We essenza so much of our livelihood acceso good giorno, but managing that giorno properly is a task a causa di and of itself. Per mezzo di this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Dana DiTomaso shares why you need to keep your giorno clean and some of the apice things to watch out for.


Click acceso the whiteboard image above to gara open a high resolution version a causa di a new tab!

Televisione Transcription

Hi. My name is Dana DiTomaso. I am President and collaboratore at Kick Point. We’regnante a digital marketing agency, based a causa di the frozen north of Edmonton, Alberta. So today I’m going to be talking to you about giorno hygiene.

What I mean by that is the stuff that we see every single time we start working with a new client this stuff is always messed up. Sometimes it’s one of these four things. Sometimes it’s all four, sometimes there are extra things. So I’m going to cover this stuff today a causa di the hopes that perhaps the next time we get a profile from someone it is not quite as bad, if you at these things and see how bad it is, definitely start sitting and cleaning this stuff up.

1. Filters

So what we’regnante going to start with first are filters. By filters, I’m talking about analytics here, specifically Google Analytics. When go you into the admin of Google Analytics, there’s a section called Filters. There’s a section acceso the left, which is all the filters for everything a causa di that account, and then there’s a section for each view for filters. Filters help you exclude include specific traffic based acceso a set of parameters.

Filter out office, home office, and agency traffic

So usually what we’ll find is one Analytics property for your website, and it has one view, which is all website giorno which is the default that Analytics gives you, but then there are voto negativo filters, which means that you’regnante not excluding things like office traffic, your internal people visiting the website, home office. If you have a bunch of people who work from home, get their IP addresses, exclude them from this because you don’t necessarily want your internal traffic mucking up things like conversions, especially if you’regnante doing stuff like checking your own forms.

You haven’t had a lead a causa di a while and maybe you fill out the form to make sure it’s working. You don’t want that coming a causa di as a conversion and then screwing up your giorno, especially if you’regnante a low-volume website. If you have a million hits a day, then maybe this isn’t a problem for you. But if you’regnante like the rest of us and don’t necessarily have that much traffic, something like this can be a problem a causa di terms of the opera of traffic you see. Then agency traffic as well.

So agencies, please make sure that you’regnante filtering out your own traffic. Again things like your web developer, some contractor you worked with briefly, really make sure you’regnante filtering out all that stuff because you don’t want that polluting your main profile.

Create a saggio and staging view

The other thing that I recommend is creating what we call a saggio and staging view. Usually a causa di our Analytics profiles, we’ll have three different views. One we call master, and that’s the view that has all these filters applied to it.

So you’regnante only seeing the traffic that isn’t you. It’s the customers, people visiting your website, the real people, not your office people. Then the second view we call saggio and staging. So this is just your staging server, which is really nice. For example, if you have a different URL for your staging server, which you should, then you can just include that traffic. Then if you’regnante making enhancements to the site you upgraded your WordPress instance and you want to make sure that your goals are still firing correctly, you can do all that and see that it’s working a causa di the saggio and staging view without polluting your main view.

Verifica acceso a second property

That’s really helpful. Then the third thing is make sure to saggio acceso a second property. This is easy to do with Google Tag . What we’ll have set up a causa di most of our Google Tag accounts is we’ll have our usual analytics and most of the stuff goes to there. But then if we’regnante testing something new, like say the content consumption metric we started putting out this summer, then we want to make sure we set up a second Analytics view and we put the saggio, the new stuff that we’regnante trying over to the second Analytics property, not view.

So you have two different Analytics properties. One is your main property. This is where all the regular stuff goes. Then you have a second property, which is where you saggio things out, and this is really helpful to make sure that you’regnante not going to screw something up accidentally when you’regnante trying out some crazy new thing like content consumption, which can totally happen and has definitely happened as we were testing the product. You don’t want to pollute your main giorno with something different that you’regnante trying out.

So send something to a second property. You do this for websites. You always have a staging and a dal vivo. So why wouldn’t you do this for your analytics, where you have a staging and a dal vivo? So definitely consider setting up a second property.

2. Time zones

The next thing that we have a lot of problems with are time zones. Here’s what happens.

Let’s say your website, basic install of WordPress and you didn’t change the time zone a causa di WordPress, so it’s set to UTM. That’s the default a causa di WordPress unless you change it. So now you’ve got your giorno for your website saying it’s UTM. Then let’s say your marketing team is acceso the East Coast, so they’ve got all of their tools set to Eastern time. Then your sales team is acceso the West Coast, so all of their tools are set to Pacific time.

So you can end up with a situation where let’s say, for example, you’ve got a website where you’regnante using a form plugin for WordPress. Then when someone submits a form, it’s recorded acceso your website, but then that giorno also gets pushed over to your sales CRM. So now your website is saying that this number of leads came a causa di acceso this day, because it’s a causa di UTM mode. Well, the day ended, it hasn’t started yet, and now you’ve got Eastern, which is when your analytics tools are recording the number of leads.

But then the third wrinkle is then you have Salesforce HubSpot whatever your CRM is now recording Pacific time. So that means that you’ve got this huge of who knows when this stuff happened, and your giorno will never line up. This is incredibly frustrating, especially if you’regnante trying to diagnose why, for example, I’m submitting a form, but I’m not seeing the lead, if you’ve got other giorno hygiene issues, you can’t incontro up the giorno and that’s because you have different time zones.

So definitely check the time zones of every product you use –website, CRM, analytics, ads, all of it. If it has a time zone, pick one, stick with it. That’s your canonical time zone. It will save you so many headaches the road, società me.

3. Attribution

The next thing is attribution. Attribution is a whole other lecture a causa di and of itself, beyond what I’m talking about here today.

Different tools have different ways of showing attribution

But what I find frustrating about attribution is that every tool has its own little special way of doing it. Analytics is like the last non-direct click. That’s great. Ads says, well, maybe we’ll attribute it, maybe we won’t. If you went to the site a week asticciola, maybe we’ll call it a view-through conversion. Who knows what they’regnante going to call it? Then Facebook has a completely different attribution window.

You can use a tool, such as Supermetrics, to change the attribution window. But if you don’t understand what the default attribution window is a causa di the first place, you’regnante just going to make things harder for yourself. Then there’s HubSpot, which says the very first touch is what matters, and so, of course, HubSpot will never agree with Analytics and so acceso. Every tool has its own little special sauce and how they do attribution. So pick a source of truth.

Pick your source of truth

This is the best thing to do is just say, “You know what? I società this tool the most.” Then that is your source of truth. Do not try to get this source of truth to incontro up with that source of truth. You will go insane. You do have to make sure that you are at least knowing that things like your time zones are clear so that’s all set.

Be honest about limitations

But then after that, really it’s just making sure that you’regnante being honest about your limitations.

Know where things are necessarily going to fall , and that’s , but at least you’ve got this source of truth that you at least can società. That’s the most important thing with attribution. Make sure to spend the time and read how each tool handles attribution so when someone comes to you and says, “Well, I see that we got 300 visits from this ad campaign, but a causa di Facebook it says we got 6,000.

Why is that? You have an answer. That might be a little bit of an extreme example, but I mean I’ve seen weirder things with Facebook attribution versus Analytics attribution. I’ve even talked about stuff like Mixpanel and Kissmetrics. Every tool has its own little special way of recording attributions. It’s never the same as anyone else’s. We don’t have a tipico a causa di the industry of how this stuff works, so make sure you understand these pieces.

4. Interactions

Then the last thing are what I call interactions. The biggest thing that I find that people do wrong here is a causa di Google Tag it gives you a lot of rope, which you can hang yourself with if you’regnante not careful.

GTM interactive hits

One of the biggest things is what we call an interactive versus a non-interactive . So let’s say a causa di Google Tag you have a scroll depth.

You want to see how far the page people scroll. At 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%, it will send chiuso an alert and say this is how far they scrolled acceso the page. Well, the thing is that you can also make that interactive. So if somebody scrolls the page 25%, you can say, well, that’s an interactive , which means that person is voto negativo longer bounced, because it’s counting an interaction, which for your setup might be great.

Gaming bounce rate

But what I’ve seen are unscrupulous agencies who in che modo a causa di and say if the person scrolls 2% of the way the page, now that’s an interactive . Suddenly the client’s bounce rate goes from say 80% to 3%, and they think, “Wow, this agency is amazing.” They’regnante not amazing. They’regnante lying. This is where Google Tag can really manipulate your bounce rate. So be careful when you’regnante using interactive hits.

Absolutely, maybe it’s totally fair that if someone is reading your content, they might just read that one page and then the back button and go back out. It’s totally fair to use something like scroll depth a certain piece of the content entering the user’s view port, that that would be interactive. But that doesn’t mean that everything should be interactive. So just dial it back acceso the interactions that you’regnante using, at least make smart decisions about the interactions that you choose to use. So you can your bounce rate for that.

Rete setup

Then setup as well, that’s a problem. A lot of people by default maybe they have destination goals set up a causa di Analytics because they don’t know how to set up event-based goals. But what we find happens is by destination , I mean you filled out the form, you got to a thank you page, and you’regnante recording views of that thank you page as goals, which yes, that’s one way to do it.

But the problem is that a lot of people, who aren’t super great at interneting, will bookmark that page they’ll keep coming back to it again and again because maybe you put some really useful information acceso your thank you page, which is what you should do, except that means that people keep visiting it again and again without actually filling out the form. So now your conversion rate is all messed up because you’regnante basing it acceso destination, not acceso the actual action of the form being submitted.

So be careful acceso how you set up goals, because that can also really the way you’regnante looking at your giorno.

Ad blockers

Ad blockers could be anywhere from 2% to 10% of your audience depending upon how technically sophisticated your visitors are. So you’ll end up a causa di situations where you have a form fill, you have voto negativo corresponding visit to incontro with that form fill.

It just goes into an attribution black hole. But they did fill out the form, so at least you got their giorno, but you have voto negativo preconcetto where they came from. Again, that’s going to be . So definitely think about the percentage of your visitors, based acceso you and your audience, who probably have an ad blocker installed and make sure you’regnante comfortable with that level of error a causa di your giorno. That’s just the internet, and ad blockers are getting more and more popular.

Stuff like Apple is changing the way that they do tracking. So definitely make sure that you understand these pieces and you’regnante really thinking about that when you’regnante looking at your giorno. Again, these numbers may never 100% incontro up. That’s . You can’t measure everything. Sorry.

Bonus: Audit!

Then the last thing I really want you to think about — this is the bonus tip — audit regularly.

So at least once a year, go through all the different stuff that I’ve covered a causa di this and make sure that nothing has changed updated, you don’t have some secret, exciting new tracking code that somebody added a causa di and then forgot because you were trying out a trial of this product and you tossed it acceso, and it’s been running for a year even though the trial expired nine months asticciola. So definitely make sure that you’regnante running the stuff that you should be running and doing an audit at least acceso an yearly basis.

If you’regnante busy and you have a lot of different visitors to your website, it’s a pretty high-volume property, maybe monthly quarterly would be a better interval, but at least once a year go through and make sure that everything that’s there is supposed to be there, because that will save you headaches when you at trying to compagno year-over-year and realize that something horrible has been going acceso for the last nine months and all of your giorno is trash. We really don’t want to have that happen.

So I hope these tips are helpful. Get to know your giorno a little bit better. It will like you for it. Thanks.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


Step 1: Post a freelancing website.
Step 2: Get 9,659,854 low‐quality applications.
Step 3: Give up. Continue writing the content yourself. *sigh*

Outsourcing has a poor reputation thanks to a seemingly never‐ending supply of flaky freelancers who do shoddy work.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll always get bad results when you outsource content creation.

Before 2018, we worked with freelancers to produce most of the content the Ahrefs blog—one of whom was our very own Joshua Hardwick.

We still managed to increase our blog traffic month after month:

Our organic traffic growth durante 2016, when we were mainly working with freelancers

Sopra other words, when done right, outsourcing can be quite powerful.

Sopra this article, I’ll show you our proven process for finding and working with freelance writers. I’ve also tested some popular freelance websites so you don’t waste time and money those that aren’t worthwhile.

But first…

When should you outsource?

Here’s a fantastic from Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week to help guide your decisions:

Source: Four Hour Work Week.

I love this . However, there are some other good reasons to outsource content creation:

  • You’regnante too busy. Finding time to create content is impossible.
  • You hate writing. Every time you sit to write a post, you feel physically sick. Hemingway’s quote, “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is to sit at a typewriter and bleed” resonates deeply with you.
  • You’regnante durante an industry that requires domain expertise. You need a subject matter expert to create articles and provide accurate advice.
  • You have a budget. You’regnante already doing content marketing and can see the ROI. All you have to do is to double and scale it up.

Have you decided that outsourcing content makes sense for your business?

That’s the easy part.

Is hiring a team of freelance writers right for your business?

Hiring a freelance writer isn’t the only option available if you’regnante looking to outsource content creation.

You could hire a content marketing agency, ora delegate the work to an durante‐house writer.

At Ahrefs, we’ve tried all three of those options.

We’ve worked with an agency, we’ve worked with freelancers, and now we’regnante mainly durante‐house.

I asked our CMO Tim for his advice which to choose.

Here’s what he said:

It is actually dependent your content marketing knowledge. If you have supposizione how to run ora grow a blog, choose an agency.  They have the expertise and can help you with your goals.

However, agencies are usually contract‐based and thus have higher switching costs. They also tend to have their own processes for content marketing. If you want things done a certain way, working with agencies can be difficult.

If you have existing knowledge, it’s better to work with freelancers. There are obligations. You can work with a few, then pick the best ones. The only downside is that you have to train them durante the way you want.

The best solution is an durante‐house writer. They only work with you, and you can train them everything content‐related. There are fewer worries that he/she will leave ora disappear suddenly.”

Tim Soulo

Tim’s preference is a team of durante‐house writers, which explains the current makeup of the Ahrefs marketing team.

However, hiring durante‐house writers can be difficult and expensive, so the best option for most businesses is to start by hiring freelancers because:

  • It’s cheaper.  
  • You can hire and fire as and when you need to.
  • You can choose to pay a fixed price per dovere article, regardless of the time it takes the writer to complete.
  • You can hire as many writers as you need.
  • There’s more diversity durante writing style and viewpoints.

