August 14

Rankshaper: helps you rank in Google for your keywords

Rankshaper: an SEO tool for every website. Instant [...]

An SEO tool for any website

Rankshaper is an SEO tool that lets you instantly see how to rank better in Google. Hands on suggestions on how to make your pages look better. Like the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, but for multiple keywords and for any HTML page. Our tool works on any website.


All that Rankshaper needs to get started is permission to access your Google Webmaster data (read-only).

  1. What keywords are you ranking for and which keywords are upcoming.
  2. Identify opportunities and get suggestions to act upon them.
  3. How to improve your pages and articles so that you will rank better for those keywords.
  4. How well is your Click Through Rate and what can you do next to improve that.

Our Tool plugs in to the worlds largest resource for SEO knowledge: Google Webmasters. This Google Tool gives you plenty of data to identify opportunities. But it’s an awful lot of information data. We make this data digestible and match it with the HTML that’s on your page. So that you have first hand insight and know what to do next. Our tool gives you the right suggestions on what you to do next to improve your search rankings.

June 20

10 Google Sheets Formulas Every SEO Should Know

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10 Google Sheets Formulas Every SEO Should Know
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Best Social Media Management company

If you need to get started with social media manag [...]

April 27

How to Get Thousands of Leads from Quora in Five Months - Sumo

The exact blueprint for driving traffic from Quora [...]
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SEOTonic – Leading SEO Company in India

SEOTonic is one of the most renowned as well as promising search engine optimization companies in India providing advanced SEO, SEM, PPC and SMO services at competitive prices.

March 29

7 Traits That REALLY Define High-Quality Content | WordStream

Why is most of your content still failing? Simple: [...]

7 Traits That REALLY Define High-Quality Content

Most of your content is DOA: Dead on Arrival (or maybe Donkey on Arrival).

Individuals, businesses, and brands are producing a ridiculously enormous amount of content every minute. That means your content is getting lost in the noise.

But wait. Every marketing expert ever agrees that the secret to content marketing success is creating quality content. And you're creating quality content, right?

So ... why are most of your content still failing?

Simple: Your definition of "quality content" is completely wrong.

Most marketers have bought into some fantasy that it's about attributes rather than statistics. They evaluate content "quality" based on traits like:

  • Length
  • Visual appeal
  • Spelling and grammar
  • Formatting
  • Readability
  • Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness
  • Overall "value"

No, no, no!

Although these content qualities are important in their own way, they don't actually define quality content!

So what really defines quality content? These seven things.

1. Quality Content Is Defined by Data

Always base your definition of quality content on data. Any other definition will be based on your biased views of your own work.

Data is the only objective way to tell whether your content is a unicorn or a donkey:

  • Unicorn content: This is your best, most magical content, performing among the top 3 percent of all your content. Unicorns rank well in Google (Position 1-3) and drive the most traffic, engagement, and leads.
  • Donkey content: This is your average and below average content. It makes up the remaining 97 percent of your content. But a donkey is still just a donkey – no magic here! Donkeys will never achieve unicorn status.

What's the difference between high engagement unicorns and low engagement donkeys?

Well, in SEO, it looks like this:

The unicorns (the top 10 percent) have 6x higher click-through rates (CTR) than donkeys (the bottom 10 percent).

On Facebook, it looks like this:

The unicorns are 10x more engaging than the donkeys.

If you look at the most popular pages on your blog or website, you'll see something like this:

For the WordStream blog, 10 percent of our stories generated more than 60 percent of our traffic in 2016.

You'll also see the difference between high engagement unicorns and low engagement donkeys with search conversion rates:

The top 10 percent of offers convert at least 5x better than donkeys – 11.45 percent or higher vs. 2.35 percent or lower (based on WordStream customer data).

You may have heard of the 80/20 rule (AKA the Pareto principle). It's been interpreted in marketing to mean that 80 percent of your profits come from 20 percent of your customers or 20 percent of your efforts lead to 80 percent of your results.

Well, here's a new law you need to know.

The Unicorn Power Law: most of your value comes from a tiny fraction of your content.

Your data will reveal that fraction of your content – the true top quality content.

2. Quality Content Achieves Marketing Objectives

You should define content quality based on how much you get out of it, not how much time and money you put into it.

Imagine you own a baseball team and need to add a hitter to your lineup. Are you going to sign a player based on his height or how handsome he is? Or how well he speaks? Or maybe how many social media followers he has?

NO! You want to score runs!

You would look at things that matter, like statistics – hits, home runs, on-base percentage, etc. You know, how the player actually performed on the field.

Great baseball players come in all shapes and sizes.

The same is true of quality content.

Unicorn content can be long or short, have zero images or 10, and have a couple spelling errors or totally perfect grammarization.

Ultimately, it's about whether your content achieves its marketing goal, whether that's generating traffic, rankings, engagement, or conversions.

3. Quality Content Ranks Well in Google

Google uses machine learning as part of its RankBrain algorithm, which is used on every search. One thing all machine learning systems have in common: they reward high engagement.

How does Google measure engagement? I believe it's through a combination of click-through rate (people are clicking on your content) and dwell time (people are spending time and/or engaging with your content).

