It's now 2 weeks into 2021...
I feel like I haven't done as much as I planned out to do. I had these grandiose plans of a big content blitz, but of course it hasn't quite been a blitz.
I'm not getting the keyword research and content outlines out fast enough for writers. With the writing, part of it is also testing out new writers and the old writers adjusting to a different writing process.
The old process used to be I create an Outline in Frase. Then I copy/paste it to a Google Doc. Give them the Google Doc link and they write. They tell me the content is done, I copy/paste it into Frase. I optimize the content and then publish on the site.
I'm now sharing the Frase outlines directly through the Frase platform, so they can optimize for keywords when they write. No more Google Doc and a big time-saver with content optimization.
The early feedback from the writers is they do like it, because Frase also offers a research component to it. Frase gives them quick access to information without having to go to Google all the time.
In the cool category of other news this week, Spencer Haws interviewed me for his Niche Pursuits podcast. Should be out in the next few weeks. Also lining up to do another podcast this coming week too.
21 Smart Google SEO Tips for 2021 - Moz
This is a good list of 21 SEO Tips. You might already know most of them, but it's always a good reminder to see some of these again.
I love their #1 tip and their last tip, #21.
The first one is Favicon Optimization and is definitely not talked about, but it's something I still do for branding purposes.
The last tip is Be the last click. I like the way they put this. The goal of your content is to provide users the information they're looking for, so they don't have to go anywhere else. If you're the last click that took them to Amazon, you'll get the commissions when they check out their shopping cart.
When I was recording on the Niche Pursuits podcast this past week, I found that I was repeating "content optimization" often when discussing the drivers for "success."
I believe that optimizing content and internal linking were the primary drivers that helped me reach a 5-Figure monthly profit in only 7 months.
Look at Moz's 21 SEO Tips and double-check that you're hitting as many of these as possible, especially when it comes to Content/on-page SEO.
Google SEO Office Hours from January 8, 2021
Good content here this week.
First question asked about indexing a million product pages on a new site. I'm sure that everyone here isn't quite there with a million pages, but John Mueller does talk about indexing new sites and how Google might crawl the sites.
2nd question is about the backlinks that Google Search Console shows you. John says that the links shown in GSC are a sample of the links and not exhaustive. There're some insights into how Google reads and treats links.
One of the tips from this question: No need to disavow the thousands of nofollow links, UGC links, sponsored links, and spammy links in general. Google will ignore them and not give a manual action penalty for those.
He also goes into approaches for indexing your site, because he acknowledges that not all pages for a site may be indexed, especially for large sites. Not surprising he says to significantly improve the quality of the content.
This is one of the better episodes in terms of information that's given out there.
Tools and Resources
MarketMuse | Exclusive Offer from AppSumo
Content optimization is at the top of the list when it comes to On-Page SEO tasks for me. It's not just optimizing for SEO and SERP positions, but also for the eventual visitors of your site.
There are many ways to go about optimizing your content, but using one of the content optimizer softwares have gotten me there faster. There are options like Frase, SurferSEO, PageOptimizer Pro, and MarketMuse.
If you missed out on Frase's lifetime deal when it was on AppSumo, MarketMuse now has a lifetime deal on AppSumo that starts out on $69 for one code. That gets you 15 queries per month and 2 one-time credits that you can use for AI-powered Content Briefs (one credit) and First Drafts (one credit).
For comparison, SurferSEO is $59/month for 25 Content Editor queries per month and Frase is $45/month for 30 documents (queries) per month. They both offer other things on top, but if you're just optimizing content, those are the limits. So you can see how a lifetime deal will save you loads in just a couple of months.
Buying more $69 coupon codes will give you more queries and one-time credits. The credits are a nice bonus as you can use them to generate a Content Brief to give you an outline for an article. Here's a sample of their Content Brief.
The First Draft is AI-generated by their own AI, not GPT-3. They shared a First Draft vs GPT-3 comparison on their blog.
I'm probably going to stick with Frase unless I see MarketMuse give a significant advantage in optimizing content. The Content Briefs and First Drafts don't seem worth it at the moment and buying more credits costs $100 per credit (insane for small affiliate marketers or even bigger ones).
