Can Businesses Afford to Not ‘Do’ Content Marketing?

How can businesses ‘do’ content marketing and why they can’t afford not to…


2018 digital marketing trends chart

A survey of marketing intentions in 2018 put content marketing right at the front of the queue for marketing activity anticipated to drive conversions for business owners. But as a business owner, working in and on the business, how can you produce content that can drive your business forward? We believe you can’t afford not to. Here’s why:

The way we search has changed

The way we (internet users) search for information on the Internet is changing. Artificial Intelligent or Bots (Robots) such as Siri or Alexa are making our search behaviour far more conversational. Google, in response, are changing the way they display SERPS (search engine results) to favour content that is more conversational in its tone. Quite simply, if a user asks a question they will rank a page that answers it over one that doesn’t. Google is the guardian of a user’s web experience – this protects their interests and ensures a user doesn’t choose a competitive search engine.

Why Google doesn’t want you to search elsewhere…

You’re an expert

As a business owner, you are the expert in your chosen field. You also have a raft of clients, success stories, and some failures, which will help potential customers’ pain points. What we’re saying is sharing is caring and Google will reward you for that.

So, where do you start?

Think about your customers and why they would contact you. A locksmith might pose the question – ‘Should I change the locks in my house if I have just moved in?’ The answer for the locksmith is, of course, ‘Yes’.

To explore a more B2B focused analogy let’s consider a company who produces promotional videos for SME’s. They might ask ‘Should an SME invest in a promotional video?’ or ‘How much does it cost for a small company to create a video?’ In both the examples above the business owner in question would have lots of valuable insight to share, which ultimately will have an impact on their SERPS.

Sharing insight like this not only adds value to your potential customers experience of your business. It also sets you apart from the competition.

Now you see the value and understand some of the science behind it, how then do you go about creating a programme?

Customer profiling

The best place to start, inevitably, is always the beginning. For your business the beginning of the customer journey is the customer! Creating a persona doesn’t just need to exist in the boardroom of a big corporation, every business will be able to create a type or types of customer. For us the customer is often digitally savvy but time-poor. We could map our target customer based on job title, type of business, geographic location etc.

Now we have our person, lets identify his or her pain points. If, for instance, the video company we touched on earlier knew that they wanted to talk to marketing managers of £3-£5 million companies the persona map will identify their pain-points ‘how do I sell more pegs / bins or smoke alarms’ and where, potentially, these customers ‘hang-out’ online.

Now you have your persona – where next?

The important thing to consider about any content strategy is that the project never ends and the project needs an owner. As a small business owner the buck will probably stop with you. This doesn’t need to be an onerous task though – remember you are the expert and your customers are looking to you for guidance. A content strategy needn’t be rocket science – just think like a customer.

Let’s look at accountants as an example. Their customers will need to pay their VAT four times a year and personal tax returns every January. We would advise them to produce content around key dates for example ‘What happens when I submit a tax return late?’. We would also advise them to pepper their content with success stories and signals, which lead the users to making contact with them.

Planning a content strategy

To help you plan a content strategy, you can use Google Trends and Keyword Planner to see how the potential market for your content changes over time to help you best plan your content marketing resources. A client of ours once asked us to help sell fur clothes for them in the summer… we politely pointed out they might want to rethink their product strategy!

If you’re struggling for content ideas, you can check out our keyword research guide.

As search becomes more conversational, mobile devices continue to proliferate and start to dominate internet search, it’s time to seriously consider how you can harness the power of content marketing. The key thing to remember is you already have a huge raft of content you could put out there which will genuinely add value to your potential customers and, ultimately, can help you get ahead of your competition.

Are you implementing a content marketing plan?

Want to Skyrocket Your Revenue?

7 Easy Local Link Building Tactics That Work

easy local link building

Backlinks are still one of the most important factors that Google takes into account when ranking your website in the search results. Regardless of whether you’re a large brand or a small local business, you NEED quality, relevant backlinks.

Since the release of the Google Pigeon update, the algorithm that ranks map pack listings in local search results has tied in more with the organic rankings algorithm. This means that building links to your website now not only helps you rank in the organic search results, but also helps you rank in the local listings!

We’ve been over general link building tactics in depth before, so with this guide want to focus purely on links to help you rank locally.

1. Citations

Simply put, citations are a reference to your business name, address and phone number (NAP) on the internet. Though most sources for citations will allow you to link to your website, this isn’t the biggest benefit of creating citations. It’s the fact that you have your NAP listed that will add value to your website’s ranking in local search. Citations come in two forms:

Structured Citations
Structured citations are mentions of your business on directories. For example; Yell, Yelp, Scoot and Brownbook.

Unstructured Citations
Unstructured citations are mentions of your business on any other sites. For example; event listings, newspapers, job listings and blogs.

Getting links from other local businesses and newspapers will be covered in this article, so for now we’ll just stick to covering structured citations here.

We mentioned earlier that citations without links are still valuable for ranking in local search, but since this article is focused on link building, we’ll look at citation creation for link building purposes.

Most of the links you get from directories are no-follow, but they still provide value as they are locally relevant. Add to the fact that they’re really easy to build, this makes citations a no-brainer for local business websites and should generally be the first links you build.

To avoid going over things we’ve already written about, we previously created a guide to local citations and where to get them.

local link building tactics

2. Sponsorships & Donations

There’s two ways to get a sponsorship/donation link:

Service Donation
When you think of donations, you instantly think of money. But there is something else you can offer…your services. Are there any local charities and non-profit organisations in your area that could benefit from your services?

As an example, if you’re a web designer you could contact local charities and offer them free web hosting. The chances are that you already have space on a server somewhere that can be used so it won’t really cost you any money.

You need to have a think about what services your business could offer and then start reaching out to charities to suggest offering these services in exchange for exposure. Be subtle and don’t ask for a link straight away. First, mention your offer and then mention your request in a follow-up email.

Here’s an example of an email you could send:

Subject: Can we donate free web hosting to [CHARITY]?




My name is [NAME] and I’m the owner of [YOUR COMPANY]. We’re a local website designer based in [LOCATION].


I believe in the great work that [CHARITY] do and we’d really like to support you by saving you money and offering to host your website free of charge.


Let me know if you’re interested.


Kind Regards,

It’s really that easy. When we’ve ran campaigns like this, we’ve had a 100% success rate.

Money Donation
If you can’t think of any ways in which your product or services could be of use, then you could always donate/sponsor a local club, sports team or charity. Most of these local organisations will have a website and will also get news coverage, meaning that their website will have strong links to it, further increasing the value of the link to your website.

Some examples of organisations that accept sponsorships/donations:

  • Running clubs
  • Dogs homes
  • Churches
  • Local charities
  • Dance clubs
  • Food banks

Here are some search operators you can use to find these opportunities:

  • inurl:sponsors CITY
  • intitle:sponsors CITY
  • intext:sponsors CITY
  • inurl:donors CITY
  • intitle:donors CITY
  • intext:donors CITY
  • inurl:donate CITY
  • intitle:donate CITY
  • intext:donate CITY

sponsorship link search operators

If you go through these search queries, adding the details to a spreadsheet like the one pictured below, you should end up with a good list of link opportunities.

sponsorship link tracking

3. Alumni Links

Are you a success story that went to a local university? Chances are they may have a section on their website that feature their former student’s success stories and may even have an alumni directory. These links will be from and .edu domains, which carry a lot of weight in Google’s rankings.

It’s worth noting that some universities do not allow links to commercial websites and if that is the case, have them link to a high-authority social profile of yours.

alumni link example

4. Internships

If you’re thinking of getting an intern, or think you will in the future, this is a great way to get quality backlinks from universities.

For this to work, you first need to create a dedicated page on your website for internships that tells students about your company, what the internship will entail and how they can apply for it.

Once you’ve done this, you can then begin contacting universities to let them know about your internship opportunities and to ask if there is anywhere on the universities website where you can be listed.

The great thing about this is that universities tend to have teams dedicated to this, so you’ll be able to find out if you can get a link relatively quick.

internship link example

5. Provide Testimonials

Being a business, the chances are you’ve done business with another business at some point or another. Some businesses you might’ve used include builders, cleaning companies, software providers, accountants, etc.

The idea with this local link building tactic is to get in touch with these companies and offer them a testimonial in exchange for a link back to your website. This is a great tactic because it helps both parties. Companies want to show off customer testimonials to provide social proof to win them more customers, and you get a boost in the Google rankings from having a link from their site. These links are often from their homepage, which is often the most powerful page on a site.

testimonial link example

6. Hosting Local Events

Whether you’re a small local business or an internationally known brand, putting on local events is a fantastic way to build your brand. Not only is it a great way to build your brand, it’s also a great way to get links to your site.

