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7 Marketing Strategies that make a Profitable Shopify Store

Shopify stores are the most popular eCommerce platforms for small businesses. Thousands of entrepreneurs use Shopify to start their online businesses, and millions of customers visit the platform every month.

Your store should be more than just a place where people can buy products; it should also provide them with value. This can be done by creating content such as blogs and videos or offering free shipping and discounts.

A Shopify store that is profitable and generates revenue is the one that has been able to create a niche for itself. This is essential because it will make you stand out from the crowd and draw clients looking for what you offer.

There are multiple things you can implement to improve your store’s performance. To help you get started, here are several marketing strategies that will make a profitable Shopify store.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is viewed as one of the most effective ways to market your Shopify store. It’s a cost-effective way for any business to reach out to its customers and build engagement with them.

While you can use social media to promote your products, it’s also a good idea to use it as a customer service tool. Social media sites or platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to interact with your customers.

You can answer their questions, share tips and tricks on making the most of their products, or even provide tutorials on how they can create their own designs using your platform.

Email Marketing

Emails are often deemed more reliable than social media and search engine results. It is a more professional way to communicate and build trust with your audience. With that in mind, it’s important to have an email marketing strategy in place.

Email marketing is perhaps one underrated tool for increasing sales and building customer loyalty. You can tap email marketing to send out a number of different types of messages, including:

  • Promotional emails that feature sales or discounts on products from your store
  • Product updates or information about new items you have in stock
  • Newsletters that contain useful tips for running your business

Video Marketing

Videos are a great way to show off your store’s products and services in action. That is why Shopify stores are investing more in video marketing.

You can make YouTube videos or create Facebook ads with videos. The more videos you craft, the easier it will be to get a consistent audience and increase your sales.

By creating unique, high-quality content for your store, you can attract more customers and show off the expertise behind your products or services.

Search Engine Optimization

Optimizing your Shopify store is another key aspect of your shop’s success. It’s one of the proven ways to drive traffic to your storefront, especially if you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of products or reviews yet.

There are different factors that go into SEO, including keyword research and link building. However, there are also some simple things you can do right now on Shopify that can help skyrocket your rankings in search engines like Google.

Here are a few quick tips to make your store more search engine friendly:

  • Use descriptive titles and descriptions for your products. Titles should be concise and informative, while descriptions should be longer and engaging.
  • Make sure each product has at least one image associated with it. This can increase click-through rates on your site by up to 65%.
  • Create unique product pages with unique content (i.e., don’t just copy/paste the same information from one page to another).

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a form of online marketing that focuses on creating relevant and engaging content to attract and retain customers. It can be used by Shopify store owners that want to generate leads from other businesses.

External sites like Youtube and Reddit are great for getting your content in front of potential customers. You can also create videos or ebooks that teach your customers about the products you sell.

If you create valuable and relevant content, other businesses will share it with their audience. This is how you can build relationships with potential customers outside of Shopify (and even attract new customers).

User-Generated Marketing

User-generated marketing is a form of content marketing that relies on customers to create and share their own content about your products.

This can be done using social media tools, such as hashtags, contests, or giveaways. By encouraging customers to participate in your campaigns, you get more exposure for both your business and brand.

If you are selling mugs on your website, you could create a hashtag and challenge users to share their own designs for the mugs using that hashtag. You can also offer prizes to those who participate in your campaign, such as free shipping or discounts on other products.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a profitable option if you want to build a Shopify store. You can create an affiliate program for your Shopify store and then recruit affiliates to promote your products.

You can also use affiliate marketing as an effective tactic for acquiring new customers. If you have an affiliate program in place, you can incentivize users who sign up for it with discounts or other rewards that increase their desire to buy from your store (which will hopefully lead to future sales).

Takeaways

Marketing your Shopify store is an ongoing process. You can’t expect to simply open a Shopify store and begin generating sales immediately. You need to invest the time and effort required to market your business and ensure it has enough visibility for customers to find you.

You can do this in many ways, including social media optimization, email marketing, SEO, content creation, affiliate marketing, etc.

The key is to figure out the right mix of strategies for your business and then implement them. These five marketing strategies above can be a solid foundation for you to start you building a profitable Shopify store.

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The Definitive Backlink Gap Analysis Guide

Backlinks are extremely important for SEO. The reason is that Google sees them as a “vote of confidence” from one website to another.

Relevant and authoritative backlinks signal to searchers and search engines that your website is credible and trustworthy. That’s why you get higher rankings when you build more quality backlinks.

But how do you build quality backlinks?

By first implementing a process known as backlink gap analysis.

In this guide, we go over what a backlink gap analysis is, why it matters, and how the analysis can help you uncover great backlinking opportunities to tap into.

But that’s not all. We’ll also be showing you useful SEO tools to help run a quick backlink gap analysis. Ready to learn? Let’s dive in!

What is a Backlink Gap Analysis?

For starters, to understand what a backlink gap analysis is, we must be familiar with what a backlink is in the first place.

Backlinks—aka inbound links, incoming links, or one way links— are links from one website pointing to another website. If you have a link that connects to your website (homepage or internal pages) from an external source, that is a backlink.

You’ve heard that Google’s algorithm considers backlinks as endorsements for your website. And so, at first glance, it makes sense to have as many backlinks as possible.

However, search engines simply don’t work that way. Google values backlinks differently.

For starters, to rank highly for the keywords you’re targeting, you want quality backlinks coming from high authority domains with low spam scores.

This is where a backlink gap analysis comes in to help.

In a nutshell, a backlink gap analysis is the process of comparing the backlink profiles of your biggest competitors against those of yours. A link gap is the difference in both the number and quality of external links that your competitors have vs. those that you have already acquired.

Your backlink gap analysis needs to zero in on the competitors that rank at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Why is a Backlink Gap Analysis Important?

Nothing summarises the importance of a backlink gap analysis better than the words of Chinese general Sun Tzu, revered for centuries for his influential life.

In his book, The Art of War, he says:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”.

In the context of a backlink gap analysis for SEO, your enemy is your competitor. The whole search landscape is your battleground. And backlinks are your ammo.

Competitor here is any website that Google pits against you. Specifically, we’re talking about websites that outrank you in the SERPs.

Benchmarking your most important competitors’ backlinks helps you know which backlink profiles perform well in your industry.

By calculating the backlink gap between you and your competitors, you’ll be able to:

  • Know how many backlinks and content assets your main competitors have more than you.
  • Figure out which sites your competitors have links on that you don’t.
  • Determine which pages you need to build backlinks to.
  • Map out your backlinking opportunities. Create a priority list of relevant, high-authority sites to source links from.
  • Strategize your backlinking outreach campaign and budget.
  • Create a valuable guest post for the host site’s readers and get a quality backlink in return.

The bottom line of conducting a backlink analysis is to know how you stack up against your biggest rivals. This way you can adjust your SEO strategy to replicate their best work.

So how should you do a backlink gap analysis? It isn’t as complicated as it sounds.

Let’s find out below.

A Step-By-Step Process To Conduct a Backlink Gap Analysis

Identify Your Competitors

The first step of the backlink gap analysis is to find who your main competitors are based on the specific search terms that you want to rank for. If you don’t identify the right set of competitors, you may end up with incorrect results from the analysis.

The specific SEO keywords that you’re targeting will define the confines on which to engage your competitors.

There are many advanced SEO tools that you can use to find specific keywords that contribute to your search visibility.

SpyFu, SE Ranking and Ahrefs are a few capable keyword research tools. But we now prefer using SEMrush to all the other options.

The reason is SEMrush generates detailed reports for all the relevant ranking factors and correlates all the analytics info in a holistic way.

SEMrush’s Organic Research tool, for instance, not only shows you the specific search keywords that drive traffic to your website, but also:

  • The topic organic search competitors across the keywords.
  • The competition level for each keyword.
  • The amount of organic search traffic across each of the keywords.
  • Your search ranking for each keyword.
  • The history of your ranking on each keyword.

To run this organic search report on SEMrush, simply enter your domain name and press Search. The data will appear within seconds.

Now, based on the keywords you’re looking to rank for, there are two types of competitors to watch out: domain-level competitors and page-level competitors.

Let’s discuss each one below.

Domain-Level Competitors

These comprise websites that compete with you for many search terms in the SERPs. Essentially, they have several pages that are similar to yours.

For this, you can use the Domain Overview tool by SEMrush. Once you enter your domain, SEMrush will display a page with loads of information.

Navigate down to the “Main Organic Competitors” to find websites where you share several common keywords across multiple pages.

 You can filter the results by:

  • Competition Level
  • Common keywords
  • SE Keywords
  • Traffic
  • Costs (USD)
  • Paid Keywords

One thing you should remember is that domain-level competitors may not necessarily be your real-world competitors. There are two types of domain-level competitors:

Inside-niche domain level competitors

These are websites that evolve in the same industry as you and thus compete with you on many keywords that you’re targeting.

