Links are still the number one ranking factor Google’s algorithm uses to determine the SERP results. If you want to rank higher you have to build links. It’s been this way since day one and it’s not going to change — at least not anytime soon.

While the fact that links are the number one signal hasn’t changed, the art of link building has. It’s all about strategically acquiring authoritative links. Quality over quantity, so to speak.

The majority of people that try to build links give up before they gain traction and experience results. Why? Because it’s not easy and it takes time. Today, people want results immediately — and with no work involved.

This is also what leads people to try to take shortcuts, and they end up falling for low-quality backlink building services. Private networks of sites with no traffic. Spammed blogs with an article talking about divorce lawyers between blogs about viagra and CBD oil.

This is why I put this link building guide together. This is packed full of information and it is not a teaser or just a taste. Anyone that is armed with this information can secure high-quality authoritative links, and many at no cost aside from the work element.

This is meant to help especially service-based businesses and others. There is so much value and advantage to understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO), even if you start off building links on your own or in-house and then having the financial means as your business grows to outsource the link building to a reputable agency like mine.

My goal with this comprehensive guide is to create a free resource packed with insane value that would significantly benefit businesses that take action, and I believe this accomplishes that perfectly. Now jump right in and enjoy.

Chapter 1: Build Your Website Foundation BEFORE You Build Links

Design to Reach Your Conversion Goals

Here I’m not just talking about the design, although an attractive layout and visually stimulating design are important. I’m talking specifically about having a website optimized to help you reach all of your conversion goals.

High keyword rankings and traffic volume are great, but it’s worthless if you aren’t converting your website visitors. Most SEO agencies will rely only on ranking reports and Google Analytics data to convince the client they are worth paying each month.

But all of that money spent on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and links is being thrown away because the website they are ranking and sending traffic to isn’t designed properly from a conversion standpoint. It doesn’t matter if you are a major e-commerce brand with 100s of consumer products, a local landscaping business servicing a small community, or a specialty restaurant. The goal of every website on the planet is to convert traffic.

This is either in the form of a lead, a direct sale, an email address capture, a phone call, an in-person location visit, getting directions, etc. You need to first clearly identify all of your conversion goals and then make sure that your website is fully optimized to help you reach those goals.

The higher the percentage of your traffic that converts, the more effective your SEO will be and the larger of an ROI it will be directly responsible for. Spend time and break down every component of your website, from the copy to the offers. Look at your data and see what path your visitors take on your website.

This is the best way to identify potential roadblocks and problems. Building links and sending traffic to a website that isn’t 100% optimized for conversions is like trying to build a new house in swampland without a foundation. It doesn’t matter how much effort, money, and resources you throw at it — it’s never going to be stable and work.

A website that converts at a high rate is the solid foundation you need before you start investing time and money on SEO, let alone expensive authority links. I’m not saying you need to go hire a web design agency and drop R100,000 on a new design. You can use good affordable templates and make minor changes.

Optimized for Speed and Load Time

This is another thing a large percentage of websites completely ignore, and that is the speed and load time of each page. There are two major reasons why you need to make sure that your website speed is optimized, and when I say this I mean every page and not just the homepage.

Google’s Algorithm Uses Speed as a Ranking Signal:​ Since Google’s main goal is to provide its users with the best possible results it should come as no surprise that speed is a ranking signal. Not only do they want to return the best results from an informational standpoint, but also a UX (user experience) one as well. While many speculate that it might only contribute to 1% of the algorithm, it’s something that you can easily do. If not, laziness is to blame.

Visitors Demand Fast-Loading Websites:​ Google’s algorithm considers speed because users demand a website loads fast. They aren’t going to wait around for a site to load. If there is a lag or they feel it’s slow they will leave. It’s that simple. How fast should your site load? As fast as possible.

Many clients will tell me that their website speed is perfect, and after a quick look the homepage does indeed load quickly, but their blog pages and inner pages are slow as a pig, which has a negative impact on their rankings.

Most homepages are fairly light on the content and resources. We will often notice that the inner pages, and more specifically the blog pages, are using more resources, server calls, and scripts because of plugins images, ads and etc. Take the time to ensure that every single page is fast and optimized.

It may take some time to get this done if your website is large, but once you have it under control it’s easy to maintain. Simply ensure each new post or page on your site passes the major testing tools. I suggest using the Ubersuggest Site Audit tool for testing your website and pages speed.

Some sites can also benefit from using a CDN (content delivery network). With these, you get what you pay for. In my experience, the free ones are more trouble than they are worth. If you have a large website that is generating revenue invest in a quality CDN and watch your speed improve. Some plugins can automatically handle the conversion for you. The load time improvement is incredible.

Tracking and Analytics to Measure, Analyze, and Optimize Results

Building links and going all-in on SEO without a plan to measure, analyze, and optimize results is like going to a gunfight with a knife. You might make a little progress at first and even stay alive for a bit, but you will eventually get squashed, and fairly quickly.

Here are some things to implement on your website from the very beginning. Having this set up before building links and working on rankings will help you achieve your desired results easier.

Google Analytics:​ This is standard, and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have this installed. Things like how many people are visiting your website, how much time they are spending, what pages they are visiting from where, and etc.

Ubersuggest: Track target SEO keywords and their position on Google and audit the entire site to look for issues and potential areas for improvements.

Google Search Console:​ This is a big one. There is so much data available for free that many miss out on because they don’t want to connect their website.

Google Search Console Performance and Indexing Audit

Before you go wide open with link building and SEO you should do an on-site audit of every page and then run all of them through Google Search Console. Let me explain.

First, use freely available tools, like Rank Math​ if you are running on WordPress. Make sure that each page is targeting one main keyword that you want to rank for.​ If the content is thin, beef it up.

Once you have all of your pages and content optimized you will want to run each URL through the inspection tool. Once it’s returned, even if it says the URL is on Google and indexed, click the “REQUEST INDEXING” button. This will get Google to crawl the page and its content again.

If you made changes to optimize it for better search performance this will help you rank higher.

Any time you make significant changes to any page on your website you will want to do this. This is just being proactive, as you don’t want to wait for Google to randomly decide to crawl the particular page again. You might be waiting a long time if you don’t take this into your own hands.

You should also make sure there aren’t any site health issues that could prevent you from maximum SEO gain. The “Coverage” section will show you all known and reported errors, such as 404 broken links, etc. It’s a good idea to fix these quickly, as performance is something Google’s algorithm takes into consideration.

Doing these things doesn’t cost much. Spend the time to make sure your website is a solid foundation you can build on. If not you can see all of your hard work, time, and money wasted.

