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  • What is SEO and why is it important for your website?

    What is SEO?

    Online marketing can seem easy at first until you actually start to dive into it and experience just how intricate and time-consuming it can be. However, it is by far the BEST way to get yourself in front of your potential customers and well worth learning if you want to promote your own services or products.

    If you are one of the many people flying solo in business, trying to make your dream job a reality, you may currently be building an online presence for your business, whether that’s a website or social media profiles. SEO is a massive part of this world, so it’s important to understand what it is and how you can use it to expand your website’s reach!

    If you’ve already had a little look at how to market your business online, you may have stumbled across the term SEO before, but what the hell does it mean?


    What is SEO?

    SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.

    Let’s break this down a little bit, to see if we can explain it in a non-confusing way.


    Search Engine

    This part of the term refers to… you guessed it! Search Engines!

    These come in the form of Google, Bing and even YouTube. Basically, any online tool that people use to search for things on the internet.

    Predominantly, people will look at Google as it’s the most popular search engine that we all use.



    The optimisation part refers to what you’re actually doing. You are optimising your content for search engines (making your content more attractive/relevant so search engines notice you and put you higher up in their search results).

    So, what is SEO? It is the act of making your content more attractive to search engines so that they favour you above everyone else. You want to prove to search engines that you have the best and most relevant answers for their users and the only way to do that, is to optimise your content!


    How do you optimise your content?

    There are many ways to optimise your website content, so it’s worth making a quick checklist that you can tick off whenever you’re building a new website writing content for your blog or web pages.

    When deciding whether your content is offering up the most relevant information for the user’s search, Google looks at the following things:



    Site Speed

    How quickly your site loads is a big factor. Google wants its users to have the best experience when visiting the results they have served up and if your website takes an age to load up, more people will be likely to go somewhere else for answers. When Google sees that its users are leaving your website before it’s even loaded, it will deem your website as unhelpful and you will be pushed down the rankings

    Tip: Huge images can be the biggest cause of a slow website, so make sure you re-size images before you upload them. You should also consider compressing the images, to make the file size smaller.

    Tools to use: – Compress your images to make file sizes smaller – Check the speed of your website and get suggestions on how to improve it – No photo editing software? Use this to change the image size


    Mobile friendly?

    With a huge portion of us now using our smartphones to browse websites, your site will get way more brownie points for making it easy for mobile users to view your content.

    Tip: Make sure to access your website using your smartphone when setting it up, to make sure it is fully responsive.



    If your website has a whole load of traffic heading to it and that traffic stays on your site for a while, enjoying themselves immensely, then Google will see that and be like ‘Oh hey, look at all those people that have gone to that website and found it interesting’. Again, anything that can show Google that your website is a good resource for its users is perfect for boosting you up those search engine rankings.

    Tip: To keep track of your website’s traffic, make sure you link up Google Analytics so you can monitor the traffic coming to your site and see if it goes up or down, where it is coming from and how long those people are staying on your website.

    I’ve done a few videos on Google Analytics which I’ve listed for you below.

    How to use Google Analytics

    How to link your Google Analytics with WordPress


    Links pointing to it

    Again, we go back to proving your website’s worth. If you’ve got a lot of good quality websites (I stress the term good quality) linking to your website or a piece of your content, then Google will recognise that as an endorsement from those websites.

    Say you have a link from an amazingly popular site like, if Google sees that the BBC has linked to you, and the BBC website has already been recognised by Google as being an authoritative and trusted website, then it will trust the BBC’s endorsement of you and start to also see you as a trusted resource for its users. Does that make sense? It’s basically as if the website linking to you is giving you a big thumbs up to Google!

    Tip: Taking a look at things like a website’s domain authority or trust flow, will tell you whether the site linking to you is a high-quality website.

    Tools to use: – Check a websites trust flow and backlinks using Majestic SEO – Check a websites domain authority by using MOZ



    Image names

    Naming your images is extremely important. By making sure your image names have your chosen keywords in them, you’ll be well on your way to perfectly optimised content.

    Search engines can’t ‘see‘ images, so they have no idea what they are or what they refer to. Make sure, when you upload your images to your website, that you have given them a relevant name so that Google knows exactly what the image is representing.