Think of Amazon and eBay, Fox News and CNN, SEMrush and Ahrefs, etc. Not only do they target the same keywords but also share an audience across search engines.

Outside-niche domain-level competitors

These websites target many keywords that you too are targeting but aren’t from the same niche or industry as you.

Consider Nike and NBA, Moz and Search Engine Journal (SEJ), and Ahrefs and FatJoe.  

In the screenshot below, for example, you can see that Moz and Search Engine Journal both compete on the SERP for the search term “link building in SEO”.

Yet, the two businesses are pursuing completely different goals. While SEJ is on a mission to build an audience looking for SEO-related content, Moz is a popular all-in-one SEO software that targets an audience looking to improve their search engine visibility.

Page-Level Competitors

Competitors on a page level are those websites that compete with you for certain topics or search terms related to a particular page. In essence, these websites don’t compete with you on a whole lot of keywords.

You can easily find who these competitors are using SEMrush’s Keyword Overview tool. All you need to do is choose any well-optimised blog post and copy the primary keyword that you’re trying to rank for.

Paste the keyword into SEMrush’s Keyword Overview tool and scroll down to the SERP Analysis to view the report.

You’ll see all top ranking competitors who’ve published the same content as yours. Those are your page-level competitors.

Once you’ve zeroed in on both your domain-level and page-level competitors, create a list for each. You want to perform a backlink gap for each of these competitors to identify potential link-building opportunities.

Examine Your Competitor’s Homepage

After identifying and narrowing down on a few important competitors worth analysing, the next step is to examine their homepage.

Why start with the homepage and not elsewhere, you ask?

The reason is a huge chunk of backlinks will often point to the homepage for websites with a normal backlink profile.

For this analysis, SEMrush’s Backlink Analytics tool will come in handy. Enter one of the competitors’ homepage URL in the search bar and scan through the list of domains linking to that URL.

Another way to gather the same information is by using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. Simply enter a competitor’s URL and run the test.

On the “Backlinks” page, Ahrefs will show you all the pages that are pointing to your competitor’s website. For clearer information, navigate to the “Referring Domains” section to see all the actual referring domains linking to the competitor’s website.

Now, repeat this process until you’ve gone through each of the competitors in your list.

Only by analysing each backlink gap individually can you know the number (and quality) of backlinks you need to move closer to—or even outrank—your competitors.

Assess Backlinks Pointing to Individual Pages

In addition to analysing your competitors’ homepage, it’s also important to assess backlinks connecting to their individual pages. This is where your list of page-level competitors comes in.

Again, the Backlink Analytics tool can help you find all links pointing to these page-level competitors. Just enter your page-level competitor’s URL in the tool and hit “Analyse” to collect this data.

The tool will show you the following attributes related to the URL link profile:

  • The number of referring domains linking to the particular web page.
  • The number of backlinks linking to the web page.
  • The number of backlinks a web page has earned and lost in the last six months.
  • The industry categories from which the referring domains are obtained.
  • The most common search terms and phrases in the anchor texts.
  • The types of inbound links that point to the page.

You want to pay attention to how these pages have linked back to your page-level competitors. This gives you an idea of what you should do to outrank them for those specific keywords.

Identify Websites Linked to Multiple Competitors

At this point, you know which websites have linked to your domain-level competitors and page-level competitors. Your next step is to determine how many of these websites are linking to not one, but the vast majority of the competitors.  

And how is that useful?

If a website is linking to multiple competitors but not you, chances are that it brings value. Approaching them for a backlink will likely boost your SEO efforts.

So, how can you determine the sites that are linking to most of your competitors?

For this, we recommend using the Backlink Gap tool on SEMrush. To use this tool, enter your domain in the search bar, followed by domains of up to four of your competitors. Then press the “Find Prospects” button.

The system will run the test and display your competitors’ backlink attributes for comparison as shown below:

To identify the backlinking opportunities that you’re missing out on (referring domains that link to your competitors but not you), you can filter your search by:

  • Best – The domains that point to all of your competitors except you. These are the best prospects to approach to build backlinks.
  • Weak – The domains that point to your competitors more than you.
  • Strong – The domains that exclusively point to you but not your competitors.
  • Shared – The domains that point to everyone, including your competitors.
  • Unique – The domains that point to only one of all the analysed domains.
  • All – All potential domains

The “Best” domains are the websites you should approach for your link building campaign. You’d, however, need to analyse these websites further before trying to get linked to by them.

Find Websites Where Your Competitors Have Published Guest Posts On

Finding websites where your competitors have published guest posts on is another effective way to perform a backlink gap analysis. The reason is when you write and publish a blog on another website, usually you get a link back to your site from that post.

So, if you find websites where your main competitors have published guest posts on, it makes sense to guest post on those websites too.

But how do you discover these websites?

Search Them Manually

The manual search is by far the simplest and most straightforward approach to finding guest posts written by your competitors. Start by looking for the author name under which your competitors often publish guest posts. This holds the key to finding all other posts they’ve written on other websites.

After finding the author name, go to Google and type in the “Author name” + “guest post”. For e.g. “Jessica 0” + “guest post”.

Google will bring up a list of websites on which the author has been featured. You can then go ahead and pitch them your guest post ideas.

Use Tools

Yet another way of finding guest posts written by your competitors is by using tools. We like using Content Explorer by Ahrefs for this purpose.

All you need to do is open Content Explorer and input the query author:”author name”. For instance, the query author: “Tim Soulo” brings back all the posts written by “Tim Soulo”.

The advantage of using this tool is that it’s possible to see a lot of data related to posts written by your competitors, including:

  • Domain rating
  • Social shares
  • Organic traffic
  • Referring domains
  • Word count
  • Publishing date

This makes it easy to conduct a further analysis and decide if it’s worth pitching your guest post ideas to those websites.

Conclusion

Honestly speaking, competitor backlink gap analysis is a pretty involved process. Not only do you have to find who your top competitors are in your niche, but you also need to segment them based on the type of level of competition.

The goal is to scour deep insights into your competitors’ backlink profiles and discover potentially rewarding backlink opportunities you’re missing out on.

By analysing competitor backlinks, you should be able to come up with a solid strategy for building both dofollow and no-follow links.

Now, keep in mind that competitor backlink gap analysis is just the beginning of the whole process of a link building campaign. For the most part, the outcome of your outreach campaign will determine whether you’ll close the gap and maintain a higher ranking than the competition.

There’s one final piece of advice which we find incredibly important—think long term when it comes to link building.

As mentioned, link quality matters above all else. You want to prioritise links from pages with high authority and low spam scores. But partnering with these high authority websites doesn’t happen overnight, neither is it so easy.

The owners of these prospective websites want to know the value you bring to them before agreeing to your link building partnership.

Therefore, your best bet is to focus on establishing long-term relationships with them before asking them for backlinking favours. Alternatively, you can hire a reputable link building agency like us here at Profit Engine to fast-track your results.

So, over to you.

Let us know if you have any questions and we’ll get back to you as soon as humanly possible.

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A Complete On-Page SEO Checklist For your Website

Optimising your web pages for search engines isn’t the sexiest job in the world, but it’s crucial factor for ranking in Google and hopefully will enable you to get organic traffic for your site. This is where on-page SEO comes into play.

After all, SEO isn’t about tricking Google – it’s about structuring your content so that search engine bots can more easily read and index your website.

So here we have provided A Complete On-Page SEO Checklist that goes over everything you need to know about on-page SEO. We will cover everything from using keywords in your headers and sub headers, to keeping your content focused and targeted.

There are so many elements of on-page SEO that it’s not easy to remember them all – luckily for you, we cover the most important ones here! Let’s dive in!

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, is the act of optimising the elements of a web page for both the search engines and web visitors. Along with posting high-quality, relevant content, you want to optimise the page’s keyword distribution, HTML, internal linking structure, meta data, images and more.

On-page SEO must not be confused with off-page SEO. On-page optimisation relies on the actual content of the page, which means the website owner has full control over it.

Off-page SEO refers to optimisation efforts that happen off of your website. Think of strategies like  Link Building Campaigns, guest posting, social promotion, and more.

Because on-page optimisation occurs on other pages of your website, or with other external websites, you have no control over it.

Why Is On-Page SEO Important?

The whole point of optimising your website for on-page SEO is to help improve your search rankings for the specific keywords you want to rank for. Google’s mission is (and has always been) to deliver the most accurate, relevant, and valuable information to its users.

So when someone enters a query, Google shows the best result depending on the most relevant web pages available.

For example, let’s say your website is about pets. Your web pages would therefore need to have relevant keywords like pet breeds, pet food, grooming, etc., to help Google know more about your website and how valuable your content is to users.

Simply stuffing keywords in your content won’t cut it though. You must always add value by presenting the best answer to the searcher’s query.

