There are some things in life you KNOW you should do, and they aren’t hard to do, but they just don’t seem to get done. Internal link building is one of these!
You finish your post, get everything ready to publish, publish and then think: ****, I should really should have built some internal links!
This post will show you how to do this in 5 minutes using this tool for your site so that you never have to worry about internal linking again.
I am going to cover…
● First: Sharing some data analysis that the guys at AuthorityHacker did which shows that YES, internal links really do matter for ranking in Google.
● Second: Showing how this can be done systematically through LinkWhisper (plus my review of this tool).
(‘Data’ and ‘systematically’… 2 of my favourite words. This will be fun…)
One of the most popular books of the year is James Clear’s Atomic Habits, which explains how small, repetitive tasks which become habits and have compounding effects to transform our lives. How does that relate to internal link building? This post covers one of those small simple tasks that will have ongoing compounding benefits to your site. By making the process of internal link building easier, faster, and automatic, you can systematize a good habit!
Internal linking matters for more than just SEO purposes, but for the purposes of this article we are focusing on the SEO benefit.
Don’t let internal link building for SEO purposes distract from the more important issue of user experience and driving traffic to your $ pages.
The guys at AuthorityHacker–specifically Michal Ugor–have created a fantastic article digging into the data of 1 million links.
See their full article here: Internal Links. Great article that goes into this topic in more detail!
The bottom line:
1. Pages that rank higher in Google averaged having more internal links pointing to that page than pages that didn’t rank as highly.
2. Anchor text matters for internal links and you can be more aggressive with exact match than typically you would be for off page links.
3. A decent rule of thumb is to have 5 internal links linking out for every post and, for the pages you want to rank, up to 100 internal links pointing to them. As with most rules of thumb this will have limited application.
a. NOTE: I was shocked when I saw my average was under 1 for outbound internal links on my posts!
So we know links matter and would all love to spend the time analyzing and optimizing them for every post. The reality is most of us don’t have that time.
So what is the solution? How do we get the majority of the benefit as efficiently as possible?
Here are the steps I use, leveraging SEMRush to identify the opportunities and LinkWhisper to systematically build internal links.
Note: Any time you systematically do something it is not as ideal as fully sculpting the page rank flow with a site architecture plan. But, for the busy online entrepreneur looking for a systematic solution, I hope this helps.
Procedure for Automatically Internal Link Building
1. Identify Opportunities using SEMRush (this is optional and can all be done with LinkWhisper)
a. Note this is similar to the significant success we have had identifying the content that needs a refresh and upgrade. We are excited to combine both upgrades and internal link structure improvements to the key pages we care about and see the results!
b. Go to SEMRush and sign in
c. Enter the Domain in question
d. Go to Organic Research
e. Keyword Identification – Select metrics of ‘Position 4-20’ and ‘traffic 100+’
f. Export to tracking sheet–see free copy of sheet you can copy
g. Page Identification–What are the top 10-20 pages you care about? You can use Google Analytics for this or SEMRush
h. Create final plan using judgement around what pages are low hanging fruit for boosting traffic and what pages you most care about
2. Install LinkWhisper and use the sheet you made in step 1 to set it up
a. Purchase LinkWhisper here
b. Install LinkWhisper
c. Activate LinkWhisper
d. Wait for InternalLinksReport (2-5 minutes)
e. Refer to the plan you made in step 1 and systematically go through each page adding internal links for the ones you care about
3. If LinkWhisper doesn’t have any recommended internal links
a. Search Google to identify top pages for the keyword you are wanting to rank for sitel:yourdomain.com “keyword” the results should show #1 as the page you are wanting to rank for the keyword and then the next 5 pages are likely great places to put an internal link back to your target page.
b. Edit page(s) and add link back to the main page you are wanting to rank for that keyword
Internal link building matters and is often neglected.
LinkWisper and some manual work is a great way to efficiently get your internal link building game back in order!
Hope this actionable article was helpful!
Summertime is around the corner. For me this usually means long weekends at the cottage, outside activities with my wife and kids- like hiking, biking and boating and also just some general vacation time. I’ve always been an outdoorsy guy so the summer is a great time to recharge and reap the benefits of our area, especially since it doesn’t last too long here in Canada!