Chapter 2: Interlinking

Start Blogging

“I don’t know how to do link outreach and I don’t have money to buy links. So how can I build links?”

This is a question I have heard multiple times over the years and I always ask the person if they have WordPress admin access (or access to whichever platform their website is built on), and when they tell me they do I tell them that they can start building links right now.

Link building on your own website is something so easy to do that it’s almost always overlooked. Do you have service pages? Product pages? Category pages? There are endless ways to interlink pages within your own site and use fairly aggressive anchor text in doing so, while not appearing to be overly spammy.

That said, the simplest strategy for interlinking pages and posts within your own website is with your blog posts. Publishing content regularly on your blog is the smartest SEO strategy you can invest your time and money into. It not only helps you attract organic traffic but also gives you content assets that you can use in your outreach.

You are going to find it very difficult to find quality websites that are going to willingly link to your homepage. Unless it’s a press release or a major news announcement that is trending, there is really no reason to directly link to a homepage. In fact, many of the larger authority publications have changed their guidelines to prohibit homepage links.

Websites have become bombarded with guest post requests, link swap requests, and outright bribes for homepage links. Not only has this caused most to just prohibit them at all, but it caused many publications to no-follow all links sitewide.

It started with Huffington Post no-following everything across their entire site, which then resulted in Inc, Forbes, and Entrepreneur to follow suit. Then they became very strict as far as homepage links and naturally, this has trickled down with smaller blogs and websites adopting the same policies.

So, when you perform outreach you need to have great pieces of blog content to pitch. This must provide value and offer reasons for the website to link to it. If a website is receiving several dozen pitches daily what is it about your blog post(s) that will stand out and make it impossible for them to deny your pitch?

Take this approach from day one, and as you are creating content interlink with other relevant content on your website. If you already have blog content, audit it, go through it all looking for opportunities to link within your own website.

This is great for your SEO and as you build your website’s authority over time it helps to evenly distribute that authority throughout. This helps raise all of your pages and posts in Google’s organic search results.

Advanced Interlinking

Once you fully understand the power of interlinking you can then start to get very creative with ways to create very powerful and authoritative resources on your website that you can then leverage to push up other pages and posts on your site in the SERPs.

One of the best examples of this I have seen in a while is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest tool. It’s quickly become one of the most popular keyword research tools and SEO strategy tools out there. There is a free version so it’s something that everyone can use to some degree.

He acquired the tool and placed it on his own website’s domain, redirecting the previous ubersuggest.com domain as well. Why? Because he knew he could leverage it and drastically increase his authority with it. It currently sits on https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ and as of this​ writing the DA is 88 and the PA is 67, with just under 172,000 inbound links.

Read that again. Just under 172,000 inbound links. To that one URL. That is amazing. There are a few pages on his site that receive a massive benefit from this: the blog, as well as his consulting and training pages.

Now, acquiring Ubersuggest cost Neil Patel $120,000 so it was a hefty investment that not​ every business is capable of dropping, and understandably so. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t create something as equally epic. That tool fits perfectly with his audience. The trick is to do the same.

You can also create an interactive resource on your website. For example, TaxTim.com has a tax calculator:

screenshot www.taxtim.com 2022.01.04 18 08 55

This is something they can use in their outreach and it organically also attracts links from other websites passively. It’s a resource that is very helpful and is put together very nicely.

Think about what your audience is going to see as something of value. Not necessarily your visitors specifically, but rather your broader audience. Remember, this is a link-building tool to increase the authority of your site. If you can come up with a resource that acts as a link-building magnet as well as a lead generation magnet, that is even better.

Link Out to Authority Sites and Resources

Every page on your website should link out to a website reference point that has authority in the eyes of Google. This could be a Wikipedia page, a news article from a major media outlet, or a case study.

Again, it will depend on your website. A local dentist might link out to resources on SADA’s website. A law firm might link to an article from the attorneys.co.za website. Here is an example from a law firm blog article:

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They linked out to Kelley Blue Book Values, which is the top authority when it comes to car values in the United States. DO they have to link​  to that resource in order for their article to make sense? No, of course not. The potential law firm client could read that article without the link, but linking out to other websites is part of a healthy SEO strategy.

I talk to many website owners that don’t link out because they fear passing link juice to other websites. I can promise you that not linking out and only interlinking will raise a red flag. It’s not natural.

Remember, it’s important to make your link profile, both inbound and outbound, as natural-looking as possible. If someone had a website and was blogging without having any SEO knowledge would they link out to other articles and resources? Yes, they would. It’s a natural thing to do.

If you are really worried about losing a little link juice look at the biggest websites in the world. They link out to several resources in every article, across thousands of articles. If anything, not linking out will actually hurt you.

Referencing authority sites that Google already trusts is a great way to get them to associate your website in the same category. While not instant, over time it’s going to help if you not only acquire links from authority sites but also link out to them from your content.

One thing I will advise you against is linking to other websites that you are competing with, as I have seen some clients link to competitors and even affiliate sites in some instances that were selling their products or services.

Use common sense here. In the example above the law firm article links to Kelly Blue Book, an automotive pricing resource. They aren’t competing with them for their target keyword or for any keyword for that matter.

It’s an authority website that was highly relevant to that particular article. Don’t misinterpret authority sites with niche-relevant websites. Make sure the article or resource you are linking to is relevant to the particular page you are linking from. That’s what is important. Passing a little authority to the Kelly Blue Book site isn’t harming that law firm, but if they were linking to an automotive article on a competing law firm’s blog it would be a different story.

Chapter 3: How to Identify “Good” Links for Maximum SEO Gains

Understanding What Makes a Link Relevant & Desirable

There are many things to consider when evaluating relevance. Many people will just look at some vanity third-party metrics and declare a link relevant, but it doesn’t work that way. If I was building links for a local pizza restaurant I’d rather three links from popular food review blogs than a single link from Forbes.

Why?

First, the three food review blogs are more relevant, as they relate to food, and second, the chances of those links being do-follow are much greater. A local pizza restaurant has no business being mentioned, let alone linked to by Forbes unless they did something extraordinary that warranted large-scale national media attention.

Also, Google has devalued links from large media sites because of how easily they are acquired (as long as you have deep pockets), so again, the relevancy of a link comes into play now more than ever. Here are some of the things to look at in order to determine if a link opportunity is relevant beyond just the niche of the website. These factors contribute to their desirability.

Anchor Text:​ Some link opportunities will provide a more lenient opportunity when it comes to anchor text. What is your goal? Are you looking for brand name anchors? Very specific keyword anchors? Generic “here” or “more info” anchor text?

