Welcome to the Content Champion podcast. On the show this time I’m delighted to be discussing evergreen link building techniques with award winning SEO and digital marketer, Matthew Woodward.
Renowned for his in-depth SEO tutorials and case studies, Matthew has been helping business owners grow online since 2012.
So with that all said, let’s dive in…
Listen To Matthew’s Show On Link Building
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- Discover Matthew’s backstory
- Get the lowdown on Matthew’s renowned blog and SEO company
- Our quick fire run down of the 12 link building techniques
- Matthew’s approach to outreach for link building
- Why you should only focus on your favourite two link building techniques
- Find out where you can find Matthew online
- The PS Question – Matthew gives one of the best ever answers to the PS Question!
Link Assistant (SEO PowerSuite)
FAQ Rich Snippets (this works as I tried it right after the call – proof below)
Watch The Video Podcast
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Loz James: Thanks for coming on, Matthew.
MatthewWoodward: Hi. How’re you doing? Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here, looking forward to sharing some hopefully useful strategies with you all today. There’s an important thing I want to tell you at the top of the show, and that is we’re going to be discussing lots of different link building strategies today, but don’t go and run out and use them all, you only need to use one or two. So just be aware that as we’re running through the notes. The one or two that resonate with you most, note those down and execute those and ignore the rest.
Loz James: Cool. Okay. Well, before we get into that quickfire roundup of your top 12 link building techniques, could you share your backstory with us please?
MatthewWoodward: Yeah. Well, I’ve built building websites before Google existed, writing them in Notepad, had a pay-per-route to pay for the server. I was heavily involved in competitive online gaming. That taught me a lot about what I know about video editing. I eventually transitioned into the corporate world, digital marketing, SEO.
If anyone’s listening that has experience in the corporate world, you know that sucks. So, I think back in, wow, like 2010 I took the leap full-time to pursue my own things. So I’ve got a good mix of background from E-commerce to affiliate, you name it, I’ve done it more or less.
Loz James: And tell us about your Matthew Woodward website, because I’ve been following a few people online, Pat Flynn, Yaro Starak, and yourself.
MatthewWoodward: There’s some impressive names to be amongst. Pat Flynn actually had a big inspiration on the blog, on it’s early days. I loved how he communicated with people, how he taught people, how he build community and relationships with people. So hopefully some of that’s flown through the blog because he certainly was an inspiration towards it, amongst other people.
But the blog’s been set up since August 2012. It’s won a bunch of awards, but most importantly helped tonnes of people increase search traffic and earnings. The thing I like to show off most is that the testimonials page, if you just read through that, that’s real people seeing real results, changing business’ lives and everything else. That’s ultimately why I set the blog up to do. It’s come full circle over the years, and great feedback and led me to opportunities like this and other things. So yeah, the blog was an experiment that ended up becoming quite the success.
Loz James: Well, I mean it’s your SEO case studies and other tutorials that I really came to love your blog for. I can remember just really quickly an email system, blog post that you did, on how you send out your emails, and I took that wholesale and then edited it for my own audience. I ran that successfully for years. I’ve still got emails that are kind of based on that, and I used to get 55, 60% open rates with some of my emails from that.
MatthewWoodward: Oh, that’s great.
Loz James: So it works. Anyways. So, let’s dig down into these link building techniques. As you say rightly, “We can’t go off and do all of them”, but there’s a load here that are great, and you might be more keen, or more skilled or set up to do a couple of them more than the rest. So, let’s go through some of them. I’ll link to the blog post in the show notes as well, but let’s just spend a couple of minutes, look at each one, and you can give us some ideas of sort of how to set them up, very basically how to do them. Let’s start at the beginning then with testimonial link building. Take it away.
MatthewWoodward: Okay, so you’re right, not all of these are going to be accessible to everyone. Some are going to be easier for some other people to do, but you’re just looking for one or two to try and implement. Testimonial link building is the first one.