On-Page SEO Checklist

Having explained how important on-page SEO is to ranking, it’s now a good time to optimise your content. The actionable tips in the following sections will ensure that every page of your website is optimised for humans and search engines, so you can achieve the results you want:

Optimising Your URLs

Your URL tells Google what your page is all about. Moreover, a properly structured, SEO-friendly URL can increase your organic CTR.

URLs built for SEO will usually abide by two search engine ranking factors as follows:

Primary keyword appears in the URL

You want to include your primary keyword in your URL. Keyword-rich URLs communicate to Google what your content is about and increase your chances of ranking well. Similarly, users are more likely to click through to your website if the URL appears relevant to them.

URL is short and descriptive

Shorter URLs tend to rank best in Google for two reasons. First, short and concise URLs help users to know exactly what to expect from the webpage, hence higher click through rates.

Search engine crawlers also benefit from short URLs. As well as adding clarity to a page, short URLs require less time to crawl.

However, just because a URL should be short doesn’t mean it should include only your keyword. If necessary, you can add an extra word or two to your URL.

While at it though, make sure you do away with any unnecessary words like “the and it”. A properly structured URL will typically have a maximum of 2 folders.

Incorporate Your Keyword in the Title Tag

Google uses title tags to determine what the main topic of the webpage is. Title tags are also what people see when considering visiting your website.

That is why your title tag should include your keyword to tell search engines what the page is about. Where to place your keyword in the title also matters a great deal.

Front-loading your keyword in your title tag is a highly recommended on-page SEO practice. The closer your keyword is to the front of the title, the more favour you gain in search engines.

When writing your title tag, pay attention to the number of characters that search engines display as snippets. Google only shows the first 60 characters, so be as brief and meaningful as possible.

Also come up with a compelling title tag that meets the search intent and entices people to click. Good title tags are simple, understandable, and straight to the point. You can use the Yoast plugin to create different title tag variations that will suit search engines and readers.

Optimise Your Meta Descriptions

Meta description is a short, one or two sentence summary of your page that appears under the title tag in SERPs. This description gives readers a concise overview of the content of your webpage.

Worth mentioning is that the meta description is not a ranking factor for search engines. But it greatly influences a user’s decision to click, which can help drive up your organic CTR.

Sometimes Google will display your meta description, but about 2/3 of the time, it will generate an excerpt from the content and show it in the SERP. All in all, an optimised meta description can help your pages rank better.

The following are a few useful tips to write an optimised meta description:

  • Build up on the title: Add descriptions that couldn’t fit in the title.
  • Compelling and informative: Address the reader directly using an active voice.
  • Include your keyword: Your meta description should include your target keyword and LSI keywords.
  • Be clear and brief: Limit your meta description to the recommended 160 characters.

Add Your Keyword and Its Synonyms in Header Tags

Header tags are HTML elements <H1>, <H2>, <H3>, and so forth. These tags are super useful in that they help organise your content for improved readability. By adding H tags, you’re also helping search engines distinguish what section of your content is most relevant and valuable, depending on search intent.

You want to add the keyword in the H1. The title and the H1 don’t have to be the same. You can sprinkle some semantic keyword variations to provide more contextual data.

Remember to put your most important keywords in H2, H3, and H4 tags too. Your keyword, synonyms, and semantic keyword variations should go to these additional header tags.

While at it, make sure the keywords are sprinkled naturally in the heads and subheads. You want these keywords to add to the flow of the page in a compelling and engaging manner.

Write Unique, User-Focused Content and Structure

Search engines hate duplicate content. If Google detects the exact same content across multiple sites, only one of those pages will rank for the target keyword.

Your content shouldn’t just be unique but also focused on user experience. This means how your blog content is laid out and formatted is important.

Here are a few tips to help you create content that search engines love:

A compelling introduction

Your first paragraph has to be compelling. The introduction of your content should help you connect with the reader, establish trust, and reassure them that there’s a solution to their pain point.

Keyword appears in the first 100-150 words

Search engines place more weight on the first few sentences of your webpage. Therefore, make sure to use your keyword once in the first 100-150 words of your page.

The text includes keyword variations

Aim to distribute your primary keywords and their variations throughout the text. Adding related keyword entities for context helps answer search queries in detail.

Readability

According to recent studies, the attention span of an average reader is only eight seconds. With that in mind, you should aim to help users find the answer to their questions as fast and distraction-free as possible.

The layout of your content also needs to be easy to navigate and read. User-focused content and structure should contain:

  • No big vocabularies 
  • Text broken up into short sentences and paragraphs
  • Lots of white space
  • Easy to read subheadings
  • Bullet points, bold text, etc. for readability
  • Infographics

A Strong Linking Structure

Implementing a strong linking structure can help boost your search rankings. Internal links and external links are two types of links used in on-page SEO.

Internal links

An internal link is a link that sends a user to another webpage within the same domain. Search engines crawl and assess websites based on the internal linking structure.

If there’s no correlation between your webpages, Google may treat this as a negative user experience, and you risk losing your rankings.

So, make sure your page has at least one internal link pointing to it. Use relevant keywords as your anchor text so that each page transitions smoothly to the next.

External links

External links, or backlinks, are links from one website pointing towards another. You want to link to external pages with high domain authority (DA).

Google considers your pages as more trustworthy if it detects links from websites with high DA. An on-page SEO best practice is to link out to at least three high-quality domains.

Optimise Your Images

If there are any images on your pages, make sure you optimise them properly. Optimising your images can increase the page loading speed, which has a positive impact on the user experience.

Ideally, images that are less than 70kb are ideal. You can manually optimise your images using Photoshop or online tools like Image Resizer. Alternatively, you can install the appropriate WordPress plugins including Imagify to automate the process.

You should also rename your images using descriptive alt text tags to help search engines figure out what they’re about. Because search engines can’t interpret every image with 100% accuracy, having a good description is crucial and helps with image SEO.

Wrapping it Up

There are many more techniques, concepts, and strategies involved in on-page SEO, but this checklist is an excellent place to start.

Remember, you need to blend the on-page optimisation techniques on this checklist with your off-page SEO strategy to reap maximum benefits from your SEO efforts and increase your business.

Finally, on-page SEO is an ongoing process. Even as you implement the tips above, keep monitoring your website’s performance in search engines so you can make the right tweaks for SEO success.

Have any questions or need help with your SEO campaigns? Get in touch with us now for free consultation.

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Can AI content rank on Google?

Google’s mission hasn’t changed since the start. The giant search engine invests a lot of its resources to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. That’s why search focuses on displaying only the most accurate, relevant, and high-quality content there is to its users.

Which begs the question: Can content written using AI tools rank on Google? The answer is Yes and No!

No because AI-generated content that provides no value to users is against the search engine’s Webmaster Guidelines. According to Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller, content written by machines is considered “spam”.

AI-generated content would appear as if you’re just looking up synonyms or shuffling words around, or doing the same old translation tricks people used to do in the past decade.

And interestingly yes, an AI-generated content can still rank high up in the SERPs. Turns out Google’s algorithms can’t tell if content is written by AI or human as long as it’s well written and meets the search intent.

The use of AI is taking an upward trend towards improving both the quality and quantity of creating content. It is forecasted that between 2020 and 2027, AI will see a growth rate of 33.2%.

However, there are concerns about AI’s ability to master the subtle nuances of language or generate accurate and natural-sounding content. Many are curious to see how far the AI industry might progress, where it could go, and whether it will greatly benefit or disrupt their own business.

If this sounds like you, this post will help as it explores how AI can help create content for decent rankings on Google.

Excited? Let’s get into it!

What is AI-Generated Content?

AI-generated content is content that is created using artificial intelligence tools. Also known as natural language generation (NLG), an AI tool is a language-prediction model that uses deep learning to generate texts and images understandable to the human eye.

Keep in mind AI does not curate content out of thin air. Instead, it draws on other content already available on the topic at hand.

Therefore, for any AI application to produce human-ready prose, some input is needed, such as a topic or a paragraph of copy. The format of the content also needs to be outlined and fed as structured data points for software to begin writing.

There are many different ways that AI-generated content can be used today including publishing it on a website landing page, blog or even writing a speech.

How To Rank AI Content Higher On Google

No doubt AI is quickly becoming a vital tool for marketers looking to power their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies and results. Indeed, up to 80 percent of marketers that implement AI report quick and positive changes for their businesses.

But how do you use AI to supercharge your SEO and content marketing strategy? Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Find Your AI for SEO software

Google really has no problem with the origin of content. What it does have a problem with is thin content that provides little or no value to the user.

Fact is, Google may take actions on auto-gen content intended to manipulate search rankings as opposed to providing value. Examples of such content may include:

  • Content that does not make sense to the reader but which may include search terms.
  • Content produced by scraping Atom/RSS feeds or search engine results
  • Content generated using automated tools or synonymizing techniques
  • Content translated programmatically and without human review before publishing
  • Stitching content from multiple web pages without substantiating with data
  • Generating content through automated processes like Markov chains

So, before you start adopting AI for your SEO, choose the appropriate software that has a track record for results. Lots of AI-powered tools for SEO exist but only a few are specialized in content.

