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Electric bills from the pandemic are coming due. Who will pay them?

This may be of some interest.

Many states and cities have paused electric bill payments, but those grace periods are starting to end. What’s next?

The shutdowns and restrictions that governments have imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19 have made it hard for many households to afford basic needs. Thousands of Americans are struggling to pay monthly utility bills.

Read Full Story

Thank you for reading.

What can states do to protect vote-by-mail voters from post office slowdowns?

This may be of some interest.

Make more places for people to drop off their ballots.

In November, when another wave of infections could be peaking, there’s a good chance that you might not want to go to a voting booth in person. But as the postmaster general—a major Trump donor—has worsened mail service, what can be done to make sure that voting by mail works?

Read Full Story

Thank you for reading.

20 B2B Influencer Marketing Pros to Follow from Top Brands

This may be of some interest.

B2B influencer marketing pros from top brands

B2B influencer marketing pros from top brands

Recently we published the 2020 State of B2B Influencer Marketing report after surveying hundreds of B2B marketers about their experiences, best practices, tools, budgets and plans for the future.

In an environment where B2B marketing is decidedly digital and marketers are hard pressed to squeeze more productivity out of fewer resources, credible information about marketing best practices, operations and trends for the future are in high demand. Judging by the response we’ve had to The State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report so far, we’re definitely meeting a need.

There is both optimism and an unrealized opportunity with influencer marketing for B2B companies. For evidence, check out these stats from the report:

  • 78% of B2B marketers believe prospects rely on advice from influencers
  • 74% believe that Influencer Marketing improves customer and prospect experiences
  • 63% agree that marketing would have better results if it included an Influencer Marketing program
  • 60% of marketers who use always on Influencer Marketing programs are very successful vs. 5% who do periodic campaigns

And yet:

  • Only 19% of B2B marketers are running ongoing influencer marketing programs
  • Only half include a plan for influencer activation in their influencer marketing strategy
  • Only 35% of marketers use software to identify potential influencers
  • 60% say they don’t have the knowledge to execute or have the right skills in house to implement ongoing Influencer Marketing programs

Influencer Marketing is a significant opportunity for B2B Marketers to connect with trusted and credible experts that have the attention of audiences that are probably overwhelmed with information and ignoring most of the ads that do get to them. At the same time B2B brands that build relationships to co-create content with these industry voices can integrate influence with thought leadership to build the authority and influence of brand employees.

It is very satisfying to have spent the past 8 years focusing on such a niche aspect of B2B marketing to see it now start to grow in acceptance, adoption and maturity amongst some of the top B2B brands in the world.  Where there were previously no positions outside of PR with “influencer” in the title, now it is much more common to find marketers with titles like, Head of Global Influencer Marketing, VP Influencer Marketing and Communications, or B2B Influencer Engagement Strategist.

Many B2B marketing professionals with these titles have earned hard won insights into what makes influencer marketing truly work for B2B, especially during a time when brand marketers are highly motivated to focus on strategies and tactics that will help them survive and thrive during the pandemic.

To help you connect with the collective wisdom of the B2B influencer marketing crowd, here are 20 B2B Influencer Marketing Professionals to follow (in no particular order):

Ursula Ringham
Ursula Ringham
@ursularingham
Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP

Rani Mani
Rani Mani
@ranimani0707
Head of Social Influencer Enablement at Adobe

Jen Holtvluwer
Jen Holtvluwer
@JenHoltvluwer
CMO at Spirion

Garnor Morantes
Garnor Morantes
/in/garnormorantes/
Group Marketing Manager at LinkedIn

Martin Hanna
Martin Hanna
@martyhanna
VP, Analyst and Influencer Relations at Schneider Electric

Amisha Gandhi
Amisha Gandhi
@AmishaGandhi
VP Influencer Marketing and Communications at SAP Ariba

Chris Purcell
Chris Purcell
@chrispman01
Manager, Influencer Marketing at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Janine Wegner
Janine Wegner
@JanineWegner
Global Thought Leadership Program & Activation Manager at Dell

Marshall Kirkpatrick
Marshall Kirkpatrick
@marshallk
VP, Influencer Relations, Analyst Relations, and Competitive Intelligence at Sprinklr

Angela Lipscomb
Angela Lipscomb
@AngelaLipscomb
Influencer Relations Manager at SAS

Srijana Angdembey
Srijana Angdembey
@srijanaa
Director Social Media Marketing at Oracle

Ann Boyd
Ann Boyd
@annb
VP Corporate Communications at Cherwell Software

Tom Treanor
Tom Treanor
@RtMixMktg
Global Head of Marketing at Arm Treasure Data

Sarah Groves
Sarah Groves
@sstoesser
Director, Communications, AT&T Business Marketing at AT&T Business

Alyssa Samuelson
Alyssa Samuelson
@alyssamuelson
Commercial Influencer Relations at Microsoft

Lucinda Henry
Lucinda Henry
@lucindarhenry1
B2B Influencer Engagement Strategist at Intel

Barbara French
Barbara French
@bfr3nch
Sr Director, Content and Influencer Marketing at Juniper Networks

Paul Dobson
Paul Dobson
@svengelsk
Sr. Director, Social and Influencer Marketing at Citrix

Meg Crawford
Meg Crawford
@Postgrad
Sr. Influencer/Social Media Marketing Manager at Splunk

Brandi Boatner
Brandi Boatner @ThinkBluePR
Social and Influencer Communications Lead Global Markets at IBM

Of course there are many B2B influencer marketing practitioners from the consulting and agency world that could be on a list like this, including some of my team at TopRank Marketing. Maybe we’ll publish such a list in the future, but for now this resource is focused on people working at B2B brands.

If you know of other B2B brand influencer marketing practitioners, who would you add to this list?

To tap into the collective wisdom of these and more B2B influencer marketing experts, be sure to check out the full report here.

B2B Influencer Marketing Report 2020

*SAP, LinkedIn, SAP Ariba, Dell, Cherwell and Treasure Data are TopRank Marketing clients. 

The post 20 B2B Influencer Marketing Pros to Follow from Top Brands appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

MozCon Virtual 2020: Top Takeaways from Day One

This may be of some interest.

Posted by cheryldraper

Today marked day one of the first-ever MozCon Virtual! Even though we weren’t together in person, it was so exciting to get the best people in the industry together again.

So much of the day was different from what we expected six months ago, but the one thing we can always count on from our speakers is a MASSIVE amount of value. We’re talking insights, game plans, cheat codes — you name it, we’ve got it — and this year was no different.

Let’s get to it.

Sarah Bird — Welcome & State of the Industry

It’s always inspiring to hear from our fearless leader. Sarah hit on some of the changes that we’ve seen this year and how they’ve affected both us as people and us as an industry.

Sarah also laid out her thoughts on major SEO trends for 2020.

In closing, Sarah reminded us that we rise and fall collectively and that in the end, the world is our work. In difficult times we must all come together.

We’re all so happy to be able to create this virtual experience and allow for everyone to have something (somewhat) predictable to look forward to for two days.

Andy Crestodina — Thought Leadership and SEO: The 3 Key Elements and Search Ranking Strategies

Andy started off by walking us through the three key aspects of thought leadership: personal brand, taking a stand, and proving expert insights.

