece. Take notes about where it ranks, and what the competition’s content looks like, so you have an idea of adjustments you can make in an effort to improve your rank.

Next, look at your on-page SEO factors, such as your headline, subheaders, and so on. Does the headline grab reader attention? Are keywords present where they need to be? What’s your linking structure like? Do you have outbound links to reliable sources? Are your related pages interlinked?

Check to make sure your content answers your readers’ questions – and does so well. If your content responds directly to a query, search engines will favor it – and it will increase your odds of landing in the Google Answers Box.

If you’re ready to learn more about how our Denver SEO agency can help your business grow with our topic modeling approach to SEO content, get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation.


Firestarter SEO featured on Clutch!

Even before Denver started to show signs of a maturing tech scene, Firestarter was founded with the intention of helping local businesses improve their bottom line. We recognized early on that Search Engine Marketing would play a central role in modern marketing. Firestarter is a team of experienced individuals with knowledge in all the core aspects of an SEO strategy, including link-building, content creation, and keyword research. We are driven by the opportunities, which we hope will continue to grow, to help local businesses thrive in a highly competitive marketplace. That said, not every business is familiar enough with the SEO landscape to identify a provider who can meet their objectives, and within their specific budget. In order to increase the chances that a prospective buyer will trust and have confidence in us, we are excited to announce our inclusion on Clutch, a ratings and reviews site for solutions and services providers.

In addition to creating a profile on the site, which showcases a company’s services, history, and other relevant information at a quick glance, Clutch conducts direct interviews with a firm’s clients. Their questionnaire is highly comprehensive and includes details that a short testimonial or a more technical case study would not capture. This might include how a company has confronted any problems that arose unexpectedly during a project or communicates on a regular basis with the client. These reviews, plus an assigned ranking, determine how these companies are listed and compare to one another in Clutch’s directory—summarized by a Leaders Matrix.


Why You Should Consider Voice Search in Your SEO

When you search for something online from your mobile device, are you taking the time to type it in, or are you using your voice? If you’re relying on voice recognition features to speed up the process, you’re not alone. By 2020, 30% of searches will take place without screen, as more people turn to smart speaker devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Since voice recognition has become increasingly more accurate, data shows more than half of teens between 13-18 and 41% of adults are using voice search at least once a day. That means, if you want to have a shot at getting the traffic from those queries, you need to factor voice search into your overall SEO strategy. How?

Focus on Natural Language

Many voice searches are geared toward local businesses, because customers are looking for something in their area while they’re out. Most of the time, people will phrase their searches in the form of questions, like, “where is the best donut in Denver?” or in short phrases, like, “donuts near me.” If you want to come up in searches like this, you’d use natural language throughout your content to boost your chances of appearing in the appropriate voice search results.

In addition to optimizing for traditional search, you’ll want to use words and phrases people are likely to speak when searching for you, so getting natural language throughout your site may not be the easiest undertaking depending on your niche.

Once of the ways you can get around this is to add FAQs or Q&A pages that focus on content written with a conversational tone. This way, you’ll be more likely to write content that matches with the way your users speak – and that’s what you need before you can get anywhere with voice search.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

If you’ve been online for any length of time, you’re likely aware of the fact that Google has considered mobile-friendliness a ranking factor since 2014. If you’re not already optimized for mobile, do it right now! Voice searches can come from computers, of course, but the majority of them are coming from mobile devices, so if you’re not rocking a mobile-friendly design, you’re not going to be able to capitalize on those voice queries as easily.

Need help? Opt for a responsive theme or design template, since this will automatically adjust your content for computers, tablets, and smartphones. If changing over would require a lot of resources you don’t have right now and you’re using a content management system like WordPress, you can install a plugin to create a mobile version of your site for you.

Keep Using Best Practices

Keyword phrases are what people are known to type, so of course you don’t want to ignore those in the process. Even if you’re not too focused on getting to the top of voice search queries, you can’t ignore all the other aspects of SEO that matter.

Use microdata and Schema markup so that Google, Bing, and other search engines can start to determine what your content actually means. Structured data markup can help with everything from your address and phone number, to hours of operation, pricing, and directions to your store or office. That’s what people will be searching for, so make it easier for them to find!

Keep Intent at the Forefront

Long tail keywords are more important when it comes to voice search optimization because those searches will use natural language. But, not just any long tail keyword phrases will work. To rank and keep users happy, intent is the most important factor. If you were someone searching for your business, products, or services, what are the questions you’d most likely ask? How would you naturally speak them?

