You cannot follow a discussion on SEO without coming across a backlink mention.
They’re an important part of SEO, with numerous benefits.
However, the SEO industry is always changing, and what used to work a few years ago is no longer a priority.
Because of this, people are always raising questions as to what’s working and what’s not.
Hence the popular question, “Are backlinks still important in 2022?”
Let’s find out below:
We can say without a doubt that they still are. But for what reasons?
1) Backlinks from Trustworthy Sites Increase Your Credibility
Whenever a site links to your website, it’s like they’re voting for you.
Confirming your content, and indirectly informing their users that they can trust what you say.
Not any site though, only trustworthy ones, which already have a loyal following.
So, the more backlinks you get from such sites, the more votes you get, and the more traffic you receive.
That’s why it’s important to aim at receiving backlinks from multiple trustworthy sites.
It’s like having many people agreeing with your content, hence more exposure.
2) The More Backlinks, The Higher the SEO ranking
Search engines relate well with sites that have several links from trustworthy sites.
According to a study conducted by Moz, domains are ranked as highly as the number of backlinks they receive.
Yes, the site may need more domain referrals per page to rank highly. And if maintained, that will increase domain rating (the one we called votes in the above section), which in return boosts domain authority.
It’s the domain authority that determines your site’s search engine rankings.
So, if you can focus on getting more links from valuable brands to your site’s specific pages, your domain continues to grow, and you will enjoy more free traffic from search engines.
3) Higher Rankings Lead to Organic Links
Once your site begins to develop authority due to higher domain ratings, you will get higher rankings on various search engines.
And once that starts to happen, more sites will want to link to your site.
You now have authority, and your content is rated as trustworthy. So upcoming sites and other established ones will feel confident when using your content as a point of reference. Do you get it?
The results? Your page continues to grow in strength and this solidifies your expertise in your niche.
But for this to happen, ensure you constantly update your page content with current findings.
The worst thing you can do is relax when you feel you’ve reached the top. Remember, other sites are waiting to overtake you.
Online users will always find their way to where the content is fresh.
4) Best Way to Get your New Pages Discovered
The Googlebot does what it does best by using links to crawl through the internet, to discover various new pages.
Pages with high-quality content, and with links from reliable valuable sources, are most likely to be indexed faster than those that don’t have any links.
Once your page gets indexed, it’s only a matter of time before it starts rising in rank.
But Are All Backlinks Equal?
From the above discussion, you can easily agree with me that they aren’t. So the answer is no.
In SEO, there are good and bad backlinks.
For instance, if you are getting backlinks from sites that aren’t relevant to your website, they are considered invaluable by search engines.
Let’s take for example you sell books, and you have two backlinks. One from a renowned publisher, and another from a traveler. The former link will be more valuable.
Also, links that are easily visible and at the beginning or middle of an article are more clickable than the invisible ones or those placed at the bottom of the page.
Of course, the authority of the linking website also matters. If it doesn’t rank well, you won’t gain much traffic either.
SEO might be constantly changing, but backlinks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So, getting more backlinks can boost your site’s authority, increasing organic traffic.
However, ensure you focus on quality than quantity.
Good luck as you boost your SEO in 2022!
Did you recently change your brand name? Or did you buy a new business? Could it be that your business is experiencing tremendous growth?
These are some of the common reasons for changing business domain names.
Although this is a simple process, it can easily affect your site’s SEO.
Therefore, before rushing into changing your domain name, you should take time to carefully plan your next steps. Your focus should be on preserving the current organic reach of your site at all costs.
In this article, I take you through all you need to know about domain changing and SEO.
Let’s get started!
Does Changing Domain Name Affect SEO?
The simple answer is Yes.
Changing your site’s domain name affects Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is because the search engines are already familiar with your current domain, and have ranked its various pages.
Therefore, any change, no matter how small, rudely disrupts the search engine operations. Think of it, as being caught off-guard.
Also, since your domain has been operational, it already has a specific track record. So, its influence depends on how well established this record is.
The more influence it has on the search engines, the greater the chances of your content being found among the top search results.
That said, you can still change your domain name and continue enjoying the traffic authority of the previous domain. But, first…
What Happens When You Change Domain Name?
As mentioned above, search engines use various domain and page metrics to rank sites. Therefore, when you abruptly switch your domain name, your site metrics are automatically reset to zero.
