TLC SEO: The Linking Man's Blog

Scaling Content Gap Analysis with SEMrush

Content Gap Analysis can be an intricate and exhaustive process. But with a little excel work and a few SEMrush exports, you can do it in a matter of minutes. It’s almost summer, so let’s use grilling blogs as the example:


scaling content gap analysis

Image via Flickr user dbgg1979

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Link Building for Startups – Find Unlinked Brand Mentions at Scale

When you start working with a new client, sometimes you have to educate their internal marketing teams about the value of link building. If done correctly, there is potential to create a link building machine inside the core of a savvy marketing department.

It’s key to educate your clients moving forward, but what about all that press from before SEO became a priority? There may be sites out there that have interviewed your clients, hosted them for events, written about their products – and they aren’t all linking over.

old chains

Image via Flickr User DavidShutter

This methodology, although intricate, will allow you to:
  • Automate prospecting for all unlinked brand mentions and any C-level write ups.
  • Automate determining which prospects are most likely to link over.
  • Track high level influencers who have featured your client before and are likely to do it again. 
  • Reach out to mid level sites that are likely to link over. 

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Competitive Analysis Hack: Find Blogs Linking to Your Competitors

Building links on sites that publish content on a regular basis is easier than having someone change hard coded content. Blogs need to publish on a regular basis or they will lose their audience.


Luckily, you can find most of the blogs linking to a competitor using Screaming Frog. [Read more…]

How To Scale Link and Citation Prospecting

I love the idea of scraping…. but I just can’t do it. I’ve sat through presentations from Annie Cushing and Eppie Vojt, and I still can’t do it. I’ve had Ethan Lyon sit me down, and try and teach me – but it doesn’t sink in. I don’t do much intense data collection, all I want to do is scrape search engine results in mass.

That’s why I use Link Prospector.

how to scale link building

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Using Graceful Degradation to Prospect for Widget Footprints

Giveaways are a solid deep link strategy for e-commerce that helps raise brand/product awareness, and my preferred method of moderation is Rafflecopter. With Rafflecopter, people that sign up for your giveaway earn points by sharing information about your brand or product through their social channels or blog. Those shares are tallied up by the widget and it automatically selects a winner for you.


When I build links, I try to be as efficient as possible. Nothing slows you down like explaining how a new piece of technology works to a blogger. If someone approached you with a free product and said, “Hey add this thing to the post that will change how people interact on your site,” you’d want to learn more about its ins-and-outs too. That’s why when I do large scale giveaway and contest prospecting, I look for bloggers who have used Rafflecopter in the past. But the actual Rafflecopter widget isn’t indexable, so how do you find it?

Here’s How to Find and Wield the Rafflecopter Footprint.

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Using Video SEO To Steal Clicks, Localize Results and Increase Conversion Rate

Lead generation is difficult in any vertical, but it gets particularly tricky when it relates to health and medicine, where sites like Wikipedia, WebMD and Mayo Clinic dominate the results. We’ve been working with the search marketing team at BodyLogicMD, a provider of bioidentical hormone therapy, to use video snippets and geo-targeted pages to stand out in the SERPs and ultimately drive leads.

Body Logic’s Strategy for Ranking in Search with Video SEO

Personally, I’m a rich snippet fanatic, because they demand user attention. Eye tracking studies from Dr. Pete have shown that searchers pay more attention to video thumbnails than they do to “traditional” results. When a user sees a video in the SERPs, they know that there is engaging, interactive content just a click away.

Using Video SEO To Steal Clicks, Localize Results and Increase Conversion Rate

With BodyLogicMD, we realized that we are most likely never going to outrank powerhouse medical sites like, Oprah or WebMD, so we decided to use video snippets to stand out and steal traffic.

Background: Implementing Hosted Video

When we first started working with the BodyLogicMD search marketing team on video SEO, they already had a collection of short interviews on YouTube that weren’t getting a lot of attention. We decided to take those videos and put them directly on the site. We considered self-hosting, but because we didn’t want to slow down load times in any way, we ultimately chose Wistia for its third party hosting and agile plug and play setup.

The guys at BodyLogicMD are sticklers for conversion rate, so after we split tested adding the videos to the most important landing pages, and being certain it wasn’t effecting conversion rate – we implemented video across the site on some of our key landing pages.

Head Term Keyword Strategy:

Once we implemented embeddable and crawlable videos using the Wistia platform, we started getting awesome video results for head terms (search keyword terms/phrases that are short and popular) like this:

Using Video SEO To Steal Clicks, Localize Results and Increase Conversion Rate

We have no problem coming in behind WebMD, Harvard and Esquire. Although we would love to see BodyLogicMD at #1, it makes sense that we are ranking behind those highly authoritative sites.

On a side note, since implementing video, BodyLogicMD’s traffic has increased 13.16% for just the query “hormone replacement therapy for men” year-over-year.

