track your backlinks

How to Properly Track Your Backlinks - A Beginners Guide

Considered a supreme ranking factor for search engine optimization, backlinks are basically inbound links that point back to your website from other websites.

Backlinko conducted a study revealing that the number of domains linking to a page was the most significant predictor of Google ranks.

Since the quality of your backlinks can make a huge impact on your website’s SEO, you need to keep track of them to ensure that they are helping and not hindering your progress.

After all, according to Pearson's Law, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

So in order to keep track of your backlinks and ensure their efficacy, you need to use the right tools and methods.

Here’s a beginner's guide on how to properly track your backlinks.

 

What You Need to Track  

To get started, you would need a master spreadsheet that contains all of the important things for your project.

Every spreadsheet should contain the following data:

Backlinks

Track all your backlinks no matter where they come from: PBN, Web 2.0, Profile Links, Social Bookmarks, Forum Profiles, etc. Detailed data should entail the following information:

When was the link placed?

This is the date when the backlink was created.

Anchor text

This is the phrase that you hyperlinked. It could be either your brand name, website name, target keyword, etc.

URL of the page where your link is placed

This is the URL of the page where your link is found. You can get this by hovering over the link and checking the URL that shows up on the bottom left part of your screen (on Chrome).

URL of your website

This is the URL that you're linking to.

Nofollow or follow?

A nofollow link is a link that does not pass any link equity/SEO value to the linked page. In other words, it doesn't help your linked page rank higher in search engine results pages.

Is the link indexed?

An index is a database that a search engine uses to store all the website pages it has crawled and intends to include in its search results. When a backlink is indexed, it means that the link can now be seen by the search engine.

When was the link last checked?

This is the date when you last checked if the link is still there.

Link status

The link status can either be “live” or “dead.” A live link is a working link that directs users to your website when clicked. On the other hand, a dead link is a link that no longer works and leads to a 404 error page.

Anchor Text Distribution

When it comes to backlinks, anchor text distribution is an important thing to keep in mind.

Anchor text is the phrase that you hyperlink. It could be either your brand name, website name, target keyword, etc.

The distribution of your anchor text should look natural. That means that you shouldn’t have too many exact match keywords or branded anchor text.

To check the distribution of your anchor text, you can use a tool like Ahrefs.

Simply enter your domain into the search bar and click “Explore.”

You will then be directed to a page that contains all the backlinks pointing to your website. Scroll down to the “Anchors” section to see the distribution of your anchor text.

This will help you identify over-optimized anchor texts, so you can take action accordingly.

anchor text distribution

Rankings

Your rankings are the position of your website for a particular keyword in SERPs.

Ideally, you want your website to rank as high as possible for your target keywords. The higher your website ranks, the more organic traffic you will get.

To track your rankings, you can use a tool like Ahrefs Rank Tracker.

To use Ahrefs Rank Tracker, simply enter your domain and target keyword into the search bar and click “Add to tracking.”

You will then be directed to a page that contains your ranking data.

ahrefs ranking data

A List of Keywords and Which Pages Target Them

It is a spreadsheet that contains all the keywords that you are targeting, as well as the pages on your website that are targeting those keywords.

This spreadsheet is important because it allows you to track your progress and see which keywords are working and which ones aren’t.

To create this spreadsheet, simply create a new sheet in Google Sheets and add the following columns:

  • Keyword
  • URL
  • Rank
  • Change
  • Volume
  • CPC

You can then fill in the data for each keyword.

 

5 Tools You Can Use To Track Backlinks

.... Now to Track Your Backlinks!

Now that you know what data you need to track, it’s time to learn how to do it properly. Here are a few methods that you can use:

 

1. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free platform offered by Google that allows you to track your website’s organic traffic and performance in SERPs. It also contains other features such as the ability to submit your sitemap and check for 404 errors.

To use Google Search Console to track your backlinks, simply go to “Links” under “Search Traffic” on the left sidebar.

You will then be directed to a page that contains all the links that Google has found pointing to your website.

google search console tracking backlinks

2. Ahrefs Site Explorer

Ahrefs is one of the most popular SEO tools available on the market. It contains a lot of features such as keyword research, site audits, and backlink analysis.

To use Ahrefs Site Explorer to track your backlinks, simply enter your domain into the search bar and click “Explore.”

You will then be directed to a page that contains all the backlinks pointing to your website.

ahrefs site explorer - tracking backlinks

3. Majestic

Majestic is another popular SEO tool that offers similar features to Ahrefs. It also has a feature called “Site Explorer” which allows you to track your backlinks.

To use Majestic to track your backlinks, simply enter your domain into the search bar and click “Search.”

You will then be directed to a page that contains all the backlinks pointing to your website.

majestic - tracking backlinks

4. Moz Link Explorer

Moz is another popular SEO tool that offers a feature called “Link Explorer” which allows you to track your backlinks.

To use Moz Link Explorer to track your backlinks, simply enter your domain into the search bar and click “Search.”

You will then be directed to a page that contains all the backlinks pointing to your website.

moz link explorer - tracking backlinks

5. Monitor Backlinks

Monitor Backlinks is a tool that allows you to track your backlinks, as well as the backlinks of your competitors. It also offers other features such as link building and keyword research.

To use Monitor Backlinks to track your backlinks, simply sign up for a free account and add your website.

You will then be directed to your dashboard, where you can see all the backlinks pointing to your website.

monitor backlinks - tracking backlinks

These are just a few of the many tools that you can use to track your backlinks. Choose the one that you feel is best for you and start tracking your progress today!

 

The Benefits of Tracking Your Backlinks

There are manybenefits to tracking your backlinks, such as:

  1. You can see which links are working and which ones are not effective - which ones are healthy links, and which ones are toxic.
  2. You can track your progress over time and see how your backlink profile is changing.
  3. You can find new opportunities for link building.
  4. You can see which links are most valuable to your website and focus on acquiring more of them.
  5. You can avoid being penalized by Google for having low-quality backlinks.

By tracking your backlinks, you can make sure that your link-building efforts are paying off.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you track backlinks in Google Analytics?

In Google Analytics, backlinks are referred to as “referrals.” To view your referral traffic, simply go to “Acquisition” -> “All Traffic” -> “Referrals.”

You can then check your backlinks using the referral report.

 

Why are backlinks important for SEO?

Backlinks are important for SEO because they help search engines determine the quality of a website. Websites with high-quality backlinks are more likely to rank higher in SERPs.

In fact, a majority of SEOs (58%) believe that backlinks have a profound effect on search engine rankings. Even more, over half of SEO experts believe that the number and quality of links pointing to a website affect its search engine rankings!

If you're not tracking your backlinks, you're missing out on valuable insights about your website's SEO. Not to mention, you could be risking a Google penalty for having low-quality backlinks.

Tracking your backlinks is an essential part of any good SEO strategy. When done right, it can help you improve your website's ranking, build more high-quality links, and avoid being penalized by Google.

Over to you - what are some ways you track your backlinks? Let us know in the comments!


short tail keywords

What Are Short Tail Keywords For SEO

In the world of SEO, keywords are everything.

You use them to optimize your website and content for the search engines so that people can find you when searching for terms related to your business.

There are two main types of keywords: short tail keywords and long tail keywords.

Short tail keywords are general, one or two-word phrases that are highly competitive and get a lot of searches. Long tail keywords are more specific, three or four-word phrases that are less competitive and get fewer searches.

long tail keywords vs short tail keywords

Short tail keywords are simply shorter, more specific versions of your main keyword.

For example, if you're selling shoes, your main keyword might be "shoes." But a short tail keyword would be something like "women's running shoes."

On the other hand, long tail keywords are longer, more specific versions of your main keyword.

So, using our previous example, a long tail keyword might be "women's size 10 running shoes."

Statistically, short-term keywords are seen to be more competitive than long-tail keywords. This is because short tail keywords are more general and therefore have a higher search volume. Long tail keywords, on the other hand, are more specific and have a lower search volume. But that doesn't mean they're not important!

In fact, long tail keywords are actually essential for SEO success. This is because they help you target a specific audience, which can result in higher conversion rates. And, they can be much easier to rank than short-tail keywords.

 

Why should you use short-tail keywords?

Short tail keywords are important because they help you target a general audience. They can be difficult to rank for, but if you do manage to rank for them, you'll get a lot of traffic.

In fact, according to one research, 10,000 of the most utilized keywords are almost entirely short tail. They also make up about 20% of all searches out of millions of available keywords.

Source: Loganix.com 

 

5 Benefits of Using Short-Tail Keywords:

1) They have a high search volume.

For instance, a short tail keyword like "buy shoes" has a much higher search volume than a long tail keyword like "where can I buy size 10 women's running shoes."

2) They're more competitive.

Because they have a high search volume, short tail keywords are also more competitive. The more competitive the keyword is, the more difficult it is to rank for.

3) They're more general.

Short tail keywords are less specific than long tail keywords, which means they can target a wider range of people.

4) They're easier to remember.

Because they're shorter and more general, short tail keywords are easier to remember than long tail keywords. This makes them more likely to be used by people who are just starting their search.

5) They can be combined to create a long tail keyword.

Short tail keywords can be combined to create a long tail keyword. For instance, you could combine the short tail keywords "buy shoes" and "size 10" to create the long tail keyword "where can I buy size 10 women's shoes."

Now that you know the benefits of short-tail keywords let's take a look at some tips for using them in your SEO strategy.

 

Tips for Using Short-tail Keywords

1) Use keyword research tools

Use keyword research tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and Moz Keyword Explorer to find short tail keywords that are relevant to your business.

2) Use negative keywords

Use negative keywords to filter out irrelevant searches. For instance, if you're selling women's shoes, you might want to use the negative keyword "men" to filter out searches for men's shoes.

3) Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions

Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions to improve your chances of ranking for your chosen keywords.

4) Combine short tail keywords

Combining short tail keywords is a great way to create long tail keywords. As we mentioned before, you can combine the short tail keywords "buy shoes" and "size 10" to create the long tail keyword "where can I buy size 10 women's shoes."

5) Use short tail keywords in your content

Use short tail keywords in your content to improve your chances of ranking for those keywords. But don't stuff your content with keywords! Use them sparingly and make sure they fit naturally into your text.

Short tail keywords are an essential part of any SEO strategy. By using the tips above, you can use them to improve your chances of ranking on Google and getting more traffic to your website.

 

7 Short Tail Keyword Examples

1) Local Keywords (Restaurant)

Local keywords are short tail keywords that include a geographic location. For instance, if you own a restaurant in Los Angeles, you might use the keyword "restaurants in Los Angeles."

When you do keyword research, you'll notice that the keyword "restaurants in Los Angeles" has more and higher search volume than "restaurants in Los Angeles alfresco dining". This is because people who include a geographic location in their search are more likely to be looking for a restaurant in that area.

 

2) Product Keywords (iPhone)

Product keywords are short tail keywords that include a product name. For instance, if you're selling iPhone cases, you might use the keyword "iPhone cases."

The keyword "iPhone cases" has more search volume than "iPhone 6 cases" because it's more general. People who use the keyword "iPhone cases" might be looking for any type of case, not just an iPhone 6 case.

 

3) Brand Keywords (Nike)

Brand keywords are short tail keywords that include a brand name. For instance, if you're selling Nike shoes, you might use the keyword "Nike shoes."

The keyword "Nike shoes" has a greater search volume than the more narrow "Nike running shoes." People who look for "Nike shoes" may be seeking any sort of Nike shoe, not just the Nike running shoe.

number of keywords competition

The general rule is that the longer and more specific the keywords are, the less search volume they have. So, if you're looking to get more traffic to your website, aim for short-tail keywords.

 

4) Digital product keywords (Wordpress plugins)

If you've been creating sites using Wordpress, chances are you've tried searching for Wordpress themes and plugins already.

"Wordpress themes" is a short tail keyword, while "best free Wordpress themes for business websites" is a long tail keyword. The latter has less competition and more traffic potential.

 

5) Service keywords (SEO services)

If you offer SEO services, you might want to use the keyword "SEO services." But since this keyword is quite general, you'll be competing with a lot of other SEO service providers.

A better option would be to use a long tail keyword such as "SEO services for small businesses." This keyword is more specific and has less competition.

 

6) Informational keywords (how to change a tire)

Informational keywords are short tail keywords that people use when they're looking for information. For instance, someone might use the keyword "how to change a tire" if they need to know how to do it.

The keyword "how to change a tire" has more search volume than "how to change a tire on a car." This is because the latter is more specific, and people who use it are likely to know already how to change a tire. They just need to know how to do it on a car.

 

7) Navigational keywords (Facebook login)

Navigational keywords are short tail keywords that people use when they're looking for a specific website. For instance, someone might use the keyword "Facebook login" if they want to go to Facebook's login page.

The keyword "Facebook login" has more search volume than "login to Facebook." This is because the latter is more specific and people who use it are likely to already know how to login to Facebook. They just need the shortcut.

 

Key Takeaways

Short tail keywords present a lot of opportunities for you to get more traffic to your website.

  1. They have less competition and are therefore easier to rank for.
  2. They are more general and have more search volume.
  3. They are usually less specific, which makes them easier to target.
  4. They can be used in a variety of marketing campaigns, such as content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and email marketing.
  5. They are easier to remember than long tail keywords.

If you're looking to increase your website's traffic, start by targeting short tail keywords. Not only will you be able to rank for them more easily, but you'll also get more traffic from them.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do you SEO your home page for short‐tail keywords and internal pages for long tail keywords?

When it comes to conversion, short-tail keywords are being used on homepages because they are general and give people an overview of the website.

On the other hand, long-tail keywords are used in internal pages because they are more specific and help convert visitors into customers or subscribers. Long-tail keywords are the key to optimizing your semantic search. For example, you can dilute your long-tail keywords with broad (short-tail) terms to avoid being penalized by Google and losing potential traffic.