Then, very kindly, Andy laid out exactly what to do to fulfill each aspect.

Expert Insights

  • Create original research
  • Write books
  • Share novel ideas

Take a stand

  • Have a strong opinion
  • Don’t shy away from controversy
  • Inspire others

Build a personal brand

  • Have a social following
  • Be cited by others
  • Be influential

This presentation was 163 slides of actionable insights. It’s definitely one that we’ll have to watch a few times over!

Shannon McGirk — Great Expectations: The Truth About Digital PR Campaigns

Shannon came to set us straight: we aren’t showing the full picture when it comes to Digital PR, and it’s quite toxic.

She started out by showing a few of her own tweets and pointing out that she rarely, if ever, shares anything about campaigns that don’t “go viral”.

Shannon explained that we talk about Digital PR campaigns as if the majority of them are “huge wins”. The reality, however, is that most of our campaigns will be steady performers and the huge wins are actually just anomalies.

How we talk about campaigns:

How campaigns actually perform:



Aira put out a state of digital PR study and found that most campaigns only got between one and 20 links. When Shannon broke down the numbers for Aira, they were consistent: about 17 links were gained per campaign!

What do we do about this? Shannon challenged us to take as much time looking into what didn’t work as we do looking into what did work.

Using a custom made success matrix, Shannon and her team were able to spot the trends for both “successful” and “not successful” campaigns and implement plans accordingly.

Her parting strategy:

  1. Take off the pressure of “virality” and focus on steady performers and fails.
  2. Realize that steady performers can consistently impact weighty SEO KPIs.
  3. Use the success matrix to review campaigns and catch trends early.

Robin Lord — Whatever You Do, Put Billboards in Seattle: Getting Brand Awareness Data from Google

Wow! Our minds are still blown from this presentation. Robin took us through some extremely valuable workflows for collecting and analyzing data.

When it comes to determining the success of your “brand,” the numbers aren’t straightforward. There are a lot of data points to take into consideration. In fact, Robin started off by asking us if we used multiple datasets, collected data on our competitors, and got granular. Needless to say, many of us knew we were in for a ride.

Honestly, this presentation was so jam-packed with information that we had a hard time keeping up! Thankfully, at the end of his presentation, Robin laid out step-by-step instructions on how he collected, compiled, and analyzed all of this data.

Alexis Sanders — The Science of Seeking Your Customer

Determining your audience is about more than demographics and affinity data; it’s about truly understanding your audience as people.

Alexis took us through four questions we should try to answer when defining our audience:

  1. What’s the key information?
  2. What are they like at their core?
  3. How do they choose products?
  4. What’s their relationship with technology?

She even provided a list of free and paid resources that anyone can use to collect this information.

Alexis also explained that audience research is not something that happens only once (at the beginning of a campaign), but instead should inform the entire customer journey.

Her parting words encouraged us to learn fast and become in-tune with the constant change, instead of always trying to guess correctly!

Phillip Nottingham — How to Build a Global Brand Without a Global Budget

The marketing funnel is broken, we all know that. But if we aren’t focusing on getting people to work down a funnel, what are we working towards? Building our brand. Right. Well, how do we go about doing that?

Phil blew our minds with insights on how he helped Wistia change their mindset when it came to creating “brand awareness.” The first step was to stop calling it brand awareness and instead call it brand affinity.

Building an affinity to a brand means spending time with a brand. A KPI that usually gets lost in the mix of impressions, clicks, etc.

In his presentation, Phil breaks down the exact method he used with Wistia to get people to spend as much time on the site watching four videos as they did reading all 1,170 blogs.

Greg Gifford shared a great summary slide here:

Dr. Pete — Moving Targets: Keywords in Crisis

We were so thrilled to have Dr. Pete back to speak at his NINTH MozCon this year. While this year’s conference was unlike any other, his presentation was just as insightful.

Dr. Pete talked all about spotting trends. Nothing about this year could have been predicted. There was no way that hair salons could have predicted that “how to cut hair” was going to be an opportunity keyword.

However, there is still a way to capitalize on these opportunities as we spot them.

Dr. Pete showed us exactly how we can use tools that we’re familiar with, and a few that we might not be familiar with, to spot trends and turn them into opportunities including Google Trends, Pinterest, Twitter search, and even Boing Boing Store.

There were some real gems in this presentation!

Needless to say, Dr. Pete has officially gone nine straight years impressing MozCon.

Francine Rodriguez — Let It Go: How to Embrace Automation and Get Way More Done

2020 has really come out swinging. Francine voiced exactly what we were all thinking: “that’s enough!”

We have enough to worry about, do we really need to keep adding to the list?

When it comes to search engine marketing, there are a lot of moving parts and it can be excruciating to try and keep up with it all. There is a solution though: ROBOTS! (Someone call Roger!)

Google is constantly learning, so why not let them leverage their new knowledge?

Francine walked us through the different areas of PPC automation:

  • Bidding
  • Ad copy
  • Smart campaigns
  • Keyword matching

If you’re looking for a great example of letting go and embracing automation, Microsoft Ads is a good place to go. They allow you to import all of your Google Ads right into Microsoft ads so they can start running right away.

Rob Ousbey — A Novel Approach to Scraping Websites

What do we even say about this presentation? Rob is one of a kind.

If you take a look at the #MozCon feed on Twitter, you’ll notice far fewer people live-tweeting — that’s because they were busy taking notes!

Rob showed us how he scrapes websites (including the big G) in seconds using a few lines of code. He walked us through every piece of code needed to scrape G2, Google, and even Google’s Lighthouse tool.

He wrapped it all up by showing off exactly what he did to integrate Lighthouse data into Moz Pro’s SERP analysis.

Again, this is going to be one of those presentations that you have to rewatch multiple times. Or maybe even at half-speed!

Ross Simmonds — Designing a Content Engine: Going from Ideation to Creation to Distribution

We closed out day one with the Coolest of Cool.

Ross came in hot with some Disney references to make us think.

Disney movies — where do the storylines usually come from? Other stories!

In recent years we’ve seen Disney “revise” their previous movies to make them fit today’s world. And actually, some of the original Disney movies were “remixes” of Shakespeare’s plays.

Ross loves his four Rs (revise, remix, remove, redirect), and this year he gave us even more actionable plans.

This closing session really encouraged us to put on our “Sherlock Homeboy” hat and get curious about what others are doing, and how we can do it better.

A few places to find inspiration for innovation that Ross mentioned:

  • Your favorite website’s site map
  • Wayback machine for industry leaders’ sites
  • Wikipedia

There’s so much to do

For now, we’re calling it a day and getting some rest because we get to do it all again tomorrow!

If you want to access the speaker slides, you can sign in with your Moz Community credentials and download them on this page.

If you did join us today, what was your favorite session? Your biggest takeaway? We can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Thank you for reading.

Executing a Domain Migration: An Inside Look From OnLogic (Formerly Logic Supply)

This may be of some interest.