Link building via events generally works better for businesses that have their own offices and can host events, but you can still generate links when hosting an event at a different location.

To start gaining links by hosting local events, you first need to come up with what types of events you could host. We’ll go back to the web design company that we used in earlier examples:

  • Introduction to WordPress
  • Introduction to marketing your business online
  • Beginner web tips

A good idea when thinking about topics to host an event around is to see if you can connect it to another, larger event in your city. A great example of this that we have seen is a law firm. They managed to tie their event with their cities’ gay pride parade. They held a talk one of Microsoft’s lawyers that talked about the organisation’s stance on workplace diversity. The law firm reached out to groups that were participating in the parade and were able to get their event listed on other websites and also get it promoted on social media.

Once you’ve decided on a topic to host an event around, you’ll need to create a page on your website for the event and you’ll then need to list your event on event sites. Here are some to get you started:

You can also find other sites to list your event by using the following search operators:

  • “submit event” CITY
  • list an event CITY
  • event listings CITY

event listing search operators

This shouldn’t be all you do to promote your event (you want people to actually turn up as well!) and you should reach out to local bloggers, newspapers and other businesses that you think might be interested in the event and let them know about it.

Facebook advertising also works great for this is you’re happy to set aside a small budget for it. You simply just need to create a post with the details of the event and then boost it, or create a Facebook Event Ad.

7. Create Local Resources

What better way to show you’re the area’s expert than creating a local resource? Not only will it gain links and social shares, but it will help you give something back to the community you’re operating in. The good thing about this is that you’re already a local and should be able to compile something like this without too much research.

If you’re struggling with things to create a resource around, here are a few ideas:

  • Local guides – bars, museums, restaurants, attractions, etc.
  • Event calendar – festivals, sporting events, etc.
  • Map – pet-friendly places to eat, attractions, etc.

One thing to note is that this resource must look great. Like with all content, you should ensure it is of the highest quality and is an asset. It should also be kept up to date.

Once you’ve created your resource, you can then start promoting it via social media and outreach. We find that starting with local Facebook groups helps to get the ball rolling.

You can then start reaching out to local hotels, travel agents and newspapers to let them know about your resource.

What local link building tactics do you like to use?

Want to Skyrocket Your Revenue?

Car Dealer Facebook Ads Case Study

What would you say if we could help you increase the conversion rate and increase sales and it would only take you a day?

How to raise conversions on ANY site by 30% overnight

It takes around 30-40 minutes to set up and will start generating results almost immediately. I generally leave it 24 hours before I check and there are ALWAYS conversions.

Now this method works best with sites that already have traffic coming in, but YOU NEED TO HAVE RETARGETING CODES INSTALLED FOR AT LEAST 1 NETWORK ON EVERY SINGLE SITE YOU HAVE ACCESS TO!

This is a screenshot of a new client of ours. The retargeting code was added 32 days ago and the results are already clear to see. In 31 days they have made 132 new sales, with an average profit per sale of £150. The traffic to their site was nearly 10,700 visitors in this time. Averaging a conversion cost of around £21. They have spent a total of nearly £2,800.

Not too bad going is it?

That’s £19,800 in sales from less than £3,000 spend. Simply from utilising their existing traffic.

In this case study I will show you how we set up the retargeting on their site, set up the ads in Facebook and then enabled their existing traffic started to buy their product (it’s a car dealership, by the way).

I’m going to show you:

– How to install all the necessary codes (super simple)
– How to create some easy converting ads
– How to track, monitor and report all your results

For those of you that are lazy and will never put this into action here are the steps:

– Install Google tag manager on your site
– Set up or gain access to a Facebook advertising account
– Set up a facebook custom audience
– Instal the pixel code in tag manager (publish it)
– Set up a few ads

Now, if you’re serious and want to actually increase your conversion rates…

Let’s get into it…

First off you need to:

Step 1 – Set up Google tag manager

First go to this link and either sign up or sign in if you already have a Google account.

Then you’re going to want to click “create account” and fill in the very simple instructions as in the images below…

At this point you’re all set up and Google will present you with a nice little code. Simply copy it, and then install it on whatever website you want to retarget.

If you’re using WordPress, you can either install a plugin that lets you insert <head> code, or you can go to Appearance > Editor > header.php and then paste the code before the line that says </head>.

If you are not using WordPress then you will need to do whatever you do to make sure that a code fires on every single page. If you are using an HTML site, then you will need to insert the code to every single page.

Most CMS sites will have a plugin that lets you install code to the header file. A simple google search should see you in the right direction.

Once you have the code installed, Google tag manager will allow you to insert any code into that site at any time, and manage it all from a single dashboard.

Later we will come back here and install our custom audience pixel code. But first we need to get that code.

Step 2 – Set up or get access to the Facebook ad account

Here’s some guides to help you get the necessary access needed:

Step 3 – Set up a custom audience

So now we need to login to Facebook and click manage adverts from the drop down menu in the top right corner:

You then need to access the “audiences” option, which you can find that in the “tools” menu.

Click “create audience” > “custom audience” > “website traffic”

This is where the fun starts…

First, go ahead choose “all website visitors” and create that audience. This makes sure that every person who visits your site can be targeted.

Next you will need to determine your goals, so ask who you want to target and what pages they have viewed.

For example, in this example, our client wanted to target people who had viewed individual brands of cars, but had not bought a car, they would then only advertise those specific brands and in some cases specific cars to their audience.

So for example:

  • People who visited Volkswagen pages, would see ads related to Volkswagen.
  • People who had viewed Volkswagen Golf (a very popular car for my client) would see ads related to that specific car.

So here is how you set that up:

You select the option “People who visit specific web pages but not others”.

Add any pages that the people you want to target have visited (all of our pages contained the word Volkswagen, so I have simply entered that word).

Exclude whatever the checkout page is, this filters out people who actually bought as you don’t need to show them ads.

Change the number of days to whatever you want. 180 is the max so I tend to go with that. Then name it something and add a description if required.

Click create audience and you now have a custom audience set up!

It will take a little time for Facebook to get your audience info as people need to visit the site to become part of your audience. In the meantime we need to grab the code.

Click your new audience and then the pixel ID on the right hand side, then click actions and then view pixel code. Copy the code.

Step 4 – Add custom audience code to tag manager

Now we need to add this code to our tag manager account we set up earlier.

So load it up and click your account and then click new tag…

I’m not really sure why, but it doesn’t have a standard Facebook tag so we need to select “custom HTML tag”.

Paste your code into this space and then click continue.

Select fire on “all pages” and create tag.

Name it something like “Facebook Custom Audience” and then CLICK PUBLISH – this is very important as a lot of people forget to publish the tag and it will not load if you don’t click it so do not forget.

When you see the success notification on the screen you are good to go. From this point your site is tagging everybody who comes in and we will be able to target them at any point we decide to.

Now go back and set up new audiences for all of the possible people you will need to target with specific ads, so in my example:

  • People who view the Ford page
  • The Audi page
  • BMW page
  • Every page for the top 20 selling cars

A different audience for every segment that you want to target. You won’t need to add a tag again, so you can just concentrate on this part now.

Step 5 – Set up some ads

Create the actual ads – I create 2 simple image ads, 1200×628 pixels, sticking to the 20% text in ads rule.

I also create 2 Headlines and 2 text creatives that will appeal to the target audience.

TIP: If you use Facebook Power Editor to create your ads (which I highly recommend), you remove all constraints as to the length of your headline and ad text, which is obviously super handy.

Mix them all together for a total of 8 ads.

Target ads at custom audience, set daily spend of around £10 (you will never reach this unless you have a massive audience).

Setup the ads on Facebook – We are now going to setup your ads so that they run to your selected audience.

Log back into Facebook and access your adverts manager as you did earlier.

Click create campaign.

Then choose the increase conversions option:

On the next screen input your target URL (the main domain) and then select your conversion that we just set up.

Give the campaign a name; I generally just go with Retargeting | Website Name

Next you will select your targeting options. Click inside the custom audience box and choose your audience:

You can choose other options if you want to, but I leave the rest blank, as I don’t want to filter further at this point. We can get into that in another article/case study. For now select country or countries and leave the rest blank.

This is my spending section, it is almost always exactly the same for every campaign. I set a limit of £10 daily, although it will never reach anywhere close to this, unless you have a huge audience.

Go down and insert your copy and headline into the relevant boxes, upload your image and put in the target URL. I like to use a single image in my ads as they tend to convert better for me.

Remove the “desktop right column” and “audience network” ads and click place order.

Now so long as Facebook approve your ad we are all done here.

