Point Blank SEO Link Building Course – Review

Are you a budding link builder or are you a link building guru ninja rockstar?

Jon Cooper of Point Blank SEO has finally gone and done something a lot of people have been looking for… created a quality Link Building Course.  Jon has spent the past 4 months creating the modules for his Link Building Course to make it easy for you to find the latest and best quality material all in one easy to access online resource.

Jon is very passionate about link building and has spent the last couple of years building an authority SEO blog. He’s not one of these bloggers who talks about something, he actually practices what he preaches. If you sign up to this new Link Building Course you can follow a live case study as Jon builds links for his new eCommerce website, how often have you seen link builders sharing this level of detail?

What do I get?

Jon is the first to admit that this course is a work in progress, but don’t let that put you off investing. The main reason that this course is a work in progress is because Jon is a perfectionist and he is building a product that will stand the test of time in the ever changing world of SEO.

Currently the Modules include:

  • Beginners Guide to Link Building
  • Link Building Strategies
  • Tools
  • Advanced Techniques
  • Link Building Campaigns

As I mentioned earlier Jon will be adding new content to his course regularly to make sure you have access to the latest actionable material. There are already plans a foot to add some Video Tutorials and Guest Contributions from industry leaders which I am really looking forward to. If you have any questions or want to see a particular subject covered then you are more than welcome to contact Jon Cooper personally and make a request.

Each chapter in the course content can be extracted as a pdf so you can share it with your team members so you don’t have to spend too much time hands on training them. Jon also has included an Excel Spreadsheet with hundreds of easy to obtain High PR/DA links such as Press release sites, infographic directories, business profile pages and many more.

I have to admit I found some creative ideas in the advanced section and by taking action on one of the techniques Jon has laid out I have already found a few dozen link building opportunities.

So, for the more than affordable price of just $67 you get access to some really high quality material that will be updated with even more great content in the future. I have a feeling the price on this product will probably go up in the future as more information and link building strategies are included.

Access the Point Blank SEO Link Building Course for $67 Now.

Oh, and Jon is offering a 60 day 100% money back guarantee… what are you waiting for!

Don’t just take my word for it

 

 

Link Builder Awareness Day 2012 #lbad

Today, August 31st 2012 marks the first inaugural Link Builder Awareness Day.

Many of you may question why we are taking a whole day to mark this event but over the past 6 months our Link Building buddies have had it tougher than ever. What worked only a few months ago is no longer working today and/or even damaging a website’s visibility in the search results.

None of this is a surprise; Google is always making changes to their super secret algorithm in an effort to display ever more relevant content. After all one of the key goal’s of Google search is to always focus on the end user experience, so if crappy thin affiliate sites are ranking for various keywords it just makes Google look bad for allowing them to rank in the first place.

No matter how good your website about home security systems is, no one cares enough about what you’re writing to link to you.  The same can be said for millions of other niche topics that we as SEO’s will ever get the opportunity to be asked to work on. Most link building experts agree that it is not solely about link building anymore, at least not in the original sense. It is more about creating compelling content for businesses and then reaching out to bloggers.

For at least the next 10 years we’ll continue to see updates to the Google algorithm and every would be search marketer link baiter will continue to write the about the “death of SEO”, but what will continue to be amongst the most important ranking factors will be the number and quality of links pointing to your web pages.

As marketers we all know it’s not just the quality of the product, but the actual marketing behind it.

Key facts:

Sean R recently did a quick survey on Twitter to find out what Link builders thought about their roles in 2012.

  • 92% of link builders surveyed think their jobs have got tougher in the past 12-18 months
  • About 30% have had an increase in pay to reflect their new difficult work load
  • Just one third of link builders have had additional training to carry out content led work
  • 3/4 of link builders surveyed are actively looking for new jobs


No matter what the future holds – Google still has to collect and rely on external information to determine rankings. Everyone understands the importance of links and even Mr. Cutts hasn’t written off their importance just yet.

So, today be sure to show your appreciation to your link building team; buy them some donuts and go give them a big group hug.

Happy Link Builder Awareness Day!!

Easy Link Opportunity:

If you have any pictures of your Link Building Team celebrating #lbad2012 or you write a post about celebrating #lbad be sure to contact me or leave a comment and I’ll be happy to link out to it.

