The last couple blog posts here at meaningful marketing have talked about how to create great local SEO content, and within those blog posts, we’ve mentioned how important interlinks are. As I’ve gone through those last two blog posts, I realize that I haven’t even mentioned why interlinks are important, so that’s what I want to do today: I want to talk about the importance of interlinks.
Why Interlinks Are Important
Interlinks are important for a couple of reasons.
The first one being that it helps keep people on your website longer. So, if you have an article or a landing page that people are on and you’ve got three to six or ten interlinks on that page to other useful articles, you’re going to keep people on your website longer. And it’s kind of a theory that’s been known as a click-hole. The click-hole is if you get on a website and then twenty minutes go by and you don’t even realize it, next thing you know you’ve been through fifteen or thirty articles, depending on the website.
And a prime example of who does the click-hole well is buzzfeed. You’ll be on buzzfeed, you don’t know how you got there, and you landed on an article, it could be something to do with “What The Cast From Saved By The Bell Looks Like Now“, or something like that. Then next thing you know, 25 minutes have gone by and you’ve gone through 30 articles just of useless information.
Now, your idea and your concepts shouldn’t be much different, but you want to provide your website visitors with some good, useful information. You want to be sure to keep on linking to good articles within all of your pages.
So, that’s the first reason interlinks are important.
The second reason is it tells search engines which pages on your website are important so that those pages can get better rankings for their own keywords or targeted keywords. So, as you write more and more of the articles we’ve talked about in the great local SEO content blog posts, you want those rankings for those blog posts to improve themselves.
The Bicycle Wheel Strategy
Again, the bicycle wheel, the homepage is the middle of the wheel, and all these other little pages and pieces of content that you get off your website are spokes in that wheel, so the more spokes you have, the better off you are. Those spokes and those pages are going to be landing pages for people who are searching a lot of these long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are any of these three to seven to ten word keywords, like ‘the best blah blah blah in whatever city you’re in,’ or ‘how much does your service cost in the city that you’re in?’ Those are long-tail keywords.
As you get more and more of those pages created, you’ve got to improve their rankings. You can do that by providing interlinks from your blog posts to those pages. And again, the more and more of those pages that you have, the more and more interlinks you’re going to have for those pages and the better rankings they’re going to get. Why? You’re telling the search engine that these pages are important. As long as you have the right anchor text, the linking to that page, to that other blog post, you’re going to tell the search engine that ‘hey, this page that we’re going to link you to is descriptive,’ and the text that is linked, that’s the actual concept of this next page or blog post.
Interlink Text Is Very Important
So, an example here for Meaningful Marketing would be we mentioned the word ‘interlink’ throughout a lot of our blog posts over the last three years. But we don’t actually have an article on interlinks, thus why I wanted to create this one.
What we’re going to do is we’re going to go through and find all those mentions of interlinks on this site and change the text a little bit to focus on the keyword “the importance of interlinks”. So then, we’re going to link that text, “the importance of interlinks” to this blog post.
Hopefully I haven’t confused you on talking about interlinks while using an example of interlinking text, but that’s what we’re trying to do, because we want this blog post to rank high for the search term “the importance of interlinks”. Hopefully that makes sense and I haven’t confused you.
The last thing on interlinks is to make sure that you use a very descriptive anchor text, so don’t provide a lot of ‘click here,’ where that’s the text that links to a different page, or “learn more about by clicking on this page” don’t have a lot of “this page” linked to the next page. You’re not providing the search engine with very good information there, so be as descriptive as you can in your text link.
If you have a page that talks about massage therapy for runners, anytime that you mention “massage therapy in running”, you want that text linked to that page. Make it very descriptive and make it so that text is actually what that page is going to talk about that the page is going to link to, or even the searcher is going to link to.
There you go, that’s a quick little blog post, and I guess the Soundcloud recording here on the importance of interlinks, we’ll see you again soon.