For example, Jasper AI (formerly Jarvis) writing assistant is an excellent starting point. This application is designed to assess the SERP rankings of content topics and existing pages. Meaning it can provide data-backed recommendations on the best keywords to target for SEO.

There are many other AI writing tools that you might want to choose, including Frase, Rytr, Copysmyth, and Sassbook. No matter which AI tool you choose, make sure it’s a reliable and robust platform.

Essentially, a good AI writing tool should be able to give you helpful recommendations that will send your optimized content straight to the 1st page of search results.

Make a Draft

A machine learning-based tool can not only help you sum up a page, but it can also serve as the first draft of your content. By summarizing the AI content, you can see the most important parts of your content. You can then use the summary to craft an outline or first draft to build on and improve from there.

Maintain Your Brand’s Voice

When crafting content using AI, you first need to know the words that define your brand and how you want them portrayed in your copywriting efforts. It’s vital that you are deliberate and purposeful with every word you choose if you’re to create a distinct voice for your brand.

Remember, all content related to your company must have a consistent voice. If you’re creating a copy for your website, writing marketing emails, or posting on social media, it should all sound like it came from the same place.

If you aren’t sure what defines your brand, start writing down the adjectives you would use to describe your company. Let the AI tool know your keywords so it’s properly guided when generating content for your business.

Enhance Content with Other Tools

Apart from AI content-generating tools, other tools can help fine-tune your content. Once you generate the content, don’t forget to refine it using tools like Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and Hemingway App.

The idea is to ensure the final copy doesn’t have any careless typos, grammatical issues or is too hard to read. Finally, manually edit it to make sure it reads like it was written by a human being and not robots.

Factors That Determine Ranking AI Content on Google

Now that you have good enough content and probably even already published it, what next? As with all other content types, you need to do a bit more to optimise your AI-generated content for Google.

A few crucial aspects to consider here include generating relevant, high-quality backlinks, improving your website overall user experience and keyword placement.

Let’s find out more below.

Backlinks

Backlinks are one of the most important factors for improving rankings on search engines. A backlink is any link from another website that points to your website. The more high-quality backlinks you build from relevant websites, the better your chances of ranking higher on Google.

Keyword Usage

Not a lot has changed about keyword guidelines since SEO became a thing. For example, it is still best practice to include them in your title tags, meta tags and image alt tags.

Where possible also, your primary keyword should appear within the first 100 words of your content. As a general rule of thumb, do not overuse keywords or Google may penalize your site for it.

Website Structure

For Google to index your website properly and efficiently, you need to have a solid website structure. For example, if your site is too complicated and has too many links, Google bots may have a harder time finding all the important pages, thereby causing your rankings to suffer.

User Experience

If people don’t like coming or staying at your website, it could negatively affect your rankings in search results. The key indicators that Google uses to track this aspect include high bounce rates and low average session length.

Mobile-Friendliness

These days, mobile-friendliness is an extremely important ranking factor because more people use mobile devices to browse the web than those on desktop. Make sure that your site provides mobile users with a great experience.

Limitations of AI Content That May Hinder Ranking on Google

While AI technology continues to get hyped, there are limitations to it and its applications. In some cases, these limitations may prevent your content from ranking well on Google.

In this section, we take a look at some of the major limitations of AI when it comes to content output:

Can’t Express Feeling

Machines don’t have feelings and they lack the emotional intelligence that humans use to make decisions. This restricts their ability to apply contextual awareness to specific situations.

AI Can’t Think Outside the Box

This is because they only operate within boundaries set by humans. Ultimately, these systems are not able to process information beyond what has been programmed into them.

AI Is Not Creative

Creativity requires imagination, something AI machines are currently unable to possess. Any written content needs to have a human touch in order to engage the audiences.

Can’t Work Without Human Interaction

AI is a tool — it does not have the human ability to reason and find solutions like a human does. Instead, this tech relies on humans to create rules that determine the outcome of specific situations. It means that the quality of AI output depends greatly on the quality of input given to it by humans.

Can’t Function Without Data

Data is essential to training any AI software or machine learning algorithm. If data is low quality, AI will also be biased and deliver low-quality results. Data must be carefully selected and cleaned before it is used to train an AI system to ensure its accuracy and quality.

AI Systems Aren’t Completely Error-Free

Humans are prone to making mistakes when programming AI systems. What this means is that some of the data they provide may not be complete or accurate in some cases.

When this happens, the final product that the AI creates may contain errors or otherwise fail to function as intended due to programming errors made by humans at the beginning of the process.

Generate and Use AI Content or Not?

Ultimately, whether the content you use on your website is written by AI or human, it should be optimised for search engines. While it’s hard to predict the future of AI in terms of SEO, there are plenty of reasons to think that this technology has the potential to shake things up.

What will happen in 5 years? Ten years? Is Google RankBrain already affecting SEO today? Only time will tell, but we suggest keeping an open mind.

As always, if you need high-quality backlinks to improve your SEO results, Profit Engine is where it’s at. Get in touch with us now for a free SEO strategy consultation. 

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What Metrics Are Important for Link Building?

Link Metrics

Regardless of what Google or a section of SEOs tell you, link building remains to be one of the greatest pillars of a successful SEO strategy. The more backlinks you acquire for your web pages, the better the odds that search engines will recognise your website as legitimate and authoritative, and thus give it a boost in the SERPs.  

However, simply accruing as much backlinks as possible won’t cut it. Because not all backlinks are equal in the algorithmic eyes of Google. Indeed, search engines place a lot of weight on quality backlinks. That is why, for the most part, quality links influence how much traffic you can drive to your website.

But how do you determine whether or not your link-building campaign is a success? Well, there are several link building metrics you should use to judge the value of a potential link and determine if it’s worth pursuing or not.  

In this quick guide, we explore seven key factors you should consider when starting a link building campaign for your online business. Let’s dive in!

Domain Authority  

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric that measures a website’s aggregate value. It takes into account a host of data, including a site’s age, size (how much content it has), popularity, total number of inbound links, etc., giving you a sense of just how high a website’s domain authority is on the web.

The SEO gurus at Moz developed the Moz Link Research tool that runs a website’s domain strength on a scale of 0-100. For example, if the Moz crawler indicates a domain authority score of between 91 and 100, it means the site is highly authoritative and a relatively high volume of its backlinks comes from domains that are also considered high-authority.

To ensure successful link building efforts, seek for the linking domains that are considered by search engines as highly authoritative. The more authoritative referring domains are, the more likely that pages from those domains will rank high in the search engine.

This explains why backlinks from big names like Forbes, TechCrunch and The Next Web are regarded so highly in the online world.

Page Authority

Page Authority works pretty much the same way as Domain Authority, except that it only applies to a particular page rather than the entire domain. A quick way to assess the host page strength is using Moz Page Authority tool. You could also use Google’s PageRank, which rates pages on a 0-10 scale, where 10 is the strongest possible score a web page can have.

Getting a link from a high authority host page is such a big win for you especially if it comes from a site with an equally high DA. The higher the page strength is, the more likely it is to boost your site’s ranking.

Aside from that, check to make sure the host page has no spammy links pointing to it. The best way to measure spammy links is with Moz Spam score.

Google hates spam and there is a good chance you will be penalised for having a number of them linked to your site.

Linking Page Relevance

While links can still be qualitative without being in your exact industry, the thematic relevance of the linking page is also vital. Google places greater value on backlinks coming from websites similar to yours.

To put it in a more practical context, let’s say you run a gardening business. In that case, acquiring a link from a landscaping website is more relevant than from a gaming website. There are two main reasons you should consider building a homogeneous link profile.

First, links from a source that evolves in the same niche as yours will look much more natural to search engines. Despite putting less importance on the anchor text, Google places a lot of weight on the relevance of the linking domain.

The second reason is that you are likely to attract real organic traffic and potential customers based on the relevance of the linking pages. From the above example, someone browsing the landscaping website is more likely to be interested in gardening services and not a gaming website.

You can use link building tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to check if a potential host site has the authority in your niche. The idea is to look at the top keywords that the website is ranked for and determine if they are related to your site or not.

Link Placement

The position of a link on the host page matters a great deal, especially when it comes to getting clicked. Although Google is able to crawl everything on a site, it values links differently.

If a link is placed in the footer of the page, in the sidebar, or in the ad area, then it has the least chance of getting clicked. Links that are not clicked aren’t of any much importance to your search rankings.

You should position your links somewhere obvious, not only for your readers but also for search engines. You can embed it somewhere near the top of the page, in the main body of the page, or within the blog post itself.

As a rule of thumb, a link is best placed “above the fold”, meaning the reader should be able to find it before scrolling down the page. Such a backlink profile signals to Google and other search engines that it’s truly important for readers and the credibility of the host page is unquestionable.

