ENTITIES

Entities originally comes form the latin word, ens which means being or a thing. It is said due to the rise of natural languages, entities too are gaining much popularity especially in the field of online marketing. Entities in lay mans language can be defined as a thing or object which are uniquely identifiable with names, types and attributes. Entities can be also have several types and attributes. For example a name Narendra Modi in India can be of several persons, all independent entities really, but the help of the types of narendra modi such as the current prime minister of India, since india has only one prime minister at a time, there can be only one narendra modi. To add to that with the help of several attributes of the entity, one can further segregate the specific entity in question. Entities can also have relationship with other entities.

In today’s time, the entitie have started playing a big role in the search engines. Unlike the traditional ways of doing things where one simply needed to search for some product or a thing on google search with a group of three to four words, keywords so to speak, one expected the best results possible with those keywords on it, but that also depended on the amount those same set of keywords have been used on the search engines. But with the entities functionalities playing a big part in the search, today, it simply makes the same search a more comprehensive, complex, granular search for the user. Hence throwing back richer more accurate results, all thanks to the entities! Some of the fine examples of entities is simply displayed throught the Google lens app, which gives back accurate results through the use of images and even music! Many of the biggies of the industry are trying the same as Google such as Bing. It is also noted that the use of these highly intelligent methods are also creating some problems for the search engines when the entities ofcourse are not related and can throw some confusing results back.

Then in 2012, Google came out with the next step in dispersing intelligent thought out information to all through their brilliant knowledge graph, a next step in search with taps into the collection of intelligent information from the web and working a little like humans. Google knowledge graph simply collects information through the web, in other collects entities and connects the relationships between the different entities, eventually giving out a wholesome information about an entity, in other words a more complete picture.

  • Where does the information ( entities ) get fed into Google from?

Google’s knowedge graph was first fed by an acquired company called Freebase, a knowledge database by Metaweb back in 2010 which at a future got merged with another company called Wikidata by the Wikimedia Foundation Wikidata Project. Now majority of all the information is sourced from Wikidata. Other relevant and main sources of data for the knowledge graph are namely Wikipedia and the CIA world factbook. It is also said that, any source with a certain level of structure, expertise and authoritativeness could be a potential source for the knowledge graph.   

  • Dive into local business entities and focus on improvement

If one needs to think about the local sources and searchability of their businesses some of the elements or entities so to speak which would be of high relevance would be;

  • GMB ( Google My Business )
  • Knowledge graph API
  • Structured data
  • Near me search optimization
  • Entity based searching
  • Visibility
  • Consistency
  • Rich snippets
  • Sematic way concept
  • Social platforms such as Yellow Pages, yelp, Tripadvisor, Fb, Apple maps, Bing, Wikipedia, Navmii just to name a few

In conclusion, it is very evident that the importance of entities is only going to grow for the future in the search box, and the experts out there would only have to alter their goals with the positive adoption of these proving much profitable than being stuck to the traditional ways of dealing with search and its optimizations.

Reference;

BERT – Latest in Google’s vault

  • Introduction with facts

One of the most impactful news came in the last quarter of 2019 when Google announced the introduction of BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representation Transformers. It is considered to be most advanced update by Google since the very inception of Google itself! This specific update is powered by machine learning and the AI model and focuses on the context of the user’s query than just the string from one word to the next. With the help of BERT now, Google search can give the user not just results matched by the words one types but with the context of the searches, hence making the results more useful and relevant to the user.

Some of the contributions by BERT on the search landscape have been the following;

  • Auto-complete policy change, to be more conservative in its results, especially with the elections, and show less than more in an area
    • Google BERT used in full coverage in the news stories
    • Fact checking, more collaborative with some authoritative sites online
    • With partnership with Wikipedia, able to detect and remove vandalism online in the knowledge graphs
    • Google being able to break stories way faster within minutes Vs 40+ minutes earlier
  • Googles intention and search intent

BERT did stay an open-source for a year while testing its intention and making sure it did exactly what Google engineers wanted it to do, that is to refine the search queries, before officially launching it. The results followed with 1 in every 10 search queries being impacted, while keyword stuffing was anyway a thing of the past before 2019, great genuine content surely was the clear winner here!

  • Write naturally

As per Google, the cool part about the BERT is that regarding the content-creation side of things, there is nothing one needs to focus on apart from writing a great content for the user in mind (focus shifting on the search intent, hence resulting in creating the right search query )! All the traditional techniques, by the book rules so to speak just in order to be ranked on Google search engines including the clearly not so popular practice of keyword stuffing have been away with. Now, the focus for any content- creator should simply be about writing great content and writing naturally.

  • Search engine strategy

The traditional search engine strategy has always been about the process of search engine optimization on Google. How one matches keywords, tries to be ranked on page 1 of Google search engine. But with the introduction of BERT, the future of search engines and queries have certainly changed. Although machine learning and the AI model on which BERT works certainly is made by the experts for the better search queries and results consequently, I would still be curious to see how this works for the future. This is certainly good for the good content creators out there, where they are being rewarded, but I strongly feel there is still a science to the approach to search, search queries and the end-users one is and always will be trying to reach. Hence, a process to be followed which will never fade away.

