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lludwig

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I already did one on affiliate marketing, let's try one on SEO.

AMA: SEO.

My Background: I've been developing websites for 25 years+, and had an affiliate blog for 10 years which 80% of the traffic was from SEO. Starting from zero, I had over 300,000 unique visitors per month. I sold my affiliate blog 2018 for $6M.
 

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I already did one on affiliate marketing, let's try one on SEO.

AMA: SEO.

My Background: I've been developing websites for 25 years+, and had an affiliate blog for 10 years which 80% of the traffic was from SEO. Starting from zero, I had over 300,000 unique visitors per month. I sold my affiliate blog 2018 for $6M.
Thanks for doing this! I used to do SEO/Web dev way back in the day but I haven't done anything in years so I'm sure a lot has changed. I have a few questions...

If you had to give a percentage how would you weight "on page SEO" vs "off page SEO" in this day and age?

Are there any tools that you could recommend that an SEO should have in their toolbox? How about for the SEO shop vs just a business owner trying to do the best they can but aren't running an SEO shop?

How do you algo proof your web based assets?

Cheers!
 

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What would you do to go from 0 to 300k - 1 mi. visitors per month today?
 
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lludwig

lludwig

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If you had to give a percentage how would you weight "on page SEO" vs "off page SEO" in this day and age?
It depends upon the volume of the keyword and how competitive it is.

For low volume keywords but overall a great domain authority, it's possible to rank for something with NO backlinks. For a difficult keyword, you may need over 30-50 backlinks related to that domain.

To put it another way, I would focus more on on-page since you have more control over it first. Get your house in order before doing backlinks.

Are there any tools that you could recommend that an SEO should have in their toolbox?
Ahrefs without question.

How about for the SEO shop vs just a business owner trying to do the best they can but aren't running an SEO shop?
IMHO at the lower end, you are better learning SEO yourself. I think many give outdated, or worse just bad advice.

Either reading a lot and/or taking a course is your better option.

On the high-end (say $5-10k/mo retainer) there are some good companies.

How do you algo proof your web based assets?
SEO is a moving target, though I would stay away from "black hat" SEO techniques. If anything maybe do "grey hat". In the end, Google wants to see good content rank, so that should be your first order of importance.
 
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lludwig

lludwig

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What would you do to go from 0 to 300k - 1 mi. visitors per month today?
It depends upon the niche. SEO is a long game. You need to spend 6-12 months if just starting out to start seeing any results. If you want instant results to look at paid traffic instead. It's very rare today to go from 0 to say 100,000k/month of traffic in under a year.
 
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lludwig

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Hi Larry,
What are some common basic principles most people get wrong about SEO?
That SEO is all about backlinks. If anything in recent years it is much more about user experience. Backlinks are still important but you have less control over them. Focus first on what you can control, which is your content, user experience, on-site links, etc.
 

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If anything in recent years it is much more about user experience
How is this measured by the search engines? How does this affect SEO?

Or do you mean by creating a good UX you would be rewarded with backlinks etc.
 

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If you were to hire a Freelancer to do an SEO analysis and improvement of your site, what specific skills would you be looking for? What questions would you ask them as part of the hiring process? What would you make sure to include in a project brief for them?
 

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That SEO is all about backlinks. If anything in recent years it is much more about user experience. Backlinks are still important but you have less control over them. Focus first on what you can control, which is your content, user experience, on-site links, etc.
How is this measured by the search engines? How does this affect SEO?

Or do you mean by creating a good UX you would be rewarded with backlinks etc.
Bounce rate. Time on site. Pageviews per user. Etc.

You still have to go out and get backlinks, but the order of operations has changed.

If I'm understanding this correctly...

Before you could execute in the following order:
1. On-site SEO/KW
2. Backlinks
3. User experience

Rather, now you should...
1. On-Site/KW
2. User experience
3. Backlinks

The best way I've heard it was, "Take care of Google's visitors, and Google will take care of you."

Unless you're local and niched, you still have to do the backlinking yourself.
 
