5 Ways to Perform an Effective Content Audit (FREE Template Included)

5 Ways to Perform an Effective Content Audit (FREE Template Included)

Ever heard of the Pareto principle or 80/20 rule?

It’s the theory that states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Why am I telling you this? 

Because it applies to your websites content.

Take a look at your content. How well is it ranking?

If you’re not ranking in the top 10 on Google for your main keyword or, even worse, you were ranking but you aren’t anymore, then maybe it is time for a content audit.

Pareto principle

In this article you will learn how to find content in need of a refresh, how to actually go about improving it to boost your SEO as well some useful content re-optimisation tools. 

Sound good?

What Is A Content Audit?

A content audit is an exercise in which you evaluate the performance of your existing content (blog posts, FAQs, guides, lead magnets etc.), identify its weaknesses, and make improvements.

These improvements are done by adding new content, editing the existing content, or refreshing and updating your published content to make it more accurate and relevant.

It is one of the low hanging fruits in SEO and content marketing.

Why?

Because your old content is already indexed in Google Search (even if it’s nowhere near page 1), ranking for a few keywords, and pulling in some traffic.

Plus, it’s much more cost-effective to edit and upgrade old content and build on its success instead of creating a new piece of content from scratch.

Just a word of warning though:

A content audit/refresh doesn’t mean completely gutting your old stuff to make way for the new. 

This could seriously impact your rankings and traffic.

Instead, think of a content refresh as a chance to improve content and bring older pieces up to the standard of newer ones.

But why should you do this? I’m glad you asked:

Why content (sometimes) needs refreshing

Sometimes content needs updating because of increased competition, maybe you’ve recently purchased a site and it is poorly optimized, or the content could be improved by sharing more examples or stats or maybe the information is simply outdated. 

In some cases, you might update your content even if it’s ranking well and bringing in a lot of traffic just to strengthen your position even more.

To start your content audit, you first need to find the content that needs to be improved.

To be more specific look for the following things in your content.

  • Loss of organic traffic or possible even NO organic traffic.
  • No direct engagement (low time on page and other engagement metrics).
  • Little to no social engagement. 
  • Poor post metrics. 
  • No follow through to content despite social promotion.

How to find underperforming content

Now you know what you are looking for, it’s time to get to work.

Here is what you’ll need:

First you need to make a copy of the Google Sheet. 

Now it’s time to gather up your website data and add it into this sheet:

Step 1 – Get Google Analytics data

First up, we need to get pageviews from Google Analytics:

  • Go to Google Analytics >>> Behavior >>> Site Content and the select All Pages
  • Change your date range to show the last 6 months of data and hit apply.
  • Depending on the size of your site: select more rows to show. I like to show 1000.
  • Now export to CSV.
  • In the sheet, go to the analytics tab. Click File >>> Import
  • And make sure you select ‘Replace current sheet’ and then Import data.

Step 2 – Get Google Search Console data

Next up is to head over to Google Search Console:

  • Select your site
  • Got to the Performance report
  • Make sure all the metrics are selected (clicks, impressions, CTR and average position)
  • Change the date range to Last 6 months
  • Now select Pages and export (the small arrow above the data)
  • In the sheet, go to the search console tab. Click File >>> Import
  • And make sure you select ‘Replace current sheet’ and then Import data.

Step 3 – Run your URLs through Ahrefs batch analysis

This is an optional step. 

If you don’t have access to Ahrefs, the spreadsheet will still work, you’ll just be missing some keyword and backlink data.

We’ll be using the Batch Analysis tool that quickly gets a bunch of data for domains or URLs in bulk. To get it setup:

  • Go the the Batch Analysis tool over at Ahrefs
  • In the Overview tab of the sheet, copy the URLs (column B)
  • Paste them into the batch analysis box.
  • Underneath there are three option boxes, make sure you set it up like this:
    • Protocol – As specified
    • Target mode – Exact URL
    • Index – Live
  • Now hit analysis
  • Now export
  • Go back to your sheet and go to the ahrefs tab. Click File >>> Import
  • And make sure you select ‘Replace current sheet’ and then Import data.

Now you’ll have a finished spreadsheet full of underperforming content that is ripe for a content refresh. It should look something like this:

Content Refresh Finder

What does this spreadsheet show you?

This Google Sheets template gives you a quick top level view of your site and how it is performing.

It shows your website’s:

  • Top 100 viewed pages
  • The average position in the SERPs
  • How users are interacting with your site on Google
  • How many backlinks it has
  • The keywords it ranks for

At a glance, you’ll be able to look for pages that are in need of a refresh. Here’s just a few ideas of things to look for:

Pages that have high impressions but low CTR.

Low search CTR means that people are seeing your site in search results but not clicking on it.

low CTR High impressions

There are three things you need to see here

  • Are You Ranking For The Right Keyword?

Does your site match the searcher’s internet for this keyword? Does your page have the answers the searchers of this keyword are looking for?

For example, you might have a site about fruits and nutrition that’s ranking for the keyword “apple benefits”.

But what if all the other results are about Apple the tech company?

That’s just an example.

But it’s possible that you’re ranking for the wrong keywords which is why no one’s clicking on your page.

In that case, try aiming for long-tail keywords on the same topic that are more descriptive. 

  • Improve Your Page Title: 

Does your page title clearly tell the visitors what it’s about? Does it create a sense of curiosity? Does it make a promise? Is it using power words to drive action?