 

Why do you use short‐tail keywords for your home page? 

If you're just starting out, it's best to focus on short-tail keywords for your home page. This is because they are more general and have more search volume. As you get more traffic to your website, you can start targeting long-tail keywords for your internal pages.

However, the rule of thumb in digital marketing is that you should be using both types of keywords (short and long tail) for your website. This is because short-tail keywords are less competitive and easier to rank for, while long-tail keywords are more specific and have more traffic potential. Doing so can help you boost your bottomline, increase brand awareness and organic traffic.

 

Do you have any suggestions for short tail keywords with low competition?

There is no magic bullet when it comes to finding low competition keywords. However, a good place to start is by using Google's Keyword Planner Tool. You can also try using long-tail keywords, which are usually less competitive than short-tail keywords. Another approach is to use keyword research tools like Moz's Keyword Explorer or Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer. These tools can help you find low-competition keywords that you can rank for.

 

Can short tail keywords be more than one word?

Yes, short tail keywords can be more than one word. In fact, they can be up to three words. However, anything more than that is considered a long-tail keyword.

 

What are some of the best short tail keywords?

Some of the best short tail keywords include "buy," "sale," "free shipping," and "coupon." These are all high-traffic keywords that can help you get more traffic to your website.

 

What are mid-tail keywords?

Mid-tail keywords are a combination of short-tail and long-tail keywords. They are somewhere in the middle, in terms of both search volume and competition.

 

When should you be using mid-tail keywords?

Mid-tail keywords can be used in a variety of situations, such as when you're starting a new website or when you're trying to rank for a new keyword. For example, if you're starting a website about shoes, you might use the mid-tail keyword "men's dress shoes." This is a high-traffic keyword that isn't too competitive.

 

When should you be using long-term keywords?

If you want to increase your traffic in the long run, then you should be using long-tail keywords. These are more specific and have more traffic potential. They may be less competitive than short-tail keywords, but they will help you get more targeted traffic that is more likely to convert.

 

What are some tips for choosing the right keywords?

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing keywords. First, you want to make sure that the keywords you choose are relevant to your business and products. Second, you want to choose keywords that have enough search volume to be worth targeting. Lastly, you want to choose keywords that you can realistically rank for. There's no point in targeting keywords that are too competitive.


link equity

What is Link Equity? and How Does It Work? [+Examples] 

It's 2022 and link building has become more complex than ever before. In order to rank, you need not only great content, but also be strategical about the links you're building to that content.

It's no longer enough to create great content and hope people will link to it; you need to actively seek out links, and ensure that they're of the highest quality. With these backlinks, you need to make sure that you are maximizing your link equity.

Link equity is the term used to describe the value that a backlink passes on to your website. This value is directly related to the quality of the linking website, as well as a few other factors.

In this post, we'll explain everything you need to know about link equity: what it is, how to calculate it, and how to use it to improve your link building strategy.

 

What is link equity in SEO?

Link equity or mostly referred to as "link juice" is the value that a website passes on to another site through a link. This value is then used by search engines as a ranking factor when determining where a website should rank in search results.

Link equity is determined by many factors, but the most important factor is the quality of the linking website. A high-quality website will pass more link equity than a low-quality website.

The purpose of link equity is to help search engines determine the quality of websites. By looking at the link equity that a website has, search engines can tell if a website is worth ranking highly in search results.

link juice flow

 

How does link equity work? 

Link equity can be calculated using many different methods. The most common method is to use the PageRank algorithm.

The PageRank algorithm was created by Google and is used to determine the quality of a website. The algorithm looks at the number and quality of links pointing to a website to determine its PageRank score.

The higher the PageRank score, the more link equity a website has.

Another method for calculating link equity is Moz's Domain Authority (DA) metric. Domain Authority is similar to PageRank in that it looks at the number and quality of links pointing to a website.

However, Domain Authority also takes into account other factors, such as the age of the domain and the quality of the linking websites.

Domain Authority is a good metric to use when comparing the link equity of two websites.

 

How do you increase link equity?

There are a few ways to increase the link equity of your website:

1. Publish high-quality content.

This is the most important way to increase the link equity of your website. By publishing great content, you will naturally attract links from other websites. Remember, external links provide more ranking value compared to internal links. With that being said, focus on publishing great content that other websites will want to link to.

2. Determine the quality of the linking website.

Not all links are created equal. A link from a high-quality website will pass more link equity than a link from a low-quality website.

Therefore, it's important to determine the quality of the linking website before you build a link. You can do this by looking at the PageRank or Domain Authority score of the website.

3. Don't forget your internal links.

Internal links are also important for passing link equity. Make sure to include internal links in your content to other pages on your website. This will help increase the link equity of those pages.

Conduct a google site search of your website by using the following query on google: site:[yourdomain.com] + "keyword" to see what pages are being linked to the most, or to find content relevant to your target keyword that you can add internal links to.

4. Reclaim your broken links.

A broken link is a link that points to a page that no longer exists. These links are often the result of a change in website structure or a URL change.

If you find broken links on other websites, you can contact the website owner and ask them to replace the link with a link to your website. This is an easy way to get high-quality links from websites.

5. Delete or disavow low-quality links.

Low-quality links are links from spammy or low-quality websites. These links can hurt your website's ranking in search results.

If you find low-quality links pointing to your website, you can either contact the website owner and ask them to remove the link or use Google's disavow tool to disavow the link.

 

How do I get link juice?

In the past, getting link juice could simply be done by buying links from other websites. However, this is no longer the case.

Today, the best way to get link juice is to publish great content and build high-quality links naturally. By doing this, you will increase the link equity of your website, which will help improve your website's ranking in search results.

There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to get link juice:

  1. Quality over quantity: It's better to have a few high-quality links than a bunch of low-quality links.
  2. Avoid link farms: Link farms are websites that exist solely for the purpose of selling links. These websites often sell links for very low prices, which can hurt your website's ranking.
  3. Publish great content: As mentioned before, the best way to get link juice is to publish high-quality content that other websites will want to link to.
  4. Monitor your links: It's important to monitor the links pointing to your website. This will help you identify any low-quality links that could be hurting your website's ranking.
  5. Use different types of content: In addition to writing great blog posts, you can also get link juice by creating infographics, videos, podcasts, or other types of content that other websites will want to link to.
  6. Reach out to unlinked brand mentions: If you find that other websites are mentioning your brand but not linking to your website, you can reach out to them and ask them to link to your website. Check out this link reclamation guide.
  7. Broken link building: If you found a good page that is no longer available, you can reach out to the website owner and ask them to link to your website or content instead. Further reading on broken link building.
  8. Guest blogging: One of the best ways to get high-quality links is to guest blog on other websites. This is a great way to build relationships with other bloggers in your industry while also getting your name and website in front of a new audience. Learn more about guest post service.
  9. Infographics: People love visual content, and infographics are a great way to get link juice. Not only do they get shared a lot on social media, but they also tend to be linked to from other websites.
  10. The Skyscraper Technique: The Skyscraper Technique is a method of link building that involves finding content that is already popular and creating something even better. This is a great way to get links from other websites because you are offering something new and valuable.
  11. Resource Page Link Building: Resource pages are pages on a website that lists all of the resources related to a certain topic. If you have a piece of content that would be a good fit for a resource page, you can reach out to the website owner and ask them to link to your content.
  12. Wikipedia link building: Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world, and it's also a great way to get high-quality links. If you have a piece of content that would be a good fit for Wikipedia, you can submit it to the site. Wikipedia will add links in the footnotes and references section, which will help improve your website's ranking.
  13. Local link building: If you have a local business, you can get links from other local businesses in your area. This is a great way to build relationships with other businesses while also getting your website in front of a new audience.
  14. Profile link building: Profile link building is a great way to get links from other websites. You can create profiles on social media sites, directory sites, and forums, and include a link to your website in your profile.
  15. Directory link building: Directory link building is a great way to get links from other websites. You can submit your website to online directories, and include a link to your website in your profile.
  16. Forum link building: Forum link building is a great way to get links from other websites. You can participate in forums related to your industry, and include a link to your website in your signature.
  17. Reach out to links will no-follow tags: If you find a link to your website that has a no-follow tag, you can reach out to the website owner and ask them to remove the tag and make a follow attribute.

Generally, website owners are happy to do this if you provide them with value such as a link back to their website from an equally good website.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take link equity to affect a site? 

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it can vary depending on a number of factors. However, it is generally agreed that it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for link equity to have an impact on a website's ranking.

 

How to find out which blog posts have the most link equity? 

There are a number of ways to find out which blog posts have the most link equity. One way is to use a tool like Moz's Open Site Explorer, which allows you to see how many links each page on your website has.

Another way is to use a tool like BuzzSumo, which allows you to see how popular each piece of content on your website is.

Finally, you can also ask Google which pages on your website have the most link equity by using the "link:" operator.

 

How to maintain link equity when updating taxonomy? 

When updating your website's taxonomy, it is important to maintain the link equity of your existing pages. One way to do this is to use a tool like Screaming Frog, which allows you to find all of the links on your website and redirect them to the new pages.

Another way to maintain link equity is to use a 301 redirect, which permanently redirects visitors from one page to another.

Finally, you can also use a rel="canonical" tag, which tells search engines that a certain page is the preferred version of a page with duplicate content.

 

How do links to your site help you?

 Links to your website can help improve your website's ranking in search engines, as well as increase traffic to your website.

Links can also help build relationships with other websites, which can lead to opportunities for guest posting, joint ventures, and other partnerships.

 

How is link equity determined?

Link equity is determined by a number of factors, including the number of links pointing to a page, the quality of the links, and the anchor text of the links.

Here's a quick checklist on determining the value of a link:

1) Is it relevant?

2) Is it coming from a high-quality, authoritative website?

3) Is the link a follow link?

4) Is the link surrounded by other links?

5) Does the status code of the page return a 200 OK?

6) Is the link an exact match to the keyword you're targeting?

7) Is the link surrounded by other links with the same anchor text?

8) Is the link from a website that is in the same country as your target audience?

9) Is the link from a website that is in the same language as your target audience?

10) Does the website linking to you have a similar theme as your website?

If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, then the link is likely to be valuable.

 

Which types of links are the most valuable?

The most valuable links are those that come from high-quality websites that are relevant to your website.

Links from directories and forums are also valuable, as they can help increase the visibility of your website.


knowledge graph optimization

How to Optimize Google's Knowledge Graph for SEO

You too have done it - you've probably searched your brand name or the product you sell to see what comes up on the first page of Google. There will be results from your website, sure, but there is also something else - a box with information about your brand or product.

mcdonalds knowledge graph

So if you've seen it, you've experienced the power of the Knowledge Graph.

 

What Exactly is Google’s Knowledge Graph?

Google’s Knowledge Graph is a system that they use to understand real-world entities and the relationships between them. In 2012, Google announced that the Knowledge Graph would be powering search results for people, places, and things.

what knowledge graph looks likeSource: https://ahrefs.com/blog/google-knowledge-graph/

The Knowledge Graph is the box of information that appears on the right-hand side of the screen when you perform a Google search of your brand. It includes things like:

  • Brand name
  • Logo
  • Founded date
  • Phone number(s)
  • Founders
  • Address
  • Team Management
  • Social media profiles
  • What people also search for

Or if it's a person, you'll see:

  • Birthdate
  • Place of birth
  • Education
  • Spouse
  • Occupation
  • Citizenship

And if it's a store or a location, you'll see:

  • Opening hours
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Ratings
  • Map
  • Photos

You may have also noticed that the Knowledge Graph is appearing in other places, such as on Google Maps.

The Knowledge Graph box appears when you search for a business on Google Maps. The information is pulled from the business’s Google My Business listing.

 

What Impact Does It Have On SEO?

Google says that their goal with the Knowledge Graph is to, “Go beyond keyword matching to understand the people, places and things you care about, and deliver them straight to you.”

They want to provide searchers with the information they are looking for without them having to click through to a website. This is great news for SEOs! We no longer have to rely on getting that coveted first organic result in order to get our brand in front of searchers.

The Knowledge Graph is also great for voice search. With the increasing popularity of voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home, searchers are using natural language to ask questions. This is where the Knowledge Graph can really shine.

Google can use the information in the Knowledge Graph to answer a searcher’s question directly, without the need to click through to a website.

For example, if someone asks their Google Home, “What is the founder of Tesla?” Google will be able to answer that question using the information in our Knowledge Graph listing.

 

What’s the Difference Between Google’s Knowledge Graph, Rich Results, and Featured Snippets?

Google’s Knowledge Graph is not the only structured data that can appear in search results. Google also uses something called “rich results” to enhance the search experience.

Rich results are similar to the Knowledge Graph, but they are generated from the content on your website. They can include things like:

  • Ratings and reviews
  • Pricing
  • Events
  • Ingredients
  • People
  • Products

Rich results can appear in both mobile and desktop search results. They are generated from the structured data on your website using schema.org markup.

Schema.org is a collaborative project between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex to help structure data on the web.

You can see an example of rich results in the search results for a recipe. The recipe title, photo, rating, and cook time are all generated from structured data on the website.

recipe rich results

 

Google also uses something called “featured snippets” to answer searchers’ questions directly. Featured snippets are generated from the content on your website.

Google pulls a snippet of text from your website and displays it in the search results. They also display the URL of the page where they found the information.

google featured snippet

 

Featured snippets are different from rich results because they are not generated from structured data. They are also different from the Knowledge Graph because they are not Google’s own database of information.

