Hit Play Or Download MP3 (Above)…
Name: Marc Lindsay
Website: Article Marketing Automation
Marc Lindsay’s Bio: Marc Linday and his partner Dan Turner from Article Marketing Automation are friends from way back when…
One of my fondest memories of those boys is us both duelling it out at Ed Dale’s Over The Edge conference as to who was the #1 internet marketer in the world. After much debate, if my memory serves me correctly, they both agreed it was me.
But seriously, as much as it pains me to say it, Marc probably is probably in my top 3 smartest SEOers of all time… and to top it off, he’s a top bloke too. Together with Dan they do business on their own terms, not getting caught up in the ‘guru’ hype.
They’ve built a tremendously successful SEO business with many other “SEO gurus” employing their services to build links to their sites… and that’s not to mention the many real world clients they have.
Watch The Interview In A Video Playlist With Key Learning Points And Annotations (8 videos):
Did You Enjoy The Interview? Post Your Thoughts, Comments And Insights Below…
Interview Transcript: Click here to download the PDF transcript.
David Jenyns: Hi guys, David Jenyns here from the seomethod.com. I just got a call this afternoon with Marc Lindsay. Marc Lindsay is a guy I’ve friends with for a long time now and he’s pretty much an absolute expert guru on SEO. When I’ve got issues and questions, I’ll go to Marc. He’s one of the guys behind the PLR Pro and also they’ve got their own SEO company ltseo.com and he has many achievements under his belt. We’re very lucky to have him on the line. Are you there Marc?
Marc Lindsay: Yes I am David, thanks for jumping on the line. It’s good to be able finally to record an interview with you because I don’t think we’ve actually had the pleasure to join work forces yet.
David Jenyns: No. And I almost feel as if every call we have we should record, there is so much good content in there, so hopefully this will be the first of many. I know you’ve got a tight deadline, so I’m just going to jump straight into it. I’ve been interviewing a few other people as well and I wanted to find out, when you’re about to launch a brand new site, you haven’t done any promotion to it, you’ve literally just registered the domain name, be it you’re working for a client or one of your own sites, what’s the process that you go through for promoting that site?
Marc Lindsay: Well I guess to start, the process begins before I register the domain name. If I can get on a client before they’ve even registered a domain name, and depending what their purpose is, it can come down to a tactical play on the market that they’re trying to target. As you know, a better domain purchase that might be keyword rich in url, assuming it’s going to make sense and match for the over end goal will give them some quick wins for anything that is related to that keyword match in the domain url. Of course everything else outside of that you’re going to have to do authority building and all the rest.
If I can I like to get in on that level. Most people already have their domains, that’s the situation they’re in. So you’re working with what they’ve got. You come in just after they’ve purchased, like you said, and you’ve got the domain sitting there, it’s ready, it’s a brand newbie.
David Jenyns: Just on the domains names, I have a quick question. You are talking about the different domain names and helping them with keyword rich, there are a couple of questions that always come up. How do you feel about .net and .org and the other extensions? And my other question is as far as dashes in the url, what are your thoughts on those two things?
Marc Lindsay: Ok, .nets, .orgs I don’t use them, purely because I’m a little more forward think now, so I tend to think five or ten years down the track. If I want to try and resell that domain, what has the greatest value to me? So if I’m building a website, I’m building a real business around it in any industry and I have a .com after it, it has a much higher resale value in comparison to a .net or a .org. .Nets can go pretty high, especially if you’re talking about two word domains and things like that, although a lot of them are gone now. It has to be a pretty special domain that normally would be worth tens of millions in the .com version to get a good price for it as a .net.
So I always try to go for a future in mind and that future is either to resell that domain as a business later on or for branding purposes, in which case a .com is going to trump everything else.
David Jenyns: Yes. And how about dashes?
Marc Lindsay: I prefer not to do dashes. If I absolutely have to to break the word up, I will, but I don’t use dashes. You can see when doing almost any search in Google now that they can usually quite clearly pick out the phrases that it matches in the url.
David Jenyns: Perfect. And then you were about to lead into how you then take it to the next level.
Marc Lindsay: Yes, how we produce SEO smackdown. Basically what we do, where possible, we try and get off right from the get go from doing good planning. If you’re not doing good planning, then you’re already behind the eight ball. Most people miss this step right from the start. This is when you end up with messy sites down the track or you don’t have your structure in place or it just can get really messy. I always say, and you’ll hear this analogy in a lot of industries, basically for every hour you spend in the planning process, doing the right sort of planning, is ten or fifteen times that which you’ll save later on.
Basically I sit down and I draft an imaginary view of what my site would look like but I do it in an Excel sheet. You might be familiar with this Dave. I think I’ve shown you some of the breakdowns for it. I know we go through a good part of it in our keyword training course. It’s the structure of your site that you’re trying to set out.
People just seem to skip over this important step very early on. They say, oh, I just want to put a site up. I want to use some AdSense or some affiliate sales. But that’s what they’re saying now depending on what level or where they’re sitting at. Then they’ll get twelve months down the track or eighteen months down the track and they will think, I really wish I’d planned that through a bit better. That’s what I hope I can impress on you now to avoid rushing straight into that.
So I start up an Excel sheet, I start mapping out my structure as per column and breaking down into how I would envision the site would look from a category point of view and how I would basically go and set that up. That does two things at this point. One, it saves you a great deal of time, not only in going forward with SEO but also even in just planning SEO, and both of those are two very important points.