If your goal is just to increase your website’s authority then anchor text is irrelevant, but if you are targeting specific inner pages and want exact-match anchors to push your SEO to the limit, then your options are going to be much more limited.

Referral Traffic:​ Many people don’t consider referral traffic as a benefit of SEO, and those that think this way miss out. Again, I’m going to reference Forbes and use a local pizza restaurant as an example. If they land a link on Forbes the odds of someone local to them seeing it, clicking on it, and then going in to order a pizza is slim to none.

But, if they scored a handful of links from local media outlets (local news stations, local food blogs, etc.) then not only get the link value but if those links are contextual in real content, local traffic will see it and possibly click-through, some of which could possibly turn into customers, making those links much more desirable.

As you can see, more factors need to be looked at and evaluated than just “DA” and third-party metrics — a topic I’m about to dive into next.

The TRUTH About Moz’s Domain Authority (DA)

The way SEO specialists talk about Moz’s Domain Authority (DA) metric you would think that it replaced Google’s PR (Page Rank) metric. Well, it did in terms of how it is referenced, but honestly, it has nothing to do with PR, let alone Google for that matter.

DA is a magical third-party metric that has zero influence on Google, the search results, or anything at all. It’s essentially a bullshit number designed to get more people to use Moz’s paid SaaS toolset.

It’s best used as an initial gauge, but beyond that, you need to let common sense take over and do a bit of peaking around. I mentioned several things to look at above in the previous section. Following those tips will prevent you from being blinded by shiny object syndrome.

Many people see “DA 80” and immediately think they are acquiring a great link that will benefit their SEO when in reality it got that Domain Authority rating with a bunch of expired redirects, making the link worthless.

DA is very easy to manipulate and inflate. I could buy some expired domains, throw up some blogs, and build a “DA 60+ network” of blogs using nothing but Fiverr gigs. Don’t believe me? Go to Fiverr.com and search “increase da” and look at what pops up. There are a countless​ number of gigs promising to increase a website’s DA — and very quickly. Take a look and see for yourself:

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There are two types of people that will buy these gigs and put their websites into the hands of these clowns:

Naive Noobs:​ Sadly many noobs will fall for this, and I can honestly see why. I have personally contacted several of these sellers and they all claim to do “white hat Google safe techniques” which is complete bullshit.

Then they continue to press until you bite or tell them to piss off. I’ll let you guess what I did. Anyway, they use automation to build spammy links. This enables them to provide a report, which they claim is responsible for the increase. But, what they really do is point a bunch of expired domains at your site. This boots the DA, and the customer is happy…until it drops.

They remove the redirects and point them at the next victim. They rinse and repeat until their account gets shut down. Then they just flip it to a new one. These scumbags are crooks, often operating dozens of gigs under different names.

From what I have seen, if you fall victim to this you can recover, but it takes a disavow report and being very proactive. They burn a lot of unsuspecting noobs this way. It’s a shame that Fiverr allows pure crap.

Network Owners:​ Then we have those that run networks. They know the DA will eventually drop when the redirects are removed, so they continue to buy these gigs to maintain their inflated numbers. They don’t care about burning a site into the ground. If that happens they move the blog and its full content to another domain.

I’ve been in the SEO game for a decent amount of time now and I’ve seen it all, including “news” websites that move to new domains on the regular. I’ve fallen down some rabbit holes while doing research and the level of redirects and layers you can uncover for some of these network sites is insane.

So, is Moz’s DA a trusted metric? When used correctly, it can help. But, to make decisions based on it without doing some digging is reckless.

Ahrefs Domain Rank + Majestic Trust Flow & Citation Flow Explained

Just like Moz, Ahrefs is a third-party company that makes its money by selling subscriptions to its SaaS product. Again, zero influence on Google’s results. It’s speculation and guessing, but a lot of people tend to prefer Ahrefs Domain Rank (DR) over Moz’s Domain Authority (DA).

The data seems a little more in-depth, and you can also use TF (Trust Flow) and CF (Citation Flow) to determine how good a domain is. But, just like with DA, all of Ahrefs metrics can be easily gamed as well through Fiverr gigs.

A quick search of “increase dr” will return an endless amount of gigs to inflate Domain Rank (DR):

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When you look at these gigs and you see how many reviews there are you get a sense of two things:

  1. A lot of people use these services, making it very important that you know what to look for underneath the numbers to determine whether or not a domain is worth it in terms of link value.
  2. Many people are clueless about SEO. Just read the comments. “Wow, amazing. Thanks. My DR and DA are now so high!” These people are looking just at the number a third-party is kicking back — not at the actual SEO performance of the gigs. It’s very sad.

You can search for “increase tf” as well and be presented with gigs that promise fast boosting of that metric as well:

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One great feature of Ahrefs backlink checking tool​ is its Referring Domains data. Here is an​ example of Frobes.com:

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They have almost 1.1 Million referring domains linking to them. That is both massive and what you call a natural link profile. Are some low quality? Of course. Are some the best links in the world? Yes. It’s a mix, and it’s what Google loves.

Now, here is a report from a blog I know is part of a network:

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As you see, the DR (Domain Rating) is very high — 75. Also, they have 228,000 links. Looks great, right? Wrong. They only have 464 referring domains. This website is pure spam and its metrics are inflated. It’s a worthless link. But they sell guest posts for $500 and they sell a lot of them.

They publish more than a dozen posts a day, all of which are paid. So this pile of steamy sh#t blog is making $6,000 a day selling sponsored posts on a “high DA and RA site” with do-follow links, but the posts aren’t worth more than a $5 Fiverr gig.

So, just because some SEO specialists prefer Ahrefs metrics over Moz that doesn’t mean they cannot be gamed and inflated as well. You’re going to be falsely misled if you rely just on the number alone. You have to be willing to dive into the domain and take a look behind the curtain to see what is really going on.

It can seem to be a pain at first, but once you know what to look for you will quickly differentiate between winners and losers with very little effort.

No-Follow vs. Do-Follow

The no-follow vs. do-follow debate has been going on forever, and while do-follow links are more desirable as they pass authority and “juice,” you cannot simply ignore no-follow links. Google constantly adapts and some of the most powerful links are no-follow. An example is Wikipedia (they follow internal links but any link to an external website received the no-follow attribute).