For example, once you change names, you immediately lose all the link equity you’ve worked hard to grow throughout the lifespan of the old domain.
You will begin noticing a huge drop in organic traffic results. This is the first indication of your domain’s dropping authority.
Also, failing to apply the correct redirects during domain migration, leads to immediate loss of site traffic.
Visitors are likely to be met with a 404 page error, especially after the loss of the live front page. Some of them might not even be able to click on your new site’s domain ever again.
That’s not all. You might also have to deal with content duplication issues, which take a lot of time to clear.
Therefore, if you value your online presence, it’s best to protect your link value at all costs. After all, you have tirelessly worked on it and shouldn’t give it up easily.
Here are some useful and safe steps you can take to minimize the negative effects of domain name changing:
Step #1: Ensure the New Domain URL is Clean
This step only applies when you buy an already used domain. It’s important to check if it’s in proper shape to properly accommodate your content. Think of it as buying an old house, and trying to dig up all its past information to see if anything negative pops up.
The best place to get important details about an old domain is archive.org. Simply paste the domain name in the search bar and click “search.” You will find all the information you need about the type of content previously published on its pages.
You must address any problem you come across before moving forward. It’s best to let a web developer expert help you with technicalities.
Step #2: Migrate to the New Domain
Once you’re sure that your new domain is clean, it’s now time to migrate. This is also the first step if you’re using a new domain. Also, ensure you’re ready to apply the SEO-specific procedures immediately after migrating.
The process is quite technical, and it depends on your hosting provider. If you have no experience, a web developer will come in handy. You can also use an automated domain migration plugin.
If for instance, you’re moving from one host to a different hosting service provider, ensure you export all your files before uploading them to the new site. But it will be much easier if you’re going to continue using the same hosting services.
Step #3: Redirect your Old Domain to your New Domain
This is where you apply the permanent 301 redirects.
As the name suggests, redirects help you drive traffic from the previous domain to the new one.
If correctly done, it helps maintain your domain’s search engine influence/authority.
It’s the gentlest indirect way of informing Google about your content’s new home, giving it ample time to update its ranking.
Ensure each page redirects to its appropriate new location.
So, for instance, if a specific page of your old domain’s URL was www.olddomain.com/fines, it’s best to redirect it to a similar URL such as www.newdomain.com/fines.
If you were using HTTPS in your old domain, use it in the new site as well.
Step #4: Inform Google about the Domain Change
Now that everything is set, and looking good, it’s time to officially let Google know about your site’s new domain.
Use the Google Search Console. Don’t worry about extra expenses, it’s free.
You will have to change your address by verifying your new domain. If you haven’t used it before, check out the Search Console Help Center for instructions.
Step #5: Check if it’s Working Well
Now that you’ve changed your domain, it’s important to test and see if it’s working well.
The easiest way is to type your old domain name into your browser and see if the links lead you to the new domain.
You can also ask a few friends/partners to try accessing it and report any possible errors.
Step #5: Update all your Previous Domain Mentions
The first place to start is your social media pages, business managers, and other business profiles.
Then change your business cards, email signature, and other online domain listings.
Afterward, reach out to your partners and inform them about your new domain.
SEO has changed a lot over the years and it’s difficult for beginners to learn all that stuff and implement it on their websites.
So in this post, I’m going to share with you, ten quick ways to improve your SEO rankings in 2022.
Let’s get started.
1) Start with Keyword Research
One of the basic mistakes that most new website owners or bloggers make is that they start writing and publishing content without realizing whether people search those topics or not.
And they publish articles after articles but no one comes to read them.
Please understand this.
If you want people to visit your website from search engines then you have to write about the things that they actually search for.
To find out what people search, go to Google Keyword Planner and type in some words related to your business.
For example, if you’re offering copywriting services then type “copywriting services” and see if people search this keyword or not.
And if they search, how often do they search it per month from different locations.
Google Keyword Planner is not only a free keyword research tool but it’s also an excellent brainstorming tool.
It shows you the related keywords that people also search (which otherwise would have been very difficult for you to think about).
You can also create content on those topics or at least sprinkle them in your main article so it can rank for multiple keywords.
Try to target keywords that have a decent monthly search volume i.e. from 10k to 100k.
Another tool that you can use to find long keyword phrases is keywords everywhere.
It will not only tell you the exact number of searches per month but will also tell you the cost per click (CPC) and other competition data.