The reason it saves you time is because, Dave, you know when you’re in the zone and when you’re researching a specific industry, you get keyed into that industry. So, if I’m keyed into that industry, I’m doing all this research now, and you might be just trying to find your first fifteen pages of content to start with, but you’re already keyed into this industry. So if you were going to go through and finish off the research and do the entire lot of research and lay it out properly in a formatted way, then you might only start with fifteen pages. In that case you select your style, you elect your phrases you’re going to place under that, you find them out, you get them written and you put them on your website. They are usually also the basis of where you want to start with from an SEO point of view. So it stands for two purposes.
As you’ll notice, I’ve combined content/structure creation here as part of the SEO process because it is a very important part of it. By planning that out now, let’s say it’s two months down the track when you’re ready to put more content on your site. If you didn’t have that plan there, you’d get to two months down the track and you’d say, oh, what do I do now? What keywords?
The biggest thing that I appreciate more and more as I go through my learning phases, because you always keep learning and it can be in anything. In sales, you want to reduce the friction of the sale as much as possible. The harder you make it for somebody to do something the less likely they’re going to do it. And that is for me as well. Friction for me to get my work done, friction for me to do something. This is why, for example, affiliates, if they get an email or if they get everything they need to promote a program it makes it easier for them to do it. So the friction for them to promote your program is gone.
What you want to do is reduce that friction you put on yourself by doing as much of the work as possible when you are in the mood for it. I guarantee if you get two months down the track and you then start to look at this website, and you say, oh, what do I have to do content about now to keep my site growing in phrase potential and the rest, if you have to sit there and work out firstly what were you trying to do with the site when you set it up, because it is not always clear on the vision you had there, especially if you didn’t write it down.
Secondly, what content do I actually already have up and thirdly what phrases would then be the next best target to go through? So you’re looking at at least thirty minutes more research just to look for the next lot of things you want to do. Or you’ll rush it out and you’ll just put anything on the site. They’re both the worst things you can do. Imagine having to do that five times throughout the year. Basically you end up with a disorderly site that’s not properly structured and no clear goal or focus for the website.
David Jenyns: When you actually go to that keyword selection, what keywords are you looking for? Are you one to actually look at the competition that’s out there? I know your course goes into this in more detail. As a rough outline, are you going into looking at competition, how many people are searching for it and those sort of things when you’re doing that keyword analysis?
Marc Lindsay: We have our own algorithm that we use. I tend not to go by competition values now, because they don’t exist to me. Competition’s not a battle and usually it’s not a true indication because it’s just a rough competition thing. The best thing you can do for a major level phrase, if it’s something really worth you jumping into, is to analyze the top ten. Analyze the top ten, look at what they’ve got for back links, look at how they’re doing things and that will give you an indication of how hard the industry is.
I do come at this from a different angle and that angle is from pure confidence in our ability to get sites ranked. It means that I can just push competition values aside. So at the end of the day, if a keyword has more traffic for it and a bit more competition and you have a keyword that is along the same lines and has a little bit less traffic and a little bit less competition, I usually end up ranking for both variations of that keyword, just by virtue of doing good SEO.
Of course I do go for a longer tail lesser competition value, but it’s not something that I meticulously select out any more. If I had the choice between meticulously selecting my keywords or planning out my site structure first, I know I’d get a much larger payoff in doing proper planning than I would in being very meticulous with phrases.
It is different if you’re going for a one niche thing. If you’re trying to build the best possible one shot to get a site up, to get it ranked super quick and get wins in the door, absolutely, it’s a different process. I’m just saying how we do our process for a lot of our larger sites we go for. So if you are going through for a more niche specific then you’ve got to go for what is going to give you the quickest win. That’s either going to be buying phrases or product related phrases, author phrases if you’re doing digital downloads of books and so on.
Usually for us now, we’re not trying to hit that nth degree level of lower competition. Quite often it can limit me in what I can do with the page if it is a long tail very specific phrase, it limits the type of phrases I could have ultimately coming into that page. The more specific I go, the less options I have on that page as far as being able to craft it after other related phrases as well.
David Jenyns: Yes, for sure. I’ve noticed that on one particular site I’ve got in mind where I’ve got quite a lot of keywords that I’m going after. I’ve deliberately positioned them to almost go the root part of that keyword series. I pick up for that same page about five or ten different variations on that same page even though I’m not specifically targeting for that one. I suppose that really is once your domain name is really quite powerful. You can’t do that if you’ve just put a website up and you don’t have many links to it or authority; you have to build that over time.
You talked about the keyword selection, getting the right domain name, then mapping out your structure. Once you’ve figured that out then obviously you’re going to do a bit of on page optimization on those keywords you’ve planned you want to after. Is that where we’re up to now?
Marc Lindsay: Yes basically now we’re up to I’ve laid out my domain, this is your site, this your site map for the next, in some cases, for the next two to five years. You don’t have to do that much. You can take it toward the next six months. But I do say you have a clear goal to what you want to achieve firstly and then do that lot of work and then follow through on that before moving on from there.