Without creating a power title, you’ll always struggle to drive clicks on your search result even if you rank for a keyword.

Here’s a really good resource for creating blog headlines.

  • Write An Engaging Meta Description

Does your page have a meta description?

If it doesn’t Google will use the first few lines of your page as the default meta description.

And that’s not good from your perspective.

Meta descriptions do not impact search rankings directly. But thy have a huge role in driving clicks om your search result.

You need to write an engaging meta description that immediately makes a promise and entices the searches to click on your search result.

This is the place where you need to show your creative writing talent.

If your target keyword has sponsored results from Google Ads, look at the meta description they’ve used because advertisers pay a lot of money to test and optimize their ad descriptions.

Pages with crazy good CTRs

It’s always good to be on the lookout for outliers. Sometimes you’ll have a page that gets a really high CTR (or other metric). 

It’s worth digging down into this and to try and reverse engineer what is working for other pages.

high CTR pages

For the pages that are driving traffic, you need to pay particular attention to Bounce Rates

If the Bounce Rate is higher than your site average, it means the visitors are not finding the information they’re looking for.

In this case, you need to improve your content and make it more valuable. Try to highlight the key items of the page at the start so that the visitors know their desired information is available.

If the Bounce Rate is fine, see how much on-site conversions this traffic is driving (for example, visitor to email subscriber conversion, clicks on internal links, etc.)

The pages that are driving search traffic are your biggest assets. Always use content upgrades, lead magnets, internal links, and CTA to convert them into something more meaningful for your business.

Pages ranking for lots of keywords

If you find pages that are ranking for lots of keywords and have a decent CTR, but aren’t retaining the traffic or routing it to the other pages on your site, then these are definitely pages ripe for a content refresh.

Chances are you need to add more content to the page and/or target the keywords better.

pages ranking for lots of keywords

The easiest way to do this is by analyzing your closest search competitors.

See how they’ve structured their content and what’s their main value proposition.

Structure your content on their model and try to offer something valuable to your visitors so that they stick on your site.

5 ways to perform an effective content refresh

Okay, so now you know what content refreshing is, why it’s important and you’ve (hopefully) identified your target pages. 

Now starts the actual refreshing.

When it comes to actually refreshing your content, you’ve got five types of things you can do to boost it.

  1. Expand your content
  2. Update your content
  3. Optimise or re-optimise
  4. Merge it
  5. Promote / build some links

Let’s look at these in more detail.

#1 Expand your content

Expanding your content is the most common way of refreshing a post. 

Sometimes you just need to write something longer and more in depth.

There’s lots of data to suggest that content needs to be longer in order to rank highly. 

In fact, if this Backlinko study is to be believed, the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.

google position

Longer content also tends to attract more backlinks and generate more social share.

And it makes sense.

Content that is more in-depth generally offers more value to the readers as a result of which more people link to it.

Your starting point for expanding content is keyword research.

You need to know if your content is or isn’t optimized for any of the keywords that are going to drive traffic to your site.

By performing keyword research, you’ll be able to see what gaps are in your content you can fill in.

However, avoid just expanding content for the sake of it. Be critical and ask yourself: 

Should I expand this post?

Are there questions about this topic that I haven’t answered?

Is my resource giving comprehensive information to the readers?

An easy way to find this is by looking at the “People also ask” section of SERPs for your target keyword.

In this section, Google lists the most common questions people have about a topic.

Quickly go through the list and see if there are any angles or topics that you can add to your content to make it more valuable.

Maybe your original post lacked context or needed some supporting info to make it more relevant, or perhaps missed out a topic completely.

Either way, be sure to do a quality check on your content before diving in and expanding it.

Another aspect of expanding your content is to add things that make it more impactful and credible.

For example, if you’ve shared a strategy or tips about achieving something, why not share a couple of real-life examples with it to give the readers more value?

Similarly, if you’ve made a claim or shared an opinion in your content, why not back it up with solid research or scientific data evidence so that your arguments become heavier.

These things make your content more effective and leave an impact on your readers.

#2 Update your content

Google likes fresh content for some searches and sometimes information can become outdated.

Moz Fresh Score

Here’s the type of posts you should look out for and consider updating:

  • Posts that mentions of dates
  • Posts with lots of screenshots (especially of software tools as these get updated and re-skinned)
  • Outdated information
  • Topics that have since changed

You want your content to be as accurate as possible for both users and Google. 

It’s quite common that over time information in content can become outdated.

Here’s a quick list of things you can change, add, or remove from outdated posts:

  • Remove any content that is no longer relevant.
  • Update any outdated content.
  • Replace outdated data with up to date ones
  • Update screenshots if things have changed
  • Add any new best practices that have emerged (things in SEO change fast)
  • Check and update internal links
  • Potentially update CTAs

#3 Optimize or re-optimize

Sometimes content drops off because it could be better optimised. 

On-page SEO plays a big part in how your content is performing, so make sure to check the following for the best rankings:

  • Ensure the title tag includes the main keyword.
  • Use a H1 that also includes the main keywords.
  • Add a meta description.
  • Use variations of your main keyword in subheadings.
  • Add keywords to the URL (but keep it short)
  • Optimise images – compress them and add relevant alt text.
  • Check on technical issues like page load speed
  • Make sure your site uses a responsive design that’s easily accessible from mobile devices as well.
  • Add more internal links to your content wherever they make sense.