    You should also look at the image’s ALT tag. This tag is attached to an image to give search engines and the user more information about the image. Its most common use is to help those who have poor eyesight, as the software that speaks to users who may be visually impaired, reads the alt text to tell them exactly what the image is displaying.

    Tip: If you use WordPress, you can edit the images ALT tag when you upload it to your media library. You’ll be able to see the ALT field on the right-hand side underneath the image preview.


    Keywords and phrases

    When you need to look up something on Google, you’ll type in a search term. This search term is the keyword or keyphrase, depending on how many words you type in.

    It is these searches that you want to cater your content towards. Creating content that answers a search term is always a great way to appear in Google searches.

    For example, this article you’re reading right now is optimised for the keyword ‘what is SEO’. To help me do that, I’ve included that keyword in my title, in my headers, in my text and I’ve included it in the name of the main blog image!

    By making sure I’ve included this keyword as much as possible (without being spammy or sacrificing the quality of the content!), I am giving Google a better idea of what this content is about. Clearly, this content is addressing the question, ‘What is SEO?’.

    Tip: If you’re not sure what keywords you want each website page or article to target, try downloading a keyword research tool such as Keywords Everywhere, to help give you an idea of the search terms that are searched for the most! Or, you can head to forums to find out what FAQs people are asking within your industry and create content to answer those questions!

    Tools to use: – This tool can be added to your web browser and will tell you how many times a search term is typed into Google every month. Terms with high search volume are always worth targeting! – Take a look at these forum sites to find out what questions people are asking about your industry, then create content that answers those questions!


    Links to the content

    As I mentioned above, getting links to your content is a great way to tell Google that the content is worth bumping up search engine results.

    If you want a specific page to rank higher in Google, for example, you’ve done an amazing article on ‘What is SEO?’, then building links to that page specifically will help that particular page to rank for its chosen keyword.

    Tip: To build links to a guide or some form of content that offers users information or some sort of value, try emailing publications that may have already covered the subject of your content and ask them if they would like to link to it as an extra resource for its readers.


    Meta tags

    Meta tags are tags that are included in the HTML code of your website and all of its pages. These tags help to give more information about the page.

    For example, the meta title for this article will be ‘What is SEO?’, telling Google this article is explaining what SEO is. Its meta description will be ‘What is SEO? I break down search engine optimisation to help you better understand how to get your website on the first page of Google!’.

    These 2 tags tell search engines what the page is about and what information can be found on that page. That’s why it is so important to make sure these are both optimised for your chosen keyword!

    Tip: Keep meta descriptions below 160 characters long, to make sure the full description can be read by users on the search engine results pages.



    Understanding SEO

    Understanding the ever-changing world of SEO is no easy task. There are so many cogs working within this huge machine, that it can be hard to keep on top of everything.

    Not to mention, Google love to do an update every now and again that completely changes the rules of how websites are ranked within their search results.

    The key to good SEO for any website, is to make sure the content you are providing to users is relevant and useful. Google holds relevancy at the very top of its priority list, so if you can perfectly answer a users question or deliver them a service they’ve been looking for, you are already on your way to SEO success!


  • How to increase domain authority for your website


    Being a profesh blogger is the ultimate dream, am I right? Sitting at home in your comfy pajamas, drinking delicious coffee out of your favourite mug and enjoying life at your own pace. So when you imagined this amazing life for yourself, did you ever imagine you’d have to learn all about how you can increase domain authority? Probably not.

    It sounds pretty scary and complicated and technical and it kind of is, but it’s a key factor in brands/businesses choosing who to work with you and your blog. That’s why it’s so important to get stuck into this post and learn your little socks off because boosting your DA will boost the attractiveness of your website and get you a little bit closer to that dream!


    how to increase domain authority (1)


    What the hell is domain authority?

    You may be wondering ‘What is domain authority’, and you’d be right to do so. Domain authority, or DA for short, is a little number that tells Google how good your website is. What it does is it takes a look at how useful your website is to users, how many people like to link to it and how long it’s been knocking about on the interwebs.

    If you’ve got ambitions to work with awesome brands and get paid for writing blogs on your own website, then the domain authority of your site will be a key factor that will be looked at by potential clients.