Once you’ve got that I then look for quick wins within that industry. When you go through the full expanse of doing keyword research, you will have categories that are in vertically related industries, you’ll have categories that are slightly off from the direct buying phrase, maybe slightly information, slightly buying. What you want to do form there is select what would be the best quick win for your domain that would give you best result as far as traffic in the minimal amount of time and sales in as well.
Basically you’re going for buying specific, non research phrases at that point, and depth. That’s how I usually go when I first start the website off.
David Jenyns: And then you’ll optimize pages. Let’s say you’re working for a particular client and they’ve already got a site up. You’ll either optimize pages that they’ve got, or create those content pages.
Marc Lindsay: Yes exactly. If they’re open to having content pages created, not all of them are, then we go through that process and restructure their site and go through that process with them. Otherwise it is on page optimization that is done first. You always have to set the base and go through from there.
David Jenyns: The you’ve got your on page optimization right, and then obviously we start on the off page stuff.
Marc Lindsay: Yes. What areas do you want to cover? I assume cover on page to its fullest in what you’ve go there anyway. It would probably a waste of your readers’ time to over that.
David Jenyns: Yes, we pretty much follow the fundamentals. You just need to have the keyword in the appropriate places throughout the page and all that sort of thing. I think on page optimization should be fine. As you’d agree, off page optimization is where it’s all at when it comes to SEO if you had to pick one or the other.
Marc Lindsay: Yes. Ideally you want to be working on a combination of both. I’ll just make a comment here to everyone because I see it quite a lot. Don’t try and SEO a one or two page website. It’s just going to be a waste of your time. Try and go for at least ten pages. If you’re going for a really specific one phrase only site, you can probably get away with a few pages. But if you’ve got an ebook site and you have a sales page, don’t try and SEO that, you’re just going to waste your time. There is no point.
If you want to build sales to that product, build ten or fifteen vertically related feeder sites around that purely designed for content to bring in traffic and then push them through a sales funnel to the sales page. Don’t try and rank the sales page site. I just see that quite a lot and I wanted to throw that out there while it was jogged in my memory.
David Jenyns: I think that’s good because it also echoes something that Michel Fortin was talking about. He was talking about not wanting to necessarily over optimize a sales letter because it takes away from the primary reason you put up the sales letter which was to convert the traffic. We talked about using feeder sites, funneling the traffic over. I reckon there is obviously a few reasons why that works. You’re talking about it also from an SEO point of view. You want to try and go for more pages.
I had one client contact me and say I want to rank for this particular keyword, which was funny t-shirts. I said, wait, if you want to go after something like that, how about we look at some of these other keywords. You really want to go for a lot of these longer tail keywords and variation keywords, try and get a base of those and then further down the track you might pick up that really highly competitive term. Use those other things, like you said, the quick wins, that’s what you want to go for straight off the bat.
Marc Lindsay: Yes, absolutely. Like you said, quick wins. And if he’s in funny t-shirts and things like that, he’s got a lot of opportunity to expand that infinitely, because there are heaps you can do.
David Jenyns: Yes. Where do you go from there?
Marc Lindsay: Basically I think we go to the off page point of view which is when you said I would tick off pages as the next most important. I agree with that. But you can never just pick one, we always have a fairly extensive content build out for our own sites and we always try and do it for clients. If I someone has a site that is too thin as far as content is, then I won’t take them on. I’ll offer to help them with it or I’ll tell them how they can do that. they just have to have a certain amount.
It’s fine and well if you go and do the optimization yourself and you make a mistake for yourself but when people come in to pay me for a service it’s my duty to tell them whether or not they are going to be doing the best thing for their website. It doesn’t work for anyone if they’re paying me for a service and they don’t results because of some core limitations. It just doesn’t work out like that.
It’s always got to be a good combination of both and I tend to go pretty heavy on content these days. Sites can range from fifty to a hundred to three, four, five, six hundred pages. That’s pure content, not community driven content there, so it always adds into what you’re trying to do.
David Jenyns: On a page, how much content do you like to see? Obviously it’s going to vary, but is there a minimum, a certain number of words?
Marc Lindsay: I like to see content that doesn’t look like it is just search engine fodder. Wherever I can now I get my writers to include images with them, I basically fill them out to a properly structured article that’s giving something back to the user with a minimum of five to six hundred words, the odd article with eight hundred to a thousand words. I don’t have one standard word format throughout the site. I ask them to write until they think the subject is covered enough that it would give a good read. Sometimes it’s five or six hundred words, other times it’s eight hundred, a thousand, twelve hundred words and a couple of articles are like three thousand words.
David Jenyns: It sounds like user optimization, giving the user something of value as opposed to just creating some gateway spam pages.
Marc Lindsay: Yes. And don’t get me wrong, unless you want to talk them gateway spam pages, I tend to call them search engine fodder, same thing, they have their uses. You can set up sites very quickly and you can monitor an industry on whether it’s going to worth going into without investing a lot of time and effort into it. But I just say that for a site that I know is going to be a very big asset to my company or to the future, I like to set it up firstly with base level content and then I’ll usually end up going back and totally rewriting it.
When you’re getting two to three hundred pages written I’d rather start it off on a base level rather than pay, because a good piece of content can cost you a lot of money, some of my content I can pay $70 or $80 per article. That’s where it needs to be industry specific, really high quality. They will decimate you if you don’t have it right and they will point it out.