Posted by ErikaOnLogic

In October 2019, our 16-year-old company rebranded from Logic Supply to OnLogic. The recovery from a traffic standpoint has been pretty smooth (and much faster than we expected), and our customers have embraced our new name and look. We want to share our story, the steps we took to prepare for this major change, and some things we learned along the way about what it takes to execute a successful domain transition (with minimal impact on organic results) in an effort to help those facing the same challenge.

Take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay.

First, a little history and background. Logic Supply was founded in 2003 as an e-commerce website that sold components and parts for small form factor computers. Over the years, the company has built up engineering and manufacturing capabilities that today allow us to offer complete industrial and ruggedized computers and technology solutions for a wide range of industries. We’ve known for almost 10 years that our ambitions would someday outgrow our name, and in 2015 we settled on a new one and began laying the groundwork for the transition.

Once we’d gotten past all the research and legal efforts related to the new name itself, we began formulating the website transition plans in 2018. This kind of project requires a long list of individual and team supporters, from the Design and Communications team who helped conceptualize and choose the name OnLogic, to the IT team who would be responsible for making sure the digital transition was executed effectively.

This piece is coming from the perspective of Erika Austin, who has worked in digital marketing for Logic Supply since 2009, with special credit to Tim van der Horst in our Netherlands office who led the roll-out of the new domain and the resulting SEO recovery efforts. Tim applied structure to all the data I had gathered in my head over the past 10 years of decision-making in SEO.

Unstructured Data / Structured Data = Erika / Tim

As I take you through the process and cite our plan, including what we did and didn’t do, as well as the decisions made along the way, you can download a copy of our Go-Live Checklist for your own reference.

Phase one: scoping and planning

I had full confidence that our team could lead a successful transition. The only thing was, I had never done this before. Few have, with the exception of our new IT director who had undergone a few brand and domain migrations in her career.

I had been working on building Logic Supply’s domain authority for 10 years, so the idea of moving to a new domain brought up a lot of questions. To help us along the way, I sought out an expert who could validate our work and answer questions if anything came up. While many of the recommendations online were people that had cited, or written for, authoritative sites such as Moz, I decided to ask Rand Fishkin, the SEO Rockstar himself, who he would recommend as a Jungle Guide for a project like this. He was kind enough to connect us with KickPoint.

Dana DiTomaso at KickPoint was able to quickly understand where we were in the process, and what we needed. Dana proved to be instrumental in validating our efforts along the way, but we were very encouraged by her assessment that our existing plan was thorough and covered the necessary steps. Admittedly, we would have been disappointed otherwise — it was a really detailed plan.

Tim outlined a six-phase project with specifications and definitions of our SEO strategy in a website migration document with an accompanying spreadsheet, complete with an RACI (responsible, accountable, consult, and inform) matrix and timeline. Tim’s plan was extremely clear, with positive outcome scenarios including possible growth as a result of the migration.

I will credit Tim again — my head was spinning with only the potential pitfalls (detailed below) of such a huge change. What about E-A-T? This new domain had no expertise, authority, or trust to it, and growth in traffic wasn’t something I had even considered. Our IT Director agreed that she had never seen that happen in her career, so we set expectations to have about a ten percent decline over six weeks before a full recovery. I squirmed a bit, but okay.

Along with traffic loss, it was important for us to lay out all the possible risks associated with this execution.

Risks

Many of the risks we faced revolved around implementation uncertainty and resource allocation on the IT side. Of the risks that were introduced, the one that I had the most reservations about was migrating our blog to a new URL path. This was decided to be too much of a risk, and we removed it from the initial plan.

*Credit to Modestos Siotos: The Website Migration Guide: SEO Strategy, Process, & Checklist

Redirect strategy for the main brand domain

To help mitigate some of the risks, we discussed options for an overlay notifying customers of the change. But as much as we wanted to get customers excited about our new name and look, we didn’t want it to be too disruptive or be penalized for a disruptive interstitial.

The more we spoke to customers leading up to the big changeover, the more we realized that — while this was a big deal to us — it ultimately didn’t impact them, as long as they could still expect the high quality products and support they’d come to know us for. We ended up implementing a persistent banner on every page of the site that pointed to a page about the brand evolution, but we didn’t choose to force users into interacting with that modal.

Phase two: pre-launch preparation

Technical SEO specification

At this point in the project, we realized we had an XML sitemap that would change, but that we wanted the old sitemaps around to help reinforce the transition in Google Search Console. We also determined that an HTML sitemap would help in laying out our structure. We were six months out from our brand transition, so any changes we wanted to make to our website had to be made ASAP.

So, we cleaned up our URL structure, removing many of the existing server redirects that weren’t being used or followed much anymore by only keeping links from our referral traffic.

We also created more logical URL paths to show relationships, for example:

/products/industrial-computers/ >> /computers/industrial/

/products/rugged-computers/ >> /computers/rugged/

And updated the redirects to point to the right end path without following redirect chains:

Technical CMS specification

When doing a migration to a new domain, the depth and complexity of the technical CMS specification really depends on if you are migrating your existing platform or switching to a new one. The CMS of choice in our case didn’t change from the previous, which made our lives a little easier. We were porting our existing website over to the new domain as-is. It would mostly come down to content at this stage in the plan.

Content updates

One of the most important things at this step was to make sure our content was displaying our new brand properly. Essentially, we planned for a “simple” find/replace:

Find: *Logic Supply*

Replace: *OnLogic*

We took inventory of every attribute and field on our website that mentions the company, and applied the change across the board: descriptions, short descriptions, meta titles, meta descriptions, manufacturer, etc.

At one point we asked ourselves, “What do we do with press releases or past content that says ‘Logic Supply’? Should that be replaced with ‘OnLogic’?” In the end, we decided to exclude certain parts of the website from the script (articles, events, news from our past), but made sure that all the links were updated. We didn’t have to bury Logic Supply as a brand name, as there would be an advantage in having references to this name during the period of transition to remind customers we’re still the same company.

During this phase, we prepared what needed to be changed in Google Ads, such as headlines, descriptions, URLs, sitelinks, and videos. We ramped up our paid search budget for both terms “Logic Supply” and “OnLogic”, and prioritized pages and keywords to elevate in Google Ads in case the domain change did have an impact on our core keyword rankings.

Priority page identification

Since the intent of our migration was to port our existing platform over to a new domain and make very few changes in the process, we didn’t have to list pages we would have to prioritize over others. What we did do was think about external factors that would impact our SEO, and how to limit this impact for our biggest referral traffic sources and top ranking pages.

External Links

We compiled a spreadsheet to help us address, and ideally update, backlinks to our former domain. The categories and data sources are worth noting:

Backlinks: We downloaded all of our backlinks data compiled from SEMRush and Google Search.

Referral traffic and top organic landing pages: This list was pulled from Google Analytics to determine high-traffic, priority pages we’d need to monitor closely after the transition. It also helped to prioritize links that were actively being used.

Partners: We wrote to each of our partners and suppliers about the changes in advance, and asked them to make updates to the links on their websites by certain deadlines. I was delighted to see how quickly this was implemented — a testament to our amazing partners.