Now, that’s going to be easier for some people than others, but if you’ve bought or own and products or services in your niche, the owners of those products or services love testimonials, they love being told their product or service is awesome, and usually you can score a link by providing a testimonial. Quite often if you give a really good testimonial you can score yourself a homepage link, which is super, super, super powerful.
MatthewWoodward: So I’ve used that. If you go on mythemeshop.com you’ll see one there, at wpxhosting.comm, you’ll see one there. Nearly all of us have bought a product or a service at some point. So, it’s just a case of making a list of things in your niche that you think might be relevant, dropping them an email, and just seeing if they publish your testimonial. Usually I don’t mention the link until after they’ve published it, and if they’ve included the link, cool, if not I ask them and usually they do it.
Loz James: That WPX Hosting link’s a great one. I got one of those through the testimonial. So, okay. Let’s move onto number two, link roundups, what are these?
MatthewWoodward: I used to publish way back when the best of internet marketing every month. Matt Diggity’s publishing his own link roundup every month at the moment, and these happen in every niche, just rounding up the best news of the month. So, if you have actually published something that’s worthy, it’s worth letting these people know that you’ve published that content so that they can include you in with the link.
You’re not always going to have something that fits, and you shouldn’t be pitching everyone every single thing you publish because they’ll just go cold on you, but if you’ve got something that really genuinely deserves a link and wants eyeballs, reaching out to people that publish link roundups is a great way to do it.
Loz James: Okay, cool. Let’s keep rolling on then, and then I’ll stop this around about halfway through, just ask you a general question. Number three then is resource pages. How do we do those?
MatthewWoodward: So, resource pages, similar to link roundups, but more static. For example, I might publish a list of SEO tools. Well, I do. I publish a list of SEO tools that I like. You might want to be included in that list of resources. I publish a list of the best SEO tutorials. You might want to be included in that.
So, you want to go and look for sites in your niche that publish these static resource pages, whatever they are, and look where you can be included in them. In the full blog post you’ll find all of the different search queries that you can use to find these pages, and again, it’s just a case of pitching people saying “Hey, I’ve got this, I think it’ll be great”. I’ve actually included a script in the post that you can use, and that’s all there is to it.
Loz James: Okay. Number four then. This one is often overlooked, and it is very powerful, but people think you have to be building external links into your site. So we’re looking at internal link building. How do we do this properly? Because it’s quite a big one, isn’t it?
MatthewWoodward: Internal link building is one of the most underrated strategies I think that exists. It’s funny that you talk about it, I popped a number one spot last night from number six just by changing my internal link building structure last week, and that was for SEO PowerSuite review. All I did was make sure that all of my anchor texts, there’s 100% exact anchor match for SEO PowerSuite review.
So I just went through and edited all the post, resubmitted for indexing, and a week later “Pop” number one. So, internal link building is really valuable and you really need to pay attention to it. If there’s any specific pages that you want to rank that are currently on the first pages, you should just be looking “Okay, what pages are linking to that page right now, and what anchor text are they using?” And you should try and make it as exact as possible and as close as possible with no confusion.
MatthewWoodward: Internal links are also … I’ve got my SEO hat on, but from a user perspective you can also use them to direct people towards your most important pages. Now, what is an important page? To different people it means different things. It might be that you might have a specific post or page on your website that converts better than others in terms of signups. So you want to try and to funnel as much of your traffic to that page as possible knowing that it’s a most likely page to convert.
You can use internal links to do that as well, it’s not just about SEO. Now, I’ve actually got a much more detailed dedicated tutorial about internal link building on my blog that teaches you three different processes that I use for internal link building. You can spend an afternoon and really build a solid internal linking structure. You don’t need to go too complicated with it. So if you’ve not paid attention to internal link building before, make sure you do, and probably if you haven’t paid attention to it before, that should be one of the two strategies that you walk away and try today.
Loz James: Okay. I’ll link to that as well in the show notes. Can we get away with more aggressive anchor text, exact match with internal link building?
Loz James: We can?
MatthewWoodward: Yes, with internal link building. Yeah, the results I’m seeing is going 100% exact internal, and that’s what’s working at the moment, for now anyway. You definitely shouldn’t be doing that external.
