It wasn’t until late 2012 that I decided to take the plunge and teach myself SEO, now I’ve long since known the basics of it but I always struggled with off site seo, mainly it was down to the worry of getting a link that could kill your site as this happened to me in 2008. That year I acquired a link to a niche site that was making me the equivalent wage that a graduate may start on, this was awesome as I was still at university however this one link (although it could’ve been other factors) was in my opinion the reason why Google gave me a big slap and the site went from earning a great wage to enough to buy a couple of pints in the local every month!
So the end of 2012 after enquiring about hiring an SEO agency to do some link building and getting quotes around £600-800 per month I decided that instead I’d teach myself (I’ve made a easy guide to learn yourself – Teach yourself SEO) the advantages are obvious, I’d save a lot of money and could apply it to various sites. Come mid January 2013 and the site i’ve been doing the seo on has risen in rankings and I’m very pleased with what I have achieved in half the time the SEO agencies claimed it would take and at around 5% of the cost plus I know exactly how the link building has been done.
The end of 2012 saw the Google Penguin algorithm update which hit a lot of sites, after reading up on post penguin seo and post penguin link building from many great sites plus with everything I’ve learnt and read and I’ve come up with some key tips for 2013.
Summary of 2013 tips:
It’s always been a case that if you have a decent site, content and visitors enjoy it you’ll grow as they share and naturally link to you, however in reality we know that having a decent site doesn’t always get you links. For example no one is likely to link to a local plumbers site as when they find them they will more than likely ring up, hire and then once a job is completed that’ll be it, they may recommend them via word of mouth but this doesn’t help said Plumbers website get links.
So how do you go about it, in 2013 you’ll need to think exactly how in an ideal world would your site get natural links, so for Mr Plumber this may be being listed on the local Chambers of Commerce site, a mention in a blog post from someone who blogs in the local area and maybe a mention in a local newspaper about hiring apprentices in hard economic times for example.
Having researched sites in the fashion and clothing area when doing seo work for one of my sites it was startling to see the amount of totally irrelevant links on sites in these areas and it’s not isolated to just the areas I was looking at. I found decent sites about fashion linking to travel insurance, electrical stores and other sites with no obvious natural relevance. Sure you can say well if your into fashion you’ll want to make sure you have the best hairdryer and straightners which can be bought at said electrical store… come on we know you’re grasping at straws!
In the past (as recently as 6 months ago) many seo companies and seo people were happily building loads of links with the same or very similar anchor texts, so for a jewellery shop they were building hundreds of links with the anchor text ‘wedding rings’ now this used to work nicely and sure enough (other factors complying) the company would rank nicely for this term… this was until a Google update where sites with high densities of similar anchor texts were severely hit!
The key for 2013 is to have diversification of anchor texts, let’s carry on with the Jewellery example, naturally a jewellery site wouldn’t acquire hundreds of links with the term ‘wedding rings’ now would they, they are more likely to get links for direct products with no anchor text apart from the URL of products, they’d also more likely to get links for the websites brand and base URL, they would naturally get links to blog posts, to frequently asked question pages and a huge array of anchor texts. So you guessed it that’s how you need to go about it.
Pre 2012 anchor texts that may have worked: wedding rings, cheap wedding rings, wedding ring, wedding rings, wedding rings, wedding rings sale, wedding rings, buy wedding rings
2013 anchor text’s that are more natural: Jewellery Shop name, www.JewelleryShopDomain.co.uk, JewelleryShopDomain.co.uk , JewelleryShopName, Wedding Rings, 24 Carrot Diamonte Wedding Ring, Wedding Rings for small fingers, Ruby wedding ring, 24 essential wedding tips (blog post) , 10 stunning wedding cakes (blog post)
The above is just a simple example off the top of my head to show you what I mean.
I personally believe that PR will become a huge area of growth that SEO firms will go into purely because a decent PR firm can get natural links from sites with great authority such as national newspapers, international media as well as local sites too. I’ve seen businesses such as Wish.co.uk who have successfully used PR to get natural links from hundreds of sites all over the world including massive names such as Fox News, BBC, NBC, Mashable and plenty of other top sites and media organisations.
The type of link you may or may not get will come into play a lot more in 2013, as mentioned being more natural than ever is essential and the type of links will reflect this, so don’t just simply get normal text links, get image links as naturally people are likely to link to things with images if you sell products for example. So these types of links are important but again you want a nice mix of them all. Finally a link in a sidebar of a blog may seem the best option but it’s not always the case as unless relevant Google may take the view that it’s been paid to put there, they are a lot less likely to think this if it’s in content on a blog post or web page.
There are of course many other areas to off page seo such as the types of links, location of sites on websites, social media links that I could go into but I’ll save that for more specific posts. Feel free to post your suggestions and feedback on your tips for 2013 in the comments section below.