 

How to Optimize Your Knowledge Graph Listing

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of optimizing your Knowledge Graph listing, let’s talk about how you can do it.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your Knowledge Graph listing is optimized for SEO:

  1. Claim your Google My Business listing
  2. Optimize your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number)
  3. Add images and videos
  4. Add business category
  5. Encourage customer reviews
  6. Use structured data markup
  7. Optimize your website content

Let’s take a closer look at each of these optimization tips.

 

1. Claim Your Google My Business Listing

The first step to optimizing your Knowledge Graph listing is to claim your Google My Business listing.

If you haven’t claimed your listing yet, you can do so by going to google.com/business.

Once you’ve claimed your listing, you’ll be able to add information about your business, such as your NAP, business hours, website URL, and more.

You’ll also be able to upload images and videos, which we’ll talk about more in the next section.

 

2. Optimize Your NAP

The second step to optimizing your Knowledge Graph listing is to optimize your NAP.

Your NAP is your name, address, and phone number. It’s important to make sure that your NAP is consistent across the web.

That means if you have a different phone number on your website than you do on your Google My Business listing, it’s going to confuse Google.

To avoid this, make sure that your NAP is the same on all of your online listings.

 

3. Add Images and Videos

The third step to optimizing your Knowledge Graph listing is to add images and videos.

Google loves visual content, so adding images and videos is a great way to improve your listing.

Not only will this help your listing stand out, but it will also give Google more information about your business.

To add images, simply go to your Google My Business listing and click on the “photos” tab. From there, you can upload photos of your business, employees, products, etc.

To add videos, you’ll need to first upload them to YouTube. Once they’re uploaded, you can add them to your Google My Business listing by going to the “photos” tab and clicking on the “add video” button.

 

4. Add Business Category

The fourth step to optimizing your Knowledge Graph listing is to add a business category.

Adding a business category is a great way to help Google understand what your business is all about.

To add a business category, simply go to your Google My Business listing and click on the “info” tab. From there, you can scroll down to the “category” section and add a business category.

 

5. Encourage Customer Reviews

The fifth step to optimizing your Knowledge Graph listing is to encourage customer reviews.

Customer reviews are a great way to show Google that your business is reputable and trustworthy.

To encourage customer reviews, simply go to your Google My Business listing and click on the “reviews” tab. From there, you can post a message asking customers to leave a review.

You can also post a link to your review page on your website or send it out in an email blast.

 

6. Use Structured Data Markup

The sixth step to optimizing your Knowledge Graph listing is to use structured data markup.

Structured data markup is code that you can add to your website to give Google more information about your business.

Adding structured data markup is a great way to improve the chances of your listing appearing in the Knowledge Graph.

To add structured data markup, you’ll need to edit the code of your website. If you’re not comfortable doing this, you can hire a developer to do it for you.

You can customize your brand's Knowledge panel by:

  • Optimizing logo structured data - To do this, you need to add code to your website that tells Google about your logo.
  • Adding social profile links - You can add links to your business's social media profiles so that people can find you on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Adding company contact numbers - You can add your business's phone number and email address so that people can contact you.
  • Adding holiday hours - You can add your business's holiday hours so that people know when you're closed.
  • Adding links to important pages - You can add links to your website's most important pages, such as your About Us page, Services page, etc.

 

7. Optimize Your Website Content

The seventh and final step to optimizing your Knowledge Graph listing is to optimize your website content.

Google crawls your website to determine what your business is all about.

If your website is poorly designed or doesn’t have much content, it’s going to be difficult for Google to understand what your business is all about.

To optimize your website content, start by ensuring that your website is well-designed and easy to navigate.

Then, make sure that your website has a lot of content that is relevant to your business.

The more content you have, the easier it will be for Google to understand what your business is all about.

If you’re not sure how to optimize your website content, you can hire an agency that does local SEO services.

Takeaway

The Knowledge Graph is a powerful tool that can help you get more exposure for your business. If you're not already using it, now is the time to start.

By following the seven steps outlined in this article, you can optimize your Knowledge Graph listing and improve your chances of appearing in the Knowledge Graph.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of Google’s knowledge graph?

Some benefits of Google’s Knowledge Graph include:

1. It helps you get more exposure for your business.

With the knowledge graph, you're basically increasing your chances of appearing in Google's search results. And, as we all know, the higher you appear in Google's search results, the more traffic you're likely to get.

2. It helps you build trust and credibility with potential customers.

When potential customers see your business listed in the knowledge graph, they're more likely to trust you and do business with you. After all, if Google trusts you enough to list you in their knowledge graph, you must be a pretty reputable business.

3. It helps you stand out from your competition.

If your competition isn't using the knowledge graph, then you have a chance to really stand out. This is especially true if you're in a competitive industry.

4. It's free exposure for your business.

Unlike paid advertising, the knowledge graph is completely free. So, if you can get your business listed in the knowledge graph, it's essentially like getting free advertising.

5. It can help you generate leads and sales.

If potential customers see your business listed in the knowledge graph, they're more likely to contact you and do business with you. In other words, the knowledge graph can help you generate leads and sales.

 

How to display an e-commerce knowledge graph?

There are a few things you can do to help Google display your e-commerce business in the knowledge graph.

1. Make sure your website is well-designed and easy to navigate.

This will help Google understand what your eCommerce site provides and make it easier for them to crawl your site.

2. Add structured data to your website.

Adding structured data to your website will help Google understand your site's content and make it easier for them to display your business in the knowledge graph.

3. Add content to your website.

The more content you have on your website, the easier it will be for Google to understand what your business is all about.

4. Optimize your website for the search engines.

Make sure you're using the right keywords and phrases on your website so that Google can easily find and index your site.

5. Promote your website online.

The more people who visit your site, the more likely it is that Google will take notice and display your business in the knowledge graph.

 

How does google's algorithm determine what displays in the knowledge graph?

Google's algorithm looks at a variety of factors to determine what displays in the knowledge graph.

1. Relevance

Google will only display information in the knowledge graph that is relevant to the user's search query.

2. Sources

Google looks at a variety of sources to determine what information to display in the knowledge graph. These sources include websites, news articles, and more.

3. Authority 

Google looks at the authority of the sources to determine which information to display in the knowledge graph. The more authoritative a source is, the more likely it is that Google will display its information in the knowledge graph.

4. Accuracy

Google also looks at the accuracy of the information to determine what to display in the knowledge graph. Inaccurate information is less likely to be displayed in the knowledge graph.

5. Freshness 

Google prefers to display fresh, up-to-date information in the knowledge graph. So, if you want your business to be displayed in the knowledge graph, it's important to keep your website and information up-to-date.

 

How to get certain photos to show in knowledge graph listing?

You can update your knowledge graph listing by adding photos and other information about your business. Here are a few things you can do to get certain photos to show up in your knowledge graph listing:

1. Add photos to your website.

Google will basically pull out any photos that are related to your business from your website and display them in the knowledge graph. So, if you want certain photos to show up, make sure you add them to your website.

2. Add photos to your Google My Business listing.

If you have a Google My Business listing, you can add photos to it. This will help Google understand what your business looks like and make it more likely for certain photos to show up in the knowledge graph.

3. Suggest a change on Google Knowledge Listing

If you see that Google has incorrect information or photos listed for your business, you can suggest a change on the listing. Google will then review your suggestion and make the appropriate changes.

Read this guide for more information.

 

How long does Google knowledge graph take to update?

Google doesn't have an exact timeframe for when the knowledge graph will be updated. However, it's generally a good idea to wait at least a few weeks before you expect to see any changes.

If you've made changes to your website or Google My Business listing, you can try resubmitting your sitemap to Google to help speed up the process.

 

When was Google knowledge graph introduced?

Google knowledge graph was introduced on May 16, 2012.

 

How to get your address in google knowledge graph without submitting street address? 

There is no guaranteed way to get your address to show up in the knowledge graph without submitting your street address. However, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of your address being displayed:

1. Add your address to your website.

Make sure you add your full address (including your street address) to your website. Google will use this information to determine whether or not to display your address in the knowledge graph.

2. Add your address to your Google My Business listing.

If you have a Google My Business listing, be sure to add your full address to it. This will help Google understand that your business is located at that address and make it more likely for your address to be displayed in the knowledge graph.

3. Suggest a change to Google Knowledge Listing

If you see that Google has incorrect information or photos listed for your business, you can suggest a change on the listing. Google will then review your suggestion and make the appropriate changes.


how to find a good seo consultant

How to Find a Good SEO Consultant

As your business grows, you will face new challenges that you may not be able to handle on your own. At this point, it is time to look for an SEO consultant who can help you with the necessary optimization for your website.

According to a survey of small business owners,over 65% had dealt with more than one SEO service provider. On average, small businesses spend around $500 per month on their SEO services. 

average cost seo services

Source: https://backlinko.com/seo-services-statistics 

This is not surprising given the ever-changing landscape of SEO. As a result, finding the right consultant can be a difficult and time-consuming task, which leads you to consider the option of hiring an SEO consultant.

 

What is an SEO consultant? 

An SEO consultant (or agency) is a company or individual that provides expert advice and services related to search engine optimization.

The role of an SEO consultant is to help you improve your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), with the ultimate goal of driving more traffic to your site.

SEO consultants are either hired by an organization to provide in-house services or work with a number of clients as part of an agency.

In-house SEO consultants are usually involved in all aspects of website optimization, from link building and content creation to keyword research and analysis.

SEO agencies, on the other hand, tend to specialize in one or two areas of SEO and usually outsource the rest.

An SEO Consultant usually has the following skillset in order to perform their duties:

  • Competitor analysis
  • On-page optimization
  • Off-page optimization
  • Link building
  • Keyword research
  • Content creation
  • Pay per click
  • Updated with the latest SEO algorithm updates
  • Good understanding of Google penalties

Most importantly, an experienced SEO consultant should be able to interpret data and use it to improve a website’s ranking. They usually use competitive tools such as Ahrefs, Majestic, and Moz to keep track of a website’s progress.

 

Types of SEO Consultants:

There are three main types of SEO consultants: generalists, specialists, and freelancers.

1) Generalists are usually agencies that offer a wide range of services, from link building to content creation. They usually have a team of SEO experts who can handle different aspects of optimization.

2) Specialists are individuals or agencies that focus on one specific area of SEO. For example, there are link-building specialists, keyword research specialists, and on-page optimization specialists.

3) Freelancers are self-employed individuals who usually work with a number of clients. They are often generalists who can handle different aspects of SEO.

 

Why hire an SEO consultant? 

There are many reasons why you might want to hire an SEO consultant.

If you’re not happy with your website’s current position in SERPs, an SEO consultant can help you identify the problem and devise a plan to improve your ranking.

If you’re launching a new website, an SEO consultant can help you ensure that your site is properly optimized from the start. And if you’re planning a redesign of your existing website, an SEO consultant can help you avoid common mistakes that could hurt your ranking.

An SEO consultant can help you keep up with the latest trends and changes in the SEO industry. With an experienced consultant on your side, you can be sure that your website is always up-to-date with the latest best practices.

Another common reason is that businesses want to focus on their core competencies and leave the SEO to experts. This allows businesses to stay focused on what they do best and outsource the rest.

You can do SEO yourself, however, it takes a lot of time and effort to do it correctly. In addition, you need to have a good understanding of how SEO works and how to implement it effectively.

If you don’t have the time or expertise to do SEO yourself, then hiring an SEO consultant is a good option.

On top of these reasons, ROI-wise, having an effective SEO generates more revenue than all other marketing channels combined, averaging 44% of all revenue across all industries.

brightedge research
https://videos.brightedge.com/research-report/BrightEdge_ChannelReport2019_FINAL.pdf 

Lastly, an SEO consultant can save you a lot of time and effort. Optimizing your website for search engines is a complex and time-consuming task. Hiring an experienced consultant means that you can focus on running your business while someone else takes care of your website’s SEO.

 

What does an SEO consultant do?

The specific tasks that an SEO consultant performs will depend on the needs of their client. However, there are some common activities that most consultants undertake:

1. Conducting keyword research.

This involves finding and analyzing the keywords that potential customers are using to search for products or services like yours. On top of this, they usually plan out a calendar of keyword-targeted content to help improve your website’s ranking for these terms.

2. Optimizing website content.

Once the target keywords have been identified, the consultant will help you optimize your website’s title tags, metatags, headings, and other elements to make your site more visible to search engines.

They will help you optimize your website for on-page SEO factors like keyword density, anchor text, and internal linking. On the other hand, if you need help with off-page SEO, the consultant can assist you with link building and social media marketing.

They should be able to provide your high-quality links from authority websites, which will help improve your website’s link popularity and search engine rankings.

3. Analyzing website traffic.

The consultant will use Google Analytics and other tools to track your website’s traffic and performance in SERPs. They will then provide you with detailed reports on your progress and make recommendations for further improvements.

4. Providing consulting and advice.

In addition to the above tasks, the consultant will also provide you with general advice and guidance on how to improve your website’s SEO. This may include recommendations on changes to your website’s design or structure, as well as suggestions for developing better content.

5. Measuring results.

Finally, the consultant will help you measure the results of your SEO efforts. They will track your website’s traffic and rankings over time and provide you with reports on your progress.

6. Providing ongoing support.

The consultant will typically provide you with monthly reports and be available to answer your questions and address any concerns you have.

 

How to Find a Good SEO Consultant

Not all SEO consultants are created equal. When choosing a consultant, it’s important to select someone who has experience in your industry and can offer a tailored solution for your specific needs.

Here are a few tips to help you find a good SEO consultant:

  1. Do your research: Before hiring a consultant, take some time to research the individual or agency. Look for online reviews and testimonials from previous clients.
  2. Ask for referrals: If you know someone who has used an SEO consultant in the past, ask for a referral.
  3. Set up a consultation: Once you’ve narrowed down your options, set up a consultation with each of the consultants you’re considering. This will give you an opportunity to get to know them and ask specific questions about their experience and approach.
  4. Get a proposal: Once you’ve selected a consultant, be sure to get a written proposal outlining the specific services they will provide and the costs involved.
  5. Check references: Before making your final decision, be sure to check references from past clients. This will give you an idea of what it’s like to work with the consultant and whether they’re likely to deliver on their promises.