Look at your website’s analytics data to see if you can figure out more about what your users are looking for. Google Search Console has reports that show you the queries people are using to find your site, so you can see the kind of natural language that’s used. If you see a certain phrase or group of phrases are bringing you a decent amount of traffic, check to make sure those words and phrases are appropriately sprinkled throughout your site’s content.

If you don’t get the insights you’re looking for there, or you want to go a bit further, turn to tools like Story Base, Question Samurai, and Answer the Public. They are all great at helping you generate lists of natural language phrases to include in your content.

Go Beyond Google

Sure, Google’s the biggest game in town, but it’s far from the only platform you need to consider when you optimize for voice search. Think about Windows and Cortana, Alexa and Amazon, Siri and Apple, and Samsung’s new Bixby. Your content needs to be able to appeal to all personal assistant platforms. As more people turn to personal assistant devices for use at home and in the office, we’ll move further from using our desktops and smartphones to search.

Voice Search Isn’t New – But It’s Growing

There’s no need to completely re-do your SEO strategy unless of course you’re finding your traffic plummeting and the competition taking more than their fair share. Voice search optimization alone doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch, but making some adjustments now will ensure you’re ready to go and ahead of the game as the trend continues to grow. At this time, analytics data won’t tell you if you’re getting traffic from a standard query or a voice query, and there’s no guarantee it ever will, but ignoring it means you’re missing out on a lot of potential traffic.


How We Do Hyperlocal SEO in the Denver Area

Local SEO is among the most used SEO strategies out there – and it will only continue to grow in popularity as we see search engines continue to personalize results based on taste and location. Search engines are aiming to provide the best possible experience they can for their users, and given the high volume of searches that are local in nature – think, “restaurants near me”, “oil changes in Denver” it’s becoming more important to go hyperlocal whenever possible. So, how do we do that here in the Denver area?

Start with Consistent NAP Listings

If you’re a brand new business, you’re at a bit of an advantage here, since you can decide exactly how you want your name, address, and phone number to display in the directories. For the best local SEO, these need to be consistently the same across all listings.

If you’re an established business and you’re already listed in various directories online, you’ll have to do an audit to see exactly how your NAP listings appear, and then systematically work to edit them so they are all the same. It doesn’t matter how you display the address – you can choose between using abbreviations like St. Rd. and Dr., but if you abbreviate one of them, you must abbreviate them all.

Register Your Denver Business in Major Search Engine Directories

Start with the big three: Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo Local. This ensures your business is listed with the three major search engines, and has a chance of showing up in the map pack when someone has a relevant local search.

Claim Your Business in Other Local Directories

After getting your business listed in the big three, move onto other well-known directory sites.

Check the Major Data Aggregators

If your information has ever changed because you’ve moved offices, or opened additional locations, then there’s a chance you’ll still have some inaccurate NAP data floating around because of the main data aggregators. These companies: InfoGroup, Acxiom, Localeze, and Factual are among the agencies that will collect, verify, and distribute your information, which is why we see it flat across the internet so quickly.

If you want to speed up the process of getting your business listed with as many directories as possible, it’s a good idea to use these data aggregators as your starting point. If you’re short on time or just don’t want to manually go through all the directories and sites where a listing could be beneficial, you can use a service like Moz Local to handle it for you. You can also use that tool to check and see where your business is currently listed, so you can check the NAP for accuracy.

Once your information is correct with the aggregators, you should be good to go since those will trickle the new information down to the other sites for you.

Go Niche and Location Specific

The main directories are helpful of course, but if you want a bit more juice, go deeper and look for niche specific directories, as well as hyperlocal location specific. In Denver, for instance, we have several neighborhoods and suburbs including Thornton, Northglenn, Centennial, Broomfield, Castle Rock, Cherry Creek, Aurora, Westminster, Lafayette, Littleton, Eerie, Lone Tree, Boulder, Superior, Louisville, and Greenwood Village, to name a few.

Here are a few niche specific directories you could start with, if appropriate for your business:

  • Houzz – Home design/construction niche
  • Porch – Home design/construction niche
  • Home Advisor – Home design/construction niche Care.com – Childcare/Housekeeping niche
  • Local chamber websites
  • Other industry/niche websites

Keep Everything Mobile Friendly

More searches take place on mobile devices than desktops these days – and that’s especially true when it comes to local search. A lot of people are searching for things when they’re out on the go – such as the best place to get a haircut or get a tire repaired or replaced. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, your rank will suffer.