Repeat the process for all 8 variations of your ads in the create ads section.

Do this for each audience you want to target and change out the ad copy, target URL, headline and images to be specific to each audience.

Step 6 – Tracking

Go to manage adverts and the tools, select Pixels:

Then on the right hand side you want to create a custom conversion:

You then add the URL that would indicate a successful conversion:

You can then name the conversion and define a value to it. All of this info helps you track and report the effectiveness of your campaigns.

You then need to add a tiny bit to your code, but I’ll let Facebook explain that as people find it a little less difficult than how I explain it:

That’s it! On average our client’s sites see a 30% increase in conversions with these ads running. Facebook doesn’t work for every industry but there are plenty of other retargeting networks such as Google, Instagram and Twitter. We like to also use Perfect Audience (I find that Facebook and Perfect Audience is the perfect mix).

I hope you’ve found this helpful, and if you need any help getting this set up – give us a shout!

Local Search Is Getting More Important. Here’s Why

Local Search Is Getting More Important. Here's Why

Gone are the days of local search being just for small businesses. These days, all businesses can and should be taking advantage of local search’s benefits. In 2014 Google released the “Pigeon” update and since then, the importance of local SEO has risen, leading to many large businesses dedicating a lot of resources on implementing a local search strategy where they had previously not.

Here are some of the reasons as to why you need to have a local search strategy if you already don’t.

People Are Searching for Local Businesses Online

It’s a fact. When people are looking for a local service provider they are searching for it online. In fact, studies have shown that as high as 97% of people use the Internet when looking for a local service provider.

Don’t you want a slice of that?

More Than Half of Google Searches Come from Mobile

Once this statistic has sunk in, I can then tell you there’s even more of a reason to utilise local search because over half of the searches that are done by mobile devices are someone looking for local information and services while they’re on the go.

I’m not the best at maths, but if half of all searches are done from a mobile device, and half of those searches are someone looking for local information and services, then this means that around 25% of all searches done online is someone looking for local services and information.

This isn’t just limited to smartphones though and with the rise in popularity of wearable devices it is certain to increase even more.

People Trust Online Reviews

Personal recommendations are gold in business. With personal recommendations you generally don’t have to go through the headaches of the usual sales processes and the dreaded haggling when it comes to price.

When people want a local service provider they used to rely on personal recommendations (and to a degree still do).

With that being said, a local consumer survey was carried out by BrightLocal and they found that 92% of consumers regularly read online reviews (up from 88% the previous year) and 80% of consumers said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations!

High Conversion Rates

The conversion rates for local searches, especially via mobile are incredible. The Mobile Movement Study by Google found that 68% of consumers visit a business after searching online and a huge 53% of people make a purchase after searching online.

Google and Consumers Love Personalised Search

If you’re unsure about what search personalisation is, here’s how it works. Google records what results you click on when searching and by doing this, Google can learn what sites you generally tend to favour. For example, if you often click an Amazon result when you search, Google will realise this and will give Amazon a ranking boost when you search for things where they have related pages and products.

Not only does Google take your past search behaviour into account, it also takes several other factors into account, such as location. The benefits to this should be obvious in the fact that if your site is optimised for a specific service and location then your website will be more likely to show to people that are searching from within that location.

Getting Started with Local Search

Now that you know some of the many benefits of having a presence in local search you’re probably going to want to embark on a campaign to do this. Try not to be too intimidated as it’s a fairly straightforward process, just takes up a lot of time.

Claim and Optimise your Business Listing

The first thing you’re going to want to do is create a Google business page. This is a straightforward process and all you have to do is visit Google’s business section and sign up.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to add your businesses details and create your map-pack listing. If you find that there is already one for your company you’ll be able to claim that one and amend it as necessary.

Once you have this set up, you’ll need to optimise your business listing by adding all of your contact information (Name, Address, Email & Phone Number) and a description.

Teaching you how to optimise a Google business listing is an article in itself, which is why we created a free eBook that breaks down every step needed.


Citations are a reference to your business online. A citation consists of your business name, address and phone number (commonly referred to as NAP). It’s incredibly important to ensure your citations are consistently correct in regards to your NAP.

We’ve created a detailed guide to citations for local search that you can check out. The guide goes into detail about what citations are, how you can create them and where you can get them.

Building Local Relevance with Content

Another way you can build local relevance is by creating content, such as blog posts, around topics that are geo-relevant. It’s also important to ensure that you interlink between the content pages and the landing pages that you wish to rank. This is a strategy that we use at my agency for ranking clients that are having a hard time ranking locally even though they have a well optimised site, a great social presence and plenty of quality links pointing to their site.

As an example, I’m going to assume that the website that you want to rank is a gardening company based in London. The home page will be set up and optimised to rank for a term such as “Gardener in London”. What then needs to be done is to create more content that is geared towards adding more local relevance. So what we’d do is create a blog, with posts such as “Best Time to Plant Trees in London”, “Plants Native to London”, “The London Flower Show”, etc. We’d also add service specific pages that are also optimised to be locally focused, such as “Tree Surgeon in London”, “Lawn Care in London” and “Grass Cutting in London”.

Once these are all set up and are linking to the landing page it sends a very powerful signal to search engines.

local relevancy content

Local Reviews

Local reviews are incredibly important and you should ensure that you encourage customers to post reviews about your business on review sites such as Yell and Yelp. Make sure to also not forget to get people to post a review on your Google business page.

It used to be really easy to get a link to your Google business reviews, but a recent Google+ update left the links broken. Luckily, Grade Us created a tool for generating these links.

One thing to note with reviews is that you should never buy them as it’s against the terms of service of all credible directories as it is, in theory, false advertising.


Anybody that knows anything about SEO will know that high quality inbound links are still one of the biggest ranking factors. Regardless of whether you’re doing international, national or local SEO links are a necessity, especially in competitive markets.

When doing local SEO you should aim to add as much local relevance to your links as possible. To do this you can do guest posts on local business blogs, get listed in local directories, sponsor local events and much more.

For more link building techniques, we created a step by step guide to 15 of the best link building techniques and how you can build them yourself.

Hopefully we’ve made a strong case for including local search into your marketing strategy with this article. Unless you’re already a nationally recognised brand, local SEO is going to be a necessity if you want to generate more leads and make more sales with your website over the next few years.

5 Ways to Tell if Your Dental SEO is Working

dental seo

Let’s be honest; SEO can be incredibly difficult to understand. One of the most common problems we see when people switch to us from another SEO company is that nothing has ever been explained to them and they can’t tell if they are getting a good ROI on their spend.

If you’re running a dental practice and have recently employed an agency to help with your SEO, you need to know that the agency is actually earning their keep. Sadly, it’s not always easy to see if the work that’s happening is actually helping you reach more patients.

There’s a lot that goes into an SEO campaign, which can make it incredibly difficult to answer this question and get to the bottom of this.

We’re going to tell you the truth… there isn’t a single metric that can tell you that your campaign is working and you have to look at a variety of things.

We’re going to run through some of the things you can check to get a better understanding of whether your dental SEO campaign is working or not.

1.0 Explore Your Analytics Data

Before we get into this, you need to make sure that you’ve got a way to track what’s happening on your site. Google Analytics is an incredible and is the most common tool of choice to track your websites statistics.

Regardless of which analytics tool you use, it’s important to use one, as it’s important in evaluating the performance of your practice’s site. A lot of the things we’re covering in this article will rely on you using your analytics tool to mine for data.

It’s also important to be keeping track of your performance, as you can’t improve what you aren’t tracking. You can use spreadsheets to do this (we like to use Google Sheets due to how easy it makes collaborating with our team and our client’s team).

Along with an analytics tool, you’ll also want to use a backlink checker. Ahrefs is by far the best backlink analysis tool currently on the market, and also has a free trial period.

1.2 Measuring Your Organic Traffic

First things first, you need to work out how much organic traffic you are getting. Organic traffic is visits to your site that come via search engines.

Because of what organic traffic is, it’s one of the best indicators of how successful your SEO campaign is. If your campaign is working, your organic traffic will increase over time.

You should keep track of your organic traffic on a monthly basis and you can get this information easily from within Google Analytics.

In Google Analytics, click ‘Acquisition’ and then ‘Overview’. This will show you a table, breaking down your traffic sources.

google analytics acquisition overview

You can also easily compare it to the previous month by clicking the date and then ‘Compare to: Previous Period’.

google analytics date comparison

Once you’ve got the numbers, you can make a note of these for future reference.

1.2 Referral Visits

Another way to check that your campaign is working is by checking the number of people that visit your site through referrals. Referral traffic is visitors that have come to your site from a link on another site. This is a good indicator of whether you are gaining quality backlinks, as quality backlinks not only improve your rankings, but also drive traffic to your site.