When link prospecting the easiest way to see if certain links are do-follow or no-follow is to install the Moz toolbar. It’s a free Chrome browser extension that can be installed here​. Sign up​ for a free Moz account and you can easily see the metrics of any website you are browsing and also quickly highlight all no-follow or do-follow links. Here is an example of the tool being used in a NY Post article. As you can see the contextual link within the content is do-follow:

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With most of the website links that are considered “highly desirable” these days being no-follow, it’s kind of changed the approach. Google definitely values them, but from an SEO standpoint you need to consider the following:

  • You need a diverse natural link profile. Having 99% do-follow links just isn’t believable, under any circumstance. Links from social media profiles, most business directories, blog comments, forum links, etc. are all no-follow, and they have always been no-follow.  A natural profile includes no-follow links, and some of them hold more weight. It really comes down to how difficult it is to get the link and/or the requirements to get said link.
  • Is there the potential for referral traffic? Forum links are a great example. Sure, a link on a forum might not give you do-follow juice, but if it’s a high traffic forum with an audience interested in your product or service, it’s a good link. SEO value might be very minimal, but it’s going to get you more traffic, repeat visitors, more organic searches with click-throughs, etc. From a business standpoint, this kind of link with high referral traffic benefits is highly valuable in terms of generating business.

Now, instead of just having to worry about sites using the no-follow attribute we have to worry about two new tags, which I’m going to address separately below.

UGC Attribute

Last year Google announced the UGC (User Generated Content) attribute, as a tag that could be used to identify links on a website that are placed by the users/visitors, rather than the actual website itself.

It’s an attempt to devalue links that anyone can drop simply by registering an account. You can quickly inspect a link and see what attributes if any, a link has. Google made it very clear that publications and sites didn’t have to make changes, go back and assign the UGC tag to links, or even use it in the future.

Basically, it’s available to use if anyone wants to. Thankfully I haven’t seen any large sites begin to use it. I honestly thought Forbes, Entrepreneur, and all the big boys with contributors would tag all of their links as ‘UGC,’ but that hasn’t happened.

Google has already devalued those links to a degree. I wouldn’t worry too much about this, as the whole point of no-follow being introduced back in 2005 was to give websites (mostly blogs and forums) a way to notate links that its users were responsible for. This is just another attribute to use that accomplishes the same thing.

I don’t see this being a popular attribute moving forward. The default WordPress editor now allows you to assign the no-follow tag and the sponsored tag to links, but not the UGC tag, further proof that it’s not being used nor anyone is paying attention to it. This one was a flop.

Sponsored Attribute

The “sponsored” attribute was announced at the same time as the “UGC” attribute. This one is being used more frequently, especially by bloggers, and it’s now a standard link option within the default WordPress editor.

Any time you are looking for guest post opportunities make sure to look at recently published content. Inspect the links and look for “rel=sponsored” in the HTML code. I would highly suggest not paying for links that get tagged with this.

They are essentially telling Google that you paid for the link, which at this point is worthless. If it comes down to getting a link on a blog with the sponsored tag or not getting a link at all I’d pass. Find another opportunity that won’t blatantly tell Google you paid for the link.

High Traffic Domains > Third Party Unicorn Metrics

I’m going to quickly touch base on what metric holds more weight than most third-party metrics, and that is website traffic. A website with a lot of organic traffic is a good sign that it’s real, therefore making obtaining a link from the site more beneficial, both in link value and referral traffic potential.

While you will never know true traffic numbers unless you have access to their Google Analytics account, there are some traffic estimation tools you can use that will give you a decent overview. The three I’d suggest you use are SimilarWeb​, Ubersuggest, and Ahrefs​. From there common sense and logical thinking have to come into play.

You can also try to get accurate numbers from the site directly.

Look for an advertising page or contact the site using whatever contact information/methods you can find. Tell them you are interested in advertising but would like to see a media kit with site data first.

Most websites that run ads or sell sponsored posts will have this readily available. Most serious advertisers won’t enter into a contract without seeing this data. While it takes a little effort, this information can really help you determine whether or not a link is worth pursuing.

Going beyond just raw DA and DR numbers will help you get better links, and your SEO budget will be spent wisely. Remember, SEO is a long-term play. Websites with a lot of traffic are going to increase in authority, as more websites link to them in the future. Over time that link you secure becomes more valuable as it passes more authority and juice to your site.

Chapter 4: Low Hanging Fruit

Directory Link Building

I’m going to say something that may leave people scratching their heads. Directory links, even what most would consider “low quality” can help your SEO. Why? Because a website isn’t going to naturally have a squeaky clean link profile, filled up with only authority links. It just doesn’t happen that way. It is not NATURAL.

Also, in order to succeed with SEO, you sometimes need to think like a regular person, and not an SEO or someone that understands search engine optimization.

If someone owns a business and joins a forum or group that allows them to put a link in their profile they are going to do it. They are also going to do it without checking the Domain Authority, whether or not the link is do-follow or not, or what the Spam Score is on the domain. Why not? Because the normal person doesn’t think like that.

If they see a field to enter a website they are going to do it, in hopes that someone sees it, and clicks on it. That is why natural link profiles have these types of links in them. If Bob owns an auto parts website and joins a baseball forum they are going to put their website link in their bio naturally, without thinking about SEO.

Social Media Profiles Links (Build Them ALL – Fill Up Google Page One with Brand Name)

Make a list of all the social media platforms you will eventually use, create a company profile and link your website.

Supplier, Vendor, Service, Software and Non-Profit Partner Links

This type of link building can score you very good links — ones you cannot even buy, but it requires a little relationship building and effort. If you are lazy, skip over this, but if you are creative and willing to put in a little effort this is a great way to add links to your profile that your competitors can’t duplicate simply by opening up their wallet.

The first step is to identify any and every possible supplier and/or vendor, service provider, etc. that your business works with. This can be anything from a manufacturer, a company that provides shipping supplies to your business, the company you buy cleaning supplies from, or the marketing agency you pay to do your PPC or SEO.

A local restaurant will have a local produce supplier, a beverage distributor they buy from. A mom and pop retail store will have several companies they buy from.

Every business under the sun uses multiple SaaS products to conduct their day-to-day operations. There isn’t a single business that can honestly say this will not work for them.

If you are stuck on this the easiest way to figure out everyone you do business with is to open your bank statement online and audit the past three months. Who did you pay? Make a list and then go to each website and determine whether or not pursuing a link is worth the time and effort.

