You Ask, We Answer: May 30, 2014

How to optimize my website for a selected keyword?

Are you in a lazy Friday mood? Then take a breath, lean back and forget about your piling work for a moment. Sometimes the solution to your troubles is right in front of you. If you are running out of ideas on how to improve your rankings for the selected key phrases, then read on. Today’s post will focus on establishing credibility and encouraging online referrals and you don’t want to miss on that.

The questions that we will cover were sent by Jacob Lang and are tailored to the needs of his website. If you wish to take part in our Friday Q&A session, you simply have to email us and share the issue that you are concerned with. We might select your question and discuss it in a detailed post, just like the one that you are about to read. And here comes Jacob’s questions, actually:

Q: I’m working to optimize my website based on the key phrase “direct mail advertising”. I’ve done keyword research and found this to be a viable option. What I’m trying to do is generate enough viable back links to my site to be recognized and more credible according to Google. What is the best way to go about this?

A:  I realize that your questions mainly focus on how to obtain valuable inbound links, but I’d like to comment on some additional issues that you might be overlooking:

  • If you are not aware of the term keyword cannibalization it would be a nice thing to look it up. What you need to remember is that each page has/should have a distinct message. Thus the content on each page respectfully will have a specific/unique core of terms, or a set of keywords. So when you’ve selected “direct mail advertising” as one of the key phrases for your home page does not mean that you have completed the job – you have to figure out the keyword set for the remaining key pages on your website.


I can see that your website is a one page application, however you have managed to implement it in a successful way – Google indexes each “page” separately. Thus you might want to be careful with one key phrase stuffing only all over your website.


  • Another issue that is not specifically link oriented, though essential for acquiring new links, is content creation. You do not leave any space for further content additions and it seems that you are not planning to further grow/develop your site copy. Now is a good time to mention that people would link to your site not only because they are impressed by your service, but because you offer engaging and helpful, shareable content (that could be articles, whitepapers, infographics, surveys, analysis etc.) Leaving your website plain and stagnant will not help your rankings. Having a blog or a news page is a must these days, at least if you are considering this business as a long term endeavor.


Q: Should I be asking people to let me guest blog?

A:  Being asked to guest blog or to give an interview is always the best option, for this is the most natural way of obtaining online references. You have to be noticed first, recognized as an authority and then invited to share your thoughts and expertise. Thus guest blogging would require having a recognized brand/company.

There are ways to motivate bloggers to mention you – and we will not discuss the paid ones – as to keep your strategy absolutely clean and free of any risk of penalty. However, guest blogging in its old format (obtaining links just for the link juice they offer) is something to stay away from. Here are the things you should keep in mind:

  • Relevance of the given blog – if the blog you guest post does not cover the topic you are specializing in, or if it does not share your location, then it is only normal to ask: what are you doing there – are you pursuing the easy gain and link juice? Limit your blog participation to niche- and location-relevant websites.
  • Guest posts ratio to the in-house content posted – if you are considering whether to blog on a website which mainly hosts guest posts and rarely, if at all, publishes its own content, you are on the wrong track. If this blog has not been penalized yet, pretty soon it will be, especially if its external links in those guest posts are passing page rank.
  • Blog authority – this is a tough to estimate criteria, but watching out for a combination of high DA, PR and daily visits/high readership and engagement will help you out.
  • Activity of the blog readers – (shares/comments/likes, etc)

Q: Do linked comments on blogs count as a backlink?

A:  Usually blog comments are tagged as nofollow and they do not help your rankings at all – Google ignores them. However, if you post insightful and relevant comments on blog discussions that your targeted customers read and participate in, you might attract people’s attention and make them visit your website and learn a bit more about your service.

Thus blog commenting might bring you certain traffic and even some sales, but usually blog commenting is mainly used for building and maintaining relationships with your community.

Q: Should I be simply just pasting the link or do I want to add a link to my key phrase?

A:  Whenever someone links to your website – it is best to monitor what anchor text they use – exact match anchor text is not a viable option. You can use, as you’ve mentioned the given URL. Another option is to use your company name or your name per se as anchor text. This approach is considered most natural and won’t pose a threat to your website in terms of receiving manual or any algorithmic link-related penalty. Everything else could be regarded as an attempt to trick the algorithm.

Hopefully these tips will give you a good idea of how to proceed with your online business promotion strategy. Of course advertising could not be reduced to just “obtaining links”. It has countless other aspects even if we target online visibility only. They should all be assessed and used if applicable to your business model. As you’ve mentioned yourself: “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.”

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