Publishers: Anywhere we had a mention in a news story or website that we thought could be updated, we reached out via email at go-live. We did decide at some point we couldn’t erase our history as www.logicsupply.com, but we could at least let those contacts know we had changed. There were a few direct placement advertisements we also had to update.

Directories: We used various internet resources, and a great deal of Googling, to identify business, product, or industry directories that pointed to our old domain and/or used our old name. I hate that directories still have a place in SEO these days, since they date back to the early ages of the internet, but we wanted to cover our bases.

Redirect specification

Redirect mapping

When you’re performing a domain migration, one of the most important things for sustaining organic traffic is to help Google — and any search engine — understand that a page has moved to a new location. One way to do this is with a permanent (301) redirect.

So began our redirect mapping. Our migration scenario was fortunate in the sense that everything remained the same as far as URL structure goes. The only thing that changed was the domain name.

The final redirect map (yes, it’s the world’s most complicated one, ever) was:

logicsupply.com/* -> onlogic.com/*

Internal link redirects

As IT had their redirection mapping server-side prepared, we needed to make sure our internal links weren’t pointing to a 301 redirect, as this would hurt our SEO. Users had to be sent straight to the correct page on the new domain.

Objective: update all links on the site’s content to point to the new domain. Below is the “find/replace” table that our IT team used to help us update all the content for the transition to onlogic.com:

We also launched an HTML sitemap as soon as possible under logicsupply.com after our URL restructure, six months prior to launch.

Contingency plan

We took 15 weeks to prepare, test, and get comfortable with the migration. Once live, there is no going back. Executing thoroughly and exactly on the plan and checking every box is the only approach. So in short: there was no contingency plan. Whatever happened, once we switched domains, that was it.

GULP.

Phase two ended when we started to move away from the specifications and into exactly what needed to happen, and when. We used our Go-Live Checklist to make sure that we had every box checked for creative needs, third party integrations, and to configure file review. Making the checklist highly detailed and accurate was the only way to make sure we succeeded.

Phase three: pre-launch testing

To kick off phase three, we had to get a baseline of where we were at. We had a few errors to correct that had been outstanding in Google Search Console, like submitting noindex links through our XML sitemap. This project also alerted us to the fact that, if everything went well, site speed would be our next project to tackle.

Content review

As content wouldn’t change except for “Logic Supply” becoming “OnLogic”, we didn’t really have to do a lot of reviewing here. We did extensively test the find/replace functionality in the go-live scripts to make sure everything looked as it was supposed to, and that the sections we chose to exclude were in fact left untouched. Updated designs were also part of this review.

Technical review

The technical review involved checking everything we had planned out in the second phase, so making sure redirects, sitemaps, links, and scripts were working and crawlable. IT implemented all server-side conditions, and set up the new domain to work internally for all testing tasks that needed to be executed. Again, the checklist was leading in this endeavor.

Redirect testing

Using ScreamingFrog, we crawled both the sitemaps as well as the staging website we had internally launched for testing purposes — hidden away from the outside world. Any redirect errors that appeared were resolved on the spot.

Site launch risk assessment

Risk assessment was a continuous activity throughout the testing. We had a go or no-go decision prior to go-live, as we couldn’t go back once we flipped the switch on the domain migration. Everything that popped up as an error or flag we swiftly assessed and decided whether to mitigate or ignore for the sake of time. Surprisingly, very few things came up, so we could quickly begin the benchmarking process.

Benchmarking

The template above was what we used to track our site speed before and after. Our benchmarks were consistent between the website before and after our staged migration using both Lighthouse and GTMetrix, meaning we were on track for our go-live date.

Phase four: go-live!

The least impactful day to make this change was over the weekend, because as a B2B company, we’ve noticed that our customers tend to be online during regular office hours.

Our team in the Netherlands, including Tim, flew in to support, and our IT and marketing teams dedicated a Saturday to the migration. It also happened to be my birthday weekend, so I was excited to be able to celebrate with my colleagues while they were in town, and in turn celebrate them for all their hard work!

So, on Saturday, October 19, 2019, around 8 a.m., IT confirmed we were good to go and the maintenance page was up. This was returning a “503 — service temporarily unavailable” server response to make sure Google wouldn’t index our site during the migration.

It was at this point in the process that our Go-Live Checklist took over. It was a lot of work up front, but all of this preparation made the final execution of the domain transition a matter of a few clicks to move and/or publish items.

Among all our other tasks, we updated our page title suffix, which was previously “Logic Supply”, to “Logic Supply is now OnLogic” (today it’s “OnLogic formerly Logic Supply”). This was an indication to Google that we were the same company.

The hardest part was the waiting.

Phases five and six: post-launch and performance review

I had planned to camp out next to my computer for the next few days to watch for problems, but nothing surfaced right away. While organic traffic did take an expected dip, it wasn’t nearly as dramatic or prolonged as we’d been warned it might be. We are still seeing logicsupply.com indexed months later, which is frustrating, but doesn’t seem to be affecting our traffic on the new domain.

Overall, we view our website transition as a success. Our traffic returned to where we were and we surpassed our project benchmarks for both traffic and site performance.

Following the move, we looked for follow-on opportunities to help improve our site speed, including identifying inactive or out-of-date plugins from our blog. Our blog made up at least 40 percent of our organic traffic, so this change made our site faster and helped to reach our organic growth recovery goals in less than six weeks.

We are constantly looking at and prioritizing new opportunities to improve the website experience for our customers, and make doing business with OnLogic as easy as possible. The domain change project was a huge undertaking by the entire organization, and required a great deal of planning and constant communication and collaboration to pull off. That said, the time spent up-front was paid back twice over in the time saved recovering our organic traffic, and making things seamless for our website users to ensure everyone could carry on with business-as-usual.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Thank you for reading.

3 Simple Steps to Get Your First 10,000 Visitors from Google

This may be of some interest.

Today’s going to be fun.

I’m going to make a bet with you that if you follow the 3 steps below, and you really follow them, you can get 10,000 visitors from Google.

I promise it won’t be hard, but it will take time.

And if you follow my steps and don’t get the results, hit me up and I will personally help you with your marketing.

All I ask is you do it for 3 months straight. You may not get to 10,000 visitors from Google in 3 months as some niches are really tiny, but most of you should get there or be well on your way.

Again, if you prove to me that you followed everything below and you don’t achieve the results, you can get in touch and I will personally help you with your marketing for free.

Ready?

Step #1: Finding the right keywords

If you pick the wrong keywords, you’ll find yourself with little to no traffic and, even worse, you’ll find yourself with little to no sales.

So, before we get you on your way to more search traffic,
let’s find you the right keywords.

I want you to head to Ubersuggest and type in your
competitor’s domain name.

Now, I want you to click on the “Keywords” navigational
option in the sidebar.

This report will show you all of the keywords that your competition is ranking for.

If you don’t see a list of thousands of keywords, that means you didn’t type in a big enough competitor. And if you don’t know who a big competitor is, just do a Google search for any major term related to your industry. The sites at the top are your major competitors.

I want you to go through the list of keywords and look for all of the keywords that are related to your business and have an SEO Difficulty (SD) score of 40 or less. The higher the number, the harder the keyword is to rank for. The lower the number, the easier it is to rank for.