CTR is important for SEO because, for every 3 percent increase or decrease in CTR your experience, your position can go up or down by one spot.

Meanwhile, data reveals how Google is slowly eliminating traffic to pages with low dwell time (the amount of time people spend on your website after clicking on your search result listing). We can't measure dwell time, but time on site is proportional to dwell time.

Look at WordStream's top pages before RankBrain:

Eight of our top 32 pages had below average time on site.

Here are our top pages after RankBrain:

Now only two pages are donkeys? Wow!

Google SERP positions used to be mainly determined by who had the most/best links and most relevant content. While those remain important ranking factors, now it's equally important that people engage with your content if you want to rank well.

4. Quality Content Has Remarkable CTR

Before Google used machine learning as an organic search ranking signal, Google used machine learning in AdWords (they also use it for the Google Display Network, Gmail Ads, and YouTube ads).

If your AdWords ad has a higher Quality Score, you pay less and your ad appears more prominently; if your ad has a lower Quality Score, you pay more and your ad impression share is much lower.

What is the most important AdWords Quality Score signal? A remarkable click-through rate.

Facebook and Twitter both copied the AdWords idea. These social advertising platforms also reward high engagement content with much lower costs per engagement and more visibility. Low engagement content is penalized, which makes promoting junk content very expensive.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter incentivize high engagement content. If your content doesn't make lots of people click, then it isn't quality content.

5. Quality Content Has Lots of Social Media Engagement

We just briefly covered social media ads, but what about organic engagement on Facebook? Well, Facebook also uses machine learning to reward engagement. It works like this:

This is why fake news thrived on Facebook. It was all about engagement.

People clicked on, shared, and commented on the fake news because it validated their existing biases, not because it was "quality content." Facebook's algorithms favored content popularity over authority, which helped the stories spread to more peoples' news feeds.

Obviously, fake news = bad. We're totally against it. But you can learn from it.

To capture the attention of social media users you need content that triggers an emotional response. Only content that achieves high engagement on social media can truly be called quality.

6. Quality Content Converts

Quality content has higher conversion rates. If you can get people to click, it's more likely they'll ultimately convert, whether it's signing up for a webinar, filling out a registration form, or buying a product or service.

If you want more people to click, increasing brand affinity is the best way to do it. People who know your brand are more likely to choose you over brands they've never heard of. 

7. Quality Content Does Well on Every Channel

Unicorns are the pinnacle of quality content.

Some content might do well on one channel. But unicorns do well on every channel, whether it's SEO, CRO, PPC, social (paid and organic), or email.

Unicorn content does well on social media and tends to rank and convert well; content that ranks well in organic search tends to have high engagement on social media and convert well, and so on.

Conversely, content that fails in one channel is likely to fail in another. Content that fails to rank well in organic search won't have high engagement on social media and it will have a terrible conversion rate.

At the heart of unicorn, content is a truly remarkable, engaging, and inspiring idea. So if you want your marketing – and your company – to be more successful, you need to come up with better ideas.

Promoting a donkey won't turn it into a unicorn. You'll only waste time and money.

Instead, focus all your efforts on promoting your powerful and valuable unicorns. Promote your unicorns on every channel when you find them to amplify their impact by 100x or even 1000x and drive even more traffic, engagement, and leads.

What REALLY Defines Quality Content

Content marketing is an unfair game. If you want to win you need to stop relying on your gut (which is really just your opinion and, by nature, biased) and look at unbiased statistics.

Content marketing is about output, not input!

Stop looking at content attributes. Start looking at data to find your truly high-quality content. Start optimizing for engagement and you'll find huge content wins.

When you find that super rare unicorn content, capitalize on it! Leverage the heck out of it on every channel to maximize your marketing ROI.


Its really amazing blog with very much helpful information, thank you so much for writing this great blog here for us.

Leave a comment

March 29

15 Link Types & How to Build Them - Search Up

15 Link Types & How to Build Them

March 29

What we learned about Long Tail; by analyzing 1.4 Billion keywords

What we learned about Long Tail; by analyzing 1.4 [...]
Distribution of keywords by length

It’s generally assumed that the majority of Google searches have 3+ words in them.

But what is the actual distribution of all searches by their length?

Pretty cool, right?

One-word keywords account for only 2.8% of all the keywords people search for (in the United States).

Distribution of keywords by monthly search volume

The next thing we studied was the popularity of all keywords in our database.

The following pie chart shows the distribution of all the keywords in our database by their average monthly search volume:

This is where you see the “long tail” start shaping itself.

As it turns out, 96.54% of all search queries in the US have less than 50 searches per month.

Keyword length vs Search volume

After we studied the length of keywords and their search volume, it was time to study the relation between the two.

I was keen to learn how many one-word keywords had miserable search volume, and how many keywords with 5+ words were insanely popular.

To study that, we distributed all keywords into 8 buckets by their monthly search volume and looked at the percentage of keywords of different lengths in each of these buckets:

Looks pretty nice, right?

Clearly, there’s a very strong correlation between the length of the keyword and its search volume (which was expected).

But, at the same time, our data shows that “length in words” is not necessarily a prerequisite of a “long-tail keyword.”