Loz James: Yeah. There’s a great blogger called Brandon Gaille, who I follow as well who’s done exactly the same thing, put a load of internal links in there and his ranking shot up an already massive blog. So I think that’s one I’m definitely going to pay more attention to. Okay. Let’s move onto number five, expired domain link building, what’s that?
MatthewWoodward: Okay. Expired domains, quite simply a domain that used to be owned by somebody else, has now been expired, but has some kind of a weight to it in terms of SEO, there’s an existing link profile pointing to that domain. So, how do we use expired domains? Well, there’s a couple of different ways. When I’m building any new niche site, I always build on an expired domain.
But you have to be careful that you don’t buy an expired domain that’s been used as a spamming network, or has a bunch of spammy links and whatever. You want to be buying the expired domain that’s got links from Wikipedia, CNN, Forbes, like really good established expired domains, and then flipping those to start building sites on, because if you’ve got a new domain with zero links and it’s an expired domain, it’s got 100 links from the likes of Forbes and Wall Street Journal, that’s a huge headstart.
MatthewWoodward: If you were trying to win those links, or buy those links, you’d be into the thousands of dollars. So expired domains give you a headstart in terms of building a niche site. But you can also use them to build out private blog networks. Now, that’s a scary term for a lot of people, but if you build them right there’s no way that a human or Google can detect a blog network is a blog network.
It just looks like a normal site, acts like a normal site, everything looks like a normal site. But there are a lot of pitfalls. So if you’ve never played with them before, don’t touch them with a barge pole, there’s a lot of things you can do wrong. You’ve got to be very, very careful with that.
MatthewWoodward: The third way that you can use expired domains for link building is instead of using a domain to build out a site on, you can just redirect the domain to your current money site. So, for example matthewwoodward.co.uk. Let’s say, it’s never going to happen, but neilpatel.com expires in the future.
I might buy that domain and 301 redirect it to my site in order to pass the link juice that was previously pointing to neilpatel.com, and not I’m going to pass it through to my domain. That’s a great way to bolster the link profile of an existing domain, but you can only do one or two of those before it starts looking spammy. The way I like to do it is actually put out a press release saying that “This business acquired this business”, so that when you set up the redirect that is genuinely what would happen in a business acquisition. So you’re giving it authenticity. So that’s a good thing to pay attention to when you’re using that strategy.
Loz James: Okay. So there’s a tonne you can do with expired domains. Let’s move onto number six. Perhaps everyone’s favourite. The most popular well-known. Guest blogging. Shall we still do it? We should still do it, yeah? It still works.
MatthewWoodward: Okay. So guest blogging is like a catch-22 for me. It’s funny because it’s like the go-to link building strategy of white hat SEOs, but if you’re doing link building you’re no longer a white hat SEO. Link building’s against Google webmaster terms. As soon as you’re creating links in order to manipulate search rankings, yeah, and that’s what guest blogging is, right?
So, not only that, now, for anyone that’s doing decent amounts of guest blogging, you’ll know that finding a free guest post is like super rare, everyone wants compensation, right? So, in essence the white hat link building strategy that was never white hat in the first place has come full circle and is now buying backlinks. That’s what they’re doing. That’s what it is.
MatthewWoodward: In essence, you’re buying links. Except for before you used to just be able to buy links, now I’ve got to buy links and give you the content. So, whether you should still use it? Yes, you should still use it, but don’t get confused that it’s white hat or any of that, it’s not. You’re building links to manipulate search rankings, in many instances you’re buying that link. It is as black hat as you get.
I don’t believe in those labels, but if you want to put those labels on things, it’s black hat. For me there’s a search algorithm, we’ve just got to give it what it wants. How you give it really doesn’t matter. So, guest blogging is still highly effective. You should be using it, but it is what it is.