In addition to an SD score of 40 or lower, I want you to look for keywords that have a volume of 500 or more.

Volume means the number of people that search for the keyword on a monthly basis. The higher the number, the more potential visitors that term will drive once you rank for it.

Next up, I want you to click on “Top Pages” in the
navigation.

This will bring you to a report that looks like this:

This report shows you the most popular pages on your
competitor’s site.

Now, under the Est. Visits (Estimated Visits) column, I want you to click on “view all” for the first few results.

Every time you do that it shows you all of the keywords that
drive traffic to that page.

Just like you did with the keywords report, I want you to look at the keywords that have an SD of 40 or lower and a volume of 500 or more.

The one difference though, is that I want you to check out some of the URLs on the Top Pages report.

Click on over to the site so you can see the type of content they are writing. This is important because it will give you an idea of the types of content that Google likes to rank.

When you create similar pages (I will teach you how to do this shortly), it will allow you to get similar results to your competition over time.

Now that you have a handful of keywords, I want you to expand the list and find other related keywords.

In the navigation menu, click on “Keyword Ideas.”

When you type in one of the keywords you are thinking of going after in this report, it will give you a big list of other similar keywords.

This is important because it will show you all of the
closely related terms.

For example, let’s say you came up with a list of keywords of a handful of keywords, such as:

  1. Dog food
  2. Cat food
  3. Dog bed
  4. How to clean your cat
  5. What do birds eat

You can’t just take all of those keywords and write one article and shove all the keywords in because they aren’t similar to each other. Someone looking for “dog beds” is probably not interested in reading about what birds eat.

So by typing in a keyword into the Keyword Ideas report, it will show you all of the other similar keywords that you can include in a single article.

When you are on the Keyword Ideas report you’ll notice some tabs: Suggestions, Related, Questions, Prepositions, and Comparisons.

I want you to go through each of those tabs. They will show you a different group of similar keywords that you may be able to include in your article (we will go over how to write the article in step 2).

Just take a look at the Questions tab:

You can see the keywords are drastically different than the Related tab:

Again, you’ll want to look for all keywords that have an SD score of 40 or lower. But this report looks for keywords that have a volume above 200.

I know 200 may seem like a small number, but if you find 100
good keywords that all have a volume of 200 or more, that adds up to 20,000
potential visitors per month. Or better yet, 240,000 per year.

Now it’s rare that you are going to get all of those people
to come to your site, but you can get a portion of them. Even 10% would add up…
especially if you did this with a handful of articles.

Your goal should be to have a list of at least 100 keywords that are very similar. You’ll want to do this at least five times. For example, remember that list of five keywords I mentioned above wasn’t too similar to each other…

  1. Dog food
  2. Cat food
  3. Dog bed
  4. How to clean your cat
  5. What do birds eat

You’ll want to make sure that for each main keyword you use the Keyword Ideas report to find another 100 that can accompany each keyword.

Step #2: Write content

At this point, you should have a list of keywords. If your list of keywords isn’t at least 100 keywords per group, go back to step 1 and keep at it.

It’s not that hard to get to 100 similar keywords that you can include in one article. It just takes some time to continually search and find them.

In general, as a rule of thumb, I can find 100 keywords in
less than 8 minutes. It may take you a bit longer than me at first, but once
you get the hang of it, it’ll be easy.

With your newly found keywords, I want you to write an article.

All you have to do is follow this tutorial step-by-step to write your first article.

Or, if you prefer a video tutorial, watch this:

As for your keywords, naturally place them into the article when it makes sense.

What you’ll quickly learn is that you probably won’t be able
to “naturally” include all 100 keywords within your article. And that’s fine.

The last thing you want to do is stuff in keywords because you aren’t writing this article for just search engines, you are writing it for people… and the secondary benefit is that search engines will rank it because it contains the right keywords.

Before you make your article live on your site, I want you
to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Keep your URLs short – Google prefers shorter URLs.
  2. Include your main keyword in your headline – by having your main keyword in your headline, you’ll be more likely to rank higher.
  3. Include your three main keywords in your meta tags – whether it is your title tag or meta description, include at least three main keywords in them. You won’t fit as many in your title tag, and that’s fine, but you should be able to within your meta description tag.

There are a lot of other things you can do to optimize your articles for SEO, but my goal is to keep this simple. Again, if you just follow these three steps, you’ll hit the 10,000-visitor mark.

So, for now, let’s just keep things simple and once you hit
your goal, then you can get into the advanced stuff.

Step #3: Promoting your content

Writing content is only half the battle. Even if you include the right keywords in your article, if you don’t promote, it’s unlikely that it would be read or rank on Google.

So how do you make sure your content is read and ranks well?

Well, first you need to get social shares, and second, you need to get backlinks.

Yes, search engines don’t necessarily rank pages higher when
they get more Facebook shares or tweets, but the more eyeballs that see your
page the more likely you are to get backlinks.

And the more backlinks you get, generally, the higher you will rank.

So here’s how you get social shares…

First, I want you to go to Twitter and search for keywords related
to your article.

As you scroll down, you’ll see thousands of people tweeting about stuff related to your keywords. Some of them will just be general updates but look for the members sharing articles.

And…

Now what I want you to do is click on their profile and see if they mention their contact information or their website. If they mention their email you are good to go. If they mention their website, head to it, and try to find their contact information.

You won’t be able to find everyone’s contact information,
but for the people you do, I want you to send them this email:

Subject: [insert the keyword you searched for on Twitter]

Hey [insert their first name],

I saw that you tweeted out [insert the title of the article they tweeted]. I actually have an article that I recently released on that subject.

But mine covers [talk about what your article covers and how it is unique].

[insert link to your article]

If you like it, feel free to share it.

Cheers,

[insert your name]

PS: Let me know if you want me to share anything for you on Twitter or any other social network.

What you’ll find is a large percentage of the people will be willing to share your content because they already are sharing related content and, of course, you offered to share their content, which helps out too.

If you send out 30 to 40 emails like this, you’ll start
getting traction on the social web.

Now that you have social shares, it’s time to build backlinks. Instead of giving you tons of link building methods as there are many that work, I am just going to start you off with one that works very well.

I want you to head back to the Keyword Ideas report on
Ubersuggest.

Once you get there, type in some of the keywords that you are trying to go after.

On the right side of the report, you’ll see a list of sites that rank and the number of backlinks that each of the ranking URLs has.

Click on the “Links” number. For each result, it will take you to the Backlinks report, which looks something like this:

This will give you a list of all the sites linking to your
competitor’s article.

I want you to go to each of those URLs, find the site owner’s contact information, and shoot them an email that looks like this:

Subject: [name of their website]

Hey [insert their name],

I noticed something off with your website.

You linked to [insert your competitor that they linked to] on this page [insert the page on their site that they are linking to them from].

Now you may not see anything wrong with that, but the article you linked to isn’t helping out your website readers that much because it doesn’t cover:

[insert a few bullet points on how your article is better and different]

You should check out [insert your article] because it will provide a better experience for your readers.

If you enjoyed it, feel free to link to it.

Cheers,

[insert your name]

PS: If I can ever do anything to help you out, please let me know.