It’s a paid tool but has a lot of features at a reasonable price.
2) Understand the Search Intent
Secondly, you have to understand the search intent behind a keyword i.e. what people are actually looking for or want when they type in a keyword.
Are they looking for blog posts, product pages, services, videos, images, a quick answer, etc?
To do that, simply type in the keyword that you want to target in Google and see what type of content is appearing on the first page.
And then try to write your content in that format but better.
3) Improve Your Website Speed
Nowadays, there are so many websites out there on almost any topic.
People have a lot more choices than ever before.
They aren’t going to wait for your website to load for more than three seconds.
They’ll simply hit the back button and visit your competitor’s website.
Moreover, Speed is also a ranking factor.
So make sure your website loads super fast, ideally in less than three seconds.
You need to choose your hosting provider carefully, as mostly they are the reason behind a slow loading website.
Try to find a reliable hosting company.
If you want to go with some other hosting company then first read their customer reviews, know about their uptime and check if they have fast servers or not.
You can also boost your website’s speed by:
- Using a content delivery network (CDN)
- Enabling caching
- Optimizing images before uploading
They’ll tell you what’s slowing down your website and how to fix those issues.
4) Write Click-Worthy and Catchy Headlines
When people search any keyword in Google, before clicking any result they read the title.
Make sure your titles are interesting enough to entice people to click your link instead of other links.
You don’t just have to add your keywords in the title but make sure it encourages people to click on it.
People go to Google to solve their problems or to get answers to their questions.
Try to tell them how you’re going to solve their problem in ten words or so.
This will definitely improve your click-through rate (CTR) and hence more visitors to your website.
Before finalizing your titles, stop and ask yourself, are they interesting enough to grab people’s attention? If yes, then you’re good to go.
You can make your titles engaging and click-worthy by adding action or power words.
You can also include numbers to entice people who like to skim read.
Some of the power and action words you can add to your titles are:
- Must have
Let’s see some examples of Google Titles.
- 10 most popular WordPress plugins of all time
- 13 Most Effective Ways to Increase your Conversion Rate
- 7 Great Habits of the Most Successful People
5) Post Long and Engaging Content
Google doesn’t like thin content.
Especially, if you’re in a competitive niche.
There’s no exact number of words that you should write for every article to rank higher.
But a good approach is to type the keyword that you want to target, in Google. Count the number of words on pages ranking in the top three positions. And then try to write more words than them.
Google looks at the average time people spend on your pages. When you have long content, people will definitely spend more time reading it.
It shouldn’t only be long but engaging enough so people can read it till the end or at least spend a good amount of time on it.
Writing long pieces will also help you to strategically sprinkle in related keywords in your articles. This will help you to rank higher for multiple keywords.
It takes time to create lengthy content that covers a topic thoroughly. But believe me, this will sky-rocket your rankings in search engines.
You should try to add as many images and videos as possible to your content. You don’t want people to get bored and leave your website. This will also increase the perceived value of your content.
People don’t want to read a big block of text. Break down the text, use short paragraphs, write short sentences, and add headings and subheadings.
And lastly, add your keywords in the image filenames and also in the ALT text.
6) Write Guest Posts in Relevant Blogs
Write guest posts on other blogs in your niche to get backlinks.
Backlinks are still the most important ranking factor. It’s basically a vote of confidence.
When so many people link to a page on your site, it’s like telling Google that this page has a lot of helpful, useful, and valuable information, please rank it higher.
You can join Facebook groups and interact with other bloggers. Often bloggers welcome the newbies and give them the opportunity to write a guest post on their blogs.
You can also exchange guest posts with other bloggers i.e. you write for them and they write for you.
But try to guest post on blogs that are relevant to your blog. Otherwise those backlinks won’t have much value.
And lastly, try to add contextual links and not just add a link in the author’s bio. Contextual links have more value in the eyes of Google and people are more likely to click those links to visit your website.
7) Add internal links to Your Pages
Another way to increase the average time people spend on your site is to add internal links to your pages. This will also help you reduce the bounce rate.
This ensures your website has a crawlable link structure and search engines will find all your pages easily. This also helps them understand your content better.
This is a super-easy way to help your SEO improve. And the good thing is, it’s the easiest thing to do.
Try to add internal links on every page. But make sure to add relevant internal links that help people to know more about the subject.
You can add your most popular posts or posts that you want people to visit more in the sidebar.