If you are small business and you’re struggling with trying to create good local SEO content for your website, then you’re gonna want to listen to this Soundcloud recording, or read this blog post for ways on how to do that.
Sorry I got confused there, but we’re trying something new here at Meaningful Marketing and I decided, “You know what, I want to utilize my Soundcloud account here and get a voice memo that talks about how to create good local content”. Actually, it all really comes down to the fact that I kind of hate having to write and it’s just easier to talk!
The concept and strategies I’m going to talk about in this blog post, teamed up with this local SEO content strategy I’ve already talked about will no doubt increase your web traffic.
Read on and I’ll go into greater detail on how to create great local SEO content.
In my last post I talked about how search engines, especially Google, like to see websites that have useful content. I also mentioned that content is important in my seven SEO trends for 2015. Today’s post is about a local SEO content strategy you must implement.
Why is local content so important? Google and the search engines want to provide searchers with relevant and useful resources as fast as they can. So they will rank websites that fit that bill on the first page or in the top 3. They don’t want searchers going past the first page as that hinders their search experience and might force them to try another search engine.
So the question I put to you is, what is your website’s content like?
But What Do I Mean By Content?
By content I mean two things. The length and quality of the content on your websites pages. And the amount of website pages you have.
I did some Freelance work back in 2013 for a friend who owns a niche web development company for contractors. His philosophy was to create websites that had at least 40 pages of quality content (400 words or more) and that targeted surrounding cities, municipalities and counties.
Here’s how we did it and what you need to do.
Implement This Local SEO Content Strategy
We developed a strategy where we asked his clients to list 10 other cities, municipalities or counties they were targeting residents from. From there I created optimized pages targeting each of these areas and the main service the contractor offered.
For example if it was a painter in Fort Myers, we would create pages targeting each surrounding area.
So a couple of pages we’d create would be:
“Cape Coral Residential Painters”
“Cypress Lake Painters”
“Painters In Buckingham”
We had done this for a couple of clients in 2013 here at Meaningful Marketing. But I forgot about it until recently when I chatted with Andrew Shortland from the Local SEO Guide. He did an analysis of a clients website and made one simple suggestion. Add content to the site that targets surrounding areas.
We did that beginning on February 2nd 2015. In just 3 weeks, this client jumped from 18 to 13 for the search term “painters Victoria BC”. You can see the results in the screenshot below.
This was a big jump considering the website sat in the 18th position for almost two months.
This Works For A Physical Storefront
The above examples highlight service based businesses. For them, it doesn’t matter where their clients are located as they drive to their homes and provide a service.
But this strategy can work for a physical store front as well. Create the pages and simply mention that you are not physically located in that area but that you have serviced residents in that area.
Ask your clients who are located in that area if you can name drop them on that page. The visitors might know them but if not, you still have a targeted visitor on your site and they are looking for what you have to offer. It’s up to your content and copywriting to convert them to a client so they will come do business with you.
If you are going to take my advice and use this strategy, be sure that you change the page titles and url structure around. For more on SEO friendly urls, visit this post and scroll down to the “Targeting Keywords on a Page” section.
Back in the end of January, I ran an experiment to find out how long does it take to rank on page one. In the post I stated a goal of trying to rank a new website and business on page one within two months. Bold, I know.
The reason for such a short time frame was due to the fact that I had purchased an old keyword rich domain for my mother’s Victoria BC bookkeeping business.
I wanted to see if that alone was enough to get a website ranked on the first page faster than normal. The keyword rich domain was owned by another bookkeeping company in Victoria but they decided to change their domain to a branded one. Since the domain was old, it had some trust built up with Google and contained a keyword, so I figured it would take less time to rank on page one.
When the website was created, we added seven blog posts relating to bookkeeping and common questions my mom gets asked. That didn’t help and to be honest, things have been really busy so no more content had been added to the site.
That was until this past weekend when we added seven more pages to the website. These pages haven’t made a difference to the rankings yet. But this strategy has been extremely successful for our other clients.