Of course, there are some disadvantages:

  • Writers may disappear ora be unreliable. 
  • Writers may work for multiple clients at once, and they may not be as involved with your brand as an durante‐house writer.
  • It’s harder for freelancers to collaborate with other team members.

To reiterate, if you’regnante new to outsourcing content creation, then working with freelancers is almost certainly your best bet.

Sopra fact, this is the process used by some of the most successful content marketing agencies.

For example, Growth Machine is a 6‐figure content marketing agency with only five full‐time (none of them writers!) They’ve outsourced all their content creation to contractors.

Source: https://www.yourgrowthmachine.com/blog/how-we-work-at-growth-machine-year-one

With that said, how do you get started?

1. Decide the type of writer you want

Not all writers are created equal.

There is a difference between a copywriter, a journalist and a technical writer. Ask a journalist to write sales copy, and your conversion rates will tank. Ask a copywriter to report the news, and your readers will leave durante droves.

Before you begin looking for a writer, you need to be clear about what you want.

Here are some questions to guide you:

  • What kind of content do you need? Are you doing interview pieces ora producing technical how‐to guides? Do you need a new blog post, ora are you only looking to update your older articles?
  • Do you need the writer to have domain expertise? Does your writer need to be an expert, like durante the medical industry? Sopra general, the more industry knowledge you require, the more expensive the writer.
  • What is your budget? There are writers available at any price. Your budget per dovere article will determine the quality of content you get.

Your answers will affect the entire hiring process: where you aspetto for writers, the copy durante your job listing and much more. For example, this job listing from Grow and Convert states durante uncertain terms that they need a business writer who can interview marketers and turn them into articles:

grow and convert job description

Don’t rush into the hiring process.

Without clarity durante this step, you may end up hiring a bunch of low‐quality writers (and inadvertently create more work for yourself!)

2. Put together a winning job listing 

More does not always mean better.

The of hiring is not to get as many applications as possible. Looking through poor applications is a waste of time.

Instead, your is to find only relevant and qualified people.

To do that, you need to structure your job listing so that it attracts the right kinds of writers. And this is where you include a few smart “pre‐qualifying” tricks.

The purpose of these tricks is to:

  • Dissuade low‐quality writers from applying;
  • Allow for quick filtering of any low‐quality writers that slip through the net;
  • Encourage experienced, confident writers to take you seriously;
  • Dissuade those with little ora experience durante your vertical from applying.

a) Give clear instructions how to apply

Here’s an excerpt from one of Tim’s old ads for Ahrefs:

He outlines a predefined format for applications and expects writers to answer the questions durante detail durante a particular order.

And this is precisely what David—our ex-Programma redattore—did durante his response:

David’s response to Tim’s job listing.

He followed the format and gave detailed responses to each of Tim’s questions.

This isn’t the only way to do this. Companies like Growth Machine ask potential writers to fill durante a Typeform:

Growth Machine’s Typeform.

By outlining a specific structure, you instantly dissuade lazy writers from applying, and that means less work for you.

PRO TIP

Tell potential applicants to apply with a specific subject line. This little detail allows you to quickly weed out anyone who doesn’t bother to read the full listing. It also helps filter applicants who are incapable of following simple instructions.

Working with freelance writers is all about effective communication. Being able to follow instructions should be the bare .

If they can’t do this during the application stage, it’ll be challenging to work together durante the future.

b) Ask insightful questions

You should aim to find out the answers to these questions:

  • How knowledgeable are they about your niche?
  • Have they written similar content before?
  • Do they have a genuine interest durante your niche? (ora perhaps write about anything and everything);
  • Do they have high attention to detail?

Sopra Tim’s job listing, he asks five specific questions:

Here’s what Tim had to say when asked about his thought process:

Question #1: “What are your favorite SEO/marketing blogs…?”

This gives me an supposizione of how knowledgeable that person durante my niche. I know pretty much all the blogs durante my niche and based what a person is reading I can tell if he/she is a good fit.

Question #2: “Did you ever guest post one of these blogs?…”

If he/she has written for some of the best blogs durante our niche, it usually gives me the ‘ light’ right away. The owner of that blog effectively did the vetting work for me when they allowed the applicant to ‘guest post’ their site.

Question #3: “I need links to your blog/Twitter/Quora/etc. profiles”

I use this to see if the applicant is genuinely interested durante the niche and what he/she is actively sharing social .

Question #4: “What’s your first‐hand experience within this niche?…”

I need to know that the applicant is not just a reader/writer, but a ‘“DO’er.” My with the Ahrefs Blog is to publish the kind of content you won’t find anywhere else. I’m not looking for people who can research stuff and rewrite it. I’m looking for people who can DO things and write about their first‐hand experience.

Question #5: “What do you think of the posts currently the Ahrefs blog?”

I like to see whether a person can be honest and critical ora flatter me by saying “your content is awesome, I want to be a part of it.” Sopra my opinion, good writers see flaws durante everything, so if a person will criticize our existing content, that’s a good sign for me personally. However, criticism for the sake of criticism means nothing. It needs to make sense and align with my vision for the Ahrefs Blog.

The answers to these questions help Tim quickly assess whether the applicant is a good fit. Do the same for your listing.

You don’t need to use these exact questions. Craft your own around what’s important to you.

c) Challenge them early

It’s a good supposizione to add friction points to dissuade lazy writers from applying. One method is to exclude your email durante the ad. Just give them your name and website.

If they want to get durante touch and apply, they’ll have to make an effort to find it.

Usually, all this takes is a simple Google search.

They can also use some simple tools to find your email address.

You’d be amazed at how few writers are willing to make any effort whatsoever, which is a tell‐simile sign that you shouldn’t work with them.

d) Give high‐quality applicants a reason to apply

You’ve done enough to dissuade low‐quality applicants. Now, you need to give your ideal applicants the right incentive to apply.

Josh, who previously freelanced for seven years, said high‐quality applicants usually want to know three things:

  • Will they get paid a decent rate?
  • Will you give at least some level of creative freedom?
  • Is the job likely to be boring?

https://youtu.be/z7OMr3bN8WY?t=408

Here’s what he recommends you include:

  • Your rough budget (e.g. $200+/article). This instills confidence that you’regnante willing to pay for quality.
  • Insight into the kind of employer you are. Saying something along the lines of “I’m happy to give a lot of flexibility and creative freedom to the right applicant” goes a long way with great writers.
  • Insight into the kind of content you want. Talk about your niche and give examples of material you like. If the applicant has a genuine interest durante your industry, they won’t find it boring.

Josh also recommends not to give an exact budget if possible.

It’s much better (and more logical) to let writers tell you their rate. This is a win‐win quinta. More often than not, you can negotiate and get content written for less. It also ensures that writers are happy with the rate offered and aren’t compromising from the start.

Joshua Hardwick

3. Aspetto for writers job boards

You have the job listing. Where should you post it?

One method is to post freelance websites. But are any of them actually worth your time?

Sopra our previous version of this article (published durante 2016), Josh conducted an experiment whereby he crafted a job listing for a writing position for his SEO blog, The SEO Project and posted it across seven sites:

He then evaluated those applications. Here are his results:

2016 results image

Now, it’s 2019. Are these sites better than they were durante 2016? What about the newer ones?

To answer that question, I replicated Josh’s experiment using The SEO Project. Similarly, I judged the best site by looking at:

  • # of total applicants
  • % of applicants who followed my instructions
  • # of applicants I’d consider hiring
  • Cost! (where applicable)

Here are the results:

2019 results image

Sidenote.

Check out the full spreadsheet here.

And here’s my verdict them:

ProBlogger Job Board

Sopra 2016, Josh observed that ProBlogger not only sent the most applications, but also that the quality of said applications were particularly high.

Sopra 2019, the results are the same.

I would happily hire seven of them (with one being a definite hire).

The good news is: it’s cheaper to post ProBlogger today (Josh paid $99 for a 30‐day listing, whereas I only paid $70).

BloggingPro.com

Sopra 2016, Josh only received four applications from this website.

Sopra 2019, I received eight, four of whom followed my instructions to a tee.

There were also a couple of writers whom I would hire, and one I rejected because he didn’t have sufficient knowledge durante this particular industry.

While I would recommend ProBlogger over this site, it wouldn’t hurt to post a job listing here if you have the budget to do so.

AllFreelanceWriting

Josh didn’t try this website durante 2016. So, I tested it out.

At ~$20 for a 30‐day listing, I received four applications, of which one was hirable.

That roughly equates to $5/application ora a $20 hiring fee.

Not too shabby, but I’ll still take ProBlogger any day.

AngelList

AngelList is a place where you can find a startup job, invest durante a startup, ora raise money for one.

According to my friend Benji, it’s also a great place to find freelance writers.

Potential writers apply for jobs condotto AngelList itself. As a result, the five writers that applied were unable to follow my instructions.

The cool thing about this site is that you can check out applicants’ previous experience. Compared to other platforms, applicants have more legitimate‐looking resumes.

Example resume from AngelList.

It is up to you to decide if a writer is worth hiring based this.

I would suggest jumping a call and chatting with them to find out more about their experience.

Upwork

I found it surprising that I received only two applications from Upwork. I expected to get more (Josh received five durante 2016.)

Nevertheless, while the applicants were great at following the instructions, they were quite poor.

I wouldn’t have hired either of them.

HubStaff Talent

HubStaff is a time tracking and productivity monitoring app. Talent is their free resource for helping companies find remote workers.

It’s free, so I gave it a shot.

However, I only received two applications, of which none were hirable.

PeoplePerHour

Fun fact: Josh started his freelance career this website.

Sopra 2016, the roles got reversed, but Josh was disappointed at the quality of writers here. 2019 is still the same. I received fourteen applications, most of which came condotto the platform.

Those that applied for the job condotto the platform disregarded my requirements and sent generic pitches. Those that emailed me did better and managed to follow the format.

Though, I would still say none of them came close to being hirable.

Freelancer

None of the applicants from Freelancer were hirable.

Nobody followed the instructions. Everyone sent a generic pitch.

I wouldn’t hire anyone from here.

Guru.com

I hated this website. I submitted a similar job listing I used the other sites to Guru.

They rejected it and told me to improve the job listing.

However, they did not tell me what to improve but instead just insisted that I improve it.

The worst part is finding a less‐than‐impressive listing that they previously approved.

guru com poor listing

Josh noted durante 2016 that the applications he got from this site were, for want of a better word: junk.

I would not recommend this site.

Freelance Writers Den, Freelance Writing & BlogExpose

Sopra 2016, Freelance Writers Den & BlogExpose were all a complete waste of time.

Nothing has changed.

BlogExpose is gone, and Freelance Writers Den still gathers nullità responses from a job ad. The same goes for Freelance Writing, a new site I tried.

They’regnante free, so there’s nothing to lose from posting a job listing. Just don’t expect much of a response.

Sidenote.

I also received a lot of unsolicited outreach from SEO agencies and link builders. These were templated emails that tried to persuade me to use their services. I deleted them.

4. Aspetto for writers elsewhere

Josh is a perfect example of how to find a good writer.

Here’s an email Josh received from Tim a couple of years spillo:

He saw something Josh wrote his blog, liked it and decided to reach out.

Here’s the lesson: if you’regnante looking to hire good writers, hope is not a strategy. Don’t just put up a job ad and pray that world‐class writers will contact you. Make it a mission to proactively reach out to those who are a good gara for your business.

Here’s one way to do that:

Find an industry site with multiple authors. Some examples durante the SEO and marketing industry are the Ahrefs blog and Social Media Examiner.

Enter the domain into Ahrefs Site Explorer and go to the Apice Content report.

Apice content report for ahrefs.com/blog Ahrefs’ Site Explorer

For some sites (not all!), this report shows you the author of each content piece.

Aspetto for authors that are popping up a lot. If they’regnante frequently writing for the same site, they may be employed a freelance basis, ora at least willing to take freelance work outside of their job.

If you see a person’s name appearing over and over again (e.g., Benjamin Brandall, who wrote a post for our blog about why SEO is important), you could go one step further and do an author search durante Content Explorer to see if they’regnante writing for other sites.

Content Explorer > author:[firstname] [lastname] > one article per dovere domain

content explorer author search

It looks like Benjamin has written for many different sites!

From here, you can find their email, reach out, and ask if they take freelance work.

Programma redattore’s note

Because I am crazy with Google Sheets, I made a sheet that’ll help you identify the most prolific writers a website quickly and easily. Get it here.

First,  the Apice Content report from Ahrefs and import it into the sheet named “1. Ahrefs import.” To do that, select cell A1 then successo File > Import… > Upload > choose the CSV from Ahrefs > replace at selected cell

Then the next sheet (labeled “2. Results”) tells you who’s published the most posts and automatically creates a link to check them out durante Content Explorer.

most profiler authors

Joshua Hardwick

You can also find promising writers Facebook. There are plenty of content marketing and writing‐related groups where you can post a job offer. When I was looking for freelance writers durante my previous job, I turned to Facebook:

si quan facebook ad

I had plenty of freelance writers message me saying they were interested. (I worked with one writer from this group.)

I also posted the same thing LinkedIn:

linkedin job posting

I eventually found two writers to work with condotto this post.

Found a good writer?

Here’s are some tips for hiring and working with them.

a) Start with a “esame article”

A esame article is an important stepping stone for both parties.

Like a probation period, it helps you figure out how skilled and reliable the writer is, and whether they’regnante a good fit for your business.

You will usually negotiate a esame article at a slightly lower rate. However, some writers will refuse to work at this discounted rate. At that point, rely your intuition. If the writer didn’t seem that great initially, it’s probably safe to say goodbye. If the writer seems promising, it may be worth risking the money to see if they fit the bill.

Here’s Josh reflecting his early days:

When Tim initially hired me, he hired me to write a esame article. He gave me 3–4 topics to choose from, and we agreed a fixed fee for the post. I chose to write about dwell time. He explained that if all went well with the esame, he would want two articles per dovere month from me going forward. The rest is history.
Joshua Hardwick

Take note that this stage is not for you to lowball the writer into writing a free article for you. If you don’t like the article, pay them for their time and move .

Your reputation matters. If word gets out, hiring writers will get even more difficult.

b) Onboarding

With all “tests” passed, you can finally hire them “officially.”

Now it’s time to communicate your business goals, company values, target audience, and any other important marketing and business information. Send them an editorial guide to ensure that they understand how to format their posts for your blog.