Also, don’t forget to add related posts sections at the end of every blog post. And if you’re selling products, then add related products.
8) Become Active on Pinterest
If you have a new website then it’s difficult for you to get traffic from Google.
If you do SEO right, even then it may take three to six months to get some organic search traffic.
Pinterest is a visual search engine and millions of people visit it every day.
You can get a massive amount of traffic from Pinterest even if your blog is new.
And people visiting your website can also link to you. And more backlinks mean higher rankings in Google and ultimately more search traffic. Right?
If you already have a Pinterest account and have shared all your posts then take it to the next level with promoted pins.
9) Add Your Website in Google and Bing Webmaster tools
This is one of the few things that I do whenever I launch a new blog.
Simply add your website over there and submit your XML sitemap. This will help them to crawl all pages and whenever you’ll update any page they’ll know about it and will crawl it again.
You can visit these tools after a few days to see if everything is going well or not.
These tools can also give you more details about your website. You can read this article to learn more about it.
10) Optimize Existing Pages
Last, but definitely not least, update your old content. If they weren’t optimized against keywords then find relevant keywords and optimize them.
Give internal links to new pages from them and from new pages to these ones.
And add images and videos to make them more engaging.
You don’t need to be an SEO expert to get traffic from search engines. If you follow all the tips given in this article, you can quickly improve your rankings.
Although these were the basic SEO tips, they’ll lay a solid foundation and you can expand on it later.
So go to Google Keyword Planner, find some keywords and start optimizing your website.
There are many other search engines, but these three, Google, Bing, and yahoo are the most popular ones.
People from all around the world visit these search engines to find solutions to their problems or to find answers to their questions.
These search engines are a huge source of traffic, and if I talk only about Google, then on Google, more than 63k searches are made per second, and more than 5 billion searches are made per day.
So imagine how huge a traffic source these search engines can be for your website.
You can drive tons of traffic to your website from search engines, if:
- You are running an eCommerce store and selling products online.
- If you have a blog and earn money from advertisements or by doing affiliate marketing.
- If you are selling your own products or services online.
Why is Search Engine Optimization important?
Now let’s see the reasons why Search Engine Optimization is important.
1) Free Traffic Source
The traffic from search engines is FREE, which means you don’t have to pay them any money.
You need to invest time and money to create great content, but directly you don’t have to pay any money to get traffic from search engines.
This traffic is also called organic traffic.
For example, if I type “earn money from home” in Google, then, first of all, Google will show me ads, as you can see in the image down below.
To appear in ads, you have to pay Google.
Below ads are natural search results or organic search results.
To appear over here, you don’t have to spend money.
You can rank there only by providing quality content and also by optimizing your website.
So the traffic from search engines is free.
2) Consistent Traffic Source
The traffic from search engines is also consistent.
It means that if you start ranking higher in the search engines, then you’ll remain there for a certain time.
Even if your rankings begin to decrease, you’ll see a drop in your traffic.
Then you can make improvements to keep up and regain your rankings
3) Targeted Traffic Source
Moreover, the traffic from search engines is targeted.
It means that the people who’ll come to your site are more likely to order your services or buy from you.
For example, if someone types “web design services” and visits your website, they are more likely to buy from you or order your services.
These people were in need that’s why they typed “web design service” in Google.
4) SEO Also Helps Local Businesses
If you are a local business and want people to come to your physical location (or if you want to get more calls), then you can also use SEO.
For some queries like “window cleaning service”, “shopping mall”, “barbershop”, etc., Google shows physical businesses near you.
So it’s a very nice opportunity to get more calls or visits to your physical location.
Other Sources of Traffic
There are many other sources of traffic that you can use to drive traffic to your website.
Let’s discuss some of these.
1) Google Ads
You can pay Google to show your ads.
As you can see in the image down below, these companies have paid Google to show their ADs, to get people to their websites.
But you need to pay Google to get that kind of traffic.
The moment you stop paying them money, they’ll stop sending you the traffic.
2) Social Media Marketing
You can also do social media marketing.
You can promote your business or website on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
These are a few social media networks and there are many more.
But again, you have to pay them and when you stop, they’ll stop sending you the traffic.
3) Free Traffic from Social Media
You can also get free traffic from social media sites.
For example, on Facebook, If you have a huge page with millions of likes, then when you’ll share your content, it’ll go to the people’s wall.