Although the down time is really nice, it unfortunately has come at the expense of some of my businesses- especially the ones that are relatively low maintenance and are easy to fall off my radar. I’ve had a long history of taking my foot off the gas pedal during the summer when it has come to my content sites, which for some sites has lead to irreversible traffic declines and lost revenues!
Over the years I have noticed a consistent decline starting in or around June and July which coincides with the beginning of summer. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a guy who is pretty data oriented and systems focused- so this predictable decline is annoying to me. What’s more annoying is that it is entirely my fault. If I had just taken a little bit of time to get in front of my content strategy and systematized the content creation process then I could have saved myself (and my sites) the hit that we ended up taking.
Take a look as some of these screenshots- none of these sites have recovered fully from these declines!
So what are my takeaways for this year? I’m going to get in front of my content creation strategy and systematize the content creation and publishing on my money sites so that I don’t even have to think about it this summer while I’m taking some time off. I’ve leveraged my team at Content Refined come up with a great plan that they will execute over the next 5 months so that it’s completely hands free for me.
Take a look at my spreadsheet for all of my money sites for the summer! I’ll quickly use one of my sites as an example to show you what I’ve done. And hey don’t steal my Keywords! 🙂 I’ll give you this sheet or free at the bottom of this article so that you can create your own plan!
Figure out how many articles you want published on a monthly basis. For this particular site, I have steady traffic already and am just looking to maintain. I figure 6 articles per month at 1000 words each will be sufficient in keeping the momentum I need around this size of site.
The Team at Content Refined has engineered my site and separated it into the pillar topics. This is to make sure that every section of my site will get some content throughout the summer. They’ve picked the keywords and assigned the month of production to each
Search Volume and competition are super important when it comes to picking keywords that will predictably rank on search engines. The gold standard that Content Refined uses is searches above 500 per month with a competition of under 30% are most likely to rank top 10!
We leverage other tools such as marketmuse to pull the average content score and the average word count that we should be targeting for each article. This way the writer assigned to each article knows how long it should be and what kind of content score we expect when we run it though marketmuse. If an article exceeds the average content score it is more likely to outrank the competition !!!
I’ve opted to have the team at Content Refined deliver these on a monthly basis and update the spreadsheet accordingly. Alternatively I could have had these articles created all at once and then scheduled out on a weekly basis. The team is pretty flexible and can work with your budget and needs.
Now I’ve got my summer content plans ready to go and a system in place to make sure that my content creation strategy doesn’t fall off the priority list. I’m really stoked that I got in front of my content marketing goals for the summer and I think this will help avoid the trend. So what are you waiting for?
Download my spreadsheet for free: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DjC0ir8UqigcXwa-nJrPTt2Mz2UPG_Vqk_Psy0PWz64/edit#gid=0
To have your summer content strategy taken care of, visit https://www.contentrefined.com/summer-special/ and have a chat with them on how they can do this for your sites!
Hey everyone. The Content Refined team recently released an article and a few videos about how they perform content audits for their clients.
Today I’ll summarize 3 of the most important takeaways from their study that you can apply today to your site!
This feature is great because you can clearly see which pages you need to be maintaining. So you can take the top 5, or 10, or 50 (depending on your site) and keep them updated. Change to the current year, update with new resources, add some new content, etc.
2. MarketMuse can be used to assess your content gaps and flesh out existing content.
In this example you can see how they’ve typed in one phrase, ‘content marketing service’, and all kinds of related phrases have come up. This can act as a high-level overview to show that if you’re talking about a content marketing service, you need to be mentioning all these other things.
I’ve been really happy with MarketMuse for functionalities like that. You can go into more detail with it to get more actionable insights, but even the high-level stuff like this is awesome.
3. Auditing your competition’s content for ideas
Even without SEMRush and MarketMuse, you can get some good insights into your content needs by looking at your competitors. It can be as simple as some basic research:
Chances are you’ll have some work cut out for you at the beginning. You’ll need some long-form content about the major topics in your niche just to start out. Then you can branch off from there.
