SEO Basics : Build an Authority Site from Scratch

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1. Keyword Friendly Domain Name

Your first option is using a domain you own but have never used. If your domain is xyz.com, and you need to target ‘Miami refinancing, then make sure to place the keywords in the URL. The website URL should appear as xyz.com/miami-refinancing not xyz.com/123.html. Even if your domain name was mortgage.com, I would still use the friendly URLs to make the link look like this mortgage.com/miami-refinancing

Your 2nd option is purchasing an old domain. There are a lot of old domains out there that have a lot of backlinks, but you will need to make sure they haven’t expired. An expired domain may be looked at as a brand new domain. A great place to search old domains is namejet.com. Prices can vary, and you’ll have to pick from a pool of domain names.

If you can’t afford to bid on old domains, then your 3rd option is to register a domain with Godaddy. Making sure that the domain name contains the general keyterms of your website is very important. Depending on how you plan to target your website, I would first start off with a regional site. If you can only offer auto sales in Charlotte, North Carolina, then I would pick a domain name that includes Charlotte in the domain name. Picking just ‘automobiles’ or ‘cars’ is way too broad. For example: charlottecars.com is better than cars.com.

If you can offer products/services on a national level, then it will better to try to use a domain with a general key term. A great example of this is mortgageloan.com. If you search your city name (US Only) with the key term ‘mortgage’, then you’ll more than likely see them in the top 10 of Google.

2. Content

Amount – Blogging helps you maximize in creating multiple pages on your website. Forums are another great way, but a little bit trickier than blogs. Making sure you have quality content will help more pages get indexed by the way of natural inbound links.

Fresh – Fresh content will bring the spiders back every time you write new content. WordPress has an autopinger that automatically pings whenever you add new content. This is how a brand new post can appear within minutes in the Google index. Blogs/Forums can both generate lots of content with every new post/thread/comment that is created.

Size – Too many words or too little words in a page can be bad. I believe that Google looks at how many words an article contains. Most article directories require at least 350 words to approve your article. You can easily determine if the page is spam if the article is less than a couple of paragraphs. Also, if you’re planning to write over 500 words then you’re probably writing about too many broad topics on the same page. It would be better to have 2 articles indexed than having 1 long article. For Example, on FHA loans I can write about FHA, FHA Refinance, FHA Purchase, FHA Cashout Refinance, FHA Streamline Refinance, etc. I could put all the information on 1 page, but I can also write a nice article about each specific topic. This helps out with developing keyword rich content.

3. Site Structure

Bold/strong/h1 tags – are you overusing these tags? Bolding a whole page or paragraph will lessen the effect of using these tags.

Title tag – make SURE to include keywords in your title tags to help rank high. Remove stop words from your title tag. I like to use the pipes | and no more than three keyword phrases. Using commas in a title makes it look spammy IMO. Some people just put a line of keyword text which also looks spammy.

Interlinking – I believe every content page on your website should contain a link to another page in your website. Your WebPages should reference each other, and will help readers/robots find another page in your website.

External linking – a great way to help Google determine what type of site you have is by linking to an authority site that is in your niche. Be very careful who you link to. Especially, if you’re doing reciprocal linking with your own websites. If one page is penalized, then your other sites may suffer because they’re linking to the site that is being penalized.

Nofollow/noindex – making sure that links/pages are not indexed or nofollowed is very important. There are a lot of links that should not be indexed and/or should not receive any juice. Pages such as terms of service, registration, login, privacy info, etc should not be indexed, and these internal links should also contain nofollow. There are a lot of comment spammers that comment on a blog for the purpose of getting a backlink. Place a nofollow link attribute on these external links so you’re not giving away juice to a page that you may not recommend to others.

4. Back Links

The amount of dofollow backlinks to a website is critical when building an authority domain. One of the biggest issues that most websites have is that they build 1,000 backlinks to the homepage, and about 10-20 backlinks to the rest of the website. Each page in your website should be an authority page, and the only way of achieving this is by building multiple backlinks to each one. Your goal is to rank EVERY CONTENT PAGE, and your future pages will rank high naturally. I recommend no more than 50% of your backlinks pointing to your homepage.

Fresh backlinks on a constant basis is a great indication that your website is healthy, and an authority website. Make sure to add social bookmarking buttons on your website pages so your readers can easily bookmark these pages. A lot of social bookmarking sites count as dofollow backlinks.

Age – The backlink’s age is something hard to manipulate. Google relies heavily on when they find the link, and if it’s still there the next time they crawl the page. The older the link the more weight it has. The only way to get aged links is to start sowing links today so you’ll reap the age benefit within time.

RSS Feeds – Submitting your RSS feeds to feed directories can create automatic backlinks to your individual post pages. Some websites give you the option to have your rss feed within your site profile. Here are a few sites feedagg.com, sphinn.com, blogtoplist.com, zimbio.com, namyz.com, my.mashable.com, and 5z5.com.

Quality backlinks are probably the most important factor in building an authority domain. Picking ONLY dofollow links in your link strategy will have a huge impact in your rankings. Some say that ‘nofollow’ links are good, but a lot of people know that their value is worth little or nothing at all. I had a website that had about 90% nofollow, and 10% were dofollow links. The website never went up in rankings until I started making sure the backlinks were dofollow backlinks.

5. Anchor text

All links whether internal or external should contain a simple format for the anchor text. Use keywords in the order that they are searched, and stay away from keyword stuffing. Rearranging the keywords may come up with an entirely different search. An example of this is Chocolate Milk or Milk Chocolate. I would also stay away from using commas or other symbols in the anchor text. Rule of thumb is if it doesn’t get searched that way, then don’t use it!

6. 3rd Party Resources

Articles – I recommend article contribution via buzzle, ezinearticles, americanchronicle, ideamarketers, amazines, and articledashboard. Just like you would use keywords in your title tag for your WebPages, you should also use keywords in the title of the article. Instead of writing, “FED Bailout lowers interest rates”, you can use a more targeted title such as “Miami Mortgage Rates drop”. With this title there is ‘less noise’, and will help the article rank on Google. Rule of thumb is using the keywords in the front of the title. I recommend this for ALL articles including press releases, videos, pictures, etc.

Press releases – PR sites like prlog.org offer dofollow backlinks, and some like searchbyheadelines.com will allow you to use anchor text. Both automatically appear in the Google News search. Having your link appear in a news article that is in the Google News search helps out the diversity of your backlinks.

Social media – use sites like mixx.com, digg.com, flixya, wikio, gather, propeller, and hubpages. Not all will give you dofollow backlinks. Some are changing the way they give backlinks as I write this article. Social bookmarking sites like mister-wong, reddit, jumptags, and folkd will also help generate backlinks to your site. Check to see if they changed their dofollow/nofollow external link policy before using them.

Misc Links – There are many websites that will give an appraisal, analysis, or stats for your website or any website you submit to them. Here are a few – websiteoutlook.com, alexa.com, cubestat.com, aboutus.org, wikidweb.com, xomreviews.com, statbrain.com, builtwith.com, dotprice.org, keywordspy.com, who.is, whois.sc, and aboutlink.org.

Robert Enriquez is an SEO Consultant located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Robert can be found on Twitter or his SEO Blog.

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Robert Enriquez

Robert Enriquez

Robert Enriquez, Founder of Search Exchange, can be contacted at his SEO Company site, through twitter @SearchExchange.
Robert Enriquez

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