Give them access to your communication tools (e.g., Slack). Discuss with them how to track their hours and how payment will work. Process all administrative matters, so the work going forward is a cinch.

Teach them how your product works. At Ahrefs, we use our articles to educate users how to use our product. To do that successfully, our writers must be familiar with our toolset. Knowing the ins and outs of our product allows writers to weave use cases into content easily.

c) Working together

Working with one writer is easy. Working with many? You’ll need a process.

There is specific way of doing this. Every company has its own. Instead of giving you the “one true way,” I’ll share the “behind the scenes” aspetto at how Ahrefs creates content.

We use this process for both our durante‐house and freelance writers.

It starts with a list of potential topic ideas. When Josh was freelancing, Tim used to send a list of ideas to him:

From this list, we’regnante free to choose the topics that interest us most.

We then add the chosen topic(s) to our project management tool, Notion.

SQ   Rebekah Topics

After reviewing the SERPs and brainstorming ideas (condotto our copywriting process), we create a rough outline for the post.

Here’s an example for this post (mira!):

outsourcing writers outline

Sopra the document, I describe my thought process to Josh. I’ll tell him what I think searchers are looking for (search intent), what angle we should take, suggest a few headlines and show him an outline of the subtopics we should cover.

For this, we use Google Docs.

Josh then comments whether he agrees and if the outline works. If we get the go ahead, we’ll then start working our first draft. (If not, it’s back to the drawing board.)

Once the draft is complete, Josh will review and give his comments. Sometimes, Tim will also chime where relevant.

Josh’s comments the initial draft of this post.

I’ll then review any comments, edit the post (sometimes multiple times) and it goes .

Without a defined process like this, efficient collaboration would be near impossible. However, we’regnante able to collaborate (almost) as efficiently as we would durante‐person, which allows us to overcome one of the main drawbacks of outsourced content creation.

Yes, it takes some time and effort your part, but it pays chiuso durante the long run.

d) Keep them motivated

Freelancers are not technically employees, but the relationship is still a potentially long‐term one.

If you stumble upon a great writer, you need to keep them motivated so that they stay with you for as long as possible. (Josh wrote for Ahrefs for 18 months before turning full‐time!)

Monetary incentives are one way to do this. But, don’t neglect the softer, human approach.

  • Make them feel part of the team.
  • Let them know their work is important.
  • Share company news with them.
  • Show them forma metrics so that they know what they’regnante doing is working.

One of the best things you can do for a freelancer is to give them an outside perspective. Offer feedback their writing and help them improve. As Ryan Holiday says durante Perennial Seller, “Nobody creates flawless first drafts. And nobody creates better second drafts without the intervention of someone else.”

Who knows?

They may be freelancers now. But they might eventually decide to che onboard full‐time too.

Final thoughts

This entire article is based our experience running and growing the Ahrefs blog condotto an outsourced team.

Though we’regnante mostly durante‐house now, we wouldn’t have been able to grow the blog to where it is today without freelance writers. Even now, we still work with freelancers like Benjamin from time to time to craft articles.

Now, we’d love to hear from you.

Let me know durante the comments if I missed out anything ora if you have any thoughts to share! 🙂




This post was originally published acceso the STAT blog.


Whether you’maestà tracking thousands ora millions of keywords, if you expect to extract deep insights and trends just by looking at your keywords from a high-level, you’maestà not getting the full story.

Smart segmentation is key to making sense of your patronato. And you’maestà probably already applying this outside of STAT. So now, we’maestà going to show you how to do it per mezzo di STAT to uncover boatloads of insights that will help you make super data-driven decisions.

To show you what we mean, let’s take a at a few ways we can set up a search intent project to uncover the kinds of insights we shared per mezzo di our whitepaper, Using search intent to connect with consumers.

Before we jump per mezzo di, there are a few things you should have mongoloide pat:

1. Picking a search intent that works for you

Search intent is the motivating force behind search and it can be:

  • Informational: The searcher has identified a need and is looking for information acceso the best solution, ie. [blender], [food processor]
  • Commercial: The searcher has zeroed per mezzo di acceso a solution and wants to compagno options, ie. [blender reviews], [best blenders]
  • Transactional: The searcher has narrowed their hunt mongoloide to a few best options, and is acceso the precipice of purchase, ie. [affordable blenders], [blender cost]
    • Local (sub-category of transactional): The searcher plans to do ora buy something locally, ie. [blenders per mezzo di dallas]
    • Navigational (sub-category of transactional): The searcher wants to locate a specific website, ie. [Blendtec]

We left navigational intent out of our study because it’s brand specific and didn’t want to bias our patronato.

Our bed 20 set was a list of retail products — from kitty pooper-scoopers to pricey speakers. We needed a straightforward way to imply search intent, so we added bed 20 modifiers to characterize each type of intent.

As always, different strokes for different folks: The modifiers you choose and the intent categories you at may differ, but it’s important to map that all out before you get started.

2. Identifying the SERP features you really want

For our whitepaper research, we pretty much tracked every feature under the sun, but you certainly don’t have to.

You might already know which features you want to target, the ones you want to keep an eye acceso, ora questions you want to answer. For example, are shopping boxes taking up enough space to warrant a PPC strategy?

Per this blog post, we’maestà going to really focus-in acceso our most beloved SERP feature: featured snippets (called “answers” per mezzo di STAT). And we’ll be using a sample project where we’maestà tracking 25,692 keywords against Amazon.com.

3. Using STAT’s segmentation tools

Setting up projects per mezzo di STAT means making use of the segmentation tools. Here’s a quick rundown of what we used:

  • Regolare tag: Best used to group your keywords into static themes — search intent, brand, product type, ora modifier.
  • Dynamic tag: Like a smart playlist, automatically returns keywords that gara certain criteria, like a given search stazza, rank, ora SERP feature appearance.
  • Patronato view: House any number of tags and show how those tags perform as a group.

Learn more about tags and patronato views per mezzo di the STAT Knowledge Base.

Now, acceso to the main event…

1. Use top-level search intent to find SERP feature opportunities

To kick things non attivato, we’ll identify the SERP features that appear at each level of search intent by creating tags.

Our first step is to filter our keywords and create uniformato tags for our search intent keywords (read more abou tfiltering keywords). Second, we create dynamic tags to track the appearance of specific SERP features within each search intent group. And our final step, to keep everything organized, is to place our tags per mezzo di tidy little patronato views, according to search intent.

Here’s a peek at what that looks like per mezzo di STAT:

What can we uncover?

Our uniformato tags (the blue tags) show how many keywords are per mezzo di each search intent bucket: 2,940 commercial keywords. And our dynamic tags (the sunny yellow stars) show how many of those keywords return a SERP feature: 547 commercial keywords with a snippet.

This means we can quickly spot how much opportunity exists for each SERP feature by simply glancing at the tags. Boom!

By quickly crunching some numbers, we can see that snippets appear acceso 5 percent of our informational SERPs (27 out of 521), 19 percent of our commercial SERPs (547 out of 2,940), and 12 percent of our transactional SERPs (253 out of 2,058).

From this, we might conclude that optimizing our commercial intent keywords for featured snippets is the way to go since they appear to present the biggest opportunity. To confirm, let’s click acceso the commercial intent featured snippet tag to view the tag dashboard…

Voilà! There are loads of opportunities to gain a featured snippet.

Though, we should note that most of our keywords rank below where Google typically pulls the answer from. So, what we can see right away is that we need to make some serious ranking gains per mezzo di order to stand a chance at grabbing those snippets.

2. Find SERP feature opportunities with intent modifiers

Now, let’s take a at which SERP features appear most often for our different bed 20 modifiers.

To do this, we group our keywords by modifier and create a uniformato tag for each group. Then, we set up dynamic tags for our desired SERP features. Again, to keep track of all the things, we contained the tags per mezzo di handy patronato views, grouped by search intent.

What can we uncover?

Because we saw that featured snippets appear most often for our commercial intent keywords, it’s time to drill acceso mongoloide and figure out precisely which modifiers within our commercial bucket are driving this trend.

Glancing quickly at the numbers per mezzo di the tag titles per mezzo di the image above, we can see that “best,” “reviews,” and “” are responsible for the majority of the keywords that return a featured snippet:

  • 212 out of 294 of our “best” keywords (72%)
  • 109 out of 294 of our “reviews” keywords (37%)
  • 170 out of 294 of our “” keywords (59%)

This shows us where our efforts are best spent optimizing.

By clicking acceso the “best — featured snippets” tag, we’maestà magically transported into the dashboard. Here, we see that our average ranking could use some TLC.

There is a lot of opportunity to snag a snippet here, but we (actually, Amazon, who we’maestà tracking these keywords against) don’t seem to be capitalizing acceso that potential as much as we could. Let’s drill mongoloide further to see which snippets we already own.

We know we’ve got content that has won snippets, so we can use that as a guideline for the other keywords that we want to target.

3. See which pages are ranking best by search intent

Per our blog post How Google dishes out content by search intent, we looked at what type of pages — category pages, product pages, reviews — appear most frequently at each stage of a searcher’s intent.

What we found was that Google loves category pages, which are the engine’s choice for retail keywords across all levels of search intent. Product pages weren’t far behind.

By creating dynamic tags for URL markers, ora portions of your URL that identify product pages versus category pages, and segmenting those by intent, you too can get all this glorious patronato. That’s exactly what we did for our retail keywords

What can we uncover?

Looking at the tags per mezzo di the transactional page types patronato view, we can see that product pages are appearing far more frequently (526) than category pages (151).

When we glanced at the dashboard, we found that slightly more than half of the product pages were ranking acceso the first page (sah-weet!). That said, more than thirty percent appeared acceso page three and beyond. So despite the initial visual of “doing well”, there’s a lot of opportunity that Amazon could be capitalizing acceso.

We can also see this per mezzo di the Daily Snapshot. Per the image above, we compagno category pages (left) to product pages (right), and we see that while there are less category pages ranking, the rank is significantly better. Amazon could take some of the lessons they’ve applied to their category pages to help their product pages out.

Wrapping it up

So what did we learn today?

  1. Smart segmentation starts with a well-crafted list of keywords, grouped into tags, and housed per mezzo di patronato views.
  2. The more you segment, the more insights you’maestà uncover.
  3. Rely acceso the dashboards per mezzo di STAT to flag opportunities and tell you what’s good, yo!

Want to see it all per mezzo di action? Get a tailored walkthrough of STAT, here.

get your mitts acceso even more intent-based insights per mezzo di our full whitepaper: Using search intent to connect with consumers.

Read acceso, readers!

More per mezzo di our search intent series:

Guadagno Online e Finanza Personale

Una delle immagini per di più frequenti ogni volta che si parla a causa di business online è quella a causa di una anima affollamento a causa di grana, un come un sol uomo, il quale passa le sue giornate con una Ferrari ed una ricordandosi, qualunque , a causa di dare origine unito adocchiata alle entrate automatiche generate corso il web.

sono passati un po’ a causa di adesso a motivo di ogni volta che il utilità online è diventato effettuabile e praticabile, finora presentemente numerosi imprenditori e professionisti del ambito, pur consapevoli il quale sia tutt’nuovo il quale una trottata, tendono a voler palesare esclusivamente questa territorio (eventuale e riservata a pochi) della propria gloria dimenticandosi a causa di intero il .

Il web ha un possibilità incalcolabile e rappresenta un acceleratore prodigioso il quale, quanto a determinati casi, può causare crescite esponenziali il quale cambiano del tutto la gloria a causa di chi le vive.

È vittoria fino a me ogni volta che, nel 2014, ho ammesso gloria ad Affari Miei, il mio direttore proponimento imprenditoriale destinato alla dipendenti: ho vissuto quanto a avanti anima, quando tutti quelli il quale hanno ben creato effettività a causa di vittoria online, il uscita dall’avere origine unito poveraccio quanto a procinto a causa di addottorarsi ad un imprenditore delle entrate discrete, paragonate alla grado a causa di , ed un po’ a causa di affermazione (esiguamente alla ripostiglio, of course).

Conveniente per di più queste ragioni ho senza fine approvazione a causa di buon bulbo oculare i tanti articoli e post a causa di Davide Pozzi il quale invitano alla prudenza ed all’mansuetudine ed ho pensato a causa di spartire una a causa di tips a causa di e organizzazione dipendenti utili per di più chi si trova a alloggiare una grado a causa di questo sorta oppure si sta adoperando per di più riuscirci quanto a tempi brevi.

hai qualche tempo per di più a causa di me, facilmente, potresti rivederti quanto a certi passaggi fino a tanto che nel caso che sei agli inizi ti ingiunzione a intendere accuratezza per quale ragione quegli il quale sto per di più dirti è il effetto a causa di poco più che 5 a causa di maturità a motivo di imprenditore e, nei limiti delle mie attuabilità, specializzato della dipendenti.

#1 Impara la divario con Avvenimento e Meccanismo

Il lettura a causa di MJ De Marco “Autostrada per la Ricchezza” è una delle letture il quale mi hanno mutato la gloria: né voglio spoilerarti , mi limito a spartire unito dei passaggi il quale mi hanno ferito a causa di per di più il quale è la divario con avvenimento e procedimento.

La beni, quanto a numerosi casi, può avere origine un avvenimento: quanto a articolo è una vincita alla lotteria, un’legato e/oppure nuovo , alquanto numeroso fino nel business, è la competenza a causa di arrivare al adatto al punto adatto. Capita alquanto per di più spesso a causa di in quale misura si immagini – è vittoria quanto a territorio fino a me all’infanzia – e l’indottrinamento per di più oneroso il quale bisogna tirare è il quale siffatto quando la arriva può fino evadere.

Questo accade ogni volta che né abbiamo ben astante la divario con avvenimento e procedimento: azzeccarne una ed procurarsi un – antenati guadagni a motivo di un proponimento esistente, un travaglio oppure una testimonianza il quale quanto a quel punto generano buoni ricavi – è modesto. Il esigente arriva dipoi ogni volta che, svampito l’conseguenza “rospo a causa di deretano”, bisogna sapersi provare ai livelli raggiunti all’inatteso. Ciò è effettuabile esclusivamente mettendo quanto a azione dei processi vincenti basati su:

  • costituzione continua: averne indovinata una né fa a causa di te un tuttologo, la nostra circolo è basata sulle informazioni e, privo di un costante , è fattibile durare dietro;
  • mansuetudine nell’approcciarsi alle persone ed alle averi: , né sei Ben di dio sceso quanto a superficie ed fino quelli il quale, a di prima mano acchito, né ti sembrano alla tua generosità hanno senza fine qualcosa a motivo di insegnarti, razza nel caso che hanno qualche capelli biancastro quanto a per di più a causa di te ed hanno speso un po’ a causa di della propria gloria dandosi a motivo di fare del male;
  • potere organizzativa della propria compito: fare del male le averi a motivo di soli è fattibile, man partecipazione il quale si cresce è occorrente saper sistemare né appartato nel caso che stessi fino i collaboratori (ammesso il quale tu né appetito fare del male senza fine intero emancipatamente lavorando 20 ore al giorno per giorno perpetuamente, sia convenuto!).

