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Author: Jamie

What is a Backlink? The Lost Marketing Tool

Picture this. You have a business, a working SEO-driven website, and waiting patiently to start ranking on google. Besides SEO and marketing your business online, is there anything else you can do? The answer is yes. Backlinks come into play, and they are an integral part of ranking high on keywords. Very few business owners know what they are unless you’re tech-savvy. And frankly, more business owners should know about them as they are crucial in ranking and growing a business. 

What is a Backlink?

In short, a backlink is a button or link on another website that points to your website. Before knowing why this is important, you must understand what domain authority is, and how it correlates. 

Whenever you buy a domain name from a domain provider, you start with a domain authority of one. Over time that number will increase based on website traffic and SEO practices. Let’s say one to three spots if you are doing the right things. 

Websites such as Amazon, Nike, and Starbucks have domain authority in the high nineties. A domain authority involves time, high backlink usage and a prominent online presence. 

How Do Backlinks Work?

When you first create an SEO-driven website and have a domain authority of one, other websites with higher domain authority will outrank you. Think of it as a part of SEO that isn’t added to your website directly. As you increase your backlinks, you will see your domain authority grow. Over time, backlinks will allow you to get ahead of your competitors in search rankings. Through hard work and dedication, your domain authority will increase. But don’t expect it to happen overnight. Like anything with SEO, everything takes time. 

what is a backlink tech employee writing backlink on whiteboard

How Can I Get Backlinks For My Business?

Like any industry, the backlinks should be relevant to what you are selling or offering. The first place to start is online directories. Online directories cater to numerous industries, have good domain authority, and you don’t have to converse with anyone regarding getting a backlink.

 Next would be media outlets or bloggers. They have good domain authority, and they are a way to get your name out there. Being included in a news article or blog will help your digital marketing, too. 

Searching for your competitors is very beneficial as you can research what they are doing. You can even use their backlink sources if it is applicable. Look in your industry and think about businesses you could reach out to. Make it beneficial for them to include a link to your site. Of course, you can reach a marketing professional, like me or otherwise. We will know where to go with backlinks. And this will allow you to focus more on your business.

What Tools Are Useful for Backlinks?

First, you need a tool that lets you search for your domain authority. I use Diib, which is free. It is an online marketing tool that searches keywords, researches your competitors and keeps tabs on where you rank. Most main marketing tools such as Moz, Semrush and others will do the same. Those are pricier and have more customizations and options. Conversely, you can google “backlink checker”. From there, you will find backlink checkers you can use. 

Next, another important tool is a Spam Score checker. Aside from domain authority, another metric you need to know is spam score. Like the name says, spam score is a metric Google uses to wean out spammy websites. Before adding a backlink, first, check if the website has a high spam score. If it is high, do not use the backlink as it will negatively impact your domain. You can google “spam score checker”, and you should find some free options. The more expensive marketing tools will have this option, too. Any score over fifty percent I wouldn’t use. Spam score is shown as “SS” for simplicity. The checker will show you domain authority (DA), too.

Backlinks are not easy and take a lot of work. But, they are an integral part of growing any business and its digital marketing efforts. Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding this process. Happy backlinking!

Best Website Builders? A Web Developer’s Take

A developer’s best friend. The website builder. Today, website builders are becoming very popular in the digital space. They can help SEO, small business and E-Commerce. The main advantage is time-saving. A person doesn’t have to know HMTL, CSS, and Javascript to get started on a website. Web developers know custom website builds take a lot longer to build, and that is why many agencies are switching to builders to cut costs. The average joe can create a website now with a simple website builder. Though, many will realize that a website has many working parts. Most of the time, it is best to have it leave it to developers. They will go into design, SEO, speed and digital marketing, which will help people in the long run.

Which Web Builder Should You Choose? 

There are so many options out there, and it can get overwhelming which one to choose. It is best to do your research if you plan to build your website yourself. Website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy, Weebly and Elementor are very simplistic website builders who cater to no-code users that want a website quick and fast. They lack customization for web developers, their templates are simple, and the creativity you can get out of them is limited. For web developers, simpler isn’t better. Web developers want more templates, customizations, and more selection. Web developers have the opposite approach to builders. 

