Guest blogging is a great way to build backlinks to your website, build relationships with people in your industry, grow your referral traffic, and improve your website’s SEO. Check out this guest blog case study about how we successfully landed a guest post for our client Reynolds Transfer & Storage.
Finding the guest blog post opportunity
One of the best tools to find guest blog posting opportunities is free and easy to use – Google! To find blogs and websites that accept guest submissions in our client’s industry, we used Google Search Operators combined with keywords and common phrases related to guest posting.
Keyword + “guest post”
Keyword + “guest blog”
Keyword + “guest post guidelines”
Keyword + “guest blog guidelines”
Keyword + “submit a post”
Keyword + “write for us”
Keyword + “contribute”
To find guest blog opportunities in the residential moving industry for Reynolds Transfer & Storage, we searched multiple combinations of target keywords and guest post phrases. Through this process, we found a number of relevant blogs that accepted guest post submissions, including Apartminty. Apartminty, an apartment search resource with a blog about apartment living, has a page dedicated to Guest Post Guidelines that appeared in our Google searches.
Guest Post Outreach
Once we identified Apartminty as a potential guest blogging opportunity, the next step was research and preparation for outreach. The Apartminty Guest Blog Guidelines includes what they’re looking for in a guest post, an application to be considered for a guest blog post, and contact information for the blog. Working with the team at Reynolds Transfer & Storage, we brainstormed potential blog post ideas tailored to Apartminty’s audience and submitted the application to the contact information listed on the page.
Along with the application, we focused on keeping the email containing the attachment short and to the point, with a clear subject line:
Guest Blogger Inquiry for Apartminty
I am reaching out on behalf of Reynolds Transfer & Storage, a Madison, Wisconsin-based moving company specializing in residential moves with a commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices. We are interested in contributing guest blog posts for the Apartminty blog. I have attached the completed questionnaire for your consideration.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Once we submitted the application, we heard back from the Apartminty team with a preferred topic. We wrote the blog post, submitted it for review, and received a publication date. Finally, our guest blog post for Reynolds Transfer & Storage was live on the Apartminty blog.
The post includes a bio with a link back to the Reynolds Transfer & Storage website. Below is the estimated domain authority for the backlink from Apartminty.
May 20th, 2019 Posted by Emma MillerLocal SEO
0 comments on “How to Create a Proper Competitor Backlink Analysis”
Researching the competition is one of the most important elements of business success in the modern business world. In fact, keeping tabs on the most successful actors in your field has always been an excellent way to bring prospects to your doorstep and surpass the competition in the long run.
Needless to say, backlink analysis falls right into this category and remains a crucial part of the discovery process. How else are you going to find out who’s linking back to their websites and how many outlets are there that are supporting their growth, brand reach, and boosting their rankings?
You need to research your competitors’ backlink portfolio and strategy in order to gain a competitive advantage and increase your own websites’ traffic and conversions. Here’s what you need to do to achieve this goal.
It all starts with keyword research
In order to improve your online authority in the eyes of the public and reach the top spot on Google’s result pages, you need to rank high for keywords relevant to your brand, services, and niche. With that in mind, your first order of business should be to conduct in-depth keyword research that will tell you what people are searching for. With these keywords in your hands, you can find out how your competitors are ranking for the same phrases.
What you might be surprised to find out is that there are smaller actors in your niche you never heard about that are ranking higher than you for specific phrases, so that you can broaden your search and discover even more opportunities for your own content. Once you have the list of keywords, you can go ahead and Google them.
Identify your competitors
The sheer number of keywords related to your business and niche makes it very difficult for your competitors to achieve monopoly over them. This means that not all keywords relevant to your business are dominated by the biggest competitors in the field.
By Googling the keywords you’re most interested in, you can zero in on the competition in its entirety.
More importantly, this type of research will let you find out if their content is actually delivering and solving their audience’s problems. If not, they might get penalized for going after irrelevant keywords, which is something you should watch out for as well.
Now that you have them in your sights, it’s time to check out their backlink portfolios.
Examine the competitors’ backlinks
Here comes the good part. Find the list of all the links on the web that lead back to your website. Building this network of backlinks efficiently and effectively means positioning organic KWs on these target pages by finding and reaching out to authoritative influencers in your specific industry and niche. Keep in mind, though, you’re not the only one doing this, which is why discovering your competitors’ backlink profiles becomes imperative.