In a nutshell, when it comes to choosing an SEO consultant, it’s important to select someone who has experience in your industry and can offer a tailored solution for your specific needs.

 

10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO consultant 

Now that you have an idea of what an SEO consultant does, you may be wondering how to select the right one for your needs. Here are 10 questions to ask when hiring an SEO consultant:

1. What is your approach to SEO?

By asking this question, you’ll get an idea of the consultant’s philosophy and approach to SEO. This will help you determine whether they’re a good fit for your needs.

2. What is your experience in my industry?

It’s important to select a consultant who has experience in your industry. This way, they’ll be familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities you face.

3. What is your experience with my type of business?

In addition to industry experience, it’s also important to select a consultant who has experience working with businesses of your size and type. This way, they’ll be familiar with the specific challenges and needs you face.

4. What is your track record of success?

When it comes to SEO, results are everything. Be sure to ask the consultant about their track record of success and request case studies or examples of their work.

5. What services do you offer?

Not all consultants offer the same services. Be sure to ask about the specific services the consultant offers and whether they’re a good fit for your needs.

6. What are your rates?

SEO consulting rates can vary widely, so be sure to ask about the cost of services upfront. In addition, be sure to ask about any additional costs or fees that may be involved.

7. What is your timeline for results?

SEO is a long-term strategy, so don’t expect overnight results. However, it’s important to have an idea of the consultant’s timeline for seeing results. This will help you set expectations and plan accordingly.

8. What are the risks and potential downsides of working with you?

No SEO strategy is without risk. Be sure to ask the consultant about the potential risks and downsides of working with them. This will help you weigh the pros and cons of their services.

9. What are your terms of service?

Before signing on with a consultant, be sure to review their terms of service. This will help you understand the scope of their services and your rights as a client.

10. Do you have any references I can contact?

Before making your final decision, be sure to ask the consultant for references from past clients. This will give you an idea of what it’s like to work with the consultant and whether they’re likely to deliver on their promises.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are SEO services worth it?

The short answer is yes. SEO services can improve your visibility in search engine results, helping you to reach more customers and grow your business.

Depending on your metrics, the ROI of SEO can vary. However, even a small improvement in your search engine ranking can result in a significant increase in traffic and leads.

According to data, over 50% of traffic goes to the first result in Google, and 75% of users never scroll past the first page. So, even a small improvement in your ranking can have a big impact on your traffic levels.

 

How many hours should my SEO consultant spend?

This depends on the scope of your project and the size of your website. Generally speaking, most SEO consultants will spend 10-20 hours per week on a small to a medium-sized website, and 20-40 hours per week on a large website.

Keep in mind that these are just averages, and your consultant may need to spend more or less time depending on the specifics of your project.

 

How much do SEO consultants make?

In 2022, the average salary for an SEO consultant in the United States is around 60,000 a year, which is around $28 an hour. However, this number can vary widely depending on experience, location, and other factors.

The following are the cities with the highest average salary for an SEO Consultant:

seo consultant salary

https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/SEO-Consultant-Salary

 

How do I use SEO to grow my business?

SEO leads to business growth due to a number of factors:

It can help you reach your target audience.

SEO doesn't only help your audience lead to your website, but a detailed SEO campaign, will help you target the right kind of audience for your products and services.

An SEO will conduct keyword research that will allow you to identify the words and phrases your target market is searching for when they're looking for businesses like yours.

For example, if you are selling cars, an experienced SEO will target keywords like "buy a car" or "looking for a car dealer near me."

buy a car google search results

 

SEO helps build qualified leads

SEO is an inbound marketing strategy, which means it helps you attract customers rather than interrupt them with ads. And, since SEO leads are already interested in what you have to offer, they're more likely to become paying customers.

Leads that you earned through SEO have 14.6 close rates, compared to other traditional marketing methods averaging 1.7 close rates.

It can help you improve your brand awareness and build trust.

The higher you rank in search engine results, the more visible your brand becomes. And the more visible your brand is, the more likely people are to trust it.

Improved brand awareness and trust can lead to more website visitors, social media followers, and customers.

It can help you generate more revenue.

More website visitors and leads can lead to more sales and revenue for your business. In fact, businesses that use SEO grow at a rate of 20% faster than businesses that don't.

SEO helps you beat your competition.

If your competitors are using SEO and you're not, they're likely to rank higher than you in search engine results. This means they'll get more website visitors, leads, and customers—while you fall behind.

SEO is a long-term strategy and provides long-term value.

Unlike some marketing strategies, SEO is not a short-term fix. It takes time to see results. However, once you do start seeing results, they tend to be long-lasting. This makes SEO a great investment for your business.

SEO is an ever-changing landscape, which means there's always something new to learn.

The world of SEO is constantly changing as Google updates its algorithm and new technologies emerge. This can be a challenge for businesses that are trying to keep up with the latest trends. However, it also provides an opportunity for businesses to stay ahead of their competitors by investing in SEO.

SEO is a complex and ever-changing field, but it is an essential part of any business's growth strategy. An experienced SEO consultant can help you navigate the landscape and make the most of this powerful tool.

 

Getting an SEO consultant is an investment 

With over a billion searches daily, if you're not using SEO to grow your business, you're missing out on an essential piece of the puzzle.

SEO will help you reach your target audience, build qualified leads, improve brand awareness and trust, generate more revenue, and beat your competition.

While it takes time to see results, the long-term value of SEO makes it a worthwhile investment for any business.

This means that hiring an SEO consultant can be a great way to boost your business growth. Partnering with an SEO consultant can help you achieve all of the benefits of SEO while freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.


How to Do Local SEO Keyword Research

Without a doubt, keyword research is one of the most important aspects of any SEO campaign, local or otherwise. The process of uncovering relevant, high-traffic keywords that you can realistically rank for is essential to the success of your local SEO efforts.

Unfortunately, keyword research can also be one of the most difficult and time-consuming parts of SEO. If you're not careful, it's easy to get lost in the sea of data and come up empty-handed.

In this post, we'll share some tips and tricks on how to do local SEO keyword research the right way. By the end, you should have a solid list of keywords that you can target to improve your local SEO.

In this article you'll learn:

  • What is local keyword research? 
  • Why is local keyword research important? 
  • How to Do Local SEO Keyword Research (5 Steps Using Ahrefs) 
  • How to Track Local Keyword Rankings 

 

What is local keyword research? 

Local keyword research is the process of locating high-traffic, relevant keywords that you can rank for in your local market.

Unlike traditional keyword research, which is focused on general, broad keywords, local keyword research is all about finding keywords that are specific to your geographic area.

For example, if you're a plumber in Los Angeles, you'll want to focus on keywords like "plumber Los Angeles", "emergency plumber Los Angeles", and "24 hour plumber Los Angeles".

Not only are these keywords relevant to your business, but they're also specifically targeted to users in your city. This makes them much easier to rank for than general keywords like "plumber" or "emergency plumber".

 

Why is local keyword research important? 

If you want your business to be visible in the local search results, you need to be ranking for local keywords. Here are a few other reasons why local keyword research is important:

Local keywords are more relevant to your business. 

Think about it this way: when someone in your city is searching for a business like yours, they're not going to type in "plumber". Instead, they're going to type in something like "plumber Los Angeles" or "emergency plumber Los Angeles".

If you're not ranking for these keywords, you're not going to show up in the search results. And if you're not showing up in the search results, you're not going to get any traffic (or customers).

Local keywords are generally more relevant to your brand because they're specifically targeted to users in your city or region. This makes them a valuable asset to any local SEO campaign.

 

Local keywords are easier to rank for. 

In general, local keywords are easier to rank for than general, broad keywords. This is because there's less competition for these keywords.

For example, if you're a plumber in Los Angeles, you're going to have a much easier time ranking for "plumber Los Angeles" than you would for "plumber".

This is because there are far fewer plumbers in Los Angeles than there are plumbers in the world. As a result, there's less competition for the keyword "plumber Los Angeles".

This is good news for your business. It means that, with a little effort, you can rank for local keywords and start getting traffic from the search results.

 

Local keywords are more likely to convert. 

Not only are local keywords easier to rank for, but they're also more likely to convert. This is because users who search for these keywords are usually further along in the buying cycle.

They know what they need, and they're specifically looking for a business like yours in their city or region. This makes them much more likely to convert than someone who's just searching for a general keyword like "plumber".

If you want to get the most out of your SEO efforts, you need to be focusing on local keywords. Now let's take a look at how you can find these keywords.

 

How to Do Local SEO Keyword Research (5 Steps Using Ahrefs) 

The best way to find local keywords is with a tool like Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a keyword research tool that allows you to see the search volume, traffic, and difficulty of any keyword.

It also has a number of other features that make it perfect for local SEO keyword research, including:

  • The ability to see local search results 
  • The ability to filter keywords by location 
  • The ability to see the "local pack" for any keyword

 

Here's how to use Ahrefs for local SEO keyword research:

Step 1: Set your location 

The first thing you need to do is set your location. To do this, go to "Settings" and then "Location".

You can either choose your current location or set a custom location. For the purposes of this tutorial, we're going to set a custom location.

To do this, enter the city or region you want to target into the "Location" field and then click "Set location".

 

Step 2: Enter your seed keyword 

Once you've set your location, it's time to enter your seed keyword. This is the general, broad keyword that you want to rank for.

For example, if you're a plumber in Los Angeles, your seed keyword might be "plumber".

To enter your seed keyword, go to the "Keywords Explorer" tab and then enter your keyword into the "Enter one or more terms" field.

ahrefs enter keyword

 

Step 3: Filter for local keywords 

Once you've entered your seed keyword, it's time to filter the results for local keywords. To do this, go to the "Filter" dropdown and then click "Location".

This will bring up a new window where you can select the location you want to target. Make sure to select the same location that you set in Step 1.

Once you've selected your location, click "Apply".

 

Step 4: Sort keywords by difficulty 

The next step is to sort the keywords by difficulty. This will help you to find the easiest keywords to rank for.

To do this, go to the "Difficulty" column and then click the arrow icon. This will sort the keywords from easiest to hardest.

ahrefs sort keywords by difficulty

 

Step 5: Choose your target keyword 

Once you've sorted the keywords by difficulty, it's time to choose your target keyword. This is the keyword you're going to focus on ranking for in the search results.

 

How to Choose Which Keywords to Use

When choosing a target keyword, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Search volume 

The higher the search volume, the more traffic you're likely to get from the keyword.

Competition 

The lower the competition, the easier it is to rank for the keyword.

Difficulty 

The lower the difficulty, the easier it is to rank for the keyword.

Once you've considered all of these factors, choose the keyword that you want to target and add it to your SEO plan.

In making decisions on which keywords to target, the rule of thumb is usually to target the keywords with the highest search volume and lowest competition.

 

Other Tools for Local Keyword Research

In addition to Ahrefs, there are a number of other tools you can use for local keyword research. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Google Keyword Planner 
  • Moz Local 
  • BrightLocal 
  • Whitespark Local Citation Finder 

These are all great tools that can help you to find the right keywords for your business.

 

Next Step: Expand Your Keyword List

Now that you've found some great local keywords, it's time to start expanding your list.

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that allows you to enter a seed keyword and see a list of related keywords.

google keyword planner

 

UberSuggest is another tool that can be used to expand your keyword list. It's a free tool that generates a list of related keywords based on a seed keyword.

ubersuggest keyword research

AnswerThePublic.com is a free tool that allows you to enter a seed keyword and see a list of questions related to that keyword.

answerthepublic keyword research

How to Track Local Keyword Rankings 

Now that you've chosen your target keyword, it's time to start tracking your local keyword rankings. This will help you to see how well your SEO efforts are paying off and whether or not you need to make any changes.

There are a few different ways you can track your local keyword rankings, but the best way is with a tool like Ahrefs.

To track your keyword rankings with Ahrefs, go to the "Rank Tracker" tab and then enter your target keyword into the "Enter one or more terms" field.

This will bring up a list of all the keywords you're tracking, as well as their current position in the search results.

You can also see other important information, such as the search volume, traffic, and difficulty of each keyword.

Conclusion:

Local SEO keyword research is a great way to find keywords that you can rank for in the search results. While there are a lot of suggested strategies, the process is actually quite simple.

With a little bit of effort, you can soon start ranking for high-traffic, low-competition keywords and driving more traffic to your website.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I SEO research keywords for free?

There are a number of free SEO research tools available. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • UberSuggest
  • AnswerThePublic.com
  • Rank Tracker
  • Google Search Console
  • Keyword Tool Dominator

 

What is included in local SEO?

Local SEO includes optimizing your website for local search engines and directories, as well as making sure your business is listed in relevant local directories.

It also involves optimizing your website content for local keywords and making sure your website is mobile-friendly.

 

How do I use Google local SEO?

There are a few different things you can do to optimize your website for Google local SEO:

  • Make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent across all platforms.
  • Claim your Google My Business listing and make sure it is up-to-date.
  • Optimize your website content for local keywords.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
  • Add relevant Schema markup to your website.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing.
  • Monitor your local SEO efforts with a tool like Ahrefs.

 

How do you know you need local SEO?

Wondering if your business needs local SEO? Here are signs that you need one:

1) You have a physical location

If you're a brick-and-mortar business, then you need local SEO. Optimizing your website for local search will help customers find your store when they're searching for products or services in your area.

2) You serve a specific geographic area

If you only serve customers in a specific geographic area, then you need local SEO. For instance, if you're a plumber in Los Angeles, you'll want to optimize your website for local search so that people in Los Angeles can find you when they're searching for a plumber.