Thanks to SEO-Empire for Supporting LBAD 2012

ScrapeBox – Making SEO Easy

It’s quite interesting how many questions I see getting asked on Twitter by SEO’s every week about what tool is best for scraping Google images or checking if links are still live or searching for guest blog opportunities and invariably my answer to them is ScrapeBox… ZOMG! That’s right I recommend they use ScrapeBox.

I have been using ScrapeBox for a while now and no not in the well known spammy way of mass commenting on “open” blog platforms such as WordPress and Typepad. Believe it or not I wrote a blog post a few months ago about a technique I use for outreach that’s part of the ScrapeBox toolset.

In this blog post I’m going to cover off a couple of other tasks I like to use ScrapeBox for when I am carrying out my day to day role, and hopefully I can show you some great ways to save time and speed up those monotonous processes.  There are a lot of extra applications for ScrapeBox and I am going to leave it to your own judgment as to the ethical use of this tool.

How to find Blogs to Guest Post on using ScrapeBox

I know guest blogging has been getting a lot of stick recently and quite rightly so. Some link builders have been really abusing this great tactic over the past few months; but I am sure you won’t be doing that will you now.

In this guide I am going to run through some screenshots so you can see how easy it is to use. I hope you are pretty up to speed with your advanced Google search operators, because you’re going to be dusting them off once you get your hands on ScrapeBox.

In this guide I am suggesting ways to find guest post prospects but you could just as easily use this method to find blogs to place infographics, videos or whatever other outreach projects you are working on.

  1. You want to add in your main keyword in this case I am looking for SEO blogs to write for
  2. You select “Custom Footprint” and add in your different footprints
  3. Select the search engine(s) you want to scrape e.g. Bing, Google, Yahoo
  4. Click the “start harvesting” button and go grab a fresh cup of coffee
  5. Once you have finished harvesting your URL’s you want to remove the duplicates (and you can also use ScrapeBox to lookup the PageRank of the domain)
  6. You then want to export the list into a CSV file
  7. I then like to do some basic prospecting to qualify my targets e.g. Web Design, PageRank or mozRank, RSS Subscribers, Social Media presence

I am not going to cover off best practises on pitching your guest posts in this article but if you want some good pointers on outreach I suggest you read my blogger outreach interview .

How to use ScrapeBox to Check for Broken Links

Another ScrapeBox tool you will find quite handy is the bulk URL check, especially if you have a big list of URL’s to check on a regular basis.

Oh and did I mention, you don’t even need to buy a license for this tool it’s completely free!

All you have to do is open the tool and then import a list of links you want to check in one text file. Now upload another text file you want to add in your URL’s. There are two options here you can either check a link to a specific URL is live or just check a link to the domain is live. It only takes a few minutes to check your list and then you can export the failed links and check with the webmaster to see why it may have been removed.

How to use ScrapeBox to Scrape Google Image Search

Do you suffer from your images being stolen by webmasters without attribution?  Well you can use Scrapebox to search Google for your image and then return the URL’s. The best way to do this is to make sure your image file names contain a set of random letters and numbers that will make it easy for you to find them e.g. dog-photo-xc345.jpg

You can then do a quick Google image search with ScrapeBox for “dog-photo-xc345.jpg” and the URL’s will be revealed. I would then personally load this list into ScrapeBox and use the WHOIS lookup tool to find the contact information for the domain owner and reach out asking they provide a link to your site for fair use of your image.

“Haters gonna hate… Scrapers gonna Scrape…”

As I mentioned at the start of this post there are lots of other great uses for ScrapeBox such as this article on ScrapeBox Keyword Research and also some additional ScrapeBox Tricks and Tips by Dan Bochichio.

I hope I have shown you some more great ways to use this tool and I look forward to your comments.

 

Avoid these Outreach Myths

 

Many people are fearful of outreach link building work and having the door slammed hard in their face, but we all know a well executed outreach campaign can have a great return on investment. There is a lot of misinformation in the blogosphere and hopefully in this short post I can dispel some of the myths I often read online.