So I start off with cheaper content for sites and I put a lot of pages out there and I see what comes back. If I start to get a lot of traffic and a lot of interest on that then I know that by increasing the quality of that site, by increasing the quality of the content, I can bring back more visitors and get an even higher response and higher result from that website.
Then if we’re skipping straight over to off page I basically follow a concept now which in part is in alignment with our algorithm that we use to find our own pages to rank. Basically it is the main phrase or the ego keyword as I call it is not the phrase you want to start going for straight away. Plan for the very top end but start with the very bottom. If you’ve got the content in there, the very first pages you want to start optimizing are the ones that have the best opportunity for you to get rankings quickly.
I tend to do a percentage work split. Let’s say I have a hundred points in work. It can be broke down however you like. I’ll usually say I have in the first three months between 30-40% of the work will go for the main level phrase which is going to be the ego word, the biggest payoff from. It doesn’t have to be an ego word, it can be, for example, a very good buying keyword but it might be a longer end target. You might not be able to get there very quickly. It might take you a long time to get there.
In that case that falls under the same thing as the end result keyword, the desired keyword, or the ego keyword, meaning the keyword you can boast the most about. So only put 30-40% into the set of ego keywords and then the other 60-70% goes fully into individual pages and the long tail. That’s where I know you’ll get the quickest wins in the first three months. That is by far where you’ll get the most out of it. So that’s what we do.
Then what we do is we come to the three month point and we usually flip it. So we’ll start targeting, or start taking it down a bit as we start targeting towards the higher end phrase and a little less on the lower tail phrase to start reversing and bringing out the main phrase quicker.
Usually what I find here, especially if you’re going to a competitive market and you want to be a little bit tactical about it is by the time you start to flip the work and go for the large phrase you start to see not only the large phrase but almost all the intermediate phrases come to the first page round about the same time if you plan it right.
Now what this means is if you hit the page really early for a big level phrase, your competition finds out about you really quickly and they’ll come and they’ll hunt you down, find out what’s going and if they can they’ll put you out of business. This is of course in cut throat industries.
It’s not the same in small niche industries, but it can be something to worry about later. Especially if you have something that is unique to you as far as a business process and you’re still trying to capture ground for the market share, if they see someone come to the market very early with something that they haven’t done yet, usually they can effect that change and do the same thing before you can get a front page ranking or before you can capture enough of the market share.
So by focusing on everything other then the main phrase you build everything they’re not looking at every day. If someone’s there for an ego phrase, they’re searching that main phrase every day to see where they are, or just because they can because that’s why it’s an ego phrase. They’re not looking in the long tail phrases, they’re not looking for all the variations.
By coming up for the variations and then the main phrase, it’s what I call market domination before they realize you’ve jumped up behind them. They realize you’re on the first page for that phrase so they start looking more. They say, oh, he’s everywhere.
So before they’ve even had a chance you’ve ninjad out of nowhere.
David Jenyns: I like the idea of building the strength up on those longer tail words. That’s going to feed through to your ego keyword. You’ve got all your on page optimization linking structure set up correctly so all that’s feeding in. When someone does see, oh, he’s taken my ego keyword, when they go to try and reverse engineer what it is that you’ve done, it makes it a lot harder. You’ve got a lot stronger structure there holding up that ego keyword.
Marc Lindsay: Yes, especially if people have a lot to their main pages, it’s very easy to look at it and instantly say, yes, I know exactly what he’s doing. But if someone has a tool that’s maybe not as smart as some other tools and it doesn’t pick up links to pages as well, or they’re having to analyze it, they’re trying to analyze that. They’re looking around and seeing keywords coming in for other phrases but not for the main phrase and it can throw them off.
You really brought home something there that I would reinforce and that is, by working on the longer tail phrases, you’re still always working towards whatever the highest subset of that keyword is, as long as you’ve got your flow correct in your website and your site structure. So even though you’re working on the smaller phrases, it all helps on the main phrase.
I’ll give you an example of this. If you’re coming into a competitive industry and it’s a large phrase or the ego keyword usually it doesn’t matter what you do you won’t be able to get to that first page for that keyword for a certain amount of time, depending on whether Google decides it’s raining or sunny today. So whilst everyone starts with that main phrase and they keep going and going, and you can get there pretty quickly for it but it still does take playtime to get out of the old sandpit.
If instead you’re bolstering all your supporting phrases in that time period, when you actually go to start working on that main phrase, it’s a lot more ROI positive use of work. The reason I bring it back to ROI positive is you could waste a lot of inventory, you could waste a lot of resources trying to get that main phrase work and not necessarily move ahead any quicker than if you were to start and get all of your long tail phrases ranked.
Then when it comes time to rank for your ego keyword you already have such a good structure there and such a good founding, that any work into that is actually a much more ROI positive work because you actually already have traffic, you have rankings for all your other phrases. You have keyword diversity and you have site authority that it just comes up much quicker than it normally would.
David Jenyns: Yes, and I think as well if you go for those longer tail keywords, depending on what you’re trying to push, you’re going to be making sales, and that’s going to help further pay for the SEO work and the resources required to go for that ego keyword. If you go just straight for that primary keyword, it might be incredibly hard to get. So I agree. It’s better to go for those long tail first.
Marc Lindsay: Yes, absolutely. So that’s the off page plan that we follow as far as how we direct all of our work. It’s very effective, it works and it’s a good use of resources. You’re not wasting anything.