Another easy way to improve your ranking is to look for the keywords that you’re already ranking for in search results on Page 2 and 3.

You can find them in Google Search Console.

You’ll be surprised to see that your content might not even be optimized for some of the keywords you’re ranking for.

Filter them out and naturally include them in your content where they make sense.

#4 Merge Similar Content

So you’ve been blogging for a while and now your website is full of content.

Chances are though, there will be some duplicate or overlapping topics going on.

If this is the case, consider merging multiple blog posts together.

Having one strong resource on a topic that covers it in-depth is better than a handful of articles that all include roughly the same information.

If you’ve done your keyword research, you should have a list of related keywords, so should be able to plan out what keywords can be grouped together in a single post. You can then scale this by using content templates.

The end goal here is to have a few high-quality articles on your site vs lots of mediocre ones.

#5 Promote it / Build some links

Sometimes, a new round of promotion and link building is all that’s required.

If you are looking to perform a content refresh on old content, chances are you have published lots of new content since them. 

This is a great opportunity to build internal links to it.

A quick site search will show you lots of internal link opportunities. Just head to Google and search:

site:URL KEYWORD

(example site:rankxl.com content marketing)

Switch out KEYWORD to the main topic of the post you want to build links to. 

Google will show you the pages on your site it thinks are related. 

These make great targets to go add internal links from.

Don’t forget you can also re-promote old content to your email list of on social media as if it was new content and even consider driving paid traffic to it.

For higher competition keywords, you might need to build some new (and more powerful) links to it like via methods like guest posts or running some broken link building.

Don’t forget, the type of site you want to improve will dictate the type of links you need to build to it. 

A local lead gen site needs local links, whereas a more recognized branded site could use unlinked brand mentions whilst an affiliate site might be better off with white hat outreach.

Consider this before blindly going out and building any links you can.

Sidenote: 8 tools to help improve your content

Updating your content can be hard work.

Thankfully, there are some useful tools out three to make your life a bit easier.

Here’s a brief list of free and paid tools you can use to help improve your content:

  1. Google Analytics [FREE] – see how many people are visiting your site + other metrics
  2. Google Search Console [FREE] – see how your site is performing in search engines
  3. Ahrefs [PAID] – use this for keyword research and for spying on competitors
  4. Clearscope [PAID] – an AI tool to get the most out of content
  5. Frase [PAID] – a cheaper AI tool for analysing content.
  6. Headline Analyzer [FREE] – see how you can improve your headline/page titles
  7. AnswerthePublic [FREE] – use this to find question-related keywords
  8. Buzzsumo [PAID] – find what content is working well in your niche.

Summary

Refreshing pages doesn’t have to be a chore or seen as a step back. 

Sometimes, refreshing old content will have a more positive effect on your traffic than creating more content. 

Afterall, 80% of your traffic is likely to come from 20% of your content.

Remember: SEO is not a one time task.

It’s an ongoing process.

To get the most from a content refresh, get in the habit of performing one on your site ever 3 – 6 months.

There’s always room for improvement, you just have to look in the right places.

jake

About Jake

Jake is a marketer, writer and spreadsheet wrangler who runs Sheets For Marketers. He’s a fan of dogs, SEO, and pizza. Sometimes at the same time. 

How to optimize your EPC ads?

How to optimize your EPC ads?

Pay-per-click, or PPC is one of the most popular business models in affiliate marketing. Hence, the success of many affiliates depends largely upon their earnings per click (EPC for short). This is one of the crucial metrics in the business, as it represents the average amount an affiliate makes with each ad click. To put it simply, you know your business is not doing well if your EPC is lower than what you pay for each click and vice versa. Affie is here to help you optimize your EPC ads and make the most out of them.

EPC hacks for beginners

If you are new to the business of traffic monetization it would be very wise to take some time to do some research. 2020 has brought a lot of turmoil to the vast majority of businesses, and affiliate marketing isn‘t an exception. For example, many small businesses were forced to stop their PPC campaigns, so bidding on keywords is less used. As you can see, the market largely depends on outside factors. If you know how to adapt, though, this could be a great chance to advance your business.

Optimize your EPC ads right from the start

Knowing and understanding your EPC is the first step to improving it. Devote some time to studying your own and the expected average earnings in your niche to understand how you compare to others. Then analyze other affiliates in your niche and see which strategies they are using.

An illustration of a funnel and a upward facing graph.
Understanding your EPC is one of the first steps.

Making text EPC ads longer can drastically improve visibility since it allows visitors to find out more about your business. However, the quality of copy will always be more important than the amount of text. Analyze your audience and try to think of ways to speak directly to them.

Making sure your site loads quickly is basically a must nowadays, as visitors‘ expectations have grown. The bounce rate increases dramatically the longer your pages take to load.

5 ways to improve your EPC ads

Campaign optimization is not a one-time thing. As long as a campaign is up, you should experiment and see what is the best way to improve your ads. Making different changes can truly propel you above the competition in unexpected ways.

Boost the quality score of your EPC ads

This instruction sounds very logical, but many affiliates don‘t understand what determines ad quality. To put it simply, Google Ads scores them on a scale from 1 to 10. The factors that make up quality scores are click-through rate (or CTR for short), landing page quality, and ad relevance. In other words, all your efforts to keep your visitors engaged with your site also increase your ad score. As we previously stated, loading speed is a great place to start, but the options to improve user experience on your site are basically limitless.

A laptop with an online furniture store site open.
Make your site as attractive and enjoyable as possible!