Number of Links

While we mentioned earlier that the number of links won’t guarantee you link building success, it still remains a decisive metric to measure. The total number of links pointing to your website can greatly help with SERP ranking. However, just remember that the link quality is by far better than quantity.

Measure the progress of your link building campaign on a regular basis to see if your links are increasing, decreasing or staying flat.

If they’re increasing, your efforts are paying off. And you can expect your website’s rankings to soar. But if you are losing active links or if there is no growth at all, look into where the issues may be and make the necessary adjustments.

You might want to run a comparison between your website and other websites ranking high in your niche to get the picture of what you might be doing wrong.

For example, if you’re looking to rank for the keyword “best used cars under £10,000” and the websites on  the first page of SERPs all have over 1,000 links, that tells you how competitive that niche is and what you need to adjust in order to rank among those results.

Linking Root Domains

When it comes to link building campaign, another essential metric to measure is the linking root domains. This represents the number of distinct domains linking to your website.

No matter how many backlinks you acquire, they’re less valuable if they all come from only one domain. For example, if Forbes linked to you five different times, that would be treated as five links from one linking root domain – Forbes.

Multiple backlink profiles from the same domain aren’t telling Google anything new regarding the credibility of your website. This is why it’s better to have five links from five unique domains than five links from only one domain.

A handful of unique domains linking to your website act as a digital thumbs up, telling Google that a significant number of people like and trust your content. As a result, you are more likely to get a higher ranking in the search results and drive more traffic to your website.

You can use Majestic SEO’s site explorer to check both your total number of raw links and linking root domains.

Anchor Text

What is anchor text? Anchor text is the actual text that you hyperlink with the URL back to your website. Put otherwise, it is the specific text that people click when they need to be taken to the web page that is linked.

Just because the strict value of anchor text has changed over the years doesn’t mean it’s no longer an important metric for link building. It just means there is need to use a contextual anchor text that is relevant to your business.

There are a few guidelines to follow when writing the anchor text for link building purposes. Your anchor text needs to be:

  • Specific
  • Containing precise keywords
  • Relevant

Generic anchor texts such as “click here” no longer hold any value and you should therefore keep away from them. It is essential to write a relevant anchor text that communicates to Google about the subject matter of the page being linked to.

Let’s say you run a fitness website. If another website links to yours, it’s better to incorporate words like “fitness routine”, “weight regime”, and other variations containing your core keywords. In addition to improving SEO, doing this also influences the reader’s decision on whether to click or not to click.

Conclusion

Understanding these link building metrics is key if you are to plan and run your link building campaign in an effective and efficient way. What’s more, these SEO metrics can also help you track your campaign to ensure you get more organic traffic and maintain a good ROI.

If you’d like help with link building and SEO, how about you talk to us? Our team is here to help streamline your link acquisition process and help your business fly higher on SERPs.

Not sure where to start?Get in touch now for a free discovery call with one of our link building experts.

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Should I Delete Poorly Written Content?

Should I delete poorly written, hard-to-rank articles on my website or should I just let them stay? We get asked this question by our SEO clients a lot more times than we can remember, so we thought it wise to write a post about it.

Unfortunately, when it comes to content marketing, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question.

In this post, we’ll explore what you can do about poorly written, hard-to-rank articles on your website, as well as the measures you can take to improve your search engine rankings and pick up that organic traffic we all badly love!

Gauge the Competition

When it comes to SEO, the more competitive your keywords are, the harder it gets for your articles to appear on top of search engines results pages (SERPs).

For instance, let’s say you are targeting the keyword ‘freelance graphic designer’ for your newly set up graphic design business. Before you can start investing your time and money on SEO efforts, you need to first check other sites currently competing and ranking for that search term.

In our case, we’ve analyzed the top three organic search results for the keyword “freelance graphic designer” using the MozBar Chrome extension:

The first result, Upwork.com, has a domain authority of 91 – which makes it super hard to beat if your site is still new. The second one is Fiverr.com, which has an even higher domain authority of 92. Finally, the third result, 99designs.com, has a domain authority of 78 and a whopping 205,371 web pages linking to it!

If you’re writing blog posts optimised for the keyword ‘freelance graphic designer’ without a sizable budget for SEO, chances are that you will never beat these would-be competitors.

Which now brings us to this point

Before you start writing or editing existing (and probably low-quality content) for your website, first gauge the competition on SERPs to determine if it’s worth investing your money and time or not.

Take a look at the page one on Google search results. If high authority websites such as Wikipedia, CNN, Amazon and Forbes appear in the search results for your target keyword, it’s probably too competitive to pursue.

A few reliable tools we recommend for keyword analysis include Ahrefs, SEMrush and Moz. While at it, try to avoid short-tail keywords as most tend to be too competitive already. Instead, consider focusing on long-tail keywords that are not only easier to rank for but also drive more targeted (and higher-quality) traffic to your business.

For instance, if your website is about books, consider using a keyword like ‘best legal thriller books of 2022’ rather than ‘best thriller books.’ Don’t just go for a keyword blindly, though. Ensure that whatever you target gets significant amounts of monthly traffic and drives real value.

As a general rule of thumb, the main keyword should receive at least 100-1000 searches every month. You can check keyword search volume using paid SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush or free ones such as Google’s Keyword Planner or SurferSEO’s Keyword Surfer extension.   

Rewrite Poorly Written Content

On the surface, deleting content that does not rank properly on SERPs seems like a quick and convenient way towards achieving better traffic. However, it takes quite some work.

For starters, you need to create 301 redirects. The premise behind this step is to redirect visitors from the deleted pages to existing ones with relevant information. As Hubspot explains in this article, if done correctly, 301 redirections can be great for both SEO purposes and user experiences.

Unfortunately, creating 301 redirects can be such a time-consuming process especially if you have to delete a lot of web pages. Plus, creating 301 redirects can prove pretty challenging if you’ve never done it before.

With a few choices left, you could decide to rewrite your poorly written, outdated content to boost rankings. If so, here are two critical factors you must consider:

  • Search intent
  • Content length

Let’s explore these two factors in more detail below.

Search Intent

Search intent (also known as user or audience intent) is the primary goal of a person searching for content on a search engine. Simply put, it’s the ‘why’ behind an online search.

There are four types of search intent:

  • Informational
  • Navigational
  • Transactional
  • Commercial

When writing (or in this case rewriting) old content for your site, it’s critical to think about the search intent even where it seems obvious for your keyword. Essentially, you want to see the pages that already rank for that keyword to find out what Google considers ideal.

For example, say you run a tech blog and want to create articles on cheap smartphones; here are the probable results you will come across for the keyword ‘cheap smartphones.’

The search results indicate that this keyword has both commercial and transactional search intent. If you want your article to rank for commercial intent, consider using an alternative long-tail keyword like “best budget smartphones of 2022” instead.

When checking out the search intent of your keyword, you should also try to determine the media used by your competitors. If you see a lot of videos in the search results, you may want to focus on creating video content and work on improving your video SEO.

Content Length

Content length is one of the most contentious issues in SEO. While some SEOs claim that content length is a ranking factor, others don’t give it as much weight.

According to Google’s John Mueller, content length isn’t a ranking factor. Instead, Google’s search algorithm prioritises providing users with relevant information that demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness on a given topic.

Nonetheless, if you’re struggling to rank on Google and other search engines, writing long-form content can give you an edge over your competitors and help improve your ranking. By writing longer content, you can expand on your main topic and rank for more keywords.

For example, if you run a careers website, you may decide to write an article targeting the keyword “interview tips.” However, if you only use one keyword, chances are that you could miss out on other ranking opportunities.

This is why you should consider adding variations of the keyword to your H2 and H3 titles, such as ‘tips for before the interview’ and ‘tips for after the interview.’ Doing this can help your article rank for more keywords and consequently drive increased traffic to your website.

When Should I Delete Old Blog Articles?

Even though rewriting and repurposing old pages is a smart idea, sometimes it’s necessary to delete them altogether.

Old posts that lack proper coverage of the topic they purport to cover, do not focus on the intended keyword, or contain inaccurate information (aka time-sensitive content) are worth negative value.

However, it’s reckless to delete a blog article without performing a proper content audit. Ask these questions to help you decide if it’s time to delete outdated content:

How Many Pages Contain Low-Quality Content?

Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines describe low-quality content as content that is hard to read, improperly formatted, contains meaningless information, or even grammatically incorrect. Low-quality content is hard to rank because it’s less authoritative in the eyes of search engines.  

Moreover, significant amounts of poor-quality content could impact Google’s ability to crawl a site. There are lots of site audit metrics you can use to gauge the content quality, including: time on page, conversions, bounce rate, engagement, backlinks, ranking, and more.

Depending on how many pages you have on your site, you have two causes of action to take: make changes or delete content. Some of the changes to make include:

  • Make old blogs easy-to-read
  • Restructure the content format
  • Correct grammatical flaws
  • Add visual elements to old blogs such as images, videos and graphs
  • Make the content more engaging, entertaining, or educational
  • Answer the most relevant questions related to the topic

However, if your site has a lot of pages with low-quality or thin content (say 10k+), then you know reviewing and adjusting all these pages can take quite a lot of work. In that case, deleting old pages could help search engines focus on other indexed pages that you care about most.