MatthewWoodward: Don’t be on like a moral high ground like “Oh, I build all my links through a guest blog. I’m totally safe”. You’re not. Google have told us they don’t like guest blogging. We know this. They specifically told us if you’re going to do to view the full post you can read all of Google’s announcements on guest blogging. But it is highly effective. It does really, really, really work. So yeah, you should use it. It’s one of the prime link building such it is I use across all of the sites, but in essence guest blogging has now become buying links. Let’s be honest.
Loz James: Okay. Look, we’re halfway through the list of 12. That was number six. The general question I wanted to ask you is quite a lot of these 12 involve outreach in some sort of description in some way, and I’m sure you get probably hundreds daily, weekly. I get dozens sort of daily, weekly, of people outreaching for links. It’s just shocking, some it, and it’s getting worse and most of it’s automated. Do we take a sort of authority hacker semi-automated scaled way of outreaching for these links, or do we do it completely personally, one-off, and hope that really personalised approach gets us that connection that we want and then a better chance of getting the link?
MatthewWoodward: You do both. Now, okay. So, first of all, let me tell you this, I get significantly less requests now that I’ve set up filters for all the templates any popular blogger publishes. Brian Dean, you, Screw Mate. The amount of time I’ve spent deleting bloody Brian Dean’s email outreach templates, in the end I just set up filters and I set on for us. If you’re using those templates you ain’t reaching me. I even really use those filters because they save me a lot of time every week.
Loz James: That’d be a great blog post in itself, because I know exactly, I could tell you the wording of those, yeah, because I think we get similar ones.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah. In terms of scalable outreach that’s personalised, now, I know Authority Hacker recently did the course and everything. I had a little look and I pointed them in the direction of a better system and way of doing it. You can personalise on bulk, and the way we do it is we have people that are dedicated to, first of all, inspecting the opportunities and then personalising them.
So, I love stealing competitors bad links. We’re going to talk about it in a moment. But we’ll scrape all of the targets, we’ll load them into the system, and then we have someone that just goes through and says “Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no. Do we want a link from this site?” Then off the back of that they’re then asked “Personalise it”. So all the ones that get selected “Yes”, okay, now we’re personalising it. So, we do simple things like one of the biggest turnoffs for me is you post my exact blog post title or URL. If that’s in the outreach, delete. Because I know that you’ve just scraped it, right?
MatthewWoodward: So, our personalizer will actually rewrite the title a little bit. So instead of it being like “12 incredible link building strategies” which is an exact match of my title, I’ll be like “Oh, your post about link building strategies”, it makes it so that you know that that bit was written by a human. We have a field with a dropdown saying “What’s the general colour scheme of this site?”
So they select a dropdown and if the general colour scheme’s blue it’s got like an FTNL, so that inputs into the template and says … personalised like that. So, you can personalise at scale if you build the system to do it. So we have someone who’s very cheap that does the inspections and personalizations, and then somebody who’s actually a native British speaker who does all of the replies and the management of that. So, do you personalise or scale? You do both. That’s the answer.
Loz James: Okay. That’s a brilliant answer then, okay.
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Loz James: Let’s crack on with the list. We’re at number seven I believe, broken link building.
MatthewWoodward: Yes. Okay. So, broken link building, nice and easy. You’re trying to do people a favour, you’re looking for links on their site that are currently broken, and then suggesting yours as a replacement. Usually if you find one broken link, let’s say that I find that there was a link to one of your posts that was broken, I could then bang that into a Ahrefs and look at all of the other bad links that are pointing to it, knowing that they’re all broken as well.
So usually once you find one broken link, that’s the seed to finding lots of broken links, and then it’s just the outreach game on letting people know “Hey, you’ve got the broken link. I just wanted to let you know”. Personally I don’t pitch a replacement in the first email. I just let them know, and then when they reply then I pitch a replacement.
Loz James: Okay, and I guess number eight filters into that one as well, reverse engineering your competitors and what they’re doing. It’s kind of related, isn’t it?
MatthewWoodward: My favourite link building strategy of all time is, and if you’ve read my blog you’re probably sick and tired of hearing me bang on about this, but it’s what I’ve been using for like a decade. It’s just easy. Download your competitor’s backlinks and copy them. That’s it.