In my blog post on seven trends for local SEO success in 2015, I mentioned you should create blog posts and webpages where you answer common questions. This is one method of creating more content. Since that post though, I’ve had a consultation from another local SEO.
In the next blog post, I’m going to reveal the tip and what types of pages and content need to be added to your website to increase its search engine rankings. Make sure you sign up for our email list so you don’t miss that post because as I mentioned, we’ve seen some great results implementing this strategy into our content marketing.
One of the most common questions we get asked when it comes to our Victoria BC SEO service is “How long will to take for my website to get on the first page?”
This is such a difficult question to answer as every website is different. So is the competitive landscape. Some businesses have 5-10 competitors in their area. While others can have 50. The more competitors you have, the more websites we have to out rank with our SEO service.
We might have left one out and that is the domain.
Ranking New Domain or Old One
We get a lot of enquires from new businesses who want to hire us. They will inevitably ask us “How long to get my site on the first page?’
If we learn that their the domain is brand new, we tell them a few months longer than if their domain was already well established.
Why is this? Because a new domain takes longer to get on the search engines radar.
We had a potential client approach us last summer with a new domain. When we told them it could take 8 month, they were obviously disappointed.
After explaining why that would be and what they could do to help us, they hired us and it took us about 4 months to get their site on the first page. It should be noted that this client has only 15 competitors. Getting on the first page meant trying to out rank those 15 sites and the YellowPages and Yelp directories. Your competitive landscape and where you are ranking right now might be different.
But we can safely say it could take 4-8 months to rank on the first page locally here in Victoria BC.
This section talked about domain age. We’ve found older domains are easier to rank than newer domains.
However, there might be a faster way and it boils down to the domain name itself.
Exact Match Keyword Domains
An exact match keyword domain is a domain name that contains a keyword you are trying to target. An example in the local SEO world would be if a painter in Victoria BC was trying to target the keyword “painters Victoria BC”, they would try and purchase the domain http://paintersvictoriabc.ca.
Now I say try because years ago, buying exact match keyword domains was all the rage. People actually made a business of buying these domains and selling them. But as they have become less of a ranking factor, these domains can be bought for fairly cheap.
If you find an exact match domain that is a few years old, you might rank faster.
My mother has been so kind as to help me with bookkeeping for Meaningful Marketing. She owned a business for 8 years and completed the Bookkeeping Administration Program at Sprott Shaw here in Victoria. She’s semi-retired but still wants to work and loves numbers.
Since I know a lot about SEO and internet marketing, I thought why not create a website for her and do some local SEO on it.
Knowing that buying a new domain might take longer to rank, I searched for expired domains and found an exact match keyword domain. That domain is http://bookkeepingvictoria.ca.
There wasn’t much on the domain at the time but it was still alive then. A company called Canwest Accounting owned the domain and eventually got a nice website up on that domain by May 2013.
For whatever reason though they decide along the way not to renew the http://bookkeepingvictoria.ca domain and move their website to a branded domain http://www.canwestaccounting.ca/.
Their loss is hopefully my mothers gain!
I purchased that domain on January 22nd 2015.
Today is January 27th 2015 and I have the website up and running with a little bit of content. I’ll be following the seven trends in local SEO for 2015 post that I created last week.
Content and backlinks will be the biggest areas of focus for getting the website ranked organically. Creating business citations will be the focus on getting the business to rank in the Google maps.
The site has already been indexed and crawled by Google which is a great sign and the reason why buying an older, exact match domain should help her website rank faster for “bookkeeping Victoria BC‘ search terms.
I ran a search ranking report for the site today and it isn’t ranking in the top 50 for any of the search terms we’re targeting. But it’s ranking in the positions from 51-100 which is another great sign. Especially after buying the domain five days ago and getting optimized content up yesterday.
The goal of this experiment is to get the website ranking on the first page for the search term “bookkeeping Victoria BC” by the end of March. I will update the status at that time.