A/B testing

You may think you understand what works best. However, affiliate marketing is a growing industry, and you should do as much testing as possible to see if you can increase your EPC even more. A/B or split testing means sending one half of your audience to one version of a page and the other half to a different one. To put it simply – this is the best way to understand which strategy will work better and refine your ads. Many elements of any page can be tested, including

  • Ad copy
  • Visual media
  • Colors
  • Layout

Any of these things can have a greatly positive impact on your CTR, and thus, your EPC as well.

Target EPC ads wisely

Targetting any and every internet user is usually not a great strategy. Utilize different filters to make sure only people actually interested in the product you are offering to see your ads. This way you will both boost the click-through rate and cut down on the expenses. Likewise, segmenting your target audience by applying different filters is a great way to personalize the ads and make them more effective for each group within. Some of the more effective ways to segment your audience include dividing it by

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Previous online behavior
  • General interests
  • Device type

Additionally, you should consider the time of day, week, or year and choose to show your ads exactly when there‘s a bigger chance to complete a conversion.

Remarket

Remarketing is one of the best ways to make your ads more relevant and boost your conversion rate. In other words, you should show ads to users who have already expressed interest in purchasing an item. This is a chance to turn your abandoned leads into paying customers and grow brand visibility. Remarketing usually has a high success rate, especially if you give those users an additional incentive to purchase, such as a time-limited offer. At the end of the day, putting something in your cart is the best indicator that you really want it but are unsure about buying it.

Illustration of a phone with some ads on the screen.
Place your ads strategically!

Optimize for mobile

Mobile traffic is quickly becoming the most important type in business. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, smartphones are developing quickly, and have become more affordable. Secondly, they are more convenient for the majority of the population as they are portable and have basically all the features a desktop computer has. Online marketing can only benefit from the ability to market products and services anywhere and at any time. Especially so if you have access to a user‘s location. Hence, you should use this opportunity to implement responsive design into your campaigns and optimize your bids for mobile devices. This way you will be in charge of how much money you are investing in mobile clicks, and directly influence your EPC.

To conclude

EPC doesn‘t exist in a bubble, independently from the rest of your campaign. In other words, many elements of your business are interwoven and depend on each other. However as EPC is a great indicator of your success in the business, it is very important to keep an eye on it to make sure everything is going smoothly.

Behind the Scenes of a Content and Link Building Campaign with Mark Mars from Niche Website Builders

Behind the Scenes of a Content and Link Building Campaign with Mark Mars from Niche Website Builders

In today’s podcast, I invited Mark Mars from NicheWebsite.Builders back on the show.

Last time Mark was on the podcast, he and I actually pre-recorded questions and answers.  This time around, I wanted to have him on a “live” interview to get a bit more of the dialogue going.

In this episode, we discuss a little bit about of the progress of his SEO agency since it was launched nearly 1 year ago.  They’ve grown rapidly.

In addition, I wanted to discuss what’s going on with my Skyscraper Link building campaign that I ordered from their about 5 weeks ago for OwnTheYard.com.  I needed some links and so I hired them for the job.

We dive into what’s going on behind the scenes as they do outreach and how long I should expect to wait before I see significant results.

Listen in to hear all the details.  Or you can watch the entire video interview below:

Spencer: [00:00:00] Hey, Mark. Welcome to the niche pursuits podcast.

Mark Mars: [00:00:07] Hi, Spencer. Thanks for having me.

Spencer: [00:00:09] Yup. It’s a great to have you, I guess, back on, you know, before, when you were on, we did sort of a prerecorded side of the interview. so this is really the first time we’re recording together on the, at the same time. So, it’s going to be great.

Being able to chat with you here today.

Mark Mars: [00:00:25] Excellent.

Spencer: [00:00:26] So, you know, you, you shared last time you were on you, you shared a little bit about how you have grown niche website builders, just to catch people up. If they didn’t hear the last podcast interview, let people know what niche website.builders is.

And when you guys started that.

Mark Mars: [00:00:46] Yeah. So, literate site builders, we started with, co-founder of mine, or co co founder, Adam Smith. we started out, around December last year. So about 11 months ago now, we, we we’d only actually met like three months prior, so we’ve been, we’ve only known each other for a year, for a year.

And. Because of lockdown and everything and know things are dying. but he met three times. We were about two and a half hours drive away, but we weren’t, he met three times. I mean, we’re on zoom every day and on, on chat every day. So he put up, we know each other, but, yeah, so we were, we were running our own portfolios of sites.

And over time. And I heard, Adam on the flipping website last podcast with Richard Petty. it was back then. And, but as van, it was a really interesting interview. So I got in touch with them and, we talked, talked about affiliate sites and Verde sites and, you know, We decided to kind of meet up.

So about a week later, I went down to Wales, which is where he’s based. with them, we started chatting. We, we spoke about our frustrations about the hiring writers and running through things through artwork and like the, the challenges that come with building sites and kind of almost having to have a mini team if you want to outsource stuff.

and. And, and we weren’t happy with, we, we tried some of the agency services as well, and we just weren’t happy with the quality that we got back. We didn’t, we didn’t really get the kind of service we wanted. and we were also looking for. Yeah, we started to sort of plan what, you know, what would our ideal agency look like?

And now that would be something that would give us the quality that we would want and expect, but also provide end to end services. So, you know, something that’s like we could go to and that it gives us the keyword research. They’ll do the right thing that helped us with the niche, niche selection. If we wanted to, we would.