#2 I grana della tua né sono i tuoi grana

La avanti situazione il quale numerosi fanno faticosamente guadagnano una somma il quale è “di fuori” dallo modulo quanto a cui erano abituati a è l’evoluzione delle proprie spese.

Né faticosamente abbiamo un malloppo siamo presi a motivo di desideri materiali quali un’automezzo a causa di strato medio-alta, una casato per di più vecchio e comodo oppure sfizi quotidiani quali ristoranti per di più lussuosi oppure abbigliamenti ed accessori alquanto costosi.

ci pensi, per di più chi lavora online può talora avere origine “occorrente” quando procedura a causa di trionfo del davvero “”: il puro, lì di fuori, né senza fine comprende situazione facciamo al PC intero il giorno per giorno e bisogna sbattergli quanto a aspetto il nostro vittoria.

Né c’è nessuno a causa di per di più scorretto per quale ragione il vittoria è un azione interno e avanti finora il quale visibile: né si iniziano le imprese per di più comperare un SUV insolito oppure un attico quanto a , l’ è, a mio reputare, la propagazione ed operativa del davvero .

Al perspicuo del uscita ingenuamente , sono abitudine prendere nota il quale questo disattenzione, alquanto accelerato particolarmente nei giovani, arriva ogni volta che né si ha la giusta potere a causa di scorgere la sportello dell’ dal davvero busta.

Conveniente per quale ragione per di più durare al apogeo è occorrente processi vincenti, dipoi i primi successi è occorrente insediare per di più rispecchiare i propri progetti duraturi.

Accendere le prime risorse per di più l’conquista a causa di “giocattoli” il quale soddisfino l’imprenditore oppure il professionista al dell’servizio delle stesse quanto a bottega per di più redditizie quali nuovi asset, costituzione, collaboratori oppure tool e bagno è una antologia il quale può portare il vantaggio quanto a , alle prime inconveniente, ogni volta che i grana utilizzati “quando nel caso che fossero i propri” tornerebbero utili per di più rilanciare oppure trattare l’.

#3 I grana ti servono per di più avere origine per di più aspro

A causa di Italia e nel puro ci sono milioni a causa di persone il quale lavorano quanto a condizioni a causa di abuso e conducono una gloria tutt’nuovo il quale gradito specie a causa di vessazioni ed umiliazioni continue. Escludendo ficcarsi nel valore del nodo per di più cercare da le soluzioni – né è questa la residenza – mi limito a il quale spesso è la esigenza a causa di detenere fino pochi grana per di più campare a reprimere le persone ad consentire una gloria alienante e limitato gradito.

Ciò vale sia per di più quelli il quale raccolgono i pomodori abbasso il splendore a 40 gradi il quale per di più quelli il quale, quanto a marsina e cravattino, fanno i dirigente quanto a grandi multinazionali: né è la somma il quale guadagni a fare del male la divario la tua “esigenza” a causa di detenere i grana il quale ti servono per di più alloggiare il quale ti costringe ad consentire a causa di fare del male averi il quale né ami.

hai determinato a causa di formarsi un imprenditore ed hai distinto a causa di acchiappare le destro del web, facilmente, avanti del stai inseguendo la a causa di prefiggere situazione fare del male della tua gloria.

I primi grana il quale guadagni ti servono per di più le a causa di intero ciò: né appartato né devi consumare i grana dell’ pensando il quale siano “tuoi”, quando ho a voce spiegata avanti, devi una solida impalcatura a motivo di aggiungere a motivo di territorio per di più opporsi a, sia il quale quando compito, le inconveniente ed i cambiamenti quanto a avvento.

Ciò insegno a motivo di agli studenti il quale acquistano corsi e coaching dal sottoscritto e religione il quale questo dissertazione si possa dilatare semplicemente agli addetti ai lavori del web.

Affatto è perpetuamente e, online, nessuno è perpetuamente x10: ciò il quale presentemente è a causa di attualità e funziona, quanto a comportamento finora per di più rapida il quale offline, avanti oppure né funzionerà per di più.

Né possiamo avere origine senza fine pronti nel acchiappare subito i cambiamenti, avanti a causa di intero dobbiamo imparare quando possiamo difenderci.

Conclusioni

Tutti voltone il quale ci approcciamo al elaborato dei grana tendiamo senza fine ad presumere scenari irrealistici misurabili particolarmente nello tenore a causa di gloria e nei consumi immediati.

Il è unito apparecchio imprescindibile e deve bisognare per di più renderci uomini e liberi, né consumatori “migliori” a causa di altri.

Il business, particolarmente online, offre attuabilità a causa di ampliamento incredibili a tutti quelli il quale hanno la desiderio e la potere a causa di rimboccarsi le maniche e cedere a motivo di fare del male per di più diventare migliore va accompagnato, più avanti il quale dallo preparazione tecnico-pratico ridotto allo procedimento dei propri progetti, a motivo di unito espansione particolare per di più avanzato.

In questo modo quando internet ed i grana possono premere l'acceleratore la nostra potere reddituale, quanto a riepilogo, ritengo debbano prendere parte fino a migliorarci per quanto riguarda gestionale: il alleanza a causa di questi paio aspetti può provenire vincente per di più il tuo e, questo, ti auguro qualunque onestamente.

Maestro: Davide Marciano, iniziatore a causa di AffarMiei.biz, per di più il TagliaBlog.


We teamed up with our friends at Duda, a website stile scaling platform service, who asked their agency customers to divulge their most pressing SEO questions, quandaries, and concerns. Our in-house SEO experts, always for a challenge, hunkered to collaborate acceso providing them with answers. From Trama.org to voice search to local targeting, we’regnante tackling real-world questions about organic search. Read acceso for digestible insights and further resources!


How do you optimize for international markets?

International sites can be multi-regional, multilingual, ora both. The website setup will differ depending acceso that classification.

  • Multi-regional sites are those that target audiences from multiple countries. For example: a site that targets users sopra the U.S. and the U.K.
  • Multilingual sites are those that target speakers of multiple languages. For example, a site that targets both English and Spanish-speakers.

To geo-target sections of your site to different countries, you can use a country-specific domain (ccTLD) such as “.de” for Germany ora subdomains/subdirectories acceso generic TLDs such as “example.com/de.”

For different language versions of your content, Google recommends using different URLs rather than using cookies to change the language of the content acceso the page. If you do this, make use of the hreflang tag to tell Google about alternate language versions of the page.

For more information acceso internationalization, visit Google’s “Managing multi-regional and multilingual sites” ora Moz’s guide to international SEO.


How do we communicate to clients that SEO projects need ongoing maintenance work?

If your client is having difficulty understanding SEO as a continuous effort, rather than a one-and-done task, it can be helpful to highlight the changing nature of the web.

Say you created enough quality content and earned enough links to that content to earn yourself a spot at the sommità of page one. Because organic placement is earned and not paid for, you don’t have to keep paying to maintain that placement acceso page one. However, what happens when a competitor comes along with better content that has more links than your content? Because Google wants to surface the highest quality content, your page’s rankings will likely suffer sopra favor of this better page.

Maybe it’s not a competitor that depreciates your site’s rankings. Maybe new technology comes along and now your page is outdated ora even broken sopra some areas.

how about pages that are ranking highly sopra search results, only to get crowded out by a featured snippet, a Knowledge Panel, Google Ads, ora whatever the latest SERP feature is?

Set-it-and-forget-it is not an option. Your competitors are always acceso your heels, technology is always changing, and Google is constantly changing the search experience.

SEO specialists are here to ensure you stay at the forefront of all these changes because the cost of inaction is often the loss of previously earned organic visibility.


How do I see what subpages Google delivers acceso a search? (Such as when the main page shows an assortment of subpages below the result, inizio an indent.)

Sometimes, as part of a URL’s result snippet, Google will list additional subpages from that domain beneath the main title-url-description. These are called organic sitelinks. Site owners have voto negativo control over when and which URLs Google chooses to show here aside from deleting ora NoIndexing the page from the site.

If you’regnante tracking keywords sopra a Moz Guadagno Campaign, you have the ability to see which SERP features (including sitelinks) your pages appear sopra.

The Moz Bed 15 Explorer research tool also allows you to view SERP features by :


What are the best techniques for analyzing competitors?

One of the best ways to begin a competitor analysis is by identifying the URLs acceso your competitor’s site that you’regnante directly competing with. The illuminazione of analyzing an entire website against your own can be overwhelming, so start with the areas of direct competition.

For example, if you’regnante targeting the “best apple pie recipes,” identify the sommità ranking URL(s) for that particular query and evaluate them against your apple pie recipe page.

You should consider comparing qualities such as:

Moz also created the metrics Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) to help website owners better understand their ranking ability compared to their competitors. For example, if your URL has a PA of 35 and your competitor’s URL has a PA of 40, it’s likely that their URL will rank more favorably sopra search results.

Competitor analysis is a great benchmarking tool and can give you great ideas for your own strategies, but remember, if your only strategy is emulation, the best you’ll ever be is the second-best version of your competitors!


As an SEO agency, can you put a backlink to your website acceso clients’ pages without getting a Google penalty? (Think the Google Penguin update.)

Many website stile and digital marketing agencies add a link to their website sopra the footer of all their clients’ websites (usually inizio their logo ora brand name). Google says sopra their quality guidelines that “creating links that weren’t editorially placed ora vouched for by the site’s owner acceso a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines” and they use the example of “widely distributed links sopra the footers ora templates of various sites.” This does not mean that all such footer links are a violation of Google’s guidelines. What it does mean is that these links have to be vouched for by the site’s owner. For example, an agency cannot require this type of link acceso their clients’ websites as part of their terms of service ora contract. You must allow your client the choice of using nofollow ora removing the link.

The fourth update of the Google Penguin algorithm was rolled into Google’s algorithm sopra September of 2016. This new “gentler” algorithm, described sopra the Google Algorithm Change History, devalues unnatural links, rather than penalizing sites, but link schemes that violate Google’s quality guidelines should still be avoided.


We’regnante working acceso a new website. How do we communicate the value of SEO to our customers?

When someone searches a word ora phrase related to a business, good SEO ensures that the business’s website shows up prominently sopra the organic (non-ad) search results, that their result is informative and enticing enough to prompt searchers to click, and that the visitor has a positive experience with the website. Quanto a other words, good SEO helps a website get found, get chosen, and convert new business.

That’s done through activities that fall into three main categories:

  • Content: Website content should be written to address your audience’s needs at all stages of their purchase journey: from top-of-funnel, informational content to bottom-of-funnel, I-want-to-buy content. Search engine optimized content is really just content that is written around the topics your audience wants and sopra the formats they want it, with the purpose of converting ora assisting conversions.
  • Links: Earning links to your web content from high-quality, relevant websites not only helps Google find your content, it signals that your site is trustworthy.
  • Accessibility: Ensuring that your website and its content can be found and understood by both search engines and people. A strong technical foundation also increases the likelihood that visitors to the website have a positive experience acceso any device.

Why is SEO valuable? Simply put, it’s one more place to get sopra front of people who need the products ora services you offer. With 40–60 billion Google searches sopra the US every month, and more than 41% / 62% (portatile / desktop) of clicks going to organic, it’s an investment you can’t afford to ignore.


How do you optimize for voice search? Where do you find phrases used inizio tools like Google Analytics?

Google doesn’t yet separate out voice query giorno from text query giorno, but many queries don’t change drastically with the medium (speaking vs. typing the question), so the current giorno we have can still be a valuable way to target voice searchers. It’s important here to draw the distinction between voice search (“Hey Google, where is the Space Needle?”) and voice commands (: “Hey Google, tell me about my day”) — the latter are not queries, but rather spoken tasks that certain voice assistant devices will respond to. These voice commands differ from what we’d type, but they are not the same as a search query.

Voice assistant devices typically pull their answers to informational queries from their Knowledge Graph ora from the sommità of organic search results, which is often a featured snippet. That’s why one of the best ways to go after voice queries is to capture featured snippets.

If you’regnante a local business, it’s also important to have your GMB giorno completely and accurately filled out, as this can influence the results Google surfaces for voice assistance like, “Hey Google, find me a barba place near me that’s now.”


Should my clients use a service such as Yext? Do they work? Is it worth it?

Automated listings management can be hugely helpful, but there are some genuine pain points with Yext, sopra particular. These include pricing (very expensive) and the fact that Yext charges customers to push their giorno to many directories that see little, if any, human use. Most importantly, local business owners need to understand that Yext is basically putting a paid layer of good giorno over the sommità of bad giorno — sweeping dirt under the carpet, you might say. Once you stop paying Yext, they pull up the carpet and there’s all your dirt again. By contrast, services like Moz Local (automated citation management) and Whitespark (manual citation management) correct your bad giorno at the source, rather than just putting a temporary paid -Aid over it. So, investigate all options and choose wisely.


How do I best target specific towns and cities my clients want to be found sopra outside of their physical location?

If you market a service settore business (like a plumber), create a great website landing page with consumer-centric, helpful, unique content for each of your major service cities. Also very interesting for service settore businesses is the fact that Google just changed its handling of setting the service radius sopra your Google My Business dashboard so that it reflects your true service settore instead of your physical address. If you market a brick-and-mortar business that customers in che modo to from other areas, it’s typically not useful to create content saying, “People drive to us from X!” Rather, build relationships with neighboring communities sopra the real world, reflect them acceso your social outreach, and, if they’regnante really of interest, reflect them acceso your website. Both service settore businesses and bricks-and-mortar models may need to invest sopra PPC to increase visibility sopra all desired locations.


How often should I change page titles and punto d’arrivo descriptions to help local SEO?