Sometimes that might mean you just need to submit a blog comment, reply to a forum post, maybe you need to write a guest post, maybe your competitor’s got a link on a resource page, so you just need to email to get included on the resource. You’re just taking what’s already working for your competitors, Google’s telling you it’s working because it’s currently ranking the sites. You know that Google loves the link profile, and you’re trying to replicate as much as that for yourself. More often than not you can replicate a lot of it just by hand really quick, just by burning through it.
MatthewWoodward: There’s lot of stuff that you can do, and if you hit the homepage of my blog I’ve built two spreadsheets. One that steals your competitor’s keyword strategy so you can build a complete keyword strategy in five minutes, and then the second part to that is then stealing all the links to support your keyword strategy; and it filters out all of the dummy links, it tells you which links you should attack first in which order, it removes all the spam and clean everything up.
So, between those two sheets you can build a keyword strategy and a link building strategy in less than 15 minutes for any niche you’re in, but it’s based on stealing, not just your competitor’s keywords, but stealing your competitor’s backlinks, reverse engineering what is currently working and applying it to your own site. Great strategy. I do that for every single site that I launch. Even on posts and pages that I’m launching on the blog, I’m doing it as well. So, favourite strategy of all time.
Loz James: Okay, cool. I’ve got those spreadsheets, I recommend everyone gets them because I’ve been through that process, it’s great. So okay, let’s move on. Where are we? We’re on number nine. There we go. News jacking. I’ve done a bit of this. This is an excellent one.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah. News jacking is just finding what’s the top of the popular news trend and finding a way to hook into it. There’s lot of different ways that you can do it. Wow, I haven’t watched the news in the last week or so, I don’t know what’s going on. Have you got any examples of current news worthy items?
Loz James: Yeah, I did one on Trump. He was visiting the U.K. and there was something about him shutting the U.S. embassy, or moving the U.S. embassy. I think it was his first visit, and someone had set up a Trump statue and really got on it really quickly with their PR team.
I sent out a tweet saying whoever’s on their PR team there is doing a great job of their digital marketing, and then surreptitiously linked through to my own site. I got a lot of retweets and tweets of that just because it was related to Trump, and it was really quickly done their PR people. So it’s kind of related, but that type of thing I guess.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah. Donald Trump provides an endless amount of opportunities for news jacking in one way or another. I’m pretty sure if you did publish like the Donald Trump guide to SEO and did it a bit tongue-in-cheek you’d get some pretty good traction.
Loz James: That would make a great infographic, wouldn’t it? I’m going to steal that.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah, please do.
Loz James: You won’t be able to publish it though because of some of the language he uses I guess. But okay. So where are we now? We’ve done eight, we’ve done nine. I’m finding out that I can’t count to 12. We’ve got number 10, influencer marketing.
MatthewWoodward: Influencer marketing? Nice and easy strategy. Anyone can apply this. We’re essentially taking advantage of influences’ egos, looking at how we can fan their flame, and there’s a number of ways we can do it. You could just write a post that’s like the top SEO blogs and then reach out to each person saying “Hey, I listed you as one of my favourite SEO blogs, would you mind sharing a link into it?” Quite often people have pages like an “As seen on”, or where they were featured and things like that and you can score links from doing that.
MatthewWoodward: Another way you can kind of throw gasoline on that a little bit is instead of just making a list of blogs and saying they’re my favourites, get a graphics dude to create some awards, award images, badges, and then reach out and actually give them the badge to display on their blog or site, or wherever they want to put it, or interviews.
Reach out to people, offer them an interview. Usually you can get a link back that way. Essentially just look at different ways you can fan the flame of an influencer so they in turn link back to you and fan your flame. That’s really all there is to it. Yeah.