Localized Video SEO Strategy:

Along with battling tough competition for head terms, BodyLogicMD is also duking it out with a whole lot of spammy competitors in local markets. In order to compete with them, BodyLogicMD created pages that target local terms and represent specific doctors within those cities (Here’s an example for Chicago). We then worked with BodyLogicMD to add videos by the actual doctors that run the offices on the geo-targeted pages.

Now, when someone is searching for a head term like “bioidentical hormone therapy” and they are located in the same area as a BodyLogicMD doctor, they are (sometimes) served a localized video result for a head term, like this SERP for bioidentical hormones when location is set to Las Vegas:

Using Video SEO To Steal Clicks, Localize Results and Increase Conversion Rate

Although we’d like to rank higher for this search term, we still love getting results like these. When people are searching for broad medical head terms we can serve them a video of a local expert who can answer their questions and provide the medical services they may need in their immediate area. Instead of getting answers from a faceless online medical encyclopedia, users are able to connect with local doctors and put a face to BodyLogicMD.

Sometimes, we are lucky enough to get two video results for a head term, one for our page targeting the head term, and one video for our localized page:

Using Video SEO To Steal Clicks, Localize Results and Increase Conversion Rate

We’ve also been able to get other pretty crazy, abnormal results. We’ve set up every geo-targeted page with authorship, and if a user circles BodyLogicMD or visits their site frequently, they will begin to see video results with authorship snippets:

Using Video SEO To Steal Clicks, Localize Results and Increase Conversion Rate

These multimedia results change by the day. The /physicians/ directory sub pages are set up with authorship, video and local – so whenever the SERPs change, we generally can get some type of rich snippet result or local pack.

Here is a local pack result, with video and authorship for the Chicago location:

Using Video SEO To Steal Clicks, Localize Results and Increase Conversion Rate

Video is still the wild west, where the results change frequently. I get the feeling that Google does a ton of testing on results like these. We don’t always get what we want, but when we do, BodyLogicMD sticks out like a sore thumb.

Effect of Video Snippets on Conversion Rate:

Sometimes adding video snippets can knock you out of the first position. I rarely see video at the one-spot in universal search. We first started seeing video results on Aug 20th, 2012. For one of our major keywords, soon after that we took a bit of a rankings loss and it resulted in 39.95% less traffic for that keyword year over year.

Using Video SEO To Steal Clicks, Localize Results and Increase Conversion Rate

Although some of that traffic is sure to have gone to (not provided) it’s still a large drop for that particular keyword. Now, this is one of the main keywords for the <a “’]);” href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>bioidentical hormone therapy page, easily one of the most important pages on the site. From the start, we made the conscious decision to implement video directly into the copy of this page. Since adding video, the conversion rate for this keyword has gone up 399.58% resulting in an increase in gross profit of $978.73 in a six month period for just this keyword.

We still have a long way to go with BodyLogicMD’s rankings, and we have more videos in the works, but it’s been exciting experimenting with how video, local, and authorship can interact to stand out in the SERPs and drive revenue.

What’s Your Landing Page’s Unique Ranking Proposition?

A site I’ve been working with took a rankings and traffic hit from the 12/13 phantom update. I spent a lot of time trying to get to the root of the issue, analyzing what exactly this non-update was targeting. Eventually I realized I was never going to figure this out – and I said, “screw it, the site just needs to be better, the damage is done and it’s time to pick up the pieces.”

Humpty Dumpty

Photo via Flickr User aussiegall

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Link Prospecting with Pivot Tables

I have a lot of tools in my SEO toolbelt, but I only consider a few of them to be absolutely necessary – Link Prospector from Garrett French is one of them. LP takes all the grunt work out of advanced queries and scraping SERPs. But just like when you prospect by hand, you are going to find some garbage that you will need to remove from your data set.


By using Excel tables with filters and throwing the filtered data into a pivot tables  – you can create easily navigable documents filled with high value link opportunities.


Here’s a step by step process to cut down Link Prospector exports to just the meat and potatoes

Image via Flickr user Paul Keller

Image via Flickr user Paul Keller

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Scaling Internal Link Building with Screaming Frog & Majestic

I have a tool crush on Screaming Frog. I consider it one of the keys to scalability and I don’t know what I would do without it. Dan Sharp deserves a medal because his tool has saved SEOs countless hours of manual work. Screaming Frog can be used for a variety of things, but my new favorite use is for identifying  internal link building opportunities.


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Finding Link Directories in a Post Penguin World

Update: 10/28/2013 – A lot has changed, I would not try this strategy anymore. Use at your own risk. 


I am not a fan of directories. They don’t feel like something Google would want you to do, but – they aren’t against the rules (yet) and they are a valuable provider of anchor text, so I’ll use them. Many agencies have coveted list of free and cheap directories that they will submit their clients to, but since Google has deindexed numerous directories in the last year you can’t rely on dated internal lists of once valuable directories.


Image Courtesy of Flickr User xrayspx

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