Live SEO Support 9/1/21 – 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:
[20:30] Can you demonstrate how you find keywords to rank in the affiliate marketing niche? Specifically, how to find the best keywords?
Keyword research is essentially the same for any niche. First and foremost, it’s a good idea to look for relevant sites that have low competition keywords. Similarly, searching for terms within a range of search traffic and then analyzing the keyword density of that term in a tool like Ahrefs is another useful method of beginning your keyword research (i.e. looking for terms with low KD).
One efficient method of “manually combing” for SERP terms is to export the organic keywords list of one or more sites that you wish to emulate or compete with. This can be done with a powerful tool like Ahrefs. You’ll gain additional information like estimated search volumes for each keyword etc. Then you’ll know what are some of the most profitable keywords in your niche.
There are also two useful browser plugins we like to use when conducting keyword research: Keywords Everywhere and Mozbar. These are powerful tools to gather useful information quickly. Check them out.
The choice of which keywords to use, or which are the best, will depend on your project scope and budget. Broad terms with high search traffic are going to be expensive to target. One basic principle of selecting keywords is to look for terms that show “buyer intent”. Generally speaking, the best keywords in any niche will be the ones that are already well-researched by the people targeting them. So it’s all relative to competition.
[36:40] If I have a site with no links, what would be a good DA to look at?
It is safe to assume that if your site has no links, and very little content, then your DA will be close to 0. Having said that, when looking to compete with other sites, their DA / DR does not matter as much as whether you can realistically target relevant keywords in order to rank in the same niche. Just because a site has a relatively high DA like 80, does not mean you cannot eventually outrank them starting with a DA near 0. There is no magic number for DA or DR. Keywords are profitable based on traffic and competition.
[46:15] What do you think about HARO links? Are they worth it?
HARO is an acronym for “Help A Reporter Out”. We have heard mixed reviews about HARO links, but honestly, we’ve never used this type of backlink. According to www.cision.com, “HARO connects journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources who have that expertise”. At face value, this sounds like a service that provides a good opportunity to acquire quality, authoritative content — which is always a good thing for any article.
[54:43] Do 301 redirects still work these days? I have a 4 year old PBN website that ranks for a lot of keywords. After pointing this domain to my money site, and waiting for 4 to 5 months, my ranking dropped significantly.
Yes, 301 redirects still work. Unfortunately, they can be sketchy sometimes. But to be fair, it’s hard to tell from your question whether it was the 301 that actually caused the drop in ranking. For example, what did you do to your website during the 4 to 5 months of waiting? It would help to know more about the quality and content of the money site. Also, maybe the PBN did not have as much Trust with Google as you thought.
One of the reasons why our 301s work well enough is because we never stop link building after the redirect. We continually try to improve the money site every month. It helps to conceptualize a 301 redirect as one business enterprise “taking over” another business enterprise. Naturally, in realistic terms, this event usually comes with adequate press and an influx of content. Moreover, if you replicate the URL structure of the PBN on your target site, it should increase the chances of that money site resonating better in the SERPs.
Another trick for success is buying an aged domain with a bunch of valuable inner pages, in terms of ranked content or diverse press (as indicated by its backlink profile), and rebuilding those inner pages. Putting new and better content on them, perhaps using a tool like Surfer SEO, and maybe even redirecting the old pages to the newly updated pages on the target site, will be helpful when trying to gain traction as quickly as possible. This creates Relevance in the eyes of Google, which is usually a natural aspect of business takeovers.
To reiterate, 301 redirects still work. But they can be hit or miss, perhaps even more so these days. The quickest we’ve ever seen a 301 resonate was in less than 2 days (but that was a long time ago).
Here is another Live SEO Support question that is related to your concern.
[1:06:30] I am looking for low competition niches (easy to rank). Should I just manually search the SERPs or is there a specialized tool? Does Ahrefs have this capability?
Frankly, I do not have an automated technique or tool to complete the search process for me. I use tools that give me insight while I am manually researching, but niche selection is still a slow, hands-on discovery process of searching, analyzing, and making informed decisions.
It’s harder these days to gain Trust with Google when you are attacking a lot of broad keywords. Low competition niches will be associated with specific search terms. Keyword research is an important foundation of niche research. You’re typically going to be manually combing the SERPs, like you said. You can discover new niches by researching high ranking domains with tools like Ahrefs. Trend analysis is another great way to target profitable low competition niches, granted you are one of the first to act upon the trend that is developing.
Definitely check out the article linked above.
[1:11:17] I have read that people believe Google has penalized PMDs in an older update. I also saw someone with a PMD lose around 80% of traffic after said update? What are your thoughts?
PMD is an acronym for “Partial Match Domain”. It’s a site that has only part of a target keyword string in its domain name. The essential question here is whether PMDs still work or do they get largely penalized these days. We know from experience that EMDs (“Exact Match Domains”) are effective because we’ve ranked an EMD site to #1 in less than 4 months. We could rank a Partial Match Domain as well.
EMDs and PMDs are still definitely working well these days, in our opinion. We really like using them.
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