Referral traffic is also a great way to figure out if your social media campaign is working, as it also records visits from social media networks.

You can easily check your referral traffic in Google Analytics by clicking ‘Acquisition’, ‘All Traffic’ and then ‘Referrals’.

google analytics referrals

This shows you a table of your referral sources. It also shows you the overall number, which you can make a note of.

1.3 Backlinks

As well as looking at the number of referral visits you get, you should also take a look at how many backlinks you have. We use a variety of tools for this, but find that Ahrefs is the best.

If you aren’t sure what backlinks are, we created a short overview video:


In the beginning stages of your campaign, your backlinks will be created due to your SEO efforts. As your campaign progresses, you create more content and you get more traffic, you’ll naturally start to pick up more links.

As well as checking your backlinks using tools, you can also get some backlink information in Google Webmaster Tools. You can get this information by clicking ‘Search Traffic’ and then ‘Links to Your Site’. Once here, you need to click ‘More >>’ under “Who links the most”. You then have to click ‘Download latest links’ and ‘Download more sample links’.

We created an incredible guide to getting quality links to your site: 15 Link Types and How to Build Them.

1.4 Rankings

This may seem obvious, but a lot of dentists don’t check their rankings and blindly believe what their SEO agency is telling them.

Even though you can get a good sense of how your campaign is going by checking your organic traffic, you should still make sure you check where you’re ranking for the keywords you want to target. It’s important to note that rankings will fluctuate, sometimes daily, so don’t get too obsessed and check all the time!

There are lots of ways you can check your rankings using tools online. We use Agency Analytics, but you aren’t likely to need something as expensive or feature-packed.

SERPLAB is a free rank tracking tool and we find it is actually more accurate than a lot of paid tools. The free plan will give you daily rank updates.

1.5 Popular Pages

Quite often you’ll be wanting to focus your SEO efforts on specific pages, such as different services like teeth whitening, Invisalign braces, etc. If this is the case, you’ll want to check how each page is performing and how much organic traffic is going to them.

This is something that is also easy to do in Google Analytics and to do it you have to click ‘Behaviour’, ‘Site Content’ and then ‘Landing Pages’.

google analytics landing page

1.6 Conversions

Having lots of traffic is great, but if it isn’t converting into patients then there’s no point!

There’s many things that you can track on your website, such as contact form fills, click-to-call actions on mobile, email address clicks, newsletter subscriptions and many more.

All of these can be tracked using Google Tag Manager and to show you how to do it would be a whole other series of posts in itself.

Make sure the agency you are using are tracking conversions (and reporting on them) because so many don’t.

2.0 Setting Expectations

SEO for Dentists isn’t easy and you must have realistic expectations. If you expect a lot more than what your dental SEO can manage, then you’ll never feel like you’re getting a good service.

With SEO you have to think long-term and have to think of it as an investment in your business. Often you’ll experience quick results, but you must be aware that it can take 6 months or so before you see a positive ROI.

How long it takes to see a positive ROI depends on a lot of things. It depends on how competent your SEO provider is and also how competitive the market is. For example, it’s generally going to be much harder to rank a dental practice in London, where millions of people live, than it is to rank a dental practice in Truro, where only around 20,000 people live.

It’s also important to remember that SEO isn’t something that you should stop once you see the results you desire. In competitive markets (dental SEO fits in this one!), you must keep on top of it as it will only be a matter of time before one of your competitors decides to invest in SEO with the aim of securing that #1 spot.

Think about it.

Is your competition, the largest dental practice in the city going to stop their online marketing? I doubt it.

3.0 Competition and Volume

All websites are different, and the success of your campaign may depend of the niche area of dentistry that you want to target. Larger markets will no doubt have more competition and this can make it more difficult for your dental practice to climb the rankings.

As well as this, the areas you want to target may not have a lot of people searching for it on a regular basis, so it may take longer for you to see a measurable difference in revenue.

Because of this, it’s incredibly important to make sure that you are targeting the right keywords and phrases that have a higher volume of monthly searches.

4.0 Putting All of This Together

So far we’ve covered some things that will give you an indication of how your SEO campaign is doing. Now you need to put all of this together.

If you regularly check all of this and keep track of it, you’ll be able to measure whether your traffic has grown over time.

By the end of the first year you should typically find that the business that you have generated from the campaign outweighs how much you have spent.

With SEO for dentists you generally get what you put in. It can take a lot of effort to rank higher in this competitive industry, so you need to decide whether you are serious about investing in the growth of your practice.

5.0 Evaluating ROI After One Year

SEO is often seen as a mystery, but it really doesn’t have to be. Use what has been described in this post to get a bigger picture of how your SEO campaign is performing and you’ll be able to see if it has been worth it.

Here’s what we covered and what you should be checking:

  • Organic traffic (traffic from search engines)
  • Referral traffic (traffic from other websites and social media)
  • Amount of quality backlinks your site has
  • The rankings of your site for target keywords and phrases
  • The performance of the pages you want to target
  • Conversions from organic traffic


You now have the information needed to check whether your SEO campaign is working for your dental practice. This isn’t a definitive guide to checking your campaign, but a way for non-SEOs to check some key metrics.

Once a year has passed, you’ll be able to look back at your spreadsheet and work out whether it has improved your business.

5 Reasons Small Businesses Need Content Marketing

small business content marketingSmall businesses are always trying to get the attention of potential customers. To avoid getting caught up in the clutter, customers install ad-blockers to browse websites without any ads, customise their social media feeds and subscribe to ad-free digital radio. For savvy digital marketers who don’t want to be ignored or skipped, they have to create messages that customers want to see.

Customers will listen if they are given information instead of a sales pitch. They will see the brand and the message not as an interruption, but an important provider of information. This is called content marketing. It is all about creating and providing valuable and relevant information to one’s target audience. The main goal is for the content to encourage customers to do business with the company.

Here’s how content marketing can help businesses of any size.

Increase Brand Awareness

You need to be consistent. Providing fresh content regularly can create a lot of opportunities for your target audience to see your brand. Since your brand becomes more familiar to them, you will be the first one that will come to their mind when they need your service.

Build Your Reputation

Content marketing helps you build your reputation as a trusted expert in your industry. For instance, even if there are a lot of plumbers in your area but you are the only one who provides information about plumbing solutions, problems and maintenance, your brand will be known as the expert. You are showing your expertise, so potential customers don’t need to look for or question your proficiency. As you are helping customers without asking for any payment, you will also become known as someone trustworthy.

Get More Customers

Publishing fresh content regularly on various topics allows you to drive more traffic to your website through traditional media, search social media and more. This eventually leads to foot traffic, phone calls and orders. Remember that digital banner ads, social media accounts, search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising won’t work if you don’t have content to promote. These avenues need something to link to and discuss. Posting fresh, relevant content gives customers a reason to visit your site or click your clink. You can grab the attention of more people and repeat visitors by covering seasonal and timely topics. This will also improve your ranking in search engines and increase your chances of getting found by potential customers before your competitors.

Keep Your Website Interesting and Fresh

Customers search the internet to find the information they need. A stagnant and out-of-date website is less professional and interesting than one that updates content regularly. Customers might check out your social media presence and website more than once before making a decision. When they return, finding something relevant and fresh makes their visit more interesting. It also shows that you are a professional organisation.

Convince Customers to Hire or Buy from You

Content marketing can help you encourage customers to take action. It is only natural for customers to procrastinate when they need to spend time or spend money to get something. However, once they get a clear answer to their questions, they could finally be encouraged to hire your service or buy from you. Provide content that will help them make a decision and ultimately choose you over your competitors.

5 Simple Ways to Lower Your CPC in AdWords

lower cpc adwordsWhen it comes to pay per click advertising, finding different ways to lower your CPC (cost per click) for the keywords you’re bidding on is crucial. If your cost per click is less, then surely your cost per conversion will be lower?

The answer to this is – yes!

So how you can reduce your CPC? In the beginning, simply lowering your bids isn’t likely to do the trick, so what you do to lower your CPC while still saying competitive?

Here are 5 simple ways you can lower your CPC in AdWords.

#1 – Improve Relevancy

Talking about “relevancy” in regards to PPC is like talking saying “content is king” when it comes to SEO – you’re sick of hearing it!

Though this might be the case, the best PPC campaigns are ones that are incredibly granular. This often means having single keyword ad groups (but you’re allowed different match types) that have incredibly relevant ads to target that one specific keyword. These single keyword ad groups then have landing pages that are specifically optimised for that keyword, which improves landing page relevancy.