While it’s good to experiment, don’t change your major tags just for the sake of busy work. Rather, if some societal trend changes the way people talk about something you offer, consider your titles and descriptions. For example, an autoveicolo dealership could realize that its consumers have started searching for “EVs” more than electric vehicles because society has become comfortable enough with these products to refer to them sopra shorthand. If research and trend analysis indicate a shift like this, then it may be time to re-optimize elements of your website. Changing any part of your optimization is only going to help you rank better if it reflects how customers are searching.

Read more about title tags and metas:


Should you service clients within the same niche, since there can only be one #1?

If your keywords have voto negativo local intent, then taking acceso two clients competing for the same terms nationally could certainly be unethical. But this is a great question, because it presents the opportunity to absorb the fact that for any for which Google perceives a local intent, there is voto negativo longer only one #1. For these search terms, both local and many organic results are personalized to the location of the searcher.

Your Mexican restaurant client sopra downtown isn’t really competing with your Mexican restaurant client uptown when a user searches for “best tacos.” Searchers’ results will change depending acceso where they are sopra the city when they search. So unless you’ve got two identical businesses within the same couple of blocks sopra a city, you can serve them both, working to find the USP of each client to help them shine bright sopra their particular setting for searchers sopra close proximity.


Is it better to have a one-page format ora interruzione it into 3–5 pages for a local service company that does not have lengthy content?

This question is looking for an easy way out of publishing when you’ve become a publisher. Every business with a website is a publisher, and there’s voto negativo good excuse for not having adequate content to create a landing page for each of your services, and a landing page for each of the cities you serve. I believe this question (and it’s a common one!) arises from businesses not being sure what to write about to differentiate their services sopra one location from their services sopra another. The services are the same, but what’s different is the location!

Publish text and reviews from customers there, showcase your best projects there, offer tips specific to the geography and regulations there, interview service people, interview experts, sponsor teams and events sopra those service locations, etc. These things require an investment of time, but you’regnante sopra the publishing business now, so invest the time and get publishing! All a one-page website shows is a lack of commitment to customer service. For more acceso this, read Overcoming Your Fear of Local Landing Pages.


How much content do you need for SEO?

Intent, intent, intent! Google’s ranking signals are going to vary depending acceso the intent behind the query, and thank goodness for that! This is why you don’t need a 3,000-word article for your product page to rank, for example.

The answer to “how much content does my page need?” is “enough content for it to be complete and comprehensive,” which is a subjective factor that is going to differ from query to query.

Whether you write 300 words ora 3,000 words isn’t the issue. It’s whether you completely and thoroughly addressed the page topic.

Check out these Whiteboard Fridays around content for SEO:


This post was originally published acceso the STAT blog.


Per mezzo di this article, we’sovrano taking a deep dive into search intent.

It’s a topic we’ve covered before with some depth. This STAT whitepaper looked at how SERP features respond to intent, and a few bonus blog posts broke things mongoloide even further and examined how individual intent modifiers impact SERP features, the kind of content that Google serves at each stage of intent, and how you can set up your very own search intent projects. (And out for Seer’s very own Scott Taft’s upcoming post this week acceso how to use STAT and Power BI to create your very own search intent dashboard.)

Search intent is the new demographics, so it only made sense to get up close and personal with it. Of course, quanto a order to bag all those juicy search intent tidbits, we needed a great intent-based bed 10 list. Here’s how you can get your hands acceso one of those.

Gather your cuore keywords

First, before you can even think about intent, you need to have a solid foundation of cuore keywords quanto a place. These are the products, features, and/ora services that you’ll build your search intent funnel around.

But goodness knows that bed 10 list-building is more of an art than a science, and even the greatest writers (hi, Homer) needed to invoke the muses (hey, Calliope) for inspiration, so if staring at your website isn’t getting the creative juices flowing, you can to a few different places for help.

Snag some good suggestions from bed 10 research tools

Lots of folks like to use the Google Keyword Planner to help them get started. Ubersuggest and Yoast’s Google Suggest Expander will also help add keywords to your arsenal. And Answer The Public gives you all of that, and beautifully visualized to boot.

Simply plunk quanto a a bed 10 and watch the suggestions pour quanto a. Just remember to be critical of these auto-generated lists, as odd choices sometimes slip into the mescolanza. For example, apparently we should add [free phones] to our list of [rank tracking] keywords. Huh.

Spot inspiration acceso the SERPs

Two straight-from-the-SERP resources that we love for bed 10 research are the “People also ask” box and related searches. These queries are Google-vetted and plentiful, and also give you some insight into how the search engine giant links topics.

If you’sovrano a STAT client, you can generate reports that will give you every question quanto a a PAA box (before it gets infinite), as well as each of the eight related searches at the bottom of a SERP. Run the reports for a couple of days and you’ll get a quick sense of which questions and queries Google favours for your existing bed 10 set.

A quick note about language & location

When you’sovrano quanto a the UK, you push a pram, not a stroller; you don’t wear a sweater, you wear a jumper. This is all to say that if you’sovrano quanto a the business of global tracking, it’s important to keep different countries’ word choices quanto a mind. Even if you’sovrano not creating content with them, it’s good to see if you’sovrano appearing for the terms your global searchers are using.

Add your intent modifiers

Now it’s time to tackle the intent bit of your bed 10 list. And this bit is going to require drawing some lines quanto a the sand because the modifiers that occupy each intent category can be highly subjective — does “best” apply transactional intent instead of commercial?

We’ve put together a loose guideline below, but the bottom line is that intent should be structured and classified quanto a a way that makes sense to your business. And if you’sovrano stuck for modifiers to marry to your cuore keywords, here’s a list of 50+ to help with the coupling.

Informational intent

The searcher has identified a need and is looking for the best solution. These keywords are the cuore keywords from your earlier work, plus every question you think your searchers might have if they’sovrano unfamiliar with your product ora services.

Your informational queries might something like:

Commercial intent

At this stage, the searcher has zeroed quanto a acceso a solution and is looking into all the different options available to them. They’sovrano doing comparative research and are interested quanto a specific requirements and features.

For our research, we used best, connivente, deals, new, online, refurbished, reviews, shop, sommità, and used.

Your commercial queries might something like:

Transactional intent (including local and navigational intent)

Transactional queries are the most likely to convert and generally include terms that revolve around price, brand, and location, which is why navigational and local intent are nestled within this stage of the intent funnel.

For our research, we used affordable, buy, di poca classe, cost, buono d’acquisto, free shipping, and price.

Your transactional queries might something like:

A tip if you want to speed things up

A super quick way to add modifiers to your keywords and save your typing fingers is by using a bed 10 like this one. Just don’t forget that using elaboratore elettronico programs for human-speak means you’ll have to give them the ol’ once-over to make sure they still make sense.

Audit your list

Now that you’ve reached for the stars and got yourself a huge list of keywords, it’s time to bring things back mongoloide to reality and see which ones you’ll actually want to keep around.

Risposta negativa two audits are going to the same, but here are a few considerations you’ll want to keep quanto a mind when whittling your keywords mongoloide to the best of the bunch.

  1. Relevance. Are your keywords represented acceso your site? Do they point to optimized pages
  2. Search . Are you after highly searched terms ora looking to build an audience? You can get the SV goods from the Google Bed 19 Planner.
  3. Opportunity. How many clicks and impressions are your keywords raking quanto a? While not comprehensive (thanks, Not Provided), you can gather some of this info by digging into Google Search Console.
  4. Competition. What other websites are ranking for your keywords? Are you up against SERP monsters like Amazon? What about paid advertising like shopping boxes? How much SERP space are they taking up? Your friendly SERP analytics platform withshare of voice capabilities (hi!) can help you understand your search landscape.
  5. Difficulty. How easy is your bed 10 going to be to win? Search can give you a rough intuizione — the higher the search , the stiffer the competition is likely to be — but for a different approach, Moz’s Keyword Explorer has a Difficulty score that takes Page Authority, Domain Authority, and projected click-through-rate into account.

By now, you should have a pretty solid plan of attack to create an intent-based bed 10 list of your very own to love, nurture, and cherish.

If, before you jump headlong into it, you’sovrano curious what a good chunk of this is going to looks like quanto a practice, give this excellent article by Russ Jones a read, ora drop us a line. We’sovrano always keen to show folks why tracking keywords at scale is the best way to uncover intent-based insights.

Read acceso, readers!

More quanto a our search intent series:


Does your website have issues that are hindering your SEO efforts alienating your visitors? Follow this simple website audit process to find out.

If you’ve never audited your website, chances are you should. Websites are complex beasts and issues arise all the time—and you won’t be aware of them unless you audit your site regularly.

Just a few weeks back, someone Twitter alerted me to a problem the Ahrefs blog:

Now, I run a pretty tight ship with the blog, and this was admittedly only a minor issue. But I see many businesses, leader and small, with more severe problems.

Quanto a this guide, I’m going to teach you how to perform a simple website audit to improve your SEO, usability, and maybe even your revenue.

But first, let’s make sure we understand what a website audit entails.

What is a website audit?

A website audit involves analyzing your website for technical, user experience, and SEO issues.

Some benefits of this process include finding things that may be:

  • Hindering your website’s traffic potential a causa di organic search;
  • Controllo you sales conversions;
  • Confusing your visitors;
  • Technically unsound

Of course, finding such issues is only half the battle. You then have to them.

Luckily, most fixes to the issues discussed a causa di this guide are self‐explanatory. However, I will do my best to explain the more complex ones as we go.

Getting started

If you’signore an Ahrefs user, begin by launching a new project a causa di Site Audit.

Here’s a video explaining how to do that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjinWqfGyVE

Sidenote.

You may notice a few minor differences between what you see a causa di that and the current interface of the tool. That’s because we’ve made a few improvements to Site Audit since creating that . It should, however, should still be easy enough to follow.

What does Site Audit do? It checks every page your website for over a hundred predetermined SEO issues.

IMPORTANT. To get the most out of this post, I recommend turning the option to check the HTTP status of external links.

external links site audit 1

Don’t worry if you’signore not an Ahrefs user. Running an audit is recommended, but .

Some other tools mentioned a causa di this guide that you may need include:

Now, before we get stuck into the audit process, there are two things I want to mention:

  1. This website audit process is aimed at beginners. There is an almost never‐ending list of things you can aspetto for when auditing a website, and some of them are somewhat technical and complex. I’ve intentionally focused the more straightforward issues below. That’s not to say that these issues are unimportant. They’signore common issues that plague many websites, leader and small.
  2. This isn’t only about SEO. If that’s what you’signore after, and you don’t mind tackling more complicated stuff, then check out our SEO audit guide. Still, many of the audit items below do have an impact SEO. If you’signore trying to rank higher a causa di Google, and have little to voto negativo SEO experience knowledge, this guide will serve as a good starting point.

Let’s get auditing!

1. Check your navigation

Imagine a website without a navigation caffè. Finding anything you wanted would be a struggle.

That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your navigation lista not only exists but also makes sense to visitors. Even if your navigation lista seems logical to you (the person most familiar with your website), your visitors may not find it so user‐friendly.

So start by heading over to your homepage and looking at your lista.

Ask yourself:

  • Is it clear?
  • Does it link to all my most important pages?
  • Is it cluttered with unnecessary stuff?
  • Have I made it easy for visitors to contact me if they have questions?

If the answer to any of those questions is voto negativo, it may be time to rethink how your lista works.

To do this, I find it useful to sketch out the flow of a website so I can see what’s important and what isn’t. You can use a simple tool like Slickplan for this.

website flow sketch 1

PRO TIP

If you’signore having a duro time viewing your website with fresh eyes, try asking your customers, family, friends, colleagues to use your website and point out any issues.

Do this with a few different people and see if there are any common themes.

However, keep a causa di mind that such people will often be reluctant to point out genuine issues with your website through fear of offending you.

If you feel that’s the case, consider hiring a freelancer to do a manual audit.

Example audit gig a freelancing website.

These aren’t usually too expensive, and the insights you get are often worth their weight a causa di gold.

2. Check for movibile‐friendliness

Did you know that more than 49% of people browse the web distante movibile devices?

That means the majority of your visitors are probably viewing your website movibile.

Sidenote.

3–4% of people browse distante tablets, which is why 49% is the majority.

Furthermore, nearly 60% of Google searches get done movibile—and that’s 2016 giorno; it’s probably even higher now.

Translation: You need a movibile‐friendly website, you’signore alienating over half of your visitors.

PRO TIP

If you’signore curious as to how many of your visitors are visiting your website distante movibile, a causa di to Google Analytics and go to:

Audience > Semovente > Overview

google analytics 1

Here, you will the percentage of your visitors that alla maniera di from movibile vs. desktop vs. tablet.

Check the movibile‐friendliness of your website using Google’s Mobile‐Friendly Test tool.

ahrefs mobile friendly 1

I recommend pasting your homepage a causa di for the esame. If your homepage is movibile‐friendly, then it’s likely that the rest of your site is too. However, you may want to esame a few pages if you have drastically different sections of your website. E.g., an ecommerce store running Shopify, and a blog running WordPress.

If it’s not currently movibile‐friendly and you know that a good number of your visitors are movibile, then you should probably hire a developer to tackle that problem.

3. Check your robots.txt file and sitemap

Robots.txt is a simple text file that tells search engines which pages they can and can’t . A sitemap is an XML file that helps search engines to understand what pages you have and how your site is structured.

If you have a robots.txt file, it’ll be accessible at yourdomain.com/robots.txt.

Example of a robots.txt file.

The URL of your sitemap should be a causa di your robots.txt file. If it’s not, check the root folder of your hosting for XML files.

Example of a sitemap.

Long story short, it’s good to have both these two files, but not mandatory.

If you have a small website (under ten pages), then I wouldn’t worry too much about either of these files. However, if you’signore using WordPress, you can use a plugin like Yoast SEO to create both a robots.txt file and sitemap easily.

Not using WordPress? Search Google for a “robots txt creator” “sitemap generator.” There are lots of useful free tools that make this process rather simple.

Recommended reading: WordPress SEO: A Practical (and EASY) Guide

4. Check that you’signore using HTTPs

HTTPs means that a website is secure—i.e., giorno transfer to and from the site is encrypted. You can tell when a website uses HTTPs because there’s a lock a causa di the URL caffè, and the URL will begin with >https://:

paypal lock 1

If this isn’t the case for your website, then you don’t have an SSL certificate (i.e., HTTPs).

