The Importance of Link Building to SEO

Links in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Everything that you need to know about Links in SEO

If you have walked around the Digital Marketing avenues for any given amount of time, you will have heard people talk about the importance of link building in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This article is going to explain some of the most used terminology that relates to links in SEO. As you shall see, some of the terms that are defined here mean pretty much the same thing;

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization is primarily concerned with making sure that web pages become more visible to Search Engines. A higher visibility translates into a better rank in organic search results. SEO is a primary concern for Digital Marketing executives across the globe and can define the success or failure of businesses that operate from and have a presence on the internet.

The Internet is Vast

You may be aware of the fact that there are over a billion websites in the world, and the number is growing by thousands on a daily basis. What this means is that these sites all have to compete fiercely  for prime real estate on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Most people are probably unaware of the fact that those pages that are listed on the first page for any search terms have an exponentially higher chance of being opened than those that languish from page two onwards.

Only the first page matters

In fact, over 91% of people across the globe never even bother to go beyond the first page of search results for whatever it is that they are looking for.

What this means is that if your pages are ranked anywhere other than on page 1, then the chances that they will be opened are rather slim. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes into play. Those in Digital Marketing are constantly looking for, implementing and refining the ways through which they can improve a site’s ranking on Search Engines.

  1. Links

Links in SEO
The importance of links in SEO can never be taken for granded

What are links?

Also referred to as hyperlinks, links, in SEO, are reference points on your web pages that point and can be followed to other web pages.

Why are links important?

Links play an important role in the way that Search Engines operate by enabling them to crawl across the internet while indexing web content.

Think of links in SEO as the highways on which Search Engines travel while indexing and categorizing content. Without them, it would be virtually impossible for Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other Search Engine to find and rank web pages.

  1. Link Building

Link building is the process by which you get relevant pages that are on other domains to link to your own pages. Link Building is a very important component in Search Engine Optimization. That is because Search Engines reward pages that have a high number of links pointing towards them from external sources. This is done for a number of logical reasons;

a. Trust

The fact that so many people are willing to link to your website is taken by Search Engines to mean that your site is trustworthy. No one would, under normal circumstances, be willing to point their readers towards a site whose content is less than reputable.

b. High Quality

Again, Search Engines perceive a web page that has a high number of inbound links to be authoritative on whatever the subject matter is. The reasoning is the same as in the above scenario; people would not be willing to link their pages to a site that has poor quality content.

c.  Links are not created equal

It is important to point out here that, in the world of Search Engine Optimization, not all links are created the same. Search Engines assign greater value to some links than it does to others. That is particularly the case with well established sites. If for, example, you get a link from the BBC Website, that is likely to give your web page greater impetus that would be the case if you get an inbound link from an unknown blogger.

How do you get links from external sources?

There are a number of ways through which you can get other people to link to your content. One way through which you can get backlinks is by writing guest posts and publishing them on other people’s websites and blogs. Needless to say here that your content needs to be of a high quality. Otherwise, you won’t be able to publish it on any blog.

  1. Inbound Links

Link building is primarily concerned with inbound links. These are the links that, as we have just mentioned, point to a web page from external sources. The reasons why inbound links are of importance are the same ones that are given above, and mainly have to do with the fact that not many people would be willing to link their content with a page that is poorly written and poorly researched. Search Engines, therefore, assign higher ranks to sites that attract more inbound links.

  1. Outbound Links

Outbound links are, in contrast to inbound links, hyperlinks on your own pages that point to other web pages on other websites. Outbound links are important because they are what help search engines categorize web content.

  1. Backlinks

Another term that you are likely to hear being bandied around the SEO circles is “backlinks.” This is just another term that describes inbound links; that is, links that point to your web pages from external sources. So, to those who are learning this for the first time, there should be no confusion; backlinks are inbound links.

  1. Internal Links

 Internal Links are another important type of links in SEO. They are hyperlinks that you make on your web pages that point to content that is on web pages that are on the same website (the same domain). Search Engine also use internal links to crawl across, index and categorize content that is on the same website.