In my own experience, the best website builders I have come across have been Webflow and Yootheme Pro. Divi is a close third. The reason for this is they cater to web developers. Their drag-and-drop builders are more complex. Most of their templates have a lot of selection and numerous customizations for each builder. Divi has a lot of templates to choose from, although you may have to pay extra for a template not covered in their free section.


wordpress picture best website builders 

What about WordPress? 

Before wondering if having a WordPress website is needed or not, you have to assess your competence level with content management systems (CMS). There is a learning curve when learning WordPress or Drupal. But once you have the basics down, you are good to go. WordPress and Drupal are similar; Drupal is an older system than WordPress. Both have their market, but I prefer WordPress. Drupal has slightly more difficult permissions to understand. 

Is it important?

In general, a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal will give you a lot of flexibility for several reasons. Both CMS’ are free, which means you can ditch the monthly payments of the others listed above. Plugins are your friend when it comes to CMS. E-commerce solutions, forms, security or anything else you may need on your website will be there on WordPress or Drupal. There are restrictions on the typical builders’ systems. SEO is also more difficult. Yoast can make SEO easy on WordPress with its analysis of your content. 

What are the Costs?

This is where it gets tricky. For more simple builders such as Wix, Squarespace, and others, you will be on a monthly plan that ranges from fifteen a month to fifty per month. Those companies cater more to those wanting one site and try to cheap as possible. Still, you end up having to pay for hosting on top. Sometimes your custom domain is included, but not all the time. 

Most of the time, the regular user will not use the builder to its full potential. That is where web developers differ. They use their plans to their full capabilities, which ultimately cuts costs. Most advanced builders are on yearly plans. Due to a builder’s monthly fees, getting a website built by developers will almost always save you. It might cost more upfront, but what is gained in the long run is worth it. If I were to recommend a simple builder, I’d probably go for Squarespace, Wix, Duda, or Shopify. No Elementor or GoDaddy, please.

What is SEO? And Why it’s Important.

The business world is shifting more and more online in this day and age. You may be asking yourself how you can capitalize on a digital world. Let’s face facts. No matter what business you may have, you need a website. It doesn’t matter what your business may be. Running a business without a website doesn’t exist anymore.

So what is SEO, you ask? Search engine optimization (often referred to as SEO) is a form of marketing in a sense. Although, it relates solely to search-engine-related content. Any search query you have ever entered on Google, that information gets indexed by the search engine that you are using. There are multiple ways you can optimize that content to get to the top of those search rankings. The first being, you guessed it, websites. Google accounts for 86% of all search queries; the others are a group of Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Baidu, among others.

What is SEO lettering on white background multicoloured

Why Do We Use It?

Well, everyone uses Google for one, among other search engines. No matter what your query is, the masses are searching for something. Almost all search query interactions happen on the first page of search results. That is why it is crucial to get on the first page if you are a business owner. Google ranks your content on keyword consistency, page speed, inbound and outbound links (links to other sites and between pages), image alt text, accurate header tags, correct meta descriptions and title tags, and your domain authority, among others. Using multi-page website designs can help you rank for more keywords and maximize your SEO as well. As you can see, creating an SEO-driven website is easier said than done. If you are tech-savvy, make sure to check all these boxes. If not, you should see an agency, freelancer, marketer or me, Developer Jamie.

What Can You Do?

First of all, knowing what keywords to use and which keywords are high-volume will help in maximizing your website SEO. There are many search engine tools in the industry – Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz are the big ones. The kicker is you will pay a hefty fee to use those. For anyone in a small business, paying for these tools is costly. But don’t worry, there are cheaper and free tools out there. You have to know where to look. SEOptimer is what I use as a web developer and marketer, and I am happy with that tool. At a cheaper rate, I can search keywords, analyze my websites and critique them as needed. Google Ads is also free, and you can use their keyword planner. The planner allows you to figure out what keywords are high-volume. Other free tools to check out are Diib, Ubersuggest and Spyfu. Spyfu and Diib allow you to search your competitors’ keywords. This is a useful tactic if you are unsure where to go with your business’ searchability. Make sure to choose keywords that are high searchability yet easy to rank for. It is not easy but takes some research.

Putting it all Together.

By correctly checking all the boxes with Google’s algorithm and using the right tools, your business will be able to rank on the first page of your search query. But it takes time, know-how and dedication. That is why some people leave it to the experts. Generally, as a rule of thumb, your website won’t start ranking for keywords until your domain is six months to a year old. Google seems to like websites that are over a year old. Happy searching!