That would upload it. They would put it into templates that would work well and are proven to convert and, and in certainly affiliate links. So what we’d have to do is like press publish and that’s, we figured it’d be awesome to have, and, you know, to a high standard as well. But, you know, so we. Now we’ve been building affiliate sites for a while.

So we kind of got some of our methods and kind of proven, proven methods that we know that if we push on with the way that we work, then you know, we’re going to get results. And so. Partially. It was kind of a selfish things. Like let’s build this team anyway for us, for our portfolio and we can train them up.

And, you know, rather than the heck that people have artwork who are one week of writing a book the next week they’re editing, someone’s copy. Then they’re writing affiliate content. You know, we can train them up to be proper affiliate writers. And, and so we did that and then we kinda wanted to offer out to some people and, Yeah, it seems like that was a, that was a little bit of a gap because like, just the, just the way that we positioned the service and the way that it was kind of end to end was kind of a little bit unique.

And, it seemed like a lot of people were off for that kind of thing. So, Yeah, that’s kind of how it started. I mean, for a month before, like, Oh, sorry. For a year before we actually started niche website builders, I had a, the site that is niche website they’ll build us. And that was, that was a block which was too, To document and blog about a site that I was creating and how to monetize sites.

I’ve been doing SEO for PR for a lot of years. but affiliate marketing less. So, so I kind of wanted to document that journey. It was, it was kind of a similar time to own the odd actually spent, I missed that, like by two or three months, starting at the same time, I started a few months later and kind of got it and documented it along the way.

So that, that became popular. We got kind of a following. Around the case study. And then we kind of, when we came to, so when we came to launch the services services, we already had a following there for that. We had been following the, the, the, the, the case study, and then we’re interested in the case study was quite successful.

So they’re interested in kind of. Yeah, purchasing services from the site people.

Spencer: [00:04:36] Right. So that makes it a lot easier to launch the service. You’ve already got kind of a following. And I know you had a Facebook group that was very active, that you were building that following and launched it, to, to great success.

We talked about that a little bit in the LA last podcast, but it’s now been almost a full year, right? Since you launched the service and, maybe just give us an idea. Is it going well? whatever sort of success, metrics you’re willing to share with us

Mark Mars: [00:05:03] here. Yes, I was getting really well. I mean, we, you know, we’ve had crazy amount of growth in terms of customers and we’ve been hiring, you know, almost every week for the entire year.

and, and that’s been really good. That’s going, going really well. We kinda kind of kept. You know, we kind of over the course of the year, we’ve kind of increased the services that we are offering. So we started out with content about a month later, we started doing Dunphy sites as well, with content on them around April of this year, we launched our shotgun skyscraper link building service, which also has been pretty popular.

You know, there’s not many, many agencies offering that kind of service. Mostly it’s kind of guest posts. You shared it’s kind of service and. As of today, we also launched, launched our guest posting Nisha at service, which kind of serves a little bit of a different purpose to, to shotgun skyscraper. So, yeah, it’s been a bit, it’s been a busy year, but we’ve got us a plans for 20, 21 as well and, and Beyonce.

Spencer: [00:06:01] Good. So, you’ve been able to build a successful agency growing, crazy that it’s, Less than 12 months, the, the year goes by quick, but, you guys have, have done well. And of course my audiences resonated with, what you guys offer because most of my audience is building niche, affiliate websites.

And so people will kind of resonate with a lot of the services that you offer and the type of link building that you do. so let’s talk a little bit about a couple of your services actually, before we talk specifically about the services, I’m actually curious, what is the most popular service like?

Are you finding that most of your orders are for content packages or is it shotgun skyscraper kind of what’s popular.

Mark Mars: [00:06:46] Yeah. So there’s kind of a, I’d say this is a split. So we have, we, we order, we have our services, we provide them on subscription. So you pay for content on subscription or you pay for links on the subscription.

And that’s kinda mostly how it works. and right now it’s about 50, 50. Interesting, which is, which is surprising. Cause we get the content will be a lot more. So there’s contact is still a bigger part of our business because there’s a lot, we’ve got a lot of one-off orders, so there’s the subscriptions and there’s one, the one off orders and the one-off orders.

Now we work with guys that, portfolio owners and they’ve got a number of sites and they can’t manage them all themselves. So they, they want us to do that. So they may order 200,000 words and just say, get it on the site as soon as possible, we’ll get it indexed. And, you know, cause they’re looking to flip the site or just grow it rapid rapidly.

Right. So, you know, in terms of subscriptions and ongoing recipient subscriptions, the, the revenues are pretty even between that and links, but we probably get a double, a. The amount of content. Again, it’s like a subscription supporting makeup, a thought about content orders. The rest is one-offs through either peer investors who don’t, wouldn’t even know how to set up a WordPress site and just know that good investment and want us to help with that.

or that I say the portfolio and portfolio owners. We’ve got investment to, to put into, to science.

Spencer: [00:08:06] Yeah. So, I’ve shared actually here on the podcast a little bit that I did place an order with you guys for own the yard, my niche site project for site. I went ahead and ordered a shotgun skyscraper, link building package.

And, it’s been, I don’t know, a little over a month ago, month and a half ago, something like that, that I placed the order. And so, maybe be interesting to kind of talk through that process a little bit. You know, like, how that’s worked out for me, you know, I went ahead and I, I ordered that.