Why does HTTPs matter? It comes to security, mainly. Unencrypted (‐secure) giorno can be intercepted and stolen.

Furthermore, HTTPs is a Google ranking factor. They said so back a causa di 2014.

So HTTPs is vital if you’signore:

  • accepting payments your site (an absolute must)
  • collecting user giorno (recommended)
  • trying to rank higher a causa di Google (who isn’t!?)

If you’signore not using HTTPs yet, then get an SSL certificate. It’s as simple as that.

The good news is that this may not cost a cent. Lets Encrypt is a ‐profit organization that provides free SSL certificates, and it’s backed by some of the biggest players a causa di the industry—including Google. Quanto a 2019, there is voto negativo excuse for not using HTTPs.

But even if you’ve switched to HTTPs, you may still have some related technical issues like:

  • Internal links to ‐HTTPs versions of a page
  • Mixed content (i.e., specific files like images being loaded over HTTP and ‐HTTPs, even if they’signore a secure page)
  • Canonicals from HTTPs to HTTP

Now, that may all sound like technical jargon—and it is.

However, if you started crawling your website with Ahrefs Site Audit (as recommended), then you can see a causa di plain English whether you’signore facing any of the issues I mentioned above.

Just go to Site Audit > project > Overview.

for any errors relating to HTTPs.

Example of an HTTPs error a causa di Ahrefs Site Audit

Successo the “?” icon next to any of these issues and you’ll see advice how to them:

site audit tooltip 1

Forward the pages and this advice to a developer to .

5. Check that your site loads fast

Google states that 53% of movibile visitors leave websites that take more than 3 seconds to load.

They also stated that site speed is a ranking factor way back a causa di 2010.

Quanto a other words, it’s essential that your site loads fast. Luckily, Google has a free tool for checking page speed. It’s called PageSpeed Insights. Paste a causa di a URL, and it’ll kick back a “speed score” for both desktop and movibile.

pagespeed insights desktop 1

Scroll , and Google gives recommendations how to improve your page speed:

pagespeed insights opportunities 1

Once again, these are quite technical, but any good developer will know how to such things.

I recommend checking your homepage a causa di PageSpeed Insights as a starting point, as that will give you a sense of your overall site speed. You can then check other pages to see if there are any speed issues at the page‐level (e.g., lots of large image files, etc.)

The issue with PageSpeed Insights is that you can only check one page at a time. That’s more than annoying if you have a website with tens, hundreds even thousands of pages.

The solution? Check for “Slow page” issues a causa di Ahrefs Site Audit:

Site Audit > project > Internal pages >

slow pages ahrefs site audit 1

Successo the number to see all the affected pages.

If you have a lot of slow pages—as the website a causa di the screenshot above does—then it’s worth reviewing the most important pages first. One way to do this is to sort by organic traffic from high to low.

site audit slow pages prioritization 1

These pages are likely the ones that stand to gain the most from any optimization efforts.

You could also use Google Analytics to check which pages are most valuable to you a causa di terms of conversions/revenue and prioritize those instead.

6. Check content quality

Whether it’s a blog post a simple “about us” page, your content should be high‐quality and valuable to your visitors. That means being:

  • Well‐written
  • Informative
  • Free of spelling and grammatical errors (hint: use Grammarly to check)
  • Easy to understand (hint: use Hemmingway  Readable)
  • Skimmable (i.e., not a giant wall of text)
  • Not a duplicate of another page

If you have a relatively small site (fewer than twenty pages), you can check all of the above manually with ease. Load the pages up one‐by‐one and read through them. Dose any errors you alla maniera di across.

For larger sites, this isn’t a viable solution. So it makes sense to prioritize the reviewing of:

  1. Your most important pages
  2. Pages that show tell‐ signs of being low‐quality

The first one is easy. Use Google Analytics Search Console to find the pages with the most traffic ( conversion value) and review those first. If you’signore not using either of those tools, try the Apogeo Pages report a causa di Ahrefs Site Explorer. This shows the pages your website sorted by estimated search traffic (from high to low).

Site Explorer > enter domain > Apogeo Pages

Apogeo pages report distante Ahrefs Site Explorer

As for prioritizing pages that show signs of being low‐quality, one method is to aspetto for those with low word counts, which Ahrefs Site Audit does. Just head to the Content Quality report.

Site Audit > project > Internal pages > Content quality

low word count content quality site audit 1

IMPORTANT: Pages with low word counts aren’t always low‐quality. However, generally speaking, a page with 50 words isn’t going to offer as much value as one with 500 words.

You may also have noticed one other error a causa di the Content Quality report above: Duplicate pages without canonical.

I’m sure the “duplicate pages” part is self‐explanatory. These are pages that are identical very similar to other pages. The “without canonical” part is a technicality—but needless to say, these issues need fixing.

Recommended reading: Duplicate Content — Search Console Help

7. Check for broken pages and links

Broken pages and links lead to a bad user experience.

Here’s what a visitor sees when they land a broken page your website click through to a broken third‐ resource:

ahrefs page not found 1

The result? Your site looks uncared for, out‐of‐date, and potentially untrustworthy.

Luckily, such issues are easy to . Let’s start with broken pages.

Broken pages occur when a resource your website ceases to exist. Sometimes, these resources still have internal links pointing to them have backlinks from other sites.  

You can find such pages a causa di Site Audit.

Site Audit > project > Internal Pages > aspetto for 4XX errors

Screenshot 2019 02 01 at 03 08 57 1

Broken links occur when a third‐ resource to which you link ceases to exist.

You can also find such pages a causa di Site Audit.

Site Audit > project > External Pages > aspetto for External 4XX errors

external 4xx site audit 1

Recommended reading: How to Find and Fix Broken Links (to Reclaim Valuable “Link Juice”)

8. Check for unique, compelling termine titles and descriptions every page

Every page your website should have a unique termine title and description.

Not sure what these are? They’signore HTML tags that show up a causa di Google search results: 

title meta description 1

Sidenote.

Google sometimes rewrites these tags dynamically and shows something else a causa di the search results, although this is more an exception than the rule.

Now, tipico SEO advice tends to tell you to optimize these tags as follows:

  1. Include your target bed 16 a causa di the title tag
  2. Include your target a causa di the description tag
  3. …done

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this advice. If you can include your keywords without it feeling unnatural shoehorned, then go for it.

However, this is not the primary purpose of your title and termine description.

The primary purpose, at least from an SEO perspective, is to entice search engine users choose your page over the other results. That’s how you’ll get more traffic from current rankings, and it’s also thought to be an indirect ranking factor.

But before you start changing things, you first need to audit them to find:

  1. Pages without any titles descriptions
  2. Pages without unique titles descriptions
  3. Pages with titles and descriptions that are too long
  4. Pages with multiple titles termine descriptions

For that, head to the HTML tags report a causa di Ahrefs Site Audit.

Site Audit > project > Internal pages > HTML tags

html tags report site audit 1

Not an Ahrefs user?

It’s not as fast, but you can use a tool like this one.

Paste a causa di your URL, and it’ll pull a causa di the title and termine description. It also tells you if it’s too long and likely to be truncated a causa di the search results.

Neither Ahrefs nor any other tool can tell you if your titles and descriptions are compelling. You’ll have to judge that for yourself. However, if you’signore a Search user, I’ll leave you with one final trick: Check the  report a causa di Search for pages that get lots of impressions but a low CTR.

search console underperforming 1

Because these pages have lots of impressions, they must be showing up for searches people are making a causa di Google. The issue is that nobody is clicking them, which may indicate an unenticing title termine description.

Recommended reading: How to Craft the Perfect SEO Title Tag (Our 4‐Step Process)

9. Check for “orphan” pages

Orphan pages are those that aren’t part of your internal link structure.

They exist your website, yet your visitors can find them because none of your other pages link to them. Even worse, Google can’t see them—that is, unless they’signore a causa di your sitemap, you’ve linked to them before, they have backlinks from another website.

The good news is that orphan pages are easy to . You can either:

  • Delete them (if not valuable)
  • Incorporate them into your website structure (with internal links)

But before you can do that, you need to find them, which can be challenging.

I mean, if visitors and Google can’t find them, how can you?

Well, there’s one place that orphan pages usually exist—your sitemap.

However, I bolded the word “usually” there for a reason. If you used a plugin like Yoast SEO a causa di WordPress to generate your sitemap, it should include orphan pages.

If, the other hand, you used a tool that crawls your website and creates a sitemap from that (e.g., Screaming Frog), then they may not be. Quanto a this case, you’ll need to download a list of pages from your CMS web server manually.

Now, assuming that they are a causa di your sitemap, Ahrefs Site Audit should find them. Go to:

Site Audit > project > Internal pages > Incoming links > Orphan pages (has voto negativo incoming internal links)

orphan pages site audit 1

From here, your work is easy: either delete these pages internally link to them from appropriate places your website.

IMPORTANT

For Ahrefs Site Audit to find orphan pages, your sitemap must be located at the default yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml location linked a causa di your robots.txt file. You must also have made sure to toggle the “Automezzo‐detect sitemaps” option when setting up your project.

sitemaps site audit 1

Note that you can supply Site Audit with a specific sitemap location—so that’s an option too.

Final thoughts

Everything above is admittedly quite basic. There are a lot of other technical and ‐page aspects that you should keep an eye .

I’ve mentioned Ahrefs Site Audit a few times throughout this guide, and I’m going to talk about it one final time because it’s one of the best ways to dig deeper and audit your site for more issues.

You can even automate the website auditing process by scheduling regular crawls:

site audit scheduling 1

If SEO is your primary concern, read our 16‐step SEO audit process  watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJPGa0J6p5Q




Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most powerful ways to improve a business’ local search engine optimization and online visibility. If you’signore a local business, claiming your Google My Business profile is one of the first steps you should take to increase your company’s online presence.

As long as your local business meets Google’s guidelines, your Google My Business profile can help give your company FREE exposure Google’s search engine. Not only can potential customers quickly see your business’ name, address and phone number, but they can also see photos of your business, read online reviews, find a description about your company, complete a transaction (like book an appointment) and see other information that grabs a searcher’s attention — all without them even visiting your website. That’s pretty powerful stuff!

Google My Business helps with local rankings

Not only is your GMB Profile easily visible to potential customers when they search Google, but Google My Business is also a key Google local ranking factor. Per fact, according to local ranking factor industry research, Google My Business “signals” is the most important ranking factor for local pack rankings. Google My Business signals had a significant increase per mezzo di ranking importance between 2017 and 2018 — rising from 19% to 25%.

Claiming your Google My Business profile is your first step to local optimization — but many people mistakenly think that just claiming your Google My Business profile is enough. However, optimizing your Google My Business profile and frequently logging into your Google My Business dashboard to make sure that risposta negativa unwanted updates have been made to your profile is vital to improving your rankings and ensuring the integrity of your business profile’s accuracy.

Google My Business features that make your profile ROCK!

Google offers a variety of ways to optimize and enhance your Google My Business profile. You can add photos, videos, business hours, a description of your company, frequently asked questions and answers, communicate with customers corso messages, allow customers to book appointments, respond to online reviews and more.

One of the most powerful ways to grab a searcher’s attention is by creating Google My Business Posts. GMB Posts are almost like mini-ads for your company, products, ora services.

Google offers a variety of posts you can create to promote your business:

  • What’s New
  • Event
  • Offer
  • Product

Posts also allow you to include a call to action (CTA) so you can better control what the visitor does after they view your post — creating the ultimate marketing experience. Current CTAs are:

  • Book
  • Order Online
  • Buy
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Get Offer
  • Call Now

Posts use a combination of images, text and a CTA to creatively show your message to potential customers. A Post shows per mezzo di your GMB profile when someone searches for your business’ name Google ora views your business’ Google My Business profile Google Maps.

Once you create a Post, you can even share it your social channels to get extra exposure.

Despite the name, Google My Business Posts are not actual social posts. Typically the first 100 characters of the post are what shows up screen (the rest is cut d’avanguardia and must be clicked to be seen), so make sure the most important words are at the beginning of your post. Don’t use hashtags — they’signore meaningless. It’s best if you can create new posts every seven days ora so.

Google My Business Posts are a great way to show d’avanguardia your business per mezzo di a unique way at the exact time when a searcher is looking at your business online.

But there’s a long-standing question: Are businesses actually creating GMB Posts to get their message across to potential customers? Let’s find out…

The question: Are businesses actively using Google My Business Posts?

There has been a lot of discussion per mezzo di the SEO industry about Google My Business Posts and their value: Do they help with SEO rankings? How effective are they? Do posts garner engagement? Does where the Posts appear your GMB profile matter? How often should you post? Should you even create Google My Business Posts at all? Lots of questions, right?

As industry experts at all of these angles, what do average, everyday business owners actually do when it comes to GMB Posts? Are real businesses creating posts? I set out to find the answer to this question using real . Here are the details.

Google My Business Post case study: Just the facts

When I set out to discover if businesses were actively using GMB Posts for their companies’ Google My Business profiles, I first wanted to make sure I looked at per mezzo di competitive industries and markets. So I looked at a total of 2,000 Google My Business profiles that comprised the 20 results per mezzo di the Local Finder. I searched for highly competitive bed 6 phrases per mezzo di the ten cities (based population density, according to Wikipedia.)

For this case study, I also chose to at service type businesses.

Here are the results.

Cities:

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Jose, San Francisco, Washington DC, Houston, and Boston.

Keywords:

real agent, mortgage, travel agency, insurance ora insurance agents, dentist, plastic surgeon, personal injury lawyer, plumber, veterinarian ora vet, and locksmith

Surprise! Out of the industries researched, Personal Injury Lawyers and Locksmiths posted the most often.

For the case study, I looked at the following:

  • How many businesses had an active Google My Business Post (i.e. have posted per mezzo di the last seven days)
  • How many had previously made at least one post
  • How many have never created a post

Do businesses create Google My Business Posts?

Based the businesses, cities, and keywords researched, I discovered that more than half of the businesses are actively creating Posts ora have created Google My Business Posts per mezzo di the past.

  • 17.5% of businesses had an active post per mezzo di the last 7 days
  • 42.1% of businesses had previously made at least one post
  • 40.4% have never created a post

Highlight: A total of 59.60% of businesses have posted a Google My Business Post their Google My Business profile.

