Do you know, when it comes to link building there are lots of proven strategy available.
Content writing is one of the steps that has to happen within content marketing. Content marketing consists of a series of steps, including business strategy, keyword research, content writing, publishing, and marketing the created content. Too often, the process of content writing gets mistaken for a business doing content marketing.
Building links in an efficient way has been something that I have enjoyed systematizing for almost 10 years online now!
This purgatory link building strategy is on track to be one of my all time favorite strategies!
As “white hat” link building goes this is a great strategy since it…
- is scalable across many sites
- get you niche relevant links
- doesn’t require a cost per link (typically)
- doesn’t require you spamming the entire internet
- is an efficient use of your teams time.
It does require you to use a few tools, act reasonably quickly and create a solid piece of content…but what are you doing running an online business if those stop you 🙂
Enough talk… let us get to the details of what the Purgatory Link Building Strategy is all about…
Basic Link Building Concept:
Stealing backlinks from your competitor is great but really hard!
Stealing competitors links when they are almost dead is easy!
Why is it named “Purgatory” Link Building – These are links that still have unfinished business, the pages they link to are not quite dead and the links themselves have a lot of life left!
For other link building guides:
- Find expiring/auction domains with a lot of links and are reasonably relevant to your site
- Create an improved version of the pages that people were linking to (quickly – time matters with this strategy)
- Outreach to get people to link to you instead of the almost expired and now useless page
How is this different from Broken Link Building? Broken link building is about finding a resource that a lot of people linked to that is no longer available. The difference is in timing and scale… when you do broken link building you are reaching out to people who have had that broken links on their site for a number of weeks/months etc… when we are reaching out to domains that are about to expire it may be the first time that they know about the asset they were linking to no longer being active. Often the expiring domain will be a landing page and never actually show up as broken. Plus, you can do this at scale for smaller resources resulting in a lot more opportunities. This is much more scalable with a lower level of overall effort since you don’t need to find a page in your space with 100’s of links to it.
How is this different from the SkyScraper Technique? With the skyscrapper technique you need to create a resource that is sooo much better than the page the website owner is currently linking to they are willing to either add your link or replace the link. This is a much tougher ask and not as scalable since you need to invest heavily in each piece of content. With purgatory link building you don’t need to create a 10x better piece of content.
How is this different from my 301 Building Block Strategy? The 301 building block strategy is related where you leverage a micro site of your content on an expired domain and then move that site to be a content cluster within a larger site leveraging the links to the expired domain to raise the authority of the entire larger site. The 301 building block strategy requires you to actually purchase the domain and create a small cluster of content on the topic. Purgatory link building strategy allows for a more efficient/scalable approach to achieving a similar result.
Step by Step Purgatory Link Building Process:
Part 1 – Find Expiring Domain:
In this step you are going to find a domain that has people linking to it, they may not yet know that the link on their site is useless since the domain they are linking to is in “purgatory” not yet expired but the page is no longer live.
We will identify a domain, the optimal page on that domain and the type of asset to create to then reach out to.
1-1 – Find Domains
In this stage we want to identify domains that have solid real links… the best way to do this is to filter on TrustFlow from Majestic and verify it has at least a little traffic. This shows it has quality links and likely not terribly abused from an SEO standpoint since it ranks in Google (meaning the links we are going to want to get are ones that are actually useful).
- Go to SpamZilla
- Enter into the search term
- TF > 15
- Keywords > 1
- Pick the Topical Trust Flow Category if you want to ONLY look in your niche
One other filter to apply is to select “MarketPlace Domains” and then only select GoDaddy Auction
You will be using this filter a lot so be sure to save it!
Open up each of the domains that look like they might make sense for you first in MajesticSEO looking for a site that has “real” and “relevant” links to the URL. Looking at both the Ref Domains and Pages that links have been built to help show what site would make a good target.
We need real links to a decent resource.
Here is an example we will do real time… publishing the alternative page here for these 1,414 domains to link to instead here at the same time I publish this article.
In the pages tab we are looking for a page that can be created better then it was before which received several links and had a high Trust Flow. Often building a page to be an alternative to link to instead of the homepage is hard however many sub-pages will be a lot easier to build a similar page to. In this case we are targeting people who linked to the homepage and now need an alternative.
Now we have an idea of a page or an article that could replace the homepage to recreate on a reasonably relevant site.
1-2 Verify the Content in Archive.org is Recreatable
The next step is to check to see if we can recreate content that is superior to the expiring content.
If we were to execute this example we would need to re-write and add some additional value add that would have people taking the time to link to it.
Checking in Archive.org to see that the page can be re-written/created anew…
Note – Archive.org and TheWaybackMachine are often down or not working and here are some alternatives.
1-3 Build Outreach List using MajesticSEO and ahrefs.com
This step is about preparing for the link building outreach plan.
Using MajesticSEO and ahrefs build as complete a list of everyone who links to that page…
- Enter the URL in Site Explorer
- Go to Backlinks
- Export Data
- Enter URL
- Select Backlinks
- Export Data
Part 2 – Create a Link Worthy Piece of Content
Creating “just” an article may not be enough. The goal isn’t to just match the quality of the content but to top it to provide the extra incentive for the site owner to replace the useless link with your own.