And as far as the process, I mean, pretty simple, I got an email from your team. they just needed a few things. They got access to Google analytics and, you know, got familiar with my sites so they could figure out what is a good piece of content that they could publish and write for. That would be a good skyscraper piece of content.

and they’ve done that. They have now published that on my site. And it’s a super in depth article. and so I guess people familiar with my site, on the yard that article, that niche website publishers published, what, niche website builders published, was a gardening a to Z article. so sort of gardening a to Z super in depth, how to get started doing that.

And, it’s great content. So. I don’t know if there’s a question there other than, you know, it’s, it’s gone well, so far to this point, and now I’m sort of, I’m waiting to see the links come in. All right. Yeah. And so maybe you can tell me what’s going on behind the scenes. I guess after I think most people probably understand what happens to publish the content, but what happens now, right?

Like what’s going on behind the scenes to get a bunch of links to that article.

Mark Mars: [00:09:47] Yeah. So, so I think it’s, I think we’ve been doing outreach for a week today. I kind of checked before the call. So you’re about five weeks in, so month, one of the, about processes to just get you set up. So yeah. I create the content.

So there’s a number of things that we’re involved in that we need to, we need to decide on what patient content we’re going to create. So to do that, we go and look at what’s already popular within your niche, cause kind of taking some of the guesswork away and kind of hope, you know, hoping that you’ll get links by looking and finding what’s already popular on the, on the understanding that if we create a similar piece of content that we, we can expect to get something to say.

so we do that research. we do, we then kind of write that, write the copy as well. Oh, sorry. Write the content as well. We generally create some bespoke artwork to go with that copy as we did with yours, spent some because. You know, if we’re writing a piece of content, you know, if there are other pieces of content, are there similar out there and we’re reaching out to the same people together, links, you know, we want it to be a little bit different.

We don’t want it to be the same stock photography that every other articles got on the topic. So we want to make it stand out a little bit more. so. Yeah, so it needs to be, to be in depth. And also we do things like we, we set you up a fresh domain because, you know, with any kind of outreach, there’s a risk of spam getting caught by spam filters.

so we don’t want to jeopardize your own site for, For that, if you ever wanted an email address on your own, on the heart, the main or whoever you sold it to in the future did. So we set up a Google account, we set up a G suite account and a fresh domain so that we can kind of do outreach. And generally we use a number of different, a number of sinus on the outreach through quite often we’ll use multiple domains and multiple.

Just in case one gets caught by spam filters. We can still keep going, but also it takes a while to warm up the outreach because with, on a fresh domain, you can’t start sending 300 emails a day because again, the spam filters will pick that up. You need to wrap up slowly. So we’ll send 20 emails a day for the first week and then 40 a day for the second week and so on.

So, We were doing that for clients to start with, but it just takes a long time to get, you know, for the wheels to get to. And even though kinda, we, we, we, we advised that we just figured actually we have, if we have multiple email accounts, we can just make it a little bit faster. So that’s kind of my once a year, a month to now, which is kind of the outreach.

  • 20% Off First Month Shotgun Skyscraper Link Building
    • Includes skyscraper article
    • Campaign planning and Management
    • Guest posts
    • Outreach and negotiation
  • 15% Bonus Content On Website Or Bulk Orders
    • Includes keyword research
    • Article creation
    • Affiliate link/article structure optimization
    • Uploaded to WordPress
  • 20% More Content First Month Of Content Subscriptions

Discounts include Niche Website Builders’ new guest post and niche edit service!

Get the Niche Website Builders Exclusive Deal!

So we’re ramping up that sending. So we’d expect links to coming slowly based kind of month, three onwards you’d expect the snowball and that sort of compound effect where not only are we sending more emails. Come the second month of outreach, all of those conversations we started having in the first month or are starting to come to fruition as well.

And there, I know all the links kind of start rolling again so far yet. I, we, we’ve got, we’ve got one link and we told you this yet. We’ve got one link so far. So there we

Spencer: [00:12:31] go.

Mark Mars: [00:12:32] Awesome. Let me just check. I think they are 64. Okay. That’s true. Yeah, they are 64. That’s how many negotiating? Yeah, it’s a good, yeah, it’s a good, it’s a good sign.

I’m in negotiating three more at the moment, so, and they are two dr. 20 nines and the are 18, so they’re all, garden gardening yard based sites. So you’ve got topical relevance there as well. so yeah, so.

Spencer: [00:13:00] So, yeah, follow up on that. So who’s, obviously you got a huge team, right? that that’s sort of handling all these emails, and.

Maybe more, just an observation. It’s even though it’s automated emails, you’ve got to have a live person on the other end when they respond and say, maybe we’re interested. Right. You’re kind of talking about the negotiation, what what’s sort of the typical responses that you get there. I mean, do you get very many like that are just like sure.

I’ll add the link.

Mark Mars: [00:13:30] Yeah. Yeah. Like it really depends on the niche. Right. So Godin’s a good one. you know, any kind of home stuff’s generally quite good for free links. we found, you know, we’ve got much more experience now over, I wrote a lot of different niches, about what we can expect to get links for Fred, not so.

That’s been a challenge for us because, you know, we’ve, we’ve kinda, you know, we have to kind of give an expectation on the website about what people can expect for the spring service, but it really varies quite greatly. And even since we launched the service and in the last couple of years, Even in the home niches, like people just more savvy, they know Link’s got value, it’s worth something and we’ll want you to pay for it.