David Jenyns: Those links that you’re sending back to the different pages as well, like the anchor text that you’re using for that, obviously you’re using the keyword that you’re trying to rank for. Do you put any variation in there as well?
Marc Lindsay: I do, yes. It depends how many I’ve got going into the individual page. If I have a lot I use more variation but I always tend to go for around about the top five that would be relevant to that individual page.
David Jenyns: And then where are you sending these links from when you’re actually doing that?
Marc Lindsay: You have to go through a process always depending on where you’re getting your links from. I know we do a lot of tracking and a lot testing to find out what is the most efficient spend of resources based on output provided. You can go and get a link built that will cost you time wise, and therefore time is money, more to actually get done rather than a link that good be quicker to get done based on time. The overall effect of that means you can get more out and you can have a larger increased overall benefit rather than getting ones that cost more time to get.
Basically to put that in really simple terms, high quality links versus low quality links. It’s probably one of the largest things that people are worried about, is should I be building really high quality links to my site or really low quality links?
David Jenyns: So what’s the answer?
Marc Lindsay: If I put my good hat on, that says you need to be always building towards future sustainability of your website.
David Jenyns: Sounds like a text book definition there.
Marc Lindsay: Yes. Since we’re all here to be getting good tactics, to start with you need to be building more than one type of link to your website. That means if you’re only doing article submissions, stop. Start finding something else you can do as well, because the larger the profile of links that you’re building to your website the less change can happen to your website if Google decides to devalue a type of link. So that’s just like 101 for me. If you’re building with one type then you need to be building with multiple types.
102 says to me go with what works for the least required investment of time. To me that is anything to do with article submissions is a very good use of time still, niche specific directories and even non-niche specific directories, as long as they’re one way links, and I’ll make that as a clarification, it’s still a very good use of time. There’s a lot of social book marking and whatnot I use only as an indexing tool, not as a ranking tool.
WordPress comments are still very effective, although I tend to do it with proper writers who write the comments for it so I get more acceptance there. They would be the easiest use of time and resources that would give the largest benefit or the largest payoff.
Now obviously other things that come in very good require a bit more time to do. there’s traditional link hunting, which means you need to go out and look for people within the top thirty results for vertical industries or industries that are related to yours but not in competition with yours.
That can be an extremely effective way to get links and basically you can offer them a high quality piece of content or some sort of mutual benefit to both. Usually it’s a high quality piece of the content because then they get content on their site and you get a link back to your website.
Other ways that are a little bit more creative is to create tools in your industry or to create super high quality content that has a high spreadablity factor so people will want to spread that content around. Create tools that can go viral as far as blog badges and things like that. I usually don’t talk too much about that because it does require quite a substantial amount of effort and a certain type of site to actually do that on. Usually you don’t want to just do it on a basic niche website. For that sort of thing you’re going to be doing some of what I deem the lower quality methods.
The only reason I define them as lower quality is that they’re cheap and quick. If anything takes longer to do then, in most cases it’s higher quality but I’ve seen some people put out some work that is more expensive and takes longer to do and it’s certainly not higher quality.
David Jenyns: You talked about quite a few different strategies there that you do use. I know that you guys are pretty systematized over at the LTSEO headquarters, If we were going to break it down even more, and I know this is digging quite deep into your business, if a client comes on board, what’s the first method of links you go after, second method, third method? I know it will vary depending on the niche you’re going after and the type of competition you’re going up against. Where do you start?
Marc Lindsay: It’s all base knowledge. Everybody knows all this stuff. You know this, every other person who’s in SEO knows it so I can tell you exactly the kind of links that are built. The power doesn’t actually come from knowing how to build the link. The power comes from having a systematic process that you can replicate time and time again.
David Jenyns: That right there is gold for anyone who’s listening.
Marc Lindsay: That is where it comes from. I could sit here and we could rattle SEO all day and give the most important facts away, but nobody would be able to replicate it unless they can come up with a system that they can follow that guarantees that the work gets done on a consistent basis and moves their site forward. They need to be constantly seeking and looking for new phrases and new ways to promote their site within that structure.
Having said that here are the immediate ones that jump to mind. We have an A-team who basically do research on all the new types of things that they can be doing, test them for validity, if they actually make an effect. That’s quite nice. They come up with ideas now and then before the rest of the market does. Obviously I can’t talk about those, but they’re quick win stuff, it’s not a long term strategy for those. They are usually a little be edgier. They’re things that I’ll use on my own sites.
I keep all my clients’ sites on stuff that’s been around a long time and has been well trialed and well tested. It’s not what I use for client work, it’s what I test and play around with. Having said that, feeder sites from as many of the Web 2.0 sources as you can actively get your hands on. Some of them no follow their links, some of them don’t, you’ll have to look at those. I don’t manage which ones do and don’t any more. I have other people who do that.
Forum posting – find forums that are specific to your industry. Almost all of them allow you to have a footer link in that. You mentioned the Warrior Forum. I know they used to let you have a footer link in there and in that footer link you can have an anchor rich link in there. There is article posting, both unique to EzineArticles and also to our own article distribution network. One way back links from sites, usually from site specific directories. You run a site on dog training and you have a partner’s page on there.
David Jenyns: You mentioned Web 2.0, you’ve got some forums and ezines and some directories. I know you guys have a full team over there. You say, here’s a client we’re promoting, you get your keyword research done, liase with the client, get them to know what strategy you’re about to do, they give you the all clear, you pass it back to the team and say let’s promote this.