Conclusively, though machine learning through AI are certainly doing away with the human involvement in the process of things, which is clearly visible through the introduction of BERT here, contributing and having a ripple effect too in the industry such as Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Youtube’s need for keywords for better search visibility on their respective platforms. Compared to the traditional ways of searching where one uses a string of words, keywords so to speak, what BERT has done is given the importance to natural ways of asking queries Vs the very abrupt ways of asking for queries with keywords etcetra. BERT simply emphasis importance on the nuances of things, the real intent behind the queries by the users, giving emphasis on the preposition too, if I can say so, words like ‘to’, ‘from’, in order to connect the nuance of a query. Though content is clearly the winner here for the long run, but one will still have to wait and see what becomes of the machine learning and Artificial Intelligence in the coming years, how granular or deep they would become.

References:

LONG TERM SEARCH VISIBILITY

  • Facts

Some facts, Google was the very preferred source for product information only second now to Amazon. Google dominates the search engine market with 92.18% as of July 2019 ( Gs. Statcounter, 2019 ). 90% of the survey respondents as per some search engine land, 2018, revealed respondents did not go beyond page 1 of Google search engine, which talks about the cutthroat competition on google for rankings, keywords, or visibility as you prefer to call it. 60% of the same respondents revealed clicks on the first two to three searches on mobile. Therefore, it is vital, that one looks at the ethical practices, believes in them, and follow the process which would eventually give long term solution and a healthy result for the long term.

In the following passage, I will try explaining the process but with a twist, since I love diagrams, I would explain things through that, how one could possibly start with the SEO practice? This is with the assumption that one knows/ has the basic concept, knowledge of SEO/jargon in the industry under his or her belt. Disclaimer, as things in the industry, is changing so fast, I will try to keep things updated, and one with the knowledge can only make opinions, judgment calls on the steps which would follow. I will be more than happy to engage/ start a dialogue in the comments section of the blog. Disclaimer, of course, referenced from a great site all mentioned below the blog, it is important to share the content far and wide and within the community as much as possible, and discusses things further if one likes to in the comments section below.

factors for pre-seo plan
Process to be followed while making a plan for seo
  • Black hat SEO practices Vs personalization etc. (all legit white hat practices)

The black hat practices have always been around. people who engage in this process, usually get caught, penalized heavily, and eventually it amounts to nothing really. One can perhaps see some short results, some positive notes, numbers, and take them for long-term solutions but of course, that’s just a mirage and unfortunately, many people who engage in such activities end up losing more than they initially invested. The moral of the story is to AVOID any black hat practices online so as to not harm your site, be out of the game. Period.

ways of local seo optimization
Source : https://bit.ly/2U9ZHFf

Versus the positive side of white hat practices are several out there and gaining momentum with more and more ways of doing this. Some of the ways to achieve them would be namely;

  • Localization
  • Machine learning
  • Neural matching
  • Rank brain- the name given to the machine learning AI system used by Google for its search results
  • E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness)
  • Keyword data
  • Complex data-driven environments
  • Analytics
  • Data-driven

Hence all these innovative creative supports could be eventually be driving your strategy. It’s also said that it is more than just knowing the practice of SEO, it’s also about URL structure, site structure, technology-knowledge, the importance of relationships in the work environment between the different departments, and expertise. It’s of course as always mentioned in my blogs earlier, it’s about understanding your users, nuances like;

  • Understanding what your customers are searching for
  • Understanding competitiveness
  • Spending time on what matters and not scattered all over the place
  • Storytelling

The storytelling is most vital for the content development side of things on the digital platforms, hence making it more crucial for creators to think hard, creatively, innovatively about it. Some of the many learnings and things to take into account when dealing with this part could be the following on the macro level of things primarily;

  • Agency Vs In-house Vs Enterprise
  • The loudest do not necessarily have to be the best
  • Some of the best are quietist
  • Always research before making any decisions
  • SEO pros almost never agree
  • More than one way of doing things
  • Talk to different teams in their respective language
  • Respect development teams
  • Patience

References:

On page seo practices that can boost your future webpages

On page seo practice is a vital angle to the whole game of online marketing as many marketers would know, contributing 95% of all searches for products and otherwise are received by the first page of google. As the game is changing rather rapidly, it becomes even more crucial to be aware of all the latest updates in the industry. And then for good or for bad, however, one’s perspective is to see things, to keep updated about Google’s practices is something one simply cannot ignore at least for now1. Talking about changes, thought of sharing some more knowledge on the ever-changing landscape of the seo part on the vast landscape of on-page optimization for a website.