People can watch it and visit your website, this way you can get free traffic from Facebook.
Similarly, if you have a massive following on Twitter, you can get traffic by sharing your website links.
If you have a YouTube channel with tons of subscribers, you can share your website links in the videos’ description and ask people in the video to click on the link in the description to visit your website.
So you can get free traffic from social media sites.
The problem is that you have to create content for your social media sites to grow your audience, and then you can think of getting free traffic.
Creating engaging content takes time and money, and when you stop focusing on creating and sharing content, you’ll stop getting traffic.
4) Direct Traffic
Another way of getting traffic is direct traffic.
If your website is famous, then people will directly type your website’s address in the browser to visit it.
Like Amazon is a known brand, millions of people visit their website by directly typing their URL in the browser.
But to get this kind of traffic, you need to be famous, you need to be an authority in your niche, which takes a lot of time and money.
So if we compare these kinds of traffic with organic traffic, you not only get a huge amount of traffic from search engines, but that traffic will be free, consistent, and targeted.
Since it was first developed and practiced, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has undergone many changes.
Google continuously releases numerous algorithm updates, resulting in internet marketers constantly having to keep up to date on SEO tactics.
Techniques such as the use of keywords, backlink building, and meta tag optimization were all integral parts of SEO strategies in the past.
If it is, what are the pros and cons of doing SEO in 2022?
Pros of Search Engine Optimization
Google wants users to have a good experience, so it continues to work on ways to provide relevant and high-quality search results.
While SEO companies create content for search engine crawlers, Google wants to deliver the most relevant and timely information to its users – making SEO a bit more challenging than before.
1) SEO is a sign of trust
Despite all the challenges in SEO, it remains a positive symbol for companies.
When consumers see that a website has good rankings in search engines, they will trust the site more, knowing that someone else has deemed it important or relevant enough to help them find it in searches.
This is a good sign.
It denotes that SEO is still relevant and works just as well as it did before.
The responsibility is now on internet marketers to keep up with Google changes and find the best way to optimize a website for maximum visibility.
2) SEO helps grow businesses
The rise of smartphones, social media, and other technological advancements have changed the way consumers interact with companies.
But one thing has not changed – they still go online to find products and services.
Now more than ever, they are looking for businesses that deliver what they need at the right time in the right place.
As competition increases online, having an SEO strategy can help your company stand out from the rest of the crowd.
3) SEO can be scalable
One of the many advantages of having an SEO strategy is that it can be scaled.
Instead of one marketer writing numerous pieces of content, utilizing an SEO company or service can help your business get results with minimal effort on your end.
4) SEO is cost-effective
Despite numerous changes, one thing that remains the same is that SEO is still a cost-effective way to promote and market your products and/or services.
Unlike other marketing strategies, SEO is considered an investment.
It is not a one-time payment that can be made once and forgotten about.
Instead, SEO requires time and effort to see the best possible results – but it is still cost-effective compared to other marketing strategies such as running paid ads and outbound marketing.
Cons of Search Engine Optimization
1) It takes time to see the results
As mentioned earlier, SEO is an investment and requires time and effort to achieve results.
It can take months before you see any significant returns on your investments.
In some cases – the results may not be what you expected.
This is why it is vital to have a good marketing team that knows how to perform SEO effectively.
2) SEO strategies change over time
While websites and online businesses aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, we can expect to see more changes in upcoming years – just like we have in the past 12 months.
Not only does this mean you need to understand how Google works and adapts to these changes, but it also means that your marketing team and your entire business need to adapt and change with these changes.
3) SEO can be manipulated
This ties in with the first con of SEO.
With so many changes, it is now easier than ever for marketers to manipulate their efforts and make them look like they are high-quality – when in reality, they aren’t.
This can be bad for those businesses who use legitimate SEO strategies because their rankings will go down as a result of marketers who abuse the system.
One way or another, Google will still catch up on those people trying to manipulate the system. It may take time, but it will happen.
As Google changes, so does SEO – but businesses who adapt quickly will always see better results than those who don’t.
The pros still outweigh the cons – it’s just a matter of keeping up with the changes and understanding what you need to do to get results.
In conclusion, SEO is far from dead, and it still works as well as it did before.
In fact, there are many things that can be done better today than they have been in past years.
It’s the responsibility of internet marketers to keep up with these changes and make sure they know what they’re doing.