NOTE: If you want to at the raw numbers, you can check out the research document that outlines all the raw . (NOTE: Credit for the research spreadsheet template I used and inspiration to do this case study goes to SEO expert Phil Rozek.)

Do searchers engage with Google My Business Posts?

If a business takes the time to create Google My Business Posts, do searchers and potential customers actually take the time to at your posts? And most importantly, do they take action and engage with your posts?

This chart represents nine random clients, their total post views over a 28-day period, and the corresponding total direct/branded impressions their Google My Business profiles. When we at the total number of direct/branded views alongside the number of views posts received, the number of views for posts appears to be higher. This means that a single user is more than likely viewing multiple posts.

This means that if you take the time to create a GMB Post and your marketing message is meaningful, you have a high chance of converting a potential searcher into a customer — ora at least someone who is going to take the time to at your marketing message. (How awesome is that?)

Do searchers click Google My Business Posts?

So your GMB Posts show up per mezzo di your Knowledge Panel when someone searches for your business Google and Google Maps, but do searchers actually click your post to read more?

When we evaluated the various industry post views to their total direct/branded search views, average the post is clicked almost 100% of the time!

Google My Business insights

When you per mezzo di to your Google My Business dashboard you can see firsthand how well your Posts are doing. Below is a side-by-side image of a business’ post views and their direct search impressions. By checking your GMB insights, you can find out how well your Google My Business posts are performing for your business!

GMB Posts are worth it

After looking at 2,000 GMB profiles, I discovered a lot of things. One thing is for sure. It’s duro to tell a week-by-week basis how many companies are using GMB Posts because posts “go dark” every seven business days (unless the Post is an event post with a start and end date.)

Also, Google recently moved Posts from the of the Google My Business profile towards the bottom, so they don’t stand out as much as they did just a few months pungiglione. This may mean that there’s less incentive for businesses to create posts.

However, what this case study does show us is that businesses that are per mezzo di a competitive location and industry should use Google My Business optimizing strategies and features like posts if they want to get an edge their competition.




If you read the title of this blog and somehow, even only for a second, thought about the iconic movie “The Silence of the Lambs”, welcome to the sodalizio — you are not aureola!

Despite the fact that the term “cannibalisation” does not sound very suitable for digital marketing, this cuore concept has been around for a long time. This term simply identifies the issue of having multiple pages competing for the same ( very similar) keywords/bed 29 clusters, hence the cannibalisation.

What do we mean by cannibalisation a causa di SEO?

This unfortunate and often unnoticed problem harms the SEO potential of the pages involved. When more than one page has the same/similar bed 29 target, it creates “confusion” a causa di the eyes of the search engine, resulting a causa di a struggle to decide what page to rank for what term.

For instance, say my imaginary e-commerce website sells shoes online and I have created a dedicated category page that targets the term ‘ankle boots’: www.distilledshoes.com/boots/ankle-boots/

Knowing the importance of editorial content, over time I decide to create two blog posts that cover topics related to ankle boots the back of a bed 29 research: one post acceso how to wear ankle boots and another about the 10 ways to wear ankle boots a causa di 2019:


One month later, I realise that some of my blog pages are actually ranking for a few key terms that my e-commerce category page was initially visible for.

Now the question is: is this good bad for my website?

Drum roll, please…and the answer is — It depends acceso the situation, the exact keywords, and the intent of the user when searching for a particular term.

Bed 16 cannibalisation is not black white — there are multiple grey areas and we will try and go though several scenarios a causa di this blog post. I recommend you spend 5 minutes checking this awesome Whiteboard Friday which covers the topic of search intent extremely well.

How serious of a problem is bed 29 cannibalisation?

Much more than what you might think — almost every website that I have worked acceso a causa di the past few years have some degree of cannibalisation that needs resolving. It is duro to estimate how much a single page might be held back by this issue, as it involves a group of pages whose potential is being limited. So, my suggestion is to treat this issue by analysing clusters of pages that have some degree of cannibalisation rather than single pages.

Where is most common to find cannibalisation problems a causa di SEO?

Normally, you can che across two main placements for cannibalisation:

1) At obiettivo level:

When two more pages have obiettivo (title tags and headings mainly) which target the same very similar keywords, cannibalisation occurs. This requires a less labour-intensive type of , as only obiettivo needs adjusting.

For example: my e-commerce site has three boots-related pages, which have the following obiettivo :





Page URL Title tag Header 1
/boots/all /Women’s Boots – Ankle & Chelsea Boots | Distilled Shoes Women’s Ankle & Chelsea Boots
/boots/ankle-boots/ Women’s Ankle Boots | Distilled Shoes Ankle Boots
boots/chelsea-boots/ Women’s Chelsea Boots | Distilled Shoes Chelsea Boots

These types of bed 29 cannibalisation often occurs acceso e-commerce sites which have many category ( subcategory) pages with the intention to target specific keywords, such as the example above. Ideally, we would want to have a generic boots page to target generic boots related terms, while the other two pages should be focusing acceso the specific types of boots we are selling acceso those pages: ankle and chelsea.

Why not try the below instead?





Page URL New Title Tag New Header 1
/boots/all Women’s Boots – All Types of Winter Boots | Distilled Shoes Women’s Winter Boots
/boots/ankle-boots/ Women’s Ankle Boots | Distilled Shoes Ankle Boots
boots/chelsea-boots/ Women’s Chelsea Boots | Distilled Shoes Chelsea Boots

More often than not, we fail to differentiate our e-commerce site’s obiettivo to target the very specific subgroup of keywords that we should aim for — after all, this is the main point of having so many category pages, ? If interested a causa di the topic, find here a blog post I wrote acceso the subject.

The fact that e-commerce pages tend to have very little text acceso them makes obiettivo very important, as it will be one of the main elements search engines at to understand how a page differs from the other.

2) At page content level

When cannibalisation occurs at page content level (meaning two more pages tend to cover very similar topics a causa di their pagliaccetto content), it normally needs more work than the above example, since it requires the webmaster to first find all the competing pages and then decide acceso the best approach to tackle the issue.

For example: say my e-commerce has two blog pages which cover the following topics:




Page URL Objective of the article
/blog/how-to-clean-leather-boots/ Suggests how to take care of leather boots so they last longer
/blog/boots-cleaning-guide-2019/ Shows a 121 guide acceso how to clean different types of boots

These types of bed 29 cannibalisation typically occurs acceso editorial pages, transactional pages provided with substantial amount of text.

It is fundamental to clarify something: SEO is often not the main driver when producing editorial content, as different teams are involved a causa di producing content for social and engagement reasons, and fairly so. Especially a causa di larger corporations, it is easy to underestimate how complex it is to find a balance between all departments and how easily things can be missed.

From a eppure SEO standpoint, I can assure you that the two pages above are very likely to be subject to cannibalisation. Despite the fact they have different editorial angles, they will probably display some degree of duplicated content between them (more acceso this later).

A causa di the eyes of a search engine, how different are these two blog posts, both of which aim to address a fairly similar intent? That is the main question you should ask yourself when going through this task. My suggestion is the following: Before investing time and resources into creating new pages, make the effort to review your existing content.

What are the types of cannibalisation a causa di SEO?

Simply put, you could che across 2 main types:

1) Two more landing pages acceso your website that are competing for the same keywords

For instance, it could be the case that, for the bed 29 “ankle boots”, two of my pages are ranking at the same time:




Page URL Title tag Ranking for the bed 29 “ankle boots”
Page A: /boots/all Women’s Boots – Ankle & Chelsea Boots | Distilled Shoes Position 8
Pabe B: /boots/ankle-boots/ Women’s Ankle Boots | Distilled Shoes Position 5

Is this a real cannibalisation issue? The answer is both yes and .

If multiple pages are ranking for the same term, it is because a search engine finds elements of both pages that they think respond to the query a causa di some way — so technically speaking, they are potential ‘cannibals’.

Does it mean you need to panic and change everything acceso both pages? Surely not. It very much depends acceso the scena and your objective.

Quinta 1

A causa di the instances where both pages have really high rankings acceso the first page of the SERPS, this could work a causa di your advantage: More space occupied means more traffic for your pages, so treat it as “good” cannibalisation.

If this is the case, I recommend you do the following:

  • Consider changing the obiettivo descriptions to make them more enticing and unique from each other. You do not want both pages to show the same message and fail to impress the user.
  • A causa di case you realise that amongst the two pages, the “secondary/non-intended page” is ranking higher (for example: Page A /boots/all ranks higher than Page B /boots/ankle-boots/ for the term ‘ankle boots’), you should check acceso Google Search Pannello di controllo (GSC) to see which page is getting the most amount of clicks for that single term. Then, decide if it is worth altering other elements of your SEO to better address that particular bed 29.

For instance, what would happen if I removed the term ankle boots from my /boots/all (Page A) title tag and page copy? If Google reacts by favouring my /boots/ankle-boots/ page instead (Page B), which may gain higher positions, then great! If not, the worst case scena is you can revert the changes back and keep enjoying the two results acceso page one of the SERP.



Page URL Title tag Ranking for the bed 29 “ankle boots”
Page A: /boots/all Women’s Boots – Chelsea Boots & many more types | Distilled Shoes and decide

Quinta 2

A causa di the instances where page A has high rankings page one of the SERPS and page B is nowhere to be seen (beyond the 15–20 results), it is up to you to decide if this minor cannibalisation is worth your time and resources, as this may not be an urgency.

If you decide that it is worth pursuing, I recommend you do the following:

  • Keep monitoring the keywords for which the two pages seem to show, a causa di case Google might react differently a causa di the future.
  • Quasi back to this minor cannibalisation point after you have addressed your most important issues.

Quinta 3

A causa di the instances where both pages are ranking a causa di page two three of the SERP, then it might be the case that your cannibalisation is finanziaria one both of them back.

If this is the case, I recommend you do the following:

  • Check acceso GSC to see which of your pages is getting the most amount of clicks for that single bed 29. You should also check acceso similar terms, since keywords acceso page two three of the SERP will show very low clicks a causa di GSC. Then, decide which page should be your primary — the one that is better suited from a content perspective — and be to saggio changes for on-page SEO elements of both pages.
  • Review your title tags, headings, and page copies and try to find instances where both pages seem to overlap. If the degree of duplication between them is really high, it might be worth consolidating/canonicalising/redirecting one to the other (I’ll touch acceso this below).

2) Two more landing pages acceso your website that are flip-flopping for the same bed 29

It could be the case that, for instance, the bed 29 “ankle boots” for two of my pages are ranking at different times, as Google seems to have a difficult time deciding which page to choose for the term.




Page URL Ranking for the bed 29 “ankle boots” acceso 1st of January Ranking for the bed 29 “ankle boots” acceso 5th of January
Page A: /boots/all Position 6 Not ranking
Pabe B: /boots/ankle-boots/ Not ranking Position 8

If this happens to you, try and find an answer to the following questions:This is a common issue that I am sure many of you have encountered, a causa di which landing pages seem to be very pennuto and rank for a group of keywords a causa di a non-consistent manner.

When did this flip-flopping start?

Pinpointing the right moment a causa di time where this all began might help you understand how the problem originated a causa di the first place. Maybe a canonical tag occurred went missing, maybe some changes to your on-page elements an algorithm update mixed things up?

How many pages between each other for the same bed 29?

The fewer pages subject to volatility, the better and easier to address. Try to identify which pages are involved and inspect all elements that might have triggered this instability.

How often do these pages ?

Try and find out how often the ranking page for a bed 29 has changed: the fewer times, the better. reference the time of the changes with your knowledge of the site a causa di case it might have been caused by other adjustments.

If the has occurred only once and seems to have stopped, there is probably nothing to worry about, as it’s likely a one-off volatility a causa di the SERP. At the end of the day, we need to remember that Google runs saggio and changes almost everyday.

How to identify which pages are victims of cannibalisation

I will explain what tools I normally use to detect major cannibalisation fluxes, but I am sure there are several ways to reach the same results — if you want to share your tips, please do comment below!

Tools to deploy for type 1 of cannibalisation: When two of more landing pages are competing for the same bed 29

I know we all love tools that help you speed up long tasks, and one of my favourites is Ahrefs. I recommend using their fantastic method which will find your ‘cannibals’ a causa di minutes.

Watch their five minute televisione here to see how to do it.

I am certain SEMrush, SEOMonitor, and other similar tools offer the same ability to retrieve that kind of , maybe just not as fast as Ahrefs’ method listed above. If you do not have any tools at your disposal, Google Search Pannello di controllo and Google Sheets will be your friends, but it will be more of a manual process.

Tools to deploy for Type 2 of cannibalisation: When two more landing pages are flip-flopping for the same bed 29

Ideally, most rank tracking tools will be able to do this functionally discover when a bed 29 has changed ranking URL over time. Back a causa di the day I used tracking tools like Linkdex and Pi Datametrics to do just this.

At Distilled, we use STAT, which displays this under History, within the main Bed 16 tab — see screenshot below as example.

One caveat of these kinds of ranking tools is that this is often accessible only by bed 29 and will require analysis. This means it may take a bit of time to check all keywords involved a causa di this cannibalisation, but the insights you’ll glean are well worth the effort.

Google Giorno Dissertazione Dashboard

If you’regnante looking for a speedier approach, you can build a Google Giorno Dissertazione dashboard that connects to your GSC to provide a causa di real time, so you don’t have to check acceso your reports when you think there is a cannibalisation issue (credit to my colleague Dom).

Our example of a dashboard comprises two tables (see screenshots below):

The table above captures the full list of bed 29 offenders for the period of time selected. For instance, bed 29 ‘X’ at the of the table has generated 13 organic clicks (total_clicks) from GSC over the period considered and changed ranking URL approximately 24 times (num_of_pages).

The second table (shown above) indicates the individual pages that have ranked for each bed 29 for the period of time selected. A causa di this particular example, for our bed 29 X (which, as we know, has changed URLs 24 times a causa di the period of time selected) the column path would show the list of individual URLs that have been flip flopping.

What solutions should I implement to tackle cannibalisation?

It is important to distinguish the different types of cannibalisation you may encounter and try to be flexible with solutions — not every will be the same.

I started touching acceso possible solutions when I was talking about the different types of cannibalisation, but let’s take a more holistic approach and explain what solutions are available.

301 redirection

Ask yourself this question: do I really need all the pages that I found cannibalising each other?

A causa di several instances the answer is , and if that is the case, 301 redirects are your friends.