  1. External Links

Where a hyperlink on a webpage points to a domain other than the one on which the webpage is located, the link is referred to as an external link. What this means is that both inbound and outbound links are external links.

  1. Link Juice

The term “Link Juice” is an informal term that is used by SEO experts to describe a link’s ability to improve a page’s Search Engine Ranking by passing on its “juice.” In other words, it is the amount of SEO boost that one page is able to pass to another.

I mentioned earlier that links in SEO are not created equally; and that there are some that have the ability to pass a large amount of juice to linking pages. Others, however, barely have enough to make even the slightest of changes.

The amount of juice that a page is able to pass is largely dependent on how authoritative it is. Clearly, a link from an authority website such as CNN will pass on a lot more juice, should it ever point towards your site.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has shown you everything that you need to know about links in SEO and linkbuilding. You can learn more by reading any of our other articles, in which we discuss a wide variety of issues, including Search Engine Optimization, Digital Marketing, Email Marketing and Facebook Marketing.

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How to Choose a WordPress Theme: The Struggle

How to choose a WordPress theme

Choosing the Best WordPress Theme: Its all in your head

I have, over the past few days, been having sleepless nights while trying to choose the best WordPress theme for this blog. During the process, I may have inadvertently damaged a thing or two, not only on the site, but also in my head. That only goes to illustrate that, for beginners, the process of choosing the best WordPress theme can be rather daunting. This short article is, therefore, meant to help those who, like me, are struggling to choose from the millions of WordPress themes that are out there. So, how do you choose a WordPress theme for your site?

  1. Don’t Obsess

A theme for your site: Dont overthink it

My first tip to you, if you are looking to choose a WordPress theme, is that you shouldn’t be obsessive about the process. Take it from me, you don’t have to spend sleepless nights organizing over something that’s only part of the blogging process. What do I mean about that?

Blogging is all about providing value to your readers

Although aesthetics play an important role in the perceptions that people get of your site, your primary concern as a blogger is to provide readers with value. What most people do not realize is that this can be done even with the use of the plainest of themes.

Another thing that you need to remember is that not many people, particularly if you are into content marketing, are going to even visit your home page. Someone Googles something and if your page comes up, they will be taken directly to the article that you have written and not to your home page.

So, my advise here is that while it is nice to have a visually appealing site, your thrust at the beginning should be on creating value. I think I tried out over a fifty themes over the past few days till I realized that the best is sometimes the simplest.

  1. Website Speed Matters

If you have been blogging for any given amount of time, you will have heard that website speed plays an important role in Search Engine Optimization. Well, it turns out that that statement is absolutely true. If your site is sluggish, it is likely to get a low SERPs rank.

That is one of the reasons why you should choose a WordPress theme that’s fully optimized for speed and performance. Believe me, finding the perfect one is rather difficult. There are so many themes out there that it’s impossible to sample them all.

Again, the thing to remember is that you should never be obsessive about choosing a theme for your WordPress website. The WordPress theme that you choose can always be changed at any time. Carry out research and you are likely to arrive at the one that perfectly fits your needs.

Meanwhile, remember that your aim is to provide value to your readers and not to dazzle them.

  1. A Mobile First Approach

The above is particularly the case for mobile searches. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, it is likely that your web pages won’t ever feature where it matters on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Remember, the majority of searches are now being made from mobile devices. Although desktops still matter in this equation, browsing habits have shifted across the globe over the past few years. Mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, now rule the roost as far as Search is concerned.

It is important, therefore, for you to choose a WordPress theme that is fully optimized for mobile devices. This is where I had the most trouble. The theme that I first chose for this site was initially responsive. However, and most likely due to excessive tinkering on my part, it soon lost the responsiveness. Thus started my struggle to find a new WordPress theme.

  1. Pingdom and PageSpeed Insights

Part of the reason why I went overboard while trying to choose a theme for my site was the fact that I was trying to get make a selection that would satisfy both Pingdom and PageSpeed Insights. That proved to be so difficult a task that I didn’t sleep for two days in a row.

