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Internet Marketing and Better Backlinks - Different? Better?


SEO Analysis Case Study – Backlinks and Social Signals

If you target getting top rankings on organic search for keywords that have little or no competition, it is relatively easy to rank high on Google.

Simply following the Blogging Underground 12 Step Success Strategy and getting good links from articles may just be enough to get you on top! What we do at BU works really well and often the backlinks you get from articles in the BU Blog Network are all you need to get traffic from free search results for some good low to medium competition keyword phrases.

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For the more competitive keywords that are harder to rank for – simply add in some social signals to give your website more authority and trust. You’ll usually move up in the rankings from the social boost.

However, if you are planning to gain super authority status for your website in a popular niche and go after higher competition keywords and compete with the big boys, it is really important you spend a little more time finding out is working for the competition to get on page one of Google for those big money keywords.

Let’s do a quick SEO analysis case study and look at a pretty competitive keyword and try to see what is working for the top sites so we can see what we can do on our own sites that will give us a boost.

Sometimes a little extra work may be required when you are targeting mid tier to high tier high competition keywords that are harder to rank for.

One of the things you may do is to look and see what the competition is doing to rank for your target keywords on Google.

There are some cool tools out there that help us analyze the competition.

Spyfu is one of the tools I often use to look at the organic rankings and competition for a keyword.

Spyfu is mainly known for tracking PPC campaigns and estimating the cost of clicks, but they also have some really good data for the “organic” free search results.

These tools are also often great to use to find additional related keywords to target and go after. Just look to see what your competition ranks for and add the best keywords to your list of targets or just make an effort to add them to the articles you publish on your site.

Spyfu tracks a lot of keywords and has a huge database of the rankings for organic search (not paid PPC placement) and actually show social data like Facebook likes, Google+, Pinterest and even the number of and Twitter tweets for the ranking URL’s.

This social data can help you analyze the ranking URL’s to see if social activity may influence the rankings.

Note: Keep in mind that while social signals are good to have and an important consideration for your sites and web pages, having a massive social presence is NOT really important except for those big competition keywords.

Let’s take a look at the data on Spyfu for a keyword that is pretty competitive: healthy smoothies

http://www.spyfu.com/Term/1839231

Scan down the page until you see the “Organic Search Ranking Analysis”.

They show the top 50 results (for free) and even show the estimated number of monthly clicks (very cool!).

This keyword phrase: healthy smoothies is a high competition keyword and a number one spot will bring approximately 961 clicks each month.

The results show mostly well known sites at the top of the results.

The good news is that the results are NOT all top level domains but rather URL’s of inside pages. That means a site that is tightly focused on the keyword phrase and nothing else would be a good candidate to make it page 1 of the Google results if it had all the right factors including lots of social signals.

Let’s take a look at the actual URL of the top ranking site and analyze it using Spyfu.

Click this link to see the data from Spyfu for this specific URL:

http://www.spyfu.com/url/?q=http://www.prevention.com/food/cook/20-healthy-smoothie-recipes

First thing I notice is massive social signals. Lots of tweets, shares and likes and a ton of Pinterest pins! 5,796 to be exact.

The pins alone are surely responsible for why the prevention page is ranking #1 on Google for this difficult keyword target.

The good news is that with Pinterest if you have a good image and people discover it, they will gladly help out and spread the word by pinning it and sharing it with their friends.

I bet the image on this top ranking page went viral on its own… let’s look at the page on prevention and see what’s on it.

Pull up this URL that ranks #1 for healthy smoothies

http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-recipes/20-super-healthy-smoothies

Wow… light on content. But that picture of the smoothies sure looks good! I want one right now!

All the page delivers is basically a picture of smoothies… with a built in PIN IT button and Facebook comments built in. The page barely has any text about smoothies.

That tells me we’ll do better if we have good pictures of smoothies and that people will pin them and help us.

By the way those are basically curated type posts – a picture (and/or video) with a paragraph of text – that’s all. And instead of one big long page with lots of words they keep it short with just a picture and a paragraph of text and then make people click the arrow to jump to the next one… smart.

A well respected site that has gained authority in a niche can do this. Once you are trusted and an authority almost anything you put on the site will get you rankings for the keywords on the pages.

Here look at this URL – it has a different smoothie picture and text…

http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-recipes/20-super-healthy-smoothies?s=4

I bet that page ranks too for Blueberry and Banana smoothie – it does – it’s on page two of results… with a picture in the Google results.

Hmmm… I think pictures are pretty important… and so are the social signals when you target these big money keywords.

Good to know about this info so you know what can help you as you build out your sites, but don’t let it scare you off from going after your low to mid competition keywords. Those keywords are much easier to rank for and do not require as much social juice as for a competitive keyword phrase like HEALTHY SMOOTHIES to get to the top.

But, that said do not ignore social signals – I think it’d be a mistake to ignore having at least some social signals pointing at your site.

Every site, even those that target keywords that are not extremely difficult to rank for, should have some tweets and likes and pins coming in.

We need to be aware of how social signals and pictures will help us gain authority and trust and push up to a higher level so that almost everything we do gets some good search engine love on it’s own

Well – I hope that gives you some ideas and helps you push up some of your pages in the rankings!

Best wishes for your online success!

Mike Liebner (continued – read more of this article…)