You will want to note the following:

  • The overall authority of the website
  • Whether or not there is an opportunity for a link placement (ex: do they have a testimonial section, do they link out to other websites, a guest blogging opportunity)
  • Do they assign the no-follow tag to outbound links (because this strategy takes effort I’d only suggest doing this for do-follow link placement opportunities)

If a potential target passes the first test add it to your prospecting list. Once you go through all of your possible opportunities and have your final list of targets you need to put yourself in their shoes to determine what kind of pitch they are going to be most responsive to.

A lot of how you approach this is going to have to do with your relationship with the company and their size.

For example, we helped a local restaurant secure links from a half dozen vendors in a matter of days simply by asking. They were very small companies and the restaurant owner knew the people in charge at these vendors on a first-name basis.

All it took was a simple ask: “Hey, if I wrote a testimonial for you to put on your website would you link back to our restaurant? It would help us greatly!”

They agreed, we wrote up very nice testimonials that were live within a week and this client received a half dozen do-follow links that ranged from DA 22 to DA 58. Not bad at all. Again, that personal connection was already established so the “ask” could be very direct and to the point.

If you have strong personal relationships with owners, managers, reps, etc. your ask and approach can be direct. It saves time and gets results.

If you don’t have contacts you will have to find the right person at the company. LinkedIn could be great for this. Look for their content marketing person or business relationship director. Heck, I’ve even had success contacting the CEO directly many times.​

When you email these people you need to make them feel like your testimonial or review will help them convert more traffic on their website. You want to keep the email short and direct to the point while making it impossible for them not to reply.

Score High Authority Podcast Links Without Starting a Podcast

Podcasts are a great way to build an audience and awareness for your business, but most people don’t have the time to record and produce a podcast. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the link building opportunities that come with having a podcast. You will want to set up an account with Anchor.FM,​ a top podcast platform and distribution​ network. It’s free. It’s easy.

image 14

You will want to come up with a podcast title that is relevant to your niche. Also, make sure the name isn’t being used already. Just search iTunes first. Once you have a great name you will want to write a podcast description.

Make this as believable as possible. A nice paragraph explaining what you will be talking about is sufficient. Then you will need to come up with your podcast cover art. Make this in a free tool like Canva. Select the best category for your podcast and include your website URL.

In order for Anchor to distribute your podcast, you need to have a trailer uploaded. Don’t worry, this is simple. The easiest way to do this is to download the Anchor app on your phone and login and record your trailer. The instructions are simple. Once you have that done you can submit it for distribution and you can monitor what networks pick it up.

In your Anchor dashboard, you will see your distribution results, and you can also access your RSS feed, which you can then submit to other channels and players if you want.

Let’s look at the links you can easily score via this distribution channel without doing anything:

Those are just without trying. Then you can also submit your podcast RSS feed to other players and distribution channels, as well as podcast directories.

For the amount of effort it takes to get this set up, the return in terms of link value is massive.

Chapter 5: Linkable Content Assets

If You Build Content Assets, The Links Will Come

Ever seen the movie Field of Dreams​? Great movie. The message:

image 16

The same logic applies to link building. If you build an amazing content asset the links will come.

I look at a lot of websites each week. Over the years I have seen thousands of websites across every niche imaginable. From brands doing millions in sales weekly to blogs that generated nothing.

There has always been one differentiator when it comes to the sites with the better link profiles, and that was the content on their website. It doesn’t matter if we are comparing local law firms or global consumer brands.

The websites with better blog content always have better links. Are they better companies? No. They are just better at creating content that is attractive enough to other websites, resulting in them linking to it. Whether you are trying to gain links naturally from other websites stumbling on your content or via outreach — you need something unique and special.

A few tips:

  • Don’t publish low quality content on your website for the sake of “posting content” because you see it suggested by every SEO guru. If you are going to do it, do it correctly. I see so many businesses post crap and wonder why they don’t see any results. If you are going to invest in content marketing hire the best or fully commit to writing in-depth content that provides value.
  • Quality over quantity applies here. I have seen websites that post a new blog every day that never earned a single natural link, and then websites that made something so epic that it continues to earn them natural links three years down the line. Great content assets can become evergreen link magnets.

Approach building content as a long-term play. Doing this helps you think of special content assets you can build that will contribute to your SEO and link building success for years to come.

How to Hire Professional Writers (Stop Buying Low-Quality Content)

I have spent the past few years really working on my writing. For those of you who are regular readers of the Preferred Marketers blog, you may have noticed that I have posted new content consistently month-after-month.

My approach with our blog has always been to provide value to our readers. We don’t do outreach with our blog content, and that is by choice. I take the time to write for our blog subscribers, and if we attract some links, which we do, then it’s a bonus.

One thing I have learned is that writing is not easy. It takes time to map out an idea, break that idea into sections, and then further dissect the ideas into bite-sized chunks that readers can easily consume. Then, writing it in a way that a broad audience will get the same takeaway is another skill set.

I’ll be the first to admit that the work required to write quality content is more than the average business owner is going to have. Those that do have the time likely also have the money to hire a professional.

There are a lot of writers out there looking for work, but the number of writers that are worth the money is much smaller. There are many different freelance marketplaces out there. It doesn’t matter where you turn to source content writers, this formula will help you find the right one for your business.

  • Run away from any writer that uses the term “Native Speaker” because they are likely working for a content mill. Just because a profile on a freelancing website​ appears to be an individual it doesn’t mean that’s who is really behind the account. Many content mills post ads that appear to be freelancers but they are using fake profiles to lure in clients. If they refer to themselves as a “Native Speaker” run away. No real writer refers to themself that way. [PRO TIP: Always run a reverse image search on their profile picture. You would be shocked at how many times I find the same photos on stock image sites]
  • Give potential writers very detailed tests to weed out the garbage. Have a process​ potential writers must go through in order to apply. This can include a video interview, samples, keyword research tests, article title assignments to test creativity as well as SEO knowledge, and very specific instructions such as a required subject line to submit. If someone can’t follow directions in the beginning before being hired it’s only going to get worse. If they fail the first test clip them. Only move on with those that follow your directions exactly as you present them.
  • Do Zoom call interviews with top prospects. The writers that pass the first test are​ now ready for the second round. Do a Zoom call. This allows you to not only verify they are a real person, but it also allows you to see if they are punctual and you get first-hand experience dealing with them, while also seeing if their personality will gel with yours. This is important. You and your writer need to be able to communicate effortlessly.
  • Avoid hourly rates, instead negotiate a per-post rate. I’ve experienced both situations across different content projects for clients. The hourly writers always drag the process along, with multiple edits and revisions, while the flat rate writers deliver faster. In both situations, the quality is the same, and the flare rate content is more affordable.
  • Make it known you want a long-term relationship. If a writer is just looking for some​ quick cash it might not have the opportunity to develop into a long-term relationship. Opt for professional writers that do this as a career and won’t be going anywhere soon. The key is to have a writer become the voice of your blog and business. This will only happen over time.
  • Hire freelancers over agencies. This comes down to a speed and cost savings.​  Freelancers will deliver quicker and at a lower rate because the agency cut is removed from the equation.