Despite this, it is safe to say that these sites are absolutely crucial when it comes to determining what is and what is not working on your blog. You can read the article in the provided link to learn more about using PageSpeed Insights.

The thing that had me scratching my head was the fact that a couple of times I though I had the best theme possible, only to have a couple of errors show up after running one of the above tests.

  1. How I chose my current theme

If you are wondering, my site is currently on the Mission News theme. And how did I choose this WordPress theme?  Well, I spend a day or two on what I thought was the best theme ever. I had even spend hours designing the logo and all.

However, after a day,  the thing stopped opening some pages. I mean, it was probably not the theme’s fault; at least not entirely. I suspect I had cooked things up in my WordPress while deleting and installing so many themes in a single day.

In any case, when the theme that I had stopped working, I pretty much gave up. I then, in disdain, installed the first theme that was in my “Themes,” folder and lo and behold, it turned out to be one of the best that I have ever used.

So, this theme is somewhat accidental. I do hope, however, that it does not break up on me after a day or two. Hope this article helps you choose a WordPress theme that works for you.

How to add new Users to your WordPress Website

How to Add Users to your WordPress Website

Add new users to your WordPress Website

I have, in recent days, been working on a new WordPress site for a client and thought I would write this post to help those who are struggling with the basics of Web Development. You may, at one point or the other, find it necessary to add new users to your WordPress Website. So, how do you go about doing that?

Why you Would Add New Users

If, as was the case in my case, you wish to have several people working on one website at the same time, having various user accounts simplifies the process. Remember how I talked about Freelancing in one of my articles? Suppose that you have hired several freelancers and wish to have them write and post articles directly to your website. This is where you may wish to create new user accounts on your WordPress site for each of these people.

Creating new WordPress Website User Accounts

Adding new accounts to a WordPress website is simple enough. All that you need to do in order to add new Users to your WordPress Website is the following;

  • Log into your WordPress Website’s backend
  • Look for and click on “Users,” from within the link on the left.
  • This takes you to a page where all the people who currently have access to your site are listed.
  • Click on “Add New” to add a new WordPress User
  • This takes you into a new page where you are required to input the new WordPress user’s Username, Email, First Name, Last Name, Website and Password.

The New User’s Role

Now, here is where things begin to get a little complicated. Well, perhaps not complicated, but you get the idea…. WordPress allows you to choose between 7 roles when creating a new account for a new user. These are;

  • Subscriber
  • Shop Manager
  • Customer
  • Contributor
  • Author
  • Editor
  • Administrator

Think Carefully

The roles that you assign to the accounts that you create determine the kind of access that the owners of the account will have. Of all the roles that are mentioned above, the Administrator is the most powerful.

It is important for you to, in this regard, think very carefully before assigning this role to an individual. You don’t want to give administrative privileges to a freelancer who you have just met through Upwork and who is doing a once off job for you.

The WordPress Admin has far reaching abilities, including that of changing your site’s theme, installing plugins, locking out other users and much more.

Limited Access

The other account types that are shown above do not have all these privileges. As an example, there is this site where I contribute articles.

The owner had assigned me a “Contributor” role. A problem arose when I needed one particular plugin. I had to ask the site’s owner to install the plugin for me.

I also discovered that the YouTube videos that I was embedding into posts were being removed! That only changed when the owner upgraded my status to “Author.”

Create New WordPress User

Once you have assigned a role to your new account, choose “Send the new user an email about their account.” Click on “Add New User,” and you are done. As you can see, adding new User Accounts to your WordPress Website is simple and wont even take you more than a few minutes.

The new user will immediately be notified about their account via email. In fact, you can have as many users as you want. However, as we have already noted, be careful with how much access you grant them. You don’t want them to start playing around with the structure of your site.

Need to keep track of your performance on Search Engine Result Pages? Why not try out these amazing Rank Tracking tools? Sign up and you will get daily updates on your blog’s rankings for your chosen keywords.

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