  1. You must have a Pre-exisiting Relationship – a lot of link building posts advise that you must do some form of networking with your link prospect first. And the “cold-pitch” is the worst thing you can ever do in your career.  I am a firm believer that relationships certainly increase the likelihood of your link being placed but a great pitch will always beat some tepid relationship. Personalisation is the key to a good pitch so take some time to find out some basic information.
  2.  

  3. You have to pay to play – you don’t always have to pay or offer payment in kind for your site or product to be featured. Beyond the fact Google don’t like paid links, the FTC requires bloggers and celebrities to disclose of payments received for endorsing a product online. It’s very important as a link builder to understand the difference between editorial content & advertorials. My belief is that outreach is more about PR than paid media.
  4.  

  5. Content is King – don’t get me wrong I am bit by the content bug & understand the power of of a well executed piece of content in marketing your business online; but let’s be honest content is only another piece of currency for your outreach campaign, whether that’s a video, infographic or guest post. To take your outreach to the next level make the blogger you are pitching to the king. Think about what they want to get out of the partnership; not just the content you’re hoping to put in their way. I have found exclusive interviews & give-aways are popular with bloggers
  6.  

  7. All Hail the Mommy Blogger – so many link builders and outreach professionals praise at the foot of the “mommy blogger” temple, but the thing is the “mommy blogger” is actually a mythical creature much like a Unicorn. Lots of people see “mommy bloggers” as a “link cash cow” as their lifestyle blogs often cover a wide variety of topics and categories from iPad apps to food to home furnishings and clothes. It’s quite common for “mommy bloggers” to want some form of payment for their work and I have found more success with bloggers who have a long tail lower ranked niche blog and have never been kissed by an agency.

 

There you go I promised it would be a short post, but I hope it has gone some way to putting to bed a few of the outreach myths that we see so often on other SEO blogs. I would love to hear your feedback in the comments.

Getting More Traffic and Links with Pinterest

Pinterest is a fast growing platform and one where I have been carrying out a lot more work for clients in the past few weeks. I have had some successes with getting more Pinterest traffic and even some great links from bloggers by using Pinterest as an outreach tool. So in this blog I’ll share some tips and tricks I have picked up.

How to Drive More Traffic from Pinterest

The first thing to do is make sure your content on Pinterest can be found easily.  A lot of Pinners don’t add a description to the images they are pinning and therefore it is hard to find them when you conduct a search in Pinterest.

You want to treat your description as if you were writing an excerpt for a blog post, so make sure you advise of the benefits of the visitor clicking through to your site. You have a maximum of 500 characters but I have found keeping descriptions around 50-150 characters, you can also add a web address and hashtags in your description.

Next you want to add a Pin it Social button to your website so your visitors can pin any images they like on your site. Navigate to the Goodies area and scroll down to the Pin it Button for Websites area.

Fill in the relevant fields and then an embed code will appear which you can add to your site.

If you have a WordPress site then there are a number of Free Plugins you can install on your site.

Now you have optimised your blog or website for Pinterest you want to visit your evergreen content that still receives traffic from search engines or referrals. If your site doesn’t have too many images then you want to add some nice looking photos and pinnable images, such as memes or inspirational quotes.

For one of my clients who were a food blog I created some funny quotes based on the recipes on the site; if you aren’t au fait with Photoshop or other image editing software then hop on over to Fiverr there are lots of designers who will be more than happy to provide you with some cost effective images based upon your requirements. With in just a few days of adding these images to the site referral traffic from Pinterest was up by 65% & the average Pinterest visitor stayed on the site for about 6-7 minutes and there was a reasonable bounce rate of 42%.

If you are looking for more ideas to developing content for Pinterest then I recommend this post on SEOmoz by Coby Almond.

Is it time to invest our budgets in Pinterest content?

A lot of businesses are starting to invest their marketing budgets in creating boards, contests and Pinterest targeted content and with the news that Pinterest is now driving more traffic than Bing, Twitter or Stumbleupon you can start to understand why. Shareaholic is one of the main providers of social sharing buttons and collates their data across 200,000 websites. They have a reach of approximately 300 million so are a fairly reliable data source. From the below figures you can clearly see that in June Pinterest over took Twitter in driving traffic to websites but when you actually look closer at the numbers you see an interesting set of results.