9.3% of keywords with a search volume over 1M have 3+ words. Here are some examples:

  • star wars the force awakens (1,320,000)
  • martin luther king jr. day (990,000)
  • fantastic beasts and where to find them (721,000)
  • why is there a leap day? (646,000)
  • who invented the mechanical television (596,000)
  • rick and morty season 3 (567,000)
  • what day is mother’s day 2016? (513,000)

12.7% of keywords with a search volume of 0 to 19 have less than 2 words. Here are some examples:

  • am254
  • anii80
  • animacrack
  • schould
  • schpoology
  • rajajooga
  • rajaprasong
  • zipsnipcutter
  • zirkelmagier
  • zs2015

(zipsnipcutter is a fun one, you should check it out)

A lot of people define long-tail keywords as those that have 3+ words in them:

Well, as you can clearly see from the numbers and examples above, longer keywords are not necessarily less popular.

In fact, we also studied the “popularity” of each length group, by summing up the search volumes of all keywords in it.

And got this:

So it looks like there’s no specific length that would drastically outperform all others.

The “Long Tail” of the “Search Demand Curve”

The term “long-tail keywords” comes from the “long tail” of the so-called “search demand curve.”

In raw data from our 1.4 billion database, that search demand curve looks like this:

In the “head” of the curve, we have a few keywords with an extremely high search volume. But they hardly account for even 10% of all searches.

In case you’re wondering, those two 100M+ keywords are “youtube” and “facebook.”

And at the “tail” of the curve, we have a monstrous pile of keywords with miserable search volume. But they account for almost 40% of all searches.

To actually see this long tail on a graph, we need to plot all our keywords on the X-axis in the order of decreasing monthly search volume.

The real graph wouldn’t look very pretty because of its scale, so we’ve created a slightly modified visual representation instead:

How to take advantage of the long tail

So roughly around 40% of all searches are coming from billions of long-tail keywords that have less than 50 searches per month.

There should be a way to use this to your advantage, right?

Well, there is such a way!

Look at this page, which ranks #3 for the keyword “website traffic”:

The search volume of the keyword “website traffic” is almost 10,000 searches per month. So if you rank #3 for it, you can expect about 10% of that traffic at best, which is only 1,000 visitors per month.

But Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer shows that this page is bringing almost 7,000 visitors per month. And this traffic is generated by nearly 600 keywords that it ranks for in organic search results.

That is long-tail traffic in all its glory.

Let’s put the URL of this page in Site Explorer and see all these long-tail keywords that it ranks for:

It looks like people invent hundreds of peculiar ways to ask pretty much the same question. Google understands it and ranks exactly the same page for all these search queries.

So by looking at the search volume of an individual keyword, you can’t make a good prediction of the total search traffic potential of your page. You have to examine the top-ranking pages and see how much search traffic they are generating from long tail.

The same principle applies to researching the keywords your competitors rank for.

If you look at the best keywords that send traffic to, you probably wouldn’t pay attention to the keyword “how do websites make money” because it has only 800 searches per month:

But if you look at which pages send them the most traffic from search, you’ll see this:

This page is bringing them a ton of highly targeted search traffic, all because of the numerous long-tail keywords it ranks for.

Think long tail

I’m pretty sure that most of the takeaways from our research didn’t come as a surprise for you. They’re quite intuitive, after all.

But, at the same time, I see way too many people overlooking the power of long tail and focusing on search volumes of individual keywords (as if it’s 2010).

So let me know if you had an “AHA” moment while reading this post, and if you’re now going to rethink your SEO strategy with long-tail keywords in mind.

', click: function(api, options){ api.simulateClick(); api.openPopup('googlePlus'); } }); }); jQuery('.facebook-bottom-14806').each(function(){ var self = this; jQuery(this).sharrre({ share: { facebook: true }, enableHover: false, template: '', click: function(api, options){ api.simulateClick(); api.openPopup('facebook'); } }); }); jQuery('.twitter-bottom-14806').each(function(){ var self = this; jQuery(this).sharrre({ share: { twitter: true }, buttons: { twitter: {via: 'ahrefs', related: 'ahrefs'}}, enableHover: false, template: '', enableTracking: true, click: function(api, options){ api.simulateClick(); api.openPopup('twitter'); } }); }); jQuery('.linkedin-bottom-14806').each(function(){ var self = this; jQuery(this).sharrre({ share: { linkedin: true }, enableHover: false, template: '', enableTracking: true, click: function(api, options){ api.simulateClick(); api.openPopup('linkedin'); } }); }); });

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  • Absolutely true.

    On one of my sites, I targeted a keyword with 480 searches per month.

    Guess what?

    That article brings in 200–400 visitors PER DAY thanks to all the long tail variations. 

    Thanks for the awesome article ðŸ™‚

  • Nice post!

    Any chance you might be able to give us a list of the most searched for strings, in order of number of words? eg 1: weather, 2: donald trump, 3: youtube to mp3. I’m curious for what 10 or 11 would be. What are the longest phrases that large volumes of people search for?

    (A top 3 or top 10 list for each set would also be great… ha ha.)