Don’t Neglect Content Marketing

Content remains king to do well online – but it can’t just be any old run of the mill style of content. Check out what your competition is doing, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Focus on providing value and quality.

Hyperlocal SEO isn’t easy because there aren’t necessarily a lot of searches for it, but the more local you get, generally, the less competition there is. If you want help with your local Denver SEO campaigns, let us know, and we’ll be glad to assist you however we can!


23 Reasons to Invest in Monthly SEO Packages

Here at FirestarterSEO, we believe in providing high-quality monthly SEO packages for our clients. These contracts serve as an integral part of your SEO strategy. Without it, you’ll fail to achieve the types of rankings your business needs.

If you want to move forward and dominate search rankings, then you need this kind of service. The search engines don’t stop evolving their algorithm, so businesses can’t afford to halt their SEO strategy.

Consider the following reasons to invest in monthly SEO packages:

  • A qualified professional can always answer your questions.
  • Monthly maintenance keeps you up-to-date with Google updates.
  • Benefits of professional SEO software without the hefty monthly fee.
  • Constantly discover new keyword opportunities for ranking.
  • Take advantage of a monthly strategy meeting to discuss creative SEO strategies.
  • Raise your rankings with frequent web page updating.
  • Access to professional writers to create new fresh blog posts for your business.
  • Increase traffic through targeted, keyword-optimized landing pages.
  • Get every piece of content optimized for better search engine rankings.
  • Interlace your website with strategic internal links for better UX and SEO.
  • Never see a 404 page with proper 301 redirect setup.
  • Make sure Google knows how to crawl with frequent site map submission.
  • Increase rankings through smart link building techniques.
  • Gain access to content distribution networks for a bump in traffic.
  • Have your business featured in top, high-quality web directories.
  • Announce newsworthy items through professional press releases.
  • Build links and brand awareness through strategy content marketing services.
  • Understand monthly progress with a comprehensive ranking report.
  • Know where you’re getting links from around the web with a monthly link analysis.
  • See how many people are visiting your site and how they find it with a traffic analysis.
  • Get a monthly crawl diagnostic to make sure Google is seeing everything right.
  • Receive a grading for each new piece of content based on its SEO value.
  • Know at least 30 days before a Google shift to make preparations for the update.

 

Those are just a few of the reasons that you should make this kind of investment. At the end of the day, it’s all about executing the right monthly tasks to rise in the rankings.
Are you ready to make a difference in your business? Would you like to increase traffic, conversion and revenue? If so, it’s time to take the leap. Contact us today to discuss our powerful monthly SEO packages. We’d love to hear from you!


the ultimate guide to google penalties

Ultimate Guide to Google Penalties

The-ultimate-guide-to-google-penaltiesGoogle is constantly refining their ever so secret algorithm to improve the search engine results. As part of this process, they have waged a war on spam. As Google attempts to catch the internet liars and cheaters, innocent companies and websites are sadly affected and hit with manual spam actions and spam filters. As website owners attempt to recover, it becomes critical they begin by understanding what went wrong and how to fix it. Lucky for all of you, Firestarter SEO has put together The Ultimate Guide to Google Penalties: your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about Google penalties. Our goal with putting this together is to save you time on researching the why and how, so you can spend more time implementing the how. Good luck to you all!


Relevancy: The Core of SEO

Relevancy is at the core of SEO. It has been at the center of SEO for a long time and will continue to evolve as search engines become smarter. In the early days of SEO, all a person had to do to rank a website was repeat the target keyword or phrase an excessive amount of times within a page. AKA: “keyword stuffing”.  Webmasters would abuse meta tags, titles and other on-site elements to the extent that, today, Google and other search engines attach little to no significance to certain HTML elements.

There is no doubt that relevancy will always remain an integral part of SEO. If relevancy was removed as a factor to ranking a website, search engines would cease to exist. However, the rules and use of relevancy has changed from the keyword stuffing days. Two types of relevancy are particularly important when trying to rank your website: content relevancy and link relevancy.

Content Relevancy

Creating relevant content  can be daunting task, but in all actuality, it’s pretty basic. Simply write content around a pre-selected topic. Use your target keywords in the appropriate places and an appropriate amount of times and the page has an opportunity to rank. The question then arises: Where are the appropriate places? And how many times is enough?