Are the Old Pages Still Receiving Organic Traffic?

Like other pages on your website, you should optimise old blog posts for organic traffic. Because Google keeps updating its algorithms numerous times a year, some of your old pages may not be optimised for current SEO practices and ranking factors. There are a couple of popular ways to check if old pages are still receiving organic traffic, including:

Google Search Console

Google Search Console can help you find pages that are no longer optimised as they used to—and pages that were never optimised from the beginning. Start by comparing data from the last 30 days with data from the same time one or so years ago.

On the left sidebar of the Search Console, click on “Performance”, then filter the dates to start the comparison. This lets you find out how many pages used to get a lot of traffic but no longer do.

Any old pages that users aren’t clicking on them could mean they’re outdated. For example, articles published as far back as 2011 may not be optimised for mobile users, hence receiving little or no traffic at all.

Google Analytics

Another popular way to check if old pages are still optimised is using Google Analytics. Click on the ‘Behavior’ button in your account and go to ‘Overview’. You will find a fantastic overview of every page on your website.

To see the full report, click on the ‘view full report’ tab located in the bottom right-hand corner of the analytic tool. Then set the ‘show rows’ option at the bottom of the page to 5,000. You can open the file in Excel or Google sheets depending on your preference.

You can also sort by page views and bounce rate to identify pages that are no longer performing well. If you find pages with significantly low amounts of traffic or conversions, it’s probably worth updating rather than deleting them.

So try and consolidate several low-quality pages into one solid page that provides greater value to your audience. But before doing so, make sure to research the targeted keywords afresh. There is a good chance that the best keywords have changed since you last created the article, so find out what to target using tools like Ubersuggest.

Not every page can be saved, though. Some pages such as job ads that no longer exist, old news articles, or discontinued products may not be worth keeping. If a page can’t be updated, improved, or repurposed, then it’s ripe for removal. Remember, however, that deleting old pages should be your last resort. 

How Relevant is the Content?

Google is on a mission to provide users with up-to-date, relevant, and authoritative content. If the content is no longer relevant or is legally incorrect nowadays, then it provides no value to readers.

Make sure to update completely irrelevant/outdated content by adding fresh chunks of information to make it more valuable to your audience. However, if you published content that could land you in hot soup, especially on a topic that no longer exists, it’s best to hit delete and forget about it.

For example, say you wrote an article on ‘top 10 superfoods that can cure cancer’. You have to do away with such content because it makes false health claims that are not proven.

But then again, removing content without taking appropriate measures could see your entire site drop in rankings. So instead of deleting content due to inaccurate information, just redirect the old URL to a fresh relevant blog post on the same topic.

Verdict

While deleting poorly written articles may seem like a good idea, don’t be quick to hit delete without taking proper precautions. Creating 301 redirects and deleting multiple articles can take a lot of time and are somewhat technical for most site owners. Plus, you will lose the little ground you may have made if you delete your articles.

As such, we recommend checking out the competition for your keywords and rewriting the poorly written content instead.

Finally, always remember that SEO is a long-term strategy. If you don’t see your hard work yield results as quickly as you’d like, don’t worry. Continue focusing on creating high-value content that matches search intent, refining your keyword research process, and building high-quality backlinks for your website. You need to think of good backlinks as the rocket fuel to your valuable content.

Are you struggling with doing all this yourself and would like a professional to take away the burden of SEO off your shoulder so you can focus on running your online business? Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free strategy call.

We specialise in bespoke link building and are happy to guide you on how to create high-quality content that others in your niche or related industries are willing to link to.

Get in touch with us now and let’s skyrocket your business to the first page of Google for your most profitable search terms.

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Broken link building

Broken link building might not be the most glamorous SEO strategy (compared to guest post outreaching and others) for building links, but it sure does still work in 2022. This guide will discuss everything there’s to know about this SEO tactic, including showing you a few advanced tips you can implement immediately to benefit your business.

Finally, we will share an easy-to-personalise email template that you can use for your outreach campaigns if you decide to use this tactic for your link building SEO strategy.

With that said, let’s dive straight in!

Broken links

What is broken link building?

Have you ever clicked a link and an error message popped up saying that the ‘web page does not exist’ or ‘you have typed an invalid URL?’ Well, that’s an example of a broken link. This occurs when the content on a referred web page is removed without an HTML redirection.

Broken link building SEO strategy (sometimes also called dead link building) is where a webmaster builds backlinks to their site by replacing links to broken pages (404 pages) with a working link to the target website.

Usually, the process entails finding the dead links/pages, recreating content that existed on those pages, and then telling all those still linking to that dead resource to instead link to the fresh content you just created.

Is broken link building scalable?

Before we can answer your question, you should know that broken link building is a win-win situation for both you, the content creator and the target website domain owner.

The latter is getting notified about a problem on their website (linking to non-existent pages hurts their SEO and user experience).

On the other hand, you will likely get a backlink to your website if the site owner agrees to link back to your recreated content. So, a win-win situation.

Back to the question, broken link building, like most SEO strategies, gets such a bad rap today, which explains why many SEOs and website owners keep complaining that it no longer works.

But here’s the thing. This tactic still works and is scalable – but only if you have a clear process to follow.

In the following sections, we will show you a 3-step process that comprises how to find broken links, recreating dead content and tips for running a successful broken link building outreach campaign.

And yes, at the tail end, we will share a helpful email template you can steal.

How to successfully find high-quality dead pages and links

As with most things in life, the broken link building SEO strategy is a numbers game. This means that you need to prioritise web pages with lots of external links to increase your chances of finding broken ones and find enough link prospects to go for.

But how do you identify these pages? The first place to look is Wikipedia. Then there are the links-laden resource pages and finally, popular businesses that have closed recently.

Finding broken links on Wikipedia

Ever visited a Wikipedia page and observed its reference section? Some popular pages contain tens of references – and these provide an excellent opportunity for anyone searching for 404 pages.

And no, these are not your ordinary 404 pages. They are dead links that many websites are probably linking to already.

So how do you identify Wikipedia dead links?

Here’s a simple search string that works in Google:

site:wikipedia.org “keyword” intext:”dead link”

For our example, we will use the keyword ‘catwalk’ and try to see if any Wikipedia page that pops on SERPs contains a dead link – or even several.

So our Google search would look like this:

We will then click on the first result (arrowed) and this will lead us to the following page:

We will then scroll to the reference section to try and find some dead links.

And we can see there is a link that has the tag ‘permanent dead link’ which means that it’s broken. Indeed, when we click on it, it leads us to a 404 page. Voila! We now have the first broken link that we can use.

But that’s the easy part, to be honest. There’s still a lot to be done to have your site to replace this dead page. So we push on.

Another hurdle appears: approaching the Wikipedia webmasters and asking them to use your content as a replacement for the dead page is no walk in the park. Their editors are some of the pickiest you will ever deal with on the Internet. But don’t worry. There’s an easier route to use.

Open a backlink analysis tool of your choice – we swear by Ahrefs here at Profit Engine – but others like SEMrush and Majestic SEO will still work.

Add the dead link you just found on Wikipedia to the tool’s broken link checker to find sites that are linking to that page – alongside Wikipedia of course.

In our case, we found six sites in total. You can now scroll through the domains and approach those that align with your website to try and get them to link to your page (more on that later).

Find broken links on competitor resource pages and link round-up posts

As we said, resource pages and link round-up posts are other excellent places to target for the broken link building technique. Like Wikipedia pages, you can also uncover these resources using a few simple search strings. Some of the best ones that work include:

  • “Keyword” + inurl:resources
  • “Keyword” + “useful resources”
  • “Keyword” + intitle:links
  • “Keyword” + “helpful resources”

Here’s one example we found with the search string: “link building” + inurl:resources

Once you’ve found a resource page that you like, run a tool like Check My Links Google Chrome extension. This method is best when you have competitor websites and some of their backlinks are dead.

After installing the plugin, you would need to go through their old posts and find those that contain dead links. You can then recreate the dead content and reach out to your target sites requesting them to replace the dead link with your new content.  

Find websites linking to closed domains/business

This next step has a high success rate because of its rare occurrence. It’s not every day a big, successful business – ideally your competitor – closes shop. If you are lucky to find one and implement the process we share with you here, there’s no way you won’t bank good links for your business.

So let’s say a website is shutting down. A good example is the recent shutting down of complete.com. If your business competed directly with this business, you could take advantage of this opportunity to acquire some of the links they had built. But how?

First, you must confirm that the website actually closed down. Next, throw their domain in a backlink analysis checker to identify every website that links to it.

You can see this site has a whopping 23,680 backlinks – all of these offer a perfect opportunity for your broken link building campaign.

