Link your way to the top

Michael Jenkins reveals the five best SEO practices to get your page to number one.

The best place to hide a dead body is on page two of Google. It’s also the worst place for customers to connect with your brand. So, how does a brand climb to the dizzying heights atop the Google search results mountain?michael jenkins - ceo - shout agency

SEO can be rather intimidating (not to mention exhausting). The good news is, there are some simple and effective practices every brand can  – and should – be implementing in the race to the top.

  1. Citation building
    It might sound super academic, but it’s just a fancy term for pimping out your business name and address on other websites. Except, there’s a catch. Just like mobile unfriendly sites, gone too are the days of linking to general business directories for the sake of volume.Instead, there are select elite business directories that Google trusts to validate your business. In our game, a good place to start is right here.
    Notepad with word seo concept and glasses
  1. Location matters

To further complicate things, Google will adjust search results based on a business’ location. For instance, if you type ‘social media agency’ into Google and you are in Melbourne you will see different results than if you were typing the same keyword in Sydney.

The trick is to have a ‘physical’ address for every city, and then focus citation building to each location. This will boost your coverage in each individual city and result in a higher share of voice for the keyword that you are optimising for.

city map with Pin Pointers 3d rendering image

  1. Get blogging

Blogger outreach has been butchered a little in recent years, thanks to shonky operators. The reality is that it is highly effective when done well.

Success comes down to two factors: the metrics of the site that you are acquiring a link from and the relevancy of the site in which you are placing your outreach post on.

The magic, again, is in the quality – rather than lots of blog posts it’s better to post regular columns on high value sites. You can of course link back to your site via an ‘About Author’, passing domain authority from the site that you are linking from, to your site.

Domain authority is a metric that people often look at, however you also need to consider two further metrics – citation flow and trust flow. Some great examples of high domain authorities include:




These metrics look at the brand mentions the site has and the quality of the citations and trust flow look at how trust worthy the domain is. Trust flow is actually the only metric that can’t be manipulated and is the one that most people overlook when making an acquisition.

  1. Link within

When we think of link building it’s almost assumed that all link building is inbound links. One of the quickest ways to help with SEO is internal linking, just like this, this and this.

Linking lower pages within the site’s hierarchy to target landing pages within your site via the keyword in which you are optimising.

For example, linking a keyword from a blog article to a key services page will send a signal to Google that the service page is the most relevant page for the keyword in which you are optimising. Wikipedia does this exceptionally well. It interlinks keywords internally to help boost rankings for keywords and also to help the user navigate through the site to the information they’re looking for.

Not found text for missing page or file when linking or searching on website.

Not found text for missing page or file when linking or searching on website.

  1. Link Neutralisation

If a website is citing a competitor then there is a chance that it might also link to your site, if approached correctly. This requires some technical nous: you need to be able to run a back-link report on that competitor’s links, analyse the strength of the links and determine which links that you want to acquire.

The goal is to neutralise its strongest links by acquiring those links and then using other link-building methods contained in this article to create a strategic advantage.

When doing this, be sure you are targeting your competitors’ highest value link targets.

If all else fails, phone a friend

SEO can be overwhelming, but it also can’t be ignored. If you do not know where to start, your immediate network is a good place. Often your suppliers or strategic partners will be happy to provide you with a link.

Offer to write a post, link from a resources page or provide them a testimonial in which they link to you via your name, company name or URL link.

Michael Jenkins is a director at Shout Agency


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