Each one of these things you mentioned, do you start building all in one go and do you try and stagger it out? Do you have a system down to the point where you say right, I want you to build ten Web 2.0 pages on a variety of things. I want you to make twenty posts on these different forums, I want you to submit twenty articles to Ezine or whatever. Do you have it down to that granular point?
Marc Lindsay: Yes, absolutely. I do, but you know what? It’s based quite simply on how much the client’s paying me. That varies from site to site and it varies based on the size of the plan. While a site may need x amount of quantity of work, sometimes the client’s not prepared to pay for x amount of quantity so I go to them and say, looks it’s not personally what I’d be doing on your website, but having said that, this is what you want, this is what I can deliver for it. Then you go through the delivery process. It breaks down however you like.
I can definitely tell you I am weighted more towards what is more effective to be done, and as I’ve stated before, what is most effective is going to be the quick win links at least within the first twelve months. After twelve months we change to a slightly different tune or a slightly different method for those sites and follow a bit of a different thing.
Something we always like to do is constantly measure and weigh the return on investment for what’s being spent. That doesn’t always come from getting that site ranked. It might get to a point where you’re covering a lot of the industry and to go for extra phrases just to get more traffic to the site that may not be higher converting traffic.
Then you have to say, hold on, as an SEO company do I offer to start setting up related websites so they can gain more exposure on the first page? Or what do I do nest so I can help them get the best ROI on what they’re spending? So it’s not always just a matter of just what keywords need to be ranked and what links need to be ranked? We take a bit more of a higher view from a business perspective than just an SEO perspective. Sometimes it is a better ROI or a better use of resources to then set up a totally new site that is specific to just one area of what they offer.
David Jenyns: You mentioned you obviously weight a lot of your time and a lot of what you work on to those methods you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck for. I know that it’s important that we spread out our links and we never just want to go for one particular type of link. But if you had to pick, just for argument’s sake, where you get the best bang for your buck on links, where do you go?
Marc Lindsay: It’s going to sound so cliche but it’s got to be my own service. It’s got to be the article site.
David Jenyns: We can lead into this. I mention this to my clients. Marc is the guy behind AMA, Article Marketing Automation, and it is a fantastic service and I know is being picked up left, right and centre. Can you tell us a little bit about what it is, what it does?
Marc Lindsay: Yes, absolutely. It is a user created blog network. Every site that is in the network and a site is a WordPress site that takes on content, is created by users. This means there is a very large spread of hosts and IP addresses and who is information and all the rest and is an important thing to have.
Basically users enter their site in their, they’re looking to distribute content for other people, they provide their users or readers with more content to read or look or comment on. They add it in there because they’re looking for actual content. Maybe they’re setting up a feeder site or maybe they’re testing out an industry and they want to get content related to that industry to see how it flies.
As an actual poster or an article distributor you’ll log into your system and you’ll put an article into the system and go through a spinning process that you can have every version of the article that goes out unique, and for that you get to place a link in your article anywhere within the body of the test. There are no footprints for it, and your article is slowly fed out over sixty days to the sites and the network that are looking for content on that category.
So it means that you’re basically get in content links anywhere between 120 -240 websites for each article you put out. And you can also automatically have it so that you vary the anchor text link that goes to each one by using spinning methods and what not. So it is extremely effective at what it does and that’s always my first place I start off with.
The reason I start off with that, and this is for my personal sites here, my clients’ sites I don’t go so heavy on that. The reason is if a client’s paying me for work and they see that I offer a service that is for the internet marketing industry or for just general article publishers and they see that it is $47 per month, they instantly say why am I paying xyz for work that is $47 per month? They don’t even have to think about the fact of all the other work they get for it.
For my clients, the AMA is just bonus work, it’s not even in the charge, it’s not in the fee, it’s in none of that. I put any article I get into that system because I own and operate it. I’ve just found regardless of what you show, the image has been formed, and they’re not entirely happy about it. It does depend on the client too. Some people are willing and happy just to leave everything in your hands knowing you’re the best at what you do, and they go on with it. Some clients will want to have a bit more of in depth control over it for whatever reason. They may have had a bad experience or they need to be satisfied with every single point. At the end of the day that’s what we have to do for them.
So if you’ve got your own sites, I use it for every single one of mine. I think the stats now are something like 45% of all links promoted in the network have a page one ranking in Google and the total up to top three page ranking in Google is something like 78% of the entire network.
David Jenyns: How many pages are we talking, that are in the network?
Marc Lindsay: I’m talking about individual links promoted to individual sites. I’d have to check the stats on what that is, but we’re edging on 18,000 or something like that.
David Jenyns: That’s really impressive.
Marc Lindsay: That’s like you and me putting our sites in there to get them ranked. Total content distributed is around 4.6 million articles or versions of articles.
David Jenyns: That’s definitely impressive and I think the chats that we’ve had about what’s been going on behind the back end, the way you monitor your stats and that sort of stuff is extremely impressive. The biggest thing a lot of people worry about with blog networks is the ability of someone to be able to somehow reverse engineer where these links are coming from and then say, oh these somehow linked as a network and that whole network go down. We’ve seen that happen before. What sort of methods and structures do you have in place to keep AMA from going that way?