Finding a writer that you can easily communicate with and that understands both your niche and audience inside and out will result in content worthy of linking to.

How to Write Content for Pre-Determined Link Targets

Sometimes you need content written for other publications, not necessarily your own blog. This could be for a contributor account you are trying to secure or a one-off guest post you want to submit.

It doesn’t matter if you are going to write the content yourself or hire a ghostwriter to do it, if you submit content that already “fits” the target in terms of style, format, and voice, it will greatly increase the odds of them accepting your pitch and publishing your content — while also hopefully scoring you a link.

These are the most important features to mimic when writing content for a specific target:

Title Style & Format:​ There are several different styles when it comes to titles and their formatting. Some Capitalize all first letters, while others only capitalize the first letter and all other words are lowercase letters. Little details like this mean a lot to editors and can mean the difference between being accepted or rejected.

Content-Length:​ Pay close attention to their content length. If they publicly accept guest posts, look for their guidelines page. If they say 800 – 1,200 words, make sure it’s at the high end, but don’t go over their max. Doing that gives them more work because they have to trim it down. Doing the bare minimum shows them you are only after a link. If the max word count is 1,200, I’m submitting something that comes in at 1,185.

Voice & Tone:​ Every blog has a tone or style, and its readers get used to that. If you submit a post that features the same voice and tone it gives them less work, as little to no editing will need to take place. If a website can literally copy and paste a submission they are more inclined to publish it.

Interlinking:​ Look at a few examples to see what they tend to favor in terms of interlinking. Some will always interlink for the first few links, while others are more random. Some will have a minimum number of links that go to other posts, while others do it here and there. Identify patterns and replicate them. This comes back to making less work for them. If they receive a pitch that is already linking to relevant content on their site they can push the “publish” button faster. Remember, they love free content. It drives page views and ad revenue. But, if they have to spend a lot of time editing it ends up costing them money to publish your post.

Heading and Subheading Formatting:​ Just like titles will vary from publication to publication in terms of capitalization, so will headings. Spending a few minutes making sure you understand how a blog formats its content goes a long way in helping you get your pitch and submission published. Paragraph Length:​ The average blog reader has a short attention span. Over the years many blogs started to favor paragraphs of 2-3 sentences over huge paragraphs. They found that visitors engaged longer with content that was broken up into several smaller paragraphs.

Why Infographics Are Still the Best Content Asset

When infographics first started picking up steam in the early days it became very clear they would become a valuable link-building tool. This led to oversaturation and everyone was pushing out infographics.

Then suddenly many people proclaimed that it was a dead method and infographics no longer were effective for link building. This is simply not true. The problem was many websites were publishing crap. They used Fiverr gigs and cheap templates. It’s no wonder no websites wanted to publish them.

Some of the most successful infographics went viral because they featured unique and interesting information combined with a very appealing visual design. You can’t just slap some info and a weak design together and expect the same kind of results.

If you have a great topic and interesting information paired with a great visual design you can clean up when it comes to securing great links.

This is why in my opinion (and experience) infographics are the best piece of content you can create for link building:

Humans are Visual Creatures:​ Someone is going to engage with an infographic over a regular blog post 9 out of 10 times. Why? It’s easier and more enjoyable. If you can figure out how to get your message across visually, do it.

They Attract Social Shares:​ If you analyze content on blogs and sort it according to social shares, you will notice that infographics always have a higher number of social shares. I’ve seen some blogs that average 20 to 30 social shares per post, but then have some with thousands of social shares, and sure enough, they are infographics.

Easily Re-Published:​ When you are using your infographic as link bait and pitching other websites and blogs, you will receive a positive response as long as your infographic is high quality because the site can easily publish it by simply pasting your HTML code into their CMS. Want an even better response rate? Send them a pre-written intro that is unique and specifically written for their website. This makes it a situation where they can publish an engaging piece of content with literally no work.

Gives Websites Additional Social Media Content:​ After publishing the infographic they can share it on social media, knowing that just mentioning the word “infographic” is going to attract clicks and website visitors. You give these sites social media content that’s going to command attention.

They Break Up Monotony:​ Most blogs publish nothing but text-based posts. An infographic allows them to mix it up and it breaks up the monotony. Tip: look for highly trafficked blogs that don’t publish infographics on a regular basis. You will find that they will bite if you pitch them something unique and special.

As I mentioned, you need a great topic and amazing content, but all of that is useless without an amazing design. For that, I’m going to introduce you to a freelancer that has been in the infographic game since day one and is used by several agencies that resell his design for up to 35X the cost.

Chapter 6: Guest Blogging

What is Guest Blogging?

Guest blogging is a smart activity that involves writing and publishing content on other blogs in exchange to get quality backlinks. This is a tactic to improve your SEO better and make your site get a higher rank in SERPs.

Guest blogging is a powerful technique to optimize the sites becoming better visibility, credibility, and authority in search engines. Writing great content on valuable websites brings quality do-follow links that are an important factor in the SEO strategy to create link building. This is improving your SEO, builds your site, and boosts your organic traffic.

Chapter 7: Miscellaneous Hacks to Snag High Authority Links Your Competition Doesn’t Have

How to Get Wikipedia Links

There is a big demand for Wikipedia links, and for good reason: they are very authoritative. This also backs up what I have said for a long time: no-follow links that come from legitimate sources still provide a lot of SEO value.

There is also a lot of misinformation regarding creating Wikipedia links. You see, Wikipedia is an open-source platform and they welcome corrections, edits, and the addition of information, as long as it’s legitimate.

But, like many other things, marketers messed it up. Now there are things in place to prevent spammers from dropping links. The moderators and long-standing community members take their job very seriously. They are volunteers and take it very personally when someone attempts to game Wikipedia.

Anyone can create an account on Wikipedia. The mistake many make is trying to drop links right away after registering an account. I would create one, but take time and let it age. Login here and there. View pages, and then make an edit related to your niche, but one that is very obvious and related to news or current events. Link to a news report and not a business. Do this over the course of 12 months to really age your profile and make it look legit.

But, since nobody likes to wait, you can also do something else in the meantime, and that is buying an aged Wikipedia account. There are many online marketplaces that buy and sell online assets and accounts.