Loz James: Brilliant. Okay. Number 11 is one of my favourite ones of all time. Data-driven content. If you get this right and create something really unique based on stuff you’ve found that no one else has, it can be really powerful for getting those links back on it.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah. I’ve had some pretty decent success with this. Ahrefs versus Majestic, I’ve a million domain tests a few times with those guys. Ahrefs’ always won, but that’s been a great attractor of links. Actually I’m going to repeat that study by the end of the month actually, and we’ll be doing the million domain test across Ahrefs, Majestic, Moz, SEMrush, and SEO SpyGlass.
So I’m going to take that to the next level in the next publication. I’ve also had great success doing that with things like backlink indexing, which is a best WordPress hosting. I did lots of testing of case studies there. So, taking time to set up case studies and collecting that data that’s unique to you and then sharing it in a way that’s relevant to your community is a great way to attract links.
MatthewWoodward: I’ve had great success with it, and depending on your niche, it depends on how you can apply it. If you were, let’s say for example, in a weight loss niche you might do where you send out a survey to people that are currently trying to lose weight, asking them questions and then publishing results of that survey.
Quite often you find people extrapolate in a day and they’ll be like “10% of Americans have this problem”, when really they only asked 100 people. But publishing that data-driven content will attract links and it allows you to pitch media sources rather than just kind of trying to get links off people like me.
Loz James: But you’ve got to be able to stand behind that research, haven’t you, and defend it? Because I know in those big posts you talked about, some people that you’d featured, and it’s a fair comparison, came back to you and said “I don’t like what you’re doing”, and you said “Well, too bad, because that’s what I found”.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah, you’re always going to get that, and actually the Majestic/Ahrefs million domain test was born out of the fact that Majestic called me out on a smaller test saying that it was inaccurate, it only used a handful of domains, it was biassed, blah, blah, blah.
So, I was like “Okay. Well, Majestic says it’s biassed, how can I make it not biassed? I’m just going to use their data, their Majestic million, the domains that they have the most data on and I’m going to take their dataset and run it against competitors using their methodology that they published on their blog, and then they couldn’t then call bias”. Obviously they still picked holes with it and everything else, and I guess they’re going to continue to do so with the next, but you’re always going to get people that don’t feel what the data reflects and they’re going to let you know.
Loz James: But even with things like basic examples like lists of stats and things that you’ve researched or you’ve had someone research for you, digging out lots of different information and putting it together in a post can be good as well and attract links.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah, you can just round up the statistics. You could round up of a statistics, have mini graphics made of the statistics, and then contact the people who you got the graphics from, who you got the data from and say “Hey, I just made this graphic. Cool. Do you want me to co-brand it?” There’s lots of things that you can do with that to attract links, and more importantly than attract links, but build relationships with those other sites which will in turn earn more links in the future.
Loz James: Okay, that’s good, because this content market thing is related, isn’t it?
MatthewWoodward: Yeah, there’s lots of different ways you can do it.
Loz James: Yeah. Okay. Number 12 now, the final one on the list. Link reclamation. Does this only work if you’re a brand already?
MatthewWoodward: If you’re just starting from zero, not a good one. But if you’re getting 500 organic traffic a month or more you might want to start paying attention to link reclamation. Link reclamation is when someone mentions your brand, your site, or your URL, but don’t actually put the link in.
So, you want to monitor that and then contact people and be like “Hey, you kind of mentioned me, but you didn’t link. Would you mind just putting a link?” And nine times out of 10 people “Oh yeah, sorry”, and they just put it in. Then 10% of people will be like “Yeah, 100 dollars for a de-follow link”. Even though they’re mentioning you, to link it you owe 100 dollars.
MatthewWoodward: So there’s a search in the post that you can do to find those. You can use Google Alerts to do this. I actually use Ahrefs alerts and Google Alerts and TalkWalker alerts in combination to find mentions that aren’t linked, and actually that just goes into my link building process and outreach process that we’ve talked about a little bit before.
But that’s a great surefire win because they’re already mentioning you, converting that into a link is like nearly a guaranteed hit, but if you’re just a new site you’re not going to have those unlinked mentions or only URLs or such. But it’s certainly something to monitor. It doesn’t cost anything. It’s easy to do.