Marc Lindsay: To start with, AMA is a user run network. For Google to put a footprint on the whole network would a) be very difficult to do, because we don’t submit to the entire network ever whereas most sites will let you submit junk to the entire network or they sell page rank which is definitely not what we do. That’s the first point. The second point is there is quality control in it. It’s up to the publisher whether or not to automatically accept content or not. They do have a manual process if they want it. They can reject content if it’s not up to standard.
The third thing is a few things that we want to have come into place for community control over article quality. I’ll just leave it at that for the moment because it is not out yet.
David Jenyns: Definitely keep an eye on it. If someone wants to check out more, they can go to theseomethod.com/ama and they can find out more about that. I’ve got a final couple of questions to finish up on. I wanted to find out your thoughts on going after big niches versus little niches. I know you have a whole variety of clients that you take on. You do go after some really big niches. Do big niches scare you at all?
Marc Lindsay: No, not at all. I love it. Give me the top level. If it’s worth it for me, I’ll go for it. At the end of the day, it comes down to confidence and resources. I never used to be able to do that. It does come down to working within a lot of industries and just being smart about it. Sometimes it’s not always best to start with the largest spot in there. Sometimes you can make a lot of money by going for the niche specific to start with.
A perfect example is poker. If you want to go for poker tips or poker advice or poker on line it is a very big industry. If you want to go for an individual program and do a review site just around that program you’ll have a much better chance of getting rankings for that program than the whole poker industry. There’s a lot of money. In that case I’m not scared to go for a big one. It depends on exactly what the product is and where it targets to start with. If their site is already in a big industry then usually I’ll max out that site.
If you start on an authority site or a large site, you usually end up niching that down into a specific in another site. Once you’ve done as much as you can on that site sometimes it’s better to then start releasing niche specific versions of the same concept.
If you’re starting out and you’re not sure where you want to start, niche it down. Go really specific because you’ll get the best win out of it. Let’s say you’re doing a product based website around, say, mosquito spray. You take a look in what’s available and you can see that there is Enviroguard as an example, or whatever a brand name happens to be.
What you want to do is you’ll target your site entirely around mosquito repellent as a phrase, and then you want to break down as much as possible for the content of your site into the individual types of mosquito repellent and the longer tail phrases. So really niche it down into hitting the specifics for it because you’ll give yourself the best chance possible to win. That’s what it’s all about early on. The more you win early on, the more confidence you have in yourself and the more likely you are to tackle larger industries and go forward.
Having said that, a failure is never a failure as long as you learn from it. It’s only truly a failure if you don’t get the lesson out of it.
David Jenyns: Excellent. I suppose leading in from that we talk about getting rankings and that sort of thing, where do you see opportunity for getting easy rankings. You talked about going for a lot of those longer tail keywords. Are there any points on where you see easy rankings? Can you perhaps comment on using video to rank for keywords?
Marc Lindsay: Yes. Like you said, video is a very easy way to get a top level position on that first page. Google will usually have a position there just for video. Most people don’t do optimization for their videos and optimizing for videos is just like optimizing for a site. Pick the right phrase for the url and all the rest of that. More importantly point the right links at the thing. We include an easy way to do that within the Article Marketing Services at the link Dave mentioned before. You can also do it with any other link building method as well.
In saying that videos are a very easy way to get ranked and if you have the right video there it will give you an opportunity almost to pre sell them into your service. Unfortunately while it is a very quick and easy way to do it, I find that it doesn’t necessarily lead me to sales. At the end of the day I want sales. A video is perfect for pre selling a product.
So if they come in they hit your YouTube video, they go to the YouTube and they go through and they take a look at it no worries, they like what they see they have an opportunity to click on the right side of your link. But see here how we’re sending them to YouTube? They go to YouTube, they can get lost, they can start watching videos.
There is a tag that you can add into your own pages that specify a video. So if you’re using that tag and you’ve got video embedded in your own page, you can actually use tags that specify and identify that content as video content. You can say hey, Google, when you spider this page, this one’s a video. Your video will show up like a normal YouTube video would in the results.
David Jenyns: I’ll definitely have to have a look into that.
Marc Lindsay: Yes, so you need to take a look into that. Basically it shows, even when it’s listed down there it will show up and it just looks like a video listing in there.
So you get very high click throughs and you get all the good stuff that comes with that. But otherwise very easy rankings is anything that has a huge list of products in it, aka e commerce. E commerce stores I just love them. You can’t beat them.
David Jenyns: The amount of pages as well. We’ve got one or two e commerce stores for our own stuff. You were talking about going for buying phrases. When you’ve got the product name, and the person is typing that into Google and you’ve optimized for that keyword that user is a qualified person who is ready to buy. They’re not someone saying, digital cameras, they’re saying Sony camera XPF 654.
Marc Lindsay: Exactly. It’s the most qualified you can get. It’s also very easy to put in qualifiers in the footer of your store that instantly add another whole plethora of phrases. Qualifiers can be pre or post qualifiers for the keyword, or even locality. You can do some nice tricky stuff with an e commerce store. You can put now delivering xyz and have the product name inserted there too. Then if you’re in Australia, all around Australia but also too, Sydney, Perth, Northern Territory, Darwin and the main localities there and will instantly add to every single page all locality based phrases as well.