3) You have an online store

If you have an online store, then you need local SEO. optimizing your website for local search will help customers find your store when they're searching for products or services in your area.

4) You're a service-based business

Service-based businesses, such as lawyers, doctors, and plumbers, need local SEO. This is because people often search for these types of services when they're looking for someone in their area.

5) You want to increase foot traffic to your store

If you're a local restaurant, you'd want to reach diners around your area. One way to get in front of your target audience is to optimize your website for local search. This way, when people are searching for restaurants in your area, your restaurant will come up in the search results.

6) You want to increase phone calls or online bookings

If one of your KPIs is to increase phone calls or online bookings, then you need local SEO. Not only does Local SEO help customers find your business, but it also helps them find your contact information. This way, they can easily get in touch with you to book an appointment or ask for more information.

7) You want to increase online sales

Who doesn't want this, right? If you're looking to increase online sales, then you need to make sure your website is optimized for local search.

8) You're not ranking in the top 3 results

If you're not ranking in the top 3 results for your target keywords, then you need to optimize your website for local search. Because 75% of people don't go past the first page of Google, it's important to make sure your website is visible in the search results.

9) You're not appearing in the Local Pack

The Local Pack is a box that appears at the top of the search results that includes three local businesses. If you're not appearing in this box, improving your Local SEO can help you get in front of more potential customers.

10) Your competitors are doing it

If your competitors are doing Local SEO and you're not, they're getting an edge over you. By optimizing your website for local search, you can level the playing field and compete with them for top rankings in the search results.

 

How do I find local keyword volume?

Here's how to figure out how popular your local keywords are

1) Go to Google Keyword Planner.

2) Select “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category”

3) Enter your seed keyword and location

4) Click “Get Ideas”

5) Scroll down to the “Keyword Ideas” section and look at the “Local Monthly Searches” column.

This will give you an estimate of the monthly search volume for each keyword.

You now have a better understanding of Local SEO and why it's important for your business. If you're not already doing Local SEO, now is the time to start!


content marketing tips 2022

22 Actionable Content Marketing Tips For 2022

This is a list of the most actionable content marketing tips for 2022.

In this post, you'll discover:

  • how to find content ideas without using expensive tools
  • how to write content that gets hundreds of shares and comments
  • tips to optimize content to rank in search and get organic traffic 
  • effective content promotion techniques for more traffic and links 

Let's dive in. 

 

 

1. Start with Topical Research.

Keyword research is not dead. 

The good thing in SEO is you can rank for multiple keywords, not just for one keyword — only if you know how to practice topical research.

Topical research is discovering the primary key topics your content can rank for, while determining semantically-related keywords to optimize content for topic coverage. 

 

How to start with topical research?

A. Begin with an industry head term. 

You can use any keyword discovery tools for this one (e.g., Ahrefs' Keyword Explorer). 

microsleep ahrefs keyword explorer

 

B. Go to the parent topic.

With Ahrefs, you can see exactly what the keyword's parent topic is. 

microsleep parent topic ahrefs keyword explorer

Either you write content just for the keyword you typed in or cover the parent topic.

 

C. Find semantically-related keywords and common questions.

This is useful for topic coverage. It builds more authority when you can cover as much information by answering related questions and including topically-related keywords.

microsleep questions ahrefs keyword explorer

This leads us to our next tip. 

You can check out our link building services and SEO services

2. Discover Commonly Asked Questions 

Search users want quick answers to questions.

And if you know what type of question they search and provide them with quick answers in your content, you'll get more ranking opportunities.

AlsoAsked is an excellent tool to find dozens of questions you usually see in the "People Also Asked Questions" section. 

The good thing with this is you don't have to manually find all related questions for the topic you're writing about. Type in a keyphrase and the tool will provide you with topical questions.

also asked does dayquill

You can also export the list for later use. 

 

Another way to find commonly asked questions is through Ahrefs' Keyword Explorer.

Search for your topic.

Go to the Questions section. 

does dayquill keep you awake ahrefs keyword explorer

 

Two things you can do with these questions:

First, add a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) at the end of your article. List down all questions with your answers.

Second, you can include these questions as H2s of your article. 

Your readers don't have to check other similar content to find what they're looking for by answering it immediately. 

 

3. Write Content on Topics with Search Traffic Potential. 

SEO and content marketing, when combined, is powerful.

You provide what your readers are looking for while ranking the content for searchers who are looking for it. 

More traffic. More sales.

Use any tools to help you find search traffic potential. 

 

Here are some of my recommended topic or keyword discovery tools:

SEMrush:

semrush keyword habits

 

Ahrefs:

ahrefs sleeping habits

 

Keyword Everywhere

keyword everywhere sleeping habits
Sidenote: Not all keywords with low search traffic are not feasible topics to write about — most of which are potential topics people are still asking. In aggregate, when you publish articles targeting long-tail keywords (even with lower search volume), the strategy can drive solid traffic to your site. 

 

4. Brainstorm Topics with Audience's Pain Points. 

Your audience's challenges, issues, and pain points are good content ideas (hat tip to @abbyreimermpls). 

It also puts emotions in your content, making it more shareable and linkable. 

So, how to find your audience's pain points?

Search for "[your audience]" "issues" "challenges". And see what comes up.

 

google search salespeople challenges

For example, if you're looking for paint points of most salespeople, you'll get ideas like:

  • Consistent follow ups
  • Self-management
  • Personality styles

Tackle each of these pain points as your blog post idea

 

5. Rank for Competitors' Keywords. 

Here's a gold mine opportunity. 

Your competitors may be ranking (or aren't ranking yet) for their branded keyphrases.

This could give you some organic traffic that can turn into sales if taken advantage of.

Let's say you want to rank for branded keywords of Monday (a project management software).

Simply enter the domain (monday.com) to Ahrefs Site Explorer and see what they're currently ranking for their own terms.

 

Filter the results by position 3 & up to see keywords your competitors don't rank in the top 3. 

rank for competitor branded keywords ahrefs

 

Check each term and think of any pages or content you can create on your website.

One example is "how to use monday com". 

how to use monday com

You can create an ultimate guide on how to use Monday and mention its competing products.

Or for any "alternatives" or "product A VS other products" keyphrases, you create a comparison page and add your product. 

monday com alternatives ahrefs

Think of how you can leverage competitors' keywords with new micro-content or a totally new page. 

 

6. Speak About Your Audience's Interests

Never run out of ideas if you think of your customers' interests.

If you tackle what they need, your content becomes relatable and valuable.

 

How can you find your audience's other interests?

You can use audience research tools like Sparktoro. 

Let's say you're looking for more content ideas for life coaches. 

 

Simply do Sparktoro search: My audience uses these word(s) in their profile "______". 

sparktoro nutritionist

 

The tool shows you their other interests, aside from nutrition. 

most mentioned skills sparktoro

 

Create content on public speaking and wellness. 

Replicate this content marketing technique to your brand and never run out of ideas. 

 

7. Use Proven and Tested Blog Post Introduction 

Content is king, but first, you have to grab the reader's attention.

You do that by using a blog post introduction that works.

When you consistently grab your readers' attention, you retain them on site. And thus, it indirectly improves your rankings and conversions.

The success of Backlinko (now acquired by SEMRush) is anchored to Brian's copywriting skills.

backlinko copywriting technique

Backlinko has its PBB copywriting formula on content's introduction:

  • P - Preview
  • P - Proof 
  • B - Benefit

Tell exactly "what's in it for them?". Show results to build credibility. Give them more by showcasing the benefit of your information.

 

8. Generate Outlines Using Frase Blog Outline Generator

Writing about the topic flawlessly is much easier when you structure content.

Your writing flows. You cover the essential information.

One way to generate an outline quickly is using Frase's new tool - Blog Outline Generator.

frase blog outline generator

 

Input your title and description and wait for the AI tool to generate outline suggestions based on the ranking pages for the keyword.

It gives you insights into your outline quickly—no more hassle when starting. 

 

9. Optimize On-Page With Surfer SEO 

Competitive advantage is when you build proper on-page for your content.

It's not that easy. Add semantic keywords and entities to your content for more topic coverage and topical authority. Include headlines that target topically related keyphrases. 

This takes a lot of work. 

But with SEO tools like SurferSEO bring out the exact terms and instructions you need to optimize your content better.

surfer seo content optimization

With exact frequency.

And some other entities you can include.

Build your topical authority by providing the quickest answer and most comprehensive information about the topic. 

 

10. Demonstrate E-A-T By Hiring Industry Practitioners.

The bar for content quality increases as more and more brands invest in content marketing.

It's now a competition of expertise.

E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) matter in SEO. 

Experts and industry practitioners can provide better and new information than average writers.

They know exactly what to include in the "How-to" section and provide accurate and quick answers for the "FAQ" section. 

 

Recently, I've started my affiliate health blog that covers everything about sleeping

I could find any writers from different content writer sourcing platforms, or spend time finding the right fit — which in this case, are medical practitioners. 

Through Upwork, I was able to find a doctor who writes for health blogs. 

The content provides the highest quality of information with concrete instructions because of the writer's expertise.

 

Key takeaway:  Hire industry practitioners to write for your blog. It makes your content credible and valuable — and helps you rank quickly. 

 

11. Improve E-A-T by Adding Author Bios of Reviewers and Co-Authors  

Besides the quality of information you get from industry experts, you also benefit from added "author bio". 

If you ask industry writers to include their author profiles on your content, they won't hesitate to say "yes" to you.

Simply because it's an added credibility on their part and more opportunities to market their content writing projects. Easy.

demonstrate eat

 

What benefits this to you?

Topical authority. Your content is much more reliable as you showcase reviewers of your content (and who they are). Their experiences, educational background — all these improve E-A-T of your content. 

 

12. Apply "First Mover Advantage" When Writing Content 

What is the first-mover advantage?

It is your ability to better off than your competitors as a result of being first in the market. 

Being first is way easier than being the "best".

 

In content marketing, that translates to providing new information you won't see from your competitors' content.

You can do it by finding resources not easily sourced out elsewhere. However, that does take enough work for research.

 

For example, you can search for filetype:pdf "keyword" to discover file attachments of documents, presentations, and other resource formats from the internal data team and practitioners. 

filetype pdf hypermobility google search

 

Most often than not, those files contain information that gives you a "first-mover advantage" when included in your content. 

 

13. Create Shareable Images

Shareability is vital for content to get additional links. Thus, it helps improve your website's rankings.  

Ahrefs, for example, create different shareable images that include workflows, templates, data, and other internal information that often gets citations.

ahrefs shareable images

 

Another brand doing well in creating shareable images is The Zebra, an insurance comparison website.

They publish statistics content with citable, shareable images of checklists, surveys, and internal data.

the zebra shareable images

Both these brands understand the power of shareable images and how it positively impacts the perceived value of their content.

Think of how you can add more value to your audience by creating shareable images. 

 

14. Add Descriptive Conclusion (Not Just "Key Takeaways"). 

One of the most overlooked parts of a content piece is the conclusion.

Most often, writers would simply put a header, "Conclusion" or "Key Takeaways” and summarize the entire article into one or two paragraphs.

 

A good content marketer knows how to grab his readers' attention from beginning to end of the article. 

One creative tip is to emphasize a call to action or any challenge to readers. 

 

Look at SiegeMedia's ability to persuade his readers to act on the information.

siegemedia conclusion part

And other notable brands that do this well.

 

 

15. Upgrade and Upgrade Content 

One best practice in SEO and content marketing is always to make content relevant to its audience.

That means you update the content from time to time to ensure the timeliness and usefulness of the information to current times and industry trends. 

While having the ability to upgrade the content to make it the most comprehensive content on the topic, year by year.

One SEO technique is to add information for keyphrases your content has impressions yet is not currently ranking for. 

 

You can use tools like Search Console and Ahrefs to find key phrases to optimize your content further.

search console healthysleepy snoring

In Ahrefs, simply enter URL of your page that's ranking well and go to its Organic Keywords report.

Scroll down. Discover and check keyphrases you can eventually turn into headings and sections of your article.

By doing so, you improve topic coverage of content and help improve its rankings for those topically related terms. 

 

16. Do Conversion-Oriented Internal Linking

Internal linking is often an overlooked SEO strategy yet provides high returns on ranking improvements. 

If you have middle-of-the-funnel content tied to your landing pages, it would be helpful to link to your conversion pages.

It is a strategic move to get more conversions simply through internal links.

 

Take a look at Gusto. They did a great job internally linking to their product pages from "how to buy" and other middle-of-the-funnel content.

gusto conversion oriented pages

It's much easier to get conversions this way, as potential customers have a semi-intent of purchasing products. 

Go through your pages and see which pages you link internally to your conversion pages.

 

17. Create a Content Calendar 

Organization of content ideas is critical to producing highly useful content assets consistently. 

It is easier to be consistent if you plot those topics in a calendar.

There are many ways to create a content calendar. 

Here are some valuable resources to help you jump-start with that.

 

18. Use TweetHunter to Grow Your Audience

Twitter is becoming more and more of a content platform these days.

As more influencers and brands leverage the power of Twitter threads to showcase their expertise and build a strong following, the use of the platform is more of a necessity than a luxury.

However, using Twitter may seem time-consuming for most busy entrepreneurs and marketers. It eats up their time — as they say. 

 

The key is to do it in a single hour (or a few hours every week) and let it run for you.

How?

Publish tweets quickly using TweetHunter.

The tool allows you to write and schedule tweets through built-in AI suggested ideas. 

You don't have to consume all your mental energy to flesh out content. All you have is to swipe all trending tweets in your industry and/or based on niche keywords.

tweethunter

 

Another cool feature here is to engage with like-minded influencers on the platform itself.