    Just chat with anyone throwing a call out on #PRRequest on Twitter and they’ll usually ask what DA your website is.

    Ask others on how to increase domain authroity


    Why do people care what my domain authority is?

    They care because it impacts their own website.

    When one website links to another website, it’s like an endorsement or a recommendation, not just to the inquisitive users visiting the article, but also for Google!

    Google doesn’t like to read links that are created by dodgy websites and the only way they can judge if they are dodgy, is through monitoring metrics like Domain Authority, Trust Flow, Citation Flow, and Traffic.

    These all tell Google if the site is trustworthy if it has provided its users with good quality information and whether it’s been using bad techniques to ‘cheat the system’ e.g. to force its way into Google’s search results.

    Google loves its users and it wants them to use its search to find exactly what they are looking for as quickly as possible. That’s why they pay close attention when it comes to great sites linking to other, equally amazing sites.

    If your website has a poor DA, then the link you have pointing to the website of that brand that just paid you a couple hundred quid, will be pretty much worthless to their own website and search engine optimisation.


    Links from good quality sites = higher up in Google search results.

    Links from poor quality sites = going nowhere fast.


    Start building quality backlinks to your site

    Having a lot of high-quality links from high-ranking websites is a sure fire way to increase domain authority. Simply get those other amazing sites to link back to your website!

    However, it’s all well and good saying ‘go forth and build amazing, super duper awesome backlinks to your website’, but what are backlinks and how do you actually get people to link to your site?

    Backlinks are basically clickable links, placed on someone else’s website, that takes their users to your site. The organic and time-consuming way to build these is to create helpful or entertaining content that people actually want to share around. Whether that’s with their colleagues, friends or clients. Give them something to get their teeth into and get hooked on. Then, they’re a lot more likely to give your little piece of content a cheeky nod with a tasty link!

    A quicker way of doing this is to get Googling. Find websites that have a high DA themselves (a high DA will be around 30+) and ask them if you can write an article for them, I do it all the time!

    Tip: Shhhhhh! Want to know a secret code that could make your guest blogging hunt a lot easier? Copy and paste the following search operators into Google’s search bar, replacing ‘keyword’ with a keyword that relates to your website topic (e.g. if you’re a beauty blogger this would be ‘beauty’) and watch as ready and willing websites magically pop onto your screen!

    ‘KEYWORD’ inurl:’write for us’

    Or try this out for size

    ‘KEYWORD’ intext:’guest post’

    Check a website’s domain authority at MOZ!

    Increase domain authority with MOZ checker

    Optimise your site for important keywords

    This basically means, make sure you are putting keywords into the words you write for your website. You don’t want to be cramming them in, just make sure they are in there.

    Before you write anything on your blog or website, you need to decide what keyword that particular article is going to target. So, do you want that article to show up in search results when someone types in ‘best hair products for frizzy hair’ for example? Well, you’ll have to make sure the words ‘best hair products for frizzy hair’ appear in your article so Google knows that your content can help with that search term!

    Making it the title of your article will be ideal, not only because it tells the reader exactly what the article is about, but also because it tells Google what it’s about, so Google knows that when someone types that phrase into its search bar, it can serve them up your article!

    Putting keywords into your copy and optimising your website can help to increase domain authority, by increasing your rankings within Google! The higher up in search engine results you are, the more traffic you will get and the more likely people will find and link back to your site!


    Provide quality content

    Google doesn’t just look for keywords and phrases within your writing, it also looks at whether people are finding the contents of your website useful. If they don’t, why would Google recommend it to its users?

    If you create a super awesome piece of content that users love to read and spend loads of time looking at, then Google is going to see that and go, ‘wow, people sure do love that content, I think I’ll push it higher up in my search results so more people can benefit from it!’.

    Get the gist?

    increasing domain authority for bloggers


    Practice patience to increase domain authority

    The Debbie downer of increasing domain authority? It also depends on the age of your domain name. If you’ve got a fresh-out the womb domain, you probably won’t have any domain authority to start with. You’ll have to build from the ground up, sorry about that.

    You can increase domain authority a little faster by doing everything mentioned above, but ultimately it does take a frustratingly long time to get a decent DA rating.