Certainly matching the article quality is important. Doing a little bonus keyword research at this stage so that the article is being created to both be a suitable link alternative but then have a reasonable shot at ranking for a keyword that matters in terms of organic traffic.
The link juice makes this strategy often worth it on its own but if you can find an angle that will move the needle for traffic that is even better!
Make sure you are using strong internal linking strategies from these pages to the pages that matter most for your site so that you can pass the link juice along to the pages that really matter.
If you can get a decent infographic created in a matter of hours for $5 (via Fiverr) with the research already done (share the archive.org link for the data) then it is a great means of getting some additional link love!
If there is a simple video that can be created that will also fulfill the searchers query that might be enough to reach out and share.
Tool / Aid:
If the opportunity is large enough there could be a simple template or tool that would make the effort to swap out the link worthwhile.
Publish the content and be ready for the next step.
See example – 10 Best Note Taking Apps for Windows
Part 3 – Outreach
If you want to build a really robust outreach machine then have a look at this B2B Lead Generation article!
However, for this relatively efficient outreach system focused around linkbuilding than the outreach tool from SEMRush fits the bill.
- Upload list
- Create template
- Start sending
- Monitor and follow up if needed
To see a detailed post on how to do cold outreach for link building checkout this guide.
More on this Content Marketing Strategy…
This is just one of several strategies we have been developing and scaling within the ContentRefined.com team to be able to REALLY push a site!
Fun Story About the Inspiration for This Strategy – I am a Terrible Loser!
I was buying some expired domains with traffic and lost one I REALLY wanted… being a terrible loser I decided to quickly create some superior quality content then what the site had and “steal” the links going to the domain that I just got outbid on. Yes, I am a petty and a terrible loser! But now hopefully you can be too!
Later talking with the ContentRefined team we decided that this wasn’t just something to execute on a one-off basis but to scale and hence the reason for this post existing.
Very interested in hearing your thoughts on this strategy and more importantly the results you are able to achieve with it!
Are you trying to find ways to increase your organic traffic and Google Rankings? Have you ever tried to do this with Infographics? If not- you should definitely give it a try! We use this strategy a lot on our own websites and it works!
What are Infographics and Why do We Use them?
Infographics are a really great way to build solid links for any of your websites. Infographics take a slightly different approach to SEO and are solely focused on amazing content and really nice graphics and design. We like to try and make infographics as useful as possible so that other websites will want to link to your site in return.
Steps You Need to Take: Research
Like most projects, the initial planning and research phase for infographics creation is going to be the most important part of the process. The first thing you’re going to want to do is get to know your website and the niche it’s in. Figure out exactly what TOPICS are related to your niche, and what kind of information is going to be VALUABLE to your audience.
Make a LIST- This is is going to include a focus topics but also topics that are loosely associated with your niche. This is going to ensure that you can come up with different infographic ideas that might draw from different/closely related audiences.
Go through your list and do some internet research to figure out what people like, link to, and share. The best methods to do this are the following:
1- Check out Pinterest:
Pinterest is going to be an amazing resource since they are so visually inclined. Search your Topic+ infographic and see what comes up. Then check how many shares it gets and look at who is sharing and linking to them
2- Google Images search is always a good option and you’ll be able to figure out pretty easily who is linking and sharing these as well
3- Another great resource is Buzzsumo– which is an amazing online tool that will help you figure out what content is getting a lot of traction by topic or website. You can sort by all sorts of metrics including social shares which is of huge value
Create your Titles:
Get creative! Your titles are the biggest piece of marketing that you’re going to do so this is going to need to be eye-catching to the reader. Some examples
- 15 Fun Facts about Canada
- Keto diets: What Foods to Eat and what Foods to Avoid?
- 7 Essential Oils to Help Depression
- The world’s weirdest music festivals
- Meditation in 12 steps
- Wedding Budget 101
The general rule of thumb for article titles are that they shouldn’t be longer than 150 words. They should be attention grabbers and pose some sort of question o r fun fact or statement.
Create Your Content
If you don’t have a writer already, use this SOP that we use internally to hire a writer
Please see the Step by Step guide on how to hire and assess writers via Upwork
Part A: Posting your job post
Step 1. Log in to your upwork account
Step 2. Go to the Jobs tab and click on “post a job”
Step 3: Select “part time”
Step 4: Then- describe the job with the requirements for how to write your infographic – The infographic title should suffice.
Step 5: Select “ Pay a fixed price” and make your budget $10. You should be able to get a really good quality infographic for $10.
Step 6: Generally with our screening questions, we ask them to fix a sentence that is grammatically incorrect so that you can just skip over their profile and application if they answer badly.
Step 7: Click “ post job”. Don’t worry about cover letter
Yay! You’ve posted your job!
Part B: Hiring your writer
Step 1: Wait 12 hours and check your job posting, you should have a few freelancers on the list at this point when you check your job posting
Step 2: Click “Review proposals” and you will get to a list of those who have applied
Step 3: Things we look for
- Budget: Does the bid fall within the budget?