So getting those free links are harder. So when I was first doing it two years ago, I happily say that 70 or 80%. I’ve linked in the home niche for free, just because they like the content enough. It depends what way you set your threshold of what you’re willing to pay. So I had a low threshold or was willing to pay for a link.

Therefore, a large percentage ended up being free because I didn’t pay for any over a certain amount, like $25 or something. So, so now we, you, in some nations, we still got plenty, but you know, it things like the digital marketing niche, like everyone wants you to pay for it. Right. And a decent. At least a decent value, a decent amount of money for the link as well.

So, Yeah. It really depends on niche. It really does.

Spencer: [00:14:52] Yeah. And so, that’s sort of the new service that you referenced as well. Right? You’re doing niche, niche edits. how does, how does that differ, I guess from the shotgun skyscraper? I mean, you’re, you’re doing outreach for both, but I guess the niche edits is you don’t have that skyscraper content.

You’re really just saying, Hey, it looks like there might be an opportunity to link towards, and then it goes from there, right?

Mark Mars: [00:15:16] Yeah, absolutely. So it’s very similar. We’re still doing it. We’re still doing manual outreach to find these opportunities, but yeah, we’re not, we’re not trying, we’re not, we’re not doing that first step, I guess, of where we’re trying to just get the free link back to the article.

so there’s a number of benefits there because we, with shotgun, you can get a lot of links. Ask scale, which works out a pretty good cost, average cost per link. but you’ve kind of gotten more mix of whoever responds and kind of people that are interested. So you might have different levels of relevance.

So you might have a site-level relevance, which is the best you might have article level relevance, or maybe only sentence level relevance, but we’re trying to get links of volume here. So increase the domain authority or domain writing, and. And that’s kind of the goal of the shotgun service, whereas we can be very much more, very, very much more targeted with the guest posts and initiate it.

So we can say, look, we want the site to be site. They will relevance. We want it to, you meet all of these criteria in terms of metrics. and, and we want to be able to point it to our money page. you know, with the shotgun skyscraper, we’re trying to get them to point it to our skyscraper article.

And then we pass any link juice. Through to the money pages using internal linking isn’t he using link whisper. Of course, of course. And, and then, and, but, you know, with, with guest posts and he shared it with Lincoln directly to the money pages, which is, which is better, you know, you’re getting all of that link juice, all in one go, But, yeah.

So I guess that’s the difference between the two services,

Spencer: [00:16:50] right? Yeah. That makes sense. So, so what should I expect going forward? You know, things are going to start to snowball a little bit here you say in month, two and three of, of link building. I guess not so much, what should I expect, but maybe what, what have you seen with some previous clients, you know, you’ve now been doing this almost 12 months.

Do you have any sort of clients, for example, that have been, you know, doing the skyscraper link building campaign for a number of months that have seen pretty big results?

Mark Mars: [00:17:17] Yeah. So, I mean, yeah, so, I think probably one of the best examples, we’ve got right now is, the, we had a client who. He started with us in January, we did a niche site for them.

We did a hundred thousand words of content on that site, straight away, and then come April when we launched the shotgun service. So that’s, I think launched in, we built in January, launched in February, the shotgun service was available in, in April. He did a shotgun campaign with us, and that was over, he went for the top package, which I ballistic package.

So that ended up being around 120 links or so that we, we, that we built for him over the course of a four month period. so, and then the site was, you know, showing, showing good progress, but by the end of the summer, it was of 10,000 sessions a month. It wasn’t, it wasn’t, it wasn’t an expired the main, but, or an aged domain and it was very low.

It was like a dr. Two or something with, with, yeah, it had like 19 referring domains.

Spencer: [00:18:20] So pretty interesting. Yeah.

Mark Mars: [00:18:22] Yeah. So obviously it’s, it’s, it’s over, it’s over it. I can’t remember it exactly what, what the DOR is now, but it’s much higher than that in mid, mid, mid twenties, I think. it’s now. It’s going from strength to strength steel.

So he’s, he then ordered a content subscription with us in kind of July or August time of 30,000 bloods a month. So overall, the site’s probably got like, would you like, like 160, 180,000, something like that? Maybe more, maybe nearly 200,000 words now. Wow. But, yesterday you kind of hit a new high of 700 visitors in a day.

so I would. Over 20,000 visitors now, bef a couple of months ago, I co-op with them and he was, he was getting 10,000 sessions at that time. And he was doing about 350 to $400 on Amazon associates. And then obviously we can get Zoe and O on, on there at that point as well, which would add another two or $300.

So it was looking at $500 or so he was easily kind of getting a return on investment if he. Thinking about the asset value that he’s got now. And now he’s up to 21,000. He’s probably doubled, doubled that he’s maybe near a thousand dollars a month, since January. So

Spencer: [00:19:34] yeah. Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome. I mean, I love the sort of hands-off approach.

I mean, if I’ll be honest, I mean, you guys kind of nailed it with the terms of, Product market fit. You know, guys like me, I’ve got a few niche sites, plus I’m trying to run a podcast here. Right. You know, I got lots going on. so it’s great to be able to have somebody step in and either do content or links, like what you guys are doing for me.

so it really sort of fits really well with a very specific target audience. so I love what you guys are doing there. Any, anything else that, you just kind of want to share with people that, is working well in terms of SEO, it doesn’t necessarily have to be specifically what you guys are offering there, but I know you guys kind of do offer a whole range of things there, but just kind of anything that, you’ve seen kind of work well for people, either starting out building sites or just something to take an existing site and grow it.