The end goal for all sites would be to do some of the following points mentioned below which are also self-explanatory;

  • Higher engagement
  • Increased rankings
  • More conversions

Some of the more comprehensive tactics to adopt in today’s times in order to achieve seo-success, consequently run a successful site would be some of the following methods below. Though they seem simple enough but believe me (since I am in this stage for the moment) they are time-consuming and thought-provoking, which eventually pays off, hence what is important is the process and to believe in the process. One who sticks to them and does his or her research thoroughly before implementing, of course, does well for themselves.

Improved UX content and functionality2

The idea is to improve one’s user-experience (UX), what the user experiences on your site, and improve functionality, hence adds value to the user overall, the simpler the better which also translates to better results monetary and otherwise. Several points to consider while at this vital stage is to think about the following;

  • Users journey
    •  Where exactly is the user in the consumer funnel and treat them accordingly, since each one would be a little different, to segregate them appropriately  
  • Search query
    • This is about what your user is asking on search. Hence knowing your audience thoroughly is half the battle won! One can achieve this only by research, research, research!
  • Which leads to keyword-research user-focused
    • After one has done knowing and segregating the users (potential-customers), which keywords, word-phrases are being used by the users in order to focus on them
  • Do you consider user-intent?
    • Very vital angle to know and study is the intent of the user while he or she is on the search, what is their intent with whatever they might be searching for
  • What queries do your prospects conduct?
    • Serpstat search content, answer the public, people also ask (SERPS). To be on top of all queries across all your channels
  • SNIPPETS
    • Page load, title tag, and meta description part of the page which gives one a short description on the SERP (search engine results page)
  • Design and content-structure
    • The design and the content structure for the site should be a well-oiled and fluid machinery for the site, which guarantees the longevity of the site on the whole
  • Navigation
    • To have a smooth flow for the users eventually, operative words here would be easy, fluid, and simple
  • Never Stop Testing
    • Eventually, one needs to take care of their own digital property, to make sure that the machine so to speak is running smoothly and making all sorts of course-corrections as and when needed, hence never stop testing.  

Apart from the several of the important elements above for a great seo-success of the site, one should also look into the functioning of the site with great adoption of multimedia and content enhancement tactics using all the great user-friendly formats available today which are popular today such as gifs, making videos and podcasts to name a few.

Lastly, another uncompromisable element today for any site is the adoption of mobile design3 which only increases traffic to one site and word of mouth eventually.

References:

  • https://bit.ly/3oOjecI1
  • Intentional and strategic user experience has the potential to raise conversion rates by as much as 400%.2
  • 74% of people are likely to return to a website if it is optimized for mobile.3

CONTENT CONSOLIDATION, SUPER TOOL FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

Content consolidation another super search engine marketing practice, if followed and monitored closely, can guarantee favorable results in terms ranking and eyeballs on Google search.

Definition

Content consolidation is most practical when one has several similar contents running on different sites owned by the same author. When one has something like that live for google search there are lot of harm done to the author primarily hampering the expertise, authority and trustworthiness angle to the author as well the primary site? Consolidating these different similar contents is primarily the definition as the word suggests. Next is to look into the reasons when this practice is most needed?

Some of the reasons for the content consolidation could be the following;

  • Since everyone is competing for the same search intent, if you remember from the earlier blogs, if one author has more than one similar content happening on their site, it only shows more than one user-search intent keywords by the author or the seo-expert, which for the most obvious reasons will work against the content, which would be coming from the same sources or url, does that make sense?
  • Fact- Google algorithm intends to show NOT more than two results from the same domain for each query. Wrap your head around that! So be careful when diving into content-strategy and creation
  • It is wise to get rid of all the under-performing content, hence prioritize for Quality over Quantity
  • Fact- merging different sites into one consolidated site increases organic traffic site by 64% and the CTA (call to action) by double
  • Remove content that doesn’t provide any value
  • Thin content- addressing a single query on different sites or tabs, hence consolidating content in order to answer more than just one single query
  • Duplicate content on sites hampers the user-experience as well, hence consolidating content increases the user-experience. There are tools and ways to identify duplicate content on your site
  • Outdated/ obsolete content need to be written off in order for the continuance of the content-flywheel
  • Content that simply does not get any traffic
  • To look into Google Analytics and Google Search Console- in order to analyze your crawl budget (can be discussed in another blog), cannibalizing keywords without any value to the audience/ reader
  • To implement 301 redirects, canonicals, noindex tags on pages which has become redundant in order to consolidate ranking signals
  • To refresh existing pages instead of creating new ones

These were some of the points which were vital when it comes to content-consolidation, as described earlier, a great tool for the process of search engine optimization strategy. A good SEO-strategist must perform this practice keeping in mind all the other good industry practices. The practice of search engine optimization in the industries across the board is here to stay and one must simply get on board, period.    

Reference:

https://searchengineland.com/how-content-consolidation-can-help-boost-your-rankings-340443/amp

Concept of BROKEN LINKS on the path to a successful SEO strategy

Words: 4426 Time: 4:56”

The concept of broken links for any content on the internet should be taken seriously for the sake of the content-creator as well as for the whole article in question. The right usage of broken links can contribute towards the betterment of the content created and the article on the whole in question.