      • Title tags are first and foremost. The title tag tells search engines and users what the page is all about. It often appears in the search engine results page (SERP), creating a connection between the search performed and the search results displayed. We recently wrote about the anatomy of a perfectly optimized title tag, which goes into more depth about titles, how to write them, where to place the keywords, etc. You can read that post here.
      • Next, heading elements. H1, H2, H3, and so on. In my experience, try to use the exact match phrase in at least one H1 or H2 tag, but not both and definitely not all heading elements (do that and your site begins to look spammy). Instead, use other related terms or longtail keywords where additional headings call for it. Of course there are exceptions to this rule like page length and necessity, but those are the general guidelines.

      • Finally, the body of the document. As a general rule, use the target keyword(s) 3-4 times within the text. Proximity and close occurrences of the keywords are important factors to look at when creating content. Using keywords too close together or too many times can have an adverse effect, as Google and other search engines can see right through it. Rather, try spreading out the keywords and phrases, and using synonyms instead of the exact match. The frequency of the keyword may depend on the length of the page.

Most importantly, write for the user first. Then go back and insert keywords if necessary in places where it sounds natural. Don’t force anything, and honestly, you may find that writing for the user the first time was sufficient and no keywords need to be inserted.

Using these quick rules will have you on your way to creating user and search engine relevant content.

Link Relevancy

Prior to Penguin, exact match anchor text allowed a website to rank rather easily. All that was needed was exact match anchor text with high frequency. Many link profiles that ranked well had 75% or more exact match anchor text. Link building tactics such as link wheels and blog networks were super effective because they made it easy to create hubs and lots of links with exact match anchor text. However, times have changed and so have link building tactics. Because link building strategies gave changed, here are some essential questions to ask yourself, along with guidelines to answer those questions, that will help you get the most out of your link building efforts.

Finding Relevant Links Post-Penguin

What is the site about? And What can authors write on?

The answer to this question should be “its about my topic, keywords and/or industry.” If I am writing about speakers, I probably don’t want a link from a food restaurant site.

Are the keywords I want to rank for used on the site?

If the website does not contain your keyword it may be ok, but it should be related in one way or another. Take a hard look at the content on the site. David McBee says “I think that having the keywords on the site helps, but I can also think of lots of cases where the site is relevant without having keywords. Example: A site about home improvement can link to a page that sells patio furniture without the keywords patio furniture previously being on the site.”

Is the keyword I want to rank for in the site title or description?

If your target keyword is in the title this adds extra value to your link. Search engines give prominence to titles. Therefore having a link from a site with your keyword in the title can provide a great boost to your relevancy for a given search.

If it is a guest post, how does the author allow me to link to my site?

Having an in-content link is ideal Be careful and cautious with selecting your anchor text- select a relevant link in the middle of the first paragraph or somewhere in the second paragraph when/if possible. Search engines give prominence to elements towards the top of the page. One key to selecting anchor text is making it look natural. The majority of links you obtain naturally will be branded. If the website won’t allow you to have an in-content link but will allow an author link, make sure you have a killer bio with your keywords all around your link.

Do I have to identify myself as a guest writer?

Currently, I have not seen any importance to this. However, in the future it could be a signal to the search engines on how the link was acquired. In recent months “Author Rank” is being used more and more and may have an increasingly significant role in SEO in the future. If the website does allow you to post without being a “Guest Author” this can be a bonus.

Will my post be tagged with a topic in the archives?

This is a given. If the site doesn’t have an archive system or tagging system, how will people identify your article in the future? How archive systems work can have value because they are surrounded by similar content and keywords.

These questions are prerequisite to asking the question: To link or not to link?”

To follow up on some of these questions I would highly recommend researching and understanding what a hub is and how powerful they can be.

Combining Relevant Content & Relevant Links

In today’s post-Penguin and Panda apocalypse, matching relevant content with relevant links can have a significant impact on your SEO efforts. Matching the content where the link is coming from to the content on the page you want to rank will most likely have higher value than what your anchor text is.

Keep in mind that just as these concepts can help you in your marketing efforts, they can also be abused or overused. Fundamentals of SEO will exist as long as search engines do. Understanding how search engines use relevancy today is essential to today’s SEO.

Connect with the author of this post