  • The evolution of longtails come from the fact that people are now more comfortable in searching for exactly what they want on search engines. Somehow, there is also a trust factor in search engines that is not there before. This gives us business owners plenty of opportunities to meet our customer needs.

    • I agree with this 100%. I know that as I have become a more sophisticated/confident searcher, I’m a lot more comfortable using much longer search queries. I’ve also noticed in the last couple of years the results have gotten much better, whereas in the past they might have had no result.

  • Yes Tim, all i wonder is why you ahrefs blog get so little organic traffic (100k according to Ahrefs, 300k according to similarweb) with such a good content. your contents rock all over the web. great job

  • Tim, hi.

    It’s a great post. He say about importence long tail keyword in digital marketing. I live in Belarus and make blog for russian speaking peoples. 

    We have no similar analyze in our internet erea. 

    Thank for your case study.

    Best regards, Nick.

  • I wonder how many searches “zipsnipcutter” has after this article. Maybe check it now and after 2–3 months and update me/us?

  • Great article! I just wonder how I should do onpage-seo for a few hundret long tail keywords on one page. Do you have any hint?

    • yeah, I guess we need to write another guide about this. But tbh — there’s no “bulletproof formula” that is guaranteed to work 100% of time. I’d go with experience / gut feeling / best judgement / user feedback / and other things along these lines ðŸ™‚

  • Great insights. I’ve started producing longer more in-depth articles for this very reason. But then you have to balance long informative articles that rank for a ton of things, or shorter my concise articles that perfectly answer a search query and is more relevant.

    • amazing question… and the best part is that it’s the question that equally bothers Google too. Do they rank a more general article for that term or do they go for a shorter but more specific piece.

      I’m sure as machine learning advances, everything will depend on what people want. If Google sees that for this particular search query people prefer shorter and very specific answer — so be it. But if they see that searches are far more satisfied if they’re shown a bigger picture — that’s what will rank.

      So my advice — get in the heads of people, searching for that specific thing. What will satisfy them best? A short and detailed answer? Or a bigger picture with extra detail?

  • “The search volume of the keyword “website traffic” is almost 10,000 searches per month. So if you rank #3 for it, you can expect about 10% of that traffic at best, which is only 1,000 visitors per month.” — I as a user of google would say that I will look into the content of the first three pages and see who contains the information I need and the user-friendliness of the website.

  • Great post, as always. The challenge is to convince clients to focus on the (very) long tail. Most business really just come up with their main short tail keywords and that’s all they want to rank for ^^

  • Very interesting. One thing that makes me curious as a non-professional, but tangled into world of SEO:
    So is it better to rank for hundreds of unpredictable long-tail keywords, or to invest more into improving domain rating and on-page SEO? I would go for this second option, but I can see there are multiple offers in the web, that are trying to automatically spam website with crappy links for millions of long tail keywords.
    Anyway, nice research, I’m loking forward into more such materials ðŸ˜‰

    • hey @jakubcharkiewicz:disqus , actually it’s almost impossible “to rank for hundreds of unpredictable long-tail keywords” if you’re not “improving domain rating and on-page SEO” ðŸ™‚

      The trick of taking advantage of the long tail is all about picking the right topics (that have the long tail potential) and creating the kind of content, that Google will love (in terms of detail, relevancy and backlinks).

      Hope that makes sense ðŸ™‚

  • Glad I ran into this article. Live to longtail one more day.
    Lovin these stats. Now I can move forward knowing that there is some truth behind what I felt in my heart for a long time. 

  • Great stuff Tim — thanks!

    Isn’t this Google’s semantic search in all its glory?

    One query I have on all this though… There is no doubt that the long-tail keywords as a whole entity are smashing it. But since there are 49 million of them, what are the chances of picking the right long-tail keywords?

    In fact, what percentage of the 49 million actually do hit the jackpot? By ‘jackpot’ I’m simply referring to examples like David’s below, with 200–400 visitors per day’.

  • Great post but â€¦

    With mobile being already more that 50% of the traffic, and taking into account that when we search on mobile devices we probably try to use less terms, I wonder if results would differ segmenting by device.

    Also, Google’s suggest has a great impact on the search terms, I wish google would allow to understand if the query was 100% written by the user or was modified by Google’s suggest.

    An my last point is about voice search and conversational search. 

    Voice search is probably going to change the business 180º, users are going to feel save about using very very long tail keywords searches, how is google going to pass that information back to the advertisers?

    How about conversational searches?, when people search for “restaurants in chicago” and then after results are shown the users complements the search with “italian vegetarian”

    is that 2 searches? is that one very long search? “restaurants in chicago italian vegetarian”

    The world of search is going to change so much so fast! Be prepared!

    • Great point about mobile. But remember ‘long tail’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘long keyword’. I agree it would be interesting to segment by device and perhaps voice vs word

    • love the comment, Enrique. I guess you won’t be surprised that I don’t have the answers for you. All I can promise it that here at Ahrefs we’ll try to keep our hand on the pulse of what’s happening and whenever we see something interesting — we’ll share it with you guys ðŸ™‚

  • Shouldn’t we be using the term ‘keyphrase’ instead of ‘keyword’?

