Live SEO Support 4/21/21 – Full Episode
Welcome to another episode of Live SEO Support!
Live SEO Support is an hour-long Weekly Livestream where our founders, Nicholas Altimore and Chris Tzitzis, take questions from the audience on anything related to SEO.
But in case you missed us live this week, here’s the full episode:
This Week’s Archived Livestream:
[21:38] I have a Shopify website for an ecommerce SEO project for PPE. I have had success with over 20 WordPress projects. Do you have any advice related to the Shopify platform that may be beneficial?
I use it for one of my big sites and I haven’t encountered any serious issues with it. You may want to keep an eye out on your permalink structure because Shopify may create a product section for you. You should modify that to resemble whatever you want it to rank for in the SERPs. Shopify tends to create sloppy automatic URL structures that aren’t always the best setup.
[23:55] Do you have any tips for how to articulate the backlinks profile with branded links? And will the branded links only go to the homepage, or should they mix into inner pages with keyword + brand? In the past, I’ve often just used branded + keyword links.
I use branded + keywords links sometimes to do a mix of natural and aggressive linking patterns.
Most of the branded links I use go to the homepage. But you should use a mix of some branded links to the inner pages (I just don’t do that very much). With your inner pages, you want each of their anchor profiles to be diversified.
Branded links should go to any page to help diversify your anchor profile. Keyword + brand is a good technique which we use a lot.
Always try to diversify with random generic anchors and not simply use branded + keywords all the time.
[27:14] How do you structure internal links? Do you plan for it before you start publishing, or do you make internal links as you go?
It’s always better to plan first to make things easier for yourself, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
A basic strategy could be to link from your homepage to your hubpages and from your hubpages to your homepage. You also want to inner link all of the content pages within each hub, and back to the homepage (and vice versa). Ultimately, you need to focus on building natural inner links to any of your pages. It doesn’t really matter which pages links to which as long as they seem natural to link to each other (i.e. relevant content).
Check out this video for more information.
[41:01] How do you check for keyword cannibalization? I know a couple of ways to do it, but everyone has their own way of doing it. What’s yours?
The best practice is to inspect the individual SERPs that might be related. A good tool for discovering related SERPs is with a tool called Surfer SEO. It shows you which SERPs have percentage overlaps when you’re doing keyword research. For example, if you notice a website that’s showing up in the top 3 positions for 5 different SERPs, then you can assume that it’s ranking for an umbrella search term.
So let’s say we are auditing a site and there are 2 pages targeting a similar keyword. One is a parent topic and the other is specific about the parent topic, and every SERP we check keeps showing these 2 sections together, then that would be a sign of keyword cannibalization and we could drop one of those keywords.
[48:06] When do you start auditing a website? What tools do you use?
We audit our own and clients’ websites on a regular basis. We primarily use Ahrefs, Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Get in the habit of using these tools often. Granted, you’re not going to need to audit a freshly built website that much in the first 2 – 3 months. But if your site isn’t seeing any positive movement after 3 months then something is wrong.
[1:03:48] Is it important to link to the homepage even if it’s a branded domain with no keywords in the domain?
Yes, it’s best practice to always link to your homepage with natural anchor diversity. The chances of you getting a penalty are higher if you never link to your homepage.
[1:09:10] Do you ever link from an affiliate page to an information page or vice versa?
Typically, I will only link an information page to an affiliate page because this focuses on maintaining a natural funnel towards sales conversion.
[1:10:40] Hey guys, I never hear y’all discuss CTR manipulation. What are your thoughts on it and have you tested it?
We rarely discuss CTR manipulation because we don’t spend much time doing it. It’s not really a technique we concentrate our efforts on.
I feel like CTR manipulation, particularly with bot traffic, will tamper with the data and make it less informative of how my sites are performing.
[1:14:14] My site has 1500 links with 95% generic anchors. How can I get that down to a reasonable percentage without needing to add a bunch of branded/URL links to balance out the anchor diversity?
It’s not a big problem to have that many generic anchors, especially if you’re getting them from Web 2.0s, blog comments, forum, and directory links etc. It would be a much bigger problem if you had 95% money anchors.
To tackle your current situation, we would suggest that you just add some high-quality authority links to give your site a boost. You don’t even need to add that many. You can also throw in some cheap niche edits like a Barrage pack if you want to take a more targeted approach at diversifying your anchor profile.
[1:20:08] Can I rank a site with PBNs replacing guest posts and niche edits? I would still have citations and pillow links (but PBNs instead of guest posts).
We wouldn’t recommend this approach at all. Instead, we would advise on replacing PBNs with guest posts and niche edits if you had to make replacements for whatever reason. Having said that, we wouldn’t recommend removing PBN links if you didn’t need to. Instead, we prefer that you always focus on link diversity.
[1:26:45] What do you think of the rumors about Google changing how it values or perceives backlinks in the future?
Don’t bow down to any of Google’s public-facing spokespeople. They tell the community what they want SEO’s to think and not what actually works. More importantly, don’t fall prey to misinformation or misleading headlines.
The good news is that these rumors stemmed from an article that basically emphasizes the importance of acquiring relevant links. In other words, Google is saying relevance is more important than quantity. We’ve always agreed with this notion and it’s part of how we view link diversity.
[1:40:45] Do you guys offer consultations?
Please feel free to ask your questions in our FB group, SEO Round Table or during our Live SEO Sessions, of course.
We aren’t really sure at this point how or if we will implement a consultation service, but it’s something we’ve thought about. Definitely join our FB group to stay up to date with any new announcements.
[1:42:30] What are your thoughts about ranking big main pages for a lot of keywords or segmenting those keywords into subpages?
You want to look at what’s working. You can do this simply by using Google to see if the same pages are ranking for your target keywords. Some pages rank for 1 or 2 keywords and some rank for hundreds of search terms. Just try to give Google what it wants by seeing what it’s already showing you as a search user.
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