SEO at the moment has it’s attention on Google, however it’s rare that Google reveals any of its actual ranking factors, so it came as a big surprise when representatives announced they would reward sites using HTTPS encryption with a boost in search results.
HTTPS isn’t like other ranking factors. Implementing it requires complexity, risks, and costs. Webmasters balance this out with benefits that include increased security, better referral data, and a possible boost in rankings.
SEO advantages of switching to HTTPS
1. More referrer data
Whenever traffic passes from a secure HTTPS site to a non-secure HTTP site, the referral data gets stripped away. This traffic shows up in your analytics report as ‘Direct.’ This is a problem because you don’t know where the traffic actually comes from.
If you use HTTP, traffic from sites like Hacker News shows up as ‘direct’, because Hacker News uses HTTPS.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: when traffic passes to an HTTPS site, the secure referral information is preserved. This holds true whether the original site uses HTTP or HTTPS.
As more and more sites make the switch, this becomes increasingly important.
2. HTTPS as a rankings boost
On one hand, Google has confirmed the ranking boost of HTTPS. On the other hand, with over 200 ranking, it’s likely you’ll find the effect of any ranking influence to remain quiet small.
In fact, a recent study by Search Metrics showed no detectable advantage to sites using HTTPS.
Like most ranking signals, it is very hard to isolate on its own.
In fact, don’t expect HTTPS to act as a silver bullet. If rankings are your only concern, there are likely dozens of things you can do that will have a bigger impact. Here are several:
What Is Link Building & Why Is It Important?
Whether you’re brand new to link building or have been doing it for a while, we’re sure you’ll find something useful in this guide. The landscape of SEO and link building is always changing, and today, the importance of building high-quality links has never been higher. The need to understand and implement high-quality campaigns is essential if you’re going to compete and thrive online, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. This guide is designed to get you going quickly and in the right direction. There is a lot to take in, but we’ve broken everything up into easy-to-digest chapters and have included lots of examples along the way. We hope you enjoy The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building!
Definition of link building
Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites. There are many techniques for building links, and while they vary in difficulty, SEOs tend to agree that link building is one of the hardest parts of their jobs. Many SEOs spend the majority of their time trying to do it well. For that reason, if you can master the art of building high-quality links, it can truly put you ahead of both other SEOs and your competition.
Why is link building important for SEO?
The anatomy of a hyperlink
In order to understand the importance of link building, it’s important to first understand the basics of how a link is created, how the search engines see links, and what they can interpret from them.
One of the most important activities for any SEO process is the initial competitive analysis. This process should correctly identify your SEO targets and provide fundamental input to establish your overall strategy.
Depending on the type, industry, and scope of the SEO process, this analysis can become quite complex, as there are many factors to take into consideration—more now than ever before.
In order to facilitate this process (and make it easy to replicate, control, and document), I’ve created a step-by-step workflow with the different activities and factors to take into consideration, including identifying SEO competitors, gathering the potential keywords to target, assessing their level of difficulty, and selecting them based on defined criteria:
The four analysis phases
As you can see, the SEO analysis workflow is divided into four phases:
1. Identify your potential SEO competitors
This initial phase is especially helpful if you’re starting with an SEO process for a new client or industry that you don’t know anything about, and you need to start from scratch to identify all of the potentially relevant competitors.
It’s important to note that these are not necessarily limited to companies or websites that offer the same type of content, services, or products that you do, but can be any website that competes with you in the search results for your target keywords.
2. Validate your SEO competitors
Once you have the potential competitors that you have gathered from different relevant sources it’s time to validate them, by analyzing and filtering which of those are really already ranking, and to which degree, for the same keywords that you’re targeting.
Additionally, at this stage you’ll also expand your list of potential target keywords by performing keyword research. This should use sources beyond the ones that you had already identified coming from your competitors and your current organic search data—sources for which your competitors or yourself are still not ranking, that might represent new opportunities.
3. Compare with your SEO competitors
Now that you have your SEO competitors and potential target keywords, you can gather, list, and compare your site to your competitors, using all of the relevant data to select and prioritize those keywords. This will likely include keyword relevance, current rankings, search volume, ranked pages, as well as domains’ link popularity, content optimization, and page results characteristics, among others.
4. Select your target keywords
It’s finally time to analyze the previously gathered data for your own site and your competitors, using the specified criteria to select the best keyword to target for your own situation in the short-, mid-, and long-term during your SEO process: Those with the highest relevance, search volume, and profitability. The best starting point is in rankings where you are competitive from a popularity and content standpoint.
Full Social Media Tag Template: Article
<!– Update your html tag to include the itemscope and itemtype attributes. –>
<html itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Article”>
<!– Place this data between the <head> tags of your website –>
<title>Page Title. Maximum length 60-70 characters</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”Page description. No longer than 155 characters.” />
<!– Schema.org markup for Google+ –>
<meta itemprop=”name” content=”The Name or Title Here“>
<meta itemprop=”description” content=”This is the page description“>
<meta itemprop=”image” content=”http://www.example.com/image.jpg“>
<!– Twitter Card data –>
<meta name=”twitter:card” content=”summary_large_image”>
<meta name=”twitter:site” content=”@publisher_handle“>
<meta name=”twitter:title” content=”Page Title“>
<meta name=”twitter:description” content=”Page description less than 200 characters“>
<meta name=”twitter:creator” content=”@author_handle”>
<!– Twitter summary card with large image must be at least 280x150px –>
<meta name=”twitter:image:src” content=”http://www.example.com/image.jpg“>
<!– Open Graph data –>
<meta property=”og:title” content=”Title Here” />
<meta property=”og:type” content=”article” />
<meta property=”og:url” content=”http://www.example.com/” />
<meta property=”og:image” content=”http://example.com/image.jpg” />
<meta property=”og:description” content=”Description Here” />
<meta property=”og:site_name” content=”Site Name, i.e. Moz” />
<meta property=”article:published_time” content=”2013-09-17T05:59:00+01:00” />
<meta property=”article:modified_time” content=”2013-09-16T19:08:47+01:00” />
<meta property=”article:section” content=”Article Section” />
<meta property=”article:tag” content=”Article Tag” />
<meta property=”fb:admins” content=”Facebook numberic ID” />
- Reduce crawl errors
- Optimise for speed
- Create quality content
- Improve internal linking
- Fix duplicate content
- Local optimization
- Target relevant search phrases
- On page optimization
- Perform a site audit
- International targeting
- Freshen your content
- Change you hosting to Cloud and SSD