Keywords are a critical part of how you rank in Google and in any other search engines. The same is true with backlinks. Find out how quality backlinks affects your website page rank.
Patrick Reyes: Hi and welcome to the program. My name is Patrick Reyes and on today’s show we have returning guest Wayne Bucklar, he is the CEO of SEO Bites. Welcome back to the show Wayne.
Wayne Bucklar: Thank you Patrick, it’s a pleasure to be with you again.
Patrick: For my first question, how important is the role of keywords and how does that affect my rank on search engines?
Wayne: Keywords are a critical part of how you rank. Now I just want to start from a very simple perspective here, if you bring to mind your ideal customer and they’re sitting at their office or in their bedrooms somewhere and they’re thinking about buying a product or service that you sell, what would they type into Google? That‘s the keywords we want to target, the things that they would type if you want them to find you. Now you can use the Google tools to test keywords and look at some research and find out what searches are done, how many times keywords are used and use that to influence your decision and you can have a lot of keywords but basically the keywords you need to pick are those that a potential customer is going to type into Google. That’s where you want to count number one and then what you want to do is make sure that those keywords appear frequently throughout your website that Google give weight to that we’ll talk a little bit later about how you can increase that weight with some SEO. But basically for all of the talk you hear about keyword research, typically all you’re trying to do is guess what would your perfect customer type and make sure that those words are on your page. Now of course this is the reverse of what Google suppose to do, Google you’re supposed to put on your page the words that describe what you do and then when Google matches it up with what a customer types it’s because you’re a perfect match with no interference. So what we’re trying to do is optimize that by making sure the words that people use for Google are also the words that appear on your website. If you like, it’s a bit like a game of Family Feud – what would the audience say? If the keywords that someone uses to type for you are not found on your website then you will not rank, so the better the keywords, the better they match with what people are searching for, the more likely they’d be out to be searched for by a large audience, the more likely you are to rank high in Google. At the end of the day Google ranking only matters when a potential customer is looking for a product or service that you sell. And therefore what matters is that your website contains the keywords that your potential customer is going to use when they’re looking for a product or service that you can provide.
Patrick: What exactly are backlinks and what can they do for my website?
Wayne: Backlinks, backlinks are so interesting. Backlinks are really the key to what made Google so different, backlinks are really the key to what made Google so different when it came out 15-20 years ago. Prior to Google all the search engines relied just on word count, if you sold carburetors and someone was looking for carburetors you put “Oh there’s a match” and they would link your page in the results. Then of course there were many websites that sold carburetors so how did they put the one there that you wanted? Well clearly the page with the most mention of carburetor was the one that was the most important. And with Yahoo and Altavista and some of these early search engines that was what we used and searching was a bit of a black art. When Google came along, wow it was so much better. When you search for something you found a page that was what you wanted and it was a good page and that was incredible. The way it did that was something called pagerank and pagerank originally relied solely on backlinks so the theory goes like this, if you’ve got a page about carburetors and I’m a mechanic and I think your page is pretty good then on my webpage I’ll put a link to your webpage. On your web page you would call that a backlink. And if I’m a good mechanic and there’s a whole bunch of customers out there who think I’m a good mechanic they will put links to me from their web pages and they will be backlinks on my website. Google was the first search engine to have the capacity to read all those links and backlinks to look at it and say ‘Wow, mr. mechanic you’ve got a hundred people with backlinks to you, you must be a really good mechanic and therefore mr. carburetor salesman the link from the mechanic is worth a lot of weight because he’s a really popular page’ and so it was built, the idea of pagerank. If you have backlinks from high ranking pages you will rank high in Google. Now over the intervening years Google has introduced more than 200 additional signals to determine who will be high up the listing and who will not be on the first page, it includes location, it includes the speed, the page loads, a whole raft of things. But one of the things that has never changed is content is still king and having backlinks from highly valued pages is still worthwhile.
Patrick: Can I have irrelevant backlinks added to my website with just an okay domain authority rating?
Wayne: Now this would be called blackhat SEO. This is “Can you do things that are sneaky and underhanded to bypass the Google rules?” Well the answer comes in three parts, yes you can do black SEO but it’s dangerous because if Google catches you they will smack you, your web page ranking will be smashed if Google believes you’re using blackhat SEO to manipulate their results. They can even go so far as to drop your website from their index entirely and then you will not show up in any Google searches and there is no appeal by the way. Second part of the answer, there are businesses and sites around not as frequent now as they used to be who are called backlink farms. They will just sell you thousands of backlinks which they generate off their service, virtually all of the backlink farms are detected by Google, virtually as soon as they’re invented and it is considered a blackhat SEO technique and you will be punished for it so I don’t recommend it, it used to be for a brief period of time effective, it’s now certainly not effective in my opinion. Thirdly the links that count, the backlinks that count are the backlinks that come from websites that Google considers authoritative. Now you can go to something like moz.com and it will tell you what your domain authority is for your website and it will tell you what the backlinks are and it’s free and you can see there where the backlinks are coming from. If you want to know what an authoritative website looks like, type something like Linkedin or Facebook into MOZ and you’ll see it has a domain authority score normally of somewhere between 97 and hundred – now that’s an authoritative website. A backlink from somewhere like that is worth a lot more than backlinks from websites with no domain authority.
Patrick: How can I get good quality backlinks?
Wayne: The best way to get good backlinks is to either be really good at what you do and have people put backlinks to your website because it’s such a good website that it’s an example they want their customers to link to from their website, you can do backlinks swapping with your suppliers and perhaps with your customers. The most effective way to get good backlinks is to publish original content in a variety of sources. I know it’s what we do here at SEO Bites, we take a video, we re-purpose the video, we turn it into a transcript and a podcast and a sound file and then we publish it on social media and on iTunes as a podcast and on SoundCloud and on Linkedin and so on and so forth. And in all of that content we include a backlink to your website so that generates some backlinks and that’s one way to do it. It’s not as good as having a website from a hundred other websites because you’re such an internet leader but short of being that we’re the second best thing.
Patrick: Can you tell me how social sharing increases the views of the content?
Wayne: Social media is always controversial Patrick, there are experts who’ll tell you it’s worthless. My experience is that if you’re trying to sell a product, they’ll be 10 fold of that product sold in the mainstream web based e-commerce stores than there will be sold of social media. Having said that social media is seen by millions of people, they do get the message that does make it an effective marketing tool and for our point of view because we run online radio stations along with SEO Bites. We found it’s a very effective tool at getting people’s interest to go and look at something or listen to something and in that regard it’s effective because it will snag people’s attention if you’ve got a snappy headline and some interesting content, maybe that’ll lead to a transcript and a video. If the video says something interesting they’ll trick on the link and go to the website. So yes, I think you can build market share with social media. I think you have to be a little bit careful to make sure your social media remains fairly business like and not too highschool based gym but actually has a businessy type flavor to it and one of the things which I think is very effective is relatively small investments on boosting a post on Facebook. By relatively small I mean 10, 12, 15 dollars but that can dramatically increase the number of people who see it and we found that to give us pretty good results as well.
Patrick: Alright, well thank you so much Wayne for answering all my questions today. It’s been a pleasure talking to you again.
Wayne: Thank you Patrick, it’s been my pleasure.