By now you know the drill; identify linking websites that align with yours – in terms of niche, authority and reputation. Reach out to all of them notifying them that they are linking to a dead/expired website.

Offer a worthy replacement piece of content to which they will be happy to link to. And as simple as it might sound, you have acquired another backlink for your online business.

Here are a couple of tips for a successful broken link building outreach

At this point, you’re probably already done finding the broken links, recreating the dead content and are ready to approach the webmaster and pitch your idea. How do you do this and not mess it up?

You need to find the right contact details of the webmaster

Always go the extra mile to ensure you have the right contact details, it’s THE fundamental part of your outreach process. You don’t want to do all the hard work only to send your emails to people who do not have the authority to edit websites e.g. junior writers. Besides, you want to avoid emails to non-existing addresses.

Keep your approach straight to the point and not pushy

Never outright tell the webmaster what to do, and instead provide them with the list of the dead links on their site and suggest to them that your content is the best replacement. While at this do not be push or sound desperate either.

Here is a sample email you can use. Of course, feel free to tweak it a bit to suit your exact messaging and campaign.

Hey [name]

Just finished reading through your post, [title of the post].

Such an excellent read, that had me rethink the way I run my business.

It really stuck with me when you [rephrase something they mentioned in the article].

While at it though, I noted that one of your links is pointing to a 404 page.

In case you are still updating the post, we recently released a guide that might make a nice replacement.

Want to take a look? Please check it here: [your link]

Either way, keep it up with the awesome work at [their brand name].

Cheers,

[Your name]

Now over to you!

As we mentioned at the start of this guide, broken link building is not dead yet – and we don’t see it dying any time soon. Sure, the whole process is somewhat time-consuming and the success rate especially with getting responses and link placement might not be the highest.

Can the process be made easier or streamlined? Absolutely! You can hire specialist link builders like us here at Profit Engine to do all the work for you as you watch those high-quality backlinks stream in and your site goes up on Google results.

Contact us today to book a free broken link building strategy call. We guarantee to make your link building efforts as successful and hassle-free as possible.

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The Easy Guide To Creating Link Roundup Posts

If you’ve been in the online marketing space for a while, you’ve likely come across the term ‘link roundup’ or something similar. Over the years, bloggers and SEOs have been using roundups to build relationships with others in their niche, acquire backlinks and build authority by curating their industry’s best content.

At Profit Engine, we rarely use this technique for our own or our clients’ SEO strategies. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad way to build links. We just find it a bit clichéd while it also requires quite a bit of effort to get good links using this method nowadays.

In this quick guide, I will be explaining what link roundups (sometimes also known as expert roundups) mean, reasons to publish roundups in 2022, and easy ways to spot quality links to include in your roundups.

Want to participate in link roundups by other bloggers? We explain the process in this detailed link building guide – be sure to check it out.

With that out of the way, let’s jump onto our topic of the day!

What are link roundups?

As search engines continue to evolve, optimising content for SEO is becoming harder with every passing day. Google and other search engines have one singular goal: connecting users to high-value content that they will enjoy interacting with and learning from.

What this means is you must ensure that your content always satisfies the needs of your target audience to get recognised by search engines. An excellent way to achieve this is by building link roundups.

Simply put, link roundups are curated daily, weekly or monthly lists that provide a representation of some of the best content you came across during that time frame. These pages are created with the sole purpose of linking out to other high-performing websites (ideally in your industry).

When creating link roundups, you list your favourite blog posts, tutorials or any other content and link out to their pages.

Here’s an example of a link roundup about social media on Capsicum Mediaworks:

How can link roundups help with SEO & link building?

Create high-value posts for your website

When it comes to SEO, creating high-value content for your site should be your most important goal. As we said, search engines’ algorithms are designed to prioritise sites and content they perceive to be valuable.

High-value content, broadly speaking, is that which impacts your audience in a significant way. For example, it could enlighten, educate, inspire or even simply entertain them. The only way to ensure your site is considered high-value is by creating high-quality, informative, entertaining or insightful content.

Link roundups make it easy to accomplish this without planning out and conducting keyword research for an entire original post. By doing a weekly, monthly, or even daily roundup of the best content you’ve come across, you can easily create high-quality blog posts that your readers will find valuable.

This alone helps your page rank highly on search results as it is aligned with search engines’ goal of showing the most valuable content first.

Become a trusted source of information

At the core of building a link roundup, you’re just trying to help. You’ve come across some great content that you think your readers will benefit from, and you’ve gone that extra mile and compiled it all. Once they check out your listed resources and enjoy the content, you’ll be in their good graces.

But that’s not all; creating a link roundup proves that you’re hip to the goings-on of your industry. When you demonstrate consistently that you’re privy to emerging trends in your niche, it makes readers view your content in a whole new light.

You prove that you’re a knowledgeable, reliable and trustworthy source of information, making them more inclined to share your work or even link back to some of your content.

The listed sites might return the favour

When you link out to posts by other sites, some will certainly take note of referral traffic coming from your link roundup. Depending on how much traffic it is or the quality of your post, the site owners may feel inclined to return the favour.

For example, some may choose to feature your website on their roundup posts too or look for opportunities to link out to your content. This helps a lot with link building, not to mention the referral traffic that this yields especially if they are a huge site.

What’s more, when a high authority site links out to your page, this indicates to the search engines’ algorithms that your content is of high value too. And that’s what you want!

An excellent way to build relationships

When done consistently and at a high-level, link roundups can help push your website or blog to the proverbial next level. As you keep climbing the viewership ranks, you will become a prominent authority figure that other websites will love to reach out to so you can feature their content. The upside to this is you get to build valuable relationships with established bloggers and those on the rise.

Where to find content to include in your link roundups

Having covered all you need to know about creating link roundups, we now arrive at the crux. How does one go about finding link roundup link-building opportunities? Well, everywhere!

Below, we explore two proven ways to find good sites to feature on your link roundups for maximum impact on your SEO.

Twitter and Google

Yes, you read that right! Who knew that Twitter was more than a dingy backyard for evil people? Or that it could help with SEO stuff like link roundups?

Looking through Twitter is an excellent way to come up with content for your link roundup posts. When using the platform, we highly recommend sorting results by latest so your roundup posts are always up to date.

To get started, head over to the search tab on Twitter and look up the specific keyword plus the phrase ‘link roundup’. This could be furniture link roundup, roof repair link roundup, SEO link roundup, etc.

Twitter should return roundup posts that people in your niche have posted recently. Go through these posts and look out for high-authority sites that recur from post to post.

Head to Google and do the same thing. Other search strings that you can use include:

  • “Keyword” + “weekly roundup”
  • “Keyword” + “weekly link”
  • “Keyword” + inurl:roundup
  •  “Keyword” + intitle:roundup
  •  “Keyword” + best posts of the week
  •  “Keyword” + best blogs of the week

Note all the recurring sites as these will potentially be on your links roundup post.

After coming up with a list of sites or pages that you’d like to feature, it’s time to find their contact information. Scrape these sites or use a tool like Hunter.io to find the names and email addresses of people running each website.

Compile all this information and put it in a spreadsheet. I will be explaining shortly what to do with it.

Look manually through blog posts

Sometimes link roundups don’t get presented as such, which is why using search strings like ‘keyword + link roundup’ do not always guarantee you will find all opportunities.

Think about it: a weekly magazine writing a feature of the ten hottest spots in the city; a film culture magazine posting an article about the highest earning streaming platforms of 2022… These are all roundups, just presented in a different way.

If you go through some of the highest-ranking websites in your industry, you’re sure to find dozens of similar posts. Read through their most recent entries and see whether you can find any content to include in your links roundup. Chances are you will.

So you now have your list ready, probably even created your link roundup post, what next?

Contact all those featured in your roundup

You don’t want to be the proverbial man who winks to a girl in darkness and hopes she will notice it. In marketing and pretty much everywhere else, you must reach out to others to let them know what you’re doing; otherwise, all your efforts will go unnoticed.

Having done all the hard work and compiled your link roundup post, it’s only fair to yourself that you inform all those featured about it. The following is a simple email template you can steal:

Hey there, [name]!

I thought your recent post about XX was spot on. I just published a link roundup post on my blog and included it. I’m sure my readers will find it valuable.

Here’s the article [insert URL here].

Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Also, a simple share might not seem like a big deal to you, but it would mean a lot to me.

Thank you and keep up the good work.

[Your name]

Conclusion

Consistently creating high-quality link roundups is one of the most effective ways to acquire backlinks you once thought were unachievable. What’s more, this SEO strategy comes with additional benefits besides building links.

As we said, they help you gain the trust of your readers while also allowing you to create high-quality content that Google loves to reward.

Sure, it may appear like an intimidating process, especially if you’re new to SEO, but it doesn’t have to be. If you can follow the exact blueprint that we’ve outlined here, there’s no way you won’t start reaping fruits soon.

Start now. Sooner than later, you will be surprised about how much you’ve learned by simply showing up and doing it every day. Good luck!

