• SEO

On-site and Off-site SEO: Increasing Engagement, Rankings and Conversions

By clariondevelop

Gino Topini of Mj Web Studio walks us through the key SEO steps essential to building an optimized website for forex and casino.

SEO is a fundamental topic in forex and casino niches: without a serious strategy and relevant efforts both in terms of time and investments, it’s now incredibly hard to rank on search engines for the most competitive keywords. Google is against SEOs: our work is to manipulate SERPs to rank higher with our websites. To achieve top ranking we want to show off our websites as one of the most “trusted” sources of information out there in Google’s eyes. Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, RankBrain and the still unnamed mid-January update are part of the huge Google algorithm, which evaluates websites and web pages to show users only the best search results for every single query. To have our website listed in the top 10 results, we need to develop a sustainable and long-term SEO strategy which follows the correct path and avoids mistakes. We also need to understand that an SEO strategy that performed well in a low or mid competitive niche does not necessarily mean it will do so in tough niches such as forex and casino. The Californian search giant often gives completely different ranking weighting to the most and least competitive niches. This article will summarise the latest intelligence on how to build a competitive website, the right keywords to rank for, obtaining backlinks to improve rankings and keeping users engaged to increase conversions. To these ends, we will consider two distinct aspects: on-site and off-site improvements. The first basically means building an intuitive and easy-to-navigate website, as well as providing well written and optimized articles. The second involves increasing the number of good backlinks and citations to improve our website’s trust.