I may still hold onto MarketMuse for now. AppSumo has a 60-day refund window, so I have a bit of time to test out the optimization and see if it helps the content more than Frase.
"People Also Ask" Web - AlsoAsked
AlsoAsked aggregates, organises and displays “People Also Ask” data that appear in Google search results. You can interact with this data on the site to explore it, export it to image graphs for quick presentation to clients or into CSV format to process it with other tools, saving a huge amount of time.
If you use the "People Also Ask" questions when doing your keyword research and for creating FAQs in the content, this is a useful tool.
While in Beta, you can register for a Free Bulk account that gives you 1,000 searches/month. I don't know how long the Free Beta will last, so sign up for it now if you want to use it for free.
4 Best Agency Rank Trackers for 2021 (Including Key Features)
Robbie Richards shares his thoughts on the 4 best rank trackers for agencies, along with insights into features that agencies need for tracking client keywords.
As an affiliate marketer, you may not need all the bells and whistles, but it does give you a preview of analysis tips that you can potentially use for your sites and rank tracker. These are the 4 rank trackers he suggests based on his 10 key features:
None of them are that cheap, especially when compared to the no-frills SerpRobot at $4.99 per month for 300 keywords. Or even the Free Google Search Console.
I've been using Brand Overflow myself. It's more of an all-in-one SEO platform like SEMrush. The others mentioned here are focused on rank tracking. Brand Overflow and SEMrush also have keyword research and other tools available.
They all have free trials, so if you're not tracking your keywords now, you should look into them.
Traffic fluctuation (and ensuring healthy navigation) - Google Search Central
Wondering why you're seeing traffic fluctuating on your site?
Google Search Console shares common reasons why and talks about invalid traffic with Google Adsense.
"Traffic should result from Genuine User Interest. Any other method to manipulate it, could lead to demonetization of your content and manual actions on organic search."
Some factors they mentioned that could affect your site's ranking, impressions, and clicks to your site from the SERPs:
- Users seeing your site but not clicking through. Maybe other sites are more reliable, updated, or authoritative
- Google is having trouble finding your site - possibly moving to new domain, moved existing pages to new URLs, or from HTTP to HTTPS - give Google a few weeks to update their index
- Site used to qualify for Search Appearance features, but not any longer
- Site's mobile usability has decreased
- There was a change to Google ranking or reporting algorithms
- Manual action or a security issue
- A periodic drop - weekly, monthly, yearly patterns
They give tips like making your content primarily for your users, not for Google and search engines.
Google also linked to a SEO Starter Guide that I had never seen before. Lots of good Best Practices tips there to check out, as well as things to avoid.
If you're newer to building websites and/or still early on in your passive income journey, you'll definitely want to take a look.
Is It a Good Idea to Start Broad Affiliate Websites?
So you want to start a new affiliate site covering a broad range of topics? You might want to watch this video first.
Morten Storgaard at Passive Income Geek released a video sharing his results from starting a "super-broad site" 8-9 months ago.
Spoiler Alert: It's Bad
Start small in the sense you're covering one topic category at a time, a micro-niche within your niche. As you expand into more micro-niches, make sure there's topical relevancy between the topics.
For example, if your site is about basketball, don't jump to writing about luxury beauty products just because you see that Amazon commissions are 10%. Stay within the sports niche, there are plenty of other sports you can talk about.
This Affiliate Marketing Website Just Sold For $100 Million Dollars!
If you haven't heard yet, thepennyhoarder.com, an affiliate marketing website sold for $102 million in December 2020.
Franklin Hatchett made a short 8.5 minute YouTube video going through the Archive.org history of The Penny Hoarder (TPH) website to show that you don't need to make your sites all that great looking initially. He also discusses the different ways that the site makes money.
This is one of those sites that take years to get to that point. TPH started in 2010 and generated $50 million in revenue in the 12 months leading up to Sept. 30, 2020.
It's good to look at successes like these, because it gets you thinking about ways to generate revenue that you might not have considered. Or if you had considered it, it gives you insight into how others are doing things successfully.