Now this sounds like a lot of work (it is!) so I’d recommend that you start small and see the amazing results that single keyword ad groups will have for your campaign. Start with your top 5 keywords and go from there.

There’s more about single keyword ad groups and their benefits further down in this post, so keep reading!

#2 – Improve Quality Score

If you’ve followed along and implemented the tip above, then you’ll be glad to know that improving relevancy helps you get a higher quality score.

When you create highly relevant ads, your CTR (click through rate) will go up, and when your CTR goes up, your quality score goes up, and when your quality score goes up, your ad rank goes up and that lower CPC you’ve been dreaming of can now become reality.

#3 – Testing

One of the best things about PPC is that it’s fast. In an industry with a lot of search volume we’re able to see the results of our tweaks very quickly and are then able to decide what to do going forward. This means that it’s incredibly important to be frequently creating new ads to go up against your best ads.

What do I mean by that?

Don’t settle for a CTR of 7%, try to improve it and get 10%! Even if you manage to get 10/10 for quality score, there are always better call to actions to use, so test them all!

#4 – Lower Your Maximum Bid

Lowering your keyword bids is obviously the simplest way to lower your CPC. By lowering your bid, you are giving Google a lower maximum amount that you’re willing to pay for each click.

If you’ve done steps 1-3 and have improved your quality score by improving your ad relevancy and have seen that your ad rank is also going up, but you’re still paying the same cost per click, you might just have to consider gradually lowering your bids.

You might wonder why you’re still paying the same amount even after the improvements you’ve made, and I often wonder this myself. Why do I think it happens? Well, while Google is a free to use search engine, they still have shareholders and have to make money somehow!

So lower your bids (slowly!) and make sure that you keep an eye on what position your ad shows in. You’ll be surprised by how low you’re able to go and not take a hit in ad position.

Sometimes a lower ad position can also be a good thing. I often find that lower ad positions (not too low so they don’t get clicks, though) often have a better conversion rate. My theory on this is that the searcher has taken more time to find your ad, read the ad copy and found that it’s more relevant to what they’re looking for than the results above. They obviously haven’t just blindly clicked the first result they’ve seen. 

#5 – Keep on Top of Negative Keywords

We’ve audited and worked on many PPC campaigns that people have set up themselves or have had a PPC agency work on, and one thing we often notice is that the search terms report gets neglected.

The search terms report shows you all of the keywords that have been searched that your ads have shown for. You should regularly go through this and add any keywords that aren’t converting well enough to your negative keyword list.

As well as improving the relevancy of your ad groups and campaigns, this will mean you’ll not have to carry on paying for keywords you don’t want to pay for!

You can access the search terms report by going into ‘Keywords’ and then selecting the ‘Search Terms’ tab.

adwords search terms report

What do you do to lower your CPC?

Want to Skyrocket Your Revenue?

6 Unique Ways to Do Keyword Research

keyword research guideYou probably already know it; targeting keywords and phrases in content will lead to a long term growth in organic search traffic. That’s why all good content marketing campaigns start with the same thing – keyword research.

The problem is, most internet marketers do keyword research completely wrong.

When most people think of keyword research they usually have this image in their head:

google keyword suggestions

The problem with this is that nearly all internet marketers do this while doing keyword research and will be using the exact same keywords that you are. This means that unless you’re insanely lucky, you won’t find anything that is near being a low competition keyword.

I’ve got great news for you though – the Google keyword planner only shows a limited amount of keywords that you can target.

Today i’m going to show you a new way to do keyword research. Actually, I’m going to show you 6 new ways to do keyword research.

1. Udemy

Most often when you do internet marketing it is to sell something and a lot of times that something is knowledge and information.

The problem these days is that hardly anyone wants to pay for information and due to the vast amounts of resources on the internet people expect it for free.

You’ll notice that I haven’t said that everyone wants something for free, though, because thee are still lots of people that know that paying for high quality information and training is well worth the cost of it. They understand that by paying for it, they’re often able to speed up the learning process and not have to go through the same re-hashed content on blog after blog.

These types of people normally visit the following places online:

  • Blogs – they follow and read content by influencers in their industry and will often buy training directly from them.
  • Educational Marketplaces – Sites like Udemy have grown massively in a short space of time due to the huge demand for high quality training online.
  • E-Commerce Stores – they buy audiobooks, books and courses from e-commerce stores such as Amazon.

For this method we’re going to look at the educational marketplaces (Udemy in particular).

First you’re going to have to go over to Udemy. Once you’re there you’ll see a navigation bar on the left that will show different course categories:

udemy course categories

For the purpose of this example, I’ll pretend that I’m writing content for a personal development blog, so will choose the “Personal Development” category from the list above.

Once you’ve selected your category you’ll be shown a list of different courses within the category. You’ll also be given the option to narrow your choice down further with course sub-categories:

udemy course sub categories

What you now want to do is view the most popular courses in the category. To do this you have to select “All Courses” and then sort by popularity:

udemy popular courses

You’ll also notice on the side that you’ll have a lot of other filtering options available.

The option I find that is most useful is the “Level” option which shows how difficult the course is. This means that if you’re creating content for beginners, then you’d want to look at the courses that are the most popular beginner courses.

On the flip-side, if you’re creating content for experts, you’d want to select the “Expert” filter option. This is because audiences generally tend to use different keywords to search depending on how knowledgable they are of a subject.

Once you’ve managed to filter down to the top courses that are suitable to your audience you’ll be able to find some keywords.

Here’s the start of the information about the course I decided to use for my example. What you want to do is read through the description and pick out phrases that you think people will search for. Some courses make this incredibly easy for you and the trainer will have already bolded the keywords for you!

Unfortunately the one I chose didn’t, so I had to pick them myself.

udemy course description

At this stage you’ll want to start recording your keywords. I’d recommend just using a spreadsheet for this.

It’s also important to note that you don’t need to copy the phrases down exactly as they’re put. For example, I doubt anyone is searching for “improve their levels of confidence and self-esteem”, but it’s highly likely that people are searching for things such as “improve confidence”, “improve self-esteem”, “how to improve confidence”, etc.

Once you’ve taken keywords from the course description, you’ll also find the course curriculum if you scroll down. This is usually a goldmine for keywords, too.

From what we’ve seen so far from this course, I’d add the following to my keyword spreadsheet:

  • Building confidence
  • Developing a powerful mindset
  • Developing an elevator pitch
  • Improve confidence
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Maintaining confidence
  • Strategies for maintaining confidence
  • How to deal with stressful situations
  • Social interaction exercises

Another great way to get keywords from Udemy is by using the search bar. Udemy provides suggestions when you type your industry in:

udemy search bar

This is a great way to get keywords, as they’re listed from most searched to least.

2. Steal Your Competitor’s Keywords

Big sites in your industry more than likely create huge amounts of content that targets keywords that they don’t even realise they’re targeting.

This can be anything from having them in a title or scattered a few times throughout the content.

You normally can’t compete with sites like these for the keywords that they want to target, but you can normally try to overtake them for the ones they aren’t intentionally targeting.

If you take these keywords and create content based around them, you’ll have content that is more targeted for those keywords than the site you’re competing against and will then have a better chance of ranking higher for it.

This method is a bit more difficult than others, but can be a great source of keywords.

Here’s a couple of ways you can do it.

Method 1: Google AdWords Keyword Planner

The first way we’re going to do this is by using Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner tool. Go over to the tool and select “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. Once you’ve done this you then have to put in your competitor’s site or landing page into the box that says “Your landing page”. You then have to click “Get ideas”.

google keyword planner landing page

You’ll then be shown hundreds of keywords and phrases that are associated with the site/landing page that you have entered in order of relevance.

A quick look through these should give you some good ideas of things to create sites or content around.

Method 2: Ahrefs Organic Keywords

Another way you can do this is by using Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a fantastic tool that was traditionally used to find the backlinks of a site, but has grown massively in recent years to become a complete SEO tool.

Ahrefs is a paid tool, but is well worth it.

We’re going to use Ahrefs to find out what keywords a site is ranking for. You first have to put the competing site/landing page into the URL bar and click “Explore”. You then have to click “Organic Keywords” in the sidebar on the left.

ahrefs url bar

You will then be shown thousands of keywords that the site or landing page is ranking for and in a variety of different countries.

You will then be able to export these keywords and find ideas for content. A great way to find long-tail keywords is to filter by “Words”. I like to set it so that it shows phrases that are 4 words or more:

ahrefs words filtering

You can also use other tools such as SEMrush for this task, but I find that Ahrefs has much more data available at the moment.

3. FAQFox

The best way to find keywords and content topics is to find out what sort of questions your ideal audience is looking for. You’re the expert on the topic after all, so the chances are you can probably answer those questions.