The gals at Content Refined can help you out if you have questions.
Book a call with Madeleine here: https://contentrefinedmt.youcanbook.me/
Email her at [email protected]
Or jump ahead and purchase a content audit here: https://jonhaver.zaxaa.com/o/9664490654241/3.
Once you sign up, either Madeleine or Laura will be in touch with you within 24 hours.
Leave your comments on quick tips for website/content audits. Always looking to hear feedback from you guys because I know you have some awesome experience.
Between my portfolio and the work that ContentRefined does we end up using LOTS of tools. In the past couple of weeks we have been in talks with Sam the CEO and founder at SECockpit reviewing the new features of SECockpit.
Learn more about Content Refined in this deep dive review of Content Refined as a business.
Maddie and I did some free training with Sam at SECockpit that I hope that will be of value to people – watch it here.
Intro: Who we are (Content Refined)
Final thoughts: Who benefits from the new SECockpit functions? (And more promo details)
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know a few things about me:
At Content Refined, I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point that we’ve got content creation down to a science. We’re on top of trends, including what’s relevant in digital marketing now, what clients want, what clients don’t know that they want but actually need, and the data behind how it all works.
We’ve tested a lot of different keyword tools over the past few years even buying one and bringing it in house; we’ve used SEMRush, Ahrefs, KeywordFinder, CognitiveSEO, MarketMuse, SECockpit, LongTailPro, and more. Of those ones, we’re still using SEMRush, Ahrefs, MarketMuse, and SECockpit on a daily basis at Content Refined. They’re integral to our systems.
Today’s focus is specifically on SECockpit, because they’ve just updated a ton of features and our teams are super excited about some of them.
Keyword research is the first step in our content creation process. We look for opportunities within our clients’ niche to rank for certain keyphrases. There are a few metrics we generally stick to (bear in mind that these are flexible site-to-site depending on where you’re starting from with your sites relative strength):
If our keyword matches all of those metrics, it’s probably a good opportunity to build an article around.
Over the years, we’ve adapted additional strategies depending on our clients’ needs. Some examples of these strategies include the following:
It’s good to have all of these tools in our wheelhouse so that we can compete to the best of our abilities with any given website.
One shift in thinking about competition for keywords is to move beyond just looking at the number the KW research tool provides but also analyzing the strength of the competitions articles. If all metrics say a keyword will be easy to rank for but the top 10 current articles are all beasts written by experts and 5000+ words long…you are going to have a tough fight regardless of how “low competition” the tools saw the keyword is!
It’s a real process, so here’s our actual internal SOP that we’ve been using for completing keyword research with SECockpit. It involves having access to SEMRush as well, but it’s not completely necessary to have that access. You can do your research for your website with just SECockpit.
Basically, we search for a fairly general keyword, then filter the metrics to suit our needs. We go into each keyword that looks like a good option to assess the top competitors’ Domain Authority. If necessary, we’ll run an audit on a competitors’ website through SEMRush as well.
Here’s what it looks like when we search for a keyword in our client’s niche using the old version of SECockpit. In this example, I’m looking for phrases like “travel backpacks” and “suitcases”, but this of course can be custom tailored to your specific niche:
So you can see that it’s a little outdated looking. That’s okay, though. We check off all the necessary boxes and begin our search.
The results can take a while to come up, so just be prepared for that. Usually our Project Manager or Keyword Specialist (whoever is doing the keyword research) will have some other work to do in the meantime while they’re waiting for results. I’d give it a solid 5-10 minutes to fully search, update, and load.
Here’s what it looks like when the results come up:
We would also apply our specific metrics to get to the ideal monthly search volume and competition score.
From this list, we can go in keyword by keyword to see more details:
I’ve highlighted the Domain Authority list in red there. We want to see that the majority of those sites have a low-moderate domain authority. An average of about 40 or below should be a good option for us.
From there, we can create a title based around the keywords that suit our metrics. In this case it could be something like, “Best Travel Backpack with Wheels for 2019 Adventures”. We would drop all the information into our Client Dashboard. When our keyword research is complete, we send it to our client to see if they want to change anything up before it goes over to the writer.
