Make 20 Times More Money By Monetising Your SEO Skills & Knowledge In A Different Way

Recently there was a good article on Lionzeal on why Amazon affiliate sites might not be the best way to go in regards to skilled technical SEO’s who do not want clients and want to simply earn on a more passive residual income without having to report to anyone.

In this post I expand on something we started integrating about 12 months ago that’s along the same lines as this post.

This post assumes you can rank websites no matter what, if you’re not quite to that stage I’d recommend a few things, the most important of which being: Test ALL and ANY shit you do. There’s a lot of misinformation in the SEO space and a lot of individual moving parts to a successful campaign, testing and breaking down each individual metric and making decisions based on your own testing and case studies is going to be worth a lot more to you than simply watching/listening to tutorials.

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How I Make $25 Per Email Subscriber Sign Up

About 6 months ago I set up a side project geared around Amazon marketing. This is where I consult for businesses about optimisation of Amazon listings, spiking best seller rank and essentially how to market their products on Amazon for better ROI.

The site itself ranks quite well for keywords related to the service and makes a nice side income.

After reading expert secrets (or maybe dot com secrets) by Russell Brunson I realised I was leaving potentially a lot of business on the table just from only offering one service (which started at $600) – It now starts at $2,000.

But, essentially this was starting in the middle of what he calls “the value ladder.” Image below explains the concept in reference to internet marketing.

Value Ladder Example

You essentially slowly move your customers or prospects up through the value ladder. Kind of like a consulting services upsell starting with free or cheap products and moving them up to your most expensive and (what should be) your most valuable service.

This can be anything for anyone. For example in the book he talks about a Dentist offering “free teeth whitening” and upselling to everything else. The FREE gets them in the door. You’ve probably seen this thousands of times in the last 12 months alone.

Anyway.

As I’m not a huge fan of offering my time for free, instead I did a nice video guide about “one thing people can do to increase their Amazon best seller rank” – This is a nice concept that works insanely well.

Of course this was an email submit and people signed up to receive the information (which was a 10 min valuable video.)

But then instead of just leaving it like this I decided to do a key feature that I hadn’t done before. This is essentially redirecting someone who has just hit the “submit” button to another offering of extreme value.

In this case I redirected email submission to a simple page that went something like this.

Thanks for signing up to the one thing. Your video will be emailed to you shortly.

As a thank you for signing up I’ve halved my consultation rates as a one time offer.

That was it.

Below that was a table that automatically linked to individual paypal buttons where people could book 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 1 hour of my time. The table itself is fully automated and totally sh*t in terms of design.

Discounted Consultation Rates

That was it.

People could either sign up, pay and have a chat. Or could just leave it.

The results

I should say before we start that this has only been live for a few weeks but the results are extremely promising.

I was going to wait a bit longer to write this post but wanted to get the methods across as soon as possible.

Subscribers Screenshot

11 total subscribers with 1 unsubscribed in 3 weeks.

Sound absolutely terrible right? And honestly that’s not great but whatever.

The interesting thing is the conversion rate for people who took me up on the discounted consultation.

3 IN 11 (OR 10) PEOPLE.

That’s 27-30% depending on how you look at it.

The 3 were spread evenly between 1 15 min consultation, 1 30 min consultation, 1 hour consultation.

This means the total earnings for 11 subscribers is: $270.

That’s before we’ve even discussed the campaign or what they want. (1 came on board for a small package around $700)

But ignoring that, that’s 11 subscribers = $270. That’s $24.5 per subscriber and $270 that could have just been left on the table.

Total time it took me to implement (including optinmonster pop up): 30 minutes. 

A very very simple funnel to implement into almost any business utilising the pyschology of “submit” and the value ladder.

Let me know what you thought of this over on twitter @tombucklandseo

Cheers,

Tom.

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How to calculate the VALUE of a BACKLINK [POWER?]

Value of a linkAlmost 3 years ago I wrote an article (with the help of a number of experts) about how to value a backlink. In this post I asked 14 experts what they believe are the key factors in determining how valuable a backlink is.

Since then lots of things have changed. And as a result I wanted to build this article to show these changes. The following are my personal opinions on how to calculate how valuable or powerful a backlink is. This is based on personal testing and other 3rd party testers that I trust.

1.) Links that Link to them (Authority/Trust)

However you phrase or measure this, this is still the #1 factor you should look at when determining how valuable a link is. The sites that link to a website give it it’s power. The more high quality sites link the better. You can measure this using a number of third party tools that most of you will already be familiar with. I personally like Ahrefs but Majestic is good too. So whether you measure this using DA, DR, TF, CF or somehow find a manual way this is still the number one factor in determining strength of a link (not relevancy).