David Jenyns: Yes there are definitely huge opportunities there and I think that is an area where still I don’t think there is enough attention focused in on those e commerce sites. I know having chatted with you with some of the clients’ niches you’ve gone after it’s astounding to hear some of the results you can get. You can get those from what seems like quite an obscure niche but you can dig incredibly deeply into that niche.
Marc Lindsay: To be honest while we’re on the topic, you have to start somewhere always. If you can’t get into e commerce don’t get discouraged. Build up whatever you can to get to the point where you have the connections, you have the context and the confidence to get into any industry you want. For me if I was to hedge where we do place our bets so to speak online now it is in e commerce, lead generation and high level affiliates or industries with a lot of traffic and usually on an authority site. basis.
David Jenyns: Yes. Talk about going full circle and we go all the way back to where we were talking about planning out, mapping out the domain name, the keywords you’re going to go after and getting that structure right. That goes full circle, and I think if you go into any one of those three areas, the e commerce, lead generation or any high level affiliate stuff, you’re going to position yourself to succeed.
This is the perfect time to lead out towards the end of the call. I know you’re one of the guys I listen to when it comes to SEO. I’m interested to know who you listen to. In the SEO world when you’re keeping a pulse on what’s going on.
Marc Lindsay: That’s a really good question. Look I don’t have anyone I follow anymore. I base my learning on results. This is for everything I do. I’m always building a resource. I’m building it for the resource. I’m not necessarily building it for the initial input.
For example my entire SEO company is not based round offering an SEO service. I am not an SEO company. I’m a media company. Our SEO company is actually more like a lead generation company that we get paid an exceptional amount from businesses that need our services. But it’s a lead generation company to find businesses that 1) are serious and 2) have a good back end and product offering. Out of that few select, we’ll find a certain amount of companies that want to strike equity deals with us. And they want us to become their front end marketing arm.
That’s where we drive a lot of power from. How it gets to that is because our SEO company is just a really neat way to get paid for building a resource. As I build up more and more clients and I can look across 120 websites at any point because I’m a tracking freak. We track every link built, the time it was built, the site it was built to, the anchor text that was built, where it’s coming from, all that is built so I can see an exact snapshot of when that happened.
By having the resource and owning the resource I can do analysis on exactly what’s happening in an industry at any second. I can see what’s happening I don’t have to hazard a guess. The one thing I read religiously is called SE News, searchenginenews.com. It comes into my mailbox, and it was recommended to me.
David Jenyns: Do you have any other people that you admire not necessarily follow who you respect what it is they do in SEO?
Marc Lindsay: I’ve learnt from a lot of people. If you talk about, admire, respect and look to now, it’s a different question to people who I learnt from. It depends what the question is. There are plenty of SEO smarts in the industry. A long time ago I took myself out of the game of chasing and following and put myself into the game of actioning and doing. When I started to do that it’s quite funny how quickly your results start to change but it also means I lost a little bit of touch with that side of the industry.
There’s always Leslie Rohde and Dan Thies of SEO Fast Start. SEO Fast Start is one of the best starting bases. I say starting because it will just give you a nice solid overview for it. It won’t give you the motivation and the in depth content that we’re talking about now and that you have in your course. But he’s really good at what he does.
Leslie Rohde I think is very good from the technical point of view. There are individuals like that that I can look at from a specific point of view but to be honest I’m getting a lot more from the conversion industry than I am from the SEO industry. There’s only a certain level you can take SEO to. Once you get to level where you can dominate any industry and have it on an automated process, well, who do I look up to?
I’m not saying I’m at the top by far. I’m still learning all the time with it but it then becomes you gain and drive knowledge from looking back on how plans have gone and how results have been achieved and by analyzing that. That’s where you get information from, that’s where you find out from. I do like anything from SEOmoz, anything to do with viral linkbaiting. To me that’s like an awesome use of resource.
Anywhere I can find stuff like that, I don’t have a specific one, but I know I get a lot of that from SEOmoz. Like I said searchenginenews.com is enough to keep me up to date with just search engine changes, not so much tactics but more about what’s changing in the industry, what’s news, what’s not, what’s happening. They have some nice resources there as well. When it comes down to tactics and tips it all comes down to call like these.
Once you get to a certain level you’ll start meeting people in you industry, you’ll start discussing what’s working and what’s not and you’ll start analyzing your own results. You’re definitely someone to watch. If people want to find out more about the AMA service they can head over to the seomethod.com/ama. If they want to find out more about you Marc, where should they go to find you?
Marc Lindsay: You can go to ltseo.com.au. That’s our corporate level site. We’re doing a lot of changes at the moment to how we’re doping our more internet marketing. Perhaps I’ll give you a link when we’ve actually sorted that out to give a place that people can go to that will be more in line with how we do things now.
David Jenyns: I’d like to thank you very much for your time. I do appreciate every time we get on the line and I know anyone who listens to this call is going to get a lot of value from it. So thank you. I do appreciate it.
Marc Lindsay: Thanks Dave. Thanks for having me, it’s been fun.
Download Marc Lindsay Interview | Marc Lindsay Videos | Marc Lindsay Podcast | Marc Lindsay Review | Marc Lindsay MP3
Did You Enjoy This Interview?
Start following PodcastInterviews.com and get all the latest interviews free!
The post Marc Lindsay Interview appeared first on Business Growth Strategies With Podcast Interviews.