- What have other clients said about this freelancer? We look for 80% job success minimum
- How much they’ve made on upwork so far? Usually those who have made more than $1000 are legitimate freelancers and will be more committed to your project.
Step 4: If you find one you like and meets the metrics, click “ hire freelancer”
Hire Your Designer
Once you get the Copy created for your infographic, you’re going to want to think about the DESIGN work for it. Now this is probably the part that is the most fun because you get to work with some pretty creative people. This is the Job posting we put on upwork for this.
We’re looking for an infographic designer to make great looking charts, graphs, and other infographics to go along with informative blog articles.
Ideal applicant must be:
– experienced and skilled in graphic design (please provide examples)
– experienced with Canva or another infographic creation program
– experienced with Photoshop
– available to work 15-20 hours per week
$10-$15 per infographic.
Applicant must be willing to perform a test assignment.
Now all you have to do is provide them with the COPY and let their creative side take over. I’ve always been happy with the different iterations I’ve received and designers are usually really great and taking your feedback.
Publishing your Infographic
What I usually like to do it make sure that I have a blog post or article that can support my infographic. Here is a list of tips about publishing:
1- Posting an infographic should happen at the beginning of the week ( on a Monday or Tuesday) A typical infographic life cycle is about 1 business week
2- If you’re doing an outreach effort with a vendor, make sure that you coordinate with them properly
3- To get more traction to your infographic, it can be worth buying paid traffic from sites like Reddit or StumbleUpon etc.. to get more social shares and links
4- Make sure that each infographic has Social Share Icons to make it easy for people to share. It will also help you measure what platforms are working best for you. For WordPress- use ShareBar which is a plugin that will give you advanced sharing options.
If you have any other tips with regards to the use of Infographics- feel free to share in the comments!
In January of 2017, I took over a site that was on a decline. Most of the time people run away from sites that have a downwards trend because they believe the site is a goner. More times than none, the site is just lacking quality, consistent links as well as good content. This article will go in detail on the “Dead Cat Strategy” and how you could turn your site around.
I was like most other people when it came to buying sites that looked like these. I was very hesitant and in most cases refused to buy, or put too low of a price tag for the seller to sell. This site fell into my lap and so I decided to do some digging and find a system the could help turn the site around. What usually happens when sites start to do a decline is owners build it up, set up the monetization and then leave it for a while, only to go back and look to see it plummeting in the rankings.
When I bought the site, I wanted to do small tests to see if there was any possibility of turning the site around before I put more of an investment into it. At the time of buying it, the site was only ranking for 461 keywords and according to SEMRush, only had 3 as its traffic. So, I went through the rankings and picked out the landing pages for some keywords that the site was already ranking well for (10-40 ranking).
[thrive_link color=’green’ link=’https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gyTHSaLyotcNZtwWeOn20PvXdHKYduNEjjKIWaiNPHw/edit#gid=0′ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]FREE Upgrade Content Template[/thrive_link]
I then asked my team to go to those landing pages and check out the content and run it through MarketMuse. Through MarketMuse I ran each article to see how they compared to other articles going after the same keyword. I found a lot of the content was very thin, and needed more words added to it. Once I did this within a few weeks I was able to see a few good bumps in the rankings. If you haven’t read my guide on how to do content upgrades, you can view that tutorial here.
After we saw the rankings increasing, I knew this site wasn’t a goner and just needed a bit hand holding to get it back on track. My team then did a bunch of keyword research and competitor analysis to find other keywords that my team could go after. Once this was completed, we put a good solid 10 additional articles on the site and have been rolling out 4-5 articles per month since then.
In conjunction to the articles being published on the site, I also had my team creating Done For You PBN sites as well as getting Use My PBN links pointed to keywords that were seeing a good increase in the rankings. After a few months (June 2017), we were seeing some great increase in both rankings and traffic.
1 Year into Having the site
After seeing the great results for this site, I bumped up the article creation to twice a week so 8 articles per month. I also continued to get the PBN links pointed to the articles but on top of that, I also did some genuine outreach and got a few good backlinks from other quality sites. Over the next 6 months, we continued with the links and the articles and almost tripled in traffic.
Overall, the site that I thought was doomed, has turned out to be a great test. Within 1 year, the site went from having traffic of 3 to over 20,000 as well as only ranking for 461 keywords to well over 6,000 keywords, a lot, which are in the top 1-3 position.
Now when I come across sites that are for sale that have a downwards trend I look at it more as an opportunity as in more times than none, the sites just been left alone for too long. There are still going to be the sites that are banned, deindexed or have spammy backlinks so make sure you check all of those before you buy but if everything looks clean, it may make a great investment.
Note – buying a site on a decline often stays on a decline so definitely a risk that needs to be sufficiently priced in if you are looking to buy. Sometimes I call this my “dead cat” strategy… if you can buy a site for cheap enough… kick it and see if it moves and if it moves give it some TLC… if it doesn’t move you can put it in the dumpster.