The following would be the ways to deal with and explain the relevance of broken links;

Definition of broken links and reasons for them?

How does it impact sites?  

How to check for broken links on any site? Sites for references?

How can one use broken links to their advantage? Broken link building?  

Link bait?

error 404 message on the browser
error 404 message image credit: FaviFake – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88720914

Broken links are as the name suggest links which are not working in the article. Links that have been initially been linked to some other article or site and now give an error 404 message! Other ways to think about the broken links are namely websites which do not work anymore, not applicable, links to websites that could have been moved to other sites without any redirect and the URL (unique resource locator) have changed.

How does it impact sites?

Some ways to think about the impact broken links could have on the sites would be giving out a bad user-experience i.e. when a user clicks on a hyperlink/ directed to a new tab and the link it needs to connect to does not work, it leaves the user unhappy even though the content he or she could be reading is good and most relevant. It could certainly discourage the person from reading on, hamper the brand the article could be based on and it also simply gives a feeling of the creator of the content not paying enough attention for the user reading, hence work adversely for the content on the whole.   

It is imperative one needs to check on the broken links in a website and whether all the references given in an article works promptly and without a glitch. Some of the known reliable sources for broken link checking would be namely google link checker, ahref, screaming frog, webmaster tool and wp tool for link checking. Several of the good reputable sources are for a nominal payment. It depends on what size of the organization do you really need it for. Whether the cost-benefit analysis check out? If it is a startup like ours, we would certainly recommend looking for some of the free tools out there or perhaps the trial versions of any of the sources mentioned above before going in for the full service?  

The advantages taken out of the broken links by smart seo specialists could turn out to be one of the smartest tactics in the process of search engine optimization really. Compared to the state if one has a broken link in their bank of articles, which of course does not lead to anything relevant further on, a smart seo-specialist can make this an opportunity for themselves by taking some very simple steps, also termed as broken link building. Let’s say, you being the seo-expert, have all the right tools at your disposal, that is a tool for scraping the web for broken links with the relevant parameters on which you would judge the relevancy of the site/ broken links such as backlinks, PA, DA. The backlinks here would simply show you where all has the content been linked to and getting traction from, depending on the relevancy of the backlinks, one could judge the quality of the content in question itself. Once, this step which is of course very important is done the right way, one would analyze the broken link’s content as to what it was about? What does it talk about? At this junction, there are a couple of ways, one could play this, one way could be to simply inform the owner of the content about the broken link and politely request them to correct it, totally benefiting them in the long run or the other smart way would be, having analyzed what the content was about, create a similar content, reach out to the owner of the content in which the broken link exists, at first make the person aware of the broken link and then suggest politely a replaceable link with similar content and provide one immediately on demand, it that works out? Good on you! The conversion rate of this process happening in the industry is a mere 6% if I am not mistaken, hence the more tries you take reaching out to a bunch of them (out of the backlinks), the higher are the chances of you getting a response from someone.

Another fascinating topic is the angle of link bait. It is said that articles with the fine qualities of link bait does work wonders for the content created. As the name suggests, for the sole reason of creating backlinks to your created content, link bait works wonders! Some of the elements which works like magic for link bait content are controversial content, data driven content, guides (informative) content and newsworthy content. The content must also be very visually appealing for it to qualify as ‘link bait content.’

broken link building
broken link Image credit: pixabay

Conclusively, as one reads more and more on the concept of search engine optimization and with the several rules of the game changing every now and then, the concept of broken links and the ability to make that a link building opportunity is certainly one to stay for the times ahead.

CHADAR TREK, ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING OFF-BEAT HIKES ON THE PLANET

Chadar trek
Image Credit: Goutam1962

Chadar trek, also known as Zanskar Gorge, situated in the Indian Union Territory of Ladakh, considered one of the harshest winter treks on the planet is the mecca for adventure enthusiasts.

The Chadar trek is one of the most challenging treks on the planet. It has its own uniqueness, which is ~ 105 kms (65 miles) long frozen over Zanskar river in the harshest winter months of January and February annually, a tributary of the River Indus.

What is the Chadar Trek?

Chadar trek is the long-frozen river trek in the Zanskar Valley during the harshest winter months in the Union Territory of Ladakh. It is as mentioned earlier ~105 km (65 miles) one way and usually starts in Chilling a little outside of Leh town roughly 35 km, after a couple of days acclimatization by the trekkers in the main town of Leh. The trek takes one to an average height of 11,123 feet, hence fitness is primordial. One must prepare themselves mentally and physically a couple of months before the trek.  

How long is the Chadar trek?

The Chadar treks are usually pre-catered as per the various trekking companies’ itinerary and a traveler simply needs to enroll and follow the trekking companies’ rules and regulations. It’s simply the best and safest to finish the Chadar trek successfully. The total length of the Chadar trek is mentioned earlier. The different companies make different itineraries and the Chadar trek can last anywhere between a week to as long as just under a month!

Mandatory for Chadar treks?