Source: Shareaholic All Traffic Sources Report

It is clear to see from the table above that the total traffic driven to websites via Social Media is approximately 10-11%, with Direct traffic driving almost twice that amount and Google search bringing in 45% of all traffic. So I wouldn’t be making a significant reduction in my search budget to start to focus on expensive Pinterest friendly content just yet. But that’s not to say you can’t create something small scale and affordable to increase the likelihood your content is shared.

Source: Repinly

However if you are running a business within a niche that is popular with the stereotypical Pinterest user e.g. Food and Drink, Women’s clothing or home decor then it is more important that you begin to define a clear strategy than if you are a car mechanic or health care provider.

Who is Pinning my Content?


Once you have devised your Pinterest content strategy you want to begin to understand who is pinning your images to their boards. You can do this yourself by going to Pinterest.com and adding your domain name after source.

There are also two tools that I have used recently when carrying out this type of analysis. The first is by Gaz Copeland which is a simple bookmarklet that allows you to see which images have been pinned and by who when you are browsing a website.

 

Gaz’s Pinterest Tool

 

The other bookmarklet is by Aaron Friedman and Josh Nankin which does a very similar job to Gaz’s bookmarklet but instead of taking you to Pinterest to view this data it creates a CSV file you can download and manipulate in Excel.

 

Pinterest CSV Tool

 

To add these bookmarklets to your browser just drag and drop them to your bookmarks bar.

Once you know who is pinning your content (or your competitors content) you can begin to devise an outreach strategy to obtain more Pins or links.

Using Pinterest as an Outreach Tool

The great thing about Pinterest is how personal it is. It really is an insight into the lifestyle a person either lives or aspires to live. You can find out what food’s they like, what cars they want to drive, the holidays they enjoyed and the books or movies they love. This information is absolutely gold to an outreach specialist or link builder.

For example if I was carrying out an outreach campaign for a “link building infographic” I can run a simple Pinterest search for my keywords. For this example I will use the keyword phrase “Link Building Infographic”.

From this search I can find out the pins that have received the most re-pins, likes and comments. I can also click on a pin and see what the source URL is; so I can begin to create a list of blogs I might want to target with my blogger outreach campaign too.

Another useful insight I like is the fact you can find the most common people who your target re-pins. Which gives you more influential people to add to your target list.  Once I have created a list of pinners I then try to segment them even further to find the really heavy hitters. I do this by asking myself the following 4 questions.

 

  1. How popular is my target on Pinterest?
  2. Are they regular contributors?
  3. How active are they on other social media networks?
  4. How good is their personal website?

Now, I have segmented my targets I can now begin to start my outreach.

Source: Repinly

I have found the best way to begin a conversation with a Pinner is by commenting on their pins. Most popular bloggers will receive hundreds of emails and blog comments every week. But the great thing about Pinterest is that not many people are commenting on the site (just 0.5% of Pinterest users spend time commenting), so by doing so you really will stand out. Once you have let them know who you are, you can take the conversation to email or another social media platform.

To obtain the best results from your outreach you want to consider following my A, B, C’s of blogger outreach:

  1. Association –How can I develop a long term relationship? Could I offer a series of guest posts? Could I run a contest?
  2. Be Specific – Bloggers are pressed for time so what do you want them to do? Pin your content? Publish a guest post? Do an Interview?
  3. Content – Is my content unique or adding value? Is my content informative or entertaining? Is it relevant to their community?

Here is an example of an email I used for a recent infographic campaign once I had started to develop some basic relationships with my target bloggers:

Hi <redacted>,

I came across your site via Pinterest and wanted to share this new <redacted> infographic.

I was wondering if you’d be willing to share the infographic with the readers on your blog? I think <redacted>

Anyway I have published it here: <link>

If you do want to share it, here is an easy to copy embed code:

<embed code>

If you have any trouble with the embed code or have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for your time,

Chris

As you can see I was brief and gave them clear instructions as to what I needed them to do.

I hope this blog post has gone some way to helping you use Pinterest better as part of your social media strategy. If you have any questions or great Pinterest case studies please drop them in the comments below.