  • awesome post & study as always. the sad truth is that many SEOs out there (even from big agencies) still charge clients by individual keywords with high search volumes :D, which to me is a shame. Think long tail. Long tail gives us fantastic idea about search pattern/topics to optimise too!

  • Great post, Tim. I completely agree with the takeaway, namely that digital marketers need to incorporate long-tail keywords into their content. I have my own success story to share: I was unsatisfied with the traffic that a certain post was getting. The post, which is about French curse words, was better than the other content out there on the same topic (in my completely unbiased and totally objective analysis, of course!). Anyway, I did a rewrite and incorporated a few variants of my keyphrase, and the results have been great. This one page ranks for over 300 keywords, traffic to the page is up 300%, and Google now displays it in featured snippets and image packs for certain keywords. Nice!

  • Nice post! Two things I wonder about:
    1) Only one of those keywords has a search volume > 1M:
    star wars the force awakens (1,320,000)
    martin luther king jr. day (990,000)
    fantastic beasts and where to find them (721,000)
    why is there a leap day? (646,000)
    who invented the mechanical television (596,000)
    rick and morty season 3 (567,000)
    what day is mother’s day 2016? (513,000)

    2) Those keywords are… not helpful for any English site to rank for:

    That brings me to the question: how do you guys put together your keyword database? 


  • WOW! This is a gold mine. Thank you for sharing this data. 

    From my experience long tail is great for SEO but it is even better for results (whether results are sales or some other metric). 

    Also, your article did the job and I’m going to be checking out your Ahrefs product ðŸ˜‰

March 23

Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing Services - offers marketing services [...]

March 08

Link Building for Your Startup

Here are various SEO hacks that you can use to pus [...]

Link Building for Your Startup

The Wow-Score shows how engaging a blog post is. It is calculated based on the correlation between users’ active reading time, their scrolling speed and the article’s length.
Learn more

Link Building for Your Startup

In a world where nine out of ten startups fail, there are still loopholes that can be used to trigger your startup’s success. If the performance of your brand new business depends on its internet presence, then identifying quick wins can solve many issues.

Being visible on the Web means appearing on the first results page, since 75 percent of users don't scroll past the second page.

There are various SEO hacks that you can use to push your way forward. However, launching a startup means having to operate your business with few resources.

So what's the most cost-efficient and relatively time-saving way to get your site on Google's first page with limited resources? Link building is the answer. 

SEMrush recently held a webinar with link-building expert and entrepreneur Jon Quinton, the owner of Overdrive Digital. Jon shared some strategic startup hacks and personal insights on link building. The webinar itself is online, so you can easily access Jon's presentation on the freelance way. Basically, the path to link-building success, if you are new to the business, is:

The SEMrush team received many questions addressed to Jon, and we asked him to elaborate on the topic while answering some of them.

How does one begin building links from scratch?

Starting from scratch can often seem pretty daunting, and it can be tricky figuring out where to start.

The most helpful exercise I’ve found is to start by jotting down a list of ideas, mainly focusing on things you’re confident can be executed quickly. This could include looking at current business relationships to see if a link can be gained, looking at any PR opportunities, or reviewing your competitors to see if there are any quick wins you can take advantage of.

Going through this process is a helpful way of getting some ideas going and focusing the mind on what you might want to get started with first.

What are your tips for building links with very limited resources and time?

I’d say forget about big content ideas and anything that’s going to be overly complex. Often, there’s at least a handful of links you can build pretty quickly with no content at all. If you decide you do need to build some content, then focus on things you can do with as little time as possible, while still generating content that people will want to read, reference and share.

As an example, I’ve picked up quite a few links in the past by recording interviews with influential people, and then promoting the content on social. For the sake of a 30-minute phone call and paying for the recording to be transcribed, it’s very little effort on my part, but it also happens to produce a genuinely interesting and unique piece.

Beyond the above, I’d highly recommend looking at what aspects of your link building you can outsource and bring in some outside help on. For example, building an outreach list can be extremely time-consuming, but outsourcing that side can be a cost-effective way of getting a good head start.

What is your general SEO process?

Over time, there are a number of principles that have remained true. Developing an understanding of what keywords to target and ensuring your site is accessible to search engines is an obvious place to start.

In general, my first step is to get the house in order, and then move on to promoting the site through content and link building.

Ultimately, if you haven’t got the basics right, then no matter how many links you build you’re never going to maximize the site’s potential for traffic or revenue.

What are your thoughts on paid link acquisition?

Getting paid link building right and not causing yourself future issues is now harder than trying to build links in a long-term way. I have no moral issues with paid link building (as some do), but I do think it requires its own skill set to do it right. There’s also a huge gray area over what constitutes a paid link, for example would you consider a product review to be a paid link?

I would say that unless you’re confident that you can pay for links in a way that’s undetectable, then avoid doing it and concentrate on other ways to attract links.

How do you get links from high-authority domains if you don't pay for them?

The trick is to think like a PR and building an understanding of what journalists on your target sites want.

My approach has always been to get links based on the merit of the content I’m offering alone, and I have never found this to be an issue. In theory, it’s a simple switch between putting your money into the placement vs. putting your money into producing a piece of content that a journalist will want to write about.