Five important SEO mistakes to avoid When we concentrate on SEO in highly competitive niches such as finance and gaming, false steps and errors can undermine the entire SEO strategy. So it’s important to know in advance which mistakes are most important to avoid:1. Keyword stuffing.This means writing the keyword or phrase we want to rank for within our piece of content There is no magic recipe for writing a good article, except thinking of the user first: if they like it then they will spend more time on the website reading it, will probably visit more pages, possibly share the article on social networks and, if they have a website, maybe link back to your article (this practice is technically called “link earning”). There isn’t a magic number for how many times it’s OK to include the keyword or phrase, but you can take advantage of the Flesch-Kincaid readability test to have a good idea of how good your content is.2. Thin and/or duplicate content.Google tends to target poor content which it deems not useful. While there is no precise definition of good content, and it is not dependent on length or word count. If you think you can write everything useful you have to say to the user in 500 words, do it! If you feel you need 10,000 words, write them! Just take your time to write a great piece of content and you will be rewarded. You need to place the same importance on duplicate content: copying articles from other sites risks serious penalties (plus you can incur copywriting infringements).In turn, you should also regularly check that your content has not been stolen. The best tool to check for this is Copyscape.3. Getting links from non-reputable sources.To rank well on SERPs, content is important but links still are too. If articles are the engine of the car, links are the fuel. Links remain one of the most important factors Google considers when deciding how trusted by users a website is. The more qualitative the backlinks are, the better the site is, in Google’s eyes. I am not however suggesting you obtain links from anywhere, but from sources which are credible, relevant and related to your niche.4. Avoid broken links. Google doesn’t like it when a website has too many broken links, as they contribute to earning you a bad reputation among users.5. Failing to track your users. You now have a nice website, have written unique and useful content and have got some good links. This is not the end of the job, though, as now you need to monetize your website. To do this effectively, you need to track your users, looking at what they do and at how they move through your website. The best tool to perform this task is good analytics software which is able to register funnels, and a heatmap software. While avoiding these mistakes is key to not derailing your SEO strategy before you’ve even got started, real improvement in website performance will only come through and experimentation. So, buy a website and work on it, and don’t be scared of making minor errors even at the cost of losing money, as each mistake will enable you to learn and become a better SEO.Supporting your content with market analysisNow you know what mistakes to avoid, it’s time to start to defining your niche and identifying keywords you can really compete for in order to write optimized content. If you start out today with a brand new website, your chances of ranking for highly competitive keywords such as “forex”, “casino” or “online casino” are practically nil. So target “long” and “long long” tail keywords, those with lower monthly search volume but which are easier to rank for. When identifying keywords, always remember to try and put yourself in the user’s shoes. They probably don’t know technical terms so best to concentrate on the most common keywords, keeping technical terms back for use in content as supporting evidence that you are really prepared and knowledgeable on your niche. To obtain a complete list of keywords you want to rank for, a good starting point is competitor analysis. For this, we use three different tools in our daily job: SemRush, Ahrefs and Majestic SEO. SemRush is the best to identify competitors’ keywords, Ahrefs is great at finding competitors’ backlinks and Majestic SEO shows how trusted a website is and gives us an idea of its topical trust flow (we’ll explain the concept in more detail later).
  • Semrush
Let’s start with Semrush. First, we go to, input the competitor’s website, select the geographical target, and click “search”. The first screen will give us a panoramic overview of our competitor’s website, including the most important areas for our analysis - keywords and backlinks. After scrolling down to reach the “Top organic keywords” table, we need to click on “View Full Report” to obtain a list of the most-searched keywords that specific website ranks for. By default, the free Semrush version shows up to 10 keywords, to unlock the rest, you will need to buy a subscription. For each keyword, the most important data sets are those relating to position, monthly search volume (tagged simply as “volume” on the platform), CPC (the higher the cost-per-click, the more profitable that keyword is) and competitive density. Taking a closer look at the latter, this number ranges from 0.01 to 1, with keywords towards the upper end of the range being more competitive. For a brand new website, we suggest extracting the keywords from the list that comply with the following values •Up to 0.20 in terms of competitive density • A monthly volume search of at least 10,000 Once these are ordered in terms of decreasing CPC, we can start to produce optimized content based around the highest ones.
  • Ahrefs
Now that we have a list of keywords we can rank easily for, it’s time to reverse engineer our competitor’s backlink. For this, we’ll use Ahrefs, by far the best tool in this area. First, visit and undertake a free registration. Once logged in, click on ‘site explorer’ from the top menu, enter the website URL we want to analyse and click ‘search’. The most important pieces of information to look for are the number of backlinks and referring domains. From the left menu, we click on ‘links’ to identify all the links our competitor’s website has. For every backlink we can know if it’s still ‘live’, the date of first discovery (the older the backlink, the stronger it is for Google), when it was last checked by Ahrefs’ engine and when that specific backlink was eventually lost. We are aiming to get as links from as many different sources as possible, so to make a complete and more precise analysis, we need to exclude duplicates by using the “referring domains” page, accessible from the left-hand menu. Here, we can see every single source linking to the website under analysis. While the main goal of our backlink analysis is to try to obtain links from the same sources our competitors have, it is important to analyse each and every backlink source, because if our competitors got links from a spammy website, we don’t want them! The last step we usually perform is to click on ‘broken links’ under the ‘outgoing links’ section accessible from the left-hand menu. This page shows if the analysed website has any broken outgoing links. If so, we check if it is due to an error “If the linked website is no longer registered, we may evaluate buying and using that domain to link our money site within a PBN (private blog network) strategy.” TRAFFIC 38 iGB Affiliate Issue 55 FEB/MAR 2016 or a misspelling, or because the linked website is no longer registered. If the latter, we may evaluate buying and using that domain to link our money site within a PBN (private blog network) strategy.
  • Majestic
The last tool we usually use is Majestic SEO, which gives us the Trust Flow and the Citation Flow of the analysed website. The higher those values are, the stronger the website (and the tougher it will be to overcome that competitor). Of those two metrics, the one to pay most attention is the Trust Flow, as this shows the quality of the sources linking the analysed website, and we all know that having one link from a very authoritative websites is far more valuable than lots links from weak resources. From the top menu, we can click on ‘backlinks’ to have a look at the Trust Flow of linking website both for URL flow metrics and domain flow metrics. The aim of this exercise is to obtain links from the same highest authoritative sources as our competitor websites. Topical trust flow also displays the niche of the linking sources: society, education, finance, science and so forth, with the strongest backlinks being those from related niches and topics.Tips for keeping users engaged Now we have a good website, a great piece of content, and know how to search for good links, the last step is to learn how to keep users engaged. Why is this so important? An engaged user is a loyal one, and is the most likely to buy from our website. Here we share some tips towards achieving this.
  • Create a great first impression
Often this is the only opportunity you will get to impress the user and transform them into a loyal one, so it’s imperative to have an easy-to-navigate website and offer easily readable, high-quality content. We need to front of mind that the aim of every article on our website is to satisfy a user’s needs.
  • Offer a mobile version of your website
Almost a year has passed since Google’s Mobilegeddon update (it was released on April 21, 2015) and still not every website today is mobile-friendly. It’s now a must to have a mobile website that gives users a great navigation experience on all devices. Navigation from smartphones is increasing week by week (see www. mobile-marketing-analytics/mobilemarketing-statistics/) and we cannot skip this step, which allows us to convert more easily and earn more money.
  • Make proper use of text formatting
Use bold when needed, clear line spacing, a readable font, both in terms of size and legibility. Integrate your text using lists, which are easier to read, and use images to help explain and make your concepts clearer. Video is also a great way to reach users who don’t like to read.
  • Allow users to easily share your content
Put your social buttons in intuitive places on your webpage and encourage users to share on their favourite social network. Google tends to reward the most shared websites and webpages with a higher ranking.
  • Easy-to-follow navigation
Users need to move easily though your website. Keep your menus visible and easy to use.
  • Easy-to-understand homepage
Studies show that if a homepage doesn’t grab your user’s attention within the first 10 seconds of landing on it, they’ll leave and never return. So, when creating your homepage remember to keep it simple and avoid clutter that may make it confusing to the first-time visitor.
  • Make your website as quick as possible
Especially when navigating the site by mobile, users don’t want to have to wait to access the content, so it’s crucial for this to load and display as fast as possible. Pages that load in less than a second are favoured by both users and Google. To achieve this, use light images and think about using a good content delivery network. Also, keep your coding simple and always choose a reliable server.In summaryIn conclusion, building an optimized website is pivotal to achieving great results. This is true in every niche, but perhaps holds even more true in the most competitive niches such as forex and casino. Nothing can be left to chance, every single aspect of your on and off-site SEO must be perfect in order to rank. Also, don’t forget to allow your users to subscribe to a free newsletter updating them about your new content and offers, as this helps build loyalty. Email marketing has one of the highest conversion rates out there, so it’s a must. Do all this correctly, and you will have a potential money-making machine in your hands.“There isn’t a magic number for how many times it’s OK to include the keyword or phrase, but you can take advantage of the Flesch-Kincaid readability tests to have a good idea of how good your content is.”“If the linked website is no longer registered, we may evaluate buying and using that domain to link our money site within a PBN (private blog network) strategy.”
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