Years ago this would be a manual task and would involve finding industry forums where people ask questions, but now there’s a great tool to enable you to do this with little work. That tool is FAQFox.

Based on what keyword or topic you enter, FAQFox will find a list of threads on forums related to what you put in.

You first have to enter a keyword in the box. You can then enter your own forum list or select a category. I find picking a category works best as it will then choose forums that the tool knows it can scrape for data. If you can’t find an appropriate category, use “Generic”.

faqfox search

Once you have clicked “Start Searching” the tool will go out and find hundreds of threads related to your keywords. You can then go through them and pick the questions.

faqfox search results

From the list above, I would note down the following:

  • Best way to monetise photography
  • What is GEO targeting in SEO
  • Yext vs. Moz Local
  • What are the biggest content marketing strategy mistakes
  • How to run a high performing growth marketing team

From this I would then be able to brainstorm content and title ideas.

4. Quora

Quora is a Q&A website where questions are asked and resolved by its’ community of users.

There are many sites like Quora, such as Yahoo Answers, Stack Exchange and Answers, but Quora is probably the largest and most useful.

One of the main reasons why Quora is so good for keyword research is because it has algorithms that display the most popular content in your industry both past and present.

The first thing you need to do is go to Quora and enter your industry into the search bar and select the topic.

quora topic search

Once you’ve selected your topic, you can then select “Feed”.

Once you’re on the feed you’ll probably already start to get a few ideas.

5. Reddit

Reddit…the self-proclaimed front page of the Internet. Pretty much the whole of the Internet hangs out on Reddit. The main page of Reddit aggregates the most popular content from the site, but that isn’t what we’re going to be looking at today. We’re going to be looking at subreddits. You can find subreddits for pretty much anything and they’re a great source of traffic (and keywords!).

To find subreddits, we’re going to use the subreddit search feature and enter in our industry. This will then show you the subreddits that are relevant to what you have searched and what we’re going to use to find keywords and content ideas.

subreddit search

Once you’ve found a subreddit on your topic, it shouldn’t be too hard to find keywords and content ideas. To speed up the process, you can arrange the subreddit to show the top topics for certain periods of time by clicking “Top”.

reddit subreddit topics

6. Wikipedia

The world’s largest information website is also one of the best sources of keywords.

No matter what your industry, there will be a Wikipedia entry (or 20!) on it.

The beauty of Wikipedia is that it’s incredibly simple to use. You don’t need to develop any new skills, pay a subscription or buy any new software. All you’re going to need for this is an Internet connection and somewhere to note down keywords!

I’m going to show you a few ways how you can use Wikipedia for keyword research.

Method 1: Wikipedia Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

First you need to use Google and search for your topic with “wikipedia” in the search.

google wikipedia search

In the results page alone there are some valuable keywords. Check out the page titles and meta descriptions for keyword ideas.

From looking at the results pages in this example, I would note down the following:

  • Gas stove
  • Gas kitchen stove
  • Natural gas stove
  • Alsatian stove
  • Gas heat exchanger
  • Portable stove
  • Portable gas stove
  • Gas cartridge stoves
  • Pressurised burner stoves

Method 2: Wikipedia Search

Now we’re going to use Wikipedias own search to find keywords. For this example I’m going to pretend that I’m researching keyword and content ideas for accounting software.

The screenshot below shows what comes up when I search for “accounting software” in wikipedia.

wikipedia search

The opening paragraph of any Wikipedia entry is always a great place for finding keywords. When i look at the first paragraph for “accounting software” I see the following keywords:

  • Application software
  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Payroll
  • Trial balance
  • Accounting information system
  • Online accounting software

Once you have made a list of keywords from the first paragraph, you can then use additional words to make more long tail keywords:

  • Software for payroll
  • Accounts payable online software
  • Best payroll accounting information system

Method 3: Wikipedia Contents Section

Most topics on Wikipedia have a table of contents that is a great resource for finding keywords. You can essentially use the contents section as a list of keywords in itself.

The screenshot below shows the table of contents for the “accounting software” Wikipedia entry:

wikipedia table of contents

The beauty of the table of contents comes when you drill down to the different sections. For this example I’ll select “Horizontal Market”.

wikipedia toc drill down

I’ve underlined the potential keywords that I see and would note down the following:

  • Construction accounting software
  • Medical accounting software
  • Nonprofit accounting software
  • Retail accounting software
  • Real estate accounting software

I would then be able to brainstorm content ideas, such as:

  • The Best Accounting Software for the Construction Industry
  • The Best Accounting Software for Retailers
  • 6 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Nonprofit Accounting Software


Hopefully you now understand that there is a lot more to keyword research than simply typing in a keyword into Google’s keyword planner and exporting the results.

Finding less competitive keywords with traffic is a difficult task and will take some time to master, but will make your life much easier down the road.

You’ll be able to get traffic from search engines much faster and with a lot less effort (need less backlinks potentially!).

The 6 keyword research methods in this article will help you find these types of keywords and create a great content strategy around them.

If you have any other great keyword research strategies that you’d like to share, please leave a comment!

Want to Skyrocket Your Revenue?

The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Law Firms

law firm seo

I’m not going to lie to you – we want you as a client.

With that said, I’m not going to cold call you or spam you like other SEO companies do. I’m going to win you over by showing you the exact blueprint to ranking your law firm’s website.

This is the same step-by-step guide we have used to rank the websites of other solicitors and law firms.

Now I know you’re probably not going to read all of this post due to the fact that I know that our other clients that are solicitors barely have time to read emails, never mind an SEO guide for solicitors.

So you might ask yourself why I’ve spent tens of hours writing it, as I could’ve written a lesser quality post like every other “SEO Expert” in an hour or so.

Well, we’re not like every other SEO services provider and the only way to prove that is to actually show you.

I’m making this post our sales pitch!

1. How to Track the ROI of SEO

This section is normally at the end of guides but it is so important that it needs to be put first.

We’ve said it before – marketing efforts are completely lost without proper analytics. To get this you need to use two tools:

  1. Google Webmaster Tools
  2. Google Analytics

If you don’t have these set up already, do it now. There are plenty of resources available online for doing this.

In this section of the guide I’m going to show you 3 reports you can use to gauge the ROI of your SEO campaign.

1. Analysing Organic Traffic

Tool Used: Google Analytics
How to find the report: Go to Audience > Mobile > Overview and select the Organic Traffic segment.
What this tells you: 
This kills two birds with one stone as it tells you the amount of visitors you are getting via organic search and also what type of device they are using. It also tells you bounce rate, time on site and goal completion.
Why you need it: 
If your organic traffic isn’t increasing then your SEO campaign isn’t working!

google analytics organic traffic segment

2. Analysing Organic Impressions and Queries

Tool Used: Google Webmaster Tools
How to find the report: Go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics
What this tells you: Every time your website shows up in a search on Google (this shows up as an Impression) and the keywords (Queries) that your website is showing up for.
Why you need it: This allows you to check that your website is showing up for the right keywords and also allows you to make sure your impressions (and clicks) are increasing.

google webmaster tools search analytics

3. Analysing the Value of your SEO

To truly analyse the value of your SEO you need to be tracking goals.

In the steps below we’re going to set it up to track form submissions and will assume that the contact form on your website takes visitors to a “Thank You” page.

  1. Click on the “Admin” tab in Google Analytics.
  2. Under “View” click “Goals”.
  3. Click “New Goal”.
  4. Give the goal a name – you can just use “Contact Form”.
  5. Under “Type” select “Destination”.
  6. Click “Continue”.
  7. In “Destination” select “Equal to”.
  8. In the space available enter the exact URL of your “Thank You” page (i.e if your site is you should just type /thank-you/)
  9. Click ‘Verify Goal” and if you have set this up correctly it should show a conversion %.
  10. Click “Save”.

This will now allow you to see how many form-fills you get on your website and where they are coming from (organic search, social media, PPC, etc)

2. Selecting Keywords of High Value

Great keyword research enables you to really take control of your rankings, traffic and leads. Without great keyword research you’re operating in the dark.

I always find it’s easier to illustrate this by example. For example, let’s imagine I’m doing research for a Manchester based solicitor.

Step One:

Come up with a list of initial keywords based on the business. For example:

  1. Manchester Solicitor
  2. Solicitor Manchester
  3. Divorce Solicitor Manchester
  4. Manchester Divorce Solicitor

Step Two:

Google has a tool that’s available for free that shows the average monthly search volume for keywords that you enter.