I understand the proposal process for getting backlinks in general — there are tons of tools and info online. But, if you could just offer some tips, that would help as I think a lot of people struggle with this sometimes.

Firstly, I don’t think there’s a secret formula. If you’re going to reach out to journalists or site owners, then you really need to consider what they’re going to want or need. In short, put yourself in their shoes.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you’re pitching your content to a publisher, then I would definitely put some time into answering the following questions:

·  Which journalist is going to be most receptive to your pitch based on previously published stories?

·  What assets (if any) do they tend to feature in their articles? Do they even use third party content?

·  What could you do to build a relationship before offering your content? What value could you add?

·  How can you concisely explain what’s in it for them? Why should they consider your offer?

When you reach out in an attempt to get a backlink, do you try to pitch a specific anchor (an optimized anchor) or do you leave it up to the other site’s owner to decide how to link to you?

I used to spend a lot of time managing the outreach process to ensure I got the best possible mix of anchor text; however, since Penguin I’ve tended to be as ‘hands off’ as possible. This tends to result in a natural mix of anchor texts as the decision is in the site owner’s hands.

Have you had success building natural backlinks via infographics? What about video content?

Yes, and these can still be really effective if used in the right way. I’ve found a far better approach is not to suddenly decide you need an infographic or video, but first setting your sites on what you want to achieve, and what topics are going to work best.

You can then make a sensible decision on what format is going to work. As an example, I’ve been working with a yoga company to research and formulate an ongoing strategy (note: I didn’t put a link in!), and a big part of what we’re looking at is content.

In this case, a video is so suited to teaching people how to do yoga. How could you do that so effectively via an infographic? It just wouldn’t work out so well, and it would end up being far harder to communicate the message.

To tune in or sign up for our forthcoming webinars, check out our Webinars’ page.

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March 08

39 Hacks to Score White Hat Backlinks for an Online Business in 2017

39 ways to score white hat backlinks that still wo [...]

39 Hacks to Score White Hat Backlinks for an Online Business in 2017

Looking for white hat backlinks?

You came to the right post.

Link building and outreach is still the backbone of SEO – without high-quality backlinks, there won’t be organic traffic. To help you out we collected 39 techniques to generate white hat backlinks that still work in 2017.

Quality over quantity.

A futile effort or your best return on investment is what you make out of link building. It’s is not black or white.

For every tactic you tell me is good, I can show you how it could be bad. For every tactic you tell me is wrong, I can find a scenario where it could be right.
– Eric Ward, author of the “Ultimate Guide to Link Building”

With the rise of organic tactics and holistic SEO, more and more marketers will focus on creating meaningful connections. More SEOs will steer away from shameless promotion and focus on helping people be smarter, happier, richer.

This post contains 39, no-BS evergreen link building tactics that still work in 2017, and guaranteed to get you white hat backlinks. Because why fixing something that already works?

As simple as they are, you still have to make them actually work by applying some common sense:

  • Be relevant. Focus on opportunities that are more targeted, rather than using the spray and pray approach.
  • Create a connection with your prospects. Don’t drop the bomb before you even had said “hi”.
  • Don’t promote – serve. Respect is key.
  • Kill them with kindness when you get rejected. Because you will get rejected. Especially if you’re just starting out with link building.

This post should act as a quick reference for to the best ways to get white hat backlinks. Brainstorm with them, jot down the tactics you like and get to work.

Let’s cut to the chase.

The Low Hanging Fruits

These strategies will help you to get white hat backlinks faster than getting a dog out for a walk. No reason not to use them.

1. Internal Linking

Yes, that’s right. Internal linking is something most people overlook, but internal linking is big. Not only it helps you transfer link juice through your pages, but you have a complete control of the links. It also creates a natural link profile and helps Google crawl your site quickly.

Note: Be careful with using targeted keywords in your site-wide links, as Google might treat this as a spam factor.


2. Friendly Blogrolls

Ask your friends, employees and colleagues to put a link in their “Friends” blogroll section.

Note: Blogroll Etiquette
It’s an unwritten rule in the blogosphere that if a blogger puts a link to your site in his blogroll, you should add that blog’s link on your own site.

3. Ask for Credit

Whether you run an SEO agency, or you’re a freelancer, you should ask for credit from your clients or partners.

For example, at WooGuru, we ask our clients if it’s OK to put “WooCommerce support by WooGuru” in the footer of their website.

The best time to ask for this link is when a client is at his peak of happiness. Also, make it easy for them. Put the link on their site yourself or provide an embeddable HTML snippet with the link.

4. Ask Your Suppliers and Distributors

If you’re buying products or services from someone, ask them to link to your site. Since you’re already paying them (although not for the link itself) your suppliers tend to be much more likely to link back to you, as they want to see you succeed.

5. Create Message Board Signatures

Include a link to the site in your forum signature.

Although mostly “no-follow”, these links can bring a decent traffic to a site, and also, help you keep up with your natural link profile.

Directories and Resources

6. Resource Pages

Another old-school easy way to get links. Just use Google search parameters like:

  • “keyword” + list,
  • “keyword” + resources,
  • “keyword” + tips,
  • “keyword” + links,
  • “keyword” + inurl: links.

