Today, Perrin and I discuss SEO.
As a result, we have drastically changed how we do SEO and link building. We haven't talked about these strategies too much, but we definitely are still actively doing keyword research, creating content, and building links for our sites.
In fact, I've gotten emails and comments from people asking if we would ever talk about SEO again (rather than my recent Amazon FBA frenzy). So, I felt like it was finally time for an update on what our current strategies in 2015 are for search engine optimization, external and internal link building, content, and so much more.
To get all the details, you really do need to listen to the entire podcast. However, below I am including a few “notes” from this podcast. This will just give you some of the general topics that we cover, but there's plenty more in the actual recording.
Lessons Learned and Current Projects
About a year ago the PBN update came out, and I vowed to never use a PBN again. I'm happy to say that I've been true to my word, and honestly, have never been tempted once to go down the private blog network rabbit hole again.
Perrin and I have been building a site together to support the products we are selling on Amazon. The site is still fairly new; however, it's starting to show some signs of growth. In particular, the queries and impressions found in Google webmaster tools is beginning to start a really nice trend. The graph looks good and it's exciting.
So, our current project is really working on this site that is related to our FBA product. We have about 50 pieces of content up on the site right now covering: product descriptions, Amazon type keywords, and other keyword focused articles.
Perrin's Personal Site
Perrin has also been working on a separate site on his own. He has been employing the same strategies and has been finding some nice success.
Perrin's aPennyShaved site was penalized about a year ago. He tried to get the penalty removed for several months without success. He also bought a site that didn't do too well.
However, he started a new site near the beginning of 2015, and has taken a 100% white hat strategy. The result? He has been able to produce lots of great content, acquire lots of genuine links, and the revenue is now really close to $1,700 a month.
These strategies are working really well for us.
So, What's Working for Content?
So, we are seeing a couple of successes right now: my current site related to my FBA niche, and then Perrin's site that he started earlier this year (making $1,700/mth).
First, we wanted to discuss the different types of content that we are producing right now for our sites.
- The core of our sites is still very similar to what we've always taught in Niche Site Project 1 and Niche Site Project 2. The “best” and “review” type articles focusing on specific low competition keywords still works very well. As a result, the majority of the posts in NSP 1 and NSP 2 are still very relevant and don't need to be updated. You should still follow the keyword research strategies shared previously.
- Product pages with add to cart buttons. This is something new we are trying on our site. This is straight eCommerce type keywords, like “pink shower heads for sale”. We are starting to rank for these pages, and so we think having our content with shopping carts on our site is helping.
- Shorter, purely information articles. For example these are articles that may not have a product associated with it, but is just straight information. For example, “can babies eat honey” or “how much does a stamp cost”. These are articles that don't need to be long, so a 500 word article can help you tackle lots of informational type keywords. This is similar to what a lot of large adsense publishers are doing (like Demand Media). You can “steal” some of these keywords from forums, because forums are typically lower competition.
- Link-able Assets. These could be huge resources, viral type, ego bait, listicles, guest-o-graphics, or so much more.
You want to have a good mix of these. You don't want all informational keywords.
Outreach and Link Building…What's the Business Case?
So, what are we doing now for link building? Outreach is a big part of it.
We talk to a lot of people still building PBN links, and they know there is a risk. They do it because its PERCEIVED to be easier, cheaper, and overcomes the barrier of having to interact with real human beings.
However, the business case for outreach is that it actually is much easier and cheaper than everything that goes into building out a real PBN. We dive into this discussion quite a bit more on the the podcast.
Overall, the amount of time and money needed to build a real PBN is not easier than genuine outreach. And the links that you get from outreach are obviously “real”, there's no risk here with Google.
Every business you get involved with, there is going to be risk. Your job as a business owner is to take on risks that you are comfortable with. This is true of link building; you can lower your risk by doing genuine outreach vs. PBNs or other types of “shady” link building.
We are seeing a lot of success with our outreach strategies.
Quick Tip: Reach out to people you already know to get your first links. This is exactly what I did with NichePursuits.com and this provided some of my early traction for my site.
Content for Outreach and Internal Linking…
In order to do great outreach, you NEED to have a big resource/valuable piece of content that people would be willing to link to. Once you produce this amazing Linkable asset, you do your outreach.
As the links come in, the authority of that page is going to grow because of all the links pointing to it. As a result, you now have control over this authoritative page that you can use to internally link to the other more product focused articles on your site. (You could use a related posts plugin or manually link to other pages on your site).
This is great strategy to get genuine links, and then funnel that “link juice” throughout your site to other pages that perhaps people wouldn't always link to naturally.
You really can rank your product focused articles with only internal links from your other authoritative articles.
Just Try It!
So many people are scared to try real outreach and link building. However, if you just start small, perhaps only emailing a few websites each day…you can quickly start to see some of the benefits. Perrin's own brother has been able to see some good success after initially being opposed to outreach.
The best way to learn anything is to just go out and try it. Practice and hands on experience is going to teach you SO much more than reading blog posts or listening to podcasts (even though I appreciate the support!).
Overall, even though the income from our newer websites is still small, it's growing and we really like the trend lines that we are seeing. That's a big reason we don't talk about our sites each week; we are making SO much more from selling directly on Amazon right now, so that's more interesting to discuss.
However, these sites are growing and we are excited to see where they are at in a few months. We will be sharing more as we see continued success.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you are using any outreach, content, or link building strategies that are working well for you, feel free to share.