            The mandatories would entail apart from acclimatization over two days, going through a mandatory medical checkup before taking on Chadar trek in order to be sure that the trekker is up to the mark to deal with the harshest of condition enroute. All the expert guides on the Chadar would have several years of experience and it is most vital to follow their lead at all times.

The Chadar trek essentials

  • Medium sized day pack with plastic liner
  • Trekking boots, waterproof
  • Water bottle
  • Insulating gloves
  • Fleece jackets
  • Rainproof jackets
  • Sunglasses
  • Water purification pills
  • Essential toiletries like toilet paper and mouth wash
  • Medical first aid kits
  • Personal medications if any

It is highly recommended to be in 3-4 layers of warm clothes on the trek as the temperature can vary between single digits to minus 20, 30 degree Celsius

How can one book the trek?

That’s simple. Get in touch with us at info@headnorth.in or hit us up at our site headnorth.in possibly, let’s chat and we can get you hooked up!

Safety net for the trek?

The safety of everyone taking up the Chadar trek is out top priority! One must certainly in case of doubt, consult your doctor for any personal medical conditions one might have. Any queries small or big regarding this unique trek can be cleared by us, no problem. The end goal is to safely and successfully complete the most incredible hike in this region of Ladakh.

We believe the Chadar trek is seeing its last few years on the frozen Zanskar river since there is a highway coming up connecting Nimmu- Padum-Darcha also known to be called the NPD road by Border Roads Organization (BRO). Nimmu is roughly 35 km away from the main town of Leh. Padum is also famous for its snow leopard sightings and has made its own mark among the enthusiasts the world over.

So, next time you get an opportunity to trek this frozen river, take it up, once in a lifetime chance, experience a trek like never before, and what’s better, it’s in our own backyard!

gushing blue water in Chadar trek
Image credit: Sumita Roy Dutta

Google’s search engine results page and small businesses future

google-search laptop and a coffee
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Search engine results page/s (SERPs) with the right ingredients in the right proportion can hugely benefit any organization irrespective of its size, nature of business and bottom-line.

Googles since its inception in the late 1990s has been doing the most stunning job of collecting, organizing and visually presenting the data to the staggering figure of 3.5 billions searches every day! It also occupies 92.18% of the market share in search engine industry. Just mind boggling really. One of its kind and trust me for a while from now. And they had the opportunity to do what they do, since then it has been a completely different world altogether. But how does it all come together? what does happen in the background when one searches for something? These are the BIG questions and if one is a fan, one must certainly find out and read more and more about it, as I try to do which will only add to the value of your business and grow you as an avid-entrepreneur such as myself. The idea behind this blog would be give the small businesses a fighting chance in the world of search marketing and if done right, trust me, anyone can reap the rewards of their hard work.

Today, I hope to share some basic knowledge on the search engine results page ( SERPs) in short. That’s when you open your browser and start any search for information, a product you might be interested in buying for someone or simply looking for a specific vendor nearby? All that is happening all thanks to the search engine, with a lot of science, art and technical knowledge the creators and their massive teams all over the planet today, have been working hard to present the user the right information at the right time at the right place i.e. on your fingertips!

So, let’s try see what we can talk about? In all, there are three different types of search engine results page which are as follows;

Out of the three, paid ad results is pretty straight forward, which simply means when the users/brands pay some money for the advertisements which they would like to show on the google search engine results pages either with a text or a shopping ad. These today are also all about creativity, one can achieve the same with videos and images too, all of which simply adds value to the brand or creator of the content. One of the most important element here is to think about the search users’ intent. If the creator can pinpoint that, he or she can do wonders for themselves. Paid ads also involve bidding for the most relevant keywords with your competitors in your relevant industry. for your information, Google ads is also the biggest contributor to the total revenue of Google, responsible for a total revenue of 160.74 billion U.S. Dollars in advertisements alone as of 2019.  

But that should not the worry for the start-ups of today at least for the start, cause one can carefully formulate a good smart strategy which would involve much of search engine optimization, local results and organic results. The small business should always start with organic results since it does not need any mullah and if done right, one can achieve the same good results as the popular and successfully running brands on Google and other search engines do.

google search for search results
3 types of search results
Google My Business
Google My Business

LOCAL RESULTS

The local results pages mainly involve the google my business (GMB) pages on search engines. The GMB pages involve providing all details about the business along with the images. The idea is to provide the correct and updated information there since it will be visited by any landing on your page? One should also make sure to do a little research on the primary and secondary keywords and provide the description of your business with the most relevant keyword/s. the business images matter too, hence having high resolution images would matter. The location i.e. the Google maps would be integrated, hence providing the right location of the business would also matter highly. The local results also called the knowledge panel on the right hand side, also features snippets which adds value to the link on Google. Eventually, the more accurate description with the right relevant keywords in the description, great images and videos of the business and all the relevant prerequisites of good google practice, in other words relevance, distance and prominence would result in higher ranking on the search engine results pages, between the ads on the top and the organic results below.