Depending on the vertical of your business, you should find at least a dozen solid link opportunities.

More on the topic:

7. Directories

Submit your site to niche-specific directories, blogger directories like AllTop or local business directories like GoldenPages.

Be very careful with general web directories, as some of them are ridden with low-profile links and you don’t want to associate your site with them.

An easy way to track if a directory is fine is by using the Moz Spam Score.

Read more:

8. Paid Directories

Some premium directories that will ask you to pay to list your site on their site. The problem with them is it’s hard to distinguish which ones are worth the money.


9. Web Design Galleries

This type of directories deserves a place on their own because you can get some pretty serious traffic from them. This tactic works best if you have a unique, innovative design.

Use a service like CSS Gallery list to get your site submitted to all web design galleries for 50 bucks.

10. Startup Directories

There’s a number of startup-related directories that let you create your company profile. To name a few: Angel List, Crunchbase, and BetaList (if your startup is still in pre-launch stage).

Resource: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Startup Listed Online

Content-based Opportunities

These link-building tactics involve creating content to get a link.

11. Participate in Round-ups

Thought leaders, experts, and influencers roundups are an excellent way to build credibility in your field and get a link. Of course, you must know a thing or two about your niche to get featured in them.

The important thing to note is that once you participate in few roundups, blog authors will start approaching you instead of you having to go to them. Almost every blogger wants to write a round-up post at some stage in their blog’s life, and the easiest targets are usually the people who are already participating in round-ups.

Read more: Blogger Outreach – How To Get On 158 Blogs In 14 Months

12. Create Round-ups

This tactic works the same way as the previous one, except this time you’re putting together the expert roundup.

Reach out to influencers in your field and ask them to contribute. Everybody wants to look good among other well-respected people. Once you put the round-up live, you can simply ask them to share or link to your post.

More on the topic:

13. Create video tutorials and share them on forums

Most bloggers share their tutorials on forums either wholly or link to them. Linking doesn’t work that often since moderators remove those. Sharing an entire tutorial gives them little incentive to come back to your site.

The thing that I have seen working time and again is sharing video tutorials. Branded with your blog’s name, with an outro slate providing a link back to your blog, these videos work magic in bringing visitors to your site.

Video tutorials are often sticked to the relevant categories and sends a nice trickle of traffic long after you’ve stopped promoting.

The additional advantage is that there is no problem sharing an internal forum thread elsewhere on the forum. You can always prop up the thread if it’s relevant to the discussion.

This technique works better and requires more effort than any other forum promotion technique that you might have heard.

For the Internet marketing niche the best forums for this would be Warrior Forum, Black Hat Forum etc.

14. Guest Blogging

Pitch bloggers with an idea for a blog post and ask them if they’re happy to publish it.

If you’re just starting out with guest blogging, you will find better luck using one of the guest blogging networks like BloggerLinkUp and


15. Offer Content Upgrades

These tactics involve offering content upgrades like eBooks, reports, infographics, etc. to other sites.

The reason content upgrades work so well is because:

  1. you can provide something exclusive for the site you’re pitching
  2. it’s much more scalable than guest posting

Let’s say you wrote a big article on cats health. You can re-package the whole post as an eBook and offer it as an exclusive resource to a relevant site.

Read more:

16. Write Testimonials

Nothing makes a person happier than seeing his clients using their products. Endorse the products you use and ask them to share your testimonial on their websites.

More on the topic: How to get featured to 750,000 readers (and get your first 250 subscribers)

17. Write Case Studies

This tactic is the same as the previous tip, except you go for more details and write a complete case study, describing how you use the product/service.


18. Comment on Blogs

With blog comments, you can get some no-follow links, which is perfectly fine but you can also find a decent amount of blogs that allow do-follow comments.

Read more:

19. Participate in Communities

Niche communities are a great place to bring more traffic to your site and get some links (usually no-follow). These could be everything from subreddits to smaller hubs like for online marketing.

20. Answer Questions

Answering questions on Quora and Yahoo Answers not only brings traffic to your site but also helps you build a credibility as a thought leader in your business vertical.

Read more:

21. Inbound Link-building

This works in a similar way to the round-up tactic except on a much bigger scale.
Great examples are StartupStash and the Glossary of Internet Terms.

StartupStash has over 1426 white hat backlinks from 185 domains:

22. Mention Influencers in Your Content

This is the classic ego-bait tactic. By appealing to the egos of people, they’ll help you increase the exposure of your content.

Egobait still works – just not like it used to, it’s not as effective to simply quote or link to an influencer praising their work; we’ve found that at this point if you want to see results (and leverage influencer marketing) you need to bring them into the conversation before you push publish.

– Nick Eubanks, creator SEO Auv

23. Create a Free Tool

Build a free plugin or browser extension to your main product or service.

A great example is EmailHunter’s Chrome extension:

Not only this could potentially attract white hat backlinks to your site, but your customer retention will increase.

24. User Generated Content

People want to be the center of attention, and in control of what they’re doing. Create a platform for user-generated content. That could be a simple message board or Spotify’s interactive “year in music” personal music habits review.