I want you to send out 100 of those emails for each article
you write.

Conclusion

Yes, it takes work to get 10,000 visitors but once you do it you’ll continually generate traffic and, more importantly, sales.

To achieve 10,000 visitors, I want you to do the steps above five times. In other words, you will be writing five pieces of new content following the steps above.

It’s actually not that bad because you can just do 1 a week.
So, within 5 weeks you would have done your job.

So, are you going to accept the challenge? If you do everything and don’t see the results over time, you can hit me up and I’ll help.

The post 3 Simple Steps to Get Your First 10,000 Visitors from Google appeared first on Neil Patel.

Thank you for reading.

Content Expansion: From Prompt to Paragraph to Published Page – Whiteboard Friday

This may be of some interest.

Posted by rjonesx.

We’ve all been there. You’re the SEO on point for a project, and you’re also the one tasked with getting great content written well and quickly. And if you don’t have an expert at your disposal, great content can seem out of reach.

It doesn’t have to be. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Russ Jones arms you with the tools and processes to expand your content from prompt to paragraph to published piece.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, folks, great to be back here with you on Whiteboard Friday. Today we’re going to be talking about content expansion. It’s a term you probably haven’t heard before because I just made it up. So hopefully, it will be useful in the future for you. But I think you’ll get the gist of exactly what we’re trying to accomplish here.

How do SEOs produce great content when they’re not subject matter experts?

You see, search engine optimizers have this really bizarre responsibility. We are often asked by our clients to produce content about things we have no business writing about. As a search engine optimizer, we know exactly the kinds of things that make content good for Google, but that doesn’t mean we have any domain knowledge about whatever it is our customer does.

Maybe your customer is an artist of some sort or your customer runs a restaurant. You might not know anything about it, but you still might have a deadline to hit in order to get good content that talks in depth about some sort of topic which really isn’t in your wheelhouse. Today I’m going to talk about a couple of tricks that you can use in order to go from a prompt to a couple of paragraphs and then ultimately to a published page, to a good piece of content.

Caveat: If an expert can create the content, they should

Now I want to step back for a second and just make one thing clear. This is not the preferred way to produce content. If you can have an expert produce the content, by all means have the expert produce the content, and then you go to work optimizing that content to make it the best it possibly can be. That’s the way it ought to be done whenever possible.

But we know that’s not the case. The truth is that most small business owners don’t have the time to write lengthy articles about their services and their offerings and what makes them special and the kinds of things that their customers might need. They have a business to run. There’s nothing unethical about taking the time to actually try and write a good piece of content for that customer.

But if you’re going to do it, you really should try and create something that’s of value. Hopefully this is going to help you do exactly that. I call this content expansion because the whole purpose is to start from one small prompt and then to expand it a little and expand it a little and expand it even more until eventually you are at something that’s very thorough and useful and valuable for the customers who are reading that content.

Each one of the individual steps is just sort of like taking a breath and blowing it into a balloon to make it a little bigger. Each step is manageable as we expand that content. 

1. Start with a prompt

First, we have to start with some sort of topic or prompt. In this example, I’ve decided just bike safety off the top of my head. I’m here in Seattle and there are bikes everywhere.

It’s completely different from North Carolina, where I’m from, where you’ve got to get in a car to go anywhere. But with the prompt bike safety, we now have to come up with what are we going to talk about with regard to bike safety. We pretty much know off the top of our heads that helmets matter and signaling and things of that sort. 

Find the questions people are asking

But what are people actually asking? What’s the information they want to know? Well, there are a couple of ways we can get at that, and that’s by looking exactly for those questions that they’re searching. One would be to just type in “bike safety” into Google and look for PAAs or People Also Ask. That’s the SERP feature that you’ll see about halfway down the page, which often has a couple of questions and you can click on it and there will be a little featured snippet or paragraph of text that will help you answer it.

Another would be to use a tool like Moz Keyword Explorer, where you could put in “bike safety” and then just select from one of the drop-downs “are questions” and it would then just show you all the questions people are asking about bike safety. Once you do that, you’ll get back a handful of questions that people are asking about bike safety.

In this case, the three that came up from the PAA for just bike safety were: 

  • Is riding a bike safe? 
  • How can I improve safety?
  • Why is bike safety important? 

What this does is start to get us into a position where now we’re building out some sort of outline of the content that we’re going to be building.

Build the outline for your content

We’ve just expanded from a title that said bike safety to now an outline that has a couple of questions that we want to answer. Well, here’s the catch. Bike safety, sure, we’ve got some ideas off the top of our heads about what’s important for bike safety. But the real thing that we’re trying to get at here is authoritative or valuable content.

Well, Google is telling you what that is. When you press the button to show you what the answer is to the question, that’s Google telling you this is the best answer we could find on the internet for that question. What I would recommend you do is you take the time to just copy the answer to that PAA, to that question. Why is bike safety important?

You click the button and it would show you the answer. Then you would write down the citation as well. But if you think about it, this is exactly the way you would write papers in college. If you were writing a paper in college about bike safety, you would go into the library, identify books on safety studies, etc. Then you would go through and then you would probably have note cards pulled out.

You would find a particular page that has an important paragraph. You would write a paraphrase down, and then you would write the citation down. This is the exact same thing. I’m not telling you to copy content. That’s not what we’re going to be doing in the end. But at the same time, it is the way that we take that next step of expanding the content. What we’ve done here is we’ve now gone from a topic to a couple of questions.

Now for each of those questions, we’ve kind of got an idea of what the target answer is. But, of course, the featured snippet isn’t the whole answer. The featured snippet is just the most specific answer to the question, but not the thorough one. It doesn’t cover all the bases. So what are some of the things we can do to expand this even further? 

2. Extract & explain entities

This is where I really like to take advantage of NLP technologies, natural language programming technologies that are going to allow us to be able to expand that content in a way that adds value to the user and in particular explains to the user concepts that both you, as the writer in this particular case, and they, as the reader, might not know.

My favorite is a site called dandelion.eu. It’s completely free for a certain amount of uses. But if you’re going to be producing a lot of content, I would highly recommend you sign up for their API services. What you’re going to do is extract and explain entities

Imagine you’ve got this featured snippet here and it’s talking about bike safety. It answers the question, “Why is bike safety important?” It says that bicyclists who wear their helmets are 50% less likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries in a wreck or something of that sort. That’s the answer in the featured snippet that’s been given to you. 

Well, perhaps you don’t know what a traumatic brain injury is, and perhaps your readers don’t know what that is and why it’s important to know that one thing protects you so much from the other.

Identify and expand upon terminology for your questions

That’s where entity extraction can be really important. What dandelion.eu is going to do is it’s going to identify that noun phrase. It’s going to identify the phrase “traumatic brain injury,” and then it’s going to give you a description of exactly what that is. Now you can expand that paragraph that you originally pulled from the featured snippet and add into it a citation about exactly what traumatic brain injury is.

This will happen for all the questions. You’ll find different terminology that your reader might not know and then be able to expand upon that terminology. 