ORGANIC RESULTS

Lastly, let’s talk about the holy grail of search engine marketing, as I would like to call it, the organic results which although sounds very difficult to achieve, takes some time to show and even more difficult to maintain, as many would imagine, I beg to differ. If and when, the creators of the content, the brand and all involved in the project i.e. from the top down, understand the relevance of working on search the right way following all the good Google practices, they are bound to see the results in due time and once achieved, its more solid to keep doing the right way and maintain your position on search results pages. The organic results largely depend on the work done on the search engine optimization (on-page optimization ) i.e. knowing your audience thoroughly, zeroing on the primary and secondary keywords for your content, building a crisp, relevant content inclusive of high resolution images, videos, gifs, infographics, appropriate internal linking and limited organic back links from authoritative sites in your niche industry preferably. All these little elements once cross checked in its entirety, will result in higher ranking for your content on the organic search results pages in due time. Once the goal is achieved, one must also always keep their respective content updated and relevant.

These were some of the ways to promote your small businesses but the most optimal way to start would be the organic and local results for all Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the board. If followed and done the hygiene check for all small enterprises’’ content optimization for local and organic results, they will most certainly see the day when they are competing with the big boys at the table!

Happy content-building!

Link Building mambo jumbo

Decoding link-building, one of the most important elements of search engine optimization in today’s search engine’s ecosphere.

ground group growth hands
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I can safely say that link-building is a long-lasting practice/part of the search marketing ecosphere, where any content on the web needs to really know the process of link-building. Simply put, it should be given as much importance as the process, the practice of search engine optimization. it needs time, patience on the content-owners part as advised by the experts. The core theme here should be to progress gradually which would certainly stay with you over a long period of time as you develop and grow with your content than to have an overnight spike and probably get penalized for some black hat practices along the way ( if you get y drift ). there are some things which link-building are namely hyperlink which simply put when hovered over the specific word highlighted in blue generally would take you to the reference of that word or another reference site. Link-building also is considered as a ranking factor on search, if and when practiced within the guidelines of say Google, then one would reap the rewards of the process and practice. it is considered as a vote of confidence for a page on the site or the website by other online users. When you reach out to others in the same industry and they give your reference or link back to your page or site, that is when they are really giving their approval for the piece of content, hence giving you the validation. when it comes to the real recipe for the page ranking for any site on big players like Google, no one ever knows the recipes, since it’s their ‘secret-sauce’ just like the giants like Coke would never reveal the recipe behind their beverage! Understood, hence the next best thing a genuine content-creator do is to follow the rules of the land, Google in this case and follow them promptly, patiently wait for the results and it will come your way considering you have done all things right. It does not matter if you have forgotten somethings in the middle, but the more important part is to do things recommended every time and believe in the process. Period.

Having said that, topics to tackle;

  • TYPES OF LINK BUILDING

  • NOTES ON LINK BUILDING CAMPAIGNS

  • TACTICS OF LINK BUILDING

  • LINK BUILDING METRICS LIST

TYPES OF LINK-BUILDING

NATURAL EDITORIAL LINK

MANUAL OUTREACH LINK BUILDING

SELF CREATED NON-EDITORIAL LINKS

Before you start the process of linking to other authoritative, legit websites and pages, one needs to be absolutely sure about the content of the page, whether the content is ready to be shared and seen by others, one is clear about the topic mentioned on the pages and sites which are about to be linked to other sites and pages. As mentioned earlier, link-building is building your pages’ or sites’ vote of confidence, hence one needs to be confident in sharing the content on the pages with all the white-hat practices relevant today. Another very important element here, before one starts this process is knowing for sure that the target audience is right and one ahs not messed up there. Once all these important steps are taken, one can go ahead and try any of the above-mentioned ways of link-building.

Natural editorial link-building is a process of firstly zeroing in on the sites which are relevant to the topic you are covering and what is prevalent in the content. Once you have done that which includes looking at the domain authority (DA) of the site you are looking into, which can be done through many of the sources online, one needs to apart from corresponding with one contact within that organization of some authority instead of emailing anyone where the message is most certainly lost, one also needs to know and explain the reason why and how one is reaching out to the site, the value one can add to the site to which one is reaching out to? How can the two sites benefit from each other? This is pretty straightforward since everyone would, of course, want to add value to the site at any step of the organization, can actually add some more value to its authority, and is worth their time and effort, hence linking to, only then, does the deal work for both parties. This does obviously take some time, patience, and good strategy on the one approachings’ part. Do remember what is most important is the ‘process,’ the belief in it, and the steps in it and no short-cuts! Experts who think can take a short cut, pay for some reviews, blogs, posts on social media, would perhaps benefit only for a short duration, eventually reach a roadblock with no imagination. 