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lludwig

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If you were to hire a Freelancer to do an SEO analysis and improvement of your site, what specific skills would you be looking for? What questions would you ask them as part of the hiring process? What would you make sure to include in a project brief for them?
- Ask them to explain how they think SEO works
- Ask them what is their process
- Ask them of case studies or examples of successful work and referrals
- For you: What goals are you trying to achieve by hiring someone? Be specific with them. Obviously expecting to "ranked #1 for a specific keyword" is not realistic goal for an SEO person. You can't be specific when hiring someone with SEO since in the end they cannot control Google.

Instead I would shoot for overall specific goals, like "increase of traffic 10% in the next six months", "increase in overall keywords in the next six months." Trends that go in the reverse clearly mean the person you hired isn't a good fit and not working (obviously they are some exceptions like you paid for backlinks previously and they are expected to fix your mess).
 

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lludwig

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Bounce rate. Time on site. Pageviews per user. Etc.

You still have to go out and get backlinks, but the order of operations has changed.

If I'm understanding this correctly...

Before you could execute in the following order:
1. On-site SEO/KW
2. Backlinks
3. User experience

Rather, now you should...
1. On-Site/KW
2. User experience
3. Backlinks

The best way I've heard it was, "Take care of Google's visitors, and Google will take care of you."

Unless you're local and niched, you still have to do the backlinking yourself.
Overall this is a good answer.

The other is matching keyword intent of what the user is expected on the page.

Keep in mind SEO is just another sales funnel.

An example I always use is "what is a mortgage" is a much different keyword intent, then "what's the best mortgage rate".

For "what is a mortgage" they are at a much higher level of the sales funnel. Pushing them with mortgage rate tables isn't the best experience. They are expecting to learn more about mortgages than to find a bank with the best mortgage rate. You can have content that's too transactional when the visitor is expecting more informational.

Lastly, unlike paid ads in which you can get very transactional, organic SEO even the most transactional keywords need value-add. Going back to my "best mortgage rate" keyword, you can't just have a rate table of various banks and expect to rank for it. It will never happen. You need content where the reader not only can perform the transaction but also learn something in the process.
 

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For "what is a mortgage" they are at a much higher level of the sales funnel. Pushing them with mortgage rate tables isn't the best experience. They are expecting to learn more about mortgages than to find a bank with the best mortgage rate. You can have content that's too transactional when the visitor is expecting more informational.
Good point! This is an important distinction.

When designing a website, depending on that the goal is, what are some of the best practices for today's search engine environment?

I remember the concept of "silos" used to be big. What's are some of the architectures used today?
 
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lludwig

lludwig

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Good point! This is an important distinction.

When designing a website, depending on that the goal is, what are some of the best practices for today's search engine environment?

I remember the concept of "silos" used to be big. What's are some of the architectures used today?
silos? Explain.

You should try to develop ways to keep the user engaged and on your site. So that may mean:
  • More content
  • links to other internal content
  • on-site apps
IMHO I believe the last item is the biggest key point to focus on today. Develop site functionality that is unique. For example on my site Investor Junkie, developed a comparison tool that was a widget on reviews.
 

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Im doing some local seo but Need to get into ecommerce/niche site seo as well.

Im pretty fast with picking things up from scratch. I just dont know any reliable Source on this and I dont Trust Most Blogs as they only want me to get them their bluehost of sem rush comission.

Do you have and advice on Where to find ecommerce seo advise ?
 
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lludwig

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Im doing some local seo but Need to get into ecommerce/niche site seo as well.

Im pretty fast with picking things up from scratch. I just dont know any reliable Source on this and I dont Trust Most Blogs as they only want me to get them their bluehost of sem rush comission.

Do you have and advice on Where to find ecommerce seo advise ?
ahrefs.com has some good content.
detailed.com
SEO Signals Lab

The last is more filled with SEO professionals though.
 

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What would be a strategy that a physical products brand doing 7 figures/year could implement for SEO?

We get hardly any organic traffic and going into 2020 I want to build our blog and content marketing side of the business.

Is it about hiring writers, trying to get links, and volume? Any tips for getting links?
 