You can use a number of tools to monitor your competitors’ backlinks and discover the blogs that are linking back to their websites. One of these tools is Ahrefs. You can start by finding your domain-level competitors by using Ahrefs Competing Domains option. Results can be sorted by common keywords, keywords unique to competitor or keywords unique to target.
Once you do this, seek for page-level competitors. These don’t necessarily need to be your direct competitors but websites that rank well for a topic/keyword of your interest, thus competing with you. This can be done by using Keywords Explorer option – just add a keyword you’re trying to rank for (in this example I’ve used keyword Onsite SEO)
Then, scroll down for results in the SERP Overview section.
Finally, once you determined your main competitors, use the Backlink Profile option to directly find their backlinks. You can simply do this by adding their website in the Ahrefs search. These backlinks can be sorted by anchor text, date, domain rating, traffic, referring page… (In the example below you can see how Moz backlink portfolio looks like, since it is one of Ahrefs’ main competitors).
With all this Ahrefs data in your hands, you can analyze the top-performing content, the blog they’re featured on, and use it to discover new bloggers and opportunities for your own content and backlink strategy.
Monitor backlinks regularly to discover lucrative opportunities
It’s not just about discovering your competitors or checking out their backlink portfolios one time – it’s about continuous research and diligent backlink monitoring that will allow you to find new backlink opportunities for your website. After all, if a blogger was willing to publish a link to your competitors’ websites, then there is a distinct possibility they will be willing to do the same for you.
This is all provided that you have mastered the fine art of guest blogging, that is. Keeping tabs on their backlinks will also allow you to discover broken links and lost backlinks, which presents the ideal opportunity for you to step in with your own content and fill the gap, effectively replacing your competitor’s link with your own.
Improve on the best practices
If the competition is fierce, you need to be fiercer. There is no way around it, your content needs to have higher quality content, better storytelling, offer a simpler solution, and of course, take a more in-depth approach to every topic. Using the time-tested skyscraper method, you can offer higher quality content to bloggers and thus boost your brand authority while enhancing the authority of the blogger at the same time.
Complementing stellar content with careful social listening will further allow you to keep tabs on your competition and react effectively to their every move in the future.
Building backlinks is an essential part of a winning SEO strategy, as every link that leads back to your website has the potential to improve your traffic, conversions, and ranking in the online world. Use these techniques to analyze your competition’s backlink strategies and capitalize on their success.
January 12th, 2019 Posted by Ben RatkeyLocal SEO, SEO
1 comment on “How to do SEO for your local business: The Local SEO Checklist”
Updated December 2018.
Note: Looking for an actionable Local SEO Checklist for 2019? At the end of this post, you can download a PDF that distills all the important points into checklist items. You can also watch our in-depth video below.
“I know I need to work on SEO for my business’s website, but there’s so much to do and learn and I don’t know where to start.”
If that’s something you’ve said (or found yourself thinking), then this blog post is for you!
We want to de-mystify this arcane art of search engine optimization. We’re doing that by giving you a checklist-style guide to the main things you should be concerned about when it comes to SEO for your local business.
First off, here’s the big picture as a series of straightforward bullet points:
June 9th, 2018 Posted by Ben RatkeyLocal SEO, SEO
0 comments on “Website Migration SEO: How To Redesign Your Website Without Losing SEO Traffic”
Don’t neglect search engine optimization in the flurry of excitement around the launch of a redesigned website. Everything on the new site is fresh and up-to-date, and it looks slick as hell – but is that good or bad for your SEO?
It doesn’t have to be bad at all! We’ll explain how to maintain strong SEO and stay in Google’s good favor when you migrate to a newly updated website. It starts with knowing your old site and making sure nothing is lost or forgotten. Then we’ll tell you how to create redirects to avoid errors and confusion. Lastly, we’ll explain how you can make sure Google knows what you’re doing, so that the search engine will be friendly to your new site.
Updated May 2018 to include the most relevant info and provide everything you need for Google reviews outreach.
Reviews on your Google My Business page are a likely ranking factor for Local SEO. And as you may know, once your business gets five reviews (update: nowadays you don’t even need this many), your stars start appearing.
Those stars next to your business name help you stand out and make searchers want to click on your listing. Just look at the example above for “plumber verona.” Which of the three would you click if your shower drain was backed up?
Most business owners would avoid setting up shop to sell things people don’t want, yet they regularly plop content and pages on their website with hardly a thought for what their customers want. Keyword research should be your roadmap; let the search data guide how you create your website, from your regular pages to your blog posts. It’s now possible to know the demand for what you offer before you even create it! (more…)
Note: Here’s a video covering the same material as this article, in case reading detailed posts isn’t your cup of tea.