Manual Outreach link-building process

The manual outreach link-building process works on the same process as the earlier mentioned Natural editorial link-building. one needs to vet the businesses in order words, the links one intends to reach out to, which means that firstly your content needs to be bad-SEO-proof, well conceptualized, thought-out, crisp, and with the right intention and clarity of language. henceforth, the targeted links need to be totally relevant to the content one has created already, have some value to offer to the targeted links and sites henceforth. if all these elements do match and are in sync, then one needs to also have creative ways to reaching out to the one person in the targeted links’ organization to correspond with and to sell one’s intentions and goals with the outreach. several elements resemble the earlier tactic of Natural editorial link-building process with the targeted links being of some DA in order to add value to ones’ page or site, hence linking back to ones’ page or a site in order to give them the vote of confidence! 

Self-created non-editorial link

this tactic in link-building is a little different. this process involves the creator of the content itself and does not need the authority of external links. The simple idea behind this tactic is to share your content on the most relevant social media channels/platforms where it would get the most visibility and would be appropriate for the platform namely Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and now of late one would imagine to include Instagram. this is the most simple yet assured way to get traction to your site and also get maximum eyeballs on your content. 

To all these different ways of link-building, some important notes to remember would be to always include a relevant call to action ( CTA ) button. One needs to be also kept in mind the location of the button and where does the CTA take the reader? 

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NOTES ON LINK BUILDING CAMPAIGNS

Like any branding exercise, link building too, needs careful analysis of the target market link in this case since one will be targeting links. one should make use of several sources to study links, backlinks, DA, page authority (PA), and several other metrics to evaluate a link. More than all that, first and foremost, one must always have a goal is mind, the big picture with the link building strategy which should eventually sync with the overarching goal of the organization of course. the goal of the strategy should always be for the long term and not a short term for the same reasons stated earlier in the blog. The process here should include finding the assets, the targeted links, figure the hook, the value one can add eventually to the targeted links, sites, creating the most apt content incudes data, products and services one might be involved in ( the offering ) and of course the people involved in the process. They should all be in sync with the goal and the vision of the organization, consequently the most optimum results out of the strategy. There are of course several questions one must ask before diving into campaign building which is as follows;

  • What types of links you need? 

These links would be most related to the domain or your homepage, links which could also be in sync with your products and services, links which could be also containing your brand, containing your keywords one could be targeting in the strategy. 

  • Finding link-targets? 

In order to find the link-targets, the process followed would be by creating content, find the hook or the angle by which one can link to the more authoritative, targeted links, followed by the outreach process and eventually follow up which is the most difficult task in the whole process. this certainly needs some patience on the one targeting and keep believing in the process until one gets the break one needs to do the link building.

  • Identify your target audience for links?

one must also figure whether the targeted links ( the creators of those link, sites ) share external links of others on their respective platforms since not all share content of others. This would be the responsibility of the one targeting links to check the history of the targeted links and only correspond to the ones who actually share and link back? this is vital in order to save oneself the time and effort it takes in link building. Other elements one must also look into are the DA, PA, blogger influence, and the likelihood of backlinking. 

  • Outreach 

The process of outreach has been mentioned above and should be taken seriously if one intends to go through the process. Apart from the points already mentioned in this process, another point to note would be to show that you are a genuine person and not a spammer, hence ones’ approach strategy really counts here. Whether one approaches the contact person in the organization as a real human very natural in a polite and humble way, computer bot with almost computer-generated like messages or from an authoritative angle which would for the most obvious reason be working in ones’ favor. ( You get the drift! ) 

  • How long does link building take for site raking? 

Duration depends on several factors which include competitiveness in the concerned industry, the competitiveness of the keywords targeted, the types of link building, and the history and strength of your domain? There is no right or wrong answer here. 

 

TACTICS OF LINK BUILDING

Some of the tactics used in the process of link building would be namely content-based link building, guest blogging as the name suggests, ego bait which is another popular way of link building involving stroking the ego of whichever influence or website owner one is targeting. This is a more personal approach compared to the content-based link building done by many. The last one would be looking, hunting for broken links, informing the owners of the broken links, and politely asking or expecting a favor in return for their mistakes, its like a foot in the door opportunity.  

LINK BUILDING METRICS LIST

  • Page Rank on google toolbar
  • DA/ PA
  • Mozbar
  • Anchor text
  • Number of links
  • Linking to the Root Domain
  • Position of links on the page

  In the end, as discussed and emphasized by several experts the process and practice of link building is not a one-man process but to be done with the whole organization believing in the process! Link Building is a long-term process, needs to be done without taking any short cuts and should be taken seriously in order to see the desired results. It is up to the experts to really explain and discuss in lengths with the authors, creators of content, site-owners, agencies to understand the process of search engine optimization as well as link building, since they both go hand in hand. if done right and, the results can be enjoyed for a long time to come.   

References;

https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-link-building

THE TRAVELING ITCH AMONG INDIANS AMIDST THE COVID PANDEMIC

The past, the present and the future of travel in India from the perspective of the current scenario with the looming uncertainty of normalcy ever coming back?