Traffic2.) Traffic (The future – In my opinion)

This is traffic to the site/page itself and also click throughs coming from the link itself. Starting with traffic to the website itself, if a website has a load of traffic it is likely a good site, well designed, good content etc. This means Google will probably rank it highly too (leading to more and more traffic.) Sites that generate more traffic are generally considered more valuable for 2 reasons. 1.) Traffic (although not a direct ranking factor) is very benefical to ranking in Google, hence over time this site you are receiving a link from is likely to increase in quality and hence generate more links, making your link stronger over time. 2.) Traffic coming through to your site. Sites with a lot of traffic will generate traffic to your site through the link in question. This is not only great from a conversions point of view but there have also been tests showing when a link generates traffic (clicks) it is deemed more powerful by Google. Although how much more powerful is still in debate. All in all, go for sites that generate a lot of traffic.

3.) Relevancy

Is the site about a similar niche or topic to your target site? This is pretty obvious nowadays and I think everyone knows they need more relevant links. The reason this is only #3 on the list now instead of in the top 2 is that Google knows that site’s that have just been created and are relevant to the topic of the target site can be easily manipulated. For example setting up your own sites and linking from these websites, this is a strategy called PBNs and still works incredibly well but Google is looking to crack down on these techniques. One of the methods they are trying is weighing authority and traffic over direct relevancy. But if the other 2 elements are in place then this is the best next thing.

That’s it.

Surprised?

Probably not really.

Any other phrasing comes into one of these 3 categories: popularity = traffic, real sites = authority + traffic, respected brand = authority, social = authority/traffic.

Let me know what you think.

Cheers,

Tom.

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Image SEO Case Study: Cardiff’s Best Looking Guy?

OK so I just finished up Matt’s image optimisation article. A couple of things I really liked in there and reminded me that I still haven’t done an Image SEO case study on SEOOasis. So wanted to test it fully using a few funny/silly examples.

So thought it would be good to get the following keywords ranked:

  1. “Tom Buckland” — Would be useful.
  2. “Best looking guy in Cardiff” — Would be funny.
  3. “Best Coffee Shop in Cardiff” — Needed a more competitive example.

Current Rankings

Coming in 6th and 12, 13, 14, 15… Although don’t really want those ones up there so we’ll go with the snap in 6th position.

Screenshot TB

For “best looking guy in Cardiff” strangely I wasn’t there…. But instead a Burger.

SS

As for “best coffee shop in Cardiff” – Not really much going on apart from hipster pictures of coffee.

SSC

The Process:

The process itself is pretty simple, ranking an image is easier than ranking a site. Stage 1 is essentially On-page optimisation although this does also include where you are going to host the image itself. The highest ranking images were all from walesonline, which is a very high local authority in Cardiff, as a result even if the image isn’t directly related to the search query it will still rank, AKA “Best looking guy in Cardiff” and the 1st result is a burger!

So the first step was to decide where the images were going to be initially uploaded. For the first 2 examples I’m going to stick with the images from SEOOasis as these already have some authority and relevance, the only changes is going to involve re-uploading the same image onto SEO Oasis and optimising it for our target keywords “best looking guy in Cardiff” painful as that may be! — That’s a lie I loved it the image for this is below too.

Best looking guy in Cardiff

Below is a screenshot of the file information properties before uploading it to the site. I also added the Latitude and Longitude information too. There are better ways to geo-tag images but as I don’t see this keyword being too competitive this will do.

Image Properties

The image I’m going to use for best coffee shop in Cardiff is below too, similar optimisation as previously. Just parent’s cafe name so thought that would be a cool idea.

best coffee shop in Cardiff

best coffee shop in Cardiff

Stage 2 – Syndication & Power

Above is all pretty standard, it’s just the basic optimisation you would expect. As long as the image alt tags are in place that’s all you generally need.

Stage 2 though is going to be syndicating the images to sites such as flickr, Google plus etc. As well as linking to the images from a number of places. This can be something as easy as posting the image through your social properties, adding the image on a blog or website or embedding it on any websites you own. If you don’t own any additional web properties, create some! Or pay someone else to post it on their site.

The Results

Results will be posted in 2-3 weeks as we need to wait for the above images to get indexed.

First Results

So it’s been a few weeks and the 1st stage of results are in. For our easiest keyword (best looking guy Cardiff) the results only took a few days to hit #1 position and stuck ever since. This is because the keyword is very easy, there aren’t many people trying to rank for this and UNLIKE in the organic search results, images are more geared to exact match keywords. Meaning we don’t need to build authority around this term to rank 1st for it. [Even the other images on this page actually rank on the top row too.]

Screenshot Results

So that was relatively easy as we expected.