Here’s an example of a content dashboard that you can use with your teams. It’s pretty simple:
So, now that I’ve walked you through that existing process, it’s time to share the exciting new updates that SECockpit just came out with.
We’ll have to update that SOP for the new SECockpit features, because I already know it’s going to simplify our lives a lot.
Right off the bat, it’s clear that they did a ton of updating to the overall layout of the platform.
Here’s how that main page looks when you’re searching for a keyword:
You can see it’s a lot cleaner looking. All the functions are the same on that pop up, but it doesn’t feel so overwhelming and cluttered.
The other big thing design-wise is that they’ve made it mobile-friendly. Here’s a screenshot from my phone:
For digital marketers who are constantly travelling or running to different conferences/meetings, this is huge. You can quickly pull up SECockpit on your phone and find your data that way. Really impressive.
Now, here’s the most exciting part to data nerds like me.
Here’s how it looks when those keyword results come up in the new platform:
Notice anything different?
There are a few things.
If you click on that little gear in the top right, all of these new options come up:
For our purposes, those ‘DA Avg’ and ‘DA Max’ filters under the Off-Page options are amazing!
Now, instead of having to go into each keyword one by one, we can actually just filter the Domain Avg. to be less than 50!
Game changer. Now we have a list of keywords that meet all of our desired metrics. Monthly search volume, competition score, and low-moderate domain authority.
Some of these other filters are really exciting for us, too. Did you notice they now have Adsense Value? This is going to be huge for a lot of our clients:
I also really like some of the content specific filters like “Title Keyword”, which shows how many of those top 10 competitors have the exact keyword in their article title. This gives us an edge in content creation:
Clearly, some massive improvements have been made here. This was already a great tool for us, but now, especially with the Domain Authority and Adsense Value filters, we’re going to be able to deliver so much more relevant data to our clients.
Our teams will still go in and look at each keyword individually. It provides more insight on our competitors for each keyword.
Here’s what it looks like when you go into an individual keyword in the new platform:
We see the exact information for each of our top competitors.
We can also see the Google Interest Trends for our keyword over the previous 12 months:
With this information, we can make the best decisions for keyword opportunities for our clients.
If we wanted to pull some quick data and give our clients a bigger overview of a bunch of keywords at once, it is now so much easier to do so. By adding in those extra filters, we can pull data straight from those results into a spreadsheet.
It would look something like this:
Right away, we have a list of 20+ viable keyword options. That’s just from one keyword search!
Now, keep in mind that these results will vary from site-to-site. Not every niche is going to have great keyword opportunities with one search. Sometimes you have to get creative with it. Find an angle that works for you, and/or flex the metrics until it’s more appropriate for your niche or field.
Well clearly, we do. I think that was made obvious.
But seriously, these are huge improvements for anyone who really wants to more predictably rank in Google. Through using this real data, you gain so many advantages over your competitors. A lot of people will blindly produce content that they think is relevant to their audience, but they don’t actually have the real insights to show what content is necessary for their niche or field.
If you invest in consistent, quality, data-driven content marketing, you will see the results. The measures that we go to at Content Refined have proven that time and time again. It’s even working for our internal marketing efforts, as you can see here:
Consistency and quality are key when it comes to content marketing.
So, definitely check out the new features of SECockpit and let me know your thoughts. I want to hear feedback from all the data nerds like myself.
Also, insider tip: They’re actually doing an exclusive offer that’s only valid until the end of March. April 1st, prices are going up. There’s a 30 day no-risk guarantee, and once you sign up you’ll be locked in at this lower rate for life (unless you cancel at any point). Take advantage! Here’s the link they sent me.
If you have any questions about our processes or want some insights on how we can help your content strategy, reach out to our Co-Founder and CEO, Madeleine Lambert. Her email is [email protected], or you can book a quick virtual meeting with her here.
You don’t need to wait 3-6 months to make money like other new builds. Since these are sites from my own portfolio, they have been making reliable money for a few months. This means that when you buy the site, you are already going to be making a return from day 1. These sites are also already ranking for hundreds of valuable keywords.