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ahrefs.com has some good content.
detailed.com
SEO Signals Lab

The last is more filled with SEO professionals though.
Thank you, yea I already use ahrefs and im in seo Signals lab. Will Check out the Other one.

What would your seo strategy look like for a super boring niche product with Little competition?

Opinión on content marketing for niche sites?
 

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What do you do now that you don't have your blog? Are you still actively practicing SEO?

And, what automations, if any, do you use for SEO on-page and off?
 
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lludwig

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What do you do now that you don't have your blog? Are you still actively practicing SEO?
I'm now building out my own personal brand, LarryLudwig.com

Doing some consulting as well and working on building some courses.

Also looking to acquire an existing site and/or creating a new one.

And, what automations, if any, do you use for SEO on-page and off?
None with SEO. Not sure what exactly you can automate. I mean services like ahrefs.com send you data on a regular basis.
 
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lludwig

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What would your seo strategy look like for a super boring niche product with Little competition?

Opinión on content marketing for niche sites?
I'm of the opinion little competition means a mark that's not good to get into. The reason no unique ideas exist. If it's not popular, then it's for a reason, it doesn't make much money. Obviously there are some exceptions to this. I believe execution better is a better way to create a site. Add value where others are not.
 

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lludwig

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What would be a strategy that a physical products brand doing 7 figures/year could implement for SEO?

We get hardly any organic traffic and going into 2020 I want to build our blog and content marketing side of the business.

Is it about hiring writers, trying to get links, and volume? Any tips for getting links?
All of this depends upon your vertical/niche so I can't really speak on general advice.
 

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I'm not building out my own personal brand, LarryLudwig.com

Doing some consulting as well and working on building some courses.

Also looking to acquire an existing site and/or creating a new one.



None with SEO. Not sure what exactly you can automate. I mean services like ahrefs.com send you data on a regular basis.
I've seen people, a lot from SEO signals, talk about automating everything from competitor research (parts of it) to on-page optimizations across large sites.

I don't automate much on the SEO side but I would If I did more volume.

Cheers
 

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Wow thanks for doing this.

Here's my question:

SEO for a new B2B SaaS Tool. What are the top 3-5 things that you would recommend doing to kickstart things?

- Website < 1 year old
- 0 Backlinks
- Very little content

I have my own B2B SaaS tool. It's sort of a multi-step form/lead gen tool that you can add to your site without coding. All sales come from paid traffic, but I see pockets of SEO opportunity around low volume/high intent, keywords that are related to my tool. For example, one of my top paid keywords is "multi-step forms"

I feel like I should start investing into SEO now, but I'm kind of stuck about how to jump start things on the SEO side of a brand new site.

As a side note - I've done some SEO work for a SaaS company before and saw success. But that company had a website that was 10 years old, content, and a ton of backlinks - I was just kind of thrown into it.

Initially, I was thinking that the process might look something like this:

sticking with the concept of multi-step lead capture forms here.

- Optimize core pages and get the SEO backbone of the site established
- Build content around around low competition, long-tail keywords around a topic. (i.e, if the topic is Multi-step forms then I might write content around multi-step forms for Unbounce if that's a keyword since I think there's a better chance that I could rank for that vs the short tail version.
- Build internal links as I start writing content

- I'm missing backlinks here... but I'm not an expert in link building, and I don't have a ton of time. So being realistic this is going to be hard for me to do right now.

But I'm not an SEO expert and I keep getting stuck when I realize that I have zero backlinks and no credibility in Google's eyes.

Thanks!
 

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What is your process to get onto the 3 pack for Google Maps?

I see businesses that have terrible organic SEO (they're on page 2-3), but somehow made it onto the maps. It seems like a whole different process.

What I've gathered for ranking on google maps is:

- verified location
- on page seo
- photos
- questions map listings
- posts on map listings
- reviews
- local citations

Is there some other recipe I might be missing here?

Thanks for making this AMA :)
 
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lludwig

lludwig

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I've seen people, a lot from SEO signals, talk about automating everything from competitor research (parts of it) to on-page optimizations across large sites.