All you have to do is to find tweets from profiles with a certain number of follower counts (>2000). And straight from the platform, engage these followers by replying to their tweets. 

 

19. Repurpose Web Assets For Content Promotion 

Content writing is 50% of the battle. The other half should be spent on content promotion.

The key here is not to overdo the "thinking process" of content promotion but to leverage some assets you've published on your site and distribute them across your marketing channels. 

You can repurpose web assets by turning them into other content formats that are better contextualized to be promoted in a particular marketing platform.

 

For instance, instead of creating another new Youtube video to be posted on Tiktok, you may instruct your graphic artist to produce several short reels (videos). Contextualize it to the platform you're marketing to, either by adding texts, sounds, images that are popular or useful to your target audience.

Another way is to turn industry guides into several shareable images, which you'll then use as bait for guest posts. 

Simply upload images as part of your email outreach campaign to get more attention right at the start of the pitch.

 

20. Do Omni-Channel Marketing With Your Content 

If you hit the right audience with content on specific platforms where they engage, you get followers consistently and build your brand.

Omnichannel does that.

Look at different customer touchpoints. And see which marketing platform can help you further your content.

 

21. Leverage Blogger Outreach To Get Backlinks

Blogger outreach is a solid strategy to get in front of your potential customers, acquire backlinks and improve your website's rankings.

Given that readers are likely to follow personalities (bloggers) if your brand has been linked to one of their content pieces, you'll have chances of getting more clicks from those inbound links.

Do strategic link placements on industry blogs.

Either leverage content-driven link exchange or other link building strategies on blogs. 

 

Content Marketing in Action

You'll find many ideas on how to create and promote your content. But these ideas will come into reality if apply them. 

Best practices are based on different contexts and scenarios. Test them out and see results yourself. 


backlink audit

How To Do A Complete Backlink Audit (5 Easy Steps)

After conducting hundreds of backlink audit campaigns for our clients, we teach you the entire process to do it. 

In this guide, you'll discover:

  • What is a backlink audit? 
  • Why backlink audit is important? 
  • 5 easy steps to do a backlink audit (in less than 30 minutes) 

So if you want to know if your website is in good shape through a simple backlink audit, finish this guide. 

 

 

What Is A Backlink Audit? 

A backlink audit is an essential SEO activity analyzing your backlink profile based on the quality of backlinks pointing to your website. 

In this activity, you want to ensure there are zero unnatural and toxic backlinks that could harm your website, and that could hinder future SEO initiatives or might trigger a Google manual or algorithmic penalty. 

 

Why Do A Backlink Audit? 

Before you perform a backlink audit, you need to know why you should be doing it. 

Here are three purposes of a backlink audit:

  • Identify spammy inbound links to your website.
  • Do more of what you did well in previous link building efforts.
  • Get insights into your next link building plan. 

 

Identify spammy inbound links.

You could've taken a new client and you're unaware that their previous agency built bad links to your client's site. 

Or your website has been hit by a negative SEO attack. Your competitors have done nasty things of building toxic links to your website, instead of them focusing on improving their own backlink profile.

Either way, you want to know if you've got any spammy inbound links. As a course of action, you want to remove them as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might receive a Google manual penalty, which could hurt your website's organic traffic (and conversions) 

 

Do more of what you did well in previous link building efforts.

Backlink audit isn't just knowing the negative stuff. It is also giving you the time to assess what works well and do more of them. 

If you've been building and earning good backlinks, it is wise to replicate the types of links, link building strategies, and linkable content formats, so you could improve your site's backlink profile even more. 

 

Get insights into your next link building plan.

Backlink audit helps you make an assessment of your website's link profile against the competition. 

With that, you can leverage a more cohesive action-oriented plan to outpace your competitor's backlinks, and outrank their performance in search results. 

Insights gathered from backlink audit helps you come up with a solid future link building plan. 

 

What Do You need? 

You need tools to help you gather valuable information about your backlinks. 

In performing a backlink audit, you could use any of the following link building tools (or even combine them if you have spreadsheet skills):

 

My recommended tools for backlink audits are Ahrefs, Moz, and Majestic. 

It is best to invest in at least one of the mentioned link intelligence tools, as you'll not only be using them for backlink audit but for other essential link building tasks (e.g. competitor backlink research and link search).  

In this guide, I'll be using Ahrefs and Majestic. So let's go about how to do a complete backlink audit in 30 minutes or less.

 

How To Do A Backlink Audit

Here is how to do a backlink audit in five steps:

Step 1: Get an overview of your backlink profile and of your competitors.

Step 2: Find low quality backlinks to your website. 

Step 3: Discover opportunities and methods by reviewing your backlink profile.

Step 4: Check for any broken backlink you can fix.

Step 5: Strategize for your next link building plan.

 

Step 1:  Get An Overview Of Your Backlink Profile and Of Your Competitors 

In a backlink audit, you start from top to bottom. 

This means you look from a high-level view of your backlink profile then lean into details. 

Begin by entering your domain into Ahrefs' Site Explorer to see overview details of your backlinks.

backlink audit overview backlink profile

 

As of this writing, our example website has 39.8K total backlinks and 1.05K referring domains. 

The number of backlinks and referring domains gives you a quantifiable metric for the current success of your link building campaign. 

The higher number you have with these numbers, the higher the domain rating you'll get for your website. More backlinks from high authority sites increase your own site's domain rating. 

Sidenote: If you find an imbalance number between the two, say 1M backlinks while having only 5K+ referring domains, take a closer look at the website, as this might indicate that the site did shady link building strategies. More on this later. 

Next thing to do:

 

Compute the average link gap between your website and your competitors. 

To keep up with your competitors (or get ahead of them), you have to compute the average backlink gap.

What is backlink gap? 

Backlink gap is basically the estimated difference of links and referring domains between your competitors and your website.

It's not an absolute number, though, but this gives you a rough estimate of how many links you should be pursuing more to get ahead of the competition. 

One tool you can use to initially compute for this is Ahrefs' Domain Comparison feature.

When you enter domains of your competitors, It shows you an overview of backlink data across multiple domains at a glance. 

backlink audit domain comparison

 

You can see directly here how many backlinks and referring domains your competitors have in comparison to yours. 

Backlink gap isn't just about the quantity difference.

So to calculate the backlink gap, you should focus on high-quality backlinks. The easiest way to get the quality of links is by evaluating the DR of each referring domain. You can do it via Ahrefs' Referring Domains report. 

Once you have a list of websites and their DR, you need to export the results and see how many links are high-quality (DR > 70), medium quality (DR ≥ 30 ), and low-quality websites (DR < 30). 

Sidenote: DR isn't the only metric to assess link quality. Other tools offer similar metrics, such as Moz' Domain Rating and Majestic Trustflow. But for the purposes of using Ahrefs, we use DR as our qualitative metric. 

Another initiative to get a top-level view of the competition is to: 

 

Assess your link velocity rate in comparison to your competitors. 

Link velocity rate is the speed at which backlinks to your website are added over a specific period of time. 

You can be so fast at a given time, which might dictate a potential negative SEO attack or so slow, that your competitors are outcompeting you in terms of links. 

To check link velocity, you can see the website's referring domains graph on the overview of Ahrefs' Site Explorer.

backlink audit referring domains report
Sidenote: Check if there is a big burst or big drop on referring domains graph. A big burst might indicate a potential negative SEO attack, while a big drop might signal loss of links to specific pages. 

Speaking of potential harm to your website, your next activity should be to:

 

Look for potential spam and/or keyword-rich anchor text in your profile.

Harmful links are easy to detect by looking at the way they link to you — anchor text

One is checking for any dodgy anchor texts and keyword-rich anchor texts. 

Ahrefs provides with you an anchor text section of all backlinks in your profile.

A good anchor text profile must compose of branded anchor texts, as this is a natural way other publishers link to their external sources.

Check if there are any dodgy anchor texts:

Or high-density keyword-rich anchor texts: 

exact match anchor texts section ahrefs
Sidenote: Backlinks with keyword-rich anchor texts aren't necessarily bad. In fact, it's common to have this type of anchor text. However, if you see that the high density of your anchor texts (let's say 70 to 90%) are all keyword-rich anchor texts, consider it for a backlink audit execution. 

Covered this earlier, but it's good to separate this one: 

 

Check for possible negative SEO attacks. 

Are there any big spikes or big dips in referring domains graph? 

Big spikes might indicate negative SEO to your website. Other webmasters and SEOs may be trying to pull your site's organic traffic by building toxic backlinks to your pages.

What will you do then?

Ignore or disavow. 

Why and how? 

Read our next step, I'll get into this in a little more detail. 

 

Step 2:  Find Low Quality Backlinks To Your Website. 

This is one of the important steps in backlink audit.

The reason you want to find low quality backlinks is to remove them (at all cost if you can). 

Toxic, irrelevant backlinks could hinder your SEO growth in the future, if not taken into consideration.

So how do you find low-quality backlinks? 

First, know the difference between good backlinks and bad backlinks.

You can't find them if you don't know their nature, and if they are considered as bad. 

 

Good Backlinks VS Bad Backlinks

 

What is a good backlink?

Good backlink is editorially given.

Editorially-given links are natural backlinks. These are links gained without any manipulation or even some kind of manual outreach. 

You create value out of the content or any other web assets, and that's why they link to you. 

 

Good backlink is from a reliable website.

A reliable website is a website that has an intended audience. It speaks to a target market (e.g. tech-savvy people). 

You'll know if a website is good when the website has a real audience (readers). If it's a blog, you can check the website's social engagement and its comment section. There you'll know that it has a community of readers. 

A reliable website has good quality content. The information isn't generated by any AI copywriting tools, or spun content by getting original content and running it through a word spinner content to make it look original.

You know that the content is high-quality when you can read information from beginning to end, and still understand what it is about.

 

Good backlink is from an authoritative website.

Authority is relative. But it can easily be determined by a quantifiable metric such as Ahrefs' Domain Rating.

An authoritative website must have at least a Domain Rating (or Moz' Domain Authority) of 25 and above. 

Sidenote: Some domains may have low DR given that they don't have many links yet pointing to the website. However, these low-DR websites have real authors and readers and are good sources of backlinks. 

 

Good backlink is do-follow. 

Dofollow backlinks improve link equity to its destination pages, which is great for ranking websites.

While you can naturally get no-follow backlinks, you must aim for do-follow backlinks, as it passes more link juice to your website. 

Sidenote: Do not discount no-follow backlinks, as it makes your backlink profile natural. But if you want to maximize your outreach efforts, pursue link opportunities that are do-follow because they pass link juice to your website. 

Now, it's time to know what a bad backlink is.

It's basically the opposite characteristics of a good backlink. 

 

What is a bad backlink?

Bad backlink is from a spammy source.

They don't come from reliable websites. 

Bad backlinks are from websites of low-quality Private Blog Network, content farms, and generic low-quality directories.

 

Bad backlink is from a website with rich exact match anchor texts. 

High density of keyword-rich anchor texts can harm your website. Unnatural anchor texts signal your website to be manipulating each and every manual outreach effort. 

 

Bad backlink is from elicits websites.

Elicit websites are porn, gambling, hate, adult, and any unsafe websites.

 

Bad backlink is related to spammy content.

Spammy content doesn't offer much value to its readers. Whether it is clearly spun or AI-generated, or it has grammatical errors. In other words, hard to consume for a general audience. 

 

Bad backlink is a no-follow link. 

No-follow backlinks don't pass any link juice to your website.

 

Now, you know exactly the difference between a good backlink and a bad backlink.

Let's get right to how you can find spammy backlinks. 

 

How to Find Low Quality Backlinks?

1. Enter your domain in Majestic to get backlink data. 

(I use Majestic this time as it gives me a more accurate spam score for backlinks through its Trust Flow). 

Export all backlinks.

 

2. Sort links according to spam metrics. 

Different link intelligence tools have different spam metrics. 

Moz has its Spam Score. Majestic has its Trustflow. For Ahrefs, you can use its Organic Traffic. 

Get low-quality links from the list that have either:

  • Moz' Spam Score (Spam Score <8) 
  • Majestic's Trustflow (TF <15)
  • Ahrefs' Organic Traffic (<500)
Sidenote: You may be tempted not to check high-DR (DA) websites as it seems they don't have any indication for spam. But it is best to review high DR websites but with low organic traffic. 

Review websites with insignificant backlinks to referring domains ratio (e.g. 500K backlinks > 1K referring domains). 

ratio of backlinks to referring domains

 

Next:

 

3. Check anchor texts of these low-quality links. 

Dig deeper. 

See if they have irrelevant anchor texts or keyword-rich anchor texts. 

Make a note of these links with spammy anchor texts. 

 

4. See their link types. 

Bad backlinks are from non-authoritative websites and low-quality content (as mentioned earlier).

Check if any of those low-quality links are content farms, UGC (user-generated content), forums, and comments.

Also, make a note of these.

 

5. Manually check suspicious-looking websites.

Dig deeper and deeper.

After reviewing links with spammy anchor texts and low-quality link sources, check other websites with low spam scores.

There are other bad or spammy indications to links that are more obvious when you actually see the website.

Is the website full of display ads that the actual content gets difficult to read? 

Does the website have a general (non-niche) audience? 

Does the website have an old-school (the early 2000s) design template? 

These are just a few things to look at the backlink source to assess their link quality. 

Now you need to:

 

6. Have a final list of websites.

This should be a list of backlinks:

  • From low-quality link sources
  • With irrelevant or keyword-rich anchor texts
  • PBN-looking websites (old school design template)
  • From spammy content 
  • From irrelevant and/or elicits websites

Once you have a list, you have three courses of action:

 

Ignore these toxic links. 

Because Google's algorithm has become so advanced in checking spammy links, they simply ignore backlinks to a website.