To access this, you have to sign in to AdWords (if you don’t have an AdWords account you can create one for free – and select “Tools” and then “Keyword Planner”.

google adwords keyword planner

When you’re on the Keyword Planner you then have to select “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”, input your keywords and then click “Get ideas”.

google keyword planner enter keywords

Step Three:

The resulting screen will bring up hundreds of keywords ideas that can be used and how many times per month on average they are searched. Click the “Download” button.

google keyword planner download

Step Four:

Open the data you have just downloaded in Excel (or any other software you have that can open CSV files) and remove columns A, C, E, G, H, I, J, K and L.

You should now have a file that looks like this:

keyword selection file

Because the keyword planner has given us hundreds of keyword ideas, we’re going to filter them to find only the most relevant ones. For this example we’re going to use a divorce solicitor, so I’m going to filter column A to only show me keyword ideas with “divorce” in them.

keyword research in numbers

Step Five:

We now need to organise the keywords by what the person’s intent is that is searching. Let’s take a look at the first 8 keywords in the table that I have:

keyword selection table

  1. divorce solicitor manchester
  2. manchester divorce solicitor
  3. divorce lawyers manchester
  4. divorce lawyer manchester
  5. divorce manchester
  6. divorce solicitors in manchester
  7. divorce lawyers in manchester
  8. divorce law

While all of these keywords are potential valuable to the website, some queries are informational and some have purchase intent.

You now need to separate the keywords that drive traffic from the ones that drive leads.

We do this by adding another column in the spreadsheet labelled “Intent” and tag each keyword with either “Purchase” or “Info”.

keyword selection table with intent

You now need to sort your keyword list by the number of monthly searches from high to low. The most relevant keyword with the highest search volume is going to be your main keyword. Later in this guide I’ll show you how to leverage it.

NOTE: Just for fun I totalled up how much it would cost to drive traffic to your site with these keywords using Google pay per click ads and found that it would cost £66,674.08 per month! An SEO campaign with us won’t cost anywhere near that.

15 Link Types & How to Build Them

link building techniques

If you know anything about SEO and how Google rank websites, you’ll know that having quality links to your website from other industry-related sites is of huge importance.

There’s lots of link opportunities for your website and I’m going to show you the ones that matter.

In this post I’m going to cover:

  • All of the link acquisition strategies that will help your website gain more organic traffic.
  • What each link looks like and how you are able to find it.
  • How you can secure that link for your website.

1. Resource Pages

As you can guess by the name, a resource page on a website is a page that links out to content that the site owner deems important for their audience.

Although this may sound like a link roundup, which is another technique discussed in this list, there are differences:

  • Link roundups take place regularly and feature content that was recently published (weekly, monthly, etc)
  • Resource pages are a static page that links out to evergreen content in the industry.

But the biggest different between getting resource page links and link roundup links is the pitch:

  • Link roundup pitches take place before a blogger creates a post.
  • Resource page pitches take place after the resource page is already in place. You ask the site owner to add a link to your content on the page.

Resource page pitches have a lower success rate generally, due to the fact that you’re asking someone to update their content (read: do some work!) whereas a link in a roundup post is you providing a link where they are actively seeking it.

What do resource page opportunities look like?

Below is an example from Smashing Magazine.

resource page link example

Other examples:

  • A solicitor may have a resource page that links to government documentation and forms that aren’t featured on their own site.
  • An internet marketing agency may link out to the various tools that they use.

How to find resource page opportunities:

It’s very important to ensure that you find relevant opportunities. It would be a waste of time pitching to a resource page about gardening if you’re an accountant and the content you would like to link to is a VAT calculator.

The example below shows a search operator that can be used. You can replace “web design” with your own phrase.

resource page link search operator

How to secure a link on the resource page:

Once you’ve found a great resource page link opportunity, you then need to look for a way to contact the person. We prefer email, but you could try via a form or social media.

Here’s the kind of email we use to land resource page links.

resource page link outreach email

Pitching for resource page links generally has a low success rate we find. This is probably because you’re asking someone to actually go out of their way and go back and edit old content to add a link.

One thing you can do is give them an incentive to add your link:

  • Offer to share the content with your own followers on social media and your email list. This is a great incentive as it means you will be driving new visitors to their website.

2. Link Roundups

A link roundup is a post on a blog that links out to the writer’s favourite pieces of content over a certain period of time (monthly is the most common).

Your job is to now find these opportunities and send them a pitch suggesting that they link to a piece of your content in their next link roundup.

Link roundups are a great way to get links in large quantities providing you’ve got something that is valuable to share.

The success of landing link roundup links depends entirely on the quality of the content that you’re submitting.

What do link roundups look like?

Below is an example from Caktus Group.

link roundup link example

How to find link roundup opportunities:

Use search operators in Google.

link roundup search operators

Use Twitter to search for them using #hashtags and keywords.

link roundup twitter

How to secure a link roundup link:

Once you’ve found a great resource page link opportunity, you then need to look for a way to contact the person. We prefer email, but you could try via a form or social media.

Here’s the kind of email we use to land link roundup links.

link roundup outreach email

When you think about it, this is an easy decision for them to make as you already know that they are looking for content to curate. You just need to put it in front of them.

3. Guest Posting

Guest posting is one of the best ways to get quality links for your website. Aside from the SEO benefits, you can expect to get a significant increase in traffic, brand exposure and the opportunity to build relationships with influencers in your industry.

The only downside to guest posting is for those of you that don’t like creating content – it requires you to create content on a regular basis.

What do guest posts look like?

Guest posts often don’t look any different than the standard blog posts you’re already used to seeing.

Here is an example of a guest post that I had published on an industry blog.

guest blog example

Within this post I was able to link to the content that I chose.

This single post helped push my SEO agency up the rankings in Google for competitive keywords, drove a lot of traffic to our site and also helped us land a client!

How to find guest post opportunities:

You can find guest post opportunities by using Google search operators. In the example below I have chosen to search for guest blogging opportunities relating to gardening.

guest blog search operators

You can use the same search operator, just swap out “gardening” for your industry. I used this example to show that you can find guest posting opportunities for ANY industry.

How to secure a guest post:

Once you’ve found a great guest post opportunity, you then need to look for a way to contact the person. We prefer email, but you could try via a form or social media.

Here is the kind of outreach email we use to land guest posts for ourselves and for clients.

guest post outreach email

This may sound obvious, but in the email you should always link to your best posts.

4. Link Reclamation

Over the span time that your website is live it is bound to lose links. While this is a natural occurrence, you are able to find links that you’ve lost and ask site owners to replace them.

What does a link reclamation opportunity look like?

A link reclamation opportunity presents itself when a website that has previously linked to yours has removed the link.

This happens for a number of reasons:

  • They have changed the URL on their website.
  • They have migrated their website or it is down.

it’s incredibly important to understand why your link was removed.

How to find link reclamation opportunities:

To find a link reclamation opportunity you will need a tool to help you crawl the backlinks of your website. My favourite tool to use for this is Ahrefs, but Majestic, SEMRush and Moz are great as well. I mainly use Ahrefs for this as I find that their database of backlinks is much larger than its competitors.

link reclamation opportunity

In Ahrefs you have to simply enter your domain and navigate to “lost” links. You can then examine your lost links and determine if it’s a good opportunity to contact the site’s webmaster and get your link back.

How to secure a link reclamation links:

To get your link back you have to contact the site that removed the link.

link reclamation outreach email

5. Sponsored Posts

This is a bit of a “grey hat” tactic. You need to find websites that accept advertisers and pitch to them.

Instead of buying banner ads, we recommend sending a pitch and asking them if you can sponsor a post instead.

What does a sponsored post opportunity look like?

You need to work out with the publisher to be able to create a piece of content that fits in well with the rest of their site. You would also benefit from telling them that you will not pay for a post that has been tagged as a sponsored post or paid placement.

If it isn’t already happening, I can see Google looking at these sorts of tags in the future and decreasing this link type’s value.

How to find sponsored post opportunities:

You can find sponsored post opportunities by using search operators in Google.

sponsored posts search operators

How to secure a sponsored post link:

The best way to get sponsored post links is to email sites in your industry and let them know that you’re looking to buy space on their website. Just make sure that you are clear that you’re not looking for banner ads and are looking for only native placements.

sponsored posts outreach email

6. Claim Unlinked Mentions

There’s no doubt that when you start creating engaging content, using social media and doing PR activities that your website will start to get mentioned.

This is great, but what’s common is that your site will get a mention but they won’t link to you!

It’s your job to monitor these mentions, contact sites and make sure that they include a link to your site.

What does an unlinked mention opportunity look like?

Any time that a website mentions your website, brand or your name without linking out to your site.

