As promised here is the second chapter by the SEO Daddy detailing in depth the story of getting www.rikpenningtonphotography.com into Google’s Top Ten for a generic keyword phrase – Wedding Photographer. (Google.co.uk). I am releasing a chapter of this story each week (6 more chapters to come) so follow my Blog or follow me on Twitter and learn how to get a Google TOP TEN listing for Generic Keywords or just follow the exclusive story here on SiteProNews.com.
Getting the Link Train Rolling – Finding Links, Building Links, Growing Links and Monitoring Links over Time.
The key to any website doing well with search engines is Links, Links, Links! However you lay out your Organic SEO strategy for a project, it always comes back to links. Different types, which ones are best, who has which ones, how to find them, how to get them and how to target the anchor copy within them to your best advantage. Keeping to a natural pattern, whatever that is? I’m really not sure about this one, people are always going on about it, don’t gather links too quickly or you may get penalized and so on….
Listen, there is no perfect formula to follow, building links is hard work, you are never going to achieve the exponential growth that is going to put your website on the Google’s radar and get you penalized for unnatural rapid link growth. This status is reserved for the Pros, Black-Hats and Spammers. Just go for it, full speed ahead! You’re going to find it hard work and demoralizing but when you get a breakthrough and get a good quality link it spurs you on to keep going. Outsource it to India or the Philippines I hear them call; you can if you want, but you need to be in full control of your website’s destiny.
So, back to the wedding world online and more importantly how did I get Rik Pennington into Google’s Top Ten? I like to approach SEO bottom up for this type of business – Local, Regional, National and then International if needed.
The first thing for Rik was to get him listed in his Locale; he initially wanted to operate in the London borough of Greenwich. This is pretty easy to achieve in most industry sectors, no real research is needed. All you need is a handful or two of locally targeted reciprocal links, a few listings in locally focused business and government directories, post in local forums with the required anchored link text and in 4-6 weeks and hey presto you’re No.1 in Google for ‘Keyword Phrase + Local Location’ (e.g. Wedding Photographer Greenwich). Easy as that! Of course there are on page factors to address but we will look at those next week.
Once basic locality listings have been achieved, the focus switches to regional domination of Google’s Top Ten Listings – in this case Wedding Photographer London (Rik Pennington holds No.2 on Google.co.uk). Even though the focus has now changed, it is always in my mind’s eye when starting a project (Local, Regional and National). It’s important not to forget about your local success, be mindful and sympathetic towards your local achievements and protect them, throwing them the odd link and Blog mention to maintain your dominance at that level. When your focus changes up a level, tweaks to titles and on page copy can influence listings already gained. So you need to employ forward thinking and always remember to look over your shoulder. Multi-tasking is must!
Rik was No.1 for Wedding photographer London but has dropped a place to No.2; a good example of losing positions gained when the focus changes up a level to national/generic. It’s not easy juggling SEO eggs for the same webpage. I should have it back soon when I get round to addressing it. Ok, regional level SEO is a fair bit harder to achieve and you need stronger knowledge of SEO and well developed link building skills. We need to up our link strategy and start bring out some of the big guns to play. There are many types of links out and they all can affect your Google PageRank and online authority.
Links at Regional Level – Focus on Reciprocal Links, One-way Links, Blogrolls, Blog Comment Links, Directories/Forums
Every time you change the focus up a level you need to add a little more to the mix in order to bake that perfect SEO cake. At regional level I continue with reciprocal links but switch the focus to ‘Wedding Photography London’ and connotations of that phrase. Don’t want to be perceived as unnatural to a SearchBot!
It’s important not to be too link greedy at this level; just be somewhat selective and very focused. Remember, be progressive, stay within your business neighborhood as much as you can and monitor your link status at regular intervals and that of your competitors. I always make a point of giving link hunters for embryonic websites a leg up, you never know they might rank very well one day and that generous link exchange at the beginning my pay you back well in the future. Those who have refused me a link in the past because the PageRank of the website I’m promoting does not have PR2 or PR3 or PR4, well stuff’em is my motto! In nearly all cases I have eventually blown them out the water and would never go back cap in hand and ask “please sir, can I have some more!” No way! Principles and pride come into play for me. If you give, you get in the link world; be generous but always temper your generosity with restraint.