I don't automate much on the SEO side but I would If I did more volume.

Cheers
At least for me, SEO is more of a manual task with the researching of keywords. At least previously, I automated and created SOPs for other things on my site. Like creating content and making everything on the site metadata which can be updated in one place.
 
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lludwig

lludwig

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Wow thanks for doing this.

Here's my question:

SEO for a new B2B SaaS Tool. What are the top 3-5 things that you would recommend doing to kickstart things?

- Website < 1 year old
- 0 Backlinks
- Very little content

I have my own B2B SaaS tool. It's sort of a multi-step form/lead gen tool that you can add to your site without coding. All sales come from paid traffic, but I see pockets of SEO opportunity around low volume/high intent, keywords that are related to my tool. For example, one of my top paid keywords is "multi-step forms"

I feel like I should start investing into SEO now, but I'm kind of stuck about how to jump start things on the SEO side of a brand new site.

As a side note - I've done some SEO work for a SaaS company before and saw success. But that company had a website that was 10 years old, content, and a ton of backlinks - I was just kind of thrown into it.

Initially, I was thinking that the process might look something like this:

sticking with the concept of multi-step lead capture forms here.

- Optimize core pages and get the SEO backbone of the site established
- Build content around around low competition, long-tail keywords around a topic. (i.e, if the topic is Multi-step forms then I might write content around multi-step forms for Unbounce if that's a keyword since I think there's a better chance that I could rank for that vs the short tail version.
- Build internal links as I start writing content

- I'm missing backlinks here... but I'm not an expert in link building, and I don't have a ton of time. So being realistic this is going to be hard for me to do right now.

But I'm not an SEO expert and I keep getting stuck when I realize that I have zero backlinks and no credibility in Google's eyes.

Thanks!
I would create blog posts around the SaaS. Some are going to be more direct sales and others are higher up in the sales funnel.

Depending upon the SaaS and cost I may only have an optin-form to warm them up then direct sale.

Backlinks is a whole other topic and some of it depends upon your niche.

With my new personal brand, I'm going out and doing podcasting as a backlink strategy. Since I'm an expert, having me on a podcast makes the most sense and easily can discuss the topic in detail. Investor Junkie (my previous blog) was a brand unto itself and did things differently.

The question, of course, is which comes first the backlinks or the content. To me it's always creating good content first and then figure out how to promote and get backlinks second.
 
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lludwig

lludwig

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What is your process to get onto the 3 pack for Google Maps?

I see businesses that have terrible organic SEO (they're on page 2-3), but somehow made it onto the maps. It seems like a whole different process.

What I've gathered for ranking on google maps is:

- verified location
- on page seo
- photos
- questions map listings
- posts on map listings
- reviews
- local citations

Is there some other recipe I might be missing here?

Thanks for making this AMA :)
I didn't do local SEO, so I'm not an expert on this. But what I can say is get your info on Google My Business.


I'm assuming you have done this already?

Second, you want to establish E-A-T in this case locally. You need to get in sites that review your local business like Yelp, BBB and alike. If you can allow customers to review your content. I recommend Shopper Approved. This can be used for SEM so you can have star ratings in your ads.

Are you using Schema markup on your site? If not, also do that as well.


This one especially.

Lastly, IMHO local search sometimes it's just easier and cheaper (less time/effort) just to pay for that traffic using Google Ads.
 

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ahrefs.com has some good content.
detailed.com
SEO Signals Lab

The last is more filled with SEO professionals though.
Glen Allsopp from detailed.com also has a great SEO course that came out this fall and I bought. I've done SEO for years and still learned a number of things. It's called SEO Blueprint. It's not open to buy right now but you can get on a waiting list. It's good stuff.
 

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- How often should someone publish content on a blog?
According to Hubspot it's around 2-3 articles per week for smaller blogs. Do you agree or have you made other experiences?

- Did you create the content all by yourself or did you hire a freelancer for content creation?
If so, what qualities should I look for when hiring a freelacer and how much pay would be fair for high quality content?

Thanks for creating this thread and giving us all your insights!
 

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