Take a moment to think about why your business has a website in the first place. Your site is not a static brochure that you tell people to go look at; it is a lead-generation machine. Your business’s site should be working for you, bringing in leads, and making your job easier (certainly not harder!). So how do you make your website into an effective tool for churning out valuable leads?
That’s where website analytics tools enter the picture. Website analytics can help you make sure that the site is doing its job — bringing in more clients/customers (or donations/volunteers if you are running a nonprofit). Secondly, analytics can help you identify ways to fine-tune your website so that it can do an even better job. Here are some of the questions that analytics can answer for you:
Is my website working for me and generating leads?
Where are people falling out of my funnel?
What can I do to bring them back?
Which channels are bringing in the most traffic and leads?
Your local business should have a blog; it demonstrates expertise, builds trust with potential customers, and helps you rank higher on search engines.
Maybe you added a “Blog” section to your WordPress site, but there’s nothing living there except the default “Hello World” post. Maybe you started out writing a post every week, but it’s fizzled out because you couldn’t maintain that posting schedule. After all, when you’re running a local business, you’ve got much higher priorities than writing articles, right?
Maybe you never even bothered with the whole blog thing, and you haven’t touched your website since your nephew set it up for you last year. Whatever your situation, we want you to understand that blogging is actually crucial for your business.
Huge thanks to Wegner CPAs for hosting us at their Wake Up With Wegner event at the Sheraton on John Nolan Drive. We spoke on “How to Measurably Grow Your Business Through Online Search,” touching on pro tips, strategy and tactics for SEO, Google AdWords campaigns and Google Analytics set up and tracking.
Here’s a video re-recording in case you missed or would like to brush up.
Top Google AdWords tips for Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns
What does it take for a hair salon in Madison, WI to appear on the first page of Google?
We analyzed the top known local search engine optimization (SEO) factors to let the businesses currently ranking lower what it would take to earn a spot higher up on the first page.
Here’s an indication of the kind of monthly search volume a phrase like this gets according to Google’s keyword planner: 1300 per month! That’s real money every single month of the year for those who go after it.
Why page 1 matters and what it takes to get there in general
Here’s an overview video in which we discuss how ranking higher for popular search engine queries can grow your business. We also describe the top ranking factors SEO companies target to make gains.
Onsite optimization makes a big difference to your SEO because search engines crawl your site and glean keyword information directly from it. Keyword research is step 1 in a local SEO campaign, and onsite optimization is step 2.
Once you know what keywords to target, you can evaluate your website to see if they are included in strategic places in your website’s HTML. Sometimes this means re-vamping your existing web pages and sometimes this means changing your website structure by creating new pages on your site to target specific keywords.
Your website is one of the few places on the web where you have absolute control over your content online, so we want to take advantage on your home turf!
ORIGINAL POST: We are constantly amazed at the animosity Yelp inspires among business owners we talk to. They frequently bring it up to us unprompted or fly into a mini-rage when we mention the “Y” word. Terms like “shakedown,” “scam” and “the devil” arise commonly enough that the company might want to take notice. (From the conversations we’ve had with Yelp, they don’t plan on changing anything.)
Once the curses have mostly passed, it’s then our unfortunate job as a Madison SEO company to tell businesses they should capitalize on Yelp anyway, however bad the blood. This doesn’t always go over well, and we’ve actually been told this is a non-starter: that the business has been burned so badly they don’t even want to deal with Yelp.
So what’s going on that business owners resent this top online business directory that is almost a search engine in its own right?
Easy, right? Well, not exactly, but it at least helps to know what we’re up against when we want to be in the “modern phonebook” on page 1 of Google and Bing. The following describes how we break this all down in our recommended 6-month SEO projects.
Why ask for Google reviews and how many should I have?
Five (UPDATE: Three) is the magic number when it comes to reviews on your Google Local or Google My Business (GMB) page. That’s because once you have 5 reviews, Google shows your star rating visually to potential customers on Google Maps and in the result page 3-pack. Something about seeing stars just makes a person want to click and check out that business.
Not having those stars when other businesses do just makes it look like you’re lacking somehow. And you are, really, because you should regularly be using social proof (like testimonials and reviews) to sell to your future customers. Anybody can say their own company is great, but new customers are more likely to believe your past customers.
How do I get more reviews on Google?
So how do you encourage your customers to leave you reviews on Google? There’s no obvious link URL like there is for your main website.
Fortunately, someone has made it easy by creating a tool. Check out how it works in our YouTube video here.