    If you’re now thinking, ‘well what’s the point of trying if brands aren’t going to want to work with me until I reach this stupid, 30+ DA number?!’, don’t be negative! There’s always a chance if you create an awesome blog that gets a decent bit of traffic every month and has a good social following, that PR companies will want to work with you purely based on your influence.

    It’s not all about numbers and metrics! Build amazing content, filled with passion and enthusiasm, and they will come…. That’s the right quote, right?

  • What are backlinks and why do they matter?

    Recently, somebody asked me what they could do to increase their domain authority so lots of awesome brands would want to work with them. When I mentioned building backlinks I was met with blank stares and the question, ‘What are backlinks?’.

    Backlinks are links that link back to your website. Get it, link-back, back-links?

    You see them everywhere, strewn all over blogs and online articles. It might be a little-highlighted word, a word with an underline or just a clickable word. These, when clicked on, takes the user away from the website they were just looking at and to your website, helping to bring in traffic to your site and link it to other, relevant websites around the internet.


    What are backlinks?


    How do backlinks actually work?

    Google sends out lots of tiny bots to check all the websites on the internet and these bots can only travel by the pathways that interlinking websites create. A bit like a train on some tracks, it can only go where there are tracks.

    Think of all the different websites in the world as train stations, to get to every single one, there has to be some connection of stations right? You couldn’t get directly from one to the other without some sort of track for the train to follow.

    The same applies to Google bots, they can only get to each station if the stations provide tracks to each other. The links between websites are the train tracks, they guide the bots to different sites.

    So why are these so-called backlinks worth my time, eh?

    Well, they are a handy little tool that Google uses to identify what your site is about and also how helpful and relevant your website is to its users.

    If a website has loads of backlinks i.e. other websites linking to it and sending their own audience to that website, then surely all of those websites think it’s a great source of information, right? Otherwise, why would they be sending their own, valuable traffic there?

    Google looks at all these links going to your website and looks at the quality of the websites that are linking back to you. If you’ve got lots of really awesome websites linking back to your content, then Google will see those recommendations and go ‘oh, ok, so that site everyone is linking to must be really helpful, so I should suggest it to my users who are searching for that kind of thing’. Then, your site moves up the Google search a little, making its way to the coveted first page.


    Why you should make sure your links are from awesome websites

    Sticking with the train analogy, bear with me.

    Imagine there was never any maintenance on those train tracks and they started to become run down, or they were fitted by dodgy workmen and were therefore not 100% safe to travel on. Would the trains want to use these tracks? Would they want to put their customers at risk like that? Nope, they would not.

    Google is the train, delivering all its users to the station they are looking for. If they think a station is unsafe, why would they drop off their customers?

    If you are actively trying to build your backlinks by guest posting or doing sponsored posts, make sure the website you are getting the link off has the following:

    • A DA over 25
    • A trust flow over 15
    • Backlinks from trusted and quality domains
    • A clear and consistent focus

    So DA and trust flow are your metrics, these are the rating systems that Google uses to determine if a site is any good. You can check the DA of a site by copy and pasting the site’s URL into MOZ DA checker. To check the trust flow, copy and paste the website’s URL into Majestic SEO. The trust flow is a number that tells Google how trustworthy the website is.

    Again, use Majestic SEO to take a look at the backlinks, you may only be able to see a few with the free version, but it’ll give you a rough idea. Check for a lot of similar domain names that may be spam or bots, check for sites that are from countries that are not the same as that of the website.

    For example, if you are looking at an American website, lots of links from sites ending in .ru, would ring alarm bells.  


    How do you get people to give you a backlink without paying loads of monies?!

    Simple, get involved in the blogging community and put some effort into contacting publications directly.

    If you are sitting and chilling in your home, just posting a blog every week and hoping that someone will miraculously come knocking on your email inbox door, then you’re going to be disappointed.

    Be the door to door salesman of your content. Create lists of publications you’d like to get a link from and email them to see if they accept guest posts. A response may be few and far between, but just 2 high-quality links can make a massive difference!

    Find Twitter chats to get involved in – these are basically online networking opportunities. You might start chatting with someone that has an amazing blog and you could work together.

    For a full list of Twitter chats and times, take a look at my Twitter Chat List!

    To use advanced Google search to find publications that accept guest posts in your niche, take a look at my search operator guide!