Loz James: And just something that’s related to the data-driven content and that one, if you create these unique images and someone uses them without your permission, can you get a link back from that? Can you do it with images, or is that more complicated?
MatthewWoodward: Yeah, you can do reverse image search to find other people that are using your image and then just shoot them an email and be like “Hey, you’re using this image without crediting, would you mind adding a little credit link?” And nine times out of 10 people will.
Loz James: Okay, cool.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah. One of the advantages of creating unique images by the way, and you might’ve seen in a lot of my more recent content, I’m creating like mini tutorial graphics. Not really infographics, but more tutorial graphics where you can just look at the graphic and learn how to do something, but in as compact a style as possible.
One of the reasons I’m doing that is because in the future everyone that’s been stealing and using them, I’m going to send those emails out and be like “Hey, where’s my links?” Google loves unique images anyway, we know that, as well as touching origins, it gives you an opportunity to build links in the future. So that one graphic that you might think “Oh well, it’s a bit of an effort getting that done and all the rest of it”, it’s actually the benefits to you come in many, many ways.
Loz James: Cool. Okay. Well, that’s a fantastic list. We’ve been through all 12. As you said at the top of the show, only pick two or three that appeal to you or fit your skillset, and then after the show you can move forward with them. In your post that you publish on this you said if you’d just do that for the next year you will increase your traffic, won’t you?
MatthewWoodward: Yeah. The problem is people suffer from information overload, and I hate writing stuff that’s like “12 link building strategies”, but the data tells me that’s what people want, it’s what people engage with. But I know that people aren’t walking away and then implementing that and seeing results because they’re like “Oh, I’m going to try that. Oh, that’s cool”. So I’ve kind of got this conflict in how people digest it.
So, go for it, pick two, and if you’ve never paid attention to internal link building before, that should be the one that you should pay attention to. If you’re not stealing your competitor’s backlinks, that’s one of the easiest to implement that will get you a wide range of different types of backlinks. It doesn’t cost much to do. In fact, you can do it for free if you take advantage of free trials. Those two are probably the most accessible to everybody in terms of they don’t take much time and they don’t cost much to do, if not free. Then from that, just those two are enough to drive you forward.
Loz James: Okay, fantastic. Now, before we move on to the PS question, could you just remind us where we can find you online please?
MatthewWoodward: Yeah, you can find me on matthewwoodward.co.uk, on YouTube. You might be able to see behind me, I’ve got a video studio set up right here, so I’m putting out some really good content on YouTube. You should subscribe to my channel there. Matt Woodward U.K. If you need help increasing the rankings of your site, my team can do it for you over at searchlogistics.com.
We take on monthly clients and we have great success there. There’s tonnes of case studies. If you love SAOK studies head over to searchlogistics.com, there’s tonnes for you to digest. And that’s it. Feel free to reach out to me at anytime. I’m always there answering comments and questions. My blog was set up to help people. So don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any.
Speaker 1: Wait for it, listeners, here comes the PS Question.
Loz James: Superb. Okay. This is what I call the PS Question, a bit of a curve ball given that we’ve just been through 12 link building techniques. But could you please share one other advanced SEO tactic that we can use right after the show?
MatthewWoodward: One other advanced SEO that you can use right now in the next five minutes?
Loz James: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
MatthewWoodward: Well, if you missed it, I guess last week I published about FAQ rich snippets. Now, FAQ rich snippets themselves are nothing new. You’ve probably read about them on Search Engine Journal a bunch of times and all the rest of it. But what is new is how they’re behaving in search results. Now, back in January, meh, not really worth bothering with.
Right now? You need to go hit the homepage of my site, mattewwoodward.co.uk, click to increase your search traffic, you’ll hit the SEO page, and then on the right box look for FAQ rich snippets and watch that video. I show you how in less than … I’m going to say five minutes, but everyone else has been testing it, they’re getting results in 30 seconds, 60 seconds. You can add the FAQ rich snippet code to your page, then go and Google Search Console, request re-indexing and instantly you will see all of those FAQ boxes appear on your search result.