Especially if your website has gained authority and trust as it builds natural, high-quality links and offers readable and high-quality content. 

Google will simply ignore your toxic links. 

But if this is not your preferred action, you may:

 

Request for backlink removal. 

Find all email addresses of websites hosting these spammy links.

Contact those webmasters and ask to remove your backlink.

There are cases where they would ask you for a payment before removing your link. For me, this is not worth your money (you should've invested it in link building).

If in any case, some won't remove your backlinks, it's time to disavow. 

 

Disavow

Disavow is simply telling Google that you don't count certain backlinks of your website. 

To start with this, list down all domains or web pages you find to be low-quality.

Then go to Search Console and to its disavow tool. 

You can check out the following guides to give you more details on how to disavow toxic links:

 

Step 3:  Discover Opportunities and Methods By Reviewing Your Backlink Profile

Backlink audit is not only about finding low quality backlinks to your website.

It is also discovering the best opportunities and methods. 

 

Start by reviewing your backlink profile.

If your website has been successful in increasing its organic traffic. Plus, it attracts new backlinks every month.

It is best to uncover some content ideas.

How?

 

Use "Best by links" feature.

See which pages on your site have gained the highest number of referring domains. 

best by links waterzen website

 

You can assess which content formats, length of content and topics have resonated most with your linkable audiences.

From this insight, you can create similar types of content to continue the momentum of gaining new inbound backlinks to your site.

Another important discovery:

 

Use "Best by links growth" feature of Ahrefs to know what pages naturally attract backlinks.

The first one is knowing the type and topic of content that works, with or without manual outreach to get links. 

This time, it's more of getting insights into what gives your site the ability to attract backlinks, even without doing email outreach. 

By link growth, you see that the page attracts new links from publishers who used it as references for their content (they see it ranking on the first page while looking for references in search). 

ahrefs best by links growth fiddlershop

 

This is an important process, as you can also use it for your competitors to see what pages bring them the most number of backlinks.

Besides links, you also want to know this:

 

Know what websites bring you the most traffic.

Go to Ahrefs and view Backlinks report. 

Sort websites based on Traffic. 

ahrefs backlinks that drive referral traffic

 

You want to know what websites pointing to your site bring the most referral traffic. 

This insight leads you to improve your link building strategies.

One is to go after these publications and contribute more guest posts so you can increase the amount of traffic you're getting from them. 

Another way is to build content assets that resonate with high-traffic websites. So when you reach out to them and promote your content, you know it's something they'd be interested in linking as external sources. 

Want some more actionable methods?

Read the next link building opportunity. 

 

Discover patterns between your inbound links.

If you can identify commonalities between your most powerful backlinks, then you start to understand the reason why these people are linking to you.

Finding new backlink prospects that can help move the needle for your rankings becomes easier. 

 

In summary, to get insights and methods by reviewing your backlink profile:

  • Use "Best by links" feature to uncover content ideas.
  • Use "Best by links growth" to know what pages naturally attract backlinks.
  • Know what websites bring you the most traffic.
  • Discover patterns between your inbound links.

 

Step 4:  Check For Any Wasted Backlinks You Can Fix

Wasted backlinks are links that have brought value, but not anymore giving desired link juice to your site.

So what do you do about them?

Check for any wasted links and try to fix them.

How?

First:

 

Find broken pages of your websites with inbound links. 

This is an overlooked opportunity in link building:

Pages that gained backlinks but given they are no longer function, these links are put to waste. 

So, start identifying these broken pages by using "Best by links" feature of Ahrefs.

Then search for 404 pages by simply clicking the drop menu.  

ahrefs 404 broken wasted links

 

These are defunct pages with links. 

Your action could be:

Redirect these broken pages to similar content on your site. This will pass link juice to your new page and thus, help your linked-to page to rank for its target keyword.

Another plan is to create an entirely new page that covers the topic. 

Once publish your new page, you can reach out to publishers and webmasters who linked to your broken page. Ask them to change their external links (from the old broken page to a new page). 

 

Find pages with inbound links but with little to no organic search traffic. 

You also want to look at pages that need some internal linking to push their rankings up in search results.

How to find them first?

Once you enter the domain in Ahrefs Site Explorer, go to "Top Pages" report from Organic Search tab.

Filter pages based on Traffic maximum of 50 to only get pages that receive 0 to 50 in organic traffic.

ahrefs top pages 0 to 50 traffic

 

Export the results and examine them further.

Enter URLs in the Batch feature of Ahrefs so you can see how many referring domains are pointing to each page.

ahrefs quick batch analysis backlink audit

 

Sort the list from highest to lowest referring domains to arrive at pages with little to no organic traffic, but receives a good number of referring domains.

backlink audit batch analysis sorted by referring domains

 

What will you do with them?

Update and optimize this content.

Make sure on page and off page SEO elements are added to the page. This doesn't only help the content to improve its rankings, but also acquire additional inbound links. 

Last thing for backlink audit:

 

Step 5: Strategize For Your Next Link Building Plan

After weeding out toxic links and seeing methods and more link opportunities to your website,  your next action is to have a better link building plan. 

This goes to say you'll think not just about the details of your website but from a view over your competitors. 

Here are some tips in this last phase to make it work for your link building campaign: 

 

Assess the right balance of distribution of efforts to your pages.

If you're doing manual outreach for links, not all pages deserve your attention.

There are only linkable assets that you can promote, and could give you links from interested linkers. 

Make a list of these linkable information pages.  

Then, add up to your list are landing pages you're also aiming to rank for. These pages are part of your mid to bottom-of-the-funnel strategy that brings sales to your brand.

Now, you have linkable informational pages and landing pages in your list.

 

Here are some considerations when you decide which pages to build more links to:

What commercial pages are sitting in positions 6 to 20 in search results?

More backlinks to these pages can help improve their rankings and drive more revenue to your business. There is a huge difference in clicks from a page ranking in #1 from its competing page ranking in #6. 

You can use Ahrefs to find these pages quickly.

backlink audit organic keywords

 

Or you can go straight to "Top Landing Pages" report.

backlink audit top landing pages

 

What pages are bringing you traffic but receive zero to few backlinks?

These are your pages that bring money to your website.

If you can build more links to these pages, you can drive up their rankings and increase your site's overall traffic value.

 

How to find them?

Enter your domain and go to "Top Pages" report. 

Export the list. Then filter to less than 10 RD (Referring Domains). 

Then sort the list by ascending Traffic. 

Here, you'll see a list of pages with the most traffic value, but with less than 10 referring domains. 

traffic value and referring domains

 

You can use our two considerations above to make a decision on which pages to push more links to. 

 

Select pages for targeted links based on backlink gap index. [ADVANCED] 

Your next link building plan includes how to outperform your competitors.

That includes the quality and quality of backlinks you're building against them.

We've covered how to compute backlink gap in the middle section of this guide. It is basically the difference between your site's number of referring root domains and your competitors' websites. 

If you want a more accurate number, you can compute for the backlink gap index.

So on top of linking root domain gap, you also compute for the volume/gap ratio.

To compute for this, simply divide the link gap into the search volume. See example computation below from Garett French's guest ost on Moz.

backlink gap index

 

Know these two numbers: value per link VS cost per link. 

Have a good rough estimate of how much you're spending to earn a single link.

While there are different variables to cost per link, finding a good number gives you an idea if you're spending too much. 

For this section, here are good resources that exactly shows how to compute for value per link and cost per link:

 

Assess and Improve Your Link Building Campaign 

The purpose of a backlink audit is to assess the current status of your backlink profile while identifying toxic backlinks you can remove and discovering opportunities you can maximize at. 

Keep in mind. Every website is different. Some backlink audits might take days to finish, others if done well, can initially be done in 30 minutes. 


outsource link building

Outsource Link Building Guide (+Checklist)

In this post, I'm going to show you how to outsource link building effectively with fewer risks.

Also, you'll learn:

  • When (and when not) to outsource link building
  • 7 outsourcing mistakes SEO agencies make
  • How to outsource link building effectively

So if you want to free up your time, focus on other SEO activities, and grow your business…

Here’s the guide for you.

 

Should You Outsource Link Building?

Yes, because link building is resource-intensive.

Instead of doing the work yourself (or with your team), outsourcing link building to an agency specializing in it is a good move.

Link building is not easy.

To rank your website through link building, you need to:

  • Search for link opportunities that are relevant and trustworthy.
  • Publish linkable content assets that provide value to publishers.
  • Send outreach emails to potential linkers.
  • Spend time engaging people and building relationships with them to get links.
  • Plus other behind-the-scenes to persuade someone to link to your page.

 

Benefits of Outsourcing Link Building

Link building frees up your time.

Time you could've spent on doing other SEO tasks like technical SEO, on page optimization, keyword research, etc.

When you want to start link building, you have to do all these time-consuming activities of link prospecting, link qualification, content creation, and email outreach.

This requires 20-40 hours a week (or full-time work) to finish it (assuming you have all skills needed to perform those link building tasks).

Second benefit of link building:

Get focused.

When you outsource link building, you can focus your attention on other SEO tasks you're best at (as mentioned above).

Quality matters in SEO. If you focus on your core SEO strengths, it'll benefit you long-term by giving you compounding results.

Third benefit is:

Save money.

The cost of hiring a full-time SEO to work on link building tasks is higher than hiring a link building agency to do all the work for you.

Plus, you'll have to invest in link building tools like Ahrefs to semi-automate some link building processes.

Outsourcing link building is the wise thing to do if you want to:

  • Free up time.
  • Get focused.
  • Save mone

Now, if you're convinced to outsource link building, the next question is:

 

When (and When Not) to Outsource Link Building?

Consider the timing of outsourcing link building.

Either you're too early or late to outsource.

When should you outsource link building?

Outsource link building:

  • When you want to get links right away.
  • When you want to scale and get better links than your competitors.
  • When you want to focus and specialize in other SEO tasks, aside from link building.
  • When you reach a ceiling after exhausting all strategies and resources, you can think of to get backlinks to your website.
  • When you want to get more high-quality links than the types of links you've gotten recently.
  • When you lack resources to hire and train SEOs to perform link building tasks.
  • When you don't have anyone in your digital marketing team to do off page SEO.

Do not outsource link building:

  • When you jump right to link building without doing basic on-page and technical SEO activities.
  • When you expect to receive a majority of conversions and referral traffic from links.
  • When you confuse digital PR for link building (they do have different objectives).
  • When you solely rely on links to improve search rankings of your website.
  • When you're in a rush for results and don't have a sufficient budget.

If you decided to outsource link building, let me give you:

 

7 Major Steps to Outsource Link Building

So, whether you're a solo consultant, agency founder with SEO clients, or online business owner, here is a step-by-step process to effectively outsource link building service providers.

 

Step 1: Identify your needs.

Start here. If you don't know your link building needs, you can't start properly.

In fact:

The best link building agencies will start asking the question, "what are you looking for?".

If you have an answer to that, it will help you get a good start in finding the right link building partner.

Are you looking for a one-time project (e.g., 50 links to a linkable asset)?

Or you've invested in the idea that link building is long-term and is willing to invest in a month-to-month contract with a link building company?

In terms of the types of links:

Manual outreach links using linkable assets? Guest posts? Niche edits? Local citations?

Next is to set expectations yourself.

Are you going to test out link building first and wait for results to come before you invest in the long-term?

Or do you have a dedicated marketing budget for 1 year just for link building?

Decide it now, so it'd be easy for link building agencies you'll reach out to know your needs.

Remember: Outsourcing link building is getting the right partner and solving your SEO needs.

Second step when you outsource link building is:

 

Step 2: Make a list of link building service providers.

If you don't know who to choose, you'll start with making a list first.

Like any other type of supplier or service provider, having a list of options is beneficial at the start.

Source out link building agencies from:

Referrals and networks:

referrals networks

 

 

SEO authors or contributors for top SEO blogs:

source from seo blogs 1

 

source from seo blogs 2

 

 

Google search for niche link building agencies:

google search link building for b2b saas

 

SEO thought leaders on Linkedin:

linkedin source out link building leaders

 

Speaker for SEO conferences and link building training:

seo zraz seo event

 

The best way is to make a list of all potential partners.

When you have a list then, qualify them.

To shorten your list, consider the following:

Do they have case studies to show proof of results?

Do they have related to your niche or type of business among their case studies?

get link building case studies

 

How long have they've been in the industry?

The longer they are, the better. Though it's not a guarantee of expertise, this might show their level of SEO experience.

Are there any SEO thought leaders who vouch for them?

Reputation matters. If they have testimonials from top SEO experts, you could get some confidence in their work delivery.

After that, you need to:

 

Step 3: Reach out and set initial meetings.

You may have shortened your list based on some information you saw on their websites. It’s good to talk to them personally to ask a few more questions.

Send an inquiry and book a schedule right away.

Now that you're about to call them, your next step is:

 

Step 4: Learn about their strategy, workflow, and previous work.

Before your call, list down your questions.

And as you start talking to them, you can ask a few more follow-up questions to dig deeper into what they do.

The best thing during your call is:

Tell them about your needs.

Ask about their previous work. Or if they have any experience building backlinks for the type of business and industry you're in.

Let them share about their work, strategy, and process. This can help you discern if they're a good fit for you.

 

Step 5: Ask for samples of work related to your industry.

You need proof.

Whether it's a list of links, citations, or linkable assets, request it to them.

 

Step 6: Discuss budget and pricing.

One of the major failures when outsourcing link building is not discussing budget and prices.

Let them know about your budget. This gives them a rough idea of customizing a better link building package for you.

Here are pricing ranges in link building:

  • $500 to $1500
  • $1500 to $5000
  • $5000 to $10000
  • $10000 and up

After sharing it, ask about their prices.