Moving onto the next keyword “Tom Buckland” – Obviously a much more difficult one and there hasn’t been any movement on this yet. One element I think may help is instead of ranking the image uploaded to this website, we will rank the one on my Linkedin. This is posted below so we can get some more relevance for the post. This also helps build our authority for the image itself, remember images still need both authority and relevance. There’s a lot of relevance on this blog in relation to my name, but not too much authority as the DA of the site is pretty low. The only image here is obviously we cannot change the URL structure of the image which is a bunch of numbers/letters.

Tom Buckland

Tom Buckland

3rd example

The third example is an interesting one. So again the image was uploaded to this site, meaning there is not much relevance to coffee shops or (that much) relevance to Cardiff. So ranking for “best coffee shop in Cardiff” was going to need a lot of links directly to the image and a ton of syndication too (which is still in progress.)

The current results are interesting. The image is currently on the 5th row of Google images, which is a nice place to get indexed. One element that is going to help is when the syndicated URLs get indexed and when we build more relevant/authority backlinks to it! But new update will be in a few weeks.

Update 20th June 2017

So the best looking keyword is now solidly in first so no need to update on that.

The other 2 keywords are increasing slowly but far too slowly really. So what I’m going to do is add a few PBN embeds of the images. 3 on each image and see where we are in a couple more weeks. Adding some local relevance would also be advantageous but I don’t really want to add my face to any citations!

Current rankings coffee shop keyword: 16th  Tom Buckland keyword – 5th.

SerpShaker Review – My Personal Strategy & Thoughts

Before I get started I just want to say I use Serpshaker quite a lot, but am by no means an expert. I’ve also included my affiliate link throughout the article, but if you don’t want to purchase via that then just Google it, it’s the same price either way. Currently I have around 120 websites all built with the serpshaker plugin, generating around £5-£10 a day through adsense. It’s not a lot by any means but the method is highly scalable and I could be earning 10x this amount if I hadn’t made a couple of big mistakes in monetisation which I will outline below.

What is Serpshaker?

Serpshaker is a WordPress plugin created by Andres Tobar. There are a number of updates to help automate the build process, but at $147 / month I think this is a bit steep for the average beginner. The price of the plugin itself is only $127 one time, which is very cheap when I explain the power of it later on. You can also pick up the Pro version which contains some extra training, not really needed BUT it allows you the rights to flip the sites you’ve built. This is a big one, as you can sell these sites for thousands in some cases, but more on that in the monetisation section.

How does it Work?

Serpshaker works by automatically creating thousands of posts with relevant locational elements. For example you create the initial “shaker page”, on this page you enter all the relevant text, images, videos, maps and {city} tags. The city elements are then changed to the relevant city (whether you target the UK or the US or even worldwide.)

So we will use an example based on a website I have built with this tool. Let’s say one of your clients was a plumber and had a wide service range (maybe South Wales.) Instead of trying to rank their website for the individual cities one at a time, you can build a South Wales serpshaker site based around Plumbers. This would then index and rank #1 for the very small towns and still likely rank on page 1 for larger ones. Obviously for competitive niches and cities the posts won’t rank as it is too competitive and you’ll need links to rank for that. Once indexed you can then simply overlay your client’s website and generate leads inside a couple of weeks! Generally the more cities you target the more leads you get in.

You can also use this method in reverse, building the site and then setting up call tracking for leads sent to a plumber. But again more on this in the next section.

Building a UK serpshaker site with over 7,000 posts, only takes between 20-30 mins. Even less once you become more efficient with the method used.

Serpshaker Example website

Duplicate Content

I can already hear all the SEOs crying about duplicate content…. “It won’t rank because you didn’t have unique content….” Well I’ve got even more news for you. When building the sites I don’t even write my own content, I take content from websites that are already ranking for the target keywords and simply add the city short-codes to them. This means I don’t even need to spend 20 mins writing an article. Sure, you can but the results are exactly the same. Below is a screenshot from a single serpshaker site’s GWT.

Click Throughs

As you can see the site gets around 50-60 clicks a day through from Google. This is one of the more successful sites, but if you build them in the correct way you can have 10 sites up generating 500 clicks a day in as little as 2-3 weeks. The only costs are hosting (£20-£50 / month), domain names (10 x £5) and Serpshaker ($127 one time fee.)

You might also be thinking these sites only rank for really long tail keywords and hence don’t have all that much value… Think again. The below screenshot shows the search terms that came through. I want to keep the site off this post so I’ll be deleting the main keyword everytime. 7 clicks within 1 month from a one word keyword!

Serpshaker Plugin

The Build Itself

If there is enough interest in the plugin I’ll create a full build video, using the exact strategy I use! The builds don’t take long at all. After a build I’d recommend adding the site to Google webmaster tools and submitting a sitemap, this helps with indexing greatly. You can also check out this video for more information on build basics.