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THE PAST

Without further ado, let’s dig into what COVID-19 has or is, or could be teaching us about our ever-so-taken for granted lifestyles, daily environment and god-given privileges (pun intended). Until early this year 2020, everything was going honky-dory for all of us and suddenly without any warning, that is what I like to believe and honestly will
live with here on out, against the more popular and infamous rumors out there about the origins, COVID-19 hit us BIG TIME! It was certainly like an atom bomb! Not that majority of us have experienced that in our lifetime, and with all due respect to the ones who have and live to tell the horrible tales, but a very subtle, from the corner of your eye kind of an attack! When one knows it’s coming and many of us cannot do anything possible to stop it, period. We can only make some basic preparations, that too with the biggest doubts in our heads given the numerous unknowns regarding the same.

Earlier this year in March 2020, India went into complete nation-wide lockdown. Life as we Indians knew it, or as we could not imagine, changed in a dramatic way! Let’s get down to some brass facts about the total impact of Covid-19 on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry in the country as far as I could gather.

  • Last year, number of foreign tourists in India stood at 10.89 million (mn), 10.56 mn the year before and 10.04 mn in 2017 1

THE PRESENT

  • Since then the story has changed drastically, with the figure for incoming foreign tourists plummeting to 1.01 mn in February of 2020 compared to 1.08 mn in 2019, registering year on year decrease of 6.5%. A similar trend was last seen in 2015. 2
  • As per World Tourism Organization ( UNWTO ), International tourism on a global scale could decline by 60%-80% this year 2020, resulting in a decline of $910 billion (bn) to $1.2 trillion (tn), placing millions of livelihoods at risk 3
  • As per World Travel and Tourism Council, the travel and tourism industry in India employs 12.75% of the country’s workforce. As per the Ministry of Tourism annual report 2019-’20, tourism industry employed over 87 mn people.4
  • The share of travel tourism in India’s GDP was  ~9.2% in 2018 compared to 6.8% in 2019, reflecting a dip then and even worse now due to the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s various restrictions
  • As per National Restaurants Association of India, the restaurant industry annual turnover is ~ $55 bn with direct employment loss to 7 mn people. 6 All under serious threat in the coming months.
  • The aviation industry which is a linked industry, could incur a loss of roughly under $4 bn in the first quarter of the financial year 2020-2021 as per Center for Asia Pacific Aviation, India, consultancy and advocacy agency 7
  • Regarding the hospitality industry, the organized sector i.e. the branded hotels, tour operators and travel agencies could be hit hardest with an estimated loss of just over $21 bn, with branded hotels incurring a loss ~ $ 15 bn alone8
  • Travel agencies are expected to take a hit of ~ $.6 bn , tour operators ( inbound and domestic) of ~ $3.5 bn, adventure tour operators ~ $2.6 bn and cruise operators of ~ $55 mn as per Confederation of Indian Industry estimates ( CII )

THE FUTURE

After all these heavy numbers and obvious impact of the current scenario due to COVID-19, life would never be the same again for anyone! Some major changes coming up in the travel and hospitality industry would be as follows:

  • With the movement of people across state borders domestically, by any means of transport, there has been a lot of miscommunication regarding very frequent updates to the various state regulations, the so called standard operating procedures (SOPs), causing confusion for travellers. In such scenarios, is it really worth traveling at the moment?
  • Rise of the apps, video-calls, digital marketing overall, is gaining popularity amongst various Online Travel Agencie (OTAs), travel agencies, making all efforts to keep travellers interested in traveling post the nationwide-lockdown lifting or the covid-19 vaccine becoming available
  • Rise of digital wallets to facilitate payments on various platforms, since even if the traveller gets to the destination at this stage, he prefers minimum contact as much as possible, even more so now with the pandemic looming over anyone. Hence, the pandemic has also increased trust and adoption of online payments across the board.
  • Birth of contact-less deliveries concept for product packages and food through various online marketplaces
  • Preference to self-drive to the holiday destination than to travel by public transportation or by air, at least for the next year until the vaccine is out and widely available
  • This would also lead to people opting to go to near-by destinations and not venture too far, offering safety and easily accessible healthcare facilities
  • The travel and hospitality industry will have lots of changes. Branded hotels will be given more importance every time even with a higher price tag since these hotels will be perceived to provide proper hygiene-checks, medical facilities on call, safety and security compared to the others which will become a priority now.
  • The choice of destinations will change with more people choosing places with more amenities such as healthcare and emergency facilities as compared to ones that are without facilities and isolated
  • Another trend which is gaining popularity is the virtual tours by the big OTAs. Since people are hesitant to travel, one way the creative and big OTAs are engaging with their customers is through these virtual tours.  
  • Last but not the least, the blue color labor market is experiencing massive migration back to their hometowns and unemployment nationwide

Well, in conclusion, COVID-19 certainly changed the world’s respective societies and cultures and they will never be the same again, nor would they take any future pandemic for granted. The changes in the travel and hospitality industries are here to stay for a while. It will certainly take some time before people can muscle up to travel again to their favourite destinations, but this time perhaps with some reservations. 

Let me know what you reckon about the future of travel domestically and globally? Leave me a comment and we can start a conversation.

References:

Digitally immersed Life !