Try to get one that has done previously successful edits in categories relevant to your niche. This will make it look legit.

You also have to be smart in regards to what you are linking to on your website. Write an amazing resource, guide, or article, but don’t publish it fresh. That will look suspect, linking to a brand new piece of content. When you publish it, backdate it — and far.

If a Wikipedia OG user or editor sees a new link placed and notices that it a) is relevant, b) is a source that makes the Wikipedia entry better, and c) isn’t a brand new piece of content it is less likely to raise any red flags.

So, start a new account on Wikipedia and age it, while at the same time purchasing an aged user account. Don’t get discouraged if your link is removed. A random editor might not like it, and oftentimes competitors will try to get them removed — because Wiki links are very powerful.

Tip: if a link is removed don’t try to place it back in the same spot. If an editor removes it and sees that you place it back right away they will delete it again. Most people that place links in Wikipedia articles are doing it to help, and not for SEO gains. Therefore, they aren’t constantly monitoring whether or not the link is still live. Appearing genuine and natural is key.

Google Alert Link Building Strategy

I like using Google Alerts​ for two reasons — link building and referral traffic. I’m going to dive into​ both because you are missing out if you don’t do both. You can set alerts for anything. Whenever Google detects new content indexed that contains the keywords or phrases in your alert you will receive an email notification and a link to the content.

This presents you with an opportunity to:

Earn Links

Let’s pretend you own a fitness blog and you are constantly publishing long-form in-depth articles that feature workouts, healthy eating tips, weight loss advice, etc. The content provides a lot of value and is something a new visitor would consider helpful.

You would want to set up Google Alerts for things like:

  • Weight loss journey
  • Weight loss help
  • Diet and exercise
  • Workout routines
  • How to lose weight

There is an endless number of topics, but that gives you an idea of what you would want to target. Now, you’re going to receive a lot of alerts, and this is good. When you dive into your alerts look at all of the URLs and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this a quality website that I’d like a link from?
  • Do I have an article on my blog that could complement and enhance a section of the content?

If the answer is “Yes” to both, you want to pitch the website ASAP. A quick message via their contact form is all it takes. Short and sweet is always the best:

Hi there. I love this article: [URL]. I just finished reading it and I actually published a resource that I believe would provide some additional benefits for your readers. If you’d like you can link to it. Check it out here: [URL]. You are more than welcome to reference it in your post if you think it would be helpful!

You aren’t just asking for a link. Make it sound like you are offering them a favor by allowing them to link to it. That simple little language tweak will help you land a much higher percentage of these types of requests.

And remember that it’s a numbers game. But, when you target the right alert phrases you will not have a shortage of opportunities.

Drive Referral Traffic

While doing the steps above look to see if the article allows comments. If so, create an account using a free email (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) and not one with your website’s domain.

Leave a comment that praises the article, while referencing several points that you like. Then find a way to naturally link to a relevant article on your website. This isn’t for SEO value. This is purely to attract referral traffic.

You are already taking the time to look at the piece of content in order to identify a link opportunity. It takes just a couple of extra seconds to see if there is also an opportunity to drive traffic to your website in the event that you don’t score the link.

I’ve had several occasions where I never received a reply to my link pitch, but a comment stuck and drove a lot of traffic, and all it took was a little extra time.

‘Now Hiring’ Link Building Hack

A very easy way to score a handful of nice links is to create a “Now Hiring” page on your website that lists all of your current openings. Now, you can do this even if you aren’t technically looking to hire anyone.

If you are, great. Create a dedicated page with your open positions. You can then optimize the page and even pull in organic traffic consisting of potential job candidates. If you don’t have any openings, think about what tasks and jobs you outsource.

Graphic designers? Social media managers? SEO? Content writers? Create a job listing for all of these, complete with a way for the person to apply, attach a resume, etc. The more realistic you make this the easier it is to score links using the ‘Now Hiring’ method.

There are several job board websites that you can submit your available positions. If you create a dedicated page like suggested you can simply link to it. It’s very hard to get a homepage link or a link to a generic contact page doing this. But, they will almost always allow you to link to a page that lists all open positions, job descriptions, as well as a way to directly apply.

Even if you go the blackhat route and create a fake ‘Now Hiring’ page you can set the form to submit to an invalid email address. This way it doesn’t interrupt your business. It’s important to put some kind of disclaimer near the form submit along the lines of, “We only contact those applicants we deem fit and wish to invite to the next round of interviews. If you do not hear from us please do not contact us directly to inquire about the status of your application.”

I have noticed that a lot of the free job board sites will sometimes allow a direct link in the listing and other times not. The best approach is to sit down and hammer it all out in one sitting. Some of the current free job posting sites include these fifteen options:

What I like most about this strategy is that most websites that don’t actively do a lot of hiring or have a Human Resources department will not source job board links. It’s a way for some websites to beef up their link profile with links the competition doesn’t have.

These types of links are also a good signal that the business is legitimate. After all, why else would they be posting open jobs, right? This is how SEO needs to be approached these days — with common sense and logical thinking.

Discount & Special Offer Link Hack

There are numerous coupon codes and discount websites out there, and the majority of them will allow people to submit discount codes as well as a link to the website where the offer can be redeemed. Why? The more offers, stores, discounts, etc. the more potential organic traffic they will attract.

Most of these websites are monetized via Google AdSense, so more page views mean more advertising revenue. They also tend to collect emails, which most will monetize by sending out affiliate offers or sell ad placements on a weekly couponing or special savings newsletter.

Not only can this earn you links, but you can also pull a lot of organic traffic if you optimize your offer and listing correctly. Don’t just slap it together — think it out and write a description that targets many long-tail versions of keywords someone would be searching for when looking for discounts and coupon codes related to the products or services your website offers.

There are always new coupon and deal websites popping up, and a quick Google search of “submit coupon deals” will turn up some results and you can fall down a deep rabbit hole — there are plenty of them. There definitely isn’t a shortage.

Here is a list of forty to get you started:

Retail Me NotCoupon CabinSpoofeeKey Code
Coupons.caMy CouponsCoupon CrazeCoupon It
Promotion CodeHip 2 SaveCurrent CodesCheaper Seeker
Coupon GreatCoupon ChiefDaily e DealsCoupon Connector
Coupons and DealsSavings.comKey CodeOffers.com
Krazy Coupon LadyJump on DealsBargain BrianaWebby Planet
Deal TakerYippee CouponsFree ShippingSavings Mania
Deal CatcherDeal HuntingAll Coupon CodesAll Free Coupons
Ultimate CouponsGotta DealAll Online CouponsCoupon Me Up
Ben’s BargainsQuick 2 ClickCoupon FollowDeals of America

Remember, links are great, but I have seen this strategy drive thousands of visitors a month to some e-commerce websites, which translated into sales that would not have happened otherwise.