Note: Anyone that does decide to pick up SS via my affiliate link, give me a message and I’ll skype you through the main elements to a successful build. [tom@seooasis.co.uk]

The Importance of Monetisation

This was by far my biggest mistake of my mini serpshaker business so far. Over the last few months I’ve built the sites as quickly as possible and threw adsense up on them to try and get some quick earnings. Sites started making a few pounds a week and so I continued with this method, but this is probably the worst monetisation method you can use for an SS site and here’s why.

When people are searching for “keyword + location” they want to find something usually very quickly. Chances are the adsense ads being shown to the individual are relevant to them, but more their previous search history and not so much what they are looking for right now! As a result the conversion rate isn’t very good (0.5-2% in most cases.)

Instead of simply throwing ads up on a site, try to create a lead gen model. For example if you can find a UK wide supplier of whatever your site is about. Let’s say “Tow trucks” for example. Someone searches “tow trucks location” in Google and boom your site appears. Now if you have adsense on the site and an article that just text talking about how tow trucks work or whatever it might be, this person is going to bounce back to the serps. BUT if you overlay a client’s website, they will call the number and hence your client gets a lead (and probably a client too.) Even if you only earn £5 per lead/client, a site that get’s 55 clicks a day from the serps will likely generate you 10-20 leads a day and hence £50-£100 in revenue. That’s £1,500-£3,000 a month from 1 SS site.

How much can you realistically make?

As I mentioned above, the best monetisation method is lead generation. It’s more beneficial for the customer searching, more beneficial for you as you make more money, and better for the business you’re giving the targeted lead too. I’ve seen people earn £5,000+ a month through lead gen SS sites. Although the usual figure is around £1,000-£3,000 per month.

Another strong monetisation method is simply renting the sites out as a whole for £500-£2,000 a month. This is a more hands off approach that I would personally be looking for. There is more selling involved in this, although if you can simply set-up an overlay of their website and track the calls to a new number, then you can go back to the business and say something along the lines of “In 1 week we managed to generate you 30 new leads all from the site. 10 of these converted to clients and that made you £1,500 in revenue. If you want to rent the site out for £500 a month, that means you’ll generate 1,200% ROI every month” – Or something along those lines. If you’re good at selling there is no reason why you can’t have 10-20 serpshaker sites live in a few weeks and most of those rented in a couple of months!

Another “better than adsense” monetisation method is CPA or affiliate marketing. Although it can be difficult to find an offer that converts for all cities. If you’re site is in a specific niche that isn’t a service style niche, say “fitness” for example. You can display more targeted ads with free CPA offers that will improve conversions drastically and is still totally hands off for you. Something along the lines of “Why Not Buy Online” with a visual ad should do the trick.

So back to my question, how much can you really make? Well if you only use adsense + UK model I’d say anywhere from £1-£20 a month per website. So if you managed to build 100 then you’ll be around the £200-300 / month. If you monetise through CPA then I’d say around £2-£50 per site. Which means 100 makes you £500-£5,000 per month (not bad, although probably nearer the £500 than £5k mark.) But lead generation or renting the sites out themselves, if you managed to build 20 (100 would be extremely difficult to find prospects for), you’d be looking at 20 x £500-£2,000 = £10,000-£40,000 a month! Needless to say this is the direction I’m personally moving at the moment.

Who is it for? (Experience not required)

As long as you are familiar with wordpress the build process is incredibly simple. Even if you’re not overly familiar or confident on the platform, it’s not difficult to follow the step by step guide, it will just take a bit longer. (I taught my girlfriend how to do this, and she had no experience with wordpress or SEO previously!)

I would recommend this plugin for people looking to either a.) earn their first bit of money online. b.) Supplement the income they already have by scaling the SS model. c.) Earn by providing this service for pre-established clients as an “add-on” service.

Is it Safe?

This is probably a question you’re thinking right about now. The whole SS model is based off earning through ranking high in the serps, yet we are using duplicate content…. Well I’ll just answer this with the figures. So far I’ve built just over 100 sites and not 1 has been de-indexed or failed to index. Also I know of someone who has over 5,000 SS sites in total. Of which only 8 have ever been not indexed or de-indexed! That’s only 0.16%…. Probably due to issues not related to the build or SS itself anyway.

Conclusion

I highly recommend serpshaker to pretty much anyone with the time to input into it. If you have an extra hour or 2 and want to slowly build up an adsense business or if you have the confidence to sell the sites to small businesses on the lead gen model. I’d be happy to do a live tutorial for anyone interested in how it works, also showing everyone a build from start to finish and how long it actually takes (about 20-30 mins.) Anyway that about does it. If you want to pick up the plugin then click here.

Thanks for reading.

Tom.

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