MatthewWoodward: Now, that means that you’re going from owning this much real estate on a screen to this much real estate. Now, people are saying “Oh well, that’ll decrease click through rate because people can just click on the FAQ question and see the content without clicking through to your result, but we can use copyright to tease people into clicking through.
We can give people the answer, or half of the answer, and then tease them into clicking through. These FAQ snippets, okay, they might reduce the average click through rate for a search result, but would you rather your competitor had it or you had it? If the appearance of them is reducing the average click through rate, well, it’s better that you’ve got it, because it’s better to have more screen real estate, right? And why would you want your competitor to have it?
MatthewWoodward: So, you can go away right now at the FAQ snippets and instantly increase the visibility of your search result within however long it takes you to copy-and-paste a snippet and update the re-index in Google Search Console. We’ve seen results from, I’ve had a page move from number 12 to number three with the FAQ snippet, to the featured position, at top position zero.
Unfortunately it dropped after a couple of days, but it was at position 12 originally, and then jumped up to position three. Now it’s still at position three. We had one guy integrate it, and previously his competitor had the featured snippet at the top, he integrated the FAQ snippets and it removed the featured snippet entirely from the SERP, it no longer displayed, and moved him to organic one with the FAQ underneath, instantly.
Loz James: That’s amazing! So that means Google is waiting for those spots to be filled by someone proactively doing it themselves?
Loz James: I’m not going to publish this. I’m going to go and do it before anyone else does it.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah well, I published it last week, a portion of you have seen it already. It’s nothing new. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, but how effective it has become? THat’s what’s changed, and the reason it’s so effective is because of Google’s desire to dominate voice search and voice assistance.
Now, if you’ve been paying attention to the news you’ll have seen that Google are winning all of the comparisons in terms of accuracy and things like that. Just last month they were recognised as the most accurate device for providing medical advice. Now, where are they getting that data from? They’re getting it from featured snippets, rich snippets, FAQ snippets. We’re giving it to them.
MatthewWoodward: So, what better way to win the voice assistant market than increase the waiting of such things in search results so all the idiot SEOs like us go run out and give them the data to win what is a 60 billion dollar a year market? Alexa and Amazon do not have that capability. Apple do not have that capability. Google have been organising the world’s information for like 20 years. It’s what they do better than anyone else.
So, voice search very much depends on accessibility to structured organised data, that’s why Google are winning, and that’s why I think that FAQ snippets have so much weight in a search, because I’ve not seen anything like this for … I don’t think I’ve ever seen this level of control where you can add something to your page and instantly influence the live search result globally.
Loz James: That’s amazing!
MatthewWoodward: I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that, and it makes sense that Google would be like “Okay. Well, let’s win the market. All we’ve got to do is this”.
Loz James: Yeah. Well, I’m definitely going to do that. I’m definitely going to go give that a try.
MatthewWoodward: Yeah. I’ve got on my site a tutorial that shows you different examples of how I applied it, but I show you in realtime the application of it, and I show you different examples of how I’ve used it and I’ve also built a tool that helps you generate the code. You can just go on the site and use that for free.
Loz James: Fantastic!
MatthewWoodward: Go try it, and it’d be interesting to see how quickly you send me the results.
Loz James: Well, that’s it. It’s a great, great list, great call, fantastic answer to the PS Question. That case study, that tutorial that you just outlined there is exactly why your blog’s so popular and why I’ve been following it since the start. So, thanks for coming on.
MatthewWoodward: Well, I didn’t invent that.
Loz James: Well, it’s not necessarily invention, is it? It’s what you’ve just added to that to make it usable for everyone. So, yeah. On that basis, Matthew, thank you very much for coming on, and I wish you every success with everything in the future.
MatthewWoodward: Thank you. You as well. Thanks for having me.
Speaker 1: You’ve been listening to the Content Champion Podcast, available at contentchampion.com and on iTunes. Until next time, thanks for listening!
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