I apologize if some of the following is too United Kingdom-centric but that is the market place for my client in this case. The rules and pointers still apply; just research and develop your knowledge of the equivalents in your country.
It’s always great to find good, ethical link resources which facilitate link networking in your country. These are not Link Farms and do not confuse the two or start using one! It will be a one way ticket down the listings. UK Link Exchange is an excellent resource for getting started with a few reciprocal links and maybe one-way links from similar businesses in the United Kingdom. They have nothing to do with the link exchange process. UK Link Exchange merely facilitates the opportunity for you to connect with others looking to exchange Links.
Keep to your market sector and also go for a few that relate to your business location. Search is going local in a big way at present so be aware of where you wish to operate and maximize the opportunities available, getting profiled in your locale with Google. The integration of Google Places listings embedded in organic results is a great example of this and at present, a bit of a pain. I will cover this in a later chapter.
Also trawl the UK Small Business Directory for market sector related businesses, if those listing in this Directory have taken the time to register their details they are more than likely to be partial to the odd link exchange or two!
Blogrolls and Strategic Blog Commenting
Having a Blog is very useful; having a Blog integrated with your website is even more useful or maybe your Blog is your website. If you’re an avid Blogger then you should be aware of the benefits this can bring you. Blogging is an easy way of generating oodles of BackLinks. In Rik Pennington’s case some bloggers have contributed 100s and in some cases 1000s of BackLinks to Rik’s website. Admittedly the value of so many links from the same source can be questioned but they come from related websites in the same blogging neighborhood. We would rather have them, than not. On the contrary, it hasn’t seemed to have done his Google Top Ten Rankings any harm.
Now the important one, Strategic Blog Commenting. Leaving comments on somebody else’s blog is easy and an excellent way of generating BackLinks with targeted anchor text. It’s good for you, it’s good for them, you get to connect with other people in your industry and you may learn a thing or two along the way. I can’t stress how important leaving Blog comments can be. Remember, be constructive, contribute and be respectful. There are plenty of high PageRank Blog pages out there; you just have to find them. If you have something of interest to say, say it on your Blog. Others will be more inclined to link to you via their Blogroll or links on their Blogs and initiate RSS feeds. They’re all positive steps towards climbing Google’s ranking ladder. If you’re doing it and your competitors are not, then there only seems to be one result, onwards and upwards!
Link Directories, Business Directories (Local, Regional, National) and in this case Wedding Directories
Not all directories are going to give you the link juice you hunger for, but profiling is important too. Many employ ‘no follow tags’ or create ways of opening the link to your website denying SearchBots the BackLinks you desire them to follow from the directories. But if your competitors are listed there, you need to be there also. It’s all part of profiling your business and establishing your authority and reputation online and goes hand in hand with your SEO. I normally steer clear of paid directories unless there is sound evidence that they are ranking high for the search terms you require and more importantly are driving targeted traffic. Both of these factors must be reflected in the cost to you. If you can’t establish either or they won’t tell you, your money would be better spent elsewhere. Listing in wedding directories has also helped to mould Rik’s authority as wedding photographer and several have generated clean BackLinks.
I actually run a number of new business directories and wedding directories in the UK, so get in contact with me if you want to know what they are. They are primed for good quality link exchanges and the SEO behind them is very savvy.
Doing, all of the above, relentlessly, is what got Rik Pennington to the top of Google.co.uk for ‘Wedding Photographer London’ He was No.1 is presently No.2 (out of about 143,000,000 possible results -07th Jan 2011). This drives him traffic, lots of targeted traffic in London and the surrounding area. Never working more than 45mins away from where he lives, which is just the way he wants it. None of this happens overnight and it’s hard work for sure. But if you’re focused, canny and you persevere, you will see the fruits of your hard and sometimes tiring link building labor. You’re the jury, you decide?
Next chapter will cover the ‘Big Guns’ in link arsenal – Link Management Software, Linking Analysis, Link strategy at National level and Article submissions. I will highlight how to use these to your best advantage when targeting a Google Top Ten Listing for a Generic Keyword.
Till next time, peeps……
Thanks for reading.
The SEO Daddy is a very successful professional SEO Consultant. He runs www.Frame13.com a SEO Company in the UK. He covers every industry online and specializes in Wedding Business SEO.