3. Create novel research

Now the one thing that I want to do here in this process is not just take advantage of content other people have written about, but try and do some novel research. As you know, Google Trends is probably my favorite place to do novel research, because if there is any topic in the world, somebody is searching about it and we can learn things about the way people search.



Use Google Trends

For example, in this Google Trends that I did, I can’t remember the exact products that I was looking up, but they were specific bike safety products, like, for example, bike lights, bike mirrors, bike video cameras or bike cameras, etc. In fact, I’m almost positive that the red one had to do with bicycle cameras because they were becoming cheaper and more easily accessible to bicyclists. They’ve become more popular over time. Well, that’s novel research. 

Bring insights, graphs, and talking points from your novel research into your writing

When you’re writing this article here about bike safety, you can include in it far more than just what other people have said. You can say of the variety of ways of improving your bike safety, the use of a bike camera has increased dramatically over time.

4. Pull it all together

All right. So now that you’ve got some of this novel research, including even graphs that you can put into the content, we’ve got to pull this all together. We started with the prompt, and then we moved into some topics or questions to answer. Then we’ve answered those questions, and then we’ve expanded them by giving clarity and definitions to terms that people might not understand and we’ve also added some novel research.

Rewrite for relevancy

So what’s next? The next step is that we need to rewrite for relevancy. This is a really important part of the process. You see chances are, when you write about a topic that you are not familiar with, you will not use the correct language to describe what’s going on. I think a good example might be if you’re writing about golf, for example, and you don’t know what it means to accidentally hit a golf ball that goes to the right or to the left.

Find relevant words and phrases with nTopic

Which one is a hook and a slice? Now, those of you who play golf I’m sure know right off the top of your head. But you wouldn’t know to use that kind of terminology if you weren’t actually a golfer. Well, if you use a tool like nTopic — it’s at nTopic.org — and you write your content and place it in there and then give bike safety as the keyword you want to optimize for, it will tell you all of the relevant words and phrases you ought to be using in the content.

In doing so, you’ll be able to expand your content even further, not just with further language and definitions that you know, but with the actual language that experts are using right now whenever they’re talking about bike safety or whatever topic it is. 

Examine (and improve) your writing quality with the Hemingway app

The next thing that I would say is that you really should pull things back and take a chance to look at the quality of the writing that you’re producing.

This whole time we’ve been talking mostly about making sure the content is in-depth and thorough and covers a lot of issues and areas and uses the right language. But we haven’t spent any time at all talking about is this actually written well. There’s a fantastic free app out there called Hemingway app.

If you haven’t heard of it, this is going to make your day. [Editor’s note: It made mine!] Every writer in the world should be using a tool like this. You just drop your content in there, and it’s going to give you all sorts of recommendations, from correcting grammar to using different words, shortening sentences, passive and active voice, making sure that you have the right verb tenses, etc. It’s just incredibly useful for writing quality content. 

Two important things to remember:

Now there are two things at the end that matter, and one is really, really important in my opinion and that is to cite

1. Cite your sources — even if they’re competitors!

You see, when you’ve done all of this work, you need to let the world know that this work, one, isn’t only created by you but, two, is backed up by research and information provided by other professionals.

There is no shame whatsoever in citing even competitors who have produced good content that has helped you produce the content that you are now putting up. So cite. Put citations directly in. Look, Wikipedia ranks for everything, and every second sentence is cited and links off to another website. It’s insane.

But Google doesn’t really care about the citation in the sense that somebody else has written about this. What you’re really interested in is showing the users that you did your homework. 

2. Take pride in what you’ve accomplished!

Then finally, once you’re all done, you can publish this great piece of content that is thorough and exceptional and uniquely valuable, written well in the language and words that it should use, cited properly, and be proud of the content that you’ve produced at the end of the day, even though you weren’t an expert in the first place.

Hopefully, some of these techniques will help you out in the long run. I look forward to seeing you in the comments and maybe we’ll have some questions that I can give you some other ideas. Thanks again.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Starting from Zero Review

Are you trying to find other ways to earn aside from your 9 to 5 job? The internet offers a lot of earning potential. With the internet age, you can do almost anything. Did you just start exploring online for money making opportunities? Because there are hundreds of ways to earn online and some only need little to no capital.

You must be like thousands of people nowadays who are venturing online, liking the option of flexible time and location while still earning a few extra cash. It seems like everybody wants to get away from the rat race and working instead of building their presence online as a means to earn.

Can you imagine how your life will be? You are working at home without worrying about rush hours and daily traffic. You are working at your own time and at your own pace. You are working but can still spend more time with your family. And while you are doing what you want to do, you are earning at the same time without spending countless hours in the office, feeling exhausted and overworked and sometimes even underpaid. People can’t really be blamed for finding other alternative ways to earn when it can help them reach the financial and time freedom they so wanted.

Some people don’t have any experience and knowledge about online business, they are basically starting from zero. But if you are committed and determined to learn even without experience, no time and little money, Fred Lam’s Starting From Zero can help you to start your online business venture.

Review Video:

What is Starting From Zero?

Starting From Zero is an audio book by Fred Lam that features the 5-Step System to Success doing an E-commerce business even if you don’t have any experience. This audio book will train you to create your own online store, source products and target the right audience and multiply your profits using the same process again and again.

Starting From Zero is giving everybody a chance to be equipped with complete information to create and succeed on their very own online business.

How does Starting From Zero Work?

Starting From Zero follows a 5-Step System:
Step 1 – Store Creation
With the technology today you can easily create an online presence, something that you cannot do decades ago. You will be given the resources to create an online store ready in just a few minutes.
Step 2 – Inventory Arbitrage
You want to sell but don’t have money to have your own products? Well you can sell products without risking any of your money and you don’t even need a place to store them or worry about how to ship them.
Step 3 – Targeted Visitors
Generating traffic to your business is paramount to your success. It can be confusing but with this audio book you will be taught how to do it easily with simple instructions.
Step 4 – Profit Multiplier
Once you gain customers, accelerate your advertising. Remember, the more money your customer spends means more earnings and more traffic.
Step 5 – Rinse and Repeat
With this system, you can create more businesses that you can improve, sell or leave it as legacy to your kids.

Follow these 5 simple steps to create your own success just like Fred Lam’s successful students.

About the Creator:

Fred Lam is a young and successful entrepreneur who has created millions under his belt and has made millionaires who have used his system. Before his online success, he started as a dishwasher and has since then discovered the potential of creating businesses online.

Recommendation:

You don’t need to worry anymore if you lack the experience or the money to start your online venture. Start From Zero will definitely aid you to build your own business making you a successful online entrepreneur.

Whether you wanted a spare cash or an income generating business that will give you the time and financial freedom that you have been dreaming of, Starting From Zero is a great way to start your success.

Have the life that you want, take back your life and use your time according to your own terms, you can be successful using this 5-Step System to Success.

Do High DA Backlinks From Blog Comments Help Rankings?

This may be of some interest.

If you have ever left a comment on NeilPatel.com, you’ll notice that there is no URL field.

Why?

Well, a few years ago, blog commenting exploded. I was literally getting thousands of spam comments a day from people just leaving a comment for the purpose of link building instead of providing value to the community.

Sure, there are spam plugins like Akismet, but it doesn’t catch everything.