Mark Mars: [00:20:31] And I just have to go back to, the expired, the mains, w w we’re seeing a really, you know, it’s kinda, it’s kind of, I’m not, I’m not really working with expired domains much before, so it’s kind of, kind of reasonably new for me, in the law, you know, in the last sort of six months or so, but, you know, we’ve seen clients doing it and having great success.

We started doing our own portfolios and seeing like, Yeah, no very, very quick growth. we’re about to, you know, w we’re about to kind of take it to the next level. We’re about a little Che, Now the case study, we’ve bought an expired domain, a really powerful expire domain, a car it’s like, yeah, DL 60, I think, in a sports niche and a million words on it, as soon as we can and hopefully in the next three or four months, and we’re just going to see what happens, you know, but yeah, we’ve never put content on our site that fast.

So it’d be interesting to see how it happens, but it will be quite a powerful bought the mine, but we’ve been doing. We’ve been doing this for a number of people and we see the way that we’re thinking about it. Now, I haven’t done it for a lot of people I’m for ourselves is that we’re trying to get, you know, if you’ve got the budget, we’re trying to get several horses kind of into the race because, you just never quite know as with any site, whether it’s an unexpired domain or not, which one’s going to take off and which one isn’t.

So, you know, Adam has been starting, you know, one or two sites a month for a number of months now, despite the mains and the goal, and the goal here is to. It’s the pick, the winning the winning horse. Right? So the way that we look at it at the moment, this is that if we get 10, 10 X by, at the main, standard sites on, on, on 10 X by the mains, the a hundred thousand words.

We expect about four of them to kind of break even. so we kind of get our money back and that’s kind of the worst case scenario. We’re expecting four to maybe do an extra couple of hundred dollars a month. So giving us a return of return on investment and I’m expecting to see two that just clearly other winners.

And then we’re looking to kind of then sell those ones that have broken even, or keep some of the other ones for cashflow. And then, and then just reinvest everything into those ones that are the winners. So I think. You know, most likely if you’re doing it right, like most sites in the end, if you keep pushing, of course there’s exceptions, but if you push for long enough, you can’t, you’re probably going to see results.

But you know why though the way that we’re looking at the moment, it’s like, why, why calf keep pushing together results on a site that’s kind of reluctant to do. So when you can put a few horses into the race, pick the winners and then just reinvest everything into that. So, Although we, we really believe in the expired domains.

You know, we can’t guarantee it every single time. And that’s, that’s the way that we’re personally doing it ourselves. but, you know, like I say, you push for long enough. and, and, and the expire to man gives you a good start, a good start compared to refresh domain. It you’re going to get there quicker anyway.

Spencer: [00:23:17] Yeah, it’s an interesting strategy. And I think a lot of people probably can relate to that. If they built a lot of sites, they know that certain sites do take off and others just take a little bit longer. that’s why it’s been. Really difficult to do sort of a public case study like I’ve done is because I say I’m building this domain, you know, this one site and I kind of put all my chips in and, you kind of hope that it does well, unfortunately on the art has done well, right.

It’s making, you know, 2,500 to $3,000 a month. And, you know, I’m not putting much work into it at this point, other than what you guys are doing, for that’s my work is I pay you guys to do that, but, So I, I totally agree. It’s, it’s difficult to know which sites are going to take off and which ones aren’t.

and so it’s important to invest in those ones that do start to take off. so, yeah, Mark, I think, it’s, we’ve kind of covered, what you guys are doing there and how you’ve grown some of the SEO strategies that you’re implementing there. if people want to check out, Some of your services.

They can of course go through my niche pursuits link, which is just niche, pursuits.com/niche website builders. And if there’s any special deals going on at the time, it’ll be right there on that page, so that people can check out, what’s next for niche website builders. I mean, what, what’s the plan either new services or just scale much bigger.

Mark Mars: [00:24:42] Yeah. We’re not going to go too crazy on services. We don’t want to, we don’t want to become. You don’t wanna spread yourself too thin, you know, we’re, we’re good at what we do now. And we want to carry on that. w we want to keep, scaling up the services. We’ve got most likely that there probably will be others further down the line, but we’re going to do that slowly.

And it’s more about, you know, these are the core things that you need to build a site links, content and the website itself. And that’s probably what we’re going to stick to primarily going forward. But yeah. So what about, how do we get in front of more

Spencer: [00:25:12] people now? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. very good. Any parting words, any final advice or just thoughts for our niche pursuits, podcast listeners?

Mark Mars: [00:25:23] no, I think, if, if, if in the, even if in the description you can put, like, we’ve got a white, a white list for the expired domain. We do we offer an expired on my sourcing service so we can help people. We do some due diligence to help people find the right domains. so, if we can put something in the description about that, like, which is, which is just a waiting list at this time, or, or mailing list, so you can get on the list and that’s what more about that?

So that’s the, that’s the only thing, but other than that, yeah, just, just be patient, I think, with, as anything with the affiliate sites, you know, Yep.

Spencer: [00:25:54] That’s right. Absolutely. Very good Mark. Thanks for coming on and chatting for a little bit, giving us an update on not only the business, but you know, some of the strategies you guys are doing and providing for your clients.

So I appreciate it.

Mark Mars: [00:26:07] Thanks