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Top 10 Free Link Building Tools For SEO in 2022

Let’s face it; building high-quality backlinks in 2022 is not easy. For starters, it’s now harder than ever to get replies from website owners when doing outreach for links. Besides, some of the best link building tools available today are expensive and beyond the reach of the average online business.

But don’t let that discourage you from working towards improving your site’s off-page SEO. Remember, there are still plenty of benefits of ranking higher on Google.

In this post, we show you the top 10 best free link building tools you can use in 2022. Some are completely free, while others offer a free account that you can upgrade when you’re ready for more advanced features. Finally, some tools offer a free trial that ends after a given period or after exhausting the allocated resources.

If you’d like to grow your backlink profile (and ultimately organic traffic) for cheap this year, our guide is all you need. Let’s dive in!

Google Alerts

Google receives around 63,000 search queries every second. The potential these numbers provide is phenomenal.

Luckily, you can now harness this power by collecting market trends on your company using Google Alerts. This free content monitoring service sends you notifications each time your brand’s name (or any other keyword you’re tracking) is mentioned on the web.

The customization options with Google Alerts are almost endless. For example, you can set it up to track any keyword relevant to your brand or even your competitors. The process of setting this up takes only a few seconds and you can create as many alerts as you want.

For link building purposes, Google Alerts makes it easier to discover hot new topics or trends in your niche that you could write on and attract backlinks. You can also identify websites that mention your brand unlinked for potential backlinking opportunities.

Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO is best known for helping SEOs analyse backlinks for quality and quantity. It tells you which backlinks are worth pursuing and those to leave out based on metrics such as Trust Flow, Citation Flow and Link Context.

A Trust Flow score essentially indicates the quality of backlinks. The higher the score, the higher the quality of that backlink.

A Citation Flow typically scores the number of backlinks pointing to a page without giving any weight to the quality of the links.

Finally, Link Context is a recently added feature that allows you to see the backlink’s position in the text, images on the page, link density score, and other links within the page.

Majestic SEO offers a free version that you can use for basic domain lookups for aspects such as trust and citation flow and backlink profile. A 7-day money back guarantee is also available to new customers who would like to try the tool’s Lite and Pro plans risk-free.

As the name infers, this tool scours your site and picks out broken outbound and inbound links. It’s particularly packed with several useful features to help you instantly locate broken outbound links on your pages that could be harming your SEO.

Similarly, Ahrefs Broken Link Checker shows broken inbound links so you can replace or redirect them elsewhere for improved navigation and crawlability of your site.

Finally, use this tool to identify your competitors’ most linked to pages that are broken. Create something similar and ask those linking to those dead pages to consider your fresh resource instead.

Ahrefs Broken Link Checker is available for free.

Hunter.io

Hunter.io is an excellent tool that helps you capture email addresses of owners of websites that you’d like to target for backlinks. In addition, it allows you to verify returned email addresses using its email verifier feature.

Hunter.io allows 25 free email searches and 50 email verifications per month. If this isn’t enough for you, check out the tool’s pricing plans that allow for a higher number of searches.

Snov.io

Snov.io is another useful freemium tool that allows you to find and verify email addresses of websites that offer backlinking opportunities. What’s more, you can use its emailing platform to contact site owners and also track opens and replies.

Currently, Snov.io offers a forever free plan with 50 free email verification checks and 100 recipients per month.

SEMRush

SEMrush is a powerful SEO tool that offers 50+ features to help you analyze backlinks, find keywords, audit technical SEO aspects, and track daily SERP positions.

The Backlink Analytics tool provides useful information such as backlink geo-location, quality and authority score. You can use data collected to guide your link building campaigns and improve search engine rankings.

Another important tool is the Backlink Audit which helps you weed out backlinks that may harm your search engine rankings by removing or disavowing them.

SEMRush offers three main plans which you can try for free for 7 days. Thereafter, your account will be demoted to a free account with limited functionality. For example, you can generate only 10 analytics reports per day, create and manage just one project and track a maximum of 10 keywords using the free account.

Link Whisper is a simple tool that offers intelligent suggestions for internal link building. Unlike anything we’ve seen in the market yet, it just doesn’t give suggestions but also considers the relevance of the links.

But that’s not all! Link Whisper also identifies broken links and recommends what to do with them. It also generates reports showing you which pages have little to no internal links pointing to them as well as how many links are coming from each article.

You can use Link Whisper for free or upgrade to its paid version to enjoy more advanced features that include automated internal link placement and anchor text selection.

Disavow.it

Disavow.it is a free tool that allows website owners to denounce association with any backlinks that may harm their search engine ranking. This usually occurs when your site gets backlinks from domains or pages that employ questionable SEO practices.

With Disavow.it, you will easily compile all potentially harmful backlinks, which it then submits to Google asking it to disregard them.

Surprisingly, this tool is completely free to use!

Check My Links is a free Chrome browser extension that scans website pages for broken links. If you’re running a broken link building campaign, this tool can truly be super useful.

To unearth backlinking opportunities using Check My Links, install the extension in your Google Chrome browser. Thereafter, comb through websites where you’d link to solicit links from to see if they have any broken outbound links.

You can then notify owners about it and offer a solution in the form of another alternative resource available on your website. Because you will be helping them improve their site’s user experience and SEO, most webmasters will rarely hesitate to reward you with a link back to your website.

Mozbar

Mozbar is another free Chrome extension with multiple functions. The tool provides you with insights about a webpage, which you can use to determine its quality.

Using Mozbar is very easy. Click on the extension to view the Domain Authority, Page Authority and Spam score of the website you’ve visited. Mozbar instantly returns these metrics so you can know whether it’s worth going ahead with the link acquisition process or not.

A lot of webmasters avoid link building due to the cost of the tools involved. Now you have no excuse with all the available free options we just shared with you in this article.

Even so, you will still need to put in significant effort to score good links that drive the needle and boost your positions on SERPs.

As always, we are happy to take the burden of link building from your shoulders so you can focus on what you do best; running your business. If you’re looking for a proven SEO company that walks the talk and specialises in bespoke link building, then Profit Engine is your best bet.

Hire us today and watch your organic traffic and revenue skyrocket right in front of your eyes!

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Choosing a Link Building Agency?

What to look for in a link building agency

Choosing a link building agency for your website can be difficult, but there are a few things you could do to make sure that you choose the best fit.

1) Sit down and figure out what your goals are for the next year. What is it that you want from a link building campaign? Do you want more organic traffic, do you want to be ranked higher on search engines? What is your overall strategy?

2) Ask yourself how much are you willing to invest into a successful link building campaign. If the best company for the job costs thousands of dollars per month, are you willing to pay that or are you looking for something more budget friendly? For the sake of clarity here, good link building companies will have a more premium price.

3) Look at the backlinks that the Link building services company have generated for their clients . If they have generated backlinks for big companies like then there’s a high probability that they can generate them for you as well.

4) Does the link building agency have experience in your industry? Look at their portfolio and see if there are any types of websites similar to what you want. If so, ask what issues they faced building links in that industry, do they have good existing relationships with relevant sites in that niche? Do they have the best way to approach link building in your industry?

5) If you are getting a backlink through guest posting, make sure the Link Building agency provides you with written content. Good written content is absolutely vital. You will be doing yourself a disservice by having poorly written or irrelevant content as a guest post. Really good sites want really good content so if the company you choose for link building is getting non native speakers to write their content there is a high possibility that the site will reject the content.

6) Look for best practices of the best link building companies. Many of them offer best practice guides or white papers on their best link building tactics. Find out what makes them different and what their methodology is. Here is a link to our Link building process.

7) Check the agencies backlink profiles. Do you like how they look? Is their content well written.? Do they link to spammy sites? If so, best to avoid. Again, if their content is not well written, quality content many site will not accept it.

8) Request a proposal from link building companies. Ask them what their best practice is and how they propose to get you results in terms of links / traffic etc. Will they put together a link building strategy for you?

9) Request samples of their link building campaigns, reports and rankings. They should be willing to share these with you. It’s important to check the link quality of the SEO agency or link building service you plan to invest your part of your marketing budget with. If they are not high quality backlinks, best to avoid in most cases. The last thing you need is a link building agency building spammy links to your site.

10) Check how long they have been doing link building for? Is it a new company or one that has been around for a number of years? Link building is an ongoing process, best if you are working with someone who knows what they are doing and has been building links for some time.

11) Ask how many link building staff they have in their in house team and who will be working on your campaign. Link building is best done as a team so best this is 1 or 2 people max. We tend to have three people assigned to a client. A project manager, a data person and the link builder.

Summary

So, yes there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself before choosing ta link building agency. As we can see there are a number of very important considerations such as: how long they have been in business, what process they use, who will be working on your campaign and how many people will be involved in the link building activities.

If you want to get a positive answer to the above questions feel free to contact us or you can book a time to chat here and I can take you through how we build links for our clients.