Prices vary, but we can categorize it into three options:

  • Price per link
  • Monthly link building package
  • Project basis
  • Hourly option

The best pricing option when outsourcing link building is pay per link (price per link).

It is deliverable-based.

And you only get what you pay for. If they don't deliver links, you don't pay. As simple as that.

This is risk-free compared to other link building pricing options where you pay whether or not they build backlinks to your website.

Here's one more thing when you discuss pricing:

Ask if there are any hidden and transaction fees on top of their package.

Why ask this one?

It prepares you for budgeting. Plus, you give a heads-up to your finance team in advance.

At the end of this call, it is essential to ask for proposals.

 

Step 7: Review proposals

Once you get proposals from potential link building agencies, it's time to decide which one you'll partner with.

Review proposals and discussions on initial meetings based on your needs.

Go through each of the link building agencies, and ask yourself:

Will this particular service provider can attend to my needs?

Based on resources, pricing, timeline and expectations, decide your best-fit link building partner.

Step 8. Decide to outsource link building

You would feel hesitation, doubts, and fears at first.

But the only way for you to know if outsourcing link building is good for you is when you take a risk.

 

Here is a quick checklist you can save offline:

outsource link building checklist

Free Up Your Most Valuable Resource — Time

The most effective way to grow a business is to allocate resources properly.

If you think outsourcing link building can help scale your business to the next level (more effectively and quickly), do not hesitate.

If you follow every step in our checklist, you'll have stress-proof and risk-reducing outsourced link building campaigns.


link building strategies

9 Link Building Strategies That Actually Work in 2022 (New To Try)

Want to maintain your site's rankings with new link building strategies?

Awesome. This list includes 9 link building strategies that you probably haven't tried before (if you're a beginner).

Plus, new ways to attack old link building strategies like guest blogging (for intermediate and advanced SEOs).

With more than 10 years in the SEO industry, our team at SharpRocket has managed to secure 10000+ links across different industries for different sizes and types of websites.

Now, if you're ready to see these actionable strategies that are worth trying in 2022, let's get started.

 

 

Curate Industry Statistics

Curate, not create. This means you simply get all the available statistics online, write your key insights and publish them.

Easy to do.

But why industry statistics?

Publishers are looking for reliable, credible references for their content. They want to serve their readers well by giving up-to-date information on the topic they're writing about.

So when they want to cite resources, they do a Google search and find what's applicable from the top ranking pages. Then they link to the page from their content.

 

Where do you start?

First, you have to find what people are searching for. What topics do they typically want to make as references for their blog posts? You start topical research.

One of the best ways to discover topics for statistics is by reverse engineering top publications in your space.

For example, Healthline is an authority site in the health and medical niche.

So if I want to see what statistics they published, I'd go to Ahrefs, enter their domain and check "Best by links' growth".

Search for "statistics", and there you'll see many statistics content.

ahrefs best by links healthline

 

Another topical research strategy is to discover questions your potential customers might be asking in your industry.

For example, most aspiring entrepreneurs would like to know "how many startups fail in the first year of business?". They do so out of fear of failing.

google search how many startups fail

 

What would they see when they search for it?

A lot of statistics posts. That's where the demand to satisfy a search user's intent, plus link opportunities from content creators who might link to it from their articles.

Now, wear a beginner's hat.

Brainstorm questions people might ask when they want to know more of a thing in your industry or are venturing into a job or career.

After topical research, the next step is:

Curate.

Find information from available public data sites you can source out. The most popular ones are Statista and Data.gov.

Compile them.

And include the essential part of statistics posts:

Key insights.

This part is what makes your content unique, given that it's based on statistics you've gathered and its relevance to your readers.

Put "key insights" at the top section of your statistics post.

zebra statistics key insights

Best Examples of Statistics Posts

Here are some examples of statistics posts to inspire you to start your own:

 

Like any other content, you'll have to promote your statistics page. Start by identifying target people who will amplify your linkable asset. These are publishers and bloggers looking for references to add to their blog posts.

Start blogger outreach strategy by finding their email addresses.

Reach out to them and share your content.

As your statistics pick up new links, you'll start seeing its ranking go up. You’ll experience your content attracting new inbound links when it increases visibility.

 

 

Use Citable Content Formats

Link attraction is an old-school strategy of getting high-quality backlinks without continuous manual outreach efforts.

Instead of you reaching out to people, content creators voluntarily link to your content, as they find it comprehensive and informative for their readers.

LInk attraction involves publishing citable content formats.

Without content, it's almost impossible for publishers to link to you. After all, to which page would they be linking?

Unlike the popular skyscraper technique, citable content formats don't have to be long-form.

This content strategy focuses on micro pieces that easily rank for quick answers.

Some search queries aren't supposedly answered with long-form content. Instead, you’ll find several micro-content pieces that are sufficient to answer quick questions.

FAQs are the most common citable content format.

When people ask direct questions, they want quick answers. So now, when your page appears in the featured snippet, you're likely one of the content other publishers would link from their articles.

One good example of this strategy well played out is adding FAQs at the end of an article or landing page.

eachnight how often to replace pillow

 

faqs end of the article eachnight websiteThe benefit of doing so is it helps your page to rank for quick questions.

Another citable content format to consider is finishing articles with a glossary.

If you're in an industry where almost every blog post has technical jargon and might need some explanation for readers to consume your content well.

A glossary is a good addition towards the end of your article.

It is easy to get more relevant keywords on a page as it expands its word count (if that's necessary).

 

Want to discover more citable elements?

Aside from FAQs and Glossary, there are other citable elements you may want to consider.

PDFs.

When people want to consume and use information conveniently, they download pdfs. So try to think (or research) for subjects that may need an additional PDF format.

google search sleep hygiene pdf

 

Questionnaire

With PDF content formats, there are questionnaires. This content format benefits educators when creating their quizzes (for school classes) or giving them to participants during workshops.

It is a great way to steal some ranking spots while gaining new links from publishers who include it in their articles.

Here are more citable content formats to consider for your next content.

citable content formats

Content Partnerships

Relationships are the backbone of link building.

It is much easier to scale backlinks if the person you reach out to knows you.

Much simpler if they find and see value from your content or brand.

Content partnerships work this way.

You use web assets as leverage to get the attention of potential linkers.

If you're familiar with link exchange, you'll find this content partnership to be of a similar strategy.

Link exchange is directly linking between two relevant websites—one links to a relevant article of another website, and vice versa.

In content partnerships, you use other websites (two or more) when linking to your potential linker.

In other words, content partnership is link exchange at scale.

Instead of your website linking to your potential linker, you use your other content sites to link to them.

 

Why this link building strategy works so well?

First, you leverage the power of your authority site.

Websites with high traffic are not attracted smaller blogs. They look for new dofollow backlinks from a site with similar or higher authority.

So if you use the power of your authority site to get a link for your smaller niche site, you'll have chances to earn links in email outreach.

The second reason why content partnerships work in 2022 is:

Some bloggers are not a fan of reciprocal link exchange.

They don't see it as a viable strategy, as they see it as harmful for their site's traffic. While that’s not true, especially if you execute it properly — only reaching out to relevant blogs (and not from random websites).

A better strategy than direct link exchange is content partnerships.

Here is a good email outreach template that you can use:

content partnership email outreach template

 

Targeted Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is still an effective link building strategy in 2022.

Reason?

Guest posts can bring targeted traffic to your website.

Plus, contextual links from guest posts boost the ranking power of pages being linked to.

While there are guest blogging campaigns that flopped in results, a few successful guest posting campaigns sustain their success.

Two factors make these guest blogging campaigns successful:

Precision and intention.

When guest blogging has precision, it only finds the right targeted audience.

Audience who cares about what you have to say. Audience who are likely to bring in new traffic to your brand.

And when you reach out to these people with the right intention (second factor), they'll respond to your email pitch because it shows that you care for readers.

Let's go with some practical tips.

Use audience research as one of your main strategies to find guest blogging opportunities.

Instead of utilizing search modifiers such as "write for us" or "guest post" plus industry keywords, you begin with discovering and learning about your audience groups.

Sparktoro does help in this process.

For example, if I'm searching for keto diet enthusiasts, I could simply enter the keyphrase to the search bar.

The tool will provide all the information I need, including social accounts keto diet people follow most, and more importantly, for guest blogging purposes:

Websites they visit most.

I could go straight and use them as a list of target publications for guest blogging.

Or dig deeper a bit.

In Sparktoro, you'll see "Hidden Gems".

sparktoro keto diet hidden gems

 

These websites have less overall traffic but high relative engagement among this audience.

Gold!

This is precised guest blogging. These are publications you'd want to distribute content.

Another way to find guest post opportunities is by using Ahrefs' Content Explorer.

Head over to the search bar and type in a broad or niche keyword.

You can filter the results based on Domain Rating (DR).

Scroll down and click "Websites". This reveals the top 100 websites based on your input keywords.

Export the results and consider them part of your list of publications to pitch.

Besides Ahrefs' Content Explorer, you can't ignore its Link Explorer feature.

Through this feature, you can find competitors' backlinks — that may include publications they've placed content for distribution.

It is best to check websites that drive the most traffic to your competitors.

If you could get guest posts placed on these publications, it would help drive some more traffic to your blog.

Interested in starting a guest blogging campaign? Learn about our guest post service.

 

Publish Surveys

Surveys content can pick up new links every week.

It works because journalists want to cover stories.

And if you give them exclusivity to interesting information, they won't hesitate to feature your surveys.

Now, how can you publish surveys?

You can use Google Consumer Surveys to collect answers to questions. You can filter participants by demographics (age, location, gender, etc..).

Make sure questions are tied to your brand's topics.

The key to successful linkable surveys is to make headlines attention-grabbing.

This is what provokes journalists and publishers.

https://www.thezebra.com/resources/home/dangers-of-sharing-passwords/

Once you publish the survey, create a media list that includes industry and local journalists who might want to cover your story.

This may require some digital PR, but you can go pitch mid-tier bloggers and have them feature your surveys on their articles if you’re starting.

This way, you'll have social proof you can use for the next round of pitching, now for authoritative websites.

 

 

Broken Link Building

Broken link building, mostly known as BLB, recommends a link replacement to a webmaster with a broken link on their website.

This is most effective because it adds value by replacing defunct resources with new ones (including your content) that are more useful and helpful to website readers.

To this at scale, you can use Ahrefs' Content Explorer.

Type in keywords like "resources" or "links" along with your topic and use the search filter "Title".

Now, the tool provides you with relevant resource pages.

Reach out to them, tell them about errors and provide appropriate link replacements.

Here is an email template you can use for broken link building:

broken link building email outreach templateFor step by step process, you can check out our entire broken link building guide.

And, an email template for resource page link building:

resource page link building email outreach template

Link Reclamation

People mention products and services. And when they do, sometimes, they forget about linking to appropriate sources.

This is where link reclamation comes into play.

Link reclamation is the process of reclaiming lost links or unlinked brand mentions of your site.

Generally, link reclamation has the highest link placement rate among link building strategies.

Reason?

They've known about your brand or even used your content.

Link reclamation is mostly used for large-scale enterprise brands where they get mentioned on different web places almost daily.

However, you can use it for smaller sites and, if done correctly, can help add more targeted links to your important pages.

There are two ways to do with link reclamation:

First, identify lost inbound links to your site and reclaim them through outreach.

It may be so simple, but you have first to know the reason why the publisher in the first place removed it.

If they've found a more useful alternative resource to replace yours, it's not worthy of your time to reclaim a link — unless you recently updated your content piece.

Second, find unlinked mentions of your products or content. If they've mentioned you, it's easy to reclaim these future links with a simple ask. Familiarity takes place.

For two link reclamation methods, here are email templates you can use:

link reclamation email outreach template

 

Infographics

Infographics are useful visual assets to increase brand awareness, get links, and improve rankings for the site's key terms.

Link building through infographics is still effective — if executed properly.

Forget about farm sites and infographic submission sites that don't add much value and traction to your content. Go and look for real targeted blogs to include your infographics.

The more careful your execution is the better results in terms of links you'll get out of it.

Now, what makes infographics successful these days?

One effective strategy is by using infographics as complementary to your main informative content asset. This solidifies the entire content instead of a stand-alone full infographic page.

For example, you can add infographics to the data studies page to emphasize essential data points.

zebra research study

zebra infographic on research study

For content promotion, you reach out to bloggers and share the infographics with custom intros' contextually written for the blog.

Offer to write a custom intro of the infographic. Even helping them insert embed code to their blog posts makes it easier for them to publish your visual asset.

It is best to give bloggers a sneak peek of the infographic by including the actual image of some of its sections. The email becomes more appealing and adds differentiation to your email pitch.

Here is an email template you can use for guestographics:

guestographics email outreach template

Replicate and Test Strategies That Work For Other Industries

Here is one way to discover new link building strategies:

Do not reinvent the wheel.

Look at other industries and marketers and see what they have done well.

By simply understanding how other websites solve problems, you'll find inspiration and original ideas for your content marketing and link building campaigns.

For example, if you want to test new link building strategies for a personal injury website, check other cities.

Grab their domains and discover how they recently acquired links.

Use Ahrefs to check the site's top linking pages.

Or make deductions as to the types of new backlinks they acquire:

new backlinks personal injury website

 

Another example is when you're trying to build links to money pages.

You can go to competitive markets like finance and analyze how they get money page backlinks.

nerdwallet money page

When you replicate the best strategies that work for other markets and test them for your site, you serve users.

And helps you build links your competitors can't easily copy.

Go and try.

 

Improve Your Link Building Strategy

There is no one size fits all strategy.

The only way to know if it works for your brand is to test it yourself.

Make a case study of the best link building strategies that are effective for your website.

If it works well, improve it more.

That's how you become better at link building in 2022.