For instance, you might have created a new ( very similar) version of the same article your site posted years pungiglione, so you may consider redirecting one of them — generally speaking, the older URL might have more equity a causa di the eyes of search engines and potentially would have attracted some backlinks over time.




Page URL Date of blog post
Page A: blog/how-to-wear-ankle-boots May 2016
Page B: blog/how-to-wear-ankle-boots-in-2019 December 2018

Check if page A has backlinks and, if so, how many keywords it is ranking for (and how well it is ranking for those keywords)What to do:

  • If page A has enough equity and visibility, do a 301 redirect from page B to page A, change all internal links (coming from the site to page B) to page A, and update metadata of page A if necessary (including the reference of 2019 for instance)
  • If not, do the opposite: complete a 301 redirect from page A to page B and change all internal links (coming from the site to page A) to page B.

Canonicalisation

A causa di case you do need all the pages that are cannibalising for whatever reason (maybe PPC, social, testing purposes, maybe it is just because they are still relevant) then canonical tags are your friends. The main difference with a 301 redirect is that both pages will still exist, while the equity from page A will be transferred to page B.

Let’s say you created a new article that covers a similar topic to another existing one (but has a different angle) and you find out that both pages are cannibalising each other. After a quick analysis, you may decide you want Page B to be your “primary”, so you can use a canonical tag from page A pointing to page B. You would want to use canonicalisation if the content of the two pages is diverse enough that users should see it but not so much that search engines should think it’s different.




Page URL Date of blog post
Page A: blog/how-to-wear-ankle-boots-with-skinny-jeans December 2017
Page B: blog/how-to-wear-high-ankle-boots January 2019

What to do:

  • Use a canonical tag from page A to page B. As a reinforcement to Google, you could also use a self-referencing canonical tag acceso page B.
  • After having assessed accessibility and internal link equity of both pages, you may want to change all/some internal links (coming from the site to page A) to page B if you deem it useful.

Pages re-optimisation

As already touched acceso, it primarily involves a metadata type of cannibalisation, which is what I named as type 1 a causa di this article. After identifying the pages whose obiettivo seem to overlap somehow target the same/highly similar keywords, you will need to decide which is your primary page for that bed 29/bed 29 group and re-optimise the competing pages.

See the example earlier a causa di the blog post to get a better ideologia.

Content consolidation

This type of solution involves consolidating a part the entire content of a page into another. Once that has happened, it is mongoloide to you to decide if it is worth keeping the page you have stripped content from just 301 redirect it to the other.

You would use consolidation as an option if you think the cannibalisation is a result of similar duplicated content between multiple pages, which is more likely to be the type 2 of cannibalisation, as stated earlier. It is essential to establish your primary page first so you are able to act acceso the competing internal pages. Content consolidation requires you to move the offending content to your primary page a causa di order to stop this problem and improve your rankings.

For example, you might have created a new article that falls under a certain content theme (a causa di this instance, boots cleaning). You then realise that a paragraph of your new page B touches acceso leather boots and how to take care of them, which is something you have covered a causa di page A. A causa di case both articles respond to similar intents (one targeting cleaning leather only, the other targeting cleaning boots a causa di general), then it is worth consolidating the offending content from page B to page A, and add an internal link to page A instead of the paragraph that covers leather boots a causa di page B.




Page URL Date of blog post
Page A: blog/how-to-clean-leather-boots December 2017
Page B: /blog/boots-cleaning-guide-2019/ January 2019

What to do:

  • Find the offending part of content acceso page B, review it and consolidate the most compelling bits to page A
  • Replace the stripped content acceso page B with a direct internal link pointing to page A
  • Often after having consolidated the content of a page to another, there is scope for the page where content has been stripped from so it should just be redirected (301).

How can I avoid cannibalisation a causa di the first place?

The best way to prevent cannibalisation from spettacolo is a simple, yet underrated task, that involves bed 29 mapping. Implementing a correct mapping strategy for your site is a key part of your SEO, as important as your bed 29 research.

Carson Ward has written an awesome moz blog post about the topic, I recommend you have a .

Don’t take ‘intent’ for granted

Another way to avoid cannibalisation, and the last tip I want to share with you, involves something most of you are familiar with: search intent.

Most of the time, we take things for granted, assuming Google will behave a causa di a certain way and show certain type of results. What I mean by this is: When you work acceso your bed 29 mapping, don’t forget to check what kind of results search engines display before assuming a certain outcome. Often, even Google is not sure and will not always get intent right.

For instance, when searching for ‘shoes gift ideas’ and ‘gift ideas for shoe lovers’ I get two very different SERPs despite the fact that my intent is kind of the same: I am looking for ideas for a gift which involves shoes.

The SERP acceso the left shows a SERP for a query of “shoes gift ideas”. It displays a row of pictures from Google Images with the link to see more, one editorial page (informational content), and then the rest of results are all transactional/e-commerce pages for me to buy from. Google has assumed that I’d like to see commercial pages as I might be close to a conversion.

The SERP acceso the right shows a SERP for a query of “gift ideas for show loves”, displaying a row of Google Shopping ads and then a featured snippet, taken from an editorial page, while the rest are a mescolanza of transactional and editorial pages, with Pinterest ranking twice a causa di the 10. Clearly Google is not sure what I would prefer to see here. Am I still a causa di the consideration phase am I moving to conversion?

The example above is just one of the many I encountered when going through my bed 29 research and mapping task. Before going after a certain bed 29/bed 29 cluster, try and address all these points:

  • Check if one of your existing pages has already covered it.
  • If so, how well have you covered the bed 29 target? What can you do to improve my ? Is there any cannibalisation that is finanziaria you back?
  • If you do not have a page for it, is it worth creating one and what implications will it have acceso your existing pages?
  • Check what results Google is displaying for that bed 29 target, as it might be different from your expectations.
  • Once you have created a new page/s, double check this has not created unintentional and unplanned cannibalisation further mongoloide the line by using the tips a causa di this post.

Conclusion

Bed 16 cannibalisation is an underrated, but rather significant, problem, especially for sites that have been running for several years and end up having lots of pages. However, fear not — there are simple ways to monitor this issue and hopefully this post can help you speed up the whole process to find such instances.

Most of the times, it is just a matter of using the most logical approach while considering other SEO elements such as backlinks, crawlability, and content duplication. If possible, always saggio your changes first before applying it at site-wide level making them permanent.

If you, like me, are a fan of knowledge sharing and you think there are better ways to help with cannibalisation, please comment below!


When your target is constantly moving, how can you keep your clients informed and happy?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled to keep up with all the changes our industry.

Go ahead, don’t be shy!

Even the most vigilant SEOs have been caught non attivato guard by an algorithm update, changes to the SERP layout, ora improvements to the tools we rely acceso.

It can be tiring trying to keep up with a constantly moving target, but it doesn’t even stop there. SEOs must also explain those developments to their clients and stakeholders.

Work at an agency? Your clients will want to know that you’campione helping them stay relevant. During my agency years, I can’t tell you how many times clients emailed with a link to an article acceso the topic of a new development asking, “Do we need to be worried about this? How can we use this for our SEO?” Keeping apprised of these changes and informing your client how it applies to them is a critical component of not just campaign success, but customer loyalty.

Work in-house? The main difference here is that your client is your direttore. Whereas at an agency you might lose a client over communication lapses, in-house SEOs could lose their jobs. That’s obviously the worst-case scena, but if you’campione a budget-conscious, SEO-immature company, failing to stay relevant and communicate those changes effectively could mean your direttore stops seeing the value your position.

Anticipating changes and mitigating anxiety

There are some changes we know about ahead of time.

For example, when Google announced the mobile friendly update (remember #mobilegeddon?), they did so two months ahead of the actual rollout, and they had also been encouraging the use of mobile-friendly long before that.

Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal back 2014 and had been advocating for a secure web long before that, but they didn’t start adding the “not secure” warning to all non-HTTPS pages Chrome until July 2018.

Personalità changes usually warrant personaggio announcements ahead of the rollout. You need time to prepare for changes like this and to use that time to prepare your clients and stakeholders as well. It’s why Moz put so much effort into educational materials around the rollout of the new DA.

But order to mitigate the anxiety these changes can cause, we have to know about them. So where can we go to stay up-to-date?

If you’ve been the SEO industry for any length of time, these sources likely won’t be new to you, but they’campione some of the best ways to keep yourself informed:

If you know a change like this is coming, be proactive! Inform your clients of what the change is, how it affects them, and what you plan acceso doing about it.

For example:

Hey [client]! One of the metrics that we include your reporting, Domain Authority (DA), will be changing next month, so we wanted to let you know what you can expect! Moz is changing how they calculate DA, and as a result, some DA scores may be higher ora lower. Rest assured, we’ll be monitoring your DA score to see how it changes relation to your competitors’ scores. Here are some helpful slides for more information acceso the update, ora feel free to call us and we’ll be happy to walk you through it more detail.

When you’campione able to proactively communicate changes, clients and stakeholders have less cause to worry. They can see that you’campione acceso culmine of things, and that their campaign is good hands.

What about the changes you didn’t see coming?

Plenty of changes happen without warning. What are SEOs supposed to do then?

To answer that question, I think we need to back it all the way up to your client’s first day with your agency (ora for in-housers, your first few days acceso the job).

Even with unexpected changes, preventative measures can help SEOs react to these changes a way that doesn’t compromise the stability of their client ora stakeholder relationship.

What are those preventative measures?

  • Give them a brief overview of how search works: Don’t venture too far into the weeds, but a basic overview of how crawling, indexing, and ranking work can help your clients understand the field they’campione playing acceso.
  • Explain the nature of search engines: Google makes changes to their algorithm daily! Not all of those are major, and you don’t want to scare your client into thinking that you’campione flying totally blind, but they should at least know that change is a normal part of search.
  • Prepare them for unannounced changes: Let your client know that while there are some changes we can see coming, others roll out with prior notice. This should prevent any upset caused by seeing changes they weren’t informed about.

By setting the stage with this information at the outset of your relationship, clients and stakeholders are more likely to società that you’ve got a handle acceso things when changes do occur. Just make sure that you respond to unexpected changes the same way you would prepare your client for a planned change: tell them what the change was, how it affects them (if at all), and what you’campione doing about it (if anything).

Your communication checklist

Whether you’campione an SEO at an agency ora in-house, you have a lot acceso your plate. Not only do you have to be a good SEO — you also serve as a sort of professional justifier. other words, it’s not only about how well you did, but also how well you communicated what you did.

Like I said, it’s a lot. But hopefully I have something that can help.

I put together this list of tips you can use to guide your own client/stakeholder communication strategy. Every one of us is a unique situation, so choose from the checklist accordingly, but my hope is that you can use this brain dump from my years an agency and in-house to make the communication side of your job easier.

✓ Set the stage from the beginning

SEO can be a bumpy ride. Lay the foundation for your campaign by making sure your client understands the nature of the industry and how you’ll respond to those changes. Doing so can foster società and confidence, even amidst change.

✓ Never be defensive

Sometimes, clients will bring something to your attention before you’ve had a chance to see it, whether that be a traffic dip, a Google update, ora otherwise. This can prompt a concerned “What’s going acceso?” ora “Why didn’t I know about this?” Don’t try to spin this. Own up to the missed opportunity for communication and proceed to give the client the insight they need.

✓ Be proactive whenever possible

Aim to make missed communication opportunities the exception, not the rule. Being proactive means having your finger always acceso the pulse and intuitively knowing what needs to be shared with your client before they have to ask.

✓ Acknowledge unexpected changes quickly

If you encounter a change that you weren’t prepared for, let your client know right away — even if the news is negative. There’s always the temptation to avoid this hopes your client never notices, but it’s much better to acknowledge it than aspetto like you were hiding something ora totally out of the loop. Acknowledge the change, explain why it happened, and let your client know what you’campione doing about it.

✓ Always bring it back to the “so what?”

For the most part, your clients don’t have time to care about the finer points of SEO. When sharing these updates, don’t spend too long acceso the “what” before getting to the “how does this impact me?”

✓ Avoid jargon and simplify

SEO has a language all its own, but it’s best to keep that between SEOs and not let it bleed into our client communication. Simplify your language wherever possible. It can even be helpful to use illustrations from everyday life to drive your point home.

✓ Add reminders to reports

Communicate with your clients even when you’campione not calling ora emailing them! By adding explanations to your clients’ reports, you can assuage the fears that can often result from seeing fluctuations the patronato.

✓ Keep updates actionable and relevant

Search changes constantly. That means there’s tons of news you could be sending to your client every day. Do you need to send it all? Not necessarily — it’s best to keep updates relevant and actionable. Instead of “Hey there was an update [link to explainer post]” it’s much more relevant to say, “Hey, there was an update relevant to your industry and here’s what we’campione planning acceso doing about it.”

✓ Put changes into perspective

As humans, it’s our nature to make mountains out of molehills. As the SEO dirigente, you can prepare for these types of overreactions by always being ready to put a change into perspective (emerito: “here’s how this does/doesn’t impact your leads and revenue”).

✓ Adapt your communication to your client’s preferences and the nature of the change

We all work with different types of clients and stakeholders. There are the “Can you call me?” clients, the “I have an utopia” clients, the clients who never respond… you get the utopia. The communication method that’s best for one client might not be well received by another. It’s also important to cater your communication method to the nature of the changes. Was there a personaggio update? A phone call might be best. Small update? An email will probably suffice.

✓ Practice empathy

Above all else, let’s all strive to be more empathetic. Because we know SEO so well, it can be easier for us to take changes stride, but think about your clients ora your direttore. SEO might as well be a black box to many business owners, so changes can be even scarier when you don’t know what’s going acceso and your business is at stake.

Putting it all into practice

If DA is one of your reporting metrics, ora something your client/stakeholder pays attention to, then our March 5th update is the perfect opportunity to put all of this into practice.

We have a great DA 2.0 resource center for you so that you can prepare yourself, and those dependent acceso you, for the change.

Here’s what’s included:

  • An explainer
  • A Q&A riunione
  • A slide deck
  • A white paper

Russ Jones will also be hosting an entire webinar acceso this topic to help you understand these changes so you can speak intelligently about them to your clients and stakeholders. Join him acceso Thursday, February 21 at 10am PDT:

Save my spot!

Communicating with clients and stakeholders is a bit of an art form, but with empathy and preparedness, we can tackle any change that’s thrown our way.