25. Surveys

Asking people for help could be very beneficial. The way surveys work is:

  1. Collect a decent amount of answers to your survey.
  2. Thank them for participating
  3. Ask them if they’d like to help your research by spreading the word with a link.

26. Funny Products and Games

Everybody loves laughing. And everybody loves making other people laugh. This is a great way to generate a white hat backlinks.

CSS Puns by Saijo George is a great example: 1288 total backlinks from 259 domains.

27. Seasonable or Timed Content

Leverage the power of ego-bait on a massive level: a national celebration or event.

A great example is this infographic about the National Liberation Day, which collected over 3.5K shares in just a few days.

Give Something

If you have something to give away, this is probably one of the easiest ways to build a white hat backlinks. Although, be careful going overboard with the charity.

Note: Make sure you comply with Google’s “Best practices for bloggers reviewing free products they receive from companies

28. Promotions and Giveaways

Offer influencers in your field promotions or giveaways in exchange for a product review or feedback.

This works best with products with bigger margins.

29. Contests

Encourage engagement and linking by running contests with prizes. Use a software like Gleam or KingSumo to launch your contest.

Read more:

Help People Out

Whether you’re helping webmasters by pointing to broken links or you offer your services to someone, there’s a huge opportunity for using reciprocity to build white hat backlinks to your site.

30. Finding broken links

  1. On Google, you can find relevant sites (or posts) to yours.
  2. Then search for broken links on the site – this app will do it for free.
  3. In the end, you offer the site owner to replace the broken links with your post.

There are several free tools that would help you identify the broken links on a site. One of the most hassle-free plugins is Check my Links for Chrome.  In the example below the link in red is a broken link.

Read more:

31. Offer a Pro-bono Service

Whatever you’re doing you can exchange your services for a link:

  • web design work
  • web dev work – you could do something as small as changing their style a bit or speeding up their site with a couple of WordPress plugins
  • marketing and SEO 🙂
  • content creation (help a site upgrade or update their content)
  • grammar checking (scan a couple of articles and pinpoint the mistakes to the site owner)

Take Advantage of Existing Opportunities

There are some hacks to score white backlinks that are just waiting to be taken.

32. Claim your Brand Mentions

Use a service like Mention or Buzzsumo to track your brand name mentions. Make sure that your brand name links back to your site.

More on the topic:

33. Convert Unhappy Customers Into Avid Brand Proponents

Chances are there will be some negative comments, reviews or articles about your brand. Do your best to convert their negative voice into a positive one – offer them an exclusive discount, help them sort their problem, just give a crap.

Read more:

34. Do a Google Reverse Image Search for Your Images

Chances are someone is using your images if you have useful graphics or beautiful photography on your site. We live in the free Internet.. duh!

Make sure to take a breath before you go all mad about it and think if you could use that as to claim a link to your site.

35. Make Sure Your White Hat Backlinks Point to the Proper Page

Use Linkody to track if all your white hat backlinks are properly linking to the right page. If you have a link to 404 page there are 2 ways to approach the case, depending on the situation:

  • Inform the site owner and re-purpose that link to a new page/ask them to correct the mistake in the URL.
  • Use a redirection (301) to another page on your site.

36. Spy on Competitors and get their Backlinks

If your competition is a spot higher on the SERPs than you, they must be doing something right with their link building (or something gross).

(See How to Identify and Remove Bad Backlinks?)

You can use Linkody to find all your competitor’s backlinks. All you need to know is their website’s URL and Linkody will do the rest.

  1. Find the URLs on Google.
  2. Add them to Linkody.
  3. Linkody will find all your competitor’s backlinks.
  4. Reach out to the webmaster saying that your tool would be a great addition to the site’s resources.

You can find the full guide – here.

37. The Rebranding link opportunity method

Most brands often change their names. Brian Dean has a great technique which he calls the Moving Man method to find link opportunities through this.

It’s different to the broken link building method in that the links actually exist. They just re-direct to the new url. However, since the anchor text and the site link points to the old domain, there’s an opportunity.

Brian was able to achieve this with outdated BlueGlass links (an SEO agency) that went out of business. He reached out to all the site owners who had a link to BlueGlass with this mail.

Image Source

In order to discover such opportunities you can search PR channels and search on Google about re brands. All such news results in your industry can get you links.

38. Incorporate Tweet this in your blogposts

Often times we can inspire people to take action by asking them to specifically tweet a portion or nuggets of your post. These tweets can drive more tweets because the words are emotionally charged or contain something very important or interesting.

They can drive social shares and mass links.

39. The Poster Boy Method

The Poster Boy method involves writing a splendid success story that you had with a tool.

Companies are always looking for great testimonials about their own products. Writing about how you achieved success with their tool will immediately make your story the apple of their eye.

You can expect the company to share the article and mention it several times across the press releases and blog posts. They may even interview you for insights.

All this gives you a good link.

White Hat Backlinks Wrapped Up

Link-building is a never-ending story of new tactics and SEOs outsmarting themselves by finding new opportunities to grab a link. This evergreen list of link building techniques should serve you well as a starting point to generating loads of white hat backlinks.

And don’t forget – it all falls on you to make these tactics work.

Share in the comments what is your favorite #1 evergreen strategy to get white hat backlinks?

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