How to find unlinked mentions:

Google Alerts: You can find unlinked mentions by using Google Alerts. You have to track “your brand” and “your name”. You’ll then be sent email alerts whenever they are mentioned.

Search Operators: You can also find unlinked mentions by using search operators.

unclaimed mentions search operator

This tells Google to search the web for your brand and to not include your website in the search. You can also play around with the search tools and select different timeframes.

unclaimed mentions search operator search tools

How to secure an unclaimed mention link:

Once you’ve found a mention of you or your brand without a link you then need to look for a way to contact the person. We prefer email, but you could try via a form or social media.

unclaimed mentions outreach email

7. Forum Commenting

At SearchUp, we use forum commenting for two things:

  • Promoting content to drive traffic.
  • Creating pillow links for brand new sites.

Aside from link opportunities, forum commenting gives you a way of driving huge amounts of traffic to your site.

Your job is to find industry-related forums to join and participate in.

What does a forum commenting opportunity look like?

We want to find an industry-related forum to join and then search for threads relating to the content we want to promote.

After you’ve found this opportunity, you just simply have to craft a message and add a link to your content.

Your forum signature also gives you the opportunity to drive a lot of traffic to your website.

How to find forum commenting opportunities:

There are many search operators you can use in Google to find forum commenting opportunities. Here’s one.

forum commenting search operator

How to secure a forum commenting link:

No pitch is needed for this type of link. You simply need to leave a relevant message and link out to your content.

8. Blog Commenting

OK, I know what you’re thinking and no, blog comments are NOT spam!

The fact is that blog commenting is one of the best growth hacking techniques that can be used to promote content and drive huge amounts of traffic to a website.

Blog commenting generally works best when you’re promoting content and not a sales page. Being too “salesy” in a blog comment is a great way to make sure that your blog comment is either never approved or is removed as spam.

When you use blog commenting to promote content it becomes a natural link and is a great opportunity for you to build an audience.

See Google’s Matt Cutts video on blog commenting.

What does a blog commenting opportunity look like?

Any website that is relevant to your industry and has a blog is a blog commenting opportunity to you. Website owners and editors aren’t going to accept terrible comments that aren’t relevant to their content, though – they know they’re only there because someone wanted to drop a link!

The only way to ensure your blog comments get accepted is to write one that is well thought out, relevant to the article and generally provides some value and observation. Once you’ve done this you can add in a link to a relevant piece of your own content.

How to find blog commenting opportunities:

We have a list of hundreds of search operators that we use to find blog commenting opportunities. Here’s an example.

blog commenting search operator

You can also use the search tools in Google to find opportunities that are in a more recent timeframe.

How to secure a blog commenting link:

There’s no pitch needed for blog commenting links. You simply have to find a relevant article to comment on, write a comment that’s around 100-500 words long and add a link in to a relevant piece of content on your site.

9. Local Blogger Outreach

If you sat down and drew a 5 mile radius around where you’re sitting right now you’d likely find hundreds of local bloggers. You just need to find them and pitch to them!

What does a local blogger outreach opportunity look like?

The majority of local bloggers cover things like local news, fashion, music, technology and any other viral news.

You just need to work on finding a connection to between your website and theirs.


How to find local blogger outreach opportunities:

We have many search operators that we use to find these opportunities in Google.

local blogger outreach search operator

You can also look for local bloggers on social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

How to secure a local blogger link:

There are 2 different types of pitches you can send for a link like this:

  • Pitching a piece of great content on your site for them to write about (low success rate)
  • Offering them money to write a piece (incredibly high success rate)

The fact is that most bloggers aren’t making any money from their blog, so when you offer it to them they jump at the chance.

10. Directory Links

Directories are huge websites which are basically business phonebooks but online. They are often very old domains and have high domain authority and because there’s so many of them, you can build a large amounts of links in a short space of time.

Directory links have gotten a bad reputation over the past few years due to them being spammed to death by SEOs. They key to building quality directory links is to manually find them and NOT outsource them to someone on Fiverr!

What does a directory link opportunity look like?

Most of the time directory link opportunities look like online phonebooks.

directory link example

How to find directory link opportunities:

We have hundreds of search operators that we use in Google to find directory link opportunities.

directory link search operator

How to secure a directory link:

Look for a place on the directory to submit a business.

11. Professional Organisations

Whatever industry your business is in, you can guarantee that there’s lots of organisations that are dedicated to it.

You just have to find and join them.

What does a professional organisation link look like?

A professional organisation link essentially looks like a profile page of your company on the organisation’s website.

How to find professional organisations:

We use many search operators to find professional organisations in Google.

professional organisations search operator

Here are some more you can use. Just replace “marketing” with your industry:

  • marketing association
  • marketing establishments
  • marketing groups
  • marketing institutes
  • marketing organisations
  • marketing professional organisations

How to secure a professional organisation links:

You just have to follow the instructions on joining the organisation.

12. Video Links

Video links are another type of pillowing links that we use. These types of links are essential in building a natural link profile and are the types of links you should always build before building contextual links to your site.

While around 99% of these links will be nofollow, we love building these types of links on video sites because these pad out your anchor text profile and also drive a lot of traffic to your website.

What does a video link opportunity look like?

Below is a screenshot from a video I use to promote our agency. In the video description I added a link to our website.

video links link example

How to find video link opportunities:

You can use search operators in Google to find video sharing sites. Here’s a list of some to get you started:


How to secure a video link:

To get a video link you first need to have a video to upload to the video sharing sites. Once you have uploaded the video to the sites you can add a link to your website in the description.

13. Infographics

Creating an infographic is the process of aggregating data in the form of an image. We like to use infographics in 2 ways:

  • Use the infographic to pitch as a guest post
  • Submitting them to infographic sharing sites such as

We like to think of infographics as the link builder’s Trojan Horse. Authority sites that would normally ignore you embrace you with open arms and are willing to link to your content.

How to find infographic link opportunities:

If you’re using infographics to pitch as guest posts…

infographic guest post search operator

You can use search operators in Google to find blogs in your industry that have previously used infographics. It’s important to make sure that the infographics are as parts of blog posts and not submission sites.

If you’re using infographics as pillow links…

infographic submission search operator

You can use search operators in Google to find infographic submission sites.

How to secure an infographic link:

If you’re using infographics to pitch as guest posts…

Once you have found a website that has previously use an infographic in a blog post you have to contact them. We prefer to do this via email.

infographic guest post outreach email

If you’re using infographics as pillow links…

Simply follow the instructions on the infographic submission site.

14. Skyscraper Technique

This is a method created by Brian Dean. I’m including it here because it’s a killer method for link building that we use for clients.

The basics of the technique are:

  • Find a piece of content in your industry that has lots of great links
  • Create a better version of the content
  • Contact sites linking to the old content letting them know you created a better version

How to find skyscraper opportunities:

To find skyscraper opportunities we use Ahrefs Content Explorer and BuzzSumo to find URLs with lots of backlinks and social shares.

skyscraper technique ahrefs content explorer

You then need to check out the content and figure out if you can improve it. You could also see if there is an opportunity to turn it into an infographic.

How to secure a link using the Skyscraper Technique:

Once you have created a better version of the content, scrape the links and contact information of all the sites that link to the original content. You then need to send an outreach email to those sites informing them of the better content you have created.

skyscraper technique email outreach

15. Event and Conference Links

We’re going to admit it – these types of links take a lot of effort to get. You’ll have to either:

  • Speak at an event or conference
  • Host a meetup
  • Attend or host an event
  • Sponsor an event or conference

Although these links take a lot of effort to get, they are definitely one of the best links to get not only for link building, but for growing your business.

Speaking at conferences, local events and getting involved in your community is a great way to grow your business. Like networking, it helps you build relationships with people and also allows you to demonstrate expertise.

What does a event and conference link look like?

When you sign up to speak at events and conferences you’re going to get links from a variety of places:

  • The host’s website
  • Sponsors and partner websites
  • Bloggers who attend the event and write about it

How to find event and conference opportunities:

You can find event and conference opportunities by using search operators in Google.

event and conference links search operator

How to secure an event and conference link:

If you’re hosting the event or conference you can create the link easily on Meetup.

If you’re looking to speak at an event or conference you’ll have to get in touch and apply for the speaking gig.

Recommended Tools

Ninja Outreach – A tool that helps to automate finding these opportunities and outreach at scale

Ahrefs Content Explorer – The whole Ahrefs suite is a must for any SEO and the Content Explorer is incredibly useful for the Skyscraper Technique


I hope you’ve been able to learn something from this list and are able to put it to action. These are techniques that we use day in – day out to help our clients rank higher in Search Engines to generate more sales, leads and ultimately make more money from their websites.

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