Chapter 8: Google Search Console for Performance, Crawling and Indexing

Google Search Console Basics

Many website owners avoid Google Search Console for two reasons:

  1. They are overwhelmed by it
  2. They think connecting to a Google service is risky

First, Google’s Search Console isn’t as confusing as it may appear. It’s quite simple to get your website connected. Second, Google isn’t spying on your website. They don’t need you to be connected to Google Search Console to sniff out blackhat links. Their AI has advanced so much — if they want to penalize your rankings they have ways to do so without you being connected to or using any Google products or services.

If you are a beginner this resource​ is a great first step to learn what Google Search Console is​ and how to get started using it. Once you have Google Search Console installed this resource​ provides a great​ overview of common uses and how you should monitor it on a weekly and monthly basis. Finally, you are going to want to make sure you have your sitemaps submitted with both your pages and posts (if you are running WordPress). If you are running WordPress, the Rank Math SEO plugin will create your sitemaps for you.

Every platform has a different way to create a sitemap, although a majority will follow this format:

                         ●   yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml

A simple Google search along the lines of “Shopify + sitemap” (just replace Shopify with your platform) will turn up details on how to build it or locate it.

If you have an old website with a lot of content you will want to submit your sitemaps so Google can learn your website’s structure and begin to crawl your page. This is how it discovers what your pages are about (by reading the titles, headings, content, etc.) and determines when and where it appears in its organic search results.

You can also help move this process along faster by submitting each URL for indexing, which I will touch on below. You will also want to do this each time you publish a new page or post.

How and When to Submit URLs [New and Recrawl]

When you log in to Google Search Console you will see a search bar at the very top with this inside it:

                         ●   Inspect any URL in “yourdomain.com”

When you enter in a URL from your website it will retrieve data from Google’s index and let you know whether or not the URL is on Google and able to be found via search, as well as if it passes the mobile usability test. You can also see when the URL was last crawled.

There are two instances when you should submit your URLs through Google Search Console.

After Publishing a New Page or Post

Anytime you publish a new main page or a blog post on your website you should head over to Google Search Console and submit the URL. It’s going to say that it’s not found:

image 29

You will want to then click the “REQUEST INDEXING” option, which will tell Google that it needs to crawl the URL. The sooner this happens, the sooner your new content will be indexed and discoverable.

It’s possible that your page will get indexed without doing this, but you might wait weeks or even months, especially if it’s a new website. Massive websites like Forbes have their content indexed within minutes of being published because Google is constantly crawling it and the search engine knows what websites publish large amounts of content.

Some of these media sites publish thousands of web pages daily, so the spiders are constantly monitoring these sitemaps to instantly crawl and index fresh content for their users to find.

Once you are all caught up and all of your web pages are indexed it’s very easy to stay on top of this, even if you are publishing new content daily. Once a new post is live run the URL through Google’s Search Console and help it get indexed quickly.

After Adding or Updating Content

If you enhance or add to older content, updating it and making it fresh, you will also want to request that Google crawls the content again. Many websites often go back and update content to make it fresh.

This is very common, especially with blogs that have click-bait titles like, “Best X of 2020” or other topics relevant to the current month or year. When you update the title, meta description, and page content, you are going to want Google to recrawl it as quickly as possible so your changes are picked up by Google’s search algorithm.

Sometimes a website will go back and add to older content that was created years ago to make it more appealing, turning previously thin content into long-form posts optimized for search. Again, it just takes a few seconds to request Google crawls the URL again.

How to Identify New Keywords You Can Rank Higher for in Less Than 15 Days

If you click on the “Performance” tab within Google Search Console it will show you all of the search terms that are causing your website to appear in the organic results.

If you click on the “Impressions” column you can sort these results based on the number of impressions they receive. Here is an example:

image 30

This is a keyword that has received 4,930 impressions and just 1 click. Why? Because on average the website was shown in position #57. Imagine if it was ranking on page one? Not only would the impressions increase, but so would the clicks.

This is the best way to find new keywords to target. Sometimes pages will rank for certain valuable terms without you even trying, and when you are able to find a nice starting point like this you can quickly push those keywords to the top with minimal link building.

You can also then plug in the keyword into Ubersuggest​ and look to see what pages are ranking on top, take that information, and further enhance and strengthen your page.

You can also look at their link profiles and determine what strategy you will need to map out in order to complement your content with more desirable links.

When you are starting with a page that is already receiving some organic love from Google without any optimization, it makes moving it up higher in the SERPs much easier.

Adding more content and a handful of links will typically move the needle considerably.

I see so many people relying on data from third-party tools and they use that to determine what keywords to optimize for, but fail to realize that all of that data is an educated guess. The data from Search Console is direct from Google — the search engine you are trying to rank on.

Don’t you think optimizing for keywords that Google is telling you are already receiving organic impressions is a smart play? This isn’t third-party data that “might” be accurate. It’s direct from Google, saying, “Hey, if you want to get more traffic here are some keywords you will be able to rank for quite easily and with little effort and expense.”

Map Out Your Link Building & Content Strategy Using Search Console Data

This is a brand new website a client launched with a couple of dozen long-form blog posts:

image 31

Without doing any link building, this new blog published content for about 3.5 months, and over that time they received 111,000 impressions in the search results, with the average position being around the 45 spots — the middle of page five.

Using this data we can now map out their entire link building and content strategy. Sorting your data via total impressions will show you:

  1. What pages to build links for in order to move up in the results, attracting more impressions and clicks
  2. Knowing what terms to explore further in terms of long-tail and alternate variations

This truly couldn’t be easier. There are many keyword tools and the data they spit out is estimated. When you look at your Google Search Console data you know it’s 100% accurate.

If it tells you that a keyword received 6,000 impressions and 20 clicks, that is exactly what happened. Google is pulling back the curtain to tell you exactly what happened. There is no guessing.

This is the only source of 100% accurate SEO-related data that you can get, and guess what? It’s free. It’s not $99 or $129 a month. It’s free. And it’s the most helpful data available to you.

Prioritize Google Search Console data over everything — and watch your results improve.

Conclusion

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read and digest this information. I spent a lot of time on this, extracting the information and knowledge I have accumulated over the years. I hope you can leverage this information and I wish you great success in the future.

Best Regards,

Gift Shava