Now, most blog comments contain the nofollow attribute in which they tell Google not to follow the link or drive any “SEO value” to that URL.

But still, people still leave blog comments for the purpose of link building.

So, over the past 7 months, I’ve been running an interesting experiment to answer the age-old question…

Do backlinks from blog comments actually help rankings?

Experiment rules

First off, for this experiment, we used “domain score,” which is similar to domain authority.

If you want to know your domain score, the backlinks report in Ubersuggest will tell you what it is.

With this experiment, I sent out an email to a part of my list looking for participants and had 794 websites apply.

From there, I set the following criteria:

  1. English-only sites – It’s easier to rank on many of Google’s international search engines even without building links. I removed non-English speaking sites as I didn’t want to skew the results.
  2. Low-authority sites – I removed any website with a domain score greater than 20 and any site with more than 20 backlinks. The reason being is when a site has a lot of authority, they tend to rank easily for new keywords, even if they don’t build any new links.
  3. No subdomains – I didn’t want a WordPress.com site, a Blogspot site, or even a Tumblr site. Again, this would skew the results so I removed them.

After eliminating the sites that didn’t meet the above criteria, I was left with 314 sites.

Of those 314 sites, many dropped off because they didn’t complete the required work on their part (which was to write a blog post), so I was left with 183 sites at the end that participated.

How the experiment worked

Similar to my previous link building experiment and my on-page SEO experiment,  I had these websites write a 1,800 to 2,000-word blog post on whatever subject that was relevant to their site.

The websites had 2 weeks to publish their content and then after 30 days, I looked up their URL in Ubersuggest to see how many keywords each URL ranked for in the top 100 spots, top 50, spots, and top 10 spots.

As I have mentioned in the past, Ubersuggest has a big database of keywords. We are currently tracking 1,459,103,429 keywords.

Now, most of these keywords are barely searched but a decent amount of them get hundreds, if not thousands, of searches per month. A much smaller percentage of keywords generate hundreds of thousands or even millions of searches per month.

In other words, the majority of the keywords people are searching for are long-tail phrases.

We then spent a month building links and then waited another 3 months to see what happened to each site’s rankings.

But here’s the thing: We didn’t build the same type of links to all sites. Instead, we broke the 183 sites into 4 groups (roughly 46 sites per group).

Here were the groups:

  1. Control – we didn’t build any links to these sites, we just wanted to see what happened to their rankings over time with no focus on link building.
  2. Nofollow high domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 10 links through blog comments. The links pointed to the newly written post and they were from blogs that had a domain score of 50 or higher and they all contained a nofollow attribute.
  3. Dofollow high domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 5 links through blog comments. The links pointed to the new post and were dofollow from blogs with a domain score of 40 or higher. (I reduced the domain score criteria for this category and the link quantity as we struggled to find a large number of high authority blogs that pass link juice in the comment section.)
  4. Dofollow low domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 10 links through blog comments. Each link pointed back to the article and it was from a blog that contains a domain score of at least 20 but no higher than 39. (I was able to build more links here as there are many more low domain score blogs than high domain score ones.)

Keep in mind with the link building for groups 2, 3 and 4,
there was no specific anchor text agenda. Because the links were built through
blog comments, it was too hard to control the anchor text as we didn’t want to
be spammy.

And each comment left on the blog contained at least 75
words as we wanted to ensure that each comment provided value and the core
purpose wasn’t just link building.

Alright, so let’s dive into the results.

Control group

Do you really need links to rank on Google? Well, the chart below says a lot…

As you can see over time, you will naturally grow your search rankings even if you don’t build any links.

Of course, if your content is amazing and you do on-page SEO, you’ll rank higher, but still not growing your link count doesn’t mean you will rank for anything out there… instead, you will still rank for long-tail terms that aren’t too competitive.

Nofollow high domain score blog comment links

Now the results from this group were interesting…

As you can see, the sites in this group had better results than the control group even though the links were nofollowed.

Keep in mind, though, that it could be many variables that caused this, such as the content quality may have been better.

Overall, the sites did perform better than the control group but not by a substantial amount.

Dofollow high domain score blog comment links

Google is sophisticated, they are able to know if a link is from user-generated content (such as blog comments), so I assumed even though the links where dofollow they still wouldn’t have much (if any) impact.

But, shockingly, sites in this group had the largest gains.

As you can see from the chart above, links from high authority sites, even if it is through user-generated content, help with rankings. They just have to be dofollow.

Dofollow low domain score blog comment links

With this last group, we were able to build more dofollow links because we focused on sites with lower authority.

And as you can see from the chart above, it did help with rankings more than building nofollow links but it didn’t help nearly as much as getting links from blogs with higher domain scores.

We built 10 links instead of 5, but the quantity didn’t help
as much as having high domain score links. This group increased their rankings
by 337% versus 828% that group 3 experienced even though they had half the
links.

Again, we still saw gains, just not as large as the previous group.

Conclusion

Who would have thought that building links through blog
comments still helps?

Now, if you are going to use this tactic, you’ll want to focus on blogs that have dofollow comments.

If you aren’t sure how to find them, you can perform a Google search for the following:

  • “title=”CommentLuv Enabled”” KEYPHRASE – this will showcase blogs that have CommentLuv enabled which means they pass link juice.
  • “dofollow blogs” – you find a lot of blog articles listing out blogs that have dofollow links. Some of them look like this but you will have to double-check each site as many are nofollow even though bloggers claim they are dofollow.
  • Followlist – this is a directory of blogs that have dofollow links.

When building links, focus on higher domain scores as it has a bigger impact on rankings.

In addition to that, you’ll only want to leave a comment if you can provide value. Don’t stress the anchor text, focus on the quality of your comment as you don’t want to be a spammer.

Posting spammy links will just cause your comment to be
removed.

Lastly, don’t just leave a valuable comment for the sake of generating a link. Make sure it is on relevant blogs as well. And if that means the blog doesn’t have as high of a domain score that’s fine because the data above shows that even low domain score links still help (just not as much).

So, have you thought about leaving more comments on other blogs? It’s a great way to get your brand out there, generate referral traffic, and boost your rankings.

The post Do High DA Backlinks From Blog Comments Help Rankings? appeared first on Neil Patel.

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20 Thanksgiving horror stories from Twitter to stress you out before the big day

This may be of some interest.

20 Thanksgiving horror stories from Twitter to stress you out before the big day

Thanksgiving dinner is high-stakes. It’s labor-intensive. And people have a lot of opinions about it. Basically, it’s a recipe for disaster.

As home cooks across the country prepare their fridges for this year’s feast, stories of Thanksgiving dinners gone wrong are also popping up on Twitter. Take them as funny anecdotes or serious warnings, but please take that Pyrex off the stove and don’t forget to defrost the turkey this year.

Thought I’d somehow forgotten to order most of the ingredients I needed for thanksgiving cooking. Turns out my husband just forgot to get any of them out of his trunk 7 hours ago. Botulism here we come!

— Toulouse and Tonic (@toulouseNtonic) November 21, 2018 Read more…